Diplomacy: A Leadership Perspective from Gobbins


Diplomacy in New Eden is a world which is wide, wild, wily, and wise. Often the interactions and perspectives of leaders and diplomats happen outside of the view of the common line member and lowly miner. This interview is an attempt to bring some of that hidden perspective to light.

As part of my interview process with the significant leadership, diplomats, and FCs of New Eden, I asked each the exact same questions as a way of standardizing my approach and also soliciting answers which would reflect their own unique views. These views and expressed opinions are their own and, except where the interviewee is the alliance leader, are not reflective of the views or official position of their organization at large.

The following interviewee is Gobbins, CEO of Pandemic Horde and Alliance Executor. I presented the same questions to Gobbins that I have to each of the interviewees, but due to time constraints he was only able to address a couple at length. I think you will find his answers insightful.

Jurius Doctor: Here are a list of questions, which are the same I provided to each of the interviewees I’ve met with so far. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Gobbins: I think it would take 2 to 3 hours to answer everything. I don’t have that kind of time at the moment… can you pick one questions from the list (you provided)?

JD: Okay ,the biggest one I’d love for you to answer is either one of:

Do you ever feel diplos are sometimes in the position of creating more problems than they solve?

– or –

By your assessment, are the problems diplos are incapable of solving?

GB: I think when it comes to diplos it depends which type of diplomat we are talking about. Even the alliances that make fun of diplos, have diplos – they just happen to be the FC’s themselves. They are the ones who make contacts and organize shit with other entities, they are the diplos effectively.

In other alliances, the FC’s and the diplos are completely separated and the FCs are actually not supposed to go around making deals with other entities. And in most alliances, the leader is also the actual diplo, or whoever is actively leading. I think this is the most common situation. Those alliances might often have official ‘diplos’ but those are mostly in charge of dealing with blue on blue accidents, or gathering requests for partnerships and other stuff like that and bringing it to the leader.

So when answering the question above, all these type of diplos can cause problems or solve problems. I assume however the question refers to the ‘pure-diplo’ role

In those cases I think those type of diplos can indeed cause issues when they are a bit disconnected from the FC side of things. Merc money aside, a big problem faced by Imperium during wwb is that their diplos had been too oppressive to their coalition partners internally and made too many enemies externally, ultimately resulting in the stampede which was Money Badger Coalition.

In EVE, I think there are two ways diplomacy between blocs starts; top-down, or bottom-up.
Top-down is when the leadership of two blocs make some kind of deal, and then start cooperating. For example, a coalition for blue and mutual defense – an example of this is some of the mega-coalitions formed through mutual defense pacts among alliances that dont routinely work together.

Bottom-up is when FCs start temp-blueing and working with other FCs on specific timers, through batphones. When those cooperations are very successful they often become downright alliances at a bloc-level.

When it comes to war this is obviously a lot more effective compared to a bunch of leaders shaking hands and then putting their FCs in a room and saying ‘now play with each other’.

On the other hand, when it is your FCs picking who is going to be your friend, that can take a lot of control away from the leadership itself. This also only works if the FCs have enough experience to, at least, have some understanding of the bigger picture and also have the contacts and the experience to make these collaborations happen.

Even in established alliances, the average skirmish FC won’t be able to create such partnerships. First-of-all he might just not know who to contact within other alliances. Second, he might be too unfamiliar with the logisitics of how to get allies to your timer; how to get them a fight; and so on. Lastly, the guy might not just have enough reputation to warrant another entity investing time and ships into whatever op he is selling. So on paper the FC-diplo might sound simple but in reality such talent is not as common in eve as one might think.

One last thing, if an alliance already has its own full diplo team, having FCs take too much initiative on a diplomatic level might backfire or cause pissing contests between the FCs and the diplos, so in those cases that can be another source of the issues you asked about, and sometimes ends in schisms by small groups of disgruntled FCs.

JD: Awesome. Thanks for taking time to answer so completely.

GB: Sure thing.

Jurius Doctor is an author, YouTuber, and a teacher/recruiter for Iron ArmadaStay tuned to INN for the following parts in this series.

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  • Moomin Amatin

    I am not sure that Gobby really has anything of value to add in all of this. He does as instructed by PL and will often seek permission for his own activities. I mean yes you can call him an expert in diplomacy if it relates to ransoming hisec citadels. His analysis of The Casino War is positively laughable.

    December 22, 2017 at 12:39 PM
    • Rammel Kas Moomin Amatin

      The creature is only as good as his sources… which says something doesn’t it?

      December 22, 2017 at 4:22 PM
      • The ‘creature’ is curious. It asks questions. It records the answers. It publishes what it learns. What do you do?

        December 26, 2017 at 9:32 AM
        • Rammel Kas Jurius Doctor

          I was referring to Gobbins. Sorry if that was ambiguous. They lost something like 17 citadel structures just yesterday. He seems to be losing a war.

          December 26, 2017 at 9:35 AM
          • Everyone does, at one point or another. This is EVE, after all.

            December 26, 2017 at 9:37 AM
    • You’ll note that the introduction to the article states that I interviewed FCs, Diplomats, and Alliance Leaders. Gobbins is all of the above and this is just one of several interviews to be published over the holiday break. One of whom is your very own Mittani.

      I find, Moomin, that for a senior Goon you’re awfully derisive, dismissive of others, and generally condescending in the tone of your comments. I don’t often give credence to people’s hatred for Goons, but you enlighten that perspective slightly by your demeanor. Perhaps examine that before you choose to reply.

      December 22, 2017 at 9:53 PM
      • Moomin Amatin Jurius Doctor

        You seem a little defensive here yourself dear. As for me, well I am old enough to not have to sit idly by and listen to people spout nonsense.

        So with that in mind you do not specify anything in particular that you think is factually incorrect on my part. I mean if Gobby wants to believe such things then he is more than welcome to do so. I see no need for myself to also cling to such delusion.

        I do hope that you come forward with something more substantive than what your comment has provided so far. I am always happy to talk and admit error where it can be shown. So can I expect to hear from you soon?

        December 22, 2017 at 10:24 PM
        • I didn’t countermand your comments because they’re your opinion. People are entitled to those. However, it doesn’t stop me from remarking on the fact that you sound like a condescending sort. So far you’re reinforcing the opinion.

          If you wanted my take, it would be to say that one does not arrive at alliance leader of a group thirteen and a half thousand strong without help or merit, and Gobbins has proven in his interviews and interactions with me to be genial, friendly, helpful, and consistent. All traits a newbro should look for in their leadership, and so I can see why he is where he is at. He makes, at face value, a good example to follow.

          On the other hand, Moomin, your bittervet is showing.

          December 22, 2017 at 10:33 PM
          • Moomin Amatin Jurius Doctor

            So nothing substantive, just an ad hominem again.

            PS: “a senior Goon” – perhaps you should check your facts a bit as well.

            December 23, 2017 at 5:07 AM
          • DragonZer0 Moomin Amatin

            I think he meant your just an “old man” Moomin.

            December 23, 2017 at 10:11 PM
          • One doesn’t make Directorate as a junior line member. Oh, sorry. Former.

            December 26, 2017 at 9:27 AM
          • Moomin Amatin Jurius Doctor

            One does make the Directorate as a junior line member. It is how I did it.

            No need to be sorry either. I take a Google approach when building a system or a process. You build it and then step back as soon as you can to prove that everything you built works as required. I would hate to build something fragile that retained single points of failure for the sake of ego.

            December 26, 2017 at 10:38 AM