Unless you have been under a rock the last week, you should know CO2 has fail cascaded. In the end, this is good for the players and Eve Online. The winners are perceived to be the Imperium. I’ll argue what the Imperium achieved was more on the lines of revenge, a morale boost, and (for those paying attention) another example of them holding to and keeping diplomatic or black ops promises. Make no mistake! These are very important aspects of the game and signal a clear win, but they aren’t the full picture.
There is no doubt that losing things in Eve Online is the least enjoyable experience for players. For CO2 this last week has been the nuclear endgame of loss. Apparently, they lost everything. CO2 lost their leader, their Alliance fail cascaded, much of their stuff was locked in stations they no longer control. In reality, they lost their home.
And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place
Let’s face it. CO2 was poorly managed from an alliance perspective. When your leader resorts to personally giving away supers and skill extracts multiple characters to pay SRP, you have serious issues. Couple that with a volatile leader who rules by emotion, you have a recipe for disaster. CO2 leadership has made mistake after mistake. Trust is a commodity in Eve and CO2 had effectively lost it.
The above developments in CO2 made diplomacy hard and also produced a field of enemies. Couple that with turning on an ally in the past, (who is far more powerful today) it becomes not a game of if, but when, they will strike. CO2 leadership was outplayed because they viewed the game with the blinders of battle on the field of diplomacy, subterfuge, and alliance scale management in game without regard for the reality of the human condition.
The Triple Crown of EVE
When you look at the course of events this is the biggest thing to happen in Eve. Even if you don’t agree with that statement, it is unmistakably the biggest thing to happen in a long while. This was the trifecta. The hattrick of Eve. Co2 had all their Alliance assets stolen, lost SOV, and had their leader headshotted. They lost their Alliance because of it. “Headshotted” is perhaps the wrong term. It’s more like he deliberately tried to get banned by raging with his circus stunt online threats against The Judge. Had Co2 cultivated its leadership and had succession plans they could have perhaps weathered the storm and gone on to live another day.
No One Likes to Lose
I am sure from all I have listened to and read that gigX cared for his followers. He loved CO2 and all it was. He was just the wrong leader with the wrong leadership style. I don’t say that to beat gigX down. This is devastating to a leader. Everyone down to the line members who have invested so much into what they thought they were as players in the game as members of CO2 are affected.
It was emotional when the Imperium lost the North. But each corporation and alliance did what it needed to do to secure as much as they could. We didn’t worry about the next step. We were communicated to and knew what was needed. Confident that Alliance Leadership would communicate a plan and we would be able to evaluate. Everyone else in Eve thought the Imperium and Goonswarm would die.
All the claims by leaders in the Money Badger Coalition to the rest of EVE never really materialized. Those, who got paid to do so, convinced the rest of Eve to go on a crusade to end the reign of the evil Goons. They only created a stronger more formidable Imperium. Many groups who have lost big but had strong leadership have re-built and gone on to be great houses of Eve. That is not the path of CO2. CO2, for now, is lost to the Darwinism of EVE.
No One Does the Big Story Like EVE
No press is bad press and no one does press like EVE. Sure, stuff happens in other games but most gaming press is about new releases or reviews of games and hardware. The universe of Eve is different. We are the game. We are the story. Unlike other games, Eve is the only real alternate universe.
It is clear the Imperium pushed information about this event to a lot of external gaming news publications. Key Imperium players have been available to media outlets throughout the process. What seems to have been far too silent is CCP in this media blitz. Granted, I didn’t ask CCP because they never return my calls. Hopefully buying them a few beverages at Eve Vegas will help my cause. Nothing sells EVE Online like media attention.
I had people reach out to me the next day at work and ask about what really happened. They wanted details. Some of these folks were not gamers but had heard of the story nonetheless. Some were gamers wondering if they should finally give EVE a try. To them, I said to join us in the grand adventure. We’d get them over the evil learning curve.
And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place
The Imperium could have hellcamped the Keepstar longer and forced player assets into safety. A decision was made that this would not be healthy for the game. That is perhaps the most important thing I have taken away from what I have heard. Yes, the Imperium wanted revenge on gigX, CO2 leadership, and players who were around during the backstabbing in the north. We were never going to be friends. Even with that and the necessary pain destroying CO2 would cause, the intent was not to drive players away from EVE. That’s hard. It’s a challenge to deal with what happened. There is no way not to hurt people and make them feel some amount of pain.
Losing hurts. The pain could have been made far worse for the line members. Instead, choices were made. Imperium line members got some hellcamp fun and a huge morale boost for a time. CO2 line members (most of them) got some mercy and a way out without the cost of asset safety. It makes me wonder if we don’t have some Tleilaxu in Imperium leadership.
Win, Win, Win
In the end, toxic leadership was removed from the game. A poorly run alliance was destroyed for the present. For many, an exciting event happend that generated interest both inside and outside the EVE community. While many line members may be unhappy and even a few leave the game, more will try EVE for the first time and hopefully stick with it. The Imperium could have twisted the knife in the back of CO2 line members but didn’t because it would have been bad for the game.
Those who ridiculously hold onto the fake mantra that the Imperium is here to ruin the game should take note. They again show they are one of the primary drivers of people to Eve by pushing news to other gaming outlets and not forcing asset recovery for CO2 line members. The Imperium wants Eve to grow just like every other player and organization who loves the game.
Who wins? Everyone except gigX and his leadership. You win. CCP wins. The Imperium wins. EVE wins.
Over at INN Twitch, there has been non-stop coverage of the events of the week. If you want to understand it from a deeper perspective I strongly encourage you to watch this edition of Talking in Stations from the Saturday 9/16/2017 broadcast with Aryth.