Goon and Horde: A Conversation

2020-09-03

Art by Major Sniper

This article was co-written by Graydoc and Seir Luciel.

Editor’s Note: The following is a conversation between the author and his son, Seir Luciel. The author is a member of the Imperium, and his son is a member of Pandemic Horde. The conversation (via texts and emails) started when the author sent his son two articles from INN, one of which was The Mittani’s article entitled World War Bee: Avenging the Casino War

Seir Luciel:

Ultimately The Mittani’s argument for why they are going to win the war boils down to two claims: The enemies aren’t us (i.e. pubbies) and therefore by definition cannot be considered threatening, and we’ve beat them in the past so there’s no reason to think it will be any different this time.

As for the first point I don’t think it calls for any response; no substance; just chest pumping. The second point is worth responding to, though it’s still not a geo-strategic/military analysis (such as, we have more money, pilots, and capitals; therefore, we have nothing to fear due to the assets we hold vs. their assets). Goon success in the past isn’t a “cause” for success in the present. It’s only a comparison, but one not addressing the differences of the present circumstances and the consequences of those circumstances.

Here are the facts without any rhetoric. The Imperium is massively outnumbered, about three to one. Despite this, Goons have, through luck and better piloting and better strategic maneuvers (or no life-ing) managed to overcome this deficit so far. However, Goons have lost considerable territory to both the north and east of Delve. Many structures have been destroyed. To my knowledge, no structures have been destroyed by Goons in this war so far (Editor’s Note: True when written, but since then the Imperium destroyed a Brave Fortizar).

PandaFam is beginning to push directly into Delve with various strat-op pings. Imperium enemies have touched down on the motherland. The results of these actions are yet undecided. But as a general trend, we find: ISK losses about equal, with the border of SOV moving towards Delve, not away from it.

Graydoc:

You list two reasons, cutting out the rhetoric, for why The Mittani says Goons will win. You miss a third, which might be a bit more subtle and is based in subtext, but it is still there: availability of replacement ships for a sustained war of attrition.

First subpoint: The Mittani notes that Goons had to actually vacate their owned space in the Casino War and lost that war. But he notes that in that war, which was another everyone-against-Goons-fest, the cost of the war was not financed by the anti-Goon faction, but by Casino money: hence Mittani’s name for that war—The Casino War.

Second subpoint: The Mittani notes that this war is NOT financed by an outside party; each side will pay their own way, which means TEST/PandaFam and Goons must replace lost ships by mining, production, etc.

Third subpoint: “This is the perfect war for us right now,” The Mittani said. “We have Keepstars, and they do not have any casino ISK … No one can fight a war of annihilation quite like us – and at a fundamental level, no one enjoys it quite like we do.” I think you have to understand the subtext for this last bit. Goons have been referred to as an autistic group. They seem to have a LOT of guys that play a lot and are fine with boring repetitive tasks. You call this in your text “no-lifing” and you are not necessarily wrong. But you are dismissive of that point and you shouldn’t be. I think The Mittani has hit on a key point: Goons can win a war of attrition because no one is better at boring repetitive tasks than the Imperium—no one.

This has been proven for years, month after month of the MER (Monthly Economic Report) where Goons consistently lead all other alliances in mining, ratting, production, etc. Why? They love the boring repetitive tasks. In The Mittani’s words, “No one enjoys it quite like we do.” True.

Imagine a whole bunch of guys, 47,000 strong, who play games the way I play games–gathering every herb in all of Skyrim, for example, to make money and potions. You can’t play the way I play—you go nuts doing that kind of gameplay. For me, you represent PandaFam and TEST as a whole. You want action, the battles, the intensity, the thrill. But in a game like Elder Scrolls or even Destiny, you just couldn’t stomach the endless hunting and gathering of materials, etc. Too boring. You’d rather shoot stuff, and I’m not blaming you. But Goons are MUCH more like me than they are like you.

So, I think you missed this third point, which is very valid if this war extends over a really long period of time.

Seir Luciel:

You are right about the third point: that these forces are no longer being financed by casino money. But The Mittani doesn’t follow the logic to its conclusion; he leaves the reader to make the presumption for him, to follow his thinking without actually stating what that thinking is.

The presumption is that without Casino money Panfam and TEST will not be able to afford the war that they are committing to. That is a bold claim and one that isn’t followed by any supporting evidence.

Is the financial information of TEST and PandaFam known? Can their lack of funds be verified, rather than assumed and hinted at? And how are we to handle the fact that, because their war against Goons the first time was funded by casino money and not from their own wallets, that it is very possible the money not spent in the past is still available to be spent in the current war? In other words, how much have these groups banked in the meantime?

While The Mittani wants his readers to draw only his conclusions, I will refrain from doing so and instead be very critical of what he says given his stated position. The Mittani is the leader of a group under major attack—an attack mirroring a previous one which forced Goons to completely uproot. Whatever spin one wants to put on it, Goons lost the Casino war. Any good leader will fear that his/her players are going to read the writing on the wall: “It’s the casino war all over again. We will get overrun and uprooted and I’m going to have to move all my valuables through grueling move ops all over again, trying to find some place to settle. I could fight a defense; but maybe I should start right now trying to move all my stuff out and into high sec!”

The Mittani has to counter this narrative. The Goons have no chance if the above attitude were to take hold throughout the alliance. (To some degree I think it already has taken hold.) So The Mittani does what any good leader should do to keep morale up: he takes control of the narrative. “We will blitzkrieg; we are made for this; no one loves this more than we do; the barbarians are at the gates.” In other words, what you see is a huge spike in nationalist language, us good, them bad; us civilized, them barbarians; to increase the cohesion of a tribe under attack. The Mittani spins a little revisionist history, recalling a loss that completely uprooted Goons, but with the spin not of “we got our asses kicked” but “You see! We are still here; they couldn’t destroy us!” They lost the last war, but are conscientiously writing a narrative of a survivor’s victory.

We mustn’t forget what The Mittani is, at his core. He is not only the leader of the Imperium under attack, which demands that he show no signs of weakness or despair, lest his citizens fall out of the phalanx rank and save their own stuff. We must also remember that he has become who he is by being a liar. And I don’t mean that derogatorily.

The Mittani and Putin have a similar track record; and again I’m not trying to mud sling at The Mittani. The Mittani started out in EVE as a spy. He was one of the builders and original operators within the GIA (Goon Intelligence Agency). He was doing this before spying and trickery were a solid part of the meta; one could say he helped define the meta. This is why it is a bit ironic that he labels TEST as “backstabbers”. Sure, they are, but he made his name through being a professional, paid-for backstabber via his infiltration operations. Like Putin, he later became the head of everything.

My point is that The Mittani knows how to lie to keep his tribe ahead of others; he understands the power in manipulating truth, the power in narrative, in meta gaming. The Mittani is an amazing EVE player; but you are a fool if you take him at his word. In your case, he is lying on your behalf, and for your own benefit as a Goon. There is no doubting where The Mittani’s loyalties lie. He’s a Goon through and through. Just don’t expect him to tell you the truth. Expect him to tell you his truth.

Graydoc:

Don’t YOU believe everything you are being fed either. Just one really quick counter to your point regarding financing the war. The Mittani doesn’t have to belabor the financial point. That’s the power of subtext. Years of the Monthly Economic Report (MER) have shown the huge disparity in Goon wealth and material. That’s why it takes 102 alliances to start a war against The Imperium–anything less and you might not even want to try. The MERs are boring as hell, but they tell the economic story of EVE and that story has been written with no spin for years. So, let’s just see how things “play” out as we play EVE. Good luck. You’ll need it.

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Comments

  • hanabal

    Main case in point goons can afford to loose titans, supers whatever more then anyone else in eve I suspect the leadership of the other alliances know this I also suspect that’s why they are taking their time actually committing an attack to delve will it actually happen? I sure as hell hope so win or loose goons are fighting for every inch of delve and the attackers are gonna pay dearly if they really want a victory maybe so much that they will loose the will to keep fighting and that is our goal

    September 3, 2020 at 12:43 PM
    • Garreth Vlox hanabal

      In the last north war after the first big titan involved fight on a keepstar PanFam was making a lot of noise about how the titan trade was almost even, this ended overnight when a goonswarm super FC respond that’s fine I’m willing to trade two of our titans for one of yours all day, because at that rate the enemy will still run out of titans first. People keep under estimating just how many ships of all sizes goons have stashed away fit and ready to go, without a limitless supply of isk to draw the attackers are going to run out of ships, money and mins first.

      September 4, 2020 at 2:02 AM
      • Yeah it’s not even about money really– money only gets you so far when all the minerals and ship hulls get bought up.

        September 4, 2020 at 4:49 AM
  • Simon Chui

    Yeah, no-lifing is how you win wars. If you’re still grinding when everyone else has given up, you win. Hell war, woodchipper go brr, etc etc. What really screws you isn’t the lies TheMittani tells you, but the truths he tells that you refused to believe. Is the Imperium really going to grind that hard just to win a video game war? Yes. Yes, they are, believe it or not.

    September 3, 2020 at 2:04 PM
  • “No life-ing,” you say? :3

    Haven’t even attacked Delve yet and already they’re laying the ground-work to excuse their failure. Well, it *would* have been a “fair fight” (at 3:1), but you see they ~*no lifed*~ us– it was all very unfair grrrr gon.

    September 3, 2020 at 10:14 PM
    • Guilford Australis Ganthrithor

      Yeah… “no life-ing” – I’m guessing this person has never been in a sov war before. If that’s the perspective of Horde line members on the mindless horrors of Fozziesov, they’ll never make it past NPC Delve, exactly as The Mittani predicted.

      September 4, 2020 at 2:27 AM
  • Garreth Vlox

    “The presumption is that without Casino money Panfam and TEST will not be able to afford the war that they are committing to. That is a bold claim and one that isn’t followed by any supporting evidence.”

    And history bears that out, I think we all remember how test’s last hurf to war ended, with a massive dread feed that cost them a fucking fortune and killed their desire to continue that war, they returned home with a few weeks and made no further progress of any variety in that war.

    September 4, 2020 at 1:58 AM
  • Mick

    “Pick every single herb in Skyrim” I’ve never felt more kinship for a fellow Goon. The path to endgame power in Skyrim isn’t fighting, killing, or stealing. It’s picking herbs endlessly until you have Potions 100, Enchanting 100, Smithing 100. Economic power-housing leads directly to military domination (in Skyrim’s case, the double max enchanted, max DR armor set of I-win).

    And so it is in Eve. To invade Delve – actually invade it, not just send in fleets for gudfites – Pandafam will have to commit supercaps onto hostile keep grids held by hostile supers. I don’t think they have the cajones required to all-in like that.

    I still think we will see NCPH head home in the next month “victorious” after the glassing of fountain, having never put a single super on grid in delve – and abandoning Test to face the music.

    September 4, 2020 at 3:28 AM
    • Garreth Vlox Mick

      I was thinking the same thing when I read his description of playing Skyrim, people make fun of goons for being a whole different kind of autistic, but it’s pretty true from my experiences when I was there, and no one is really embarrassed in any way by it. You can’t out grind these guys, and trying to do so will just end in headaches. All the progress made so far in the war while impressive to look at on the killboard pales in comparison to what they would need to pull off to take out even a single keep in delve. I just hope they keep this war up long enough for me to finish my move, get my internet setup and get into this fight.

      September 4, 2020 at 6:06 AM
    • Seir Luciel Mick

      Yes, that’s the way my father plays Skyrim. I admit, I never had characters as strong as him. However, I think comparing Eve to a single player game overlooks some of the main elements that give people advantage in large conflict, namely numbers.

      I admit that trying to fight Goons head on in Delve has the potential to feel like trying to fight one of my dad’s Skyrim characters with one of mine. But I see no reason to try and fight the Imperium head on in this fight.

      From a Horde player’s perspective, what gives me confidence in this war is not a belief that we have more ships, more Titans than Imperium; I take solace that we have more players to fly the ships and Titans that we have more than Imperium. In other words, you may have more but we can fly more, which tactically opens up some possibilities.

      TEST and Pandafam ought to organize strikes so that they happen simultaneously, hitting two keepstars and starting their timers in parallel with each other: one in the north and one in the south. It it is true that “the donut” has a three to one advantage in players, then Imperium would be forced to choose to between defending one area of space while conceding another. Or, if Imperium attempts to defend both areas, they do so undermanned. TEST and Pan, further, could at times spread their numbers unevenly in these fights. 40 percent in the north as a ruse, and 60 percent in the south — forcing Imperium to assess which side requires more defense, which could lead to a bad defeat if they assess wrong.

      My point is this. As a Horde player I have utter respect for the Imperium’s grinding might, and general muscle. However having large numbers is also a muscle, and one that can be devastating if those numbers are maneuvered in ways that counter the head-on force of the Imperium, if we stop thinking in terms of the boardgame Risk, and start thinking in terms of the Eastern board game Go.

      My prediction: if we lose this war it will not be because we ran out of resources in the Mittani’s war of attrition; it will be because we didn’t utilize our numbers and manipulate the enemy via multi-pronged attacks in the north and the south. If we win, I predict it will be because we played Go and not Risk.

      September 4, 2020 at 4:17 PM
  • “The following is a conversation between the author and his son, Seir Luciel. The author is a member of the Imperium, and his son is a member of Pandemic Horde. The conversation (via texts and emails) started when the author sent his son two articles from INN, one of which was The Mittani’s article entitled World War Bee: Avenging the Casino War. ”

    wait whaaaat that changes the tone of the discussion completely

    September 12, 2020 at 3:17 AM