Header Art By Quendan Comari
The November MER marked an unprecedented occurrence in modern Eve bloc geopolitics. The Drone Region of Outer Passage, historically a populated rental region, propelled itself to the highest grossing region in rat bounties, after some earlier spikes, outperforming Delve in excess of 1.4 trillion ISK.
Passing the Landlord Baton
Outer Passage has a labyrinthine history. Fraternity is the de facto landlord today, with the region’s sovereignty distributed between Circle of Hell, Fraternity, Blades of Grass, and the Lord of Worlds Alliance. It looked much different not that long ago. In a DRF Coalition meeting UAxDeath acknowledged their loss of the space after mismanagement of its contract with Skill Urself. On a similar note, in a Legacy SOTA Vily vowed to find a new home for their displaced ally, XIX. Promising to end the adversarial behavior that various Russian entities have engaged in throughout the past decade, an agreement to combine forces of numerous alliances and coalitions was reached. “Forget everything which was in the past and remind ourselves that we have strength in us. It’s time to unite the RU community,” declared Red Menace Coalition’s Chutlainin.
Skill Urself, instrumental in the conquest of the Drone Regions and its largest landlord until recently, announced in a leadership meeting the decision to disband, and joining up with Fraternity was an option that ultimately was not exercised. As reported earlier by INN, SkillU’s departure left a vacuum in its rental space. A rental agent with Circle of Hell, Hundred Suns, explained they managed to successfully negotiate a deal to secure SkillU’s Drone Region space, becoming the interim landlord, while the housekeeping duties bounced between PanFam and Fraternity. Not surprised with the bounty boom of November, he said that squeezing the tenacious Chinese demographic into CoH’s space was a key reason. Once SkillU disbanded, the contract was scheduled to be taken over by either Horde or Fraternity, with Frat ultimately gaining the profitable title of landlord.
Not So Fast, Frat
But in mid-September, Legacy forces began preparing for a full scale invasion into Fraternity space, while announcing that the coalition held no ill will towards the smaller groups within Winter Co, and hinting at offering them a new home under the Legacy banner. Winter Co opted to stand down from timers, citing a lack of manpower. A mere six days later, Legacy was able to assemble an overwhelming force that Fraternity members couldn’t keep up with, resulting in sixteen iHubs lost and 75% of western Detorid falling.
Fraternity quickly brokered a deal to sell five Keepstars to Legacy, as well as unanchor and keep an additional five, in exchange for the cessation of hostilities, allowing them resources to set up operations in what appeared to be Insmother and Cache. By October, the successful incursion lead to Fraternity taking over sovereignty in the handful of Outer Passage systems that VINDICTIVE controlled, following the announcement that VINDICTIVE no longer had a desire to be a part of the long and drawn out war.
By the Numbers and ‘No Botters’
Outdoing Delve didn’t happen overnight. The October MER hinted at it when the region’s bounties rocketed up to 3.7t ISK from September’s 273b ISK. The sum was ‘only’ a trillion ISK less than the 4.7t that Delve generated during the same time period. October’s geopolitical regrouping allowed Fraternity to stabilize and settle into their new sanctuary, as evident with the release of the November MER. The highlight was Outer Passage’s massive 6.3t ISK in NPC bounties, surpassing Delve’s 4.86t by 1.4t.
Coincidentally, for the months of October and November, zKillboard shows a disproportionate amount of PvE-vessel kills that are often associated with AFK ratting or botting, and a CCP security report showed Frat as a not-insubstantial member of offending groups. But Carbuilder Hemah, a diplo with Frat corp Pink Fluffy Bunny Slippers, said that Fraternity takes a very firm “no botting” stance. He was empathetic that Frat has been engaged in one of the longest running active wars in the history of EVE, and that ratting activity reflected in the November MER was the first time in months that the membership has had to refill their wallets. He said that defense fleets are routinely dispatched to protect ratting pilots, an activity that doesn’t happen for botters.
Frat rental officer, Hila Kashanda, explained that the surge in bounties was mainly due to pilots in the Chinese time zone, and attributes the difficulties of hostile entities ability to project that far into the relative safety of the Drone Regions. Kashanda further asserted that Frat’s ratting surge could continue to rise.
How Long Will It Last?
Fraternity’s rise through the ratting ranks may, in the end, be just a temporary advance. According to a source within the corps that rent, the now solvent Frat is already working on its next endeavors. He explained, “Winter Co and Frat are here right now, but they are moving in the next couple of days. They have recovered from the war and aren’t content with indefinitely krabbing it up, with their sights on Oasa.”
Zkill indicates that Frat’s presence in Outer Passage is in fact dwindling. A second source says bounty numbers will see a sharp decline within the span of two month, citing an impending relocation.