Art by Major Sniper
After destroying the Tranquility Trading Consortium’s (TTC) lowsec holdings in Ignoitton last week, lowsec power Snuffed Out (Snuff) announced its intention to mount a similar attack on TTC’s primary holdings, situated in the highsec system of Perimeter. Snuff’s sabre rattling was quickly countered, however, by a show of force from consortium members and came to nothing.
Members of Test Alliance Please Ignore, Pandemic Horde, BlackFlag and Goonswarm Federation combined to defend TTC’s interests.
The TTC’s holdings in Perimeter (and in particular the Tranquility Trading Tower Keepstar) are possibly the most important player-owned structures in all of New Eden. They offer a lower tax rate to buyers and sellers than nearby NPC markets, and thus attract a lot of transactions.
Prior to the establishment of TTC, various parties had tried to capitalize on those market transactions by erecting structures in the region. This led to conflict, which was resolved in May of 2019 when EVE’s major nullsec powers – the Imperium, Legacy, and Pandemic Horde – came together and announced a joint initiative (the TTC) that would enforce a monopoly on structures in Perimeter and split the profits three ways. In addition to profit sharing, the agreement also included provisions for mutual defense of the structures. Anyone who tried to destroy the TTC holdings would have to face the combined might of all the major nullsec powers in the game.
In recent weeks, Snuff became the first group to challenge those combined powers, a challenge that began in the lowsec system of Ignoitton where the TTC had established an ancillary set of trading citadels. Those structures, however, had struggled with profitability, as reported on INN’s The Meta Show by CSM member Brisc Rubal, and were unlikely to be defended if attacked, according to TTC member Vily in an announcement.
Rubal’s comments, and Vily’s later release of negotiations between Snuff and TTC, revealed that they’d been paying Snuff protection ISK each month not to attack the Ignoitton structures. After attempts to renegotiate the protection agreement failed, Snuff notified the TTC of their intention to destroy the Ignoitton complex and subsequently did so.
But while the unprofitable Ignoitton citadels were left to die, the Perimeter citadels, however, were another matter entirely. When Snuff announced earlier this week their intention to also attack the TTC Keepstar in Perimeter, and subsequently issued a war declaration against the TTC, it was widely seen as a major escalation by the EVE community.
But the threatened attack on the Perimeter Keepstar never materialized. TTC forces destroyed Snuff’s Raitaru in Ichinumi, which had served as its war headquarters, and as a result CONCORD automatically invalidated the war declaration and placed Snuff in a war cooldown period, preventing them from declaring another war on the TTC for two weeks.
It is possible that Snuff never actually intended to attack the Perimeter Keepstar. When asked for comment, Snuff director Hy Wanto denied they’d ever had serious intentions regarding the structure. “The TTC thing is just a meme, and we just serve The Mitanni as always,” he said.
But TTC leadership is not so sure. When asked whether he believed Snuff had serious intentions against the TTC, Test Military Director ProGodLegend said simply, “I don’t know.”
Likewise, Goonswarm diplomat Dirk Stetille expressed uncertainty about Snuff’s true intentions, acknowledging that the question was a good one without providing an answer.
Keep Your Enemies Closer
Either way, despite the fact they have been locked in a massive war with one another for more than seven months, all parties in the TTC agree that they will stand by their treaty obligations and defend the Perimeter Keepstar should Snuff mount a genuine attack. “We will defend it,” said ProGodLegend.
Stetille also reiterated the Imperium’s commitment to its treaty obligations, despite the ongoing nullsec conflict, and referenced the clause in the TTC agreement that states, “Any conflicts between signatories outside the designated [TTC] areas will not have any effect upon this agreement.”