What is going on in TEST? Is TEST gaining traction the first signs of the next big war in the east? What would urge three high-profile FCs to leave their homes for Dreddit? We will dive into TEST’s history and recent accomplishments to try and figure out the reason behind the second coming of Test Alliance Please Ignore.
The ‘Fall’ of TEST
On July 29 2013, the CFC attacked TEST’s home staging system of 6VDT, resulting in the largest player-made engagement in gaming history. On the day of the battle, TEST’s staging system reached over 2,000 pilots, and 6VDT had surpassed 3,000 players. The massive fight would last for hours, but in the end TEST would lose their home system, resulting a near immediate collapse of the nullsec superpower.
Prior to the fight for 6VDT, TEST had nearly 13,000 members and over 100 member corporations, making it the largest alliance in the game. They held sovereignty in 200 systems throughout New Eden, and had control over at least seventy player-made outposts. However, by the end of July, TEST began to crumble, and after the loss of 6VDT, they began to lose much more.
By August 13 2013, TEST lost sovereignty in 100 systems, half of their outposts, and a dozen member corporations. In September, TEST took another hit, losing nearly 5,000 members and by the beginning of October, they would lose all of their sovereignty and another 4000-5000 members. By March 2014, TEST’s member count would reach an all-time low at just over 3,500.
After losing everything they built, TEST moved on to rebuild. What was once a thriving community, now laid in ruins. Then, by the summer of 2014, the future brightened for TEST. By August, the alliance had taken sovereignty in two systems and their numbers were on the rise. In 2015, TEST had began rebuilding their empire, taking hold of 29 systems by December.
The Second Coming
Flash forward to now: TEST currently has 4,835 members, 55 member corporations, and sovereignty in 50 systems across the regions of Detorid, Scalding Pass, and Wicked Creek. Just recently TEST has been involved in two fairly expensive engagements and seems to be gaining traction, winning a 33B ISK fight in GGE-5Q and standing up to DRF/RA during a 34B ISK brawl in Detorid.
What is the reason behind TEST’s ‘Round 2’? Some attribute their rising success to constant content and ‘good feeding grounds’ next to the Russian alliances. This may be true, as consistent fights keep members happy. However, I think the sudden incline in the popularity of TEST lies in their leadership and, more importantly, the fleet commanders. Fleet commanders make EVE Online, hands down. Without an FC, there is no one to take fleets to defend or attack space, no one to go out on fun roams, and no one to say, “Follow me.”
Experienced ‘bloc’ FCs feed the motivation of line members and just as TEST begins to quickly gain popularity, they acquired three very high-profile FCs. The first to move to TEST, was arguably the best FC in the CFC/Imperium. Vily, previously a five-year member of Eternity INC., left Goonswarm Federation for TEST on November 18 2015. Following him nearly a month later, was Progodlegend, Nulli Secunda’s senior FC. Finally came Elo Knight, the backbone and Supreme Leader of Black Legion, with a move to Dreddit on January 17.
Matterall of TMC stated:
“FC’s are attracted to a rather veteran fighting group: with capitals and big numbers. Vily was a surprise. I think he wanted goon-light fighting force, but Progod and TEST go way back to the thunderdome and good fights, not to mention the Fountain war. That was a more natural fit for him than Snuffed Out, where he parked for a few months. Elo along with these other guys want to FC big fleets without all the politics, against another large group and TEST is in a perfect situation for that.”
Some players in EVE online are saying that this new movement within TEST reminds them of the ‘old’ Goonswarm Federation, that some of the similar bells are being run, and that TEST has become an attractive group to many players.
Lookout for TEST
Contrary to their alliance name, they should not be ignored. TEST is now the third largest alliance in EVE Online and it has become apparent that they are ready. The once crushed, ex-girlfriend of the CFC is now a rising power in the east. Is TEST building its community for another try at creating a coalition with say, NC or PL? What is their next move? The Imperium lays tired and worn out from their recent campaign in Cloud Ring and low sec. Is this the opportunity TEST has been waiting for? Only time will tell, but I think once they are called, TEST will be the tip of the spear in the next big war.