Fool me once, shame on you
Being April Fool’s Day you always have to treat everything with a fair degree of caution to avoid being “rused”. This, however, was not the case with the TEST State of the Alliance. For those not in the know, a State of the Alliance is where the alliance leadership set the main purpose for their members. This is meant to focus alliance members in a particular direction and there will often only be a couple or so each year from larger alliances.
The Manhattan Project Month
ProGodLegend, also known as Piggles, was the voice of TEST for this one. The following are the Cliff notes version of the actual recording, with some additional notes as you would only expect. You can find the recording here. There was a fair bit to cover as you would expect so do listen to the whole thing should you wish to be meticulous.
TEST had pretty good numbers for a 10k character alliance, with 759 on comms. It is nice to see that TEST now have a better IT service provider than they have had historically. It is exactly 3 months since coming to catch where Test and friends declared their intention to kick Stain Wagon out of the South. With the newly placed Keepstar in the system of D-PNP9 in Esoteria this means “op success” for Test’s plans to set up a new home.
There was a little recap on recent history with mention of Co2 being kicked out of nullsec by PL and NC. With PL and NC then looking towards Test they had but only two real choices. Stay and fight or move out. Test leadership decided on the latter rather than suffer the former. So without any of those fabled “gud fites” that we hear so much about, Test moved to the South. The intention of this move was simple. To build their capital fleet in safe space. Test have already mentioned that the final piece in their escalation path is to have far better capital ship presence than they currently have.
There had been a weeks notice for the SOTA, with the Keepstar onlining timed to coincide, so as to get as many Test members there as possible. Piggles proudly listed the fleet compositions from Test:
Full nightmare fleet
Full hurricane fleet
Piggles then stressed that there is still a lot further to go. He listed the numbers he hopes to see in the future for TEST main fleet compositions:
1.5 sub cap fleets
Piggles was not finished there however, Test is developing a super weapon which they have called “The Manhattan Project”. This originally named project is simply to be the biggest dread cache ever created in Eve. Well, at least they did not call it the “Winter Project” or some equally overused and unimaginative name.
In order to achieve this goal, there would be the creation of 500 dreads alone for this month. TEST is far from a wealthy alliance, so the effort for the success of this project will have to come from their members. In fact, Piggles was so keen to get this project underway that mining fleets were announced as happening immediately after the SOTA. Piggles even committed to leading some of these fleets himself, after all, he truly is a man of the people.
There was then talk that Test cannot afford to retreat yet again and that the Keepstar is a sign of their commitment to the south. Quite simply the ability of Test to compete with the other large nullsec alliances and coalitions is dependent on this plan.
Luckily for spies, the progress of the “Manhattan Project” will be tracked on the TEST forums. There was also mention of need a bit of liquid ISK to the tune of 100 billion.
There was some disdain over the mining fleets as apparently “mining is not fun”. This is not something I find myself being able to argue against. But if everyone was the same then the world would be a less colourful place.
Piggles also announced that there would be SISI training for capital pilots as well as developing new capital FCs. The point that dreads are now better than carriers was also stressed. Dreads and FAXs are very much the current preference after much theory crafting and testing.
Well, analysis of a sort as I would hate to be one of those self-promoting pundits that often get so much wrong. There were a few bits that were interesting here. Firstly, all the talk was of TEST. Not a single mention of the Legacy Coalition. Not completely unexpected of course, but given that TEST are the leading member of the Legacy Coalition, you would perhaps expect their fellow coalition members to at least be mentioned in passing. There was also no mention of the war on The Imperium which was declared by Co2 very recently. Admittedly it seems that Co2 did not mention that they were declaring war on The Imperium to other Legacy coalition members either. So I guess that balances out nicely.
Piggles was also being very clear that it was dreads and FAXs that were required of those who could not afford supers or titans. This again is in contrast to the SOTA offered by Co2. There GigX was pushing for carriers and telling members that there would be no SRP for lost carrier fighters. This would seem to indicate that there is a difference of opinion as to what is required in order to become a nullsec powerhouse. It is, of course, possible that TEST will bring the dreads and FAXs and Co2 will bring the carriers. But there is scope for differing opinions as to what the best capital escalation path is.
There was no mention of what this mighty weapon will be aimed at. PL/NC and of course “the Goons” were spoken of as to add to the reasoning behind this drive, but not specifically as the next target. Interestingly The Imperium appears to have a “no structure” shooting agreement in place with TEST. This goes some way to explain the actions of both TEST and The Imperium of late or lack of them. This agreement only seems to exist between Test and The Imperium and not other members of The Legacy coalition.
TEST is yet another major alliance to have made public moves to capital based doctrines. So what we can take from this is that more and more alliances are heading in this direction which means at some point we are likely to see some rather large capital fights. This can only be good news for Eve as a whole.