The Ant and the Grasshopper


Goons are killing EVE

This seems to be a popular sentiment everywhere outside Imperium space. There are some exceptions, and more veteran players tend to have mixed feelings about the hive of bees. Outwardly, many would call them a plague on the game, but in private they tend to have more respect for the organisation, and the content the “big bully” brings to the game.

Usurpers aren’t we all

Goons became what they are today from humble beginnings, and their history really began when they managed to topple the reigning king that was Band of Brothers. This story is well-known, and now rather well-documented. Andrew Groen does a magnificent impression of Sir Molle, the old ruler of the universe. Looking back, a lot of the present day anger or resentment towards the Imperium is pretty much exactly the same as the feelings towards BoB from the majority of New Eden’s denizens. The scale might be different, with the Imperium unambiguously larger than BoB in its heyday, but the sentiment remains the same.

The Tortoise and the Hare

There are many old organisations in EVE, and the marathon of history makes a rather exciting race for those that stick around. We have seen everything from flash burnouts of TTI (Taggart Transdimensional Industries), to lasting relays of consistent power like EVE-UNI. Most importantly, we have seen the slow and unstoppable growth of the big groups, like BoB in the past, the Russian bloc, and of course, the Imperium. The many groups that have fallen out of the race, like UK, EXE, GA, etc. all seem to have dropped the ball on how to maintain growth. It appears to be a matter of pacing. When it comes to the Imperium, it would seem that the “Can’t be Arsed / Don’t Care” attitude has actually served them well, because it set the pace and the bar low enough to become a turtle that just grind through. I think a lot of organisations could learn from this, and maybe get better at not always comparing themselves to others, or setting overambitious goals, and hasty timeframes leading to burnout.

The Culture of Personalities

Recently I had the pleasure of having a long discussion about the importance of leadership with Apothne, on my talk show the Blue Horseshoe Club. It is a topic that comes up often, and I keep getting surprised at how little weight people put on this factor, and how self-destructive people’s choice of rulers often are. I will refrain from going into the post-Trump era arguments; this really isn’t the first time in history this phenomenon has happened. I will say that equating Darius Johnson era Goons with The Mittani’s Goons, or Deidre Vahl EVE-Uni with present day EVE-Uni seems to be a big mistake. The brand remains the same, and while a lot of perception from the outside might be the same, it is only over time and with insight that we see what changes have taken place. In the real world, Apple with Steve Jobs, and the company after his death is pretty well-known. Regardless of what people think about the person, it proves my point that who is in charge is of massive importance. Anyone that want to build an empire that can challenge the status quo will need a proper leader to gather around, and there is a huge difference between toppling power and keeping it. An age of terror in EVE might not be beneficial to anyone; a summer of rage was more than enough for my taste.

The Ant and The Grasshopper

I am a huge fan of all the fun stuff that can be had in EVE. I love watching the casual streamers do roams. I enjoy the drama of the Tournaments, and all the weirdness that is the drama of the meta. However all the things in EVE have one thing in common that most other games don’t: everything has a cost, and the next big war could be just around the corner. Winter is always coming in EVE, and when it does the strain starts hitting, especially to those that forgot to make hay while the sun was shining. Though the rumors of PLs poverty and PHs hunger might be exaggerated, false or mere dramatic content drivers, the fact remains, if you don’t do the work, famine will set in.

In the classic Disney rendition of Aesop’s fable, we are presented with the insect horde and their Queen, a pink-dressed version of the Mittani, preparing for the lean years ahead. All while the grasshopper sings what would in EVE be the Reddit whine of “CCPLS” or “CCP owes us a living”. There are plenty of tangents to discuss on the piece and the Calvinistic ethics at its core. It definitely could be used to argue some bootstraps conservative motto, but all that aside the simplest topic is about providence, the ability to plan ahead and have foresight, not the region about to be invaded by big game trophy hunters.

If EVE is going to have some more adversarial activities, on more equal terms, maybe we need to consider the above topics and do a proper analysis of why the current fat cat of EVE is so fat. Let us delve into that question, potentially in more ways than one.

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  • dragonshardz

    …Is this article incomplete? The last sentence reads like a segue into some deeper exploration, but…doesn’t.

    June 4, 2017 at 8:18 AM
    • Could be a multi-parter. In fact I’m sure it is. Nice analogies throughout and of course why waste the banner art.

      June 4, 2017 at 9:36 AM
      • Caleb Ayrania Sidrat Flush

        a nice little original INN creative piece right?.. 🙂

        June 4, 2017 at 3:01 PM
  • Rammel Kas

    “let he who desires peace prepare for war”

    There is always inevitably one on the near horizon. Most of the really big blocks are not perhaps going to trophy hunt. They do however relish the thought of creating permanent losses for the opponent. Those faction citadels in easy reach probably won’t survive the first semester.

    June 4, 2017 at 10:01 AM
  • Moomin Amatin

    For me this is a set of observations about The Imperium from someone not in it. So if read as a series of points rather than looking for a dramatic story you will likely get more from it.

    June 4, 2017 at 2:43 PM
    • Caleb Ayrania Moomin Amatin

      I am sure I can find some more, 🙂

      June 4, 2017 at 2:45 PM
  • CK

    I have to wonder, and this may be way off, if the next big war will be players vs design direction? Right now you have The Imperium wanting to build the City of Tomorrow and the rest of the game mad that they aren’t being handed everything the Imperium has built. Right now there are no game changes giving incentive to build up to the goon level of organization. CCP needs to figure out how to make the rest of the game want to catch up to the Imperium, and have fun while doing it. There is no incentive to grow larger if you aren’t already large. Healthy competition vs incompetent nerfing.

    June 4, 2017 at 4:11 PM
    • Caleb Ayrania CK

      Interesting point. I do however not see it as CCPs responsibility to induce ambition in the playerbase. CCP should create design that allows challenge of the status quo, and reward ambition, but if an org in EVE cant even manage to keep a “farms and fields” strategy running for more than a month, maybe they just dont have the correct composition of directors and divisions.

      June 4, 2017 at 8:13 PM
      • Agreed. Yet, CCP keeps trying to nerf success and end up widening the gap even further. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

        June 4, 2017 at 11:03 PM
  • Most of the digital worlds out there have “catch-up” mechanics. EVE does not. However, it is also a game where you can experience the whole thing, but maybe not all the roles, at the very beginning. This has always been a polarizing truth of EVE’s design. As the game stands, it is far more important to be social than to be an individually great pilot. Make a friend or two in EVE, and you will find the entertainment you’re looking for. If not, play the absolute worst casual game on the Internet. You either create content, or you are content.

    June 5, 2017 at 4:13 AM
    • Caleb Ayrania Cavin DeJordy

      Pretty sure catch-up mechanics was introduced last year. My arguments were mostly pointing at organisations, not so much individuals.

      June 5, 2017 at 8:27 PM
  • schrodingers cat

    No one who pays attention thinks Goons have been killing eve since the war. Now it’s PLs turn to kill eve. They earned that right after evicting Test and friends from the north. After they get taken down a peg it will be Tests turn again or maybe the DRF.

    Reading this it looks like whoever controls the north is killing eve.

    June 5, 2017 at 12:44 PM