I’ve been in two wars, both times against Circle-of-Two (CO2). The first was as a member of the Imperium, specifically Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT), and the second as a member of Manifestodot. From my time in TNT, I can say that the lingering sting of CO2 defecting during World War Bee had not truly diminished, even to this day. As Manifesto found itself joining the Great Southern War against CO2 and Triumvirate, it would be a lie to say that I didn’t allow those feelings to manifest sometimes, remembering the sting.
That being said, the way that CO2 has died is not exactly the way I had anticipated or wanted. For all his shortcomings, gigX—executor of CO2—certainly did something that many in this game fail to do nowadays: he provided content. He was a loose cannon, a wild card in almost every sense of the word. His actions one day might be flipped completely the next day, and as such to say he could be predicted is pretty much a lie from everyone. You could predict gigX’s actions about as well as you can predict “The Big One,” the earthquake the San Andreas fault has been waiting for for over a hundred years now. Simply put, you can’t do so.
He brought content at the expense of being trustworthy. He acted without a regard for those around him, searching for a way to improve his own standings and to get what he wanted in the end. His joining of Legacy Coalition was to improve the power of CO2, not the other members. His decision to go to war against the Drone Regions was made for him to have more renter space, claiming ownership of those systems to the point of channeling Arcturus Mengsk (“I will rule this sector, or see it burn to ashes around me!”) Only Feythabolis wouldn’t have been the only thing burning in that regard; he admitted he’d let his own alliance die if he didn’t get what he wanted.
Well, gigX got his wish. CO2 is no more, effectively disbanded because of his hubris and his lack of thinking.
No one can say that Russian and other former Eastern Bloc people aren’t hot-headed. This is something attested to more than once by people in those regions. They sometimes let their mouths and fists fly before their brain catches up. During TheJudge livestreaming CO2’s alliance chat, gigX was caught asking for the real-life information for TheJudge, and made a comment about seeing him in real life ‘soon’, as well as he should enjoy using his hands ‘while he can’. The obvious implication is that something untoward is going to happen to TheJudge, specifically his hands. For his momentary lapse of judgment, gigX has since taken a permanent vacation from the game, which according to CCP Falcon, is not likely to be overturned.
This really is one of the few times that CCP employees have said anything concerning a suspension or ban of a player. In truth, the only other person I can think of was The Mittani, who in 2012, during a Fanfest panel gave out the in-game name of a player who had been harassed by Goonswarm members. “Incidentally, if you want to make the guy kill himself his name is The Wis…find him,” he’s quoted as saying. Following backlash, The Mittani made a heartfelt apology, and only received a 30-day suspension. CCP made it clear that them talking about this incident was a rare occurrence, because it involved a member of the Council of Stellar Management, and it had been made public via recordings uploaded to YouTube. In reality, it was likely seen as a way to get back at The Mittani for his very effective use of third-party media outlets during the infamous Monoclegate, which cast a negative light on CCP during that time.
Player Stunt Flores has taken a semi-permanent ban from CCP over someone else creating a meme, in which CCP Fozzie is made out to be saying, “People just need to learn to adapt and wait for the fixes.” He didn’t make the meme, but was banned because it had started with him, and he was ‘impersonating’ a CCP employee. But, CCP noted, he was free to make new accounts to play on…he just couldn’t have his old accounts back.
Player erotica1 was banned for what became known as the “Bonus Room” debacle, where he’d scam players out of everything in-game and record them doing things to get it all back on Teamspeak, only to upload it once they figured out it was a scam. A CSM member wrote a blog about this, blasted it out, and in the end erotica1 was banned, with a logic-defying explanation from CCP that he had used in-game channels to facilitate the scam, and even though erotica1 had used third-party sites/VoiPs to record things, it was still a violation.
IWantISK bankers? Permanently banned for RMT.
Now let’s make something clear, I don’t condone what was said by gigX in the least, but I’ve been known to say stupid things in the heat of the moment. And that’s just what it was, a heat of the moment exclamation. Everyone can recognize that, and it would warrant, in the opinion of many including myself, a month-long suspension from the game. Instead, CCP responded with a permanent ban. In the incidents I listed above, CCP was public about the reasons, and they sort of had to be because…the incidents themselves were rather public. But the banning doesn’t seem consistent. I mean, the actions of erotica1, for example, are not the same as The Mittani. I would argue his actions were far less in that regard, and yet he took a larger punishment in comparison.
But there’s one incident I know about, not publicized, that really shows the lack of consistency. Around the time of The Mittani’s faux pas, I had just left the corporation Rebirth(dot). Some people may remember it and it’s CEO, Kai86. Kai86 was not a good man. He had a plethora of personal and real-life problems, which he routinely took out on corp members. Those who didn’t have thirty alts were especially hard-hit by his shifting the blame for his mistakes. In one instance, he blamed me for his Bhaalgorn dying because he had decided to bait on the Hek undock, and war targets were spotted in Rens with some shiny ships. He ended up jumping a gate with about five of us before he realized he was still suspect. Our neutral logistics were still suspect and docked in Hek, and Kai86 ended up dying unceremoniously because we couldn’t save him from the people shooting him. He blamed me for being in a Caracal at the time, acting as a scout for him. Had I been in a battleship, he reasoned, I could have rep’d him and saved him…despite the other battleships being neut fit, and none of our doctrines having reppers in the utility highs. It led to me leaving Rebirth(dot) soon after this situation.
I joined a corporation, Under the Wings of Fury(dot) (UWOF) as run by Zero Threat, a former friend of Kai86’s and a former CEO of Rebirth(dot). In fact, Zero Threat had been the founder, and had given up leadership to Kai86 in order to do real-life things. Upset that many of us had left him for UWOF, Kai86 ragedec’d us. When the war went live, we met in Perimeter, where Kai86, cloaked in a Rapier, spoke in local, taunting us and saying he wouldn’t fight us when he had three guys on and the neutral logi. Laughing, our response was to say we’d just post in his mercenary thread on the old forums. Kai86 couldn’t stand that. He singled out Zero Threat, a man who lived close to him, and said he’d sexually assault Zero’s fifteen-month-old daughter. Naturally, this stopped being funny to us. We reported it. Kai86 received a 30-day suspension on one of his accounts, and the rest were allowed to roam free, despite us providing this information to CCP.
Maybe at the time, CCP was more interested in just slaps on the wrist. Who knows? Maybe now they’ve decided to be harder on people. What matters is that people have said worse, and received fare lighter sentences.
This leaves CO2 without their leader, which many would agree is a cult of personality. In fact, the decision was made today to all but disband CO2. Maybe in time gigX could come back, but for now he’d take a five month break. Many all over the game are supporting a weaker punishment for gigX, saying what he said was a statement of passion, where reason doesn’t exist. I’d support this argument.
However, this is not the way CO2 should have died. Sure, CO2 was known for stabbing people in the back, and it is almost poetic justice that the alliance dissolves because of a betrayal of such scale. But CO2 was around for almost a decade, and brought content to this game, something lacking in many ways. Even this decision to do to war with arguably the strongest rental empire in the game was content. CO2 should have died the way they lived, fighting. I would say this about any group that died in this way.
Those celebrating the death of CO2 should keep in mind that content was created by him and his alliance. TheJudge’s decision is likely born from the constant antacids he probably had to take, as I’m sure gigX made his job at least ten times harder as head diplo. But we have lost a legacy in this game, in the most uninteresting way imaginable. Speaking from the other side of this war down south, where we fight against both CO2 and Triumvirate, I can say that this is not how we should want any war or alliance to end, even Pandemic Legion or Goonswarm Federation. It might be remembered as arguably the largest alliance heist in the history of EVE, but it will also be remembered as the death of content and of an alliance that, with all their faults, still brought destruction to a game where destruction is becoming less and less common. Players like gigX keep this game entertaining, even as CCP adds more features that tend to dry it up.