As of downtime on June 4, The Initiative. (INIT.) will be leaving The Imperium coalition. The Initiative will be maintaining their blue status with The Imperium, and currently plan to remain in Fountain. The news first broke in Asher’s fireside announcements on Saturday, June 3.
What We Know
During the fireside, Asher took pains to make it very clear that the change of status is on friendly terms. It seems that The Initiative. leadership feels they have become too dependent on some of The Imperium’s infrastructure, and this change is a move to encourage INIT. to grow its own capacity. First and foremost, this means economic activities (ratting, mining, and markets) will be closed up between Imperium and INIT. line members – no more ratting in each others’ space. Also, Asher took pains to reassure line pilots that INIT. will maintain military coordination and joint operations against hostile Northern alliances, such as the collective PanFam.
Dark Shines, via The Meta Show on June 3, also pointed out that INIT. will now no longer be taking advantage of, nor be bound by, agreements with The Imperium and others in the game. Most notably, The Initiative. will no longer receive any share of the Tranquility Trading Tower income that came to The Imperium. The Meta Show also discussed the (unlikely) possibility of an attack on the TTT by INIT. following this change.
There isn’t much cross-border ratting that takes place within Imperium space, but this change could impact a few folks, not least those who like to hunt Serpentis Officers. As per the fireside chat, running escalations into and out of Fountain is an issue that will need resolution. This could well be the first task of Imperium diplomats following the departure of INIT. – but apparently, this is an oversight and not an intentional omission. We can probably expect other small issues like this to crop up in the coming weeks.
Exploration and hacking sites, on the other hand, could be a larger issue. Under prior agreements, all Imperium space was free to use for exploration and so on, especially when it comes to some of the fringe space like Clown-Ring. This is likely not a huge issue, but it is another economic unknown for the line.
Industry, however, is directly on the chopping block. One of the items specific to the announcement was the construction of supers and caps. The Initiative.’s low capacity for building Supercarriers and Titans is one of the cited capabilities that Dark Shines hopes to encourage within INIT, but the lead time to build up the PI and other required infrastructure, and also the capability to safely conduct large-scale coordinated mining, is not insignificant. This is further compounded by the closure of market sharing.
On a similar foot, INIT. must now be much more concerned with keeping their pilots and markets stocked. Prior to the split, it was trivial to source just about anything out of 1DQ1-A, which hosts one of the largest markets in the game. Afterwards, INIT. will need to try and ramp up their internal markets to provide the same levels of convenience as 1DQ provided. Speaking only for myself, having 1DQ access is a large part of why I could never imagine going somewhere else. It makes that big a difference.
Any change of this type can expect to see some folks change affiliations. Two major standouts are already known to INN.
First, one Brisc Rubal, Esq. Near the end of the same Meta Show discussion segment, Brisc emotionally announced that after long consideration during his holiday in Amsterdam, he will be officially transferring into KarmaFleet. Ostensibly this will be to fly as a line member, though who knows how long that will last. Personally, my bet is Brisc will be forced into space work, if only to prove him competent. Shines then told Brisc, “You are dead to me, F* you.”
Brisc had this to say on the topic of the change and his move:
“I’m saddened by the move, as this ends nearly a decade of alliance between Goons and INIT. While I’m glad that INIT. will remain blue, I am interested to see what the impact will be on our enemies and on the game over the long term. As for me, I recognized that I had done everything I could do in INIT. and it was time to move on. I’m looking forward to serving in Goons with all my friends and seeing what happens in the future.”Brisc Rubal
Second, and this is somewhat breaking news, Ceema (previously HR Director for STK Scientific) is also transferring to KF. Some of you know him, some of you may not, but Ceema is one of the top EVE Online propagandists, and is a leading member of Redditswarm. More importantly, he is also the director of Skiball Operations for the Brisc Rubal’s Home for Hot Unwed Mothers (BRHHUM). As Brisc’s second-in-command, and a primary contributor to Brisc’s ongoing sucess, it only makes sense that Brisc would “encourage” Ceema to follow him to KF.
The fate of Fountain Frank is unknown, though. At the time of writing, Frank was unavailable for comment and, according to Brisc, was not present at the INIT. SOTA announcement. This could be the usual friction between Brisc and Frank, or it could be a more serious indication of internal turbulence with the announcement. We frankly don’t know.
But Why Now?
On The Meta Show, Dark Shines laid out a couple of reasons why he is making this move with The Initiative. As Asher stated in the Fireside, some of it is to improve INIT.’s overall capability. More so, Shines laid out a major philosophical point that is trying to be made here – right now, Eve’s Bloc level PVP has become stagnant. The major players don’t change, and they largely cannot change. Only the regions and the reasons change, but not by much. Shines would love to wake up tomorrow and see all the coalitions shattered, thus triggering more dynamic regional fighting across the map.
Is this possible? Not so much, at least not in EVE as it currently stands. Look to the latest proxy war in the North. After a year of stalemate, Winter Co. called on Pandemic Horde to deploy to break the deadlock. In response, The Imperium (including INIT.) moved north to balance the scales. Several impossible fights later, the game went back to business as usual, and nothing had really changed.
It isn’t a bad point.