- the benign contempt in which large sov alliances hold anyone who isn't another large sov alliance; and,
- a casual blindness as to the nature of claimed but unoccupied null-sec.
Back? Good. Let's talk about this.
Now I really like mynnna and look forward to seeing what he does on CSM8, but it really is attitudes like the one demonstrated in this article that makes people who aren't in large sov alliances so annoyed with those who are. And let's clear up two things right away: when I said that null-sec should be somehow split into large states, medium states, and small states, mynnna accuses me of wanting to "fix null-sec so that it's fun for me, everyone else be damned." Nothing could be further from the truth. In my own piece, I made it clear that however this kind of split should be done, it should be done in such a way to leave the field open for massive conflict between the large states.
And second, as I've mentioned on this very blog before, Goonswarm and Deklein are actually a great model for how null-sec should be used: sovereignty by occupation. And that's a topic that I've written about before and that I'm going to have more to say about later this week.
But I really do invite mynnna to take a trip outside of Deklein and outside of a massive fleet battle, because he sees a very different null-sec than I do. It's very useful to use dotlan's EVE maps for this sort of thing. Saturday night through Sunday night is EVE's most active time, right? Let's see how many kills there were in the last 24 hours in Outer Ring, Fountain, The Great Wildlands, Querious, Insmother, Pure Blind, Oasa, and Stain. Not surprisingly, other than a few massive battles like this one in Stain and this one in Insmother, the maps are more or less blank.
And these are border regions. Go deeper into space controlled by sov alliances and the systems become even more bereft. I could have loaded the dice and named regions like Omist or Branch, but I didn't do that. I could have loaded the dice by writing this post on Wednesday night but I didn't do that, either (though if you're reading this post on a Wednesday, I'm sorry for the maps above ;-) ).
This is the null-sec that I know: hundreds and hundreds of systems with only a handful of jumps per day each and a few lonely botters that warp to a POS or a safe and/or cloak up when anyone enters their Local. This is the null-sec that I roam through with my non-sov alliance two or three times per week as we search dozens of empty systems for a fight. But then mynnna has a suggestion for us: either throw our lot in with one large ally (someone remind me how this worked out for Gentlemen's Club or Intrepid Crossing) or build an army out of like-sized small alliances to challenge a large alliance. This latter suggestion strikes me as roughly analogous to the continent of South America declaring war on the United States because their populations are roughly equal, forgetting the advantage the latter has in doctrine, discipline, communications, and technology.
And then if all of that wasn't bad enough, he wraps up the piece by implying that any small players "harassing and stealing from" the large players will be treated with the contempt they clearly so richly deserve. Oh, I'm sorry: I thought our little gang was at least providing a bit of content for your members. Wasn't that what "farms and fields" were supposed to be about? But it's OK, I'm sure you guys have lots of people to shoot at. We'll just go home then, shall we?
So I was afraid I was reading this piece and drinking my beverage thinking "this is a little naive, isn't it?" when I got to the bottom and read the highest-rated comment by Pol, which was such a lovely summing up of my own thoughts that I quote it here in full:
As an alliance leader of an NPC 0,0 group that built up to the size of consistently fielding 30-40 man, tight-doctrine roam fleets, but was unable to make any inroads into sov or further expansion, I find this article a bit naive. Clearly it is not written by someone who has actually attempted something like this in a leadership position on their own.Yup, there it is again: sovereignty by occupation. As I said, I'll have more to say about this topic as we go through this week. Yes, "tug of war sovereignty" might come up again.
The truth is, once you get to that size in NPC 0,0 there are no very-small level income sources on an alliance level. Moons worth taking are taken, and renting is obviously not an option. As soon as you pass the threshold into strategic fighting rather than random roaming/camping you need an Alliance level income source in order to ask people to put their capitals on the line.
That whole bit about teaming up with smaller like minded entities? I have actually done this several times. The issue is the second you field a 50-60 man fleet against any SOV alliance, they bat-phone their sea of blues and drop 5x the numbers on you. I don't really blame them though, they are probably just excited to not have something blue on the overview for a change.
What would my fix be? Create small scale alliance level ISK objectives in NPC 0,0. Make them require you actually live in constellation with your NPC 0,0 alliance to control. Just gives us a few more stepping stones on the ISK side to work our way up to the level of the big guys.