Sunday, February 6, 2011

For every end, there is a beginning

DICE recently left IT, SUITS has already announced their departure, and BNC has announced that they’re disbanding and moving most of their members over to Raiden..  I don’t think there’s a doubt in anyone’s mind what the (near) future holds for IT Alliance.  I just read Easley Thames’ blog, and I’m impressed with his brutal honesty about the current state of IT.  He goes deep into the origins of IT’s current situation.  He traces IT’s politics and internal policies from the end of Max 2.0, elaborating in great detail on how things have proceeded since then.  It’s long, but it’s also a very good read.  I highly recommend it.  Mad props to Easley for being so honest.

Despite fighting a bitter war with IT for over a month now, it’s a bit disheartening to see one of only a handful of power blocs in 0.0 go down the crapper as quickly as it has.  But to put it simply, IT owes its current predicament to a breakdown in leadership.  IT’s leadership has shown such a lack of prudence diplomatically that by the time they came under a significant amount of pressure, they were unable to stand united against a determined adversary.  The Clusterfuck Coalition (Dekco; CF) invasion of Fountain was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Despite all the internal issues within IT, if Goonswarm hadn’t of invaded when they did, IT would have been able to hold AAA off long enough to work through their drama.  Coupled with being unable to regain any ground in Fountain and allowing SW to open two more fronts in Period Basis and Querious, their internal issues came the bear and now the alliance is on the brink of cascading.

Now, IT seems to be holding up in Delve, content to allow CF forces take most/all of the region without resistance.  Indeed, looking at the Morsus Mihi timer app, it looks like most/all remaining stations in Fountain are reinforced, along with a good portion of the ihubs.  All of Fountain should be in CF hands in a week or two.

The question that seems to be lingering in everyone’s mind is “So what now?”  And that is the million-dollar question.  It’s obvious that for the immediate future, we finish off Fountain and in the meantime work on our new region’s infrastructure.  Most people think that our next step is to prepare for the inevitable Delve invasion, and I tend to agree, but it should be noted  that it’s not all that inevitable.  Before the Foutain war really kicked off, Goon leadership admitted that they weren’t willing to wage a full scale sovereignty war, simply because they didn’t know of anyone that was able and willing to hold the sov.  Then TEST stepped up to the plate after it became clear that a single region wasn’t enough for the cumulative 9000 characters in both TEST and goonswarm.  Expansion for TEST was inevitable, and that gave goonswarm all the reason that they needed to wage a full scale sov war against their ancient enemies.  Now, Both Goonswarm and TEST have openly stated that they don’t want Delve, and I think they're being honest.  TEST/goons may decide to not invade.  They may decide to just let IT die slowly while they build up infrastructure in Fountain.  But the question still remains, who will get Delve after IT falls?

How TEST proceeds after Fountain is heavily dependent on who takes Delve.  Will the new Delve holders press for Fountain?  It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

 After Max 2.0, the seeds of our downfall had been planted. We had already achieved our mission to retake the homeland, and it was established that we could not wipe out the NC. What purpose remained for us?” -Easley

Easley makes a good point about purpose, here.  Namely, alliances tend to begin their downfall when their members become apathetic for want of a unifying objective.  They need something to keep them on their toes and focused on fighting a foreign enemy instead of each other.  TEST is a unique alliance in that its average member base tends to be very low SP.  Most of our members still have a lot to discover, and we even have a dude dedicated to teaching vast hordes of TEST newbies the ropes, and he’s doing a very good job so far (o/ Tewkz).  Our members have lots of training to do, ISK to make, new toys to buy, and experience to accumulate.  So some downtime in Fountain to puruse those activities may be our best option.  This doesn't preclude PvP, of course.  One of the reasons that we're so successful is that most/all of us want to go out and make our enemies cry, and during our downtime we would have enough time to make that happen.  We don’t have very many bitter vets, so boredom won’t be an issue for us for a while.  This will be especially true if/when an unfriendly force takes over Delve.  Then we’ll have someone to fight, even if it is just in the form of roaming gangs.

Long term, things are uncertain but also exciting.  Montollio (TEST executor) openly stated that he, like the rest of EVE, doesn’t like the fact that the half of the influence map is now blue.  This is where things get a bit complicated politically.  TEST itself has no significant ties to the larger NC.  Our loyalty lies mostly with Goonswarm Federation, who, of course, will not leave tech-rich deklein, and will therefore be blue to the NC for the foreseeable future.  So it’s not likely that we’ll reset the NC, but it’s not difficult to imagine that, once we accumulate wealth, a significant capital force, and an elite FC team, we’ll go solo and cut our ties with the NC.  Who knows?

The only advice I can give to anyone outside of TEST, underestimate us at your own peril.  We proved in Catch that we could contend with IT/INIT on our own.  We may have a large newby population, but it’s a determined hoard of newbies who live to harvest our enemy’s tears.

If you do decide to go after us, good luck.  We’ll see you on the front.