Delving into the Metagame

Posted: March 11, 2013 in EVE Related

Good morning, (Sub)Dredditors and (Sub)Dredditor friends!

First I must apologize this morning to my Subdreddit bros. I’m pretty sure I haven’t logged in in over a week due to some things I’ve been involved with in EVE. It appears to me that with the heightened rhetoric, the coming war between the CFC and the HBC is not far off, and with Shadoo’s post yesterday on the war games scenario (for those with access to the forums), it doesn’t seem long before actual hostilities start.

Taking that into consideration, I had to acquire the necessary funds to begin purchasing my war chest. I’ve been buying up fully fit fleet doctrine ships, and even tried my hand as some EVE-style logi-broness flying a Exequror class cruiser, as well as some EWAR with a nicely fit Celestis. And, of course I’ve got an Orac00l ready to go. In building up this war chest of mine, though I’ve come to the conclusion that the interceptor really is my preferred ship in almost any situation. From full on fleet combat, to small gang stuff. I totally suck solo, but even in that category I’ve made myself a little taranis fit I think would be ideal for trotting around our staging and surrounding systems on the look-out for bads while I await fleet pings.

So, I hope that adequately explains my Dust absence. Because of my history with EVE, I will always see myself as a pod-pilot first and foremost, which is ironic because out of all the squads I’m a part of, Subdreddit has been the one I’ve been most active in. Still, with the coming war, the best way I can help my alliance is flying in space, as unfortunately the Dust connection is not yet deep enough to have an impact on the coming war with the CFC.

The question here is, why do I think the war is so imminent, now? We were on the cusp of it, it seemed, right before Montolio went on vacation, and most would have thought if it was going to happen, it would have happened then. It did not happen because Shadoo talked down Montolio with the idea of a ‘war game’ scenario. I, among many others, have voiced their doubts about this idea, but doubts or no, it is happening. After reading Shadoo’s post on it yesterday, while I still have my reservations, I would be lying if I did not feel Shadoo had many good points. With Shadoo being an ex-CCP employee, it would also be silly of me to even think that I (or many others) would have a better way of getting CCP’s attention.

In his post, Shadoo outlined not only why this whole event will be a ton of fun (and even I’ll admit here, it does sound enjoyable), but it will also give CCP a model for how the Sov system could be better implemented. This is the key point here, as if there were one thing that I could have fixed in the game, I would choose the Sov system. Sovereignty and claiming your space in null has always seemed like the end game to me, and ever since I first logged into EVE, I’ve been involved in Sov one way or another (I never really lived in high sec…). I think I’m not alone in this, either.

The war games are coming soon, and with it will be a week or two of constant activity, 23/7 roams, and no shortage of ~gud fights~. Shadoo estimates we could see anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 pilots all in the same region during this event (I’m not saying which one until I see that info leaked… I’m sure it won’t take long). If this actually pans out, it will definitely provide for some interesting news while it’s going on.

Now, who will be the major players during these war games? Shadoo mentioned room for three blocs, and I’m assuming we’re talking about the CFC, the HBC, and then Solar and whoever else. Now, because these are “war games,” I had assumed the focus would be on military engagements, with the meta game being played out in EVE fitting tools and among the rival FCs of the power blocs, but recent articles out of TheMittani[dot]com would have us believe that the CFC is viewing things from the perspective of being in some kind of engagement for longer than the duration of the war games, with the ultimate goal of not only winning the war games, but seeing as much damage done to TEST and the HBC as possible (And here I thought we were bros…).

I say this because judging by his actions, The Mittani is ramping up the verbal war with HBC by publishing unflattering articles on his gaming news website, not as an attempt at reporting facts (no news agencies actually do this anymore), but as an attempt to craft the narrative of the coming conflict.

That bold part is very important, because that is the way that wars are won. It’s also one of my favorite things about EVE online, and it gives me a chance to throw on my favorite hat… the tin foil one. =)

Montolio had a fairly brilliant reply to the Mittani[dot]com article (warning, EN24 link for those who haven’t seen the post on the forums), and in that reply we can catch a glimpse of the chess game being played at the moment between Montolio and The Mittani.

There are three parts of Montolio’s post that give us hints as to what is happening behind closed doors, and it’s important to look at and analyze the difference between what was said, and what was meant.

Here is the first example I’d like to look at.

You can tell how clearly slanted the article is based on this one quote alone:

The-Mittani[dot]com said:
While Shadoo and Montolio entered the conversation in an attempt to keep the thread from going sour, their efforts were in vain

My attempt to keep the thread from going sour?

Montolio Said:

Oh shit.
Grath – can you soundcloud a response to this instead of writing it? I want to listen to it so I can pretend I am getting yelled at by an abusive father figure while I masturbate.

The objective of that statement is a simply one. The Mittani wishes to project the imagine of a broken and fractured HBC. He does this not for the pleb grunts like you and I, but for the CEOs of corps that will be choosing sides in the coming fight. He wants the CFC to appear to be the bastion of team-work and organization, as well as a solid foundation in which new corps or alliances can come to with the idea that they will receive more help and stability when choosing the CFC over the HBC.

Obviously, you cannot rely on myself for the truth of that statement (spoiler, you can’t reply on the Mittani, either). As a member of TEST (and specifically, Dreddit), of course I’m going to say my organization is the best. Duh.

The truth is a middle ground, though. The CFC and the HBC both offer stability and room to grow for any newly recruited corp or alliance. The leadership is completely different, however, and depending on how you like to run things should ultimately determine your allegiance. If you’d like freedom to pursue your own goals, the HBC is ideal. You’re given your own space and allowed to do whatever you want to do. If you want to take orders from a single dictator who has his own grand vision for the game, and you want to have your own little piece of that vision, then the CFC would probably be more to your liking. In conjunction with the CFC’s vast wealth, this is the reason alliances in the CFC see so much financial support. The best way to build loyalty among those who call the shots (i.e. the CEOs and other leadership councils), is by greasing the palms.

The next piece of juicy meta comes from The Mittani’s choice of author, TEST’s very own, Targie McRed. Montolio also had something interesting to say in regards to this…

“But Montolio! The article was written by Targie McRed – this isn’t propaganda at all.

Targie McRed said:
I was asked to write it by mittens. He [the mittani] wanted it written by someone from TEST”

The reason for this is fairly obvious, isn’t it? If the words [look like they] come from a TEST member, then they must be true! Right?

I have to wonder how much Targie was pressured to write this article in the way that it is written. It’s no secret themittani[dot]com pays its writers (125 mil an article), which can be quite the incentive to produce. More importantly, though comes the exposure. As a writer myself, even I have applied to write for themittani[dot]com, knowing that the views I would get also had the possibility of transferring readership to my very own blogging space (i.e. here).

Holding these benefits over someone’s head can be a very persuasive tool, so I don’t fault Targie for writing what he wrote. It’d be nice to hear from him exactly how much of that article was “influenced” by The Mittani personally.

The most interesting piece of meta, though comes from the very first two paragraphs of Montolio’s post, and it’s something I’d like to title…

Montolio’s Big Feint

“Hello friends!

You probably have noticed a dramatic increase in CFC action directed towards the HBC and myself over the past few weeks – this is because they are mad. They’ve been expecting and preparing for me to declare a disorganized jihad on them for some time. Mostly because I’ve been leaking it to them via various individuals in the CFC in private conversations that we would in fact attack them during my SOTC.

The entire CFC directorate tuned into the SOTC and hit Twitter as soon as I didn’t announce an invasion to find any reason to pick apart my terrible SOTC.”

Do you see what he did there?

Over the past month, Montolio has been “leaking” the idea that the HBC would attack the CFC during his State of the Coalition (SOTC) address. Make no mistake, if he truly was doing this, you can be sure the CFC was preparing like mad during the run up to the SOTC. Given what transpired during the SOTC (nothing), it should be fairly obvious Montolio never planned on doing this… so why the sleight of hand?

Given the tense atmosphere between the CFC and the HBC, it’s anyone’s guess. Perhaps it’s a form of political “bucking” (you know, when someone fakes going for a punch to get the other person to blink), in an attempt to get The Mittani the slip up. Maybe it was a well planned troll, used to waste valuable time and resources among the CFC directorate. There are a myriad of different reasons to play a hand like this.

If I had to put my own wager in, I’d say it has to do with PL being the wild card in whatever fight may transpire. Tensions have been high recently, and it’s anyone’s guess who will be the first the pull the trigger. What seems more clear, however, is PLs desire to see their own plans out (these war games), so whoever is seen as putting those plans in danger would probably be on the business end of PL’s fleets. This means whoever is in the defensive role in whatever engagement starts us off, is the most likely to see PL assistance during the war.

Montolio has stated TEST and the HBC will be taking part in these war games, so whatever “leaked plans” had said about our own war were more than likely disinformation. Chances are, these games will be the military side of the CFC vs HBC engagement (with some others thrown in just for fun!).

The meta game, the war or words, will have a much different venue. You’ll see it play out on themittani[dot]com, EN24, and blogs like mine.

It’s this kind of conflict that so strongly draws me to our game of internet spaceships. Whatever the future holds for the HBC and the CFC, it’s bound to be an interesting one.

Until next time,

Happy Hunting, Everyone!



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