From Whence His Strength Doth Come?

I have, like so many, been following the long running soap opera that is apparently centered around, of all things, a book. The big three propaganda sites, TheMittani.com, EveNews24 & Crossing Zebras, have been trading blows over this matter for weeks now, with no end in sight.

What is this really all about? Having read the preview releases of Jeff Edwards work, it appears the writer does a capable job. The man has an unenviable task; to take an outwardly incomprehensible world and make it interesting. To transform a bunch of nerds who fight in a universe where the physics make no sense and the objectives are as tangible as a gentle breeze, into space warriors fighting an epic battle for supremacy between two super-powers. Jeff’s style is perfectly suited to the task, with a military background and a penchant for research that make him an excellent candidate for the job.

Of course, the book is not the actual problem. I wrote previously as to why I believe Mittens dropped the marketing ball, and my opinion on that stands.

Rixx Javixx, a blogger I have respected for many years, strode the CZ quarterdeck yesterday my time and fired what I consider to be the best broadside of the battle so far, which I strongly recommend you read if you haven’t. It was a direct response to this sharp but ill thought through attack on critics of the book by Sion Kumitomo.

Rixx has hit the nail square on the head, and I applaud him for a job well done. As a line member of FCON, currently on deployment with the Imperium and participating in three to four fleets per day, I can assure you that Rixx’s perspective is perfect.

Here’s the problem. Goons are a group of individuals who are in an insular and closeted environment, who now find that their leader has turned his back on the very philosophy he created. Why? For money.

Here’s what they’re discovering, albeit very slowly. The CFC is no more. Goonswarm members were the elite cabal within the CFC who could comfortably sneer at their fellow coalition members, patting their heads and calling them cute, safe in the knowledge that Papa Goon would keep the unwashed in line and their little hive safely cuddled up in the ivory tower at the top of the mountain.

Then, things started to change. CCP brought in FozzieSov, and the empire was (wisely) contracted down to a manageable size. The CFC’s main opposition closed up shop, either incapable or unwilling to accept the big picture version of sovereignty space CCP wanted them to embrace; that so-called “PVP” alliances could not hold space.

For a time, many expected the CFC to crumble. Those with more insight knew better. The true power of the CFC, organizational power, saw the CFC become the only true superpower left standing. Credit where credit is due, the CFC took Fozzie’s bat and smashed the ball out of the park and across the river.

Mittens stood atop the ivory tower and smiled. The true fountain of wealth that CCP has co-operated in maintaining for him by studiously ignoring it, the moon goo, was diminished, but still flowing. He gave it some time, kept the feelers out, tested the waters. Home space was secure; unassailable, in fact. In time, the ridiculous parts of FozzieSov defense of occupied space were addressed, albeit only after CCP’s innate arrogance had been smashed into the ground by a million troll-ceptors. They then reduced the jump fatigue cap to a level where his master plan was finally feasible.

During all this, however, Mittens tripped up. He took the exclusion dogma of Goonswarm, and tore it up. The CFC became the Imperium. Recruitment scamming was stopped. And insecurity grew. During the short deployment before this current one, Goon arrogance and disdain towards their coalition partners was palpable. FC’s routinely disparaged their coalition mates on fleet comms, tearing into FCON in particular. Many were puzzled, but not me. I merely pointed to the fleet numbers, where Goonswarm were being routinely outnumbered by FCON, Razor, and others.

At the time all this was going on, I was engaged in research for my second novel, a science fiction book which is focused on mankind’s greatest failing; its social ineptitude. Contemplating why mankind is so technologically advanced but at the same time so socially stupid gave me a unique viewpoint from which to observe the current transformation taking place in the CFC.

It’s so plain and obvious why Mitten’s attempt to popularize the CFC concept is failing. Re-branding may be popular in the commercial world, but it is very risky in Eve. The commercial world is unavoidable. Barring suicide or accidental death, humans are at the checkout until they die of old age. In Eve, we don’t have to log in at all. Or, if our game environment no longer suits us, a quick corp mail, leave a jump clone with all your assets at the trade hub, and taxi-ceptor the hell out.

Mittens looked at all of what he thought of as the potential customers for his book and thought, “How can I fail?” Quite easily, as it turns out. He missed the point. So has the majority of Goonswarm.

WHY are so many players in the Imperium? Because they enjoy the social environment of Goonswarm? Because they want to be a part of that society? If that were true, why would they not swim the fetid sewer of the SA forums for two months and then join?

When running in fleets, I will sit in the ‘No Chatter’ mumble channel. Here, I can hear the FC, which is all I need. Should I need to speak to him, he can hear me, but that need rarely arises.

I do this mainly because I am in a fleet while working on my book, which I can put down instantly if something actually happens, which is a rare enough occurrence. However, I end up there most evenings as well, because there are Goons in channel.

A classic case in point happened a few nights ago. One Goon actually asked why there would be so many in the no chatter channel when the conversation was so “Awesome”. I caught his comment because I had just reconnected after yet another DC and modem reset (love Queensland internet, I’m sure there’s a small tribe somewhere in the Congo that would be jealous of our infrastructure). This “Awesome” conversation revolved around why all moms were useless brainless sluts who fed their kids cocaine, and why cocaine was such an awesome drug. Interspersed with this deep and meaningful philosophical repartee, were jokes revolving around sexual and waste elimination organs and their products.

I hate to shatter the illusions of some, but there are still at least a handful of people in this world who prefer to avoid hearing such cutting edge philosophy. And therein lies the heart of Mitten’s problem.

We’re not in the Imperium because we like Goons. We’re here because our corp is. Our corp is here because they’re pragmatists. Our alliance is here for the same reason.

If the Mittani wanted to do a practical market analysis for his book, he just needed to look up Goonswarm membership. Any other sales are a bonus.The book could be written by anyone, and it would make no difference. It could be marketed a million different ways, and it would make no difference.

Mittens, you’ve worked for years to create a private tribe of people who enjoy a similar philosophy, and worked just as hard to ruin the game for everyone else. You set out to make Goonswarm a stench across New Eden; a bogeyman that anyone un-docking anywhere would fear. And you have succeeded spectacularly. You are an overwhelming success.

This is the universe in which you now want everyone to embrace you and your kind, and fund your real life persona?

This is Eve Online Alex, and you’re a Goon. Thanks to your tireless efforts, everybody hates Goons.

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2 responses to “From Whence His Strength Doth Come?

  1. “What is this really all about? Having read the preview releases of Jeff Edwards work, it appears the writer does a capable job. ”

    Yes, the material is pretty poor, but the style is fairly potboiler

    Like

    • I find myself constrained in regard to critiquing another writers work. I am but a beginner, with one novel to my name and a second nearly done. Jeff is an established writer, and I feel it is not my place to point any fingers in regard to quality. He seems capable of doing a good job for mainstream audience consumption.
      It is disappointing to me that he should find himself the target of angst that should really be aimed at the Goons, who have strived to earn the hatred of all around them and therefore deserve all they get.

      Like

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