Already Feeling Better

As ridiculous as it sounds, I feel a weight has risen off my mind after leaving null-sec last night. In hindsight, I now realize the idea of bailing out has been in the back of my mind for ages, possibly many months.

But, the attachment to my corp kept me somewhere I didn’t want to be for a long time. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. In fact, I’m willing to bet there are hundreds of players in the Emporium who are there simply because their friends are there.

It’s a strong draw-card, after all. Eve Online’s unique appeal is centered around that simple principle; friendship. It’s what keeps players subscribed long after they would have quit any other game.

I wonder how much that fact is pondered in the hallowed halls of Reykjavik, as staff wander around in the eternal darkness that smells faintly of fart water. Do CCP realize their game’s phenomenal longevity is down to the social bonds that the core players have created and still feel?

Many times, I have questioned CCP’s tolerance and support of the Emporium. Why would a company allow a group of over-entitled, self-proclaimed griefers to bring the core conflict generator of their product to a grinding halt so that those same people could earn a living off the back of the game?

Oh, sure, I know that there are ex-players now on staff, and yes, I know the CSM has left its mark. I am also well aware of the cultural clique within CCP, which sees those most removed from mainstream society at the wheel of game development.

I am an Australian, and I am very familiar with company management and its inherent stupidity. After all, in this country we have it down to a fine art. Indeed without graft and corruption, the Australian government itself would lose its raison d’être.

So, the question is, what now for me? Well, some time off, for sure. Get some long skills done. Blastie is working on heavy interdictor skills, for that alluring 36km scram, which has the potential to ruin the day of many a kiting ship. Random is slogging through fleet command 5, which will see him with all leadership skills at 5, except the mining ones.

I guess I’m waiting for the inevitable; though Eve is a game, and may not reflect real life well enough to see the Emporium implode, as many suspect. Step outside the game, and we see people with real-life incomes at stake. No, not RMT in the traditional sense, I’m not a tin-foil hat wearer. Mittens has built something far better; legitimate fund collection through third-party means. He’s a clever boy, and many people underestimate him due to their hatred of him.

Both the underestimation and the hatred of Mittens are unreasonable. The boy is just a politician, and recent events, such as the Blawrf McTaggart furor a while back, highlight that. Poor old Blawrf did the right things, and thought he had a friend. He forgot that politics and friendship are mutually exclusive. A politician forms relationships with other people for both political and monetary gain, not to reap the true rewards of friendship.

Therefore, hating Mittens for being a politician is counter-intuitive. Indeed, too many people do this today. Personally, I try my very best not to hate anyone; I just hate what they do. Too many wars have been waged due to this failure to properly reason on causes rather than results.

It would be the course of wisdom not to underestimate Mittens, either. Many people are waiting with bated breath for him to do something colossally stupid, as a follow-up to the ridiculous kick-starter and the subsequent failed deployment.

I’m not so sure. Everyone makes mistakes. Some have opined that citadels will see him leave the game, though I am yet to understand why, as they seem to me to play right into his hands.

It’s the moons, people, the moons. The passive income teat that feeds power directly to the few at the top of the big organizations. Believe me, there are trillions of ISK at stake.

Everyone is focused on the citadels, but its the mining platform that will decide the Emporium’s future. If moon mining stays passive, with the platform just a new mining POS, then the Emporium stays. But, even if it becomes an active thing, it may not be enough to topple the balance between input and wealth at the top.

One of our top industrialists in 30Plus told me that if moon mining becomes active game-play, then the resources he mines from that moon become his, not the alliance’s property. I would say good luck to that, as I would expect moon mining to become a regulated and paid activity, the same as POS fueling today.

If moon mining becomes active though, the question will be; is it a good enough earner in a passive sense (ie a lackey’s job), to justify holding space?

That is the heart of the matter. All those standing against the Emporium seem happy enough to shoot PVE ships and fight Emporium fleets, whilst patting themselves on the back that they’re giving it to the man.

Umm…no. Not even scratching the paintwork, I’m afraid. What FozzieSov was supposed to do was enable such supposed opposition to go and start taking boundary systems. That mechanic failed and was subsequently swept under the carpet, along with its reviled creator. Now, we are supposed to believe the return of the structure grind will change all that?

Let’s suppose MoA actually grew a pair, a very small and short-lived pair, no doubt, but  something. Let’s say they reinforced a citadel in one of the outlying boundary areas within hot-drop range of their space (which is as risky as one could ever envision them getting). Would Mittens gnash his teeth in despair at the prospect of his kingdom crumbling?

Give me a break, as our gun-toting cousins across the Pacific would say. No, of course not. When that citadel came out of reinforce, there would be a super-capital fleet on standby that could crash the node by sheer weight of numbers alone. MoA know that, which is why they shoot poorly fitted ratting ships, and leave structures alone.

No, I can see the end of the Emporium coming, but not by the hand of its enemies. It will come by its members dwindling, as more and more realize what I have realized; that by simply being a member of the coalition, on any level, we are complicit in the destruction of the very thing we love to be a part of.

Every member of the coalition would be well-advised to ponder that.

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