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CCP Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 05/06/03)  | Pub:CCP Games
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Column: At Gunpoint

By Ross McDermott on July 28, 2011

While the terrifying roar of 1400mm Tech II Howitzer Artillery might be lost in the deafening silence of space, the sheer unprecedented power that several thousand of them represent unleashing their payloads onto an unsuspecting Carrier class vessel is certainly not. And while this singular act may in and of itself seem uniquely beautiful and powerful as the hull of Thanatos is torn asunder before their wielders very eyes - It is but an infinitely small moment of destruction in the endless roaring maelstrom of chaos and beauty. This is the final stage for many a brave soul, this is the place where the most skill-full of individuals may carve their names into gaming’s hall of glory. This is the Sandbox, where empires worth hundreds of thousands of dollars can rise in days and fall in brief moments of human error. This is EVE Online.

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My name is White Tree, I've spent the last 4 years of my life playing EVE Online in some shape or form, I'm a CSM (Council of Stellar Management) member and a CEO of a small corporation that lives in a region known as Deklein. From sneaking like a cat in the night through the darkest most dangerous corners of space in a stealth bomber, to high-street shopping in the brightly lit economic centre known as 'Jita' and from there, going on to participate in some of the most famous and monstrous fleet fights the game has known. In truth: there isn't much I haven't seen or done in EVE. I hope to provide you, the MMORPG.com reader with in-depth opinions, analyses and reports from one of the most complex and exciting video-game universes ever made.

Economics are a driving factor in EVE Online. As the prices of minerals and components shifts and some items become more desirable over others, great wars can and do erupt over them. This has historically shifted the balance in power in EVE on multiple occasions, and while there are other factors at play at all times, this is undoubtedly a significant one. This opinion was validated even further in recent weeks as the combined forces of the 'Drone Russian Federation', a monstrous block of primarily Russian players who call the eastern regions of New Eden their home, took it upon themselves to wash over the northern regions of the game like a mighty unstoppable squall of red rage.

Fuelled by a grudge with the 'Northern Coalition' who had routinely made incursions into their space for the sake of simply getting a fight, heated words and mighty stand-offs came to a head with a full-on push by the DRF deep into the NC regions. Battleships met and locked horns above Planets and Stargates and when the dust settled the NC had been sundered. And the DRF’s prize for their valiant crusade? The most marketable and profitable material in the game: Technetium.

The common pod pilot may or may not know the value of Technetium. Acquired from Moons which are abundant and unique in the northern territories, Technetium is a bottleneck component for the construction of Tech II modules and ships. Tech II being the more advanced version of any item that exists in the game with a few exceptions, generally requiring a higher skill threshold to make use of.

With their new prized Technetium moons happily churning out this most useful element from their orbital extractors - The new northern wing of the DRF turned its eyes towards more Westerly fields. The regions known as Pure Blind, Fade and Deklein, all of which contained more than enough Technetium moons to further enrich their already bloated wallets. Pure Blind was the closest to their metaphorical and not-so-metaphorical guns and so Pure Blind would be the first to fall.

Their initial incursions proved to be profitable. The resistance was stronger here, as the Northern Coalition was effectively divided into the Eastern and Western blocks. The Eastern old and tired, the Western while almost as old, continually refreshed by a different method of rule and management. The Western NC would certainly put up more of a fight, but not enough to counter their combined forces which were still hot and boisterous from their unequivocal victory over the Eastern NC.

At their absolute height when their arrogance could peak no further above the clouds, they made use of a covert spy to offline a Cynosural System Jammer, a device which prevents capital class ships from using their jump drives to enter a Star system. With the floodgates opened - they balled their fists and swung for a jaw-strike directly into VFK-IV, the nerve centre of Deklein, the very beating heart of the Western NC.

They quickly set as many structures into reinforced mode as they could under the fire of their capital siege engines, rampaging through surrounding systems gleefully trouncing the Western NC with the same gusto they had trouncing the East. Deklein would fall and the whole of the north would be theirs. They arrogantly erected Starbases in VFK-IV, cheerfully logging out their Supercapital ships within their protective shields. Content to sleep until the reinforcement timers favoured them again so they could strike with fury and drive what remained of the old NC out. They would take the remaining Technetium spoils and laugh as they did so.

However the leadership of the Western NC, also known as The Clusterf**k Coalition (yes, that’s seriously their name) did not agree with this plan of action. It would be hard to continue any further without making use of a scene from Star Trek: First Contact. While the moment wherein Captain Picard says 'The line must be drawn here!' is quoted in ironic jest, it's hard to not see the validity in a comparative statement.

The CEO of Goonswarm Federation, the controlling component and effective leader of a block which is composed of literally tens of thousands of players that make up the Clusterf**k Coalition, stated without question that this singular act would not result in the Drone Russian Federation's complete victory over the North at all. In fact, with absolute certainty and completely unwavering resolve he summoned the entire Clusterf**k Coalition, the remaining core of what was once the Western NC to take up arms and fight until they could fight no more. Within hours thousands of players had converged on VFK-IV to defend her, and the combined invading forces would wash upon her in their arrogance like waves breaking on an unmovable shore.

For four days the Clusterf**k Coalition locked down VFK-IV and built an impenetrable wall, trapping the logged off Supercarriers in the system and shredding any enemy fleet that dared to sneak a peek at its central star. Their efforts were met by unrelenting artillery volleys as hundreds of Maelstrom Class Battleships which made up the Clusterf**k Coalition’s now legendary 'Alpha Fleet' tore through every single ship that opposed them like a proverbial hot knife through butter. Deklein hadn't just been saved; it had shown itself to be a place where not one single inch would be given. The northern wing of the DRF's honeymoon was over, and the loss so bitter, so unbearable that they turned their attention to the south to rekindle old grudges that had been left unattended.

A proverbial hornets’ nest had been poked, and the wasps that flew to fight were aiming to kill. Hope returns to the north for many, and as the enemy flees to 'Fight in the other direction', the Clusterf**k will likely use their new-found momentum to drive their enemies from Pure Blind and Fade. Using the terrifying and almost indefensible threat that thousands 1400mm Howitzer Artillery Cannons represent. This is just another tide that has turned in the ever shifting sea of innumerable variables that is EVE Online.

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