It started out as a joke. A funny joke, a hardly believable joke. When the CEO of Test Alliance ‘Please Ignore’ approached me to make a silly image which attempted to combine the Goonswarm Federation and Legion of xXDEATHXx Logos into a single identity to entertain the delusional fantasies of the average tinfoil-hat wearing player on the official EVE Forums. We snickered and giggled at our silliness. We didn't realize that our innocent fun-poking would unfurl mighty wings and take off quite the way it did. It started with the CEO of Goonswarm Federation and fellow CSM member, The Mittani, taking quite a shining to the idea.
Goonswarm and xXDEATHXx have never been mortal enemies. Contrarily so, the leaderships of both alliances view each-other amicably. A long-forgotten bro-pact between these two titans of EVE was forged in the games infancy, when Goonswarm fell on hard times; UAxDeath - leader of the Russian bloc and perpetual father-figure to all Russians in EVE Online - gave Goonswarm a home and a job to do. While time drove these two entities apart both geographically and culturally, the ancient bro-pact was never truly lost. Merely buried under the sands of time.
It seems as though the cheerful twittering and tom-foolery of Test Alliance Please Ignore assisted by yours truly has sparked an old fire in the hearts of these two blocs, and while not quite ready to merge into a singular, mighty Alliance - the joke has spiralled, and Non-Invasion Pacts or 'NIPs' have been formed.
But the purpose of these NIPs is not to rekindle an old relationship. No one is attempting to reunite long-lost lovers in a Hollywood romance. No, the purpose of this relationship is far more sinister at its core. The goal is to control all of null-sec within two mighty spheres of unstoppable influence. To extend dominance in totality across the conquerable regions of EVE Online. To, in a sense, unite Null-sec and bring forth the most final of all acts. To the reaper wrote the man: Come sweet death.
The reality is that stagnation is rampant in EVE Online. Specifically in null-sec. The super-capital arms race has resulted in the most terrifying of outcomes: the super-capital Mexican stand-off. However this appears to have evolved beyond the simple rules of 3 men pointing guns at each-other, rather today we see a shift towards a nuclear peace.
But there are still goals to accomplish; there is work to be done. And the newly formed 'Drone Clusterf*ck Federation' has to roll up its sleeves and step towards the goal of complete null-sec domination. And all that stands in its way are the pesky southern Regions whose morale and strength are easily broken.
For the CFC, Delve is the target. As we roll through in an attempt to make the region an open free-port area, we witness the strange ancillary effects of the once fabled 'Curse of Delve'. Once upon a time it was up to the region known as Syndicate to harbour the fallen, the defeated and the damned. But formerly powerful Alliances now drift towards Delve to find their fates, like lost souls floating on rickety boats down the river Styx.
Once upon a time the mighty Morsus Mihi called the north their own. They were staple members of the now dead Northern Coalition, a shining beacon of impregnability in the Tribute region. Now they live in squalor in Delve. The leadership of Morsus Mihi appears to have lost its mind. Still living under the impression that they can bend the heavens to their will, they blabber incoherently in a corner, occasionally laughing to themselves, but more often making idle and fruitless threats to their neighbours in the North.
The CFC has a significant task ahead of it: To fall upon Delve like a mighty swarm of death and purge what resistance remains. Those willing to kneel and kiss the ring may find their fates less grim than those who do not. As Morsus Mihi and Br1ck Squad are first against the wall, many others likely sit at the end of the iron-sights. The remains of AtlasDOT, Romanian Legion and, in particular, Ev0ke. Ev0ke may prove to be harder to shift than the broken remnants of the old NC who've taken up residence in the region. They're a powerful force with super-capital reinforcements that they're absolutely willing to use.
In truth, the end result of all of this pairing off and conquering is a goal which has been conjured by the CSM. A statement of absolute meaning to CCP: Fix EVE. Fix EVE fast or we'll stagnate the game to the point where there'll be no wars, no need to fight and no need to play. It's a vicious message, a brutal message and it should, hopefully, be significant.
But there is profit to be made here. Money for the man with a keen eye. Control of all of null-sec under a large coalition allows certain resources to be controlled outright. Embargoes on resources result in hi-sec and low-sec being starved of crucial materials needed to build ships and continue the cycle of production and destruction that keeps the EVE Online economy functioning.
As usual, events in null-sec continue to shape the face of the entire game. The will of the combined Drone Clusterf*ck Federation is now so strong that over 80% of conquerable space falls within its jurisdiction. We accelerate towards the impending heat death of Tranquillity, in hopes that as we blaze our trails we'll start a fire in the hearts of CCP and turn the game in the right direction. To quote a friend: We need something new to do, not new to wear.
For me personally, my EVE life grows ever more complex on a day by day basis. It was a stormy day, a day when grunting men gathered around a bar, lit by smoky lights and considered the future of a community. I've always been a part of the greater 'Broski Social Conglomerate', we're a large but socially tight group of players from - sigh - 4chan whose history is long and complex.
Some time ago it fell to me to be diplomatic. I've always had a knack for it, I'm diplomatic by nature. I forge compromises left, right and centre and I can strike a deal when I need to. It's worked for me in the past, and it seems to be working for me now.
We set ourselves on tall ships and pointed to stars to sail by. And found ourselves in Deklein under the wing of Goonswarm Federation. We called ourselves Elite Space Guild, an ironic play on the various forces of Elite PVP that exist all over new Eden and we set about building our home.
I've taken the captain's chair on this ship and I'd like to think I'm leading my alliance to glory. Only time will tell if this is true as we get more involved in the ever-more complex web of political and military activity that makes up the CFC and EVE Online as a whole. The future may be dark for null-sec, but for us it grows brighter day by day.