It's never nice to have to eat your own words, and more often than not in EVE Online there's always someone there ready to hand you a knife, fork, salt, and pepper as the crowd eagerly awaits the all-you-can-eat marathon. Today I intend to take a bite, but not a big one - as I haven't got that much to eat. Two weeks ago I reported that even though the CFC had changed direction, the march continued onwards regardless. Today that march moves to a slow walk as the CFC looks at its own plate and reconsiders dessert.
Advancement into the North has ground to a halt. With Goonswarm Federation having successfully secured Branch, they sought to press onwards to Tenal, but as predicted: RaidenDOT finally found their ace in the hole and the large and powerful Ev0ke have teamed up with Raiden to help deflect any additional incursions by Goonswarm and the CFC into unclaimed territories. For now the conquest war has come to a stop, but that doesn't mean monstrous fights haven't been breaking out. Goonswarm is eager to press their disposable Dreadnaught doctrine, a Doctrine which, only hours ago as of writing this article; Saw one RaidenDOT Titan bite the dust.
The CFC is not likely to press further, as doing so would put them against a wall and force them into a monstrously large uphill battle against a coalition whose sole purpose for being is one of hatred for the CFC. Almost every entity that composes its ranks has, at some point, had its direction forcefully and violently shifted at the hands of the CFC war machine. To quote a famous captain "The line must be drawn here!" and so the line is drawn. To step over it would be madness, to stand firmly in front of it however is most likely the wisest course of action.
Further afield in Geminate, Solar Fleet has shown us that they're not quite ready to bite the dust just yet. The iron curtain causes the English-speaking members of the EVE Online community some vexation, as a monstrous and at times impenetrable language barrier between EVE's very sizeable Russian community and the rest of the game makes getting genuine and reliable information from this corner of the social sphere quite challenging. But we can derive from the efforts of the HONEYBADGER COALITION in Geminate that Solar Fleet is more than ready to put up a fight for their singular source of Technetium income.
Geminate has, since the Technetium buff, been a constant fire starter region. It lays smack in the middle, making up the boundary territory between the old Northern Coalition and the Drone Russian Federation. Not that Geminate has a greater Technetium yield than any other region in the North - But its location makes it challenging for North and South to field supercapital ships to its defence. It was historically located between the beating heart of the Western NC and the DRF and as a result has had many a war waged for its resources. But TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE + Associates are finding out first hand that the region that Solar Fleet + Associates literally killed the Northern Coalition over isn't going to be handed up so easily by its owners. As usual, Geminate continues to generate the history that the region has become known for and it's a bloody history at that.
But with that in mind, it's always hard to predict the actions of the Russian bloc in EVE Online. Many strong egos and equally strong Alliances make up the jumbled mess of power that is contained within the Drone Russian Federation. In my brief stay with Intrepid Crossing several months ago I was introduced to the way the mind of the average Russian player in EVE works. A fiery, feisty bunch with a lot to prove and even more to wager on their egos often results in endless spats between would-be dictators and TOP MEN inside of the block. But wounds seem to heal quickly within the ranks, and it's easier to get drunk and make merry than it is to get angry and make war.
The in-fighting between Solar Fleet and Legion of xXDEATHXx may continue on forever. One side may ultimately crush the other and an entire chunk of one of the most powerful blocs in EVE may find itself homeless and destitute. Though I feel that this is an unlikely scenario. Making game-plans based on any future dooms one side or the other may face would be a bad gamble. In the end, Russians always prefer to hold each other arm-in-arm versus an external threat than fight one another. This spat could last forever, or it could all suddenly go away when one side breaks down and offers a simple apology.
In the regions collectively known as 'The South' strange ghosts play odd games in the night. With Ev0ke deployed to the North to interdict Goonswarm's continued advancement on Tenal – a small thousand man Alliance NEM3SIS have taken more or less complete control of Delve relatively uncontested, with Ev0ke willing to let their hard-fought assets in Delve be conquered it is apparent that their grudge with Goonswarm Federation and the Clusterf*ck Coalition runs deep and cuts hard into their psyche. But Ev0ke gambles much on their friendship with RaidenDOT; an Alliance founded by former members of the deceased 'Band of Brothers', which had a reputation for leaving their friends out in the cold while their enemies viciously tore them asunder.
As we go deeper into the South, former bastion of Roleplay in EVE Online and creators of the perpetual Thunderdome that raged in Providence 'CVA' are no more. External pressures on the Alliance from groups such as Sniggwaffe have snuffed out the former cultural giant. Now Providence devolves into a region held by no power - And is likely to remain that way.
And finally, much to either the delight or the horror of the EVE Online community at large, Council of Stellar Management minutes have been released. The CSM meets once every 6 months or so in Iceland during their term as elected representatives to discuss the future of EVE Online with CCP games. During the CSM summit, many subjects including future iterations on Crucible and many more features were discussed. The CSM minutes are available HERE for those interested.