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MMORPG | Genre:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 05/06/03)  | Pub:CCP Games
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EVE Online Column: Closing a Chapter

By Ross McDermott on March 20, 2012

When CCP Games added the Drone Regions to EVE Online, few people were interested in owning them. It's been said there was no great scuffle for dominance over the new regions purely because the way they worked was too obtuse and too much effort to handle. At this time in the game, people in EVE Online really did wage war over ratting space, the kind of space which offered the highest and best bounties on NPC ships to be found in asteroid belts and the occasional combat site.

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But when the Drone Regions were added, CCP took an alternate route when it came to the rewards players would be given in exchange for killing the NPCs they found throughout their space: Minerals. Specifically compounds which were then refined into minerals. Previously the only way to acquire raw materials to build ships in EVE Online was mainly through the act of mining. Slaving away at an asteroid for endless hours in a mining barge, sucking rocks through a tube to finance your activities in EVE Online. And for a while this was an entirely legitimate way of making ISK in EVE, there was always a demand to replace ships and modules lost in combat or through pilot error. And so CCP took it upon themselves to create these regions in order to make sure there'd be an abundance of mineral income across the game.

When these places were added, only a few saw the true industrial potential of these regions, one of these people was UAxDeath, a man who holds the last word when it comes to the actions of the sister Alliances known as Shadow of xXDEATHXx and Legion of xXDEATHXx. For many years he and his associates built a monstrous material empire in the drone regions, eventually pairing up with other large powerful Russian Alliances like Red Alliance and Solar Fleet. They had both the desire and the skill necessary to turn a strange land of overly challenging logistical footwork into a nullsec industrialist paradise. And up until recently no one has challenged these titans for their possession over these regions. Many had speculated that it would take internal strive to topple these ancient powerful entities, and so it has.

Over the last few months, roughly since the end of 2011, a long drawn-out and downright bloody war primarily between Solar Fleet and Shadow of xXDEATHXx has been waging, with associated alliances picking sides. Eventually this war would embroil or at least involve much of Nullsec. With AGAINST ALL AUTHORITIES, RED Overlord, Solar Fleet, Intrepid Crossing and their Allies eventually pushing collectively against Shadow of xXDEATHXx, Red Alliance and their associated contractually obligated mercenaries such as Pandemic Legion. But with much of this war over, the title of loser seems to be hovering over xXDEATHXx and friends, with much lost, little gained and their sovereign systems being carved up quickly and decisively by enemy forces. For example the once proud Jewel of the South: Feythabolis, is hastily falling to the hands of AAA and associated southern entities.

It brings me no joy to see the ancient powers of nullsec tumbling to their deaths. Change is an important and crucial element for EVE Online, change is always coming, change is normal and only brief periods of comfort and stability can be expected and we all seek them out. I personally have no allegiance to xXDEATHXx or any Russian entity; they make their homes in lands far away that I have no vested interest in becoming a part of. But now the sands of time shift again. Not since the death of the Northern Coalition has such a significant chunk of history been placed on the knives edge with the wind so callously pushing it to fall.

Meanwhile in lands far to the North, the Northern Clusterf*ck Coalition's seemingly eternal patience appears to have paid off, with pushes into Tenal providing round-the-clock activities for their pilots, RAZOR Alliance, former core member of the Northern Coalition has begun taking baby steps into Tenal by claiming several sovereign systems for their own. An internal memo from a boots-on-ground grunt that makes up one of many nameless faces in RaidenDOT leaked to the public, his sentiment alongside those of his fellow soldiers: We're sick of the defensive front.

It was an effectual admittance of defeat through attrition. Every counter-attack into Branch during RaidenDOT's great 'Regroup and push' offensive after the death of White NoiseDOT was met with effective stonewalling by Goonswarm Federation and its allies. Even when Space Monkey's Alliance seemed to be on the ropes, dramatically wounded by its own incompetence Raiden gained not a single inch in their attempts to re-take their nearest western region.

Though the statement was littered with the traditional 'Didn't want that Region anyway' prattle, RaidenDOT can, admittedly, afford to lose Tenal. With significant holdings in Vale of the Silent, a region which they have successfully defended before against TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE, they move to position themselves between the collapsing Shadow of xXDEATHXx, an entity which helped them reinvent themselves after the fall of Delve, and the generally benevolent Northern CoalitionDOT Alliance.

With Insmother on fire in the South-east, RaidenDOT may wish to stabilize their Vale holdings against potential uncertainties in Geminate and beyond. Defending one highly profitable region is more sustainable than being stretched into defending two, especially when one of them is being perpetually invaded by a hostile entity. Hopefully this move can buy RaidenDOT some much-needed rest and recuperation after being held at gunpoint for nearly 4 months by the Clusterf*ck. 

Far away in Delve, not everything is as happy as it seems. With Red Alliance having its space quickly consumed by the feverishly violent and victory-enriched powers of Against All Authorities, RA seeks to cast its lot in with what appears to be the elephant’s graveyard of Alliances: Delve. A strange sort of diplomatic hootenanny has occurred which now sees Red Alliance set its eyes firmly on space occupied by NEM3SIS, resident Delve squatters and, if intel is to be believed, a terminally useless Alliance which can be counted on for nothing. The 'Delve Delinquents' as they have recently begun to call themselves, a rag-tag group of literal space garbage - Have seen fit to eject NEM3SIS from Delve and replace them with Red Alliance toting that NEM3SIS had failed to appropriately pull its weight in the region.

This is generally a highly satisfactory deal with Red Alliance. With large quantities of its numbers stripped - likely pubbie bloat - RA can slim itself into a more comfortable, fighting machine. To the north of Delve, TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE is said to have generally favourable relations with Red Alliance, with TEST's leadership giving a positive nod to the move. Delve hasn't been a major concern for TEST since Ev0ke left to find death on the battlefields of Tenal at the hands of Goonswarm, and so installing benign entities which will likely squabble amongst themselves provides TEST with a comfortable southern buffer.

But Red Alliance should beware that Delve has become a terrible resting place for the damned. Since IT Alliance's dead husk finally rotted off of Delve's golden throne, it appears the once proud Sir Molle used his dying breath to cast a terrible curse on the region: That none shall live there and thrive, that he who makes it his home shall also make it his grave, and to frolic in Delve is to frolic in Death's garden, hoping that he is not watching.

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