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EVE Online Column: The Silver Lining

By Ross McDermott on May 01, 2012

Neighbors: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Well, sometimes you can live without 'em, but more often than not in EVE Online, you're going to have to put up with somebody next door banging about at all hours of the night. I'd imagine it was through some sort of consistent irritation at the hands of another Alliance Leader inside of the Clusterf*ck Coalition that lead TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE CEO Montolio to throw his arms into the air in frustration and issue a series of resets throughout the Bloc.

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I've talked before about the cultural bonds that hold the CFC in place, having once been an Alliance CEO inside of the CFC myself, I witnessed the internal machinations of the power bloc first hand. For the most part, the bigger, badder, and meaner the Alliance that exists inside of the entity, the more sway they have. In reality, the CFC can be split in two: The Northern CFC, whose primary anchor is Goonswarm, and The Southern CFC, whose primary anchor is TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE. Both 'core' Alliances have smaller Alliances which gravitate around them, though the political operation of the CFC does not necessarily mean that "Small = Insignificant".

But for all this lovin' and smoochin' that goes on in public, any house has its arguments, and no one seems to start more arguments, or at least be involved in more arguments than Fatal Ascension. 'FA' is a stable core member of the Clusterf*ck, but their sometimes abrasive and dismissive method of dealing with internal drama, or drama between FA and other CFC Alliances can be goofy or outright problematic. And while I have no assurance that Fatal Ascension is at the heart of Montolio's current headaches -- It does appear that Fatal Ascension were the first to in fact be reset.

That being said, for the most part I suspect that this is hot air being blown around a room of already flustered bodies. During my short, hilarious stay as CEO of Elite Space Guild - I witnessed TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE and Fatal Ascension reset one another over similar, smaller grievances. With this in mind, many members of the CFC leadership agreed that occasional internal resets within the bloc were not only inevitable -- But actually to potentially be encouraged in order to allow respective pilots to indulge their frustrations and hatreds with one another. Effectively it seems to make more sense to allow the Hens to battle in the field rather than be constantly stuck staring across the coup at one another.

And while I maintain that this reset is likely temporary, one can't help but wonder about the possibilities. An angry, and possibly simply 'for show' internal reset allows TEST to focus on quietly consorting with their second girlfriend, after Goonswarm. Pandemic Legion is to TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE, as a mistress is to a wealthy gentleman. Whilst Goonswarm and Pandemic Legion might not see eye-to-eye, diplomacy done through long nights of playing Battlefield 3 together have resulted in a strong bond of friendship between TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE and Pandemic Legion's leadership. Late last year, Pandemic Legion, TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE, Executive Outcomes, and Elite Space Guild formed a small fun-time powerbloc affectionately referred to as 'The Honeybadger Coalition'.

These sorts of power groupings are rare and odd in EVE Online. After all it was just a few months prior that Pandemic Legion had attempted the now famous 'Headshot for VFK' in which almost out of nowhere and like a lightning strike, Pandemic Legion attempted to pile into VFK -- the Home system of Goonswarm in Deklein -- And, effectively 'Headshot' it. The goal being to wage a quick 'Shock and Awe' strike against Goonswarm, starting and ending a War in the space of a day, or at least the space of a few reinforcement timers. What resulted was an embarrassing blunder of monstrous proportions for Pandemic Legion, with many higher-ups in The Legion actively distancing themselves from the headshots mastermind: BMerc.

And so with this event still fresh in the minds of The Clusterf*ck -- the idea that not long after an attempt to 'conquer' Deklein, several members of the CFC would begin actively fleeting with Pandemic Legion would seem like a puzzle to people on the outside looking in. But for all of Goonswarm's flaws, and it has them, they're at least pragmatic and don't judge an action by it's immediately inflammatory nature. Had Goonswarm lost their minds at the thought of Pandemic Legion fleeting with TEST, it may have spelled the end for the CFC, at least in its current form. But by tolerating TEST's 'wondrous interest' it allowed them the chance to fly under different FCs and experience different content in faraway lands. Ultimately, by allowing TEST this hall-pass, Goonswarm likely felt that TEST would come to know where its bread was truly buttered, and thus possibly create a stronger relationship in the end.

And while some might argue as to whether or not that actually worked, throwing a 'hissy fit' and stamping out of the ward room gives TEST room to once again do as it pleases. With the 'Punishment' of Intrepid Crossing and Northern CoalitionDOT in the north having turned from 'We're going to burn all of IRC's CSAA'S to the ground' to: 'We'll take a few tech moons, and that'll show 'em.' TEST seemed to bow out of engagements, reportedly refusing to field Caps or invest heavily in the campaign, creating the window for TESTs angry strop, and thus the series of resets.

With this in mind, TEST can now happily return to the arms of their aforementioned mistress - The Legion. One would do well to bear in mind that anything with any sort of substance or structure rising from Delve does not bode well for TEST. With RED ALLIANCE's expulsion from the drone regions, they set about conquering Delve and Querious all for themselves, and -- to quote Scooby Doo -- 'They would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids!'

Once RED ALLIANCE had set their eyes on Delve, Nulli Secunda and other Delve residents didn't take too kindly to them barging their way into what appeared to be a very civil Tea Party that had been going on for months. This 'Tea Party' bore no true ill will or threat to TEST, but with the arrival of RED ALLIANCE on the scene, for TEST to ignore this omen would likely have been an error. With boiling red clouds on the horizon, TESTs silver lining likely arrived with the news that Pandemic Legion would be deploying to Delve to get involved in the action, and so they have.

Not long had The Legion landed on the southern shores when they set about descending from the rafters on NULLI and RA fleets alike. PL have given literally no quarter and have taken no side in the wrestling match between Nulli Secunda and RED ALLIANCE for dominance over Delve, and to TEST the arrival of the Pandemic Legion killing machine is a chance to hit several birds with one stone.

And so while TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE taking its ball and leaving, then getting a booty call from Pandemic Legion to address potential threats rising on the home front is likely a series of interesting coincidences - It tickles my fancy to dawn a tinfoil hat and happily flirt with the idea of a manufactured scenario to act as an enabler in the ever-churning political metal-game that is EVE Online.

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