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Winter Has Come

EVE Online Columns - By Ross McDermott on December 27, 2011

Winter Has Come

It wasn't an idle threat. It wasn't a meme that Clusterf*ck Coalition had been regurgitating endlessly for their own amusement. It was a statement of factual accuracy, backed up by an entire power bloc in EVE Online. The statement was clear: Winter is Coming – and wrapped within it was the promise that, once CCP had dismantled the Supercapital hull and made it far less powerful than it already was – the Clusterf*ck intended to take back what was taken so many months ago.

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Earlier in the year I, and many other news media outlets reported that the former Northern Coalition, mainstay power-bloc in EVE Online had collapsed outright under the immense pressure of the powerful Alliances known as WhiteNoise, NorthernCoalitionDOT and RaidenDOT. These 3 entities backed with the seemingly endless ISK of the Drone Russian Federation and helped by the formidable itinerant entity known as Pandemic Legion had successfully vanquished the now dead Northern Coalition and happily took their prize: The vast technetium wealth of the North.

Towards the end of their campaign in the North, they decided that their good luck would hold out – and they made a daring gamble for the far-Western region known as Deklein, the seat of power for Goonswarm Federation, the beating heart of the Clusterf*ck Coalition, the most youthful and virile wing of the old Northern Coalition. Sufficed to say their gamble did not pay off, and the Clusterf*ck was stirred into action, and, like a hornets nest that had been violently poked – responded by mobilizing an entire coalition to defend one system: VFK.

But that all seems so long ago and the Clusterf*ck's thirst for vengeance must now be sated. Early in the week, Goonswarm Federation CEO The Mittani called for a State of the Goonion, typically these are done when a large scale calling to arms is called to order, and this would be no different than those that had come before. “Now is the time to strike!” It would be said, although in more words than this. Much of the internal philosophy of WhiteNoise, former staple member of the Russian community revolves around the idea that the oligarchy controls the wealth of the Alliance, and the humble serf laps at the foot of the rulers.

To this end, WhiteNoise had decided to bolster their rather thin ranks with member-corps primarily made up of US and EU TZ players, with many Russians seemingly unwilling to leave the cradle of deep Russian space, WhiteNoise would need to make up a new heart, a multicultural centre – in doing so they could, theoretically make their Alliance stronger. With greater time zone coverage comes greater defensive capability, and with greater defensive capability the means to hold onto their precious technetium wealth. However, Western TZ players have the most horrible of habits, namely the desire to be fairly represented by their leaders and to be treated with some small degree of social respect. The Western denizens of WhiteNoise received neither their Russian overlords.

Enter: Black Noise. With growing social unrest in WhiteNoise since their successful takeover of Branch, the Alliance was preparing to split into two entitles. WhiteNoise making up the core of the Russian players of the Alliance, and BlackNoise said to make up the Western TZ players. All would be well, and social problems would be a thing of the past and these two Alliances would happily co-exist alongside one another, each independent yet unmistakably entwined. This would have gone swimmingly had the Clusterf*ck not taken the opportunity, the brief moment of weakness to invade.

Upon hearing the news of WhiteNoise' inherent flaws, the thousands of eager pilots from the Clusterf*ck that had piled into Goonswarm Federation mumble to hear their respective leaders prepare themselves and their Alliances for war, they were reminded about their debt of blood to WhiteNoise and RaidenDOT. About how their brash actions and egotistical boasting had brought them to the doorsteps of Deklein, and how their confidence, their internal conflicts, and desire to use their wall of Supercapital hulls would be their undoing.

The preparation of the troops would last only a handful of minutes. With pilots ready and eager for action, The Clusterf*ck's leadership made a singular resounding statement: Winter has come, to War. – And with that, from the bowels of VFK there did sound a most terrifying howl. The star-burning roar of over a thousand Maelstrom engines set the undock port glowing red with the heat of their thrusters and within the hour they were roaming through the neighbouring region of Branch like an unleashed pack of hellhounds, the Alphafleet rode again.

There are endless potential variables one needs to consider when it comes to an invasion of this scale. Pandemic Legion, the ever-shifting entity, could become involved in this war – and in doing so could tip the scales in favour of one side or the other. But with a quiet agreement between the Clusterf*ck and Pandemic Legion rumoured to have taken place, and with Pandemic Legion neither willing to accept contracts, not particularly hurting for ISK, having fun roaming in the south and their new-found friendship with TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE helping to heal old wounds between them and Goonswarm Federation – the hope remains that they may not become involved in the conflict.

As of writing this, WhiteNoise's response has been tepid at best. With the bulk of their primary military deployment being based in the South, and internal conflicts and pressures on their leadership mounting – They've had to call in support from their allies RaidenDOT, and far-flung associates Intrepid Crossing, both of whom have offered little more than token support. It is expected that at some point, a line will be drawn in the sand and the Northern Russian Coalition will make a valiant effort to defend their home – But for now the Clusterf*ck Coalition plays all of the cards, holds all of the chips and rides high on the morale of crushing victories. WhiteNoise and their associates by extension need to act now, or risk losing the North that they fought so hard to claim.