11 May 2015


One of the things I like most about EVE is the potential to inadvertantly kick the hornets nest. In a game of connections, relationships and conflict it should be impossible to play in a way which impacts the game meaningfully yet doesn't stir up some trouble now and again. Usually I only get to hear of such drama through reading the metagame; TMC, EN24 and various blogs have all the good stories of alliance 'x' upsetting coallition 'y' and getting stomped all over. Living in wormholes, as I do, the likelyhood of getting involved in such quarrels is greatly reduced and other than the odd corp theft or alliance purge I'd never been a true actor in one of these tales. Until now, that is.

The story begins a month ago. We were having one of our regular fleet nights where people pre-warn loved ones and get online relatively early. Any regular reader of my blog will know we are not a large corp so such nights generally result in eight to ten people logged in. Our standard routine is to scan our constellation, see if there is anyone to shoot, if not then we run our sites. We are usually too lazy to roll our statics to find PvP. This fleet night was no different and we had just gotten to the stage where we were going to run sites when a scout noticed people in our C3 static logging on. This pulled us back into PvP mode so we swapped to cloaky ships to see what trouble could be found. Unfortunately and despite our best efforts a good fight eluded us, however we were entertained to a continuous display of the ships our neighbours had as they jumped from one to another to yet another. As a last attempt to get a fight we had a lone Gnosis shoot the planet two customs office. Even this wasn't enough to have them raise a fleet. It was around then we decided to take things personally. After all, the corp who were too risk adverse to face us despite having a wide variety of ships and enough pilots were also masquerading on my alliance name. We were facing the corp Illusion of Solitude. (note the trailing dot).

After sending their customs office into its reinforcement timer several of us logged off in the hole. The hope was they would bring a fight to save the POCO. Based on the number of their pilots we thought any fight they brought would be fairly evenly matched. Our scouts kept watch the following day and our target's alliance flew in a number of reinforcements meaning we were now definitely outnumbered. This gave me two choices: leave or call some of my own friends. I chose the latter and asked my good friend Nashh Kadavr for some help. He obliged with enough pilots to double our number and the game was on. Sadly it was a short game as the locals clearly understood how to best use their local pulsar effects to their advantage. Our three Scimitars couldn't hold reps on anything and were themselves melted rather rapidly. The fight was a wash (and the battle report a mess). We withdrew from the hole and left scouts because we wanted a rematch. With such an overwhelming defeat a counter needed to be worked on.

During the course of the week some of my guys kept making ourselves known. This resulted in me getting a pissy email from the alliance leader of Praetorian Directorate, Sengier. In it he announced grandly that he had "decided ... to take no further measures" and warning that "We do outsource our boring PvP matters". Dafuq? Why live in wormholes if you don't want to ever fight? Anyway I replied politely pointing out the rudeness of a corp hijacking the name my alliance had been using for over two and a half years and I left it at that. By the following weekend a suitable counter fleet had been theorised, procured and distributed by the ever resourceful Nashh. On the Thursday night we flew in a tower to provide safe haven for us and went to sleep. Cue shitstorm.

I awoke the following day to a mail from one of my directors. In it he included a conversation with Troyd, the leader of Repercussus, a fully paid up member of Goonswarm Federation. To say reaching these heady heights of nullsec affiliations was unexpected is to understate it somewhat. Troyd made it clear he was looking for a peaceful way out of this situation without having to shoot at a tower. Who can blame him, that's a pretty dull way to spend your weekend. This view was restated when myself and Nashh got to speak to another character, Thedaius, later that evening. During that chat we explained that we were only here for content and to encourage the fake Illusion of Solitude. corp to change their name. This left us with the most wonderful quote of the whole weekend:

Thedaius > I've been doing this (negotiations and diplomacy) for a long time and this is the most bizarre request I've ever dealt with.

If us wormholers are anything it's bizarre and crazy. Unfortunately he also gave us the bombshell that we had picked a fight with a goon industrial corp. Fuck!

Thedaius > Ok well my corp has a stake in this wormhole; so you are essentially messing with my industrial wing

We stood the fleet down for the night waiting to hear the outcome of our request. The answer came at 03:23 when my C2 CEO, John Younts, sent me a mail saying "Fuck it there are 80-90 ships attacking the pos". In and of itself this wasn't a problem. The POS was disposable anyway. It was never meant as more than brief safe haven while we harassed the locals. The sheer number of ships shooting the POS was the shock factor. This started as a small gang thing and escalated beyond anything I could have imagined. Not only were there members of Goonswarm shooting at the tower we had also attracted Sleeper Social Club. Double Fuck!

The following day we assessed the situation. POS reinforced; massively outnumbered; potential reinforcements available but only if we could get hole control (unlikely). We decided to take the sensible route and slink out the hole and back to where we'd come from. There was no good fight to be had here. There were only wormhole farmers who paid external forces for home defence. Renters by any other name. That night our tower died and the reinforcements parachuted in by the locals left.

And so began our guerilla war. A small number of people declined to leave. Over the past two weeks they did what they could to mess with the locals' ability to do anything useful. I took an alternative route. On the advice of the alliance leader of the Illusion of Solitude. corp, the aforementioned Sengier, I raised a petition to have the (dot) corp name changed. They made it clear in local chat and in the subsequent issuing of medals to themselves that they were intentionally squatting on the name. This is against the EULA of EVE Online. It took a full two weeks for CCP to handle the petition due to other, more important problems. Yesterday I got the good news that the petition was successful (CCP don't tell you, you just see the new corp name). And with that this saga draws to a dull and boring close. I announced a full withdrawal of all combat ships from J160739 as soon as the wardecs they hired against us are dropped. We have no problem with the newly renamed 'EVE Corporation 98379988'.

I hated to get the 'legal team' in. It would have been much more satisfying to force a resolution to this in-game. But when the people you square up against are willing to throw ISK at hiring all comers (and who also happen to be Goon affiliated) there isn't a whole lot you can do.


  1. More than anything else in the game... this has been my overriding fear. Fuk up nullsuc enough, and Goons gonna look elsewhere. And the kinda ISK you can make in holes makes them elsewhere #1.

    This I am NOT looking forward to at all...

  2. I don't think Goons invading w-space should be an overriding fear. There are plenty of increasingly large entities in w-space who are there not just because of the ISK but because of the involved playstyle w-space requires. Having to discover and learn your new map everyday isn't for everyone. A lot of people want and/or need the ability to instant-on and start shooting which w-space just doesn't support.

    Should the worst happen and nullsec entities decide to come to wormholes then suddenly us wormholers have an interesting choice. We can try and resist or we can play the numbers game and form k-space alliances. This would draw w-space into the main narrative of EVE which may not be a terrible thing after all.

    (or maybe the whole of w-space would band together and resist? That would be a fun thing to be part of too.)

  3. Goons and other nullsec guys always had farming holes, as long as I can remember. Mostly they are C5 though. They are staffed by teams of alts so that they ISK making activities are not taxed or show up as "carebear" activity on the oh-so-elite PvP groups. But while I have seen many NS-associated holes, this one is the first one where the association wasn't as obvious and we really poked the hornet's nest.