Sensitive Dependence On Initial Conditions

With IT Alliance spiraling into oblivion, it’s only proper to look back and try to trace our steps to where it all went wrong.

In a sense, IT Alliance was formed with a specific mission in mind: taking back the space that was lost when BoB was disbanded. IT succeeded in that mission because participation was high, leadership was active, there was a clear goal, and we also had some exceptional fortune along the way to aid us in conquest (both in Fountain and Delve).

With our space restored, some time was set aside for empire building, but soon things got dull. Until Max 2.0, IT was asleep. There were not enough ops being run to maintain cohesion and keep up participation. This period wasn’t all bad though, making ISK and building supers helped us stay ahead of the curve when the super-capital buff came along, but many of them became personal toys that didn’t ever see much fighting.

When Max 2.0 happened, we slow-played our invasion, and our own players started to get bored. Instead of going for a blitzkrieg in coordination with our allies, it was a gradual invasion, and we ended up working independently. This allowed the NC to out-blob each enemy fleet as they came.

When we finally made a serious move in H-W, the plan drawn-up by Manny and Perseus was implemented wrong by Molle, who inexplicably started things off at the end of a weekend instead of the beginning. This made a huge difference and favored the home team.  When H-W became a perma-camp with many friendly super capitals trapped in system, relations with -A- and Atlas were strained to say the least.

After Max 2.0, confidence in IT plummeted. Our public stock was trading at an all time low, and internally people had serious problems with the way the campaign was conducted. Many also blamed our allies, some with good reason, but certainly we deserved a large share of the blame.

The NC showed the world that they were a far cry from the days of the original Max campaign, and we were – quite frankly – an underwhelming invader even with the best coalition the South has (and likely will) ever muster due the Southern cultural proclivity against building super-coalitions.

After Max 2.0, the seeds of our downfall had been planted. We had already achieved our mission to retake the homeland, and it was established that we could not wipe out the NC. What purpose remained for us?

IT’s imminent downfall has taught me that even small events can influence players in a way that spreads quickly, gaining force and momentum like a snowball that turns into a violent avalanche. Indeed, a huge part of the problem was that IT’s top-level leadership were too focused on BIG EVENTS to do the small things that make an alliance feel like a fun gaming community worth fighting for.

In the face of ever-growing opposition from the northern collective and their allies, there was an extent to which our troubles were beyond our control long before any corps left IT Alliance. The game has never seen a coalition as vast as the current “Extended NC Family” (old NC + Clusterfuck) and there is no clear sign that they will ever consider a reset or NIP arrangement so long as even one other alliance holds sov somewhere on the map.

And yet, despite the numbers difference, I don’t think there is a single person in IT that feels we fought back to our full potential. After all, paper numbers mean little when there are hostile alliances bringing only 20 people to major ops on average out of their 1000 members. What matters is morale & who wants to win more. That’s the key. A big part of sustaining morale is actually having fun in the process.

Needless to say, people in this alliance DID notice issues along the way. They brought them up, offered solutions, and were often met with silence or a couple empty posts full of posturing.

In the (defensive) Fountain campaign, which is now at an end, there were several FC meetings where profanity flew freely. Both sides of an argument would leave teamspeak channels pissed off and full of nerd-rage. That’s a sign of internal issue that are not being addressed by the high-level leadership.

The question people in IT have been asking recently is simply, “What can we do at this point?”

We can certainly fight and face the coming siege of Delve. I don’t see any reason why a well-motivated IT Alliance + friends (even without X13 and Finfleet) couldn’t make it interesting for several months if we had wanted to. Alternatively, we can just bail and take whatever isn’t tied down with us.

It seems many corps are going to cut out the posturing and leave. At the time of writing this, BNC + DICE + SUITS have publicly announced they will be following Dark + X13 and Finfleet.

This still leaves some of the more determined corps behind, but our fleet strength will be diminished beyond the point where it will be possible to field a large enough BS fleet to challenge hostiles over infrastructure. We will likely be confined to bombers and other gangs suited to hit-and-run tactics.

-MVN- is not among those who have left, and we will not be leaving until the end as long as Avi is calling the shots. However, as is only prudent, our pilots have been mitigating their risk by spreading out assets.

I think it would be fair to say that most IT Alliance assets are in NPC Delve/Fountain or in low-sec currently. When you have to resort to such measures, it’s never a good sign.

A few weeks ago, I could have honestly said that I felt we had a small chance to somehow hold the line. Perhaps at Y-2 or 5-C. Unfortunately, the loss of another wave of corporations puts us well past any measure of reasonable hope of winning.

I do not think there can be any question at this point that the alliance will be handing over sov without  making much of a fuss. A recent Kugu thread suggests one corp even tried to sell their space and others are trying to get in on selling off infrastructure/sov. I have no idea if it’s true, but I don’t see why anyone would pay for what will be free in the near-future.

-MVN- will be there for this last chapter of IT, but I would by lying if I said I’m expecting there to be any effective opposition to the legions that will inevitably descend. Bombers and small gangs, sure, but I wouldn’t expect to see many IT Maelstrom fleets up. Here’s hoping our scorch bombs strike true and hard.

Again the question arises, how did we fall so far that corps aren’t even staying to make a last stand in Delve?

Dissent, division, and a lack of clarity in purpose set forth by the leadership are the opposite of what a successful alliance needs when facing a larger enemy coalition.

I have waited a long time (out of respect to my corp) to write about what was wrong with IT.

Small indignities from arrogant has-been members of “old-BoB” corps that hardly run any ops of their own, baseless pride from untalented nobodies who were put into positions of power, and the pervasive sense of superiority over far more active and vibrant alliances: all of these things have I endured (mostly) silently.

Almost as bad as the culture in IT was the resistance to improving our fleet doctrine, which had changed little since 2007 by the time we were fighting the second Max campaign in 2010. It took many threads and conversations to get this alliance to open up to new ideas after our defeat up North, some of which (like bombers) we never perfected by our FCs, despite their incredible potential to influence large-scale fights.

Our fleet doctrine, for a very long time, was based around using long range “sniper” battleships with “mid-range” battle-cruisers providing anti-support fire against tackle & dictors. Flying anything else  was sacrilege to some, and it took far too long for this to change.

The biggest change came when a Finfleet member was appointed (by what process I have no idea) to revise our fleet doctrine. Gery Zon devised a Shield BS fleet composed principally of Arty Maelstroms, Pulse-Apocs and HML Drakes w/ e-war. The Drakes were later replaced with tracking disruptor scorpions.

We were bringing Maelstroms en-masse well before the enemy because we were constantly going up against drakes. Having superior range and high-alpha to counter logistics was the prefect recipe for dead battle-cruisers. The pulse apocs were initially included as a counter against a-hacs, which were FOTM among NC and PL gangs, and the apocs could also melt any light support that came near us during the fighting. When the BS were in close range, apocs were the top damage dealers, although heavy lag was more favorable to maelstroms.

Drakes were mostly there for e-war support and – honestly – those who couldn’t fly a proper battleship.Time and again, we had far too many drakes, but after weeks of yelling at people the maelstrom numbers rose significantly. Adding a non-T2 gun setup to the reimbursement list was also a big part of that.

The high-alpha was a strong counter to logistics, which were seeing greater use both with A-HAC fleets and drake blobs. Overall, it wasn’t a bad fleet doctrine, though I felt we should have stopped allowing drakes and apocs eventually.

For all its flaws, IT Alliance was not a joke. If you put IT up against an alliance with an equal number of pilots without allowing either to bring help, I think IT would win more often than not. Our problem was more complex than simply being too arrogant or too slow to change tactics.

I think many people would say diplomacy has actually been our weakest point. Bobby Atlas and Manny blamed Molle for failing to orchestrate a successful campaign in the North. Much like an unsuspecting sophomore who agrees to go to prom with the captain of the football team, they said they were rushed and weren’t ready when the big night came along, but that they were forced anyway.

I don’t want to harp on the H-W debacle, which I mentioned above, but this was the move that effectively ended any hope of working with Atlas in particular in future campaigns. I think this might be one of those “tipping points” that could be singled out in the story of our demise.

Others might point to Syndicate, where we retallited against an “enemy of my enemy” over a few moons that we didn’t really need. By driving off Evoke, we cleared the way for Test/GSF to expand into Cloud Ring.

Personally, I think everything was still in salvageable condition until PL attacked AAA. I will admit that I laughed, and made no attempt to help them. Supporting Initiative seemed the best course of action at the time.

In hindsight, we could probably have pressured Initiative to join us in defending AAA, and thereby earned-back a powerful ally. I think Blaster Worm essentially asked Molle to do this and was ignored, but I can’t confirm that. The problem was that AAA seemed worthless back then, and we also held a grudge from their half-hearted participation in Max 2.0.

Later, AAA would be renewed and reborn by this crushing defeat. They rose like a phoenix and assaulted Initiative systems countless times, showing impressive determination. Much like IT Alliance, retaking their space was a clear goal that resonated with the members.

Facing a war on two fronts, the top-level leadership in IT Alliance had to make a choice very early in this war. It was a simple decision, but it set the stage for many of our current problems, both internally and as a result of the impact on our enemies.

In late 2010, Initiative was feeling the blow-back from conquering more space than it ever really wanted. AAA had gone from being a sleeping bear to an active force, and they had significant backup from their oldest allies.

During this time, Fountain was being invaded by the “Western” NC alliances (later identifying as the “Deklein Coalition,” and today as the “Clusterfuck”) while the Eastern NC was occupied with the drone region residents and PL.

After being picked on by elite small-gang PvP groups like GK inc, the Fountain alliances had a weak public image, and internal morale was dampened significantly. Despite this, I have always felt our weaker allies were really no worse than any “guests” in the NC. I’m not saying they were amazing, but it was simply a mis-match for them to face the Goon-lead coalition without IT involved.

All coalitions have their major and minor powers, and the Fountain war was for quite a long time a one-sided fight between GSF/WI/TEST (major NC powers and 3 of the largest alliances in-game) and only minor powers (Blade, Talos, Blast, Hun) from the IT block.

In contrast, Init were in the big boys club by this point, with their own minor powers and indeed even renters within their orbit. Though they may have deserved “major power” status, Init + Initiative Mercenaries and friendly neighbor Sys-K were still not a match for the enemies they faced, and were slowly losing ground.

IT leadership faced two questions: (1) Should we divide forces and fight both fronts? (2) If not, which front do we deal with first?

The conclusion was that we would handle Catch first, with full force, and then regroup in Fountain to repair whatever damage was done. This decision caused major fallout internally, to say the least, and it would ultimately prove impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.

[As a quick note: This following is as accurate a depiction as I can give from my personal knowledge and conversations with people who were present at the time these decisions were made, but I don’t claim to be infallible or omniscient. I welcome any corrections.]

Dark Rising left IT over a combination of the Fountain issue and some long-standing grievances I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about to elaborate upon. Dark was responsible for the part of Fountain that was first to come under assault, and the loss of several key Fountain jump bridges due to improper preparation for their departure was a very real disadvantage. Perhaps even more important was the lack of a presence of “locals” from IT to set timers and generally provide a direct envoy to Fountain alliances with their home-constellation alts while the alliance was fully-deployed to Catch.

With drama brewing at a CEO level, RKK either limited its deployment or flat-out refused to participate in Catch. I believe it was limited to sub-capitals, but it could have been a flat-out refusal later on (I’m happy to see a comment clarifying it from RKK on this issue).

This defiance infuriated our lead FCs in the European timezone (most notably The Supremacy and Nuker Payback from X13). Later on this would lead X13 (a super-capital-heavy corp with strong E.U. timezone leadership) and Finfleet (the corp home to IT fittings/fleet doctrine masterminds Gery Zon and Cflux) to retaliate by limiting and/or flat-out refusing participation in Fountain.

A major undercurrent of discontent among FCs was growing because of boisterous CEOs and many long-since un-subbed veterans talking big and doing nothing in-game worthy of note. Even among FCs, we were not often of a single mind about how things should be done, but there was certainly a greater level of pragmatism among those actually involved in the war than those on the sidelines.

Let’s examine the reasoning behind the decision to go to Catch:

The general feeling was that our space in Fountain, while perhaps guarded by a weaker force in our absence, could be more easily reconquered by a strong counter-offensive. In comparison, the newly-emboldened AAA/Stain coalition were attacking an ally that had only recently started to tighten its grip on a new, vast empire.

With a bad reputation for letting other alliances lose their space while protecting our own, the alliance made a decision that broke with the expected course of action. We would allow the Goons/NC to do their worst in Fountain, perhaps even taking large portions of it, while we went on an official deployment to save our strongest remaining ally at that time.

Some at the top-levels hoped that demoralizing Stain/AAA/Others would be possible. While we were present in Catch, there were some good fights, and it was clear AAA/Stain would not be able to win a war against IT/Init together.

However, there was also no possible way for us to “win” a war against a foe living in NPC space. It was effectively a standoff. Realizing this, we would eventually pull out, but not before the Fountain situation had worsened significantly.

Meanwhile in Fountain, the Clusterfuck Coalition was rolling along. As victories were earned, people x’d up in greater and greater numbers to kill our allies. New corps were attracted to the bandwagon, and various NC alliances saw a good opportunity to win a chunk of space for themselves in the South in exchange for sending as little as 10 or 20 pilots on a daily basis to help Test and Goons.

The first battle after we moved back from Catch was the final timer for PNQY. We had lots of people miss the convoys up from Catch, and there were other mistakes including the choice of ships. When the system fell, people started to realize that Fountain would present a serious challenge, and would not be an easy area to cleanse.

Talos lost a station next, with little resistance from our side. However, the offensive slowed to a crawl at this time.

Our U.S. timezone crew was spamming SBUs everywhere, all day. The enemy had to shoot these, or else we would have opportunities to re-take lost systems. We were also ninja-dropping capitals on any infrastructure we could find to create additional timers for the enemy to worry about.

Things seemed to be improving when U.S. timezone efforts were matched by a strong Aussie prime-time crew, usually lead by Zammas, who was working to continue our daily efforts all the way through downtime before handing off the baton to the Euros.

The problem was, the traditional IT Alliance European prime-time advantage had disappeared. We weren’t capitalizing on opportunities created by the U.S. and Aussie-based players. In the past, this timezone was when we won our major victories, but increasingly our defensive timers were being set for Aussie prime to reduce hostile participation.

Fast-forward to a couple weeks ago. It’s the battle for Z3 (part 2 from my perspective, but there were other fights here as well). We’re going all-in with supers on field for the second time in this system. In the previous fight, we edged-out the enemy and scored a GSF super-carrier kill with no supers lost on our side. This time around, we’re losing, and the non-participation by several corps is no longer funny to anyone. Our resounding defeat influences morale on both sides of the war, and internal tensions rise.

With the disputes at the CEO level not resolved by this time, X13 and Finfleet made their exit.

The enemy had only taken two major systems by that point, but the result of the war was looking rather certain to many.

-MVN- continued stepping up. PK and Cardking ran snipe hac gangs and did what they could to cheer up IT pilots with some minor victories wherever they could be found, but it just wasn’t enough. The alliance was so far gone that morale plummeting.

Molle’s speech had a major impact, but his brief presence was a rare exception to the rule.

Honestly, if you’re getting married and moving to another country in real life, Eve shouldn’t be a priority. I get that, and most people in IT do too, but the truth is that his absence exacerbated other serious problems that might have been resolved if the alliance had his normal level of attention and involvement.

In Molle’s absence, the active FCs were the closest thing people got to alliance leaders that would actually talk to them on a regular basis.

When PK was banned for spamming local and Goons started camping 6VDT, people in IT started pondering the best way to save their assets in Fountain.

The last area where we failed as an alliance was in the area some might call “Soft Power,” which has been described as “the power to attract and persuade others.” I think that some alliances play the mind-game / meta-game / cultural war game far better than others.

Propaganda is a small part of being successful, but most people can smell bullshit. This kind of media is important, but only so far is it can get your own side excited about what they are doing.

Forums are a part of any cultural effort. For some alliances, far more than others. Some forums are also more important that others.

BoB was pretty active on Eve-O in its hey-day, and I seem to remember a pretty dynamic set of personalities that projected an image of strength. The fact that IT leaders felt they could assign a few alts to “handle PR” shows how limited our thinking was on this front.

Finally, a huge part of being successful – and perhaps the most overlooked by IT –  is communicating with your own members and having a “message” that articulates clear goals. We just haven’t had the kind of encouragement and communication that we needed to get maximum participation.

Eve players are not salaried employees, they need to be motivated on a personal level to show up for things, even when those things are in their own self-interest.

I might post again about the importance of alliance cultures, but for now I feel it suffices to say that many problems in IT Alliance stem from apathy in these aforementioned areas.

Other power blocs have embraced these tools and are thriving.

Numbers. Numbers? Numbers!!!

It’s plain to anyone that the North is growing in numbers, accepting into its arms numerous corporations and alliances who were either removed or choose to leave the south. The most notable examples would be Goonswarm (taken in by TCF and later inheriting their region) and the many former providence residents who almost exclusively NC guests.

With improved organization, teamwork, and downright better piloting than they had in MAX 1, the MAX 2 campaign showed everyone that the NC was more than formidable before growing. They’ve now grown to a size far greater than any other sov-holding coalition, without many serious threats left to work again.

However, the real story of this campaign is that of the resurgence of the Goons and the rise of Test Alliance as a major 0.0 player. At the time of writing, both alliances had surpassed IT Alliance in membership. Once they hold several new regions, I can only imagine their ranks will swell even further, as ours did.

*Several Corps Now Leaving Are Still Counted Here as Members

In my opinion, the NC is something like N.A.T.O. in the real world. It is an organization whose original mission has passed it by. BoB is no longer traversing the galaxy crushing empires, in large part because everyone else can fly capitals and T2-fitted ships now too.

PL is perhaps a substitute “boogeyman” for the NC, but the only remaining empire that really threatens them is the drone region coalition, which I do not think would survive a long war with the current NC in its current form.

In contrast, the South has stuck to the traditional Eve Online mindset: cold dark universe, trust as few as possible, revel in dangerous lifestyle of a feudalistic universe in chaos, and so forth.

If IT alliance only had to deal with the Clusterfuck, but not the “old NC” or AAA/Stain, then I think things would never have turned out this way. However, it was a foregone conclusion that the rest of the NC would support them.

That suggests that the most critical factor was our ability to get support from other strong Southern powers like Initiative or AAA. The existence of a 2nd front tied up both of those entities, and eventually drew us away from the bigger threat descending from the North.

We are truly saddened that half the alliance is bailing before a single shot has been fired in Delve. It is starting to feel like this region has some kind of curse for its holders, as many have remarked, but the reasons for our current troubles are not so mysterious.

In conclusion, -MVN- is here for the remainder of this rather bumpy ride in the clown car. I wasn’t always thrilled with our alliance, but there were much worse places we could have been, and staying with Atlas would not have allowed us to grow the way this opportunity did.

IT Alliance was where -MVN- grew from a desirable null-sec corp to an invaluable one. We’ve gained great new members, our FCs are more numerous & active than ever, an incredible number of new supers were built, and we will take with us great set of lessons that we will absolutely refuse to allow anyone to ignore in our future endeavors.

Comments and factual corrections to this post are more than welcome.

61 Responses to “Sensitive Dependence On Initial Conditions”

  1. Just wanted to note that the propaganda posters were made by -MVN- pilots Janos Vaas, Cugel Iocounu and Thaanvanite.

    Many -MVN- posters have made similar propaganda (some of it very NSFW) and it is a pity we will not have a chance to use it.

  2. TBH, I was excited when I found out MVN had joined up with IT and was in gear to fight the goons back; then severely disappointed when goons collapsed without much help from outside. The war to take delve from the goons would have shown everyone the mettle of those who took part; More than many other It corps, I think being robbed of that chance hurt MVN.

    I imagine MVN FC’s would have figured more prominently in alliance level leadership had they gotten the change to be responsible for winning the long drawn out fight.

  3. Good post, dude. Max 2.0 was just weeks before my time in the north, but from what I hear, that’s when IT’s current predicament started. Two fronts, one with AAA and one with NC/CF, really hurt IT’s ability to keep the wolves away. If and AAA could have presented a unified front against the North, or at least not been at each others’ throats, things would not have gone they way they have.

    Nevertheless, it sounds like you’re resigned to the idea that IT will fall, and MVN will part ways when that happens. I’m interested to know where you guys go after that. Keep posting, bro. I’ll see you on the front.

  4. The fact of the matter is that people were impressed by the perceived strength of IT Alliance even though many of the auxiliary alliances resented being treated like dirt.

    What poster mentions is what I have also said in my channels: these people are not paid employees who can be bossed around with an “or else” threat. If they feel it is no longer worth their while to be a part of the effort they will [and they do] subtract themselves from the equation to leave the egos to sort out the rest.

    Some underlying psychology seems to compel people to no longer have to listen to the people they work with when they have an impressive sounding title. They still want to lead, they just can’t be bothered to accept the fact that those who lead serve those who follow.

    Nothing is lost. IT alliance is just one of the many that have come and gone in the greater New Eden experience. May the lesson not be wasted on all.

  5. Jacabon Mere Says:

    Nice post.

  6. Peterson Simpson Says:

    TL : DR

  7. @ Peterson Simpson – Then dont visit a blog site, spastic

  8. Best post on the war.

    Despite the fact that we love trolling PK (he’s such an angry elf*), we love fighting you guys – and Mavs bring it. Please keep up the snipeHAC fleets so we can keep growing TEST from hero rifters into cold blooded killers. We need good opponents to help us up our game.

    * =

  9. Very interesting read, and refreshingly honest.

    I just thought I’d reply with a bit of insight to these events from the other side. I’m a senior member of a junior member of the CFC, so I have been keeping up to date with stuff from our side.

    Firstly, if I’m entirely honest, your structure shooting of us post-PNQY, up to immediately prior to 6VDT wasn’t nearly as annoying or effective as the hot drop gangs you guys ran. It got to the point that we weren’t even bothering shooting the SBUs, or repping the I-HUBs that much. If we repped them to 10-15%, they’d passively regen up above 25% by the time the SCars dropped on them again (you could set your watch by the time you guys deployed).

    I’ll admit that the first few times it did get our attention, but you always failed to follow up on it, and after the fourth set of SBUs in PNQY in two days, we realized we just had better things to do with our time (like conquer fountain 😀 ).

    The hot drops that MVN ran around late US/pre-DT were a lot more effective when it came to limiting our movements, and hindering our progress.

    The Second major thing I think you should be aware of is that the second battle of Z30S wasn’t as haphazard – or dumb luck – from our side as some of IT think. Planning for it actually started after the first battle of Z30S. It was kept hush-hush, with only senior FCs knowing about it more than 24 hours in advance. And the only people to be brought in at that 24 hour mark were the greater NC supers (the CFC capitals didn’t know about it before hand).

    The idea was to put out our SCap fleet again, showing our willingness to lose against superior forces (DT has always been a weakness for CFC). Enough so that the IT AU/Early EU cap fleet would commit to the field, with the greater NC’s super cap fleet one jump away, in range, but out of sight. To work, the second super fleet had to stay hidden until the very last moment – which was actually easier than we thought it would be. They cyno’d into R3W-XU about five minutes before the CFC cap fleet jumped into Z30S. For those of you not familiar with it, R3W is a side system off of PNQY-Y.

    The one thing I regret about Z30S was how shit we were at bubbling. We definitely could’ve gotten a good chunk more of you guys if we had been a little more emphatic with getting dictors into fleet. Oh well, live and learn.

    But yeah, my main point, about Z30S – it was designed from the beginning as a morale breaker. It was a major strategic point that we demonstrate the ability to win in our weakest timezone – specifically targeting the pilots who had been the greatest threat to us, prior to that battle. In the end, the relatively low casualty rate of the battle was irrelevant, because of the morale hit it delivered, and the doubt it sowed among the general IT membership.

    The last major thing I wanted to comment about was Mitten’s speech. Putting aside Mitten’s skill as an orator – the planning and prep for that speech, and the strategic thinking that went in to it is quite possibly the most impressive thing about CFC’s campaign.

    The initial plan of attack, immediately prior to Z30S, was to continue our campaign against the pets and sov-holders in Fountain, slowly strangling them each in turn, before turning to IT space, once it was sufficiently isolated. However, with Z30S, and the intel coming out abotu Finfleet/X13’s imminent departure, it was decided to go for a killing blow instead.

    6VDT was the obvious target, being the staging system of basically all of IT’s combat fleets in Fountain. Sys-K actually moved into it a couple of days after the hellcamp was decided upon, which was just gravy.

    Again, like Z30S, the value of the operation from a strictly military perspective was not insignificant, but there were plenty of other options which would’ve hurt just as much. The operation was decided upon because of the morale hit, which would be directly related to the amount of assets locked into that station.

    So, back to my original point – Mitten’s speech. At the beginning of it, there was a lot of cerfuffle about the server, and swapping channels, and getting things ready. Now, some of this was real (1000+ listening isn’t what the server was inteded for), but the reality is that this was fixed fairly quickly. A lot of it was delaying tactics. IT’s fleet was returning home from doing something in 9R4 (I honestly forget what), and Mittens was waiting until they were safely in 6VDT before announcing the hellcamp, to maximise the numbers of ships in system.

    It’s that sort of strategic thinking that I think is the real reason the internal struggles of IT have been exploited so effectively. It’s something I’ve had to say to my pilots a bit, when we moved over to join the CFC – Never confuse the public persona of the average Goon with the intelligence in Goon Leadership. Mittens is an incredibly intelligent man, and Rydis is quite possibly the greatest campaign organiser in Eve.

    I think my alliance leader said it best, ‘It’s like the collected hordes of Ghengis Khan, if they were commanded by Stephen Fry.’

    Anyhoo, I’ve just realized how long this response is. Hope you appreciate the perspective from the other side.

    • It was a huge blog entry, so a long reply is fine.

      I do appreciate your perspective from the other side. Frankly though, you don’t need to tell me how smart Goons are. I am not one of the people in IT that believes they are 13 year olds with learning disabilities just because some old-BoB vet from 2005 said so once at a BBQ.

      I know that goons have some of the most hardcore MMO-playing gamers around. Wasn’t Eitist Jerks was started by Goons?

      Most of the Goons who started this game more than a year ago take things incredibly seriously now, just like IT pilots, but the difference is they also have a sense of humor.

      The Goon culture is contagious. Most of the NC today act… like Goons. The “omnipotence itself” / taking yourself seriously act is seen as uncool these days and hardly anyone does it. Ultimately, it’s a cultural victory for Goons.

      As for Mittani, he’s clearly experienced enough with failure cascades to know when to apply pressure. I think it’s evidence of his ability to do what I mentioned toward the end of my post: working on a psychological, cultural or social level to not only make more friends but weaken the resolve of enemies.

      As for Z3, I never said that shit was luck. It was clear to everyone that the surprise participation of supercaps from non-Clusterfuck NC alliances won the day. In fact, pretty much Morsus Mihi alone tipped the battle in Clusterfuck’s favor over IT.

      IT cannot fight old NC + Clusterfuck with only Fountain-residents for backup. We would need AAA or Init (probably both if NC moved down for a real campaign) and that was impossible once they started killing each other.

      It isn’t hard to look like the best strategist of all time when your enemy has put itself in a regional war with neighbors and has far less potential pilots to bring to bear in a serious engagement. Plus, honestly, Molle has been too busy to care about this game for a while now. Your ship’s captain is working over time while ours was on shore-leave.

      • Yeah, one might say that
        Llondon Hilton was the best secret weapon our opponents could hope for 😉

        What is interesting now from the “astropolitical” point of view,
        Is the new Roman Empire era that is approaching.

        The only entity that had the resources to stand up to NC fallen,
        Now the small isolated barbaric tribes will be destroyed.

        After the whole 0.0 turns into NC dominion (directly theirs or through their blues) I am hoping to see the next generation of EVE 0.0 – internal fight for power, regional governors (alliances) fighting each other (be it secretly, via mercenaries, on the alliance command level board meetings etc).

        I just hope 0.0 won’t turn into carebear land, everyone blue to each other and NC acting like a ruling body / policeman.

      • Didn’t mean to imply you thought any of that. In fact, I quite respect your intelligence. You’re one of the most reasonable and well-thought out eve bloggers I’ve seen.

        I was more expressing my opinions on some of the opinions I’ve seen expressed by IT and pets.

      • I appreciate the compliment, thank you.

        I hope you found my reply relevant to the rest of your post. I didn’t mean to harp on the first part (about Goons in general).

        I think Mittani made the right choices in this war, but I also feel that the conditions for his success were created in large part by the Southern in-fighting and the reliable support from (the rest of?) the NC.

        Additionally, I have given him credit repeatedly for being a “modern” alliance leader and seeing that wars are not only won with good invasion plans. In the current state of the game an alliance MUST think carefully about diplomacy, “soft-power” cultural efforts, and keeping their own troops continually motivated.

        IT needed a stronger bloc to hold the Southwest together, and we needed to communicate better within our own alliance if we were going to fend off Clusterfuck + NC when they cooperated.

      • I am not a TEST diplo, but I can pretty much guarantee that if all of 0.0 became blue we would likely get out the monkeywrenches and DHD to stir up some chaos!

      • As another NC pilot (in this case Morsus), it is interesting to see you comment comparing the Greater NC with NATO.

        I don’t think this goes far enough, I would say it is more NATO combined with OPEC (given the Tech moon situation).

        While within it’s like an endless reruns of the Benny Hill/Jackass/Monty Python/etc show….

  10. Sylvia Frost Says:

    SirMolle must have some really tasty balls, even after he ran your alliance into the ground

    • Be honest, did you even read this post?

      I will grant you that many people in IT still believe he is 50% Moses and 50% King Leonidas, but I’m hardly a sycophantic fan-boy if you hadn’t noticed.

      • Tez Saurus Says:

        I read it. 4000 words full of excuses and you were still afraid to call Molle out on being an absolutely awful leader and quick to forgive even the smallest criticism you dared bring against him.

      • Actually, Easley is spot on.

        As much as you goons have personal fixation with Molle,
        It’s his RL wedding and not having time for the game that killed this alliance, and not you.

        Which means, he’s a great leader, it’s the lack of him that made IT explode from within.

      • Tez Saurus Says:

        I’m not a Goon. However, even before I started playing Eve I knew of the Goons and their foreverwar with Molle and kept up with Eve events because the universe was fascinating to me. My fixation is not Molle himself but rather the attitudes surrounding him. On one side you have “goons” who point out the various ways Molle has failed, and on the other you have people vehemently defending Molle making excuses while deflecting the failings if not outright ignoring them.

        Anyway, we can argue until the cows come home bringing up different points in time where Molle has proven himself to be an inept strategist or when he has orchestrated the crushing defeat of a foe and how many of these events outweigh each other. That doesn’t really interest me, though, because my point is simply enough.

        A good leader puts competent people in charge if he gets overwhelmed with RL issues, or simply loses interest in the game. A good leader knows when he is not the best man for hte job anymore and passes the torch. A egomaniac holds firm to the end that he’s in control of everything even when he doesn’t really want to be or have the time to be. Molle went on insisting he’s the boss even when he was not around to be the boss, leading to infighting, things not being done to keep the playerbase interested and motivated, and when he finally came on to tell everyone over and over again that everything is fine and make a strategic call to pile into 6VDT, it backfired as it did the other times in the past he has given this call and he conveniently was unavailable during the fallout; how does this behavior coupled with repeated bad calls make him a great leader?

      • Excuses? I spent a long time explaining our mistakes and what we could have done better.

        There were lots of events along the way that contributed to the current situation, some that were within our control and some that were not.

        Sometimes minor errors can snowball into huge issues (that’s the theme of the post) and so I didn’t pick just ONE explanation for what happened.

        If you want to read a blog that just rage-posts non-stop about how useless and stupid everyone in IT was you won’t find that here. The potential to be very dangerous was there all along.

        It regards to Molle, his presence leads to higher participation and he had the power to deal with some of our issues.

        That doesn’t mean I think he is the ideal leader for an Eve alliance in 2011. Molle is old-school, he doesn’t do many of the things that leaders like Mittani excel at.

        Anyway, thanks for checking out the blog and sorry you found it to be a rubbish posting.

      • Thercon Jair Says:


        That too. But the main thing for which he was important is to step up and quell the fighting children. If two same-level people are fighting, who is going to resolve the fight? The big guy above. And he wasn’t really there. Plus, some/many corp leaders are rather charismatic personalities, able to gather people around them. Put many of them in a pen, and you have the troubles. 😉

        @Easley: I got to talk with GeryZon quite a bit (good guy) after I noticed the new IT Scimitar fitting with 2 LSEs and critizised it. Which led to the development of the new one with med extender and 4 reps, which wasn’t completely supported by some people who thought more HP > 4 reps, smaller sig and better resists, and thus we maybe only ever fielded half the scimitar fleet with the “proper” alliance fitting. With 33% less rep power on each 3 rep scimitar against a 4 rep scimitar, it would have meant a nice increase in repping power.

        Anyways, working on it with Gery was rather enjoyable as it consisted of a constructive back and forth until said fitting was born. And he did tell me about the struggle with the supporters of the old sniper doctrine and how frustrating the whole process was.

        On another note, just like MVN, NEXE is probably another IT corp that comes out of this whole process much better off than before. Just as a bit of history: NEXE was formed from the active core of 3 Skunk Works corporations during Delve II, and has since continued to grow quite a bit (about 100 to 300). You don’t hear much talk about our CEO Selest though (with the exception of that youtube clip :p ), but some people outside IT seem to like to picture him as molle’s “asslicker”. I just think he’s merely more diplomatic and wasn’t part of the shouting crowd that wanted to stick to old paradigms and couldn’t see past their own pride.

        That said, thats my perception, I haven’t seen any more of the CEO threads than the rest of eve have witnessed through leaked threads.

  11. Perhaps IT pilots should spend more time fighting for their space than writing blogs about their alliance not fighting? Just a thought.

    • I blog when I can’t be online. This post includes elements of smaller entries I never published along the way while shit was going downhill.

      • I don’t think you even needed to respond to that.

        No person can be on 23.5/7, and I know when I was blogging it was usually when I was on my lunch break at work.

  12. Arggram Soothslayer Says:

    Thanks for that huge post! It’s nice to know what is occurring on the other side of the fence.

    So where do you see MVN in 3 months? Where do you want to go personally?

  13. Lallante from RKK here. This is 95% accurate and a great summary of what happened. One minor correction, and an important addendum.

    1) Addendum: One of the main reasons DARK originally left, and something you skirt around without naming names, is cflux’ attempts to overthrow corp leadership in DARK and RKK. Cflux is a Finfleet director and FC, and along with Gery was one of the main proponents of the new fleet doctrine. He is very good at theorycrafting, but also an extremely abrasive person who will, if you disagree with him, call you every name under the sun in block capitals. It was not uncommon for him to call someone suggesting a variation to the fleet doctrine (for example, TD Scorps) a stupid fucking cunt, and then 2 weeks later to reverse his position and endorse the changes without comment.

    During the planning phase of the catch campaign (around the crunch decision point – catch or fountain) he started talking to senior members of RKK and DARK after concerns were raised about letting Fountain burn while fighting in Catch by their respective leaderships. The gist of the conversations is available in the leadership forum leak, but essentially it was “overthrow your current CEO and support my plans”.

    When this was made public, Molle and many other CEOs basically went “meh”, while DARK went “well fuck this then”. This was the point that RKK decided not to commit supercaps to Catch.

    2) This leads me nicely onto the correction: RKK never stopped participating in Catch fleets. Pick any fleet fight with more than 150 on our side and you’ll see 15 – 30, or 10 – 20%, of the IT pilots are RKK. We also FCd a sizable chunk (lets say about 1/5 – 1/4) of the fleet ops in Catch. Our non-participation was strictly limited to supercaps, which we kept in Delve. When AAA reinforced the DICE CSAA (containing supposedly Lady Scarlett’s titan, or Llondon’s titan, but in fact an Aeon (I think) for someone else less notable), RKK turned up to the defence Op with a huge Supercap fleet, either the largest there or the second largest after DICE (I forget).

    • Thanks for clarifying. I specifically included that note hoping someone would.

    • Rover Vitesse Says:

      Rover Vitesse from FINFL here.

      Lallante, DARK left because they didn’t like being told what to do by anybody, nothing to do with cflux. Mitch and his directors resolutely refused to get their members to fly ships required and adhere to doctrines. When called out on this by multiple people – not just FINFL – Mitch cried and took his ball home.

      Your own CEO, Argentina, took the temporary absence of Molle to go for a power grab, by neutering the FCs and making every single decision in the alliance get rubber stamped three times by him before anything could be done. He went into complete sperg-rage if he was unable to be on a TS chat, then chewed other corps directors for not “taking notes” when his own directors were actually on the meeting.

      I find it laughable that you say RKK never stopped participating in Catch fleets. The whole problem was a lack of Supercapitals, which you were well aware of. The Catch campaign could have been finished in weeks few if we had the right type and amount of ships turning up. Sending a few guys along in salvage-dictors doesn’t quite cut it. Mentioning that your corp was the “heroes” who saved the DICE POS – as if that was a reason for never deploying anywhere outside Delve is disingenuous. The rest of the alliance shifted back a large number of Supers from Catch for that very op.

      And finally – while I am on a rant – your CEO keeps an IRCbot in a number of other Corps IRC channels, and uses this information he harvests for his own ends, yet he is too busy to read backlogs on the IRC channels and FC meetings he should be worried about.

      You can try and damage control as much as you like, but I will not stand idly by while you throw accusations about FINFL leadership, whilst your own CEO was trying to manipulate an entire alliance to satisfy his ego.

      • Rover I’ve never had a problem with you, but anyone who has read the leadership forum leak (on foreplay) can see that what you are saying is untrue.

        As for your claims re: catch – We deployed to catch on 3 December. Goons broke the first jumpbridge system in Fountain on 8 decemember, having first reinforced it on 5 december. Perhaps you believe that somehow having 10% more supercaps in catch would have meant we could have taken it all by then (how exactly?), but the facts just dont support you.

        I was FCing ops in Catch, were you? Was cflux? Jumping on Channel Command 3/4 of the way into a fight and shouting over people doesnt count. Please show me a single op or fight which would have gone differently with +10% supercaps. Its a bullshit smokescreen and always has been. This has always been about personalities, nothing less, nothing more.

        As for IRC bots – the RKKbot was used by pretty much every grunt in the alliance, not to mention every FC, as a method of distrubuting and receiving orders and managing reinforcement timers. Its not in any channels that it wasn’t requested in. Please feel free to provide evidence to back up your conspiricy theories.

        You want to know the definition of damage control? Klezz’ ultimatum post. It wasnt an attempt to fix anything, it was throwing toys ex-pram and flailing wildly in an attempt to cast the blame elsewhere. Argentina is a level-headed, calm and reasonable guy. Are those adjectives that could fairly be applied to his detractors?

  14. Just a few words why SUITS is leaving now as well,.
    When you look in the KB you will see that we were fighting always and everywhere up to the last fleets, which you cant say of any other Corps which left.

    From the beginning we had big concerns that there were no Leadership structures installed, for such a Big Alliance, all attempts over a year were turned down by the “we know everything better then you “insert random flame” Faction in the leadership.

    On last IT Meeting, even after most of the “emo Faction” left with their Corps, it came clear to us that IT will not change its horrid Leadership structure, so we saw no Future in this project anymore.

    What was holding this Alliance together was actually the Members, which rely tried to do everything to keeps the Alliance running.

    Many ppl say about IT Members having no common culture is wrong, we had one, it was plan simple:
    We always fight together, never stop, until all our ISK is gone and further.

    When Finfleet and X13 broke this common sense, instead they started farming more Supers on the back of the rest of the Alliance, most of us were shocked, and started realize that IT is going to break.

    • Rover Vitesse Says:


      You might want to point that “farming supers on the back of the Alliance” somewhere else mate.

      Go find out which Corps were building Titans and motherships and selling them to our enemies.

      All FINFL built Titans and Moms were kept within the Corp to be used on Alliance operations (apart from one asshole who got his, jumped it to lowsec and never logged in again…?)

      • By not being on the Front-line and fighting, that is what i was writing about.

      • Rover Vitesse Says:


        I can’t reply to your post below in order, but you really need to go and look at the campaign stats before posting your opinions.

        The numbers do not support your claim at all.

  15. Rover Vitesse Says:

    We’ll agree to differ on the likely outcome of Catch/Fountain, who was right, who was wrong. I believe that the Fountain campaign of theirs main objective was initially to relieve pressure in Catch by forcing us to fight on two fronts. We could have done one or the other – but not both. It matters little on which would have been the right choice, but the malaise at leader level by people expecting to have meeting after meeting before finally deciding on what Region to fully deploy for was the killer, and ultimately divisive.

    I will not lay the blame at any one CEOs door. Firstly I don’t speak for any of them, though it was apparent that their inability to make a command decision was hampered by certain individuals who expected to give their stamp of approval at every stage in the planning and execution. This was of course exacerbated by the absence of Molle; the one person in the Alliance leadership who could possibly have ended the bullshit to-and-fro blame game that was happening.

    Your poke at me not FCing is a bit weak mate, I expected better. I don’t think I have FC’d anything since C-J6MT in the days of LV, and look how badly that went. Cflux has been enjoying a resurgence of FCing recently – including Catch and Fountain, but regardless, it’s another moot point. I don’t particularly think any Corp provided a lot of Alliance level FCs recently. Your mate Mitch from DARK said that “FCs are easy to produce.” Utter bollocks.

    Regarding the 10% of Caps making the difference or not. It’s the commitment shown by the Leaders of Corps that make their guys turn up, and log in. When your CEO is saying “Balls, we’re not going to deploy Supers to Catch”, it sends a clear signal to your line pilots that Catch isn’t important. So why the hell should they stop ratting in Delve and X up in Catch. Like I said though, this isn’t just directed at RKK, there were plenty of other corps with terrible turnouts – both for Catch and Fountain – because there was not clear direction at an Alliance level about what was important and what was “just another pewpew deployment.”

    I don’t wish to labour on the RKKBot point, but I find it horrifying that some other corps within IT would effectively allow another Corps CEO to place a bot in their Directors channels – regardless of the “good intentions”. It does not take the brains of an Amarrian Archbishop to understand the leverage someone would have with the insider knowledge of what other Corps’ directorates were discussing. I suppose it is easy to see why there were leaks from the CEO forum when some corps care so little about their internal security.

    Think what you like about the final post from Klezz; the language is strong because he had been resolutely ignored previously. FINFLEET have always been committed 100% to any venture they have entered. When the wheels started to come off in IT, Klezz tried to put them right. For whatever reason, people weren’t listening or didn’t want to listen. Conjecture about whether we were ready to bail before the post; well, lets just say we would be a pretty shitty Corp directorate and a shitty CEO if we hadn’t ran some contingency plans. Like all the other IT Corps, including yours.

    I am a detractor of Argentina, I don’t like the way his autoresponse to anything involving his Corp or it’s members is to stick his fingers in his ears and shout “blah blah blah”. I don’t like the way he harvested information from the RKKbot and refused to share the information with other Corps. I don’t like the way he chose the moment Molle was moving before making his powerplay. I don’t like the way one of your (RKKs) Alliance level FCs was buying Maelstroms from Alliance Contracts that DICE had hauled out to Fountain then re-contracted them with 25m added onto the price to gouge a little bit of isk from his alliance mates. Molle had to step in on that one, because your CEO and Directors didn’t have the bollocks to tell your guy he was morally bankrupt.

    I consider myself level-headed, calm and reasonable.

    I have more stuff about the issues of IT, the issues of various corps including yours. Classic examples of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. So keep on posting your “News-as-sponsored-by-RKK”, and I’ll throw it back at you with more.

    Trust me on this, let it go.

  16. Holy shit that is one big, bad and so LV style kind of shitpoast. Good job on that on, no go and reform Shinra, will you?

  17. Issabella Says:

    I agree with your assessment on many points, Easley.

    I just wanted to clarify that some might read your post as if SUITS is going with FinFleet and X13 to Detorid. That is not the case. We are taking a much-needed break for a few weeks to evaluate our options and have some corp-building R&R. We did not have a pre-setup plan on where to go and what to do. Our exit was not contrived nor conveniently timed to make sure we milked every single last super/titan out of our space we possibly could. Because our home was in Fountain, we had evacuated our assets before the Catch campaign. So isk-making/cap-building were at a standstill for SUITS for months.

    [SUITS] finally reached a crossroads where everyone was miserable and not logging on and something had to give.

    I do want to say that I have nothing but mad respect for MVN. You guys made the last 2 months on US TZ the most fun I have ever had playing Eve. How we can lose our home and still have a freaking blast is pretty amazing. I hope we can own the pwn again soon and often.

    To all the other corps still fighting the good fight in IT, you have my respect and good wishes. You guys have always been the heart and soul of IT.

    • Issabella Says:

      Please also allow me to add that I have serious respect for our allies. Sys-K, BLAST, BLADE, HUN, Talos, and anyone I may have forgotten. Having been a member of a few alliances that were allies with the big bloc alliances (AAA, BoB, IT), I know that you guys often get all of the criticism and none of the credit. You stood strong, hard, and fast in the face of overwhelming opposition. When we went to Catch, you guys didn’t roll up and go elsewhere. You stuck in there and fought. You guys did the best you could. You also were the majority of every US TZ fleet the past month.

      So to all you guys as well as BPINC, thank you. Your sacrifice and dedication did not go unnoticed.

  18. Heres my personal pow from DICE perspective.

    You made p good overview Easley on why IT failed.

    Ill add few things to it.

    IT failed when it was formed. Once BOB god disbanded corps should have gone different ways. Instead you got half alliance being old BOB, arrogant fags who hated new corps just as much as “enemies” and that trucked along only because we made some wins vs Goons and PL.

    On Fountain defense in last 3-4 weeks topic.

    On FC and leadership meeting that was about weather we can fight 2 fronts or focus on one (Init or Fountain) i clearly said and was supported by most ppl on that channel this:

    We are not capable to fight 2 front war in any way shape or form. We can either go defend INIT or Fountain. It was agreed on that meeting that we should defend our own stuff first.

    2 days later i don’t know why decision is made to deploy to catch and that was main reason why alliance ultimately died.

    Second reason was ironically Zammas and one very silly mistake by Hawk Firebird. Z3O ihub second timer. Goons dropped supercap fleet on it. We had twice supers, twice normal fleets and fuckload of dictors. I posted that op and i FCed it when Zammas went in and took over. He failed to open cyno properly on their sieged Dreads and SCs and 4 Titans, but even that wouldn’t fuck it as much as Hawks jumping instead of bridging all our dictors and conventional fleet did. I could understand it before patch that moved those buttons miles apart. I just couldn’t understand it now especially after i told him on channel command 3 times hes doing bridge and staying in 6VDT for reinforcements. Ofc Fail cyno died to fast, only our caps jumped and we ended with 3-4 carrier kills instead of nabbing 10 supercaps and effectively crushing Goons campaign.

    After that debacle i logged off and effectively stopped caring what happens with IT.

    I will add this…

    DICE decision to leave was made months ago. Was made after BOB got disbanded. I dunno why the fuck we waited so long. Was long overdue.

    IT was never something i personally cared about the way i did about BOB. Was failed creation with lack of organization, diplomacy and competent leadership to do anything but die in fire as eventually did.

    Just wanna give some credit to some ppl as well. Nuker, Supremacy, Cflux and Gary Zon are 4 guys that together with King made any success alliance ever did possible. Or that’s rather unfair to say as there’s few others who helped as well but to rephrase it they did most of good.

  19. Viandamor red Says:

    Great post was good reading. I just wanted to add that i don’t think but a few said “GF” to all on both sides. Hope we can do it again.

    The drunken bomber

  20. some NC member Says:

    Nice write up. But really, most of your analysis are wrong.

    First off you didn’t fight your ways back into Delve. Goons welped big time and folded due to it. Besides you nobody gave a fucking shit about that region. So your first “goal” wasn’t achieved by excellence. It was achieved by walking into an empty region.

    Then you tried your invasion of the north. You called it Max 2.0 and it was even more retarded than the original Max. You had blue’d alliances from Fountain to Omist or something. You brought everyone you considered to be able to do some lifting. But nobody lifted.

    You didn’t welp H-W because it started at the end of the weekend instead of the beginning of it. You welped H-W because your commitment was pathetic. You got in there with your huge blob and held the system for as long as your people stayed active. Unfortunately for you that didn’t last longer than a few hours. When we managed to gain control you did nothing at all. No break outs were tried. You just stayed in your POSes and watched us rapecage you.

    I know you now run the propaganda line of your allies doing some hinterland operations to interrupt our logistics while you sat it out in H-W. But that was nothing more than a nuisance.

    As for you cascading I apathetically admit we had nothing to do with it. You would have folded to a shitty alliance like Atlas given your attitude. But one got to see, that your bulk of carebears would have held on longer if Goons hadn’t lol-deployed into Fountain. So basically the conclusion of you folding to a fake invasion is pretty much true.

    TL/DR: IT was fail from the get go and only ever increased their level of fail.

    • 1) IT’s initial goal/mission was to take all of BoB’s pre-Hargothing space back, and that is what happened. The fighting happened in Fountain, and over low-sec high end moons (primarily in Aridia).

      The whole reason I brought it up was that it is a good benchmark for participation when we have good morale and a clear goal, not to chest beat over Goons not defending Delve (just like us right now).

      For what it’s worth, the average IT pilot was very upset when a looming Delve campaign was suddenly not necessary. After taking Fountain and being handed the rest of our space without a fight, IT had no direction until Max 2.

      2) No one is disputing that Max 2 was bad, that was sort of my point. It’s one of those points you can say was the “tipping point.” I wrote a few paragraphs about the problems cooperating, the diplomatic fall-out and the damage to IT’s reputation.

      3) I stand by my analysis of H-W. The whole reason numbers couldn’t be maintained beyond the first day (where we had supremacy until rather late in U.S. prime actually due to NC’s initial shock) was that we started on a goddam Sunday. People can’t alarm clock on week days like they can on the weekend.

      If you don’t believe me on this, take a straw poll of senior fcs in your coalition and see if they agree.

      4) About “propaganda,” you should know a large portion of the alliance was pretty mad about my last two entries. If we weren’t in a failure cascade I would never be able to post this freely without my corp being seriously threatened by the alliance.

      I guess you just can’t accept that not everyone in IT is toeing the party line.

      5) Losing to Atlas. Maybe if they had NC super-caps on stand-by and a far more energetic group of alliances with the ambition to take space (like Clusterfuck).

      Finally, in general —

      I just have to say that I usually welcome posters from alliances we’ve fought or are actively fighting. This place isn’t about spin, and you don’t need to come here and go into “attack mode” trying to characterize things a certain way.

      If you were trying to be objective, I hope you will take my points and reply, but my first impression is that you prefer to punch at straw men.

      My analysis was extremely critical of IT, at almost every step of our history. In my conclusion, I do state that there are much worse places we in -MVN- could have spent our time, but it doesn’t mean things couldn’t have been handled differently.

      IT had the potential to be dangerous, both in Max 2 and in defending Fountain. This post is about why we were not, more than anything else.

      Whenever you resort to posting “fail” more than once in the same sentence you end up falling off the precipice of thoughtful discussion and land right under the troll’s bridge.

  21. Rover what it comes down to for us is this. It was decided by some of the FCs and CEOs that we would defend Fountain not catch. They were then overridden 2 days later by others. This led to goons and test getting a foothold in fountain we simply couldnt (due to timezones) hope to retake. Game set match.

    You can say that people tried to paralyse the FCs with reporting / rubberstamping requirements, but when you say FCs here you mean the faction of FCs to which your corp belongs. The others decided to defend Fountain, which, in hindsight, was clearly the correct decision.

    If you cant see why argentina would be concerned that an alliance level decision of that importance was overturned by a group of 4 or 5 people during a timezone half the corps did not have an FC presence in to contribute to the decision making, then fair enough. But to me asking for more transparancy and input in that scenario is not only reasonable, its essential. The end result of not defending Fountain from the start is that we failed in catch and we failed in Fountain. CEO input on a decision that cost us 2 wars and endless infrastructure is pretty reasonable imo.

    Your right, to an extent, that once corps start doing their own thing the writing is on the wall, but I would back up from this and note that once one corp is allowed to attempt to overthrow the leadership of another corp, without any form of alliance-level consequences, the alliance is pretty much fucked anyway.

    • Rover Vitesse Says:

      Fountain was never “clearly” the correct decision, it was an option. Making out that Argentina and RKK made the “right” decision is smoke and bullshit as well. You neither deployed to Catch nor Fountain. You simply sat in Delve, as you have admitted here already. Don’t try and write the history to make your CEO appear as if he were right, when the truth is that he was an obstacle to the exact thing the alliance needed – a clear and firm decision. There were people willing to make the call, either way, ready to throw their money on one of the two horses, and I can respect that, for good or for bad. Argentina just sat there blocking any decision, throwing a little hissy fit whenever he felt he wasn’t in the loop. The fact that he couldn’t make a choice was neither here nor there, it was merely point scoring by this stage and Argentina wanted to be sure as hell he looked like the biggest fish in the pond, the guy who had to give his seal of approval before anything could be done.

      You weren’t in Secure, so I can understand why you see things from the perspective of your CEO, after all, all you have is the leaked (and edited before posting) logs, and the word of your CEO.

      Your CEO who told a director of another Corp to “Fuck off and mind his own business” when it was pointed out to him that an RKK Member was flying in Goon gangs shooting neutrals.

      Your CEO who allowed one of his own FCs to screw over a DICE Director who had been providing logistics to Fountain – whilst at the same time trying to perpetuate the myth that RKK were the “logistical backbone” of IT.

      Your CEO who considered it fine business practice to continually overcharge alliance “friends” for modules and equipment, and got legitimate discussion – and indeed alternative suppliers – muscled out of RKKs “business concerns” by having the threads locked and deleted.

      You really should leave it, before I ask you how many Supercaps RKK built and sold to our enemies whilst sat in Delve, sitting around not deploying to Catch nor Fountain.

      • I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that you believe all that.

      • The discussion between you and Lallante is showing that the lack of clear leadership struktures makes every alliance imploding.
        No one is interested any longer who decided to go to catch and not to fountain. The dishes are broken. I have the suspicion that Molle made a very big offer to all corps in the foundation phase of IT and he assumed leadership will be easy as it was before. So it wasn’t and this is the end.

        As a grunt I could only see an alliance that broke appart because of the big heads in the top. IMHO IT was a great idea, not really ready builded but great. Maybe we are getting a new chance later. I’m wishing all of you a better future.

      • Rover Vitesse Says:

        Lallante, I speak from the position of being in the channels. You have the second hand information which you have been fed by your CEO.

        So laugh or cry, doesn’t bother me, I can understand though if you’re feeling a bit punch-drunk. You’re lucky cflux hasn’t been in here yet, he is a fuckload more shit than me, but that’s because of his OCD regarding internet spaceship politics.

    • Mike Olor Says:

      You’re trying to make Argentina and his decisions look right, but while it might stand on paper, I DOES NOT FCKING STAND IN REALITY.

      Here is the reality newsflash for you – FNFL left the goddamn alliance and in last two weeks Argentina and RKK were the only ones with the power left, absolutely unopposed.

      Since then, we haven’t got single op posted and only FC activity of your beloved ceo was fucking morale post in Operation’s forum (which, for the record, is pretty much only morale-only topic that was posted to that forum for the whole time IT existed). His entire leadership activity was getting new sigs. Oh, and showing on SOTG address. Seriously, Mittani could make a credible claim for Argentina being his personal mole.

  22. Erm remember there is a real world with Real problems out there .

    • Drama is what makes 0.0 empires worth maintaining. The entire “forever war” is pretty much fueled by unreasonable amounts of internet spaceship nerd anger.

      I find it interesting to see corps from different sides of the major CEO drama explain their reasoning ex post facto when they can be far more honest.

      At some point, it can go too far and I assume both posters have pretty much said their peace at this stage.

    • The problems are the same as in the real world. You have a bunch of poeple with different interests, so they want different things. They have something in common but not all. And when people are from different cultures, you have a real problem. Some cultures are familar to flat and lightweight leaderstructures, while others are famliar to a strong hierarchical structure. So if you want to lead an american and a norwegian, you to act totally different. If you not aware of such a challenge you running into a trap.

  23. In any case, and debates about what is now history aside, I very much enjoyed flying (and for) with the players and FCs in Finfleet and X13 and will miss PvPing with them, even if the political side of things ended badly.

    • Members working good together and having fun, while their Leaders screwed it up, i think this defines how IT was.

  24. The reasons why IT failed have been enumerated quite clearly by Easley’s post.

    Regardless of all the blame-game going on I just want to say 1 thing.

    In the last 15-16 months that I’ve been with IT have been some of the most fun and rewarding times I’ve had in EVE.

    The people that made up IT from all the corps are strong characters, with sometimes opposing positions on things, but they all have a great understanding and love of playing EVE.

    The Politics and Meta-game of EVE is what makes it more than just a game. An era is ending, a chapter is closed, but the there will be new chapters to be written for ALL the IT corps. IT may go quietly into the night, but us, the guys & girls that fly under it’s banner will still be here, playing EVE.

    And Killing goons 🙂

    cya in space

  25. Teckos Pech Says:

    It seems many corps are going to cut out the posturing and leave. At the time of writing this, BNC + DICE + SUITS have publicly announced they will be following Dark + X13 and Finfleet.

    We are NOT following DICE, Finfleet, and x13. We are following Dark Rising as they saw the writing on the wall long before anyone else. Near the end there we were pretty damned miserable with how things were going. With 6VDT being camped and before that the crap Finfleet and x13 were pulling. Once that happened it was pretty much no fun…and this is supposed to be fun. So that is where were are going, to have fun again.

    I hope it might include MVN as you guys have fought along side us and the fleets with PK and hom3gr0wn were lots of fun.

    And I agree with Issabella regarding our allies, BLAST, Talos, Blade, HUN, and BPINC and the rest thanks for all your help and sticking it out as long as you did.

  26. I’m bored, let’s go blow something up.

  27. Another NC member Says:

    Hi Easley,

    nice post. I like your attempt to stay emotionally neutral.
    I liked fighting you (SC) guys in MAX2. We, the Eastern NC, fought mostly against Atlas, which was really nice.

    I am looking forward meeting you in space (and maybe kill your ship 😉 )

  28. I’m not in IT, I was in SYS-K and LR. I say was because well… that scene from Starship Troopers with the ships burning on the station? That’s us.

    We ran to help INIT and DT, by the time we’d finished deploying (which takes a few days to move carriers, convoys and such) DT were failcascading in to low sec. We take reasonably heavy sub-cap losses.

    Then we have Coven, ROL and pets appearing in large numbers but nobody is SBUing anyone else. We poke at ROL’s R64’s for giggles, they poke at our JB network. Our losses continue but we are starting to pull ahead, thanks to our indie core.

    Then we get dragged to help IT, deploy to 6VDT and kiss all of our combat assets goodbye. We quickly move to “Fountain core” and start trying to rebuild. Period Basis is already empty, SBU’s at the conq station system and we keep pushing in Fountain.

    Then for no apparent reason we swap our focus back to Period Basis and fallback to defend our home. Pilots are death cloning back to near empty hangers, misfit ships and whatever they have in their hangers as we’re cut off from the majority of our trade hubs.

    We go to save TPAR on its final timer and… Coven, ROL, RL, AAA and god knows who else appears in a combined force. BS’s are being insta alpha’d in to oblivion and we can’t get enough fire power down to deal with them and break logistics. It’s it noted that Gal Syndicate is fielding more ships than SYS-K; there is a good reason for this.

    What little we had left goes up in pretty explosions. TPAR, G-Q & Z-M fall in quick succession with little opposition being offered, the rest are being dealt with. Corps start leaving the alliance and we run for the hills as quite frankly there is nothing we can do.

    As a boots on ground grunt I’ve learned a lot, not all of it important in the grand scheme but fundamental things like: When half of your pilots are saying “I’m broke and can’t afford this” they might actually be broke. Especially after 3 months of solid fighting all over the area.

    • I think it was clear to everyone that, if IT couldn’t beat the Cluterfuck/NC, then it wouldn’t be long before you guys were evicted too. Better to lose all but 1 region the reclaim the rest (that was the logic).

      I am not saying I agreed with their decision, but the reason they wanted everyone to abandon their space and come fight in a single region was because we were desperate to get more numbers.

      If all the IT corps had stayed and were motivated I think adding Initiative + SysK + everyone else blue to us might have been sufficient to match the hostile numbers in Fountain.

      Pulling you guys up was just a desperate, last gambit and too little too late. It couldn’t change the underlying problems with IT.

  29. Teckos Pech Says:

    An interesting note several months after the events here….

    After leaving IT and doing stuff with Dark and some other guys we knew prior to our IT days we looked into joining the CFC. We talked to a guy who was in SUITS but elected to stay in Fountain, he is more of a care bear who lives in 0.0 and where we were going just wouldn’t be for him…

    He pointed out that as crap as our efforts in Fountain were, and they were pretty crap since only a fraction of the alliance was there,* TEST and others were rather hard pressed isk wise and even morale. If the 6VDT camp had failed the invasion likely would have failed. The SOG got them fired up for 6VDT and they initiated their tried and true tactic of a perma-camp. And it worked…it worked mainly because IT was for all intents and purposes dead.

    And to the commenter who noted Lallante, Rover, and Hey You and their bickering here highlights a failure in regards to have a command structure…spot on. You can see the Nerd Egos for yourselves. Those who complained about that and its deleterious effects on the alliance….they were right. And just be glad Lady Scarlet doesn’t post here….

    *Not insulting MVN or others who fought…those who did show up put in an excellent effort…our effort was crap because a big part of the alliance did not show up. Finfleet and X-13 in particular spent their time amassing supers and Titans (and don’t believe the lies to the contrary, Cflux’s ultimatum basically admits it…that the Finfleet and X-13 Super Cap fleet was a gun pointed at the “frontal lobe of the rest of the alliance”–yes that is an actual quote…Cflux was threatening the rest of us).

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