Oh no. Not Sion again?
Yep, he’s back. And so is Seraph, of course. And frankly I’ve been singularly uninterested in CCP’s latest offering of Sarpati related content (PvE is dull as hell in this version of the system, at least for me – I enjoyed the competitive nature of previous events, even it was occasionally aggravating).
Plus Seraph finally finished his version of the CO2 backstab story, so there’s that to analyse. Let’s get started.
Sion writes a thing
First we’ll cover the final part of the CO2 saga, as written by Seraph.
It starts out pretty well written and balanced – and besides it’s entirely from within his (and his allies) viewpoints, so the first two paragraphs are nicely non-problematic. Unless someone comes forward with an alternative version of events, with logs, but let’s assume he’s telling the truth for now, eh?
The “chat logs” that follow are also reasonably unobjectionable – although the jab at Mittens’ paranoia is a little unwarranted, but that’s par for the course in a Seraph article.
But let’s go over those bullet points:
“1. Co2 was holding the front in Lonetrek as well as defending coalition assets in Venal despite receiving little assistance from the entities that benefited mostly from their efforts.”
Batreps would tend to disagree on this, but it’s safe to suggest the issues plaguing GSF as a whole led to them sending less support than they historically have for allies in trouble. But “little assistance” is a little off the mark.
“2. Co2 did not make any agreement to harm any CFC entity. They simply acquired the security of their own assets because of point 1.”
Looking at available chat logs and the results of CO2 decisions will debunk this – if they didn’t want to harm any CFC entity, they would have waited to make this agreement until a more acceptable cut-off point. That they did not only highlights the ‘quality’ of their reputation – and I say this as an ex-CO2 member. And this is one of the reasons why I’m an ex-CO2 member (the other being that I was too busy at university trying to get a good degree to burn time in EVE – and if you think EVE is more important than qualifications and education, then you need to go cash a reality check).
“3. Da Winci saw that the CFC would naturally deteriorate and even stated he was in no hurry to force this natural progression but simply opening up lines of communication when such reality would come about.”
Not so much of a problem here – many alliances/corps will do this when fleeing a sinking ship. Of course many will also wait until a suitable jumping off point to minimise the damage, if they can.
“4. The terms were actually agreed upon officially *get this* in local during a skirmish between OOS/OSS and Co2 by GigX. It wasn’t even hidden in anyway. Literally anyone there knew about it. How this escaped the famed Goon Intelligence Services is beyond me.”
Without actual local chatlogs, this would be hard for anyone to verify – couldn’t he have at least posted the logs on reddit for all to see? No? Still, I guess this means that either a) the GIA is seriously screwed up (not wrong, by the looks of it – although part of the effectiveness was the fear they levaraged. I guess that fear of the GIA isn’t as much of a thing anymore) and/or b) they didn’t have any spies with them in fleet (depends how big the fleets were, but it’s always possible).
Sticking with points 3 and 4 would have been enough. Seraph really needs to learn subtlety in his writing.
The next “chat log” is interesting enough to see an alternative perspective. That said it’s mostly just used to bolster Seraph’s point re: how things happened, and how involved he was.
It’s interesting to note that CO2 wasn’t dumb enough to feed hostile groups the means to kick their butts. I guess they learned something from the fall of the old NC – don’t sell powerful assets to probable enemies.
The commentary from Boson Dubstep is an interesting look at internal MBC attitudes, but again we’re seeing a version of the truth that supports the importance of Seraph’s actions in all of this – given that others of his alliance and temporary coalition said things that were a little different to this, I’m somewhat inclined to bring a pinch of salt. Especially given Boson’s labelling of CO2 as honourable, given what they had chosen to do.
That aside, the rest of the next few bits are largely unobjectionable, given that it consists of internal discussions from the MBC side, and basic statement of fact regarding LAWN and Bastion’s evacuation of Vale.
Next up a wall of text from SUAS – someone I’ve usually got a decent amount of time for. In this case, while I can accept this perspective, the fact is he forgets that it is CO2’s internal pride that made them the black sheep of the CFC friendship circle. The same pride that made them consider that they were the most important and/or strongest group in the CFC and decide they deserved the entirety of Trib, regardless of the relative scale and/or quality of their efforts on behalf of CFC and regardless of the needs of TNT or other alliances in the coalition.The comment about Mittens apparently “bribing” LAWN/Bastion is especially weird (and a little bit of a spin). The jabs at TMC are also a bit shitty – it’s on par with Sion’s jabs at reddit, and especially poor coming from a usually cool guy like SUAS. I tend to expect better from him, and I’m disappointed that he feels the need to pass such comments. Perhaps it’s some sort of credit to Seraph trying to maintain journalistic integrity that the comment wasn’t edited to make SUAS look better? Or perhaps it’s just part of the spin. Or perhaps SUAS is bitter at Mittens/Sion (justifiable – I think Sion is the albatross around the neck of Mittens and GSF as a whole (because Sion has basically killed any credibility that GSF or TMC still had)) and this is him lashing out as part of that. I’m hoping it’s just this last bit, as it’s the most palatable of the options available to justify the comments I noted.
At least Seraph ends his article reasonably well. It’s definitely one of his better pieces, although the third part of this series was his best writing in the set of articles given. When he’s not trying to make snide comments, or acting like an asshat in the comments section, he managed to become quite a capable writer. Just the facts, please. Leave the shitty op-ed bits to guys like me.
Next up is Sion’s latest Whine-piece. That should tell you just how impressed I am. Seraphs analysis of this bit is one that I both agree and disagree with, but we’ll get to that shortly. Let’s do my own rip apart of Sion’s work first.
Sion starts out by lambasting CCP’s history of trying to diversify their product portfolio. He’s not wrong – World of Darkness, DUST514, both bad product moves on the part of CCP. Or maybe it’s bad middle management. On the other hand he also includes Valkyrie (a widely regarded bit of Good Gaming, including by Mittens and other TMC writers, so I’m not sure where Sion gets off including that in the list) and Gunjack (which we’ve not seen enough of yet for any decent opinion of it to really come to the fore, other than it’s as pretty as anything else CCP makes). He also discusses the relative solvency of CCP, without providing any hard facts, or financial stats for us to peruse. So it’s just hearsay then?
He then proceeds to take quotes out of context (being technically correct in his use of them, but not contextually correct, which in an article like this is kind of important). Following this he comments on expansions and the fact that the next expansion hasn’t been named yet, even though we’ve got a good 5-7 months until CCP probably releases something (or needs to given that we’ve heard rumblings that their expansion path will be every 12 months, rather than every 6, for the big named ones – while the little ones continue as normal). Way to miss the point, Sion. He then finishes the first section of this catastrophe by pointing out the obvious (EVE is currently CCP’s primary income source) and suggesting that getting in on the VR race is crass and/or bad – given the positive TMC reception of Valkyrie, this seems hypocritical at best.
In the next part of the article, we start by taking an interview focussed entirely around VR and Valkyrie as writ that EVE Online ( a separate game in the same universe/IP) is being ignored. So, tell me again why an article around Valkyrie focusses almost entirely on Valkyrie :allears: .
His comment about CCP’s company page putting VR front and centre isn’t wrong, but given that CCP will be looking to make as big a splash as possible with VR, it seems obvious to do something like this. They’ll already see EVE as successful enough to support other business decisions, or else they wouldn’t even be bothering with VR (not to mention that having only a single profit stream is a dumb business decision at the best of times, given that the entertainment industry isn’t exactly the most risk free of places to operate).
He’s not wrong about CCP’s historical decisions (An FPS on the PS3?? A WoD MMO that you keep re-engineering? wtf?) but by the same token, the relative success of Valkyrie speaks to an experience that they may be able to monetise to further support their EVE universe business focus. I mean, if you have a product that accidentally is seen as being awesome by your own fans, not to mention the wider public bods and press guys, wouldn’t you try to turn it into an actual income stream? Not Sion apparently. Interesting business sense.
Given that he also links a financial fluff piece as being raw fact that investors are taking over control and owning shares in CCP and in the same paragraph points to previous firing of c-level management during 2013 (which the article itself mentions), I have to wonder if he’s just fear mongering, as while the $30million investment may be fact, it doesn’t follow that it has bought out a controlling interest, especially if CCP has created enough additional shares to offset the control percentage. In fact the question of controlling percentages, shares, and ownership is never even brought up in the article he links. Way to extrapolate from limited data! And he links nothing regarding comments of “industry insiders”. Care to reference and provide bibliography? No? Helpful!
Then we start on the next section RE: jesus features, but start out with continuing to suggest that CCP as a business (and investors in particular) is focussed on money. No! You don’t say?
Next up is a section of internal hearsay regarding his discussion on the relevant successes of Phoebe and Fozziesov. We have no way to confirm or deny if any of this took place, other than Sion’s word that it happened. Maybe it’s true, or maybe it’s just “my uncle at Nintendo” true. If it is true, it’s a pretty telling view of the internal attitude within CCP. But with no real way to confirm it (unless other CSM members come forth to confirm it) it’s a bit speculative at best on anyone’s part.
The next paragraph focuses on other factors in sub-decline (some of which are pertinent and documented, even by Mittens, as having an effect on the game). But apparently these are excuses for why we should now focus on VR. These issues existed long before VR, so why it is suddenly specifically about VR I’m sure I’ll never understand.
We continue by lambasting CCP’s business sense (generally a low bar at the best of times, but in this case a bit odd given the previous point of Valkyrie appearing to be well received so far). Certainly EVE needs more polish, especially in the newbie experience area to encourage player retention, but this is an old issue that hasn’t magically changed now that VR is a thing – not to mention that CCP is continuing to try to edit and learn from it to improve the starter experience. Indeed, CCP actuall has an active dev team documented as looking into it right now. How this gets translated into CCP ignoring the issue, I really don’t understand :wtc: .
Next we step into actual numbers (the documented drop in PCU for the past three years, for example) and stumble into correlating this with numbers of hits on the news sites (how he got the numbers for competing sites of EN24 and CZ I’m curious to find out, as just linking alexa (a random product) doesn’t actually explain his methodology, database querying methods, data sorting methods, etc etc, yes I work with databases, so yes I’m sceptical and want to see what this guy tried to do with the work – did he just throw some random info into some tables and ask some questions? If so “imprecise” is an understatement!). We’re also ignoring relative quality, quantity, and publishing speed of the various sites/articles in question here, apparently. Seraph comments on the relative use of reddit here. But we’ll get to Seraph’s look at this article in a bit. We’re nearly done with Sion’s horrific wall of text (please, lurk more Sion, and stop badposting). Twitch streaming stats are also mentioned, but given that we compare EVE: a niche game, with LoL, the big mac of F2P Moba games in terms of twitch stats, I think that we are perhaps stretching the truth a little. Mark Twain is quite relevant here. At least his comments RE: in-game events and the correlation with PCU are on target. The PCU we have now being the same as the PCU in ’06 is not necessarily a good sign, regardless of the removal of bots, multiboxing, 3rd party software, and gold sellers. The lack of discussion about sub numbers from CCP is also concerning.
Perhaps if the community was more well known among with world’s media for being awesome, rather than for being space bastards, and had an interface that didn’t make windows 8 look good (yes I went there), we might retain more players. However, Goons are public bad guys (recent press and chat logs do Goons no favours ~bend the knee~ ~twist the knife~ ~take a drink you drones~) and our interface and NPE need a supremely massive overhaul. As does our ability to get newbies involved in the community.
But that’s a continuing discussion within the community, and we can cover that elsewhere.
At least he references actual verifiable server data, and CCP Ghost’s Fanfest presentation. He wilfully ignores the fact that EVE is known for having a learning cliff that knocks out about 50% of new players on average when he interprets that data though. Or perhaps he’s just restating the obvious. The way he writes, it could be both or neither. Whether the number of lost players includes actual current paying customers is his own inference, and not something we can readily verify ourselves without getting data from CCP. On the other hand, as he mentions (and as others mention also) we regaularly see a PCU drop after a big war as people peace out, tantrum out, or ragequit because they were on the losing side, or because they were on the winning side and are now out of content in the short term. But again, without hard numbers from CCP other than the PCU, it’s a little hard to be reasonably sure. I’m sure internal number crunchers at CCP would be able to tell us more.
Sion’s last section focuses around microtransactions, and the ex-EA hires. I’m not sanguine about EA business practices at CCP, or at the “micro” transactions that have come about. On the other hand, extra revenue streams that keep EVE alive are a good thing, and anyone who doesn’t approve generally tends to be a (rational?) adult legally empowered to make their own wallet decisions. Which includes not paying for skins or outfits. Not a difficult concept, but one Sion forgets. Apparently everyone is “2dumb2live” an incapable of controlling their wallet-warrior attitudes, even in relation to purely aesthetic crap. It doesn’t help that the Skin bug proved CCP trying to make fixed skins was a dumb idea on their part (or was a money grabbing idea – but again, business, money, yes?).
Personally I’m not wild about microtransactions. Or EVE’s “micro” transactions, for that matter. But if it remains purely aesthetic crap that I can take or leave? Then yeah, fuck it, let people play space barbie if they want to or they see something pretty. But the moment we see game-changing stuff in the store (in terms of ships/equipment) then we can start leaving. Do I consider skill injectors game changing? Well, Sion’s comment about gambling kingpins agrees with my own attitudes in that perhaps this should have been better thought out. So yeah, if that offends you, then feel free to walk. It doesn’t quite bother me enough. Yet. But it is toeing that line. But then, I’m one of those people who think that pure SP alone isn’t enough to make a player great – see: idiots who have bought high SP characters, with capital ships, and then done dumb shit like losing dreadnoughts to lowsec gatecamps as a point of pride. This shit is well documented by the community, because we ( as a community in general) seem to enjoy watching stupidity and misery crash and burn.
However, trying to tie this in to VR being a bad idea for CCP is a bit odd. Especially given that Valkyrie will follow a classical F2P model, rather than EVE’s subscription model. Again, given the relative success of Valkyrie so far as a separate product, this is a problem why? But we’re going to have to wait about 6 months after the proper release of Valkyrie before we can begin to pass judgement. Assuming CCP actually releases financial statements.
He goes back to attacking the current financial standing and subscriber count of EVE at this point (although ” real money investment in EVE itself has tapered off” is an odd comment, given that he earlier discussed the $30mill investment). We continue with discussing the Tranquility Tech 3 blog (and apparent skimping on the tech hardware?), and discussions on the cost cutting of closing offices, firing mid-level management, and other issues that CCP has dealt with since the relative flops of WoD and Dust. Have we considered that in a recession, with less money, and a poorer income stream, that cost-cutting methods might be happening so as to find a way to turn things around? Like, maybe, I don’t know, a new product and income stream that can help with supporting the current IP?
We finish up with Sion discussing how CCP is a business focused on making money, and that we’re not likely to see expansions for the foreseeable future as EVE is on life support (apparently we’re ignoring recent expansions, and future work promised by CCP then?).
Is the PCU drop a massive problem? Yes. Is the current “quality” of the GUI/UI and NPE a massive problem? Hell yes. Is integration of new players into the existing community structure a problem? Absolutely we need to do more. Is VR somehow at fault for all of this? Err…
I think Sion has forgotten that whole thing about correlation and causation, because these problems have existed long before Oculus was a thing, and say what you will, but the crappy nullsec experience hasn’t helped it along (dominion got steadily crappier, and Fozzie sov looks set to continue this trend – but we’ll discuss that in a moment, with Seraph’s piece).
All told, this is yet another bit of evidence that shows that Mittens needs to keep Sion the hell away from the TMC keyboards and firmly in the diplo channels, as he clearly doesn’t understand how to write anything approaching a good article. It’s got about as many holes as one of Seraph’s crappier articles.
Holy crap, that’s a lot of words to discuss a shitpost.
Seraph’s counter article
So, what about Seraph’s take on this mess?
His short roasting of Sion at the start is… surprisingly well justified. Mostly.The comment RE: the book kickstarter is only half correct – it was clearly shown where the money would go. But the shitty stretch goals sort of buggered it up, and it didn’t help that they timed it for the same moment as the viceroyalty troll program. Because GSF antagonising EVE is generally a thing. And Sion blaming reddit, or going abloobloobloo about being counter blobbed (finally, took them long enough) by the MBC is a bit short sighted at best. So yeah, Sion (mostly) earned that one.
But let’s take a look at Seraph’s bullet points:
“1. When the CFC or “Imperium” was attacking Provibloc, the sov system was great even before the entosis link got a max speed cap in order to nerf trollceptors. Mittens said that essentially all the system needed was some general and vague polishing up.”
At this point, trollceptors aside, the EVE community had only begun to see how the system worked, but it looked like a promising change from dominion – at least for attackers, which in this case the CFC was. So obviously it looked great – for an attacker. Of course, any braindead idiot who took a closer look at how coalitions worked could have told you the next point was coming.
“2. Then when the CFC started losing territory up north to MBC the sov system “clearly favors the attackers” but “when MBC forces have to settle in the space they’ve conquered the real hellwar starts.” None of that actually happened and the fire of the CFC’s “hellwar” was hot air.”
This is a two parter – first, as noted, the system absolutely does favour the attackers, as attackers are more empowered to fight around the defences, rather than in dominion where you had to struggle through them. Mobility is prized in the new system over raw strength – although N+1 is still a thing, so this system is only marginally better if you’re a small-time fresh alliance. Second? Yeah, the hellwar talk has so far turned out (surprisingly and disappointingly for those of us with popcorn) to be severely lame and empty. CFC is currently making slow pureblind advances (there’s a CZ article on that topic to discuss), but it’s not really hellwar, is it? What about those Astero/Stratios solo rat-hunter doctrines that got talked about a month or two back? Why are we not hearing of the tears of CO2 as groups of these space-jerks descend on CO2 space to take vengeance? How dull. But Goons are known for having long memories for getting their own back, so who knows. Maybe when they get back on their feet we’ll see them find a way to make CO2 miserable. Maybe.
“3. Next with the CFC all in Saranen and their coalition in the “attacker position” suddenly Mittens and Sion cry that the sov system now favors the defender. And this was even before citadels came out. So which is it?”
At this point Seraph is right – before citadels, the system still favoured the attacker. More to the point it favoured an organised attacker. So why did the system now favour defenders? Perhaps because they were better organised and not suffering from a failure cascade? Of course, now that citadels have come out, and people are becoming better at understanding the shitshow that is Fozziesov, defenders are now in a much better position than previously, especially with the increase in MBC-held keepstars to protect their capital forces. But without a massive bloc-level war, I doubt we’ll get any real data on this, post-citadels. So in other words: “FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!”.
So, Seraph attacks Sion’s article in three places (two people who are currently the worst article writers in the community (only semi-regular in Sion’s case) going at it is rather fun to read). This section isn’t some of Seraph’s best writing, but Sion’s own version of “CCP is shifting to VR at the expense of Eve” is (as I noted) so bad that it’s actively worse than Seraph’s work at this point. Although Seraph going off on one at Sion and GSF in general is a bit unnecessary. Seraphs final paragraph for this first section is a little wobbly (it’s the worst way of saying “hearsay is here” I’ve seen – just be blunt damnit), but the rest is well pointed – Sion ignoring the sheer amount of content that CCP has put out so he can say that EVE is currently bereft of content is very strange. If Sion was attempting to be meta, or funny with the entire article he wrote, then he failed. Shitposting is shitposting, and if he wants to post something constructive or funny, perhaps he should go back to the drawing board. Or maybe read actual goodposters, like some of the guys in the SA EVE threads (notably the chill threads and politics threads).
Seraph then hits the numbers section and makes some of the same observations that I did after reading Sion’s bit. He does argue that a drop in subs isn’t CCPs fault – I would suggest otherwise but not for the reasons that Sion put out – and I’ve already discussed my bugbears regarding this further up the post.
So, another Seraph bullet point list – he seems to have discovered these recently.
“1. Banning of ISboxer input automation is a huge factor. Before you had one individual controlling dozens of mining ships, stealth bombers, carriers for ratting and other things artificially inflating numbers.”
Yup, and killing this kills those subs, or at least drastically drops their usage.
“2. Cracking down on botting/RMT operations is also relevant. This has happened in two ways. First by CCP going in and hunting down these individuals, and secondly the breakup of nullsec from 2 large stagnant coalitions to multiple entities has made botting less reliable due to the volatility of nullsec.”
See also: russian drone mining alterations. But otherwise, yes, correct again.
“3. Eve’s an older game. Let’s be honest here. On top of that it’s still extremely niche, complicated and downright difficult. On top of the previous reasons, this is certainly a factor as well.”
It doesn’t help, but like I said, I’ve already discussed my NPE and GIU/UI bugbears here.
“4. Eve’s largest coalition has for all intents and purposes died. Thousands of people’s way of life has been destroyed with the fall of the CFC in large part due to the poor policies and leadership choices made by Sion and Mittens. See instead of fighting, heaven forbid outnumbered, the CFC decided they were going to be ~meta~ and go sit in Saranen to fly ceptors while beating the internal propaganda drum about how everything is “part of the plan.” But oh no we can’t even speak of this. Doing that would mean taking personal responsibility. No instead let’s write a whiny article about how bad CCP is.”
A bit of a wordy way to say “CFC failcascaded, and a bunch of them ragequit”. But I guess he felt he needed to add the extra commentary. We can discuss CFC strategic decisions til the cows come home, but instead of simply stating the comment that “when wars end, people quit”, Seraph decided to take a moment to hammer CFC. Not necessary, at least not here. Save it for one of your biased spin pieces, please. Opinion bits could also be saved for a clearly written opinion section in this article. He’s wobbling again.
The last paragraph in this section is mostly on target (albeit opinionated), but this line here is a bit unwarranted: “peddling games like Hearth Stone, H1Z1 and whatever else was profitable to the Emporium Merchants.”. Well duh, TMC is run by people who are trying to monetise something they enjoy for both pleasure and profit. What did you think was going to happen Seraph? Hell, what did you think was going to happen with all those ad clicks on EN24? If you want to pick a site that doesn’t have some sort of ad-related income, then try CZ on for size. Go write for them – at least then when you get on the high horse about monetising (albeit poorly, because there’s no way TMC makes much profit), you’ll actually be doing it while writing for a site that isn’t itself monetised.
Seraph at least manages to get it right for the first paragraph of his last section. And then runs right into one of his opinion sections at the end of the article for the last paragraph. Still, at least he saved the heaviest (worst?) hammer of opinion based writing for the conclusion. I’ve seen Seraph write worse. And given what he’s reviewing, he had a pretty low bar to beat this time. Sion really needs to be taken off the TMC writing team, or else Matterall needs to be given more control over what(if) Sion writes.
Again, holy crap, lots of words, shitpost. Although, it’s one of Seraph’s less shitty shitposts. Low bar, but still.
A CZ article appears
But the real article I want to talk about is this one.
So, Goons are off on an adventure, and they don’t know where. Time for a speculation piece!
Apparently the author thinks this means they’re giving up and going elsewhere. Possible, we’ve got no destination. But on the other hand, what if Goons are headed into NPC north systems?
We’ve got an unknown here, and it’s a bit of an assumption to suggest that Goons are peacing out when we don’t even know where they’re headed (although I think it’s safe to assume that Goons won’t be poking the russians any time soon, and we can also assume highsec probably isn’t on their list of destinations).
The into section before we hit the actual speculation is pretty reasonable, and most of the numbers thrown around can be checked on dotlan, so only the most entrenched and hidebound will spend time arguing this bit.
So let’s just jump to the discussion on destinations:
“The west, especially the southern west seems to be a popular guess. There are many very fractured regions here, from Fountain, Delve, Querious and even Period Basis, all of which would be a challenge, but certainly not an insurmountable one if GSF can effectively transition the power they radiated from Saranen down to a similar staging location with access to these regions. The one issue that will be found here however, is the ease by which certain powers which plagued them previously will be able to rotate into these regions and provide support to the existing locals. Of all these regions, I would definitely say that Querious is most likely to be the target, especially if the famed Corps Diplomatiqué can peel away a member of the ‘Querious Fight Club’ onto their side, but Delve has fertile NPC null staging and Fountain a chance to strike at the edges of the HBC without fully engaging it.”
My money would be either Delve or Querious. Fountain would be a maybe. Delve and Querious are comparatively quiet in relation to the north. Fountain is a little too close for comfort, and period basis just wouldn’t work for what we’ve seen of Goons before, unless they’re just looking for any old space at all – but again, assumptions, right?
“The near-south also holds some interesting targets for the migration, with Catch offering a chance to ‘get back’ at the alliance of LennyKravitz2, the man who funded the war, and Providence offering a chance at a good fight for beginning to rebuild confidence within the alliance and the side benefit of already having a great deal of war planning done for the region. If either of these regions are chosen as the target, it will effectively be signalling that the coffers of the GSF warmachine are still full, as they do not have anywhere near the riches to look at replenishing a depleted warchest. Instead, a conquest of these regions would be one done specifically to spin a punitive narrative, and put them as far away from the MBC-held territories as they can reasonably hope to get.”
Unlikely at best – Providence just isn’t worth the secondary grind, outside of some vague vengeance against a group that was largely unnoticed the the heave and heft of the WWB as a whole. And Catch just isn’t really going to happen. Too far south and we get the much-publicised Goon Trail of Tears, which is going to cripple Goon interest and logistics groups. Don’t count on it.
“The far-south is barely worth mentioning as a target. Whilst Paragon Soul, Esoteria and Fethyabolis may be ‘acceptable’ regions, they would be a nightmare to hold without owning one of the near-south regions, crippling one of GSF’s most famed assets – their logistical core. In addition, they are currently held by what is loosely considered to be a GSF affiliate in Stainwagon, though their ties are certainly not as strong as with the DRF, it may still dissuade them further.”
Pretty much on target, it’s just not worth the effort to even bother. I don’t see Goons going here.
“The south-east offers much the same as the far-south, with yet more Russian aligned alliances, only this time with the encroachment of the DRF-Vanguard bloc bearing down on them. Invading this area would force them to pick a side in the war, which is something I don’t expect GSF to do. Doing so would force them to either go against the DRF and prop up a failing friend (Stainwagon), which is a terrible narrative with which to rebuild an alliance’s confidence in its leadership, or align themselves with Triumverate, an alliance which – whilst not the most prominent – was a significant participant in the MBC. As neither of these options are beneficial to them, or ideologically acceptable, and the possibilities of successfully entering in as a third party are slim to none, I would expect GSF to stay well clear of this area.”
Unlikely at best, so again I agree with this assessment. In fact anything vaguely east is bad, which leads us to-
“The far-east holds a little more promise, with Insmother and Detroid[sic] both offering a potentially stable home, but once again it would require stepping into an existing conflict, with all the politics that entails. However, if GSF can convince the DRF to back off and leave Vanguard to its own devices, there could be an interesting war of two fronts as the resurgent GSF attempts to wrest a new home for itself while Stainwagon fights for its life in the South-East. GSF has seen how effective pressuring several locations at once can be during WWB, and I expect that they would emulate those tactics given the chance.”
I’m even less convinced by this idea. Really? Really? No, don’t even waste my time with it. It’s not going to happen and we all know it.
“The near-east is a much more interesting prospect for expansion, with Scalding Pass and Wicked Creek both being inhabited by primarily independent and relatively un-coordinated entities. With Curse offering a perfect jumping off point, this is a surprisingly attractive location for the rebuilding of the GSF’s morale, in much the same way as the near-south offers.”
Perhaps, but at this point I don’t see it. Curse isn’t really a selling point, and when we’re talking east, we always have to consider anything vaguely russian. Not worth the effort. Unless goon diplomacy has improved sharply in recent weeks (did they fire Sion? No? Too bad).
“Attacking the north-east would risk alienating what has to be the last – if not blue – then politically neutral entity on the map with regards to the DRF, as such I don’t see that happening unless the GSF makes a critical blunder in assessing its political situation.”
See above.You don’t go marching in the direction of the russians unless you want your face smashed in (the battle of VFK five years ago notwithstanding).
So if we assume that Goons are leaving the north (assumption) then Querious and Delve are the top two candidates. It’s equally likely that we’re going to see a goonrush into Pure Blind space to crush and hold Citadel supported space and gradually steamroll further north so as to create a jump target against one of the less well supported MBC members (likely as far away from the MBC capital forces as the GIA (or what’s left of it) can confirm).
So, want me to begin betting? I’m guessing the northern goonrush is a little more likely. But if I’m proven wrong, then it’ll probably be Delve for the historical value, followed by Querious for similar cheerio-pissing reasons.
The article finishes with an amusing point regarding the MBC – what will they become? We don’t know how they’d evolve if Goons did up and leave the north. Would they become what they fought against? Or something else? Maybe we’ll finally get a reason to chow down on some popcorn.