Monday, September 2, 2013

A Tyranny of Choice

Undead Again was intended as a good-natured tweak at the noses of some fellow bloggers (you know who you are) over their premature predictions with regard to the fate of -A- back around the turn of the year. The piece got quite a bit more attention than I'd expected and seems to have stirred a few long-simmering pots. Obviously the subject is one that has wanted attention by the EVE community but hasn't been getting it from elsewhere.

As I hadn't been following events in the deep South after the breakup of Honeybadger Coalition (HBC) earlier this year, and didn't have the bandwidth to do a proper job of researching it (Note to self: Must hire a staff of research assistants), I didn't try to chronicle the resurgence of the Southern Russians following the break-up of HBC in 2013. 

However, in providing a brief, high-level background to events leading up to -A-'s near terminal fall from grace at the turn of the year, I wrote the following: 
A schism within Red Overlord (ROL), which was at the time providing some of the most effective resistance to the Northerners, resulted in the collapse of ROL and the defection of certain member corporations to the newly formed Darkness of Despair, which was aligned with the PL, Test and the Honey Badger Coalition (HBC) cause.
As a number of you pointed out, the now defunct Unclaimed[DOT] was the alliance of corporations that broke away from ROL and aligned itself PL and HBC in October 2012.  Darkness of Despair was formed in January of 2013, a full three months after HBC and PL persuaded Sacred Templar Knights to turn on ROL and undermine the Stain Russian defense of the South.

A serious misstatement on my part. I've made the correction in Undead Again and offer my apologies to the lads at Darkness of Despair for doing such a poor job of fact-checking.

However, it's an ill wind that blows no one good. Along with the above-mentioned correction, there's been an influx of information describing the Southern Russian resurgence from both sides of the conflict. Most of the accounts are surprisingly even-handed and are more or less in general agreement on major points in the timeline. As I pointed out in EVE Lore and Wine in the Ruins, EVE is short on unbiased histories. This may be an opportunity to develop such a chronicle describing events in the South over this last year.  

If you would like to contribute to such a project, either by providing a narrative of events, or by assisting in the research needed to distill the collected of narratives down to a single coherent story, please contact me at via my hyperspace com uplink (AKA mordfiddle[at]

There's a lot of other writing in the pipeline as well.

If you listened to Xander's interview with Goonswarm's Mynnna and Lockefox, you'll have heard Mynnna admitting indirectly that that I was right and that nullsec does, indeed, have a labor shortage. Seems that when you can make 60M ISK an hour ratting in a semi-AFK Ishtar, there's little motivation to mine any but the highest value minerals. I'll be writing a reaction to the interview, asking pointed questions, proposing solutions and discussing the economics of the current nullsec fetish with 'bottoms up' alliance funding.

I also have a Rixx Javix a story in the works. Why? Well, because there's nothing Rixx loves more than a Rixx Javix story. But beyond that, I'm writing the story to underline what I perceive as a weakness in official EVE fiction. 

In my humble opinion, official EVE fiction to date is its own worst enemy. It is self-conscious and far too mindful of its humble origins as the spin-off of a cartoon space ship MMPORG. It works overtime at being taken seriously, to portray New Eden as cynical and bleak; an unrelentingly noirish dystopia. I mean, look at this:

"From the murky depth of madness, reality churns and boils over in my head, a great distance away. Like a pair of entangled protons, my actions seem hopelessly enslaved to a new consciousness that many, including myself, would consider depraved. "

- Tony Gonzales:  EVE Templar One

More than a page of this sort of prose and I'm reaching for the Xanax. 

There's only one remedy for self-important, overwrought writing, and that's an injection of fun, a bit of whimsey: A little touch of Javix in the night. Given the goal of the story, it's got to be right on the page before I post it. So there's a bit more hand wringing over that piece than usual, which has tested Rixx's patience no little bit. No worries, Rixx.  It'll get there.

Of course I haven't given lowsec attention for some time. I've promised a piece on why the lowsec's population tends to cluster in certain areas leaving some lowesc constellations relatively low on population and uneventful from a PvP point of view.  I also want to follow up on lowsec's spheres of player influence which, though they exist, remain largely undocumented.

So much choice. So little time. But it's a good problem to have.