Hanlon’s Razor


Goons Losing Sovereignty Throughout Delve

Goons Losing Sovereignty Throughout Delve

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

When the history of GoonSwarm is written, it will be a delicious irony that their lust for Delve led to their downfall as a space-holding 0.0 Alliance.

For most of EVE’s history, GoonSwarm has been one of the major power blocs. They have a lengthy, storied history. Most of their pilots come from the Something Awful forums, and they are famous for bringing in hordes of new, inexperienced pilots and overwhelming alliances that no one expected them to have a chance against. This article about their history with the Red Alliance is a really great start, and it links to other EVE articles by the wonderful Nick Breckon.

Most recently, GoonSwarm was in the news for disassembling “Fortress Delve” – a famously un-conquerable region in EVE owned by GoonSwarm’s long-time nemeses Band of Brothers. The history between these alliances is a very long story, but there are some summaries of mixed quality on various EVE wikis. The Mittani, GoonSwarm’s famous spy-master, arranged for a defecting member of BoB to disband the alliance from the inside. When the alliance disbanded, BoB lost “sovereignty” on all their systems in Delve. This is essentially like losing your electricity – all the infrastructure that makes it easy for an alliance to secure their borders, move quickly through their space, store their assets, and construct capital ships instantly shuts off. This triggered a dog pile, in which all nearby alliances descended on BoB and tore them apart. The Goons came out on top, claiming Delve as their new impregnable home.

Today, the exact same cascade hit GoonSwarm. The culprit this time? Goon leadership was a combination of on vacation and not logging in frequently, and forgot to pay the upkeep costs for claiming sovereignty over Delve. The due date passed this morning, and the shit hit the fan.

The Alliance forums exploded with topics like “Karma is a *****” (From SirMolle, BoB’s former leader), We didn’t want that space anyways, “Goons have the most dangerous logistics team EVE has ever seen.”, “Sins of a Solar Paymaster” (a spoof on The Mittani’s regular excellent column on EVE intrigue and politics), “death2goonswarm” (which is populated largely by GoonSwarm members mocking predictions of their own death).

My favorite thing to come out of this whole disaster is a State of the Goon address. I’m not sure if it was leaked or intentionally released, but it was given to over four hundred GoonSwarm members on teamspeak, and describes exactly what happened, why, and what’s happening next. It’s shockingly similar to a speech any other leader could give to their semi-defeated and demoralized team – part call to action, part apology, and part blame-shifting. It’s clearly a prepared statement that’s the result of deliberation among the directorate of GoonSwarm. It’s a great (but a little long) listen.

Some quick vocab that might help you – any letter/number combinations are systems in 0.0 . So when he says “A2”, “JL”, and “NOL”, those are systems. “Caps” is short for capital ships – dreadnaughts, carriers, and titans. “Sov” is short for sovereignty. ISK is EVE’s in-game currency. Most of the rest of the words you won’t recognize are player names. They’re not important for getting the general gist.

Plus, if you make it six minutes into the speech, you get a very questionable comparison of Delve to Haiti.

Enjoy! No doubt there will be lots of great coverage of this, and I’ll try to keep up with it.

State of the Goon, Dealing with Delve Meltdown Redux


3 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. lol,

    Mittani did jack, he just claimed the fame for something haargoth wanted to do anyways.

    • drew,

      Sure, but my impression of the story was that Haargoth was going to defect but didn’t know exactly what to do to BoB. They started with forum logs and money, and it was Mittani’s idea to disband the alliance. Certainly, Mittani didn’t recruit Haargoth – he was going to flip no matter what – but he did turn Haargoth’s defection from a corp theft or intelligence breach into something much more dramatic.

  2. All of this is making me want to play. And I’m not a gamer.

    I’m not sure though, if my desire stems from actual interest in the game as a whole, or just interest in the topics you’re writing about. For example, I was less enthralled by your post on fleet combat than in the posts about economics and political maneuvering.

    At least I can resist the temptation, knowing that I hardly need another distraction from the grad school.

    Thanks for writing! This blog is currently one of my favorite distractions.


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