With IT Alliance circling the drain, Czech Lion of Eve News 24 has turned his attention to branding the Northern Coalition (NC) as the next big nullsec bugaboo. Hegemony by the Northern Coalition, he holds, threatens to unbalance the great game altogether.
However, if you've taken a look at the nullsec sovereignty maps recently, a startling fact jumps out.
The Drone Russian Forces (DRF) and their renting affiliates are in possession of over half of nullsec.
As of yesterday, Legion of Death, Red Alliance, Solar Fleet and White Noise own between them 359 systems. Their renter affiliates, Shadow of Death, Red Associates, Solar Wing and White Angels hold an additional 358 systems.
That's a total of 717 systems controlled solely by the DRF.
If we look at the traditional NC membership, Morsis Mihi, Razor Alliance, Magesta Empire and R.A.G.E alliance, they collectively control 211 systems, less than half those owned by the DRF and affiliates. By scraping together systems belonging to the smaller NC members and "guest" alliances, we can tick that number up to about 275. Even adding the Deklein Coalition's Goonswarm and Test Alliance Please Ignore to the NC numbers adds only 102 additional systems for a total of 377 - about half the systems controlled by the DRF. In fact, even if you dropped the DRF renter affiliates out of the picture entirely (the Northern Coalition don't employ the traditional renter aliance model used by the DRF), the core DRF alliance systems are close to parity with the NC and DC together, 359 to 377.
Where these numbers get really interesting is when you look at them in the context of alliance population.
The population of the core DRF alliances number 5524 as of this writing. That means the DRF has roughly 15.5 players for each system to which they hold sovereignty. The core NC alliances, on the other hand, have 11,918 players controlling 211 systems. That's 56.5 players per system owned.
Now, one must bear in mind the differences in organizational structures between Northern Coalition and the Drone Russians. As described above, the DRF uses the renter alliance model favored by traditional PvP alliances in order to create a firewall between the alliance and renter organizations. This allows them to maximize rent revenues as they can adopt looser security standards for admitting corporations to the renter alliances than for the PvP alliance.
In the Northern Coalition, renters are carefully selected and incorporated into the member alliances or invited into the coalition as small, independent "guest" alliances who participate in the defense of NC space in exchange for the space they hold.
While the DRF renter alliances have larger populations than the controlling PvP alliances, even they fall well short of the high player to system ratio of the Northern and Deklein coalitions. Adding the DRF Renter systems and population numbers to the equation only increases the DRF player to system ratio to about 22 players per system.
One item that's largely escaped notice during the collapse of IT Alliance has been White Noise and Red Alliance going about and quietly taking space from the conflict's losers, such as The Initiative, and adding it to their own real estate portfolios.
In effect, half of nullsec has become a massive ISK farm feeding into the relatively small population that is the DRF proper.