"You're a dull boy. Dull as plainsong. La-la-la, forever on one note."If I haven't been writing too much about nullsec, it's simply that there isn't much of interest in nullsec about which to write. The big picture for the second quarter of the year has been the triumph of the supercapital, the fall of the Northern Coalition and the transformation of Real Money Trading's role from CCP's public enemy number one to that of a critical revenue stream in CCP's business strategy.
James Goldman - The Lion in Winter
As we roll into the third quarter of 2011, the Drone Russian Forces (DRF) and their vassal alliances hold roughly seventy percent of nullsec.In the North, Goonswarm suddenly finds itself subcapital specialists in a game dominated by hostile supercapital fleets. The Goons feign nonchalance while scrambling to cobble together a credible supercapital force - a task made easier by all the corporations cast loose upon the flood by the Northern Coalition's disintegration.
In the South, other elements of the Deklein Coalition have tied their fortunes to Fountain and Querious. This has stretched thin the tether between members of DC, further weakening the Goon's position. Meanwhile, Against All Authorities (-A-) and their allies are preparing for invasion. Recall that -A- reclaimed their former stomping grounds in Teneferis, lost to them in last September's invasion of their space by White Noise, The Initiative and Pandemic Legion. As I wrote last month, White Noise simply pulled out of the region, intending to take it back once matters with the NC were resolved.
Delve and Querious are the beaches upon which many refugee's from NC's ill-starred fortunes have washed ashore. Some arrive in the form of slimmed down NC alliances, while others have migrated to alliances already resident. Everyone seems to want a piece of that storied space. With the DRF & Co. occupying so much high of the high value nullsec real estate, they're among the few remaining regions worth a serious tussle that aren't locked down by larger powers.
PL makes noises about including the DRF among their targets once their current contract ends, but I don't take that seriously for a number of reasons I'll go into another time. If PL does attack the Russians, PL will either be gone or much diminished by the turn of the year. They might seek permission to hunt DRF vassals. However, most likely they'll join the mosh pit that Delve is becoming and play there until the DRF or its vassals need assistance and call them back to heel.
So. What can we look for in the next quarter? Same song, slightly different words. Indications are that CCP will not apply any significant nerf to the supercapitals in the foreseeable future. These very expensive, must-have toys are, simply put, too valuable as a potential source of income for CCP as they plan extending microtransactions beyond vanity items to key elements of Eve-play.
The game deteriorates. CCP, hyper-focused on turning the player community into a massively parallel ATM has lost sight of Eve as an entertainment. The imbalance introduced by the enhanced supercapitals only grows worse. The Incarna technology injection has bogged down game performance. And Helicity Bosun, the person who caught CCP in an outright lie viz the intent of microtransactions has been banned from the game.
It's going to be a long Summer.