Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friends Like These

The kid is having fun in nullsec.

The kid's a young HellForge pilot who’s made the trip to Providence with me and is having his first experience in 0.0 space since joining the game. He’s having the time of his life. Most corporations in the Lucky Starbase Syndicate are friendly and professional. The kid’s been out ratting and hitting plexes with his new buddies. He’s been having so much pew-pew fun, he burned through half the ammo he brought with him from empire space in the course of an afternoon.

He was downright gleeful when he convoed me yesterday to request I bring BPOs for his preferred ammo type. “I’m never going back to high-sec,” he said.

Good stuff to see. It’s why we’re in new Eden.

The level of cooperation among the alliance corporations is very good. We’re all of us in the same boat – everybody’s made an investment of one sort or another in the move to Providence. Whether it’s a small operators like HellForge or big 100+ pilot corporations with deep pockets, we’ve all put ourselves out on the line. The Lucky corporations seem to recognize we’re invested in each other’s success. After all, this is nullsec and there’s a lot of black hats out there.

Black hats like Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA).

They’ve been haunting the borders of Providence nullsec ever since being evicted by Against All Authorities (AAA). CVA's been making sorties into R3-K7K, a nullsec entry point system held by Systematic-Chaos, but I’ve yet to hear of any major fleet actions. I expect CVA is recovering from the capital fleet losses they took while losing Providence. I expect the light incursions into R3 are harassing actions to keep Systematic-Chaos off balance. Meanwhile, if CVA plans on getting back into the nullsec game, they’ll be building up for a capital fleet strike.

But they have to make their play soon. Time is not on their side.

First of all, time is money.

CVA still holds twelve systems in nullsec. Those are, however, scattered systems. They are islands deep in enemy territory, occupied by Against All Authorities' vassals. As such, they return no income to CVA. Meanwhile, CVA must pay all the sovereignty costs for those twelve systems. That rips big gobbets of money from CVA’s reserves every month – money that can’t be used to build capital ships to use in taking back lost systems. By leaving these systems in CVA hands, AAA has tied a very large financial millstone around CVA’s collective neck.

You’d think letting the systems go would be a no-brainer for CVA. Cut them loose and invest the money in the ships needed to engineer a come-back. But, as has been pointed out, CVA is a role-playing alliance. Providence systems are holy ground. And that’s got to be hard for CVA’s leadership to let go of.

Secondly, time in exile is bad for morale

The longer CVA plays the role of low-sec refugee from null-space, the more corps and pilots they’re going to shed. CVA corporations are holding the line at twenty-five. However, the cracks begin to show when you look at the pilot count.

CVA has shed roughly 350 – 400 pilots since January, easily a quarter of their pre-eviction force.

Now they’ve still got a healthy membership with 1,067 pilots on the roster, however, they continue to bleed pilots, albeit slowly. CVA’s got to staunch that trickle of departing pilots before it turns into a steady stream.

Like the kid, CVA's pilots were having fun in nullsec. Like the kid, they don’t want to leave nullsec. And if CVA doesn’t show them a little nullsec love soon, they’re going to find someone else who can. 'Cause CVA isn’t the only Amarr roleplayer alliance in Providence.

Has anybody else noticed that Paxton’s pilot numbers are ticking up at about the same rate CVA’s are ticking down these last few weeks?

Hmmm. More on that next time.

1 comment:

  1. Fiddler's note: In the two days since this post, CVA's pilot count has slipped to 1,054.