The winter holidays are, generally speaking, a dull time in nullsec. For those denizens who actually have a life and are not outright agoraphobic, interstellar conquest must give way to the demands of the season; gift buying, parties and family obligations. For some reason, "I really have to go fly cartoon space ships," doesn't buy one much slack when there's egg nog to be spiked, or the kids are clamoring to out to the woods for a blue spruce.
You've simply got to suck it up, step away from the keyboard and socialize with people who have no interest whatsoever in whether blasters or pulse lasers are the superior weapon for close-in-and-personal PvP. No one at the holiday office party is going to discuss the proper fitting for ratting in wormholes, and the check-out lady at the grocers is utterly uninterested in your opinion of the Incarna upgrades.
With all these distractions the Eve meta-game has gone from high boil to a modest simmer. As fleet participation dwindles, major offensives or transfers of territory have died down. There are short, sharp actions here and there, but sustained fighting has, if you'll pardon the pun, taken a holiday. EveNews24 has resorted to hyping events like the "Mystery" surrounding the loss of a Razor Supercapital, that would have been only marginally interesting back in November.
Mind, it's not all peace and quiet by any means. Staging actions, political and logistical set-up for post-holiday mayhem, are well underway.
CVA, NC and Ev0ke have finished gobbling up all the "free" space in Providence. After the holidays I expect that party to begin in earnest as NC and Ev0ke attempt to take full control of the region. Kirith Kodachi the sage of Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah wonders how much of Providence space NC wants. My answer is "half', with the other half going to Ev0ke. The old conceit that no-one wants the wormy old Providence region is pre-Dominion thinking. With system upgrades available, Provi is much more attractive than it was of old. Further, Nullsec space is needed to build Supercaps - the ultimate coin in New Eden. Provi has value these days, and anyone who wishes to hold it will have to do so through strength of arms rather than indifference on the part of the competition.
While IT Alliance helps The Initiative against the Southern Russians, the Goons appear to be making headway in Fountain. It remains to be seen how long IT will ignore that front. I expect they're content to let Fountain fall, trusting they can take it back again at will. However, despite some IT/Initiative victories in Catch and Impass, there's no indication that Stain, -A- and Red Overlord are giving up the fight. The Initiative's outreach to NC for additional SuperCapital support suggests that Initiative isn't getting all the support it needs from IT Alliance, or that support has been dialed back from what was initially promised. It may be that there's already internal resistance to continuing the "all in" IT Alliance support of The Initiative in the face of the Goon advance.
Then, in the North, the pieces appear to be being set for new actions in the ongoing fracas between the Drone Russians and the Northern Coalition. As per my word, I'll say no more about that.
Once the holidays are over and the capsuleers are back in fleet, expect the well-laid plans of alliance directors will be put in motion.
So, enjoy your plum puddings and mincemeat pies. Have at that Christmas goose and lay into the roast turkey or ham with a will. Eat well, drink your fill, kiss your sweetie under the mistletoe. Rest well, my children.
After the holidays, nullsec's going to burn.
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