Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Object Lessons

As you'll recall from my last post, Ripard Teg and his colleagues at Rote Kapelle, discouraged with the decline in 'correct' PvP occurring in Syndicate (their patch of NPC nullsec), have undertaken what I like to call the 'PvP Purity' crusade.  Their goal is purge Syndicate (and, apparently, Outer Ring) of corporations and alliances that don't PvP in accordance with Rote's code of conduct. To summarize the essence of Rote's message:  

Rote's way is the traditional way and the best way to play PvP in NPC nullsec.  Failure to PvP Rote's way diminishes Rote's enjoyment of Eve in general and PvP in particular.  Therefore, it is essential that those in close proximity to Rote PvP the Rote way.  If they don't, Rote will harry and kill them until they either move away or submit to PvPing as Rote thinks proper. 

Now, to further Rote's ends of PvP purity, an object lesson was needed.  Rote had to find a nearby corporation or alliance that fit their notion of wrongful PvPers to serve as an example of what befalls those who step from the true path of PvP as defined by Rote.  In addition to being wrongful PvPers, said corporation or alliance also had to be 1) easy to intimidate, and 2) reasonably unpopular in the local NPC nullsec neighborhood.  You see, when establishing your right to declare fatwa on your neighbors, it's best to start with the weakest and least popular of your neighbors. After all, it never looks good for a self-appointed moral scourge to end up beaten with his/her own caning stick. And by selecting someone unpopular, the fatwa-declarer minimizes the chance of the neighbors standing behind the appointed scapegoat and questioning said fatwa-declarer's qualifications as self-appointed moral scourge. 

Damned Nation proved a near perfect fit to Rote's fatwa needs.  Not only did Damned use dishonorable hit and run PvP tactics, they were known to engage in carebearish activities not involving the shooting other players at all, activities sure to marginalize them with the local community.  Best of all, Damned Nation was a vulnerable target.  In the midst of internal leadership strife and having just been badly mauled by another PvP alliance, Damned was already shedding corporations and well compromised from an organizational integrity standpoint. 

In short, Rote's holy war against Damned Nation was the moral equivalent of a Navy SEAL leaping into grandma's sick-room while she's on her death bed and gutting the old girl like a trout.  I mean, you can argue that the SEAL did for grandma, but it's not like he gains any cred by it.  Straddling grandma's corpse afterwards and humping it in a grotesque victory dance while slapping himself on the back for the win is not going to reflect well on the elite warrior's reputation.

However, Rippard Teg, on behalf of Rote Kapelle, has done just that.  In his Monday post on the subject, he declares the death of an all but terminal foe a mighty victory for Rote Kappele and PvPdom at large.  He describes the structure shooting Rote engaged in over the week-end as a paradigm-shifting success, as if Damned was capable of putting up a coherent defense.  He brags about Rote's operations leaving the enemy's morale crushed, neglecting to mention that Damned's morale was, by all accounts, well curb-stomped before Rote fired their first shot.

As I've written elsewhere, Rote's reputation as one of (if not the) best small fleet PvP alliances in Syndicate needs no burnishing. They are well respected by everyone who weighs in on the matter. And I certainly do not fault them for going after a wounded member of the NPC nullsec community.  NPC nullsec is not for the faint of heart; it is one of Eve's winnowing floors where the wheat is separated from the chaff.  Besides, kicking the neighbor when they're down is a time honored tradition in New Eden's rougher neighborhoods. And I realize this was a trial run for Rote, sort of a proof of concept exercise.

 However, you can't have it both ways.  Claiming a victory someone else has already achieved ahead of you is a bit of a come-down for an alliance of Rote's caliber, and certainly for a writer of Mr Teg's reputation.  In fact, the more I hear of these antics and goings on, the more I begin to believe that the poor quality of PvP in Syndicate is not the source of Rote's recent fit of temper.  Rather Rote's evident discomfort may come from within Rote itself; the heat of fever rather than the fire of passion.  We've all seen this sort of furious reformation, this re-dedication to purpose before.  More often than not it occurs in the context of an alliance stricken by internal apathy or conflict, and reflects efforts by that alliance's leadership to hold things together.

Time will tell.   

In the meantime, I'm watching Mr Teg's blog with a raised eyebrow.  Misrepresenting or overplaying events to further his or his alliance's agenda, has not been his usual way.  Perhaps the presence of TheMittani.com, with its tendency to leverage its position as a purveyor of news and entertainment as a means to promote CFC's point of view has begin to influence Mr Teg.  After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, hmmm?   However, brokers of information who approach you with a wink and a nod, who announce up front that they follow an underpinning agenda, can get away with a certain degree of dishonesty.  They announce that dishonesty at the outset.

However, those who trade on their integrity do not have that latitude.  For them, integrity cannot be a some-time thing.  Integrity is binary; it is, or it is not.  In his zeal to turn Rote's enemies in to object lessons for Rote's benefit, Mr Teg risks becoming an object lesson of his own.


  1. Good article but not sure if I agree with the whole "they are trying to force their game play on poor defense less groups". This is, afterall, EVE.

    Rote's "scouring of the Shire" is no different than any other sov holding, 0.0 alliance, wanting to clean out a section of space. -A- / UK did this in Provi. The reasons don't really matter as the guy(s) getting blown up get blown up irregardless.

    If they had just gone out and shot things without Ripard announcing something, it would just have been seen as another alliance doing what 0.0 alliances do. Securing Sov. That they are giving the systems away to "qualified" corps/alliances is also not news as alliances do this all the time with renters.

    Kind of a non-story to tbh.

    1. Oh, I never said they were trying to impose their play style on poor defenseless groups. They're trying to impose their play style on everyone in Syndicate. And it's not me saying it. It's Rote. Refer to Mr Teg's posts on the subject as well as well as the related Failheap posts.

      This post doesn't speak to the goals of the scouring (except insofar as I find them a bit silly and futile) so much as elite Rote crowing over a victory against an enemy already half dead before the first shot was fired.

      I'm waiting to see Rote take the cleanser to an offender who can punch back.

    2. He did state that they went after the weakest opponent first to test their doctrines (or some such wording). You are right in a sense, there's not much to be proud of there other than making a strategic first move by pulling the low hanging fruit. I suppose they could have allowed the alliance to rebuild. From what I've read so far, they didn't have much "battle lust" in them to begin with so I'm not sure it would have made a difference.

  2. I too think it was essentially business as usual dressed up as something more. But I doubt it's an indicator of imminent fail cascade, sounds like a fun op accompanied by an unusual level of herf blerf, presumably because Rote's elite warriors wouldn't have condescended to structure shooting otherwise.

  3. If Rote have the power and will to shape Syndicate more to their liking then more power to them, especially if they have some fun along the way.

    As to "picking low hanging fruit" it makes strategic sense, test your doctrine and tactics and send a message that will either weaken your next opponents morale, a good result. Or it stiffens their opponents resolve resulting in better fights which is from what I know of Rote something they would consider to also be a good result.

    If you don't like what's going on, ship up, ship out and go weapons hot. Moralising from a safe distance is the easy option especially in a game that allows you to take positive action.

    1. You're absolutely right. I'm going to find me an alliance in failscade, declare war on them, and take credit for their demise.

      That'll learn 'em. Make me a big man in your eyes too as that seems how you measure such things. ;)

  4. I think jihad (or crusade) would be a better term than fatwa. Because a jihad/crusade is meant to get rid of the heathen, whilst purifying the ones pursuing it. Which would be a good lead to the part of your post about the real aim of this operation.
    After all being a small scale PvP alliance in a game that is not supporting your playstyle is bound to lead said alliance to accommodate this lack of support. Thus declaring themselves Lords (or sheikhs?) of Syndicate.

    1. But I'm the shaikh of Syndicate. There can be only one.

    2. "Here we are, born to be sheikhs
      With the capsuleers of Syndicate."

  5. About the change of style of R. Teg in these 2 posts, I think it's more about trying a different style of writing (a la Susan Black?) rather than his blog turning into a mouthpiece for RK. He even said so in one of his comments. I guess we should read those posts the way we read Garth's, and not assume these 2 posts represent the whole of Mr Teg.