Greedy Goblin

Friday, June 7, 2013

The first and last mistake of The Mittani

I'm not used to make two posts a day. It's an exception, replying to a recent event. The regular article of today is here.

The Mittani is known as "the King of Space", he is the leader of CFC coalition, he won CSM7 by large and would win CSM8 if he'd care to run. He gained his power via manipulation, lies and diplomacy.

He now made a mistake. His first one within EVE (suicidegate was outside EVE). And probably his last one too. I believe this mistake will be his undoing. No, I'm not talking about an invasion against TEST. I'm talking about his recent State of the Alliance message.

This message has two elements that would alone be enough to undo him, but together they are sure death sentence. The first is openly claiming that he wants Fountain for its moons and literally nothing else: "he hard fact is that we would not be going to war against TEST if they were living in Providence." Why is it a problem? Because "pubbie carebears" want moons. "Big, manly PvP-ers" just want good fights and tears and "give no fucks". CFC routinely invade highsec and kill residents for no other reason than "being carebears". SMA just had to kick half its membership for being carebears on the order of The Mittani. And now, he announce a "carebear-war", one motivated by nothing else than getting ISK. The Mittani doesn't even notice, but he declared himself the biggest carebear in EVE by that SotA.

It isn't a surprise. "good fights" are a bullshit fed to the grunts who waste their time in fleets which get spoils for their masters. If the grunts needed to be paid with even L4 hourly income for opportunity cost, a 500-man, 3 hours long fleet action would cost 60B just in salaries. The Mittani doesn't have that money, nor anyone else. So they created the narrative of the "gives no fucks PvP-er", a badge of honor that can be gained by giving your time at their service for free. This narrative is only viable if the opposite, "the carebear" is despicable.

The other mistake is declaring that other wars were started by propaganda, "a declaration of grievance, followed by a quest for justice. The enemy did a bad thing to us, and now we must go after them to redress the balance; they are bad people and need to be punished." He then continue and say that he doesn't even bother to do this again. This makes him a liar retroactively. He didn't even bother to make an exception "we always fought for justice/tears/revenge/gudfites, but now we are financially troubled so must make a one-time exception of a carebear-war". He confesses that he was always after the money and lied to his grunts. He finishes with "This is a CFC invasion, which means that we will be judging participation as a basis for spoils and moons will be distributed accordingly... There will be no Q&A session."

So the translation of the recent SotA:
  1. I want moons, not good fights, not glory, nor tears, not revenge. Moons. ISK. Like the highsec miners.
  2. I always wanted moons. CFC was never about glory, tears or revenge. It was about ISK.
  3. I used to lie to you that we are fighting for glory, tears and revenge, because it made you feel good so you kept serving me for free.
  4. I can't even bother keeping up the narrative that we are PvP-ers who are more valuable than highsec miners.
  5. Just shut up and get my iskies or you'll be whipped!
I think CFC grunts will be a bit less motivated to show up than TESTies who now literally fight for survival. By dropping HBC, BoodaBooda clearly proved that he is truly not after ISK or power but good fights and making a mess. I expect 150 vs 1500 battles.

The Mittani is history. I doubt if the new war slogan "Nice region, we'll take it" will be accepted by Goons.

29 comments:

Jason said...

Dear Gevlon,

Although I catch myself disagreeing with a lot of your posts, I find them all interesting and well-structured... up until this one !
This "mittani is dead" post is filled with so many wild assumptions, void stereotypes and fault logic, that’s not even funny.
The only reasonable explanation I can come up with, is that you wrote this piece as a motivational post and nothing more

Even if you take out The Mittani’s “career in EVE, his “abilities” are undisputed, even by his enemies. Don’t you think that a punch line like “The Mittani is history” is far fetched ?
What makes you think that his grunts are indifferent about ISK income? It translates into free ships weapons and modules, less ISK grinding with their alts and more time doing what they really like: blowing things up!
Even if some of them are and all they care about is “good fights”, an invasion guarantees exactly that point: fights! The definition of what is considered “good” varies but fleet grunts don’t give a damn, as long as they win.
So, eventually what he said sounds quite normal and logical to his grunts: “We need ISK and we’re going to get them by fighting”. Simple and effective, everyone’s happy.

P.S. I’m one of the guys that still remembers what BoB means and actually “fought” them and “won” , a long time ago ;)

Gevlon said...

In nullsec, getting ISK is like going to the toilet to have a dump. Everyone does it and no one speaks about it. The "PvP-ers" are deriving their ego from "give no fucks", while they obviously do.

The Mittani is history not because he is wrong. He is history because he told the truth into their face: you aren't better than highsec miners, it's all about the ISK.

It's like going to an ugly fat woman and tell her "you are an ugly fat woman". She won't like you anymore.

Sugar Kyle said...

The CFC has never been shy about its wealth and interest in staying wealthy. They are realists. Moons mean they are not level 4 mission runners for ISK in high sec. But they have always been realists about ISK, logistics, and industry. It seems more of a 'we don't live under the shelter of empire'.

Gevlon said...

@Sugar: CFC members are of course not children to don't know that ISK is needed for anything. However we are also not spaceship pilots, we are nerds behind computers. The all game is about pretenses. For an hour or two we are unstoppable space monsters, fearsome pirates or billionaires.

Mittens broke the magic. They can easily make a calculation that the amount of time sitting in stations when the enemy is outnumbering and shooting empty structures when they are outnumbering simply not worth the effort. They never did it for ISK. They did it for the space monster image. It's gone now.

Anonymous said...

Dear Greedy,

In similar way you will be always perceived as carebear - no matter how many barges ganked - The Mittani will always be glorious leader of pvp. It is an imago, stuck into everyone's mind on emotional level, which can not be argued away with rational arguments or logic.

You should not take your perception as reality neither. While you may perceive that CFC is just about "give no fucks" and "good fights", it does not mean it is true. Jumping to conclusions based on perception will easily lead to wrong one.

Clearly, moon goo is perceived less the grind than missions or mining and ISK/hour is much higher. Controlling scarce and limited resource is clearly good strategy and even better is that you can have "good fight" fights to obtain control over it.

My crystal ball shows me that The Mittani will stay in power for long.

However my crystal ball remains cloudy if Gevlon fixes his theory and will ever admit his mistakes openly.

Khanhrhh said...

Do you even realise that all of the spending of said ISK goes on reimbursimg members at peacetime, paying for SIGs to go do things, paying for SOV for people to live in, fuel for people to move around, free carriers, endless free ships for newbees ... and everything else?

I'm not sure if you're just being willfully obtuse or just simply don't recognize why every member, be him grunt or director, thinks space communism is ~awesome~?

Eaten by a Grue said...

I think you are just confusing the necessary with the sufficient. Goodfights are necessary but not sufficient. ISK is needed also.

Gevlon said...

@Khanhrhh, Anonymous: moon money isn't awesome. Even on the peak of OTEC, CFC rolled in like a trillion from it. For 10000 members. That's 100M. With L4 or mining time that's 2.5 hours/month. Having all those moons saved members 2.5 hours of grinding a month.

Now please tell me that capturing those moons was done by a single 2.5 hours long fleet. You have any idea how many man-hours was put into evicting NCdot. And how much ISK was destroyed on the way?

Capturing Sov has probably worse ISK/hour than running lvl1s or mining in a Venture.

If there was any ISK in it, Pandemic Legion would have captured all of it and rented it out.

People were fighting for the narrative and the image. The ISK was just bonus. They would have participated even if there was no profit at all.

Now Mittani took the narrative away from them. Now it's pure ISK. And if grunts start to count their hours, they'll soon realize that the "free" carrier was probably the most expensive thing they ever bought in EVE.

Anonymous said...

Your entire article is baseless. Mittens did not state that this was to make him rich, he stated it is to continue the social programs that the CFC has become accustomed to - social programs which are the very reason for why the CFC is the power that it is.

Mittens will be around long after you are a distant memory Gevlon. The CFC will clean house in this war, take fountain, and grow fat and rich off moongoo once again.

Von Keigai said...

Listen to your commenters Gevlon. People love socialism and will fight for it even as it bankrupts them. People are also tribal: they want and need an "us" who are Good, and a "them" who are not, and will construct these categories as necessary. The Mittani does not need to give Goons any good reason at all to fight: "gudfights". They fight because fighting is fun, especially fighting with small chance of significant loss. They fight because fighting together activates the "comradery" module in men's minds. (And who knows, maybe some women too. SEXISM!! OMG!) And comradery is one of the most powerful and rewarding feelings there is.

Goons have socialism lite: you can do all the capitalist/selfish ISK accumulation you want on your own, and you get to do it with better ISK/hour than L4 missions because you are in null. But why would you? You get reimbursement for ships. You get carriers bought for you. So you rat for 8 hours per month to pay PLEX, maybe. Or you just subscribe and have fun.

And of course the other nice aspect of goon space socialism is that unlike real socialism, it cannot keep you prisoner. If you don't like it, you can leave, and there is nothing The Mittani can do to hold you. The Mittani cannot become a tyrant.

As for the spoils of moon goo: it is passive income. You take the moon once and then hold it indefinitely, certainly for more than 1 month on average. So it is not the equivalent of L4 for 2.5 hours per month. It is more like every member runs L4s for 30 or 60 hours, then spends the income gradually over the next one or two years. Is structure grinding really worse than running L4s? At least on a grind you can do something else most of the time.

Invictus13307 said...

The SotA's tone is very clear: "Goons are fighting for survival with this invasion; failure means the gravy train ends".

That's something every goon can get behind, even those that honestly look for "good" or "honorable" fights. (Assuming any such goons exist.)

This would be a propaganda failure if CFC framed itself as a good or honorable organization, but they don't. To summarize the welcome message from the Newbie Guide: "Welcome to being a bad guy. Why aren't you scamming? You should be scamming."

Declaring a war for ISK isn't against their espoused principles or group identity, so it won't cause the dissent it normally would.

Gevlon said...

@Invictus: the Goon narrative is indeed that they are the "bad guys". However capturing a region for its riches isn't evil, it's simply rational (= carebear). Also, it's too similar to "Nice region, we'll take it"

Invictus13307 said...

@Gevlon: Agreed, but most people equate "rational and self-interested" with "evil". The "bad guy" narrative works, even if the CFC is only doing what any intelligent organization would do, because people will still condemn them for it.

Druur Monakh said...

@Gevlon In your reply to Invictus you are creating a false dichotomy: that self-acclaimed bad guys can't act rational when needed. I can't even begin to fathom where you get that from.

In general, you get Goons even less than I do. Goon leadership was never shy about keeping economic incentives in mind. Dividing the spoils of war based on participation has been SOP for years. Goon leadership was also never shy about admitting to the use of propaganda and projects like Burn Jita in order to keep Goons motivated enough to log in.

Goons are proud of their space communism financed by their riches, because it allows the Average Member to maximize the only metric important to them: time spent making other people unhappy.

Also, in all the years I have noticed that the Goons are at their best when they fight for the survival of their way of life.

And lets not forget that the CFC is not just Goons - there are other, 'normal' alliances as well. And to my knowledge none of them have ever claimed to not be interested in increasing their income.

Anonymous said...

"The Mittani is history not because he is wrong. He is history because he told the truth into their face: you aren't better than highsec miners, it's all about the ISK."

You make the assumption that people would care about the truth.
You do. I'm not sure how many would care.
Some might be fanboys 'omg, mittani is so cool. i cant believe that I played with him'. Some want to join a group, any group, that has some status. Most people are not rational.

He could always twist it to say that it filled a hidden agenda that served into their best interest. If he gives two contradicting pieces of news, they are more likely to believe what they want to believe.

I'm sure that this has no real impact. It's great drama though :)
An 'enemy' could use it against him at some point, although I doubt that such a message could easily reach the masses.

Khanhrhh said...

"moon money isn't awesome. Even on the peak of OTEC, CFC rolled in like a trillion from it. For 10000 members. That's 100M. With L4 or mining time that's 2.5 hours/month. Having all those moons saved members 2.5 hours of grinding a month."

This is nonsense because you seem unable to equate that people do one thing to have fun, and another to enable fun to happen. To you, money is money and money is it's own end. That's not so for your regular Goon who just wants to derp around and have fun in spaceships. They WANT the state to pay them for their losses because they don't WANT to have to earn the ISK for it.

The fact that people will have fun killing TEST (which enables the money to have fun doing other things) just means it's fun enabling fun.

I'm not sure if I need pity you don't understand the game (any game) should be about enjoying it?

Invictus13307 said...

@Anonymous 18:26: Why would the Mittani need to twist this?

"Evil" organizations are self-selecting in that "good" players are too principled to join in the first place. Consequently, most members are totally on board with concepts like "We're doing this for the ISK" and "Nice region, we'll take it". There's nothing to twist because the primary audience agrees with the core message.

Alkarasu said...

@Gevlon
I think, there is at least one reason you are wrong here, and that reason is quite enough alone. You see, people tend to lie a lot. I mean, A LOT. Most don't even notice, how much of what they saying is a blatant lie. And one of the favorite topic for an everyday lies (after the notorious "it broke itself, I wasn't doing anything!") is what people really think they value. And what's most fascinating in this is that how people from likely-minded group manage to lie in the way, that everyone in that group understands, that it's a lie, but never shows any sign of that understanding. Goons are one of the more obvious examples of this. They may declare anything as the principles, goals, way of life they follow, but when they want something - they put all that crap aside, get what they want, and then continue as if nothing happened.

splatus said...

Well, Gevlon, thats one way to interpret it. Not the way I (not a goon) read it.

Nullsec corps live of their ship replacement programs which is part of their ability to attract and retain pilots. ISK is absolutely required for that and what Mittani said was that he needs the Moons / ISK for the CFC to keep up their domination.

Thats perfectly understandable and should not be controversial among goons and non-goons.

Not sure where the problem is here...

Anonymous said...


I believe this to be the mittanis last hurrah and his swansong before he steps down/retires.

Bleys said...

"Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" - George Carlin

Which half do you think Goons come from? I doubt their conditioning will allow them to read what you did in Mittani's address.

Michael LeBlanc said...

Test has had fountain for 2 years, and has only had to defend moons a handful of times. While 100m per member in the first month may not be worth their time, 2.4 billion definitely is

Moreover, the income is not distributed evenly, it goes to people who pvp more and guess who is grinding those moons? The people who pvp most.

PL does indeed have a lot of moons. They don't have much SOV because you have to defend sov, and they want to be nomadic. Renting doesn't help this as you still have to defend it. The whole point of renting is that the sov holder provides the defense. But PL recognizes the value of moons and holds quite a few in places where they don't often have to defend them

As for Mittani's "mistakes", pretty much everything he said was exactly what goons wanted to hear. They knew that their biggest income source just got nerfed and they wanted to know how they were going to maintain their culture. He gave the answer straight up.

The "this will be used to determine rewards" is nothing new, and it's not saying tow the line or else, it's saying if you do well you'll get stuff. It's about rewards, not punishment. This was how TEST ended up with fountain in the first place

Perhaps the bit on the narrative was a bit of a mistake, but I doubt most line members will interpret it the way you think. More likely it will be interpreted as "sometimes we trump up reasons to get a fight. This time we don't have to, we need money and we have a weakened neighbor that we can take it from". It's always been a big part of goon culture that they will do things for money reasons, and Mittani has always vocally supported this position. It's also always been a big culture that they propogandize heavily, and again Mittens has always been for this. He isn't saying anything he hasn't said before

Finally, most line members don't care about what he says the reasons are, they want to fight TEST, and he said they're going to fight TEST. He could have said it was for any reason at all. TEST - Goon relations have soured significantly in the last few months to the point that goon line members have been itching to invade. The fact that it's fountain is even sweeter, as it was the CFC that conquered fountain, it left the CFC without a fight when TEST formed the HBC and a lot of them want it back

Anonymous said...

"I think CFC grunts will be a bit less motivated to show up than TESTies who now literally fight for survival. By dropping HBC, BoodaBooda clearly proved that he is truly not after ISK or power but good fights and making a mess. I expect 150 vs 1500 battles."

Meanwhile, in the Real World, CFC fields 2 full fleets (256) almost every time a ping goes out, while TEST are nowhere to be seen apart from their ISK farmers that never followed the rest to defend Delve when Booda announced it quite some time ago.

Also you have no idea how much DBRB loves to shoot structures.

Anonymous said...

@Invictus
I've not read the post of Mittani. I am uninterested in its content.
Even if what Gevlon was said was considered true by the population it would have no impact or consequences.


Anonymous said...

@Anonymous TEST has fielded over 1000 members 4 times in the past 2 weeks. Not sure what koolaid you're drinking there. Tonight we ONLY got 500 because we deployed with very little notice.

Invictus13307 said...

@Anonymous 2:26:
I agree with you, that it won't have much impact, but I think we have different opinions on why.

It sounds like you're saying there's a hidden truth behind the core message ("Invade Fountain for ISK"), but that truth will have no impact, even if everyone believes it.

I'm saying the lack of impact is because Goons, rational or not, will find something in the core message that they agree with. The core message is simple and sufficiently explains the Goons' motivations, so there's no additional truth to uncover.

Rational-minded Goons accept the core message because they realize Fountain is important to their survival.

Social-minded Goons accept the core message because it is consistent with their group identity as villains. (Fighting for survival is not villainous, but they will be called villains for doing it, reinforcing the notion.)

David Boshko said...

They're just like the Ironborn.

Set out to make money by doing things that don't take money away from others = carebear

Set out to make money by doing things that do take money away from others = PvP

Going after money is fine as long as you pay the iron price...

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

Erm, i don't think a single declaration can unmake Mittani.

It will give him some trouble rallying his supporters, to be sure (assuming they decode his message in the same way Gevlon did). It also might lead to said unmaking, assuming Mittani suddenly becomes too inflexible and insists on dealing with that rallying in a heavy-handed manner.

Gevlon is right in the sense that this address flies in what seems to be the general organisational culture under Mittani's command, and is therefore a very disadvantageous move.

There should be some more disadvantageous moves before Mittani is "unmade" though.

Anonymous said...

Even if i thought these points were valid (and that's a BIG if - see most of the other comments) it wouldn't matter. People would believe just about any lie to uphold their world-view.

But someone else has been deceived. That someone is you. You believe the Goon propaganda, that they hide their PVP prowess behind their motto "being bad at Eve".

That's a narrative Goons built. They built it to troll people. And you've taken the bait.

If Goons actually were about "mad PVP skillz" they'd failed long ago. Because they'd feel alienated by this - even Goons realize that being F1-monkeys doesn't constitute 1EE7-PVP. (Not saying that every Goon is one all the time!) That realization would make people leave, after all they'd feel they don't actually meet that criterion.