Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why join the great war?

EVE World War 3 is upon us. Everyone on the Sov map (maybe except for Providence) has taken sides and went to war. I didn't. As I read more and more, the less and less I'm inclined to, despite my WH adventure didn't go well at all. I'm printing money using trivial methods, but no one will follow these methods because they are "not fun".

What's wrong with the big war? I simply can't distinguish the blocks. I mean I know which ticker goes where, I just can't tell how is an average corp/alliance on one side is different from the other. Compare it with World War II. On the side of the allies there were democracies who fought for staying that way. On the side of Hitler there were dictatorships, usually with strong racist ideology. Of course there were also opportunistic ones who joined to whoever was locally stronger or whoever wasn't shooting them (the most prominent of this group was Stalin who first signed a treaty with Hitler and turned to the allies only after it was betrayed).

But in "Eve World War 3" everyone seems to be an "opportunistic one". Neither side has a strong ideology or culture that worth fighting for or against. This is different even from the previous great EVE wars. Goonswarm was very different from BoB and TEST was also very different from AAA. You could like one of them and despise the other. The ideology of GSF and TEST was the newbie-friendly swarm (PL was an opportunistic odd one), while their opponents believed in "elite PvP". This was a clear distinction between the camps.

What happened? First, Montolio happened, who wanted power without ideology or purpose. He distanced TEST from its natural ally, the Goons and blued several organizations that absolutely did not fit the TEST culture (myself included). Of course Goons also gained some allies that fitting into BoB better than into GSF. The line TEST and Goon member considered each other bros and liked less their own allies like Raiden or FA than the "enemy". HBC both lacked a unifying ideology/culture and an unquestionable leader. Despite his efforts to be the next king of space, Montolio was the chairman of HBC and not its king. "It was fun until it wasn't" were his epic words of resignation, when he tried to attack CFC for no other reason than losing his patience.

Sort Dragon, who tried to be the king where Montolio failed, managed to fail in a few weeks. HBC fell apart. Then, The Mittani made his greatest mistake (which wasn't his final as I predicted) and attacked TEST for some ratting space. Without the HBC or a good leader (Boodabooda...), TEST was clearly not in the position or even the mood for running another coalition. Considering that the line members just recently voted against attacking the Goons and they were under attack from NC., TEST could easily be called back to the CFC. Maybe they would have been more maverick than most Goon pets but the strong cultural ties and the lack of options would kept them in the line.

In Fountain, for the first time in their history, CFC wasn't facing something BoB-like, a collection of "elite PvP" assholes, but "no fucks given, let's jump and see how it goes" people like themselves. The Mittani didn't even try to ideologize it: "we are here for Fountain" was the slogan. Probably he expected a one-week long victory march.

Nulli, NC. and PL recognized that if TEST falls, they will be the next. With their help, the Fountain war went to a stalemate, and stayed that way until PL and NC. simply lost interest. They - wrongfully - assumed that CFC is no longer a serious threat, TEST can keep them busy. After all, grinding structures in bombless bombers turned Goons from monsters into a laughing stock. They didn't see (or care about) the serious internal problems and total lack of leadership in TEST. While Nulli properly recognized that as long as CFC exists, they are in danger, alone they couldn't organize the defense of Fountain and TEST couldn't organize anything. While the pilots logged in, there were no FCs, logistics was stolen left and right and so on. Since TEST couldn't create fleets and N3 created less and less, the pilots couldn't join fleets so lost interest. After 6VDT, which was totally winnable if PL and NC. cares to show up, TEST collapsed and evacuated sov space.

The formation and collapse of HBC created a situation where practically everyone was the ally and the enemy of CFC at some point in 2013. With the attack on TEST for "nice region, we take it", commanding their blues as pets and creating PBLRD, CFC lost its final pieces of uniqueness too. It was symbolic how RAZOR was recently yelled at for daring to think of having an identity instead of just being part of the swarm. From here, every alliance was alike, recruiting similar people, using similar strategies, allying with others opportunistically.

Let me try to explain "ideology" in practical terms: it's simply "how do we live after the victory". In BoB, AAA, NC. people lived in the spirit of "killboard must be green" and "pets don't talk back". In GSF-TEST they lived in the spirit of "let's blow them up or blow up hilariously" and "all blues are broes". The outcome of the war had a serious effect on the life of the individual pilot. Now, would N3 devastate CFC or the other way, the only difference the average Joe would see is the new alliance tag next to his name. He would farm the same systems, fly the same ships and live the same way. The great war doesn't look like an epic struggle that will define the future, it's rather similar to a World of Tanks battle with randomly assigned teams shooting each other because it's a tank-shooting game. Except in EVE the loser doesn't get experience points and credits. The winner neither, just space to rent for ISK/month/member that would make a veldspar miner laugh.

I would love to hear members of either block how are they different from their enemies and why should non-aligned players or groups align with them. Do you, at least internally, have a narrative? Or are you satisfied with "lock up primary, press F1, receive killmail and SRP"?

There is one light in the darkness: the slowcats. They are an expensive doctrine that cannot be broken by throwing 3 times more cheap stuff on them. CFC is begging CCP to nerf them, but they won't, as there must be a doctrine which allows a richer but smaller group to win. Otherwise there wouldn't be fights at all: simply the spies would count both fleets and the smaller one would stand down with no hope of victory. To upkeep the slowcats or to break them with Naglfars, both sides need ISK. I hope that one day one of them will be desperate enough to remember my donation board that gave ISK to TEST matching whole renter empires in short order. The donation board was an attempt for a cultural change: recognizing those who contribute via economy and not PvP, keeping the alliance in ships. When this happens, there will be a clear ideological rift between the sides: one of them will be "fuck carebears, we are PvP-ers", the other will be "carebearing is equally valuable contribution as PvP". One will have a reason to pick a side.

22 comments:

Lucas Kell said...

@Gevlon
"Probably he expected a one-week long victory march."
This is completely wrong. Seriously. Reread the original post that announced the war:
http://themittani.com/news/war-cfc-invades-fountain

I'll quote the bit you seem to have missed. "One final note: do not underestimate the defenders. This may be a long war, and we have grown soft from too much peace."

Mittani knew from the beginning it wasn't going to be a cake walk.

"Or are you satisfied with "lock up primary, press F1, receive killmail and SRP"?"
None of us can realistically answer this, since it's a loaded question. No matter how much we tell you that we simply enjoy what we are doing, and theres a lot more to most fights than merely pushing F1 (especially when you are logi :p) you won;t take it on board. You've already made up your mind, so there's no point in anyone trying to convince you. So I'll just say: Sure, we're a bunch of F1 pushing monkeys.

"There is one light in the darkness: the slowcats. They are an expensive doctrine that cannot be broken by throwing 3 times more cheap stuff on them. CFC is begging CCP to nerf them, but they won't, as there must be a doctrine which allows a richer but smaller group to win."
Slowcats aren't the problem, drone assist is, and it's not just the CFC that are questioning that, the CSM themselves are discussing it. When you can get enough drones to alpha a capital ship, and you can assign them all to a tiny, fast locking ship, that's pretty game breaking.

The problem is that the majority of the fleet doesn't even need to be an F1 pushing monkey. They simply assist drones, set up their spider tank chain, then they can go AFK. The only person that needs to actually be awake is the person with the drones assigned. They just shoot their civilian autocannon at people and watch them explode. I find it quite amusing that you'll happily go on about people "just pushing F1", yet "assign and AFK" gameplay you see no issue with.

Dado R. said...

Although the actual thesis of the post is worth debating, the whole post was mired with misconceptions, biased views and just plain wrong information.

1- PL / N3 coalition left test not because they thought test could keep the goons occupied, but they knew that it was a matter of time before they were defeated. They left them right after the so close call (server down by a typo) of the whole slow cat fleet being destroyed.

2- FA is closer to BoB than Goons in mentality/ideology? Really, that is what you are going with?

3- How was taking fountain a mistake? It was both a tactical and strategic victory, don't throw statements like that without good backing.

4- Your idea about the donation board is a failed concept, just accept it, it changed nothing. It is a one time thing that isn't sustainable.

5- Using bombless bombers didn't make them a laughing stock, by all means it proved how innovative they are in tactical warfare. It shows how if you have better ideas and better theory crafting you can win a war with "bombless bombers".

Anyways there is more things that are plain wrong in the post, and frankly I don't want to get back and find them all, those will suffice for now.

I come to your blog because you have some insightful ideas and concepts, but unfortunately I have to delve into a sea of bullshit to get to the good concepts. I frankly don't know if it is worth it anymore.

Anonymous said...

i'm not aware of any conflict that would qualify as a huge war within the 0sec community. Right now all i can see is mostly meaningless engagements and proxy-conflicts. I don't see any proper goals or widespread fronts.

Can you please elaborate, which are the conflict parties, and what are the stakes of that conflict you are speaking about?

Gevlon said...

@Lucas: you forget how many sov war fleets I was. I can tell from experience that there is NOTHING else in a sov fleet (unless you are the FC) than "lock up primary/rep broadcast) and press F1".

My question is: "is the above gameplay has inherit fun for you, or is it a grind for some greater goal" (of course the greater goal can be laughing on the enemy when they lose system after system)

Drone assist fix (I agree that winning PvP while AFK is bizarre), won't remove slowcats, merely force the pilots to be at their keyboards, lock up primary and press "drones attack" key. While this indeed cost them some alpha (no more perfect coordination), their DPS and spider tank remains.

@Dado R:
1: If PL/N3 left because they no longer hoped to win Fountain, they are retards, as the result of such action is obviously what happened: they are facing CFC on their own sov, without a thousand TESTies on their side (TEST returned from FW, but their power diminished greatly). The logical move would have been fighting for every system of Fountain, slowing down Goons.

2: my first impression of FA was self-destructing a Nyx with 200 FA in local docked, because they were feared that SYNDICATE RESIDENTS might counterdrop them. You can't make me not despise FA.

3: Fountain was a mistake because they could get it for the CFC by re-adopting the orphaned TEST. Then they would not only get Fountain, Delve, Period Basis without a gunshot, but also gain thousand-strong CFC members.

4: Since TEST collapsed, no one can tell the long-term effect. The only thing we know for sure that it worked in short term.

5: Remember, I was in TEST. CFC in bombless bombers was a running joke and a major propaganda inside TEST. No one saw it as innovative, it was seen as desperate. I didn't say it didn't work. I said it turned CFC into laughing stock, and that's an observed fact.

Anonymous said...

How many sov war fleets were you in that you are an expert?

What roles did you fill that you know that all roles just involve F1?

You obviously have more experience than Lucas, as you are telling him that your experience is greater, so bring the numbers so we can compare.
Facts are better than hyperbole and opinion, so, we need to know the following to assess:

1) How many fleet fights have you been involved in?
2) What role did you play in these fleet fights?
3) What level of involvement have you had in battle planning?
4)Related to 2, what fleet were you in within these battles?

Lucas Kell said...

@Gevlon
"I can tell from experience that there is NOTHING else in a sov fleet (unless you are the FC) than "lock up primary/rep broadcast) and press F1"."
Hate to tell you this buddy, but that's not exactly the common thing. Most fleets provide people with a fair amount else to do. The people that are only F1 monkeys, they are usually either alts or complete grunts who are unable to work in any of the other groups. You seem to have a lot of experiences in TEST that are simply not indicative of nullsec as a whole, so I'd take your experience with a pinch of salt. You have to remember that I am in fact actively in a null group right now, I've been in fleets this very week. You can't tell me there only F1 pushing when clearly there's more than that going on. That's like me calling someone in a hot desert and trying to convince them it's snowing.

"My question is: "is the above gameplay has inherit fun for you, or is it a grind for some greater goal""
The the "above gameplay" is no the gameplay most of us experience, I couldn't tell you.

"Drone assist fix (I agree that winning PvP while AFK is bizarre), won't remove slowcats, merely force the pilots to be at their keyboards, lock up primary and press "drones attack" key. While this indeed cost them some alpha (no more perfect coordination), their DPS and spider tank remains."
While true, slowcats aren't new and aren't inherently strong. They take a very long time to lock a target. the drone assist effectively gives them a half second lock time, meaning they can output their full DPS from all of their ships combined with great ease. If targets were broadcast instead, you'd have to wait for all of the locks to complete, DPS to swap and land, and that's if everyone did it right, which I guarantee many wouldn't. And the loss of alpha means the logi can now rep the target. The whole reason it's difficult to defend against is that even if you are already running reps on a target, the alpha will kill the target between landing reps. Lose the alpha, and you lose that ability.

"Fountain was a mistake because they could get it for the CFC by re-adopting the orphaned TEST."
Why would the CFC want TEST? A failing alliance is hardly appealing, and we needed the warmup fights to get our doctrines set. If we hadn't been to war with TEST, chances are we would have been walked over in the past few weeks, since we wouldn't have had the time to build new doctrines. When we started in fountain we were still running TFIs and all sorts of nonsense.

"Remember, I was in TEST. CFC in bombless bombers was a running joke and a major propaganda inside TEST. No one saw it as innovative, it was seen as desperate. I didn't say it didn't work. I said it turned CFC into laughing stock, and that's an observed fact."
Yes, but only a laughing stock for TEST lol. Anyone with half an ounce of a clue about the meta realised it was a really powerful tactic. You guys laughing at us as all of your sov dropped around you wasn't exactly damaging. Siege fleet allowed for a considerably quicker sov takeover with no chance of allowing the onlookers like PL and N3 to drop on a capital fleet. If we'd dropped dreads, they'd have dropped supers, and we'd have most likely lost. So instead we took in a fleet that was near unstoppable leaving the super to sit idly but watching us take everything out.

I'm sure you must be able to understand why it was a good tactic, as I don;t believe you're that stupid, but I think you are so set on being anti-CFC that you will never allow yourself to even look at it for what it accomplished. Expensive fleets aren;t the only way to win. Sometimes you can push sheer numbers if you have them and that is literally the defining characteristic of goonswarm.

provi Miner said...

Lets start with drone assist, F1, and Caps vs numbers. Some of this rings true, drone assist is broken, however so too is large fleet engagements along with sov mechanics. As long as a blob can beat a well fought fleet then drone assist is the only counter. That sov happens according to timers the blob will will rule except when countered by drone assist.

Your right the only difference is how obnoxious the two groups are, with the goons be far more of phoney internet bully types. Otherwise you nailed it.

Now to the last point (or the first, lol). Providence have you noticed that nearly everything you say you need exists in this place? While there are pvp alliances in provi not all are pvp based. There are several (read mostly) composit alliances that vary in composition but seem to me an insider (of provi) to make up you dream group part pvp, part, indy, part pve. The only difference that I can see between your "desire" and reality is the most pilots in provi actually touch on them all rather then only one. I know very few pure pvp pilots, pve pilots, indy pilots. Most do a composit of them. I am curious as to why you haven't tried there, I think you would find it a very cool place to try your ideals out corp/alliance wise.

Anonymous said...

"Fountain was a mistake because they could get it for the CFC by re-adopting the orphaned TEST."


I rode with the CFC back when TEST was a part of it, and I can tell you it was never a match made in heaven. While The Mittani was spouting bullshit about how TEST is "internet community e-family", at grunt level people were itching to reset and shoot TEST. They hated how they were all buddy-budy with PL and Raiden, they hated the shitposting on internal forums and the general retardedness. When Mittani intro'd the Great Cultural Revolution (banning lolling shitty memes from forums and fleets), your friend Richter Enderas went into a 20 minute nerd e-rage. I assume you never heard this soundcloud before joining TEST, to see who your new FC would be (https://soundcloud.com/user3885713/20-more-minutes-of-sperging). You said it yourself that the difference between PL FCd fleets and TEST BC fleets still haunts you. I wasn't around anymore when the reset happened, but I'm assuming CFC were celebrating. TEST are EVE's ultimate play for fun(play to troll?) 'social guild'. They could only manage to tie their shoelaces because Goons and PL spoon fed them, and the reason they did it was because they were sooooooo cute newbies. The moment they stopped being cute and thought they could leave kindergarden it all fell to pieces. Having the perspective of both cultures, before they split, I could never understand why you chose to join TEST, but anyway.


As for F1 mashing gameplay, I'll let you in on a little secret: all MMOs are terrible games with terrible gameplay. The 'questing' is repetitive and boring and grindy, raids are buggy and poorly tuned and completely boring on the 20th run, your character story isn't as good as a solo RPG or RTS where you are actually playing the main hero, the rich and deep lore is written by Q-grade writers and is all Mary-Sue characters and retcons, PVP is unbalanced and zergy and a complete joke compared to a dedicated PvP game. You don't play a MMO for its amazing gameplay or 'content', those are just the means not the ends. You play it for the meta-content and the meta-context. The pixel dragon is 'epic' when you are doing it with 30 other comrades, you grind the ten rats because it matters in the context of the world/progression, you shoot the tower at 4AM unopposed because it has impact in a persistent world, and you hate the guy who owns it and want to ruin his internet pixels. That's why people do it, plus basic human nature: groupish thinking, us vs them, being in an e-war since IRL war sucks, and any other subconscious instinctual schemes. Of course you don't understand human nature, and you are trying to discover it by doing equations and reinvent the wheel in your basement, when you could just read "The Righteous Mind" by J. Haidt like I told you... It'll release you from your eternal torment of trying to decode "fun" and "why they do/don't do that".

Druur Monakh said...

@Gevlon " CFC in bombless bombers […] I didn't say it didn't work. I said it turned CFC into laughing stock, and that's an observed fact."

As Lucas said, the laughing was mostly restricted to TEST, and even there I'd be curious how much of it was just manufactured morale propaganda.

But let's say all of EVE laughed at the bombless bombers (which it didn't): even then the fact is that CFC won. One of the important characteristics of the Goons in EVE is that they use what works, regardless of whether or not it offends other peoples' notion of e-bushido.

Remember that the concept of The Swarm overrunning The Snobs has been the original Goon narrative in the first great EVE war. For Goons, pushing their numbers is just another tool in their arsenal, to be used when appropriate.

Von Keigai said...

I thought the bombless bombers were innovative. Actually, that is what I think now. What I thought at the time was: "Really? Nobody thought of this before? Isn't it obvious?"

Like Lucas, I don't understand why you don't understand this. I grasp why you cannot understand that people want friends more than ISK. You don't need them. But I do not grasp why you cannot see this, because it is basically an engineering problem. Bombless bombers are a good solution to grinding structure in a particular strategic environment.

Anonymous said...

I know you don't care much for things like "respect" or "authority" since they can't be measured in ISK, but this post continues your downward spiral. As someone with years of 0.0 experience, I'd delve deeper, but Lucas is both faster and Gooner than me, so I'll defer to him.

I know you also don't care much for what other people have to say, but understand that you're wrong. You're wrong about the internal politics and motivations of PL (the only group I can speak to), you're wrong about how highly-skilled (RL skill, not SP) players function in fleet fights, you're wrong about why people go to war in null sec.

You're sounding more and more like a bitter TESTie that couldn't hack it (which, honestly, is pretty bad). You mock "we didn't want that region anyway," yet you give up on your "game-changing gank project" because "it wasn't making a difference anyway." You mock "F1 bashing" fleets and laud the use of slowcats. You mock "bombless bombers" without understanding why the doctrine exists and works.

It's been said many times and many ways, but this post is probably the jewel in your crown of ignorance: If you listen to others, if you learn, you might understand why things happen. You might learn that there are intricacies to large fleet fights not readily apparent, and the

Or you can go back to your wormhole project, which I'm sure you'll find some excuse to abandon within the next 3 months.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: the wormhole project is already abandoned. I've found the income but no followers. I stay in the WH but there is no project involved.

I never said "I didn't want that change anyway". I always wanted it. I just failed to have it.

I listen to people why things happen: "for fun, lol"

Smith said...

Found no followers?

What do you mean? You wanted people to join you in there? If so that came across very poorely to me. I only got the message that it was a solo game.

It seems the 'failure' is a result of your success, really. Hang in there w-space have a way of coming full circle.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: the reason you fail to attract followers isn't your ideas (although often revisiting ideas which have been proven ineffective before isn't a great way to attract followers), The reason is far simpler - you are not a likable character.

In a game which is designed to be "fun", where social interactions are important and rewarded, you represent the opposite of what even the most dedicated isk making player wants. Your draconian rules around what people can and can't do in your chat channels (down to whether or not they can have lolspeak nicknames), your idiotic "you must achieve my goals before you will even be let in, and if you don't keep it up all the time you will be kicked!" approach.. these things do not endear you to other players.

You may think it reasonable. You may think it necessary, but it doesn't make you right.

As for some of your other comments - The Mittani made mention in his SOTG address prior to going to war with TEST that TEST "slapped away the hand of friendship" which implies that diplomatic overtures were made to bring TEST back into the fold.

Fountain represented a strategic necessity post Tech Nerf - if diplomatic overtures fail then the Goons had 2 choices; Invade or Die out. In that respect the correct choice was made.

Bombless bombers are pretty awesome, regardless of TEST propaganda. For someone who likes to think of himself as so intellectually superior to others you seem to fail at seeing past propaganda and identifying the objective truth of things.

maxim said...

I just like to point out that not a single comment has really addressed the notion of there being exactly zero ideological difference between sides of Eve conflict.

I am inclined to agree with "there is no difference" notion, actually. I don't give two shits who wins that "big war". I understand that both sides are in it for self-interest, and that their self-interest doesn't coincide with mine in any shape, way or form.

Problem is, though, you seem to have mired your post in a great deal of factual mistakes. You started with showing an utter and complete lack of appreciation of USSR's pre-WW2 foreign politics, and - judging by the comments - only went downhill from there.

At this junction i can only be amused at how a poor grasp of facts can ruin other people's (and mine) opinion of a perfectly good judgement.

daniel said...

"@Anonymous: the wormhole project is already abandoned. I've found the income but no followers."


If i may ask, how do you expect to find followers, if:

You are "ready to put some starting funds into the project and by no means aspire to lead it." ?


Leaders have followers.
You don't want to be a leader, therefor you can not have followers.


also, i would have liked if you'd have responded to Lucas' last post.

Gevlon said...

@Daniel: Lucas is openly trolling when he claims that most large fleet pilots do anything than pressing F1 or not even that, just assign drones (of course there are pilots who do more, like dictors or scouts, but they are a small minority)

@Maxim: I know of a bunch of Polish prisoners of war in Katyn who can tell you a lot about the pre-invasion politics of Stalin, but maybe that remark was offtopic in the original post.

Lucas Kell said...

@Gevlon
"Lucas is openly trolling when he claims that most large fleet pilots do anything than pressing F1 or not even that, just assign drones (of course there are pilots who do more, like dictors or scouts, but they are a small minority)"
How exactly am I trolling? You have a skewed perspective of fleet fights as you've only ever been used as an F1 monkey. That does not mean everyone is an F1 monkey. Outside of a dread fleet, most other fleets we use require people to do an array of things, such as ECM or targeted support. Not to mention that in all fleets you'll generally have a fair sized portion of logistics which can't just be F1 monkeys as they can't group modules and have to react to incoming request for reps.

If anything you are trolling by claiming that everyone in a fleet fight is an F1 monkey when that's clearly false.

Oh and my post comprised of considerably more than talking about F1 monkeys. I'm not sure which part daniel wanted you to answer specifically but I'd be really surprised if it was that part.

Gevlon said...

I was a logi, so I had the privilege of playing whack-a-mole. It was more clicky, but clearly not more complex than F1-pushing.

Why would CFC want TEST? Because it can field 1000 F1-pushing grunts. Indeed TEST was failing as an organization. But since when does a Goon pet need to do more than respond pings and form up?

Slowcats would be weaker without alpha, that's sure, but they'd still be spider-tanking and while their volley ability would decrease, they would still be an unkillable fortress.

TEST wasn't losing sov until the end. Goons had like one constellation until the internal collapse. It's the incompetence of Boodabooda and the indifference of N3 that defeated TEST, not the bombless bombers. Just look up the dotlan changes.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

@Gevlon

Referencing a real-world war was a decent idea for a lead-in to the post. After all, you are unable to support the Eve war because it lacks the "both sides are just" notion that is always present in real wars.

The mistake you made was delving into ideas you only grasped through hearsay. Real history merits real research, not just parroting some polish dudes. Especially given how Poland really had a bad bad history with Russia for many centuries now, and there is a lot of bad blood and bias between them and us.

Alternatively, you could reference a conflict that's "closer to home", like Lybia or Syria. It can also be described as "democracies" versus "dictatorship", with radical islamists working the opportunistic angle.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, are you encouraging people to ROLE PLAY?! Doesn't seem like your cup of tea.

There wasn't any difference between Alliance and Horde when you played WoW either except for the lore (and a few racial abilities).

Solai said...

There have been a number of posts in here attempting to correct your misconceptions, Gevlon. For the most part, they are correct.

*CFC invaded Fountain because diplomatic relations with TEST broke down. Prior to the invasion, TEST was playing brinksmanship, attempting to blackmail the CFC into throwing some of their membership under the bus. While it would have been nice to further bolster membership, that was not an option. The combination of TEST's independent streak, their leadership incompetence, and the previously poisoned relationship would have made their integration back into the CFC an undesirable proposition for both sides. The diplomatic solution would have been best, but it was not possible.

*Slowcats are okay, with the exception of drone-assist. Drone assist is terrible. And even if there ought to be a 'rich man's fleet' to contend with a larger blob, drone-assist alpha is not an acceptable mechanic.

The right counter to a blob should not an overpowered mechanic that relegates the fleets job to one guy.
Rather, it ought to be an expensive fleet whose power comes from a stats edge, and also from allowing for more benefit from active and skillful piloting and fleet command.

*Siegefleet, or "bomblesss bombers," are an intelligent response to the state of the strategic meta. CFC did not have super-cap superiority when this was adopted, so dropping dreads on structures was an invitation for an eventual high-profile loss. The use of any effective, but expensive ships, would have been folloy. Not because of the cost, but because of the morale boost their loss provides.

Since Eve wars are largely won via morale(not necessarily how many systems you've taken), then an important strategy is to deny the opponent high-profile wins, and prevent expensive killmails. Cheap, evasive bombers ensures that successfully wiping out one of these fleets is not a morale boost.

Add on to this, you can not easily stop siegefleet. Structures can be destroyed even while lacking supercap or subcap dominance. Guarding against it is extremely difficult. It's an attrition weapon, able to inflict damage and wither the opponent's infrastructure despite deadlocks.

By mocking the "bombless bombers," your misunderstanding of siegefleet and the strategic meta is apparent. As a regular reader of your blog, it's a major turn-off to witness this, and other persisting, null-sec related misunderstandings.

--------------------------------

Related to the primary thesis of your post, it seems so far that you're correct. There are no significant defining ideological differences between the two blocs. There are significant differences in structure, culture, customs, and identity. But they are not ideological. You could argue that the above differences are sufficient, but that's all insider info, and up to individual taste. But no black-and-white difference on the surface, you're correct.

Unless one subscribes to the villainous caricature of the CFC, of course. Heh. So entertaining.