Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How can TEST win this?

Since TEST quit the HBC, its situation became grim. It has practically one ally left, Tribal Band, which isn't really a powerhouse. Surprisingly N3 and PL backed it in the last battle but there is no official pact, it's more likely that they find the Goons larger trouble now and they can return shooting TEST any time. CFC is attacking Fountain, all out. Fountain is where both TEST members rat and where its renter alliance NOFKS lives. There are also moons there to harvest. Lose Fountain and TEST loses most of its income.

Now I think The Mittani made a fatal mistake declaring this war as "Nice region, we'll take it". It will cost a lot on line member enthusiasm. But it doesn't make it less true. EVE is about money, no matter how much the grunts believe it's about good fights and morale. Morale can't keep you in ships. The spirit of good fights won't help you against a supercapital fleet. CFC (and HBC) were built on Tech moons, their income allowed the leaders to keep the grunts in ships. The Mittani is right to only care about money. He is fatally wrong admitting it to his grunts, because if they start caring about the money, they soon recognize that their time spent in fleets bashing structures while running from bombers could earn them more money if they'd mine Veldspar in a Venture.

TEST is more relaxed about money. It has two squads directly related to ISK-making (the industrialist Antitrust and the ratter Admiral) and generally there is no shame in making ISK in TEST. But that is member income. The alliance income is based on renters and moons. It means that once Fountain is taken, TEST as an alliance will bankrupt, unable to keep the grunts in ships, therefore loses its power to fight on the large scale. While it doesn't mean the end and failcascade of TEST, as they can just move to FW or another, less worthy nullsec region, it will be the end of their importance on the Sov map.

This is a Blitzkrieg from the point of CFC: they have to make TEST bankrupt before their members get bored on grinding structures of people they don't hate at all, for ISK they won't see much of. Can it work? Yes it can.

What TEST needs to do is not only making the CFC plan "not work" but make it theoretically impossible. I mean if they could conjure up a financial method that guarantee their income even if they lose Fountain, they became undestroyable. Currently the war cry of BoodaBodda "we fight till the last ship and last timer and even come back after that" is just as empty as "God forgives, -A- doesn't". If TEST ship replacement program would not depend on Fountain, it would become unquestionable truth. From that point, the Fountain campaign would become a forever-war for CFC which cannot be won, even if they finally take it. The region would be useless as thousands of bloodthirsty trolls would be living next to it, sitting in an endless stream of ships. CFC would then have to ask for peace as the war could make them no good.

Actually there is more than that here. Since TEST is already swarming with pilots and have a culture where PvP losses aren't reason to be ashamed, they can only be defeated financially. Take that away and TEST become an unbeatable monster, something that can only be contained by extreme costs but can never be forced to leave. The CFC war is a breaking point for TEST: they either fix the financial Achilles heel and become the monster of EVE or they don't and they can go FW.

How to gain financial stability which is not based on moons or renters? Well, there is only one source left: members. TEST has 12000 characters in it, and from the fact that they field 1500 men fleets, we can assume 5000 active, playing people in the alliance. Back in the day, my 20B/month donation was 5% of the budget and they've grown, so let's assume 500B/month. That's mere 0.1B/member/month. If TEST could make an average member pay 100M a month to the alliance, they are safe. I mean from everything. No one can take away the members, so no one can take away the income.

Of course it doesn't mean that every member must pay 100M. If they could, there would be no need for ship replacement program at the first place. Many members are dirt-poor and doesn't bother. They PvP for fun if they have ships and play League of Legends if not. So an overall "pay 100M/month" order would be a disaster. Taxes wouldn't work either, as high tax demotivate work. They'll simply stop ratting.

The only way to get money from the members is asking for it, and making it a badge of honor. I wrote about a year ago of the War Bonds idea, to create a toplist for members based on the number of war bonds purchased. This way the large amount of ratters and industrialists could directly help their alliance while gaining personal glory, the same way as PvP-ers.

When I pushed it a year ago, it was in the wrong time. TEST was near its peak of power. They needed nothing, so they didn't care about it. Now the situation has changed. They are fighting for survival.

Finally: why TEST? Why am I so obsessed with the alliance that kicked me for posting on their forums? Because everyone else is so permeated with the "ima l33t pvpr" culture that they would rather go extinct than carebear. TEST is practically the only alliance with official industrialist and ratter squads. While others do PvE too, obviously as their ships must be paid, they do it secretly on alts while shouting "ima no fucks given badass pvpr" to the face of everyone. If there is an alliance that can make it, it's TEST. I really hope they make it.

PS: I know that Li3 is collecting money member-based. But it's from corporations and not players. The money comes from ratting taxes and moon money. It doesn't change the source of the money, just the collection level: alliance and not corp.


Anonymous said...

What is your evidence that everyone else does PvE on secret alts?

As for TEST winning this? it is unwinnable. The CFC have an enormous warchest and a huge amount of pilots who, far from your analysis of the situation, are eager to fight and are forming up fleets.

Chris K. said...

As for TEST winning this? it is unwinnable.

And yet they won the first major battle.

Traditionally, the defender is always at an advantage, because the attacker has to consider the logistics of an invasion as well as the loss of income when hundreds of pilots are halfway across the map. On the other hand TEST can continue to gather resources at its leisure (well, somewhat) and if they turtle up and play their hand right, they can drag the invasion so much that it becomes unsustainable.

This is why a major keep was always a pain in medieval warfare: it could lock up huge opposing forces for extended periods of time and usually they were broken by hugely overwhelming forces (read, 1:10).

Plus, people will always cluster together to get the chance to kill Goons.

Anonymous said...

TEST's culture is an active deterrent to industrialists joining. Why would I want to expose myself to being called a "greedy Jew", and what I do referred to as variations of "Jewing", and be looked down upon by penniless idiots?

Since their culture is the defining feature of TEST, it's not going to change and miraculously become accepting of individual moneymaking in all its forms. I can do just as well, or better, as an industrialist and trader in highsec - without the aggravation of being exposed to racism and general idiocy.

And if I really want to PvP, I can stick a 2nd account alt into TEST, and enjoy their ship replacement socialist welfare program. Without reading chat, or participating in forum discussions.

Anonymous said...

Having rented from Test, I can clearly say that Test will lose this war.

My experience showed me that Test's culture is rather against industry as your own experience in Test should have shown you. Montolio managed to upset more than a few industrialist corps/alliances in Fountain as the issues with "Mistakes Were Made" (07m8) and Kaesong Kapitals (who made a lot of the supercapitals for Test players). These folks left after you did.

Furthermore, Test needs to get their stuff together. Bombing fleets of allies is a good way to turn allies into enemies.

My conclusion is that Test will end up like Against All Authorities: down to 1 system. It won't happen quickly, but it will be like a steam roller. Goonswarm is more like a bulldozer - slow to turn but crushes what it crawls over.

Anonymous said...

Erm... Getting money from alliance members is done all the time. It's usually the alliances give the corps a charge per member, then its up to the corp to decide how to gather all of that together. Be it tax, a straight charge, donations, etc.

Anonymous said...

What about CVA, they are an alliance that has mining corps, ratting corps, most if not all their pvp corps members mine, rat, trade, industry all without shame. In fact the only shame is if you refuse to load up that rifter when called upon. I know an alliance where pvp participation is high encouraged but not manditory, the funny thing is they measure participation on weather or not you joined a sanctioned fleet. So to get your participation go join a defense fleet, get on a kill mail on the first day of the month and you can do the other 27-30 days without a single pvp event and still be considered "participating".