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Massive EVE Online Alliance Disbanded 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the create-your-own-drama dept.
tnt001 writes "In the world of EVE Online, the infamous Band of Brothers alliance has been disbanded. It seems that rival alliance Goonswarm had a spy in the holding corporation, and he stole money as well as capital ships and other assets. The spy then disbanded the alliance. 'One of GoonSwarm's stated motivations from their early days as an alliance was to punish what they viewed as the arrogance of Band of Brothers. If they've held true to that ideal, stealing the alliance out from under BoB effectively means GoonSwarm has accomplished what they set out to do years ago.' As of 11:00 GMT, BoB lost all its sovereignty (its outposts are conquerable now, cyno-jammers are offline, jump bridges are inoperable)."
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Massive EVE Online Alliance Disbanded

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  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:02AM (#26749205) Homepage Journal
    Wow, some people must be really heavily into that gamespace. It always amazes me to see articles where nothing in the summary connects to the real world at all.
  • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:08AM (#26749233) Homepage Journal

    As a former player, I can attest.

    The game really has it's own politics.

  • by ^BR (37824) on Friday February 06, 2009 @06:28AM (#26749853)

    BoB got betrayed by one of its most trusted members, it's not unlike a RL CFO running with some company funds.

    Individual players lost nothing, but will have a hard time rebuilding under the pressure they'll be under. Everyone is very excited, the big war (about 2 years now) has been a stalemate with both sides deeply entrenched, now there's some hope of a conclusion at last.

    And at the very least, lots of boat violence(*).

    * EVE meme made famous after a Chinese ISK farmer whose spaceship got caught by players said "Please do not violence my boat"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2009 @08:42AM (#26750435)

    Who on earth would voluntarily go to Iraq to defend people against nothing other than the oil-greed of the US?

    I couldn't care less who's there or not, actually if it doesn't affect me I ignore it, simple as. Way to many selfrighteous pricks in the military thinking they are actually in Iraq and afghanistan to void terror and not US political and economical interests...

  • Re:One reason... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by meringuoid (568297) on Friday February 06, 2009 @09:04AM (#26750575)
    I think the /. i grew up with is dead. This is a huge political upheaval in a Virtual World. The old /. would lap up the meta-game consequences. The old /. would wax lyrical about the shifting social paradigms that would make this a headline.

    Yes, but that was in 1998. Virtual worlds were new; anything more sophisticated than a MUD was pure Snow Crash stuff. Events like this were news because it was a virgin territory. Nobody knew what kind of culture would emerge, what kind of unwritten rules and social norms would become established in the new cyberspace communities.

    Was Mr Bungle a rapist? Seems quite quaint now, doesn't it? It was a big deal at the time. Yet what he did was small beer compared to what anonymous trolls from ebaumsworld do every day. We know now what people will do in a virtual world given unlimited freedom to create as they see fit. They'll scrawl goatse on every available surface, and code up swarms of flying penises to molest furries. They'll swarm in a hundred Samuel L Jackson lookalikes and block off the exits from the swimming pool. It's just griefing, move on.

    Events in-game like this one aren't interesting any more. Been there, done that, bored now. What gets /.'s interest nowadays is the interface between the game world and reality. The economics of gold farming, for instance. Or, player A buys a +5 Sword of Smiting with real money from player B. Player C kills player A in-game and takes the sword. Is player C a real-world thief? Having gained an item worth real-world money, is he liable for tax on it? That's where the unknown is now, where we don't really know the rules, so that's what's interesting.

    As for the HURD - again, it's been too long, and we've mostly lost interest. We have a kernel of our own, thanks.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by a_nonamiss (743253) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:01AM (#26750999)
    You know, I fully respect your right not to care about this news, because it has no affect on you. Sort of like how I don't really care about who is the mayor of Palm Springs or whether Grandville High School won the big football game last night, but like it or not, EVE Online has an active playerbase all around the world, and they're the types of people who read Slashdot. If you played EVE, which I understand you don't, you'd understand that this news is epic. In the scope of the game, it's akin to the fall of the Soviet Union. (Two polarized superpowers, and one of them falls.)

    To put in perspective how seriously the people involved (not me) take this stuff, the leaders of the disbanded alliance got on flights at 3am to meet in Washington DC (I believe) so they could pick up the pieces and start getting to work on putting together the alliance. Honestly, I'm surprised it took almost 36 hours for an article to get on Slashdot.
  • Re:Oh joy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dreemernj (859414) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:07AM (#26751047) Homepage Journal
    Those 2000+ people signed up for a game where alliances battle rivals through various methods. This didn't impact their hobby, this IS their hobby. What they signed up to is a game where this sort of thing not only can happen, but happens pretty often. If this is the first time something like this happened with an alliance this large, great, they got the high score in their game.

    The only thing interesting about this whole situation is the "news" coverage it is getting.

    It might seem like some sort of big deal because so many people are involved, but this sort of thing is a core element for the higher level play of the game. Maybe if the game didn't focus on this aspect of the gameplay as one of its main selling points to get new players, this would be interesting. This is just a "water is wet" story.

    The real headline could be about how one alliance managed to use sites like Slashdot to wave the flag that their rival's outposts are now conquerable. Going so far as to get pseudo news sites with large followings to function as a communications tool and a rallying cry for a virtual world battle is actually pretty interesting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:09AM (#26751075)

    GoonSwarm basically had this PR coup handed to them on a silver platter, they had done nothing themselves to make this happen.

    What is known to have happened is that a player with full director access to the BoB holding corporation, Tinfoil, defected and asked GoonSwarm if they wanted full director access. They obviously replied in the positive, and eventually realized they now had access to the proverbial nuke button on their sworn enemies.

    You conveniently left off a few points

    • The turncoat was about to be corp scammed. Goonfleet makes it perfectly clear that they do not publicly recruit and anyone who stupid enough to join anyway is subject to this corp scam. It involves having the target pay X amount of isk for admittance into the corp, waiting for them to move all their assets down to goon space, and then kicking them out of the corp which makes them lose everything. If the person who ran the corp scam had laughed it off as a ploy to try and stay in Goonfleet, the entire thing would not have happened.
    • The 'alliance dissolve' makes this way more than a simple smash and grab. If you handed this off to your average corporation or alliance, chances are they would simply steal assets and leave it at that. Mittens not only disbanded the alliance but had forum ripping software ready to go in case of this eventuality to demoralize them even further.
    • The stated reason for the turncoat going rogue is because he found Goons way more friendly, funny and easier to fly with. He had director level access to one of the self-proclaimed biggest entities in EVE and he threw it all away to be in Goonswarm. In Civilization, they call this a cultural victory.

    So yes, there are many different ways this plan could have gone cock-eyed or simply resulted in simple corp theft. To deny the magnitude of this accomplishment is foolish.

    Speculation is rampant in the EvE community, though hard facts are hard to come by. Suggestions include that either this is a case of a hacked account, as the owner was supposedly on some form of military duty when this happened a few days ago.

    Speculation is rampant amongst BoB and BoB pets in order to save face. The truth is that the turncoat had access to BoB's secure IRC channel, BoB's ingame channels, and many other things that required different passwords, and he accessed them from a few different computers. If he had been away on military duty, there is no way in hell any of those would have been comprimised.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ash-Fox (726320) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:15AM (#26751137)

    Oh dear god no! Don't tell me that someone's hobby was impacted! This is a national fucking emergency!

    You and your kind are exactly the reason I'll never play a MMO again.

    And then later

    Fucking whining losers with no life. "Waaaaah my hobby has been impacted! Whatever shall I do?"

    I have come the conclusion that the people the poster was complaining about and the poster are one and the same.

    Apparently these people post ironic messages on Slashdot after their hobby has been impacted.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:46AM (#26751503) Homepage Journal

    I don't play the game, but is what they did realistic within that universe?

    I suppose a spy/saboteur/traitor is certainly possible, but in [alternate] reality could he have got away with what he did without putting himself physically at risk? Would not ships' crews, garrissons etc have some autonomous decision making such that thay might disobey strange orders?

  • Band of Brothers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by t00le (136364) on Friday February 06, 2009 @11:51AM (#26752759)

    I am a member of Band of Brothers and the only thing this has caused is a renewed interest on the part of the Alliance.

    For them to remove us they will need to remove all of our moon mining and sovereignty towers. We have hundreds of capital ships and around 2k people waiting for the morons to come running into the chainsaw.

    All of this is a pain, but sovereignty is already ticking to regain control. They have a little over two months to destroy us, before we get sovereignty three to re-acitvate our jammers, bridges and whatnot.

    Considering we have war supplies and motivation, they will not be successful and their chest beating is simply propaganda.

    In the last 24 hours almost all of BoB and their allies have fallen back to Delve to get ready for the fight. Before we mobilized they were tooting their horns about taking stations and anchoring pos's, but when push came to shove they didn't wish to engage.

    This is not newsworthy, but a "Blue Falcon" act by a friend of BoB.

  • Random Observation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Friday February 06, 2009 @12:56PM (#26754017) Homepage Journal
    One EvE ISK is worth more than one Zimbabwe dollar.
  • Re:Oh joy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday February 06, 2009 @01:54PM (#26755033)

    Killing the Sleeper was the EQ equivalent.

    a) It was supposed to be impossible by design.

        1) It killed a fully geared toon in 10 seconds.
        2) It had 2 billion hit points
        3) If you did some kind of quest, it woke up, kicked every one's ass in the world and then left the game forever unbeaten.

    b) It was beaten on a PVP server-- every server in the game was getting updates as it progressed.
        1) They had to have security to fend off any griefers who would try to stop it.
        2) They had to prevent anyone from completing the quest
        3) They had a lineup of 30 warriors whose job was to step up, get aggro, die.
        4) They had a support group big enough to raise those warriors, rebuff them, and get them back in rotation within 300 seconds.
        5) It took some ungodly number of *hours* to do this. Every server was getting updates. "7:37pm, Sleeper at 93%" "10:05pm, Sleeper at 52%"
        6) A bug or direct intervention by the Developers prevented them from winning the first attempt-- so they had to do it all, then remotivate everyone and do it again after the Devs got jumped on by all of EQ to give them a fair shot.

    Still that was only about 600 people (with an audience of a few hundred thousand perhaps). The Eve thing sounds bigger.

  • by AugstWest (79042) on Friday February 06, 2009 @02:17PM (#26755385)

    People are bitching up a storm about this, because it is basically an exploit of game mechanics. It takes you 24 hours to leave a corporation that you're in, it takes 24 hours for a vote and then 24 hours of notification before you can go to war, but you can apparently disband an entire alliance in an instant.

    At the same time, one of the many sub-games in Eve is spying. A lot of people call it meta-gaming, in that a lot of it takes place outside the Eve client. It's a fact of life when playing the game, and to almost everyone it adds another whole element to the political structure.

    Basically, Mittani is considered to be Eve's premier spy, and this just proves it. While not really an end-game move, since there is no end-game in Eve, it's about as close as you can get.

    So really, this is the boldest use of in-game spy networks ever. People complain that it just took a disgruntled director to bring it down, but at the same time, consider this:

    Mittani's spy network had enough knowledge of the upper echelons of BoB's structure to know exactly *who* to contact. If they had just made a blanket offer to BoB's leaders, they would have been discovered and failed. But they didn't, they knew who their targets were, they identified the weakest link, and went after it.

    That's no simple task. So while it's weak that a game mechanic allowed this to happen, it's also a really impressive feat. I can't settle on one side or the other.

    (And also, for some context, a Goonswarm director defected last week as well, stealing piles of assets as well as a Titan, and a coupel of weeks before that another Goonswarm director was contacted and defected in a very similar manner, but in that case they only gave up sovereignty of a single solar system, not an entire alliance's holdings)

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