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Massive EVE Online Alliance Disbanded 352

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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  • It wasn't a 'spy'... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:19AM (#26749277)

    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.

    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. Another, less vocal, minority considers this to be a possible case of someone 'cracking' psychologically, possibly due to the player's military background.

    Also, some people feel this event may be due to broken game mechanics, as it seem odd you can just nuke a large alliance into bedrock with a few mouse clicks and 2 minutes of work. Usually it takes either a director vote, or at least a 24 hour grace period, to perform drastic changes to corp policies and organization.

    Summary: Not a spy, not GoonSwarm's work. Just a single unhappy defector undoing 4 years of work by some 3000 players in a few seconds.

    Disclaimer: I play EvE Online, but am not a member of any of the major alliances in the game.

  • by zergl ( 841491 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:19AM (#26749287)

    This whole incident has nothing to do with Goonswarm infiltrating BoB with spies.

    The person responsible was "just" a disgruntled BNC director that wanted to go out with a huge bang and GoonsFleet (The Mittani, to be precise) just gave him advice on how to maximize the damage he'd inflict on his way out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:26AM (#26749319)
    At such rate, this stuff will be posted in the Politics section. ;)
  • by qw0ntum ( 831414 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:40AM (#26749373) Journal
    As someone who has never played EVE before, I found this recording that explains what happened to be interesting. [] (fyi: mildly nsfw)

    My first instinct is to laugh at all this, but it is amazing how seriously so many people take this. The internet never ceases to amaze me.
  • by Harik ( 4023 ) <> on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:42AM (#26749389) [] -- eve-files will melt under a slashdotting, it's been put on youtube. I should hope google can handle the load.

  • by adamkennedy ( 121032 ) <adamk@c[ ].org ['pan' in gap]> on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:54AM (#26749439) Homepage

    In a word, sudo

  • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:59AM (#26749461) Homepage

    The whole region is already seeing everyone and their mothers moving in to loot and pillage. More than just a strategic loss, they now have to deal with a large number of enemies and random neutrals coming to play in their space.

    Also, the Band of Brothers name was claimed by the Goons, so they can't reform under it.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2009 @05:04AM (#26749475)
    Grasp of social gaming mechanics fail. You alone in a room isnt news,something daft like 50% of eve space was under BOB control. That effectively meant you stood with or against a significant proportion of the player base. Eve is an MMO you know, these things matter.
  • by shannara256 ( 262093 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @05:17AM (#26749527) Homepage

    This story is rather incomprehensible to the rest of us. Could an EVE player explain some terms like sovereignty, ISK reserves, cyno-jammers and capfleet towers, please? Good thing that territorial control was explained...

    The article also says

    Once assured a place within GoonSwarm, Agamar proceeded to disband the Band of Brothers alliance using his director level access.

    ...but what powers does the director level access give you, exactly?

    Sovereignty is a game mechanic which allows several other things to work. It's built by holding a solar system or constellation for a certain period of time, up to a month. Losing it means all of the things which rely on it to stop working (see below).

    ISK is the currency in EVE (read gold). ISK reserves, therefore, would be money set aside for later - in this case I believe it was set aside for upkeep fees.

    A cyno-jammer prevents cynosural fields from forming in the system. A cynosural field allows capital ships to move between systems, as capital ships are too large to use the stargates normal, smaller ships use. It's an important defensive structure - one of the main purposes of capital ships are to attack Player Operated Stations (POSs), which are used (among other things) to claim sovereignty.

    "Capfleet tower" is a little ambiguous, but given the context I believe they're referring to the assembly arrays required to build capital ships. Due to their size, they can't be manufactured in the same places other ships are built - they require a special module, anchored at a POS (the hub of which is called a tower). The capital ship assembly array also requires sovereignty to work. Losing sovereignty means that all the capital ships that were being constructed have been put on hold. If sovereignty can be rebuilt, then those manufacturing jobs would resume, but that will be difficult because the systems are so hotly contested right now - it's likely that the assembly arrays will be attacked and destroyed.

    A corporation director has very nearly all the abilities of a CEO - basically a guild leader with full access. Normally that means that one can expel other corporation members, directly manipulate the wallet (where all the corporation's money is kept), and so on. In this case, because the defector had director access in the executor corp (sort of the leader corporation of the alliance), he also had access to all the alliance management options - including kicking member corporations out of the alliance, and then closing the alliance.

    I hope that helps clear things up.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:2, Informative)

    by noundi ( 1044080 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @06:51AM (#26749951)
    You didn't catch the sarcasm?
  • Re:*gasp* (Score:4, Informative)

    by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @08:25AM (#26750371) Journal
    To explain what it means... Cyno fields are special (and expensive) devices that create a wormhole in any place of the EVE universe. This is usually used to allow an attack force to bypass a heavily guarded point. If you want to create a decently secure place, you have to buy cyno-jammers in order to prevent this sapper work to be possible. BoB claimed a large part of territory and had several cyno-jammers in their presumably strategical positions. Cyno jammers offline means that a single ship avoiding detection could possibly open an access to an arbitrary large army anywhere inside their territory.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2009 @09:00AM (#26750545)

    It was assuredly NOT a hacked account. The guy that did it has posted numerous times now confirming that he 'did the deed'.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2009 @09:11AM (#26750621)

    WoW is no comparison to EVE in intensity. If WoW turned PVP on for every server, allowed PVP in all areas, removed instancing (so you could be running your favorite raid and have another group come in and PVP you while you're busy), put every player on one server, and allowed players who killed other players in the game to loot the defeated player's corpses (all things on the corpse are subject to being taken... purples, bound items, etc.) and allowed guilds to 'own' various areas (The Barrens, for example), then you'd start getting close to EVE.

  • Re:One reason... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jedi Alec ( 258881 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:52AM (#26751597)

    EvE has a certain elitist air about it. Losing hurts, as you said. It takes days, if not weeks, to recover from a decisive defeat. Running EvE corporations isn't just running a clan, where you slap together a homepage and organize a raid or two per week. Planning in EvE means that you have your next few weeks pretty much laid down instead of considering that you may have time for some raid in a few days.

    That's the biggest load of bull. Yes, you can play that way, but there's tons of players that just log in for a few hours to have a bit of fun before going off to the in-laws.

    And yes, I am CEO of a corporation and executor of an alliance.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:1, Informative)

    by ThePsion5 ( 1037256 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:55AM (#26751649)

    I kinda doubt that it impacted greatly the hobby of 2k+ people, so sorry, no.

    It's had its most*direct impact on about 2500 people, the (ex) members of the Band of Brothers Alliance. But this is not a sharded game like World of Warcraft or Everquest, there is only one shard. Band of Brothers had allies numbering in the thousands, and the Goonswarm alliance likely has double that number, in addition to the opportunist neutral parties who believe that they can profit from the event.

    Even those players aside, the scope of this event is large enough that it could have a significant effect on the market, as it's mostly player-controlled. It'll be months before resources begin flowing from that region again regardless of who will own them.

  • by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @11:01AM (#26751755)
    It wasn't a spy, it was a defector. Goonsquad's recruitment comes 100% from within the Something Awful forums, with registration-date requirements and other security measures to weed out all but the most dedicated moles. They do however run recruitment scams from time to time: set up a sub-corporation, get people to give them time, in-game money and materials in return for recruiting them with the promise of full Goonswarm membership at a later date, and proceed to bilk them until they're no longer useful. Or at least, that's how it's supposed to go behind the scenes.

    This guy joined up as a spy, and decided to stay around because the Swarm was actually nice to him. People were friendly and helpful, unlike BoB where he barely got a 'hello' upon recruitment. He got tired of BoB's 'Serious Business' attitude and under-appreciation, and put the screws to them.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @11:05AM (#26751839) Journal

    An alliance is a guild of guilds.

    In Eve, the stupid missions aren't the game. It's the 90%+ of space that's not controlled by any guards whatsoever. A single guild isn't big enough to control much, so alliances form to hold and control a few stars in an area.

    They set up huge space outposts, with defensive satellites, spaceship warehouses and repair shops, defensive force fields 80km in diameter, oh yeah it's pretty sweet.

    Imagine if WoW or whatever the hell you play (and I used to for 8 months -- had a maxxed out Ranger Cowgirl with Ravager pet who could down anyone except for one other ranger in complete tier whatever purple) except that the PvP areas you laid down your own castles to try to literally own and control the whole zone. You installed automated ballistas and catapults and whatnot. You tried to guard the zone in and one out points.

    Yeah. So go back to doing the lame quests and "raids" and other pointless garbage.

    Massively multiplayer, team-based PvP. That's what the ultimate goal is. And Eve's a lot closer than anyone else.

    Oh, and the bigger ships are persistent and cannot be stored and do not disappear when you log out, and neither do these player space stations ("POS" in Eve lingo, player-owned structures.) So you'd better have some good defense, a big alliance with someone always around to sound the alarm, or be damned good at security-through-obscurity.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:5, Informative)

    by a_nonamiss ( 743253 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @11:27AM (#26752253)
    According to this [] website (far from scientific) the largest guild in WoW is maybe 3600 members. BoB was twice that. I don't believe one of those guilds has ever been compromised in one day through a single act of metagaming. WoW servers are splintered. EVE has a single server, (instance) and everyone who plays EVE plays in a single universe. EVE may have a fraction of the players as WoW, but EVERYONE in EVE knows BoB.

    I would bet this is the largest fall of an online superpower to date. I think that's newsworthy.
  • by Wizard of rhythm ( 1470955 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @11:29AM (#26752287) did an interview with the respective alliance ceo's of the now disbanded "Banded of Brothers" who I am member of and The Mittani of Goonfleet [] [] Both interviews offer some insight into the whole story, even if know nothing about eve there is some insight into the mechanics of what happened.
  • by mweather ( 1089505 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @11:48AM (#26752685)
    In Eve guilds and alliances are like corporations, complete with stocks. This was like a hostile takeover, with the victor liquidating BoB's assets.
  • Re:*gasp* (Score:4, Informative)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @01:40PM (#26754813)

    More importantly, cyno fields are the only way to move capital ships, since they don't fit through jump gates. If your cyno jammers are down, your enemies can jump in their Dreadnoughts, Carriers and Titans to put a hurting on your player-owned stations and other assets. They can also jump ships in to say, disrupt a large, but not so well defended mining operation that you used to run in very safe space. If the Goons planned this properly, this could devastate the economy of the former BoB corps.

    In other words, if you have enemies with a large number of capital and other jump capable ships, losing your jammers means that you are very close to having your family jewels squeezed very hard. If I was the executor or one of the directors who spend the time to manage such a huge alliance, I would be feeling distinctly unwell right now.

  • Re:Oh joy (Score:4, Informative)

    by JDAustin ( 468180 ) on Friday February 06, 2009 @02:49PM (#26755873)

    Actually BoB was only about 2800 members, if that. But when you add in pets and allies (the Greater Bob Community), then its well over 10,000.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall