Eureka! I have the answer. Last night I finally realised the key reason I enjoy playing EvE, and what makes it different to other MMOs. I should back track a little bit here I guess (and perhaps stop running around with just a towel on).
A few days ago, my Alliance was called into a Coalition CTA. Now although that’s not unusual, the intel channels were lighting up like a Christmas tree; anyone remotely connected to any side of the Russian Civil War (including the truffle pigs NC. and PL) were logging in Supers & Capitals. Talk was that PL was going all out & Solar-n-co was going to call them on it. When we arrived (late to the part for reasons I won’t specify) we were greeted with a very puzzling sight.
Pandemic Legion had a Capital & Super Capital fleet of what looked to be around 100-200 ships. Seeing such a massive Capital Fleet with no support was not entirely surprising, but what was interesting was the location of the fleet. They were in a bubble, in an asteroid belt; furthermore the bubble was a PL anchored bubble. We were very puzzled, Why had PL bubbled themselves in? Why in an asteroid belt? Why use so many Capitals? (Oh no wait scratch that last one, this is PL).
Some people thought PL might have been betrayed by a spy. Others suggested they were playing Vikings and burning their boats. It was also suggested that perhaps this was a last stand and attempt to encourage Solar to fight PL in a winner takes all battle. Nobody knew (1)
, we spent maybe half an hour watching the fleet during which time very little happened. Eventually the bubble was killed (by PL) and the fleet warped off (not before really putting the shits up Arian
, by aligning out straight through his stealth bomber).
Now PL are often trend setters (for good reason) in the field of tactics and I’ve said before that we can guess what everyone will be doing next month by what PL are doing this month(2). When PL started doing something unexpected I have no doubt across New Eden People were scrambling to try and work out why. Was it a new tactic? Was it betrayal? I didn’t understand what was happening now, but I knew someone would have a good solid theory in a few days’ time.
As predicted when I asked a friend if we knew yet what had happened and I was told it was a culmination of frustration within Pandemic Legion over three main issues:
1. Solar wasn’t engaging on their terms (i.e. whelping capital fleets against their bigger shinier capital fleets),
2. Red Alliance has seemingly stopped bothering to attend to their own defence (instead letting the truffle pigs do all the grunt work), and;
3. Because of the last two points; they were not fulfilling their reputation for turning the tide of any war they are hired to help with.
Now I have no idea if this is true, propaganda or just a guess. But this is why I enjoy EvE (oh there was a point to all this!). Every time something of significance occurs, within a few days someone will have a theory (of varying validity and verification) as to what lead up to the event. Our fights are not just events floating on a sea of content, but instead the visible tip of an iceberg plunged deep in the frigid waters of politics.
This doesn’t happen in any other game. WoW guilds could care less what lead to another guild downing a boss (after the server first at least). There is no politics in Rift because there is rarely any reason for one guild to interact with another. Oh occasionally the top guilds of each faction on a server might have a rivalry. But they won’t be posting blogs on the theory of why the main tank is using a “Shield of Unrelenting Back Pain”, instead of the “Scutum of Lesser Cowardice” they have. For supposed “Social” games, they silo you into guilds with little to no reason to interact with other similar groups. EvE doesn’t do this, a Corporation/Alliance who doesn’t interact with other Corporations/Alliances will always fail. Admittedly our interactions are not always benign (in fact they are mostly malicious) but we do interact on a level other games don’t encourage.
Perhaps I am alone, but this is what I enjoy about EvE. We get to pew, but we also get to try and understand (or figure out) what leads to the pew.
Thanks for reading; I’ll go back to my bath now,
(1) My other half also thought that they had mistaken the bubble for a POS…
(2) She also asked if next month half of Nullsec was going to be sitting in their own bubbles too.