My career in EVE, a space MMO created by CCP, has been off and on for over five years. Every once in a while I re-up my subscription and continue to work the space ways with a few buddies. I stayed on the fringes of the worlds, the safe space going no lower than .5 sec (the minimum “safe” zone) for EVE. Once or twice I’d join a simple alliance and work as a hauler; I was basically the space trucker of the EVE universe. It was fun and despite my little corner of the world the one constant was the Goonswarm. They ruled the lawless areas of the game known as 0.0 or Nullsec space and to a guy like me they were mythical.
That name, Goonswarm, meant control, it meant power. They took territory through reckless and aggressive behavior and a devil may care attitude. EVE is a game where the loss of a ship means hours of recovery time for a newer player but they embraced EVE and grew with it. They formed alliances and took down smaller ones with enough frequency in 2007 that the then dominant alliance Band of Brothers took notice. This lead to one of the first great wars in EVE.
This title is a rare game where ISK, in-game currency, can be compared to real world money and during a battle with a BoB friendly alliance known as Lokta Volterra the Goonswarm destroyed the first ever Titan. This ship, which is the most powerful in EVE, cost roughly $4000 US and in response BoB evicted Goonswarm from their territories. In response Goonswarm formed an alliance with other players and took the war back to BoB and, thanks to a game update, they were able to locate one of BoB’s two titans and destroy it in combat.
I could give a history lesson for days on Goonswarm but I won’t. I wanted you to see how they got their start and now I’ll tell you about their fall. Goonswarm and it’s allies have now became the Imperium and dominate the space ways but, in war, one mistake can lead to your downfall. This man happened to see that mistake.
LennyKravitz2 is a banker, stock broker and financier – he makes his money through the markets generating billions upon billions of ISK and from the relative safety of high-sec space (an area .7 or higher), he watched as the first mistakes took place
- He first noticed that the Imperiums’ spymaster, The Mittani, wasted an enormous amount of time trolling a small group in low sec to capture a relatively minor territory
- The Imperium invaded the low-sec space (an area that NPC’s own but players can farm the Moons there for valuable resources) and galvanized the various PC pirate groups in that sector.
- After this occurred the Imperium established a system demanding tithes and loyalty from their conquered regions.
Soon after the first event he reached out to a band of mercenaries with the idea of taking down the Imperium. They said it could not be done so he told them to pick a number. Seven trillion ISK later, he had the start of an army.
At the same time a group named the Space Monkey Alliance, which was part of the Imperium, had ripped off Lenny’s boss to the sound of 200 billion ISK. Lenny’s Boss, Eep Eep. He is a kingpin within EVE and runs an out of game casino at the website iwantisk.com which allows players to gamble with their ISK. Eep is a business man so he asked them to give his employee back their money, they laughed. That turned out to be a mistake.
Hindsight will tell the Space Monkey Alliance it’s bad to double cross a kingpin, but at the time they ordered two of their members who had helped build the website to what it is today to rob Eep blind. Before Eep could close the back door hundred of billions were stolen so Eep did what every good Kingpin does. He went to Lenny and asked Lenny to higher someone to make an example out of Space Monkey and that group was then paid 105 billion ISK a week to harass the alliance to death.
While this occurred, the Viceroy system came into full swing and Lenny saw another opportunity. He united the pirates in low-sec and had them make strikes into null-sec zones boarding Imperium space but made sure they were seen as separate instances. Then, the Pandemic Legion resurfaced to take on their old foe. This long dead group had made a play at Goonswarm years ago and watched their armies die for 21 hours straight, now they worked with Lenny.
Lenny soon had twenty eight groups on contract and the war was in full swing. The Space Monkeys were screwed and half its members threw down arms and deserted leaving the Imperium in disgrace, their territory overrun, and its remaining members homeless. Eep had made good on his threat but the war was just getting started and like any war there a men fighting for other groups.
One such man is Progodlegend and his attitude towards the Imperium is no secret:
“I don’t want them to have a fucking single thing.”
He is a veteran fleet commander who is used to managing hundreds of pilots and is currently fighting for TEST, an alliance of Reddit Users. TEST has a history with the Imperium too after being badly beaten during a Conflict known as the Fountain War. Check out this video by Scott Manley for the nitty gritty
According to Progodlegend:
By the time TEST arrived… it only took us two weeks to put Goonswarm into full retreat. I don’t think anyone really expected that… Two weeks ago from today we weren’t even sure we were going to win. And now it just looks like it’s almost over.
What we’ve noticed – as we’ve captured three or four regions in almost two weeks, we’ve been taking space so fast they don’t even have time to evacuate their stuff – a lot of their people who were there when times were easy are not sticking around now that times are hard… It’s unlike wars in the past. There hasn’t really been much resistance.
Further Galvanizing players was the fact that the Mittani, head spymaster for the Imperium, decided to fund a Kickstarter campaign to novelize the Fountain War which many players had a hand in. Since he was the one organizing it players felt that it would be biased towards the Imperium, the Kickstarter failed to reach it’s goal but the damage was done.
TEST’s fleets stomped through the north doing their part for what is now called the Moneybadger Coalition. The pirates have had disagreements among each other but Progodlegend says it best
“Normally we would be. And that’s usually been the problem… I mean, the Mittani’s right when he says that they can expect their enemies to fall apart. The problem [for him] this time around is that we have literally not taken a single major loss. Literally, we haven’t lost a single major fight, not even one, in months…
“It’s really hard for there to be drama when all you do is win.”
With TEST hammering the Northern front all eyes turned south to a buffer zone owned by a flock of Serbian players who had been in bed with Goonswarm for a long time; they are known as the Circle of Two. Lenny admitted from a military standpoint they were the strongest in the Imperium but war is not won on might alone. Politically they were considered the angst-filled sons of the Imperium and owed loyalty to their Serbian brothers in Bastion and LAWN (two other Imperium Allies) more so than the Mittani and the Goons and because they were a powerhouse they could stand on their own.
This had never been a problem for the Circle but during the early days of the war Lenny’s mercenaries took part in a major brawl with one of the Circles Captial fleets and the Goonswarms reinforcements left them high and dry. Three of their Titans were destroyed and two weeks later reinforcements fleed leaving Circles 300 ships against Mondeybadger’s 1000. Rather than continue the fight fleet commanders for the Circle ordered everyone to self destruct scuttling their entire fight.
The final blow came when the Imperium handed down a message to Circle of two that they were leaving the Circles home region altogether. To make matters worse, Bastion and LAWN were leaving as well. The beaten and bloody Circle had been fighting to protect their brothers and sisters and now they were left facing an army on three fronts. Even as the armies amassed they stood to fight while their leaders took negotiations to the Moneybadgers; win or lose they would leave the Imperium and leave open the southern front they had protected for years.
Once the Mittani learned of the betrayal he reamed them as traitors and cursed them sending out leaked chat logs that spoke of a legacy of betrayal long before the war even started. The Mittani instructed his Goonswarm to hunt them down and to take pleasure in it. However a man from the Circle of Two had this to say.
“We are happy to take the fight. We are not retarded. We knew that that was coming and we knew that was a golden opportunity for him to spin it in that way.
“You can spin and use words as much as you want… but battles are fought on-grid, in a system. Words will not win you that war. Words will not scare us. That was never the case with Mittens, and it’s still not the case.”
As the war progressed TEST marched into Deklein, an area of EVE space that was the Imperium’s ancestral home capturing Goon’s original home systems along with the twenty seven other groups of mercenaries. Mittani is in full retreat, he’s ordered his men to the low sec system of Saranen and ordered them to adopt guerrilla tactics but they will never truly be destroyed. With most of their leadership intact and the numbers on their side they simply have to wait.
Mittani is a smart foe, he’s denied the Moneybadger’s the joy of fighting his super capital fleets because he understand their value in military might. On top of that he continues to put a spin any true damage by stating his numbers continue to grow despite the reveal of top level directors being outed as spies.Still, the Goonswarm is not gone and are bidding its time.
Next week several players will flock to Iceland for EVE’s fan-fest so it’s a welcome rest for some but the Mittani, who will not be going to the fan-fest, has made a deceleration:
“Our enemies have declared that ‘there are no goons’. Then as now there will be no quarter, no diplomacy, no negotiation…
“They will all burn.”
I may never had a run in with the GoonSwarm but they’ve been at EVE as long as I can remember and I am sure they will be there long after I am gone.