Traffic Control: The Update Dance

One of the problems with "" right now is the lack of very much actual Mittani found on the front page beyond the logo. Before launching TMC I regularly wrote for TenTonHammer, but as I took on more duties as both the leader of Goonswarm and the founder of this site, I found myself swamped. Writing used to be a regular personal outlet for me, and I've found that I increasingly regret not writing as much as I used to. And when I do write on TMC, it tends to be 'copy', rather than mouthing off, soapboxing, or bloviating - my personal voice is drowned by the ~need~ to be neutral in a constipated, handcuffed way. 

That's done now.

One of the perks of having a website with your name on it is that you can do whatever the hell you want, and write on whatever topic you please. While I intend to eventually get back into feature-length 1200+ word columns in the Sins of a Solar Spymaster style, "Traffic Control" is going to be a much more casual place where I go off on whatever strikes my fancy. Think of it as my personal, informal platform; SOSS will remain for features I write in a more classical style.   

Today we're going to make fun of the CEO Update process. At this point, every bloc leader in Eve Online: A Stagnating Game has to come up with something to say once a month or two. Most of these updates end up here on TMC, if they cross the threshold of relevance. Increasingly, regardless of alliance, they don't beat that threshold, as they amount to "Well, we're deploying here, uh, yeah." There's not been an announcement of a grand war since the RUS vs N3 Ostfront throwdown, and that began on Halloween, 2013. (Yes, yes, it's all B0TLRD's fault, abloobloobloo.) 

I found myself writing a fairly matter-of-fact update just the other day, absolutely tame by my ranting standards. The CFC is going to Delve to stomp on the faces of the various enemies who've glommed together there; those enemies are hypocrites for whining about our space-tribe daring to defend itself, and we're going to shoot them until their space-spirits are crushed and they fuck off. Despite this being a rather mundane statement of intent, this produced no less than four angry reaction threads on r/Eve.

Now, to be fair, r/Eve is both an echo chamber and home to a group of people who the CFC messily space-murdered during the Fountain War. This isn't ~neutral ground~, especially after the Kugu forums took an activity hit and most of that crowd moved there. But at this point I think I could post an update that announces in a stentorian tone that the sky is blue and people would flip their lids insisting that it's all lies, spin, and propaganda. Viz: "Maybe mittens will shock us all with a SotA that is not full of lies and spin. How thousands upon thousands of players lap that stuff up is beyond me."

Hard truth: I pretty much believe all of my bullshit when I write a CEO Update. I think it's ludicrous and roll my eyes whenever some twit goes "Goons are the new BoB because you happen to have won the Great War and aren't starving dirt farmers in Syndicate" because they resent our success and tendency to win wars against the same crowd who's smashed themselves against us since 2006. I do think that our ingame enemies are intensely hypocritical when they complain about us having 'too many blues' when those enemies are part of a bloc of equal size to ours - or has more space than us in raw systems for that matter - or complain about the CFC ensuring that fighting a war against us is an exercise in utter misery. It's truly laughable that someone trying to take your space-toys away from you feels that you owe them, as the victim of their aggression, anything other than spit in their eye or a knife at their throat. It's stupid; if you disagree, you're not only wrong, but probably also deluded. 

The whole thing is ridiculous. Anything less than 'We're disbanding Goonswarm and admitting total defeat' in a CEO Update will make a large population of Eve players freak the hell out, so there's not much of an incentive to change our ways or soften our edges. Why shouldn't we be the boogeymen we are? Why accommodate the screeching of our foes, if nothing can satisfy them? The fact is, if your space-tribe wins too many wars, you end up with a bunch of bitter, resentful enemies sulking at you whenever you dare enjoy your hard-earned success. 

At one point I worried that I was giving away too much information about how I thought about the game by writing columns; that exposing details about how our organizations worked, or how we broke down and analyzed mistakes or past wars would come back to bite us in the ass. The reality is that people are too busy parroting memes in their favorite echo chamber to even notice when we highlight one of our many weaknesses, because it's easier and more comforting to wallow in confirmation bias than address reality as it exists.

That's one of the biggest reasons why I never penned a Fountain War roundup - if I ever wrote about the conflict between the CFC and TEST/N3/PL and identified how our enemies had lost track of what was actually happening on the ground in the rush to upvote one another and feel good about what was going on, they might catch on and alter their strategies to become reality-based and start to succeed. War in Eve is brutal to the delusional; if you don't have a relentless adherence to the ground game, you get steamrolled. Clinging to mistakes or bad policy results in rapid loss under hostile pressure; this is why the CFC tends to wildly adjust tactics at the start of a war, like a drunk veering into walls as he staggers down an alleyway, because we aggressively try to abandon stuff that's not working when we accept it's a cock-up.  

The point is, judging by the reactions to my most recent Update, there's absolutely no reason for me to not go back to happily blabbing about Eve Online (or whatever else) in my own voice and (horrors) starting a bloggy... thing. There is no astute, wily foe waiting to catch us unwary, no risk of being too honest in a way that could harm my space-tribe, just an awful lot of echo chamber bullshit and the same sad justifications for why our foes have repeatedly failed to accomplish their goals against us. 

So: enjoy Traffic Control! Or don't, and get really goddamned mad about it, whatever! Tomorrow I'll be ranting about newbie retention and how ridiculous Eve's worst-in-class situation there is.