What follows is an opinion piece on the beginnings of corp life, the challenges that faced us and the continuing challenges. It is not meant to be taken as gospel.
A year ago I decided to set up a corporation with a fellow Eve pilot. We had both been disillusioned with staying in a well established corp whose enthusiasm for the game had, I personally felt, died. Moving into the unknown, we encountered many challenges. Whilst a lot of articles focus on the alliance leadership and decisions that take place on a higher level, these articles will focus on the gritty corp level, the challenges that we have faced and the challenges we have yet to face. This first article will be discussing setting up the foundations of the corp, corp targets, specialisms and the challenges that accompany this.
So we had the idea of setting up a corporation for a few months whilst in our old corp. Our old corp had been discussing at length forming a wolfpack type wing whereby we would harass various corps and alliances throughout the universe. The trouble with this is, these talks had lasted four months and had not progressed. Thus the idea for our own corp was born, and with further discussions with my partner, the basic foundations for our corp was formed, and with an excited outlook on the future, I left my old corp on Christmas Day and moved into the new corp. So we had an overall idea, a plan, and a vision. All well and good, but how do we go about implementing this? The idea of targets came up. Targets are common place in the workplace, it’s meant to drive people to achieve certain goals, and, we hoped, these targets would help or new corp grow and develop.
So we set ourselves targets for the end of 2012 to reach. Briefly these were: Growth to around 50 members, footholds in both the EU and US timezone, get back into nullsec at some point and provide content for our members.
We set ourselves a steady growth to around 50 members. We’d experienced firsthand both in alliances and corps that were bloated with false numbers and we felt that it would be better to attempt to have a well oiled machine, rather than recruit everyone and their dog into corp. So we felt 50 would be a good number to reach. This brought the first hurdle. There are hundreds of corps in the Eve universe, each one vying for recruitment space so they can pitch their dream to the potential future corp member. How can we possibly differ from these? Honestly, this is an area we struggled in. We had the dream, we had the ambition, the enthusiasm, but so did every other corp. We attempted to sell what we initially had as a dream, to try and hot drop unsuspecting people in space, hunting in wolf packs. Again another barrier was thrust in our face. There are very successful bomber corporations in Eve, with far more experience and expertise than we had. So essentially, we had no unique selling point for our corp, other than, ‘we’re terrible, but we’re here to have fun.’ So did we achieve our number of 50? No. Are we unhappy with this? If you’ve set yourself a target to reach and you fail to reach it, then yes there is going to be disappointment. Heading into 2013, our recruitment will be looked at more in depth, although from a personal stance, I am happier that we have not hired everyone and their pets rather than our recruitment policy.
The next target was to have some sort of foothold in both the EU and the US timezones. Easier said than done. Without a leader in that timezone, we struggled to recruit many people from the US. Each time, US players did join; they would leave after a few months due to our continuing struggle in getting more players involved. This is a target that perhaps was naive of us in the first place. We should perhaps have looked at it from an outside approach and focussed a lot more on strengthening us as an exclusive EU corp. Yet, we would be further restricting us to the Eve recruitment pool. Moving forward into 2013, this will continue to be a dilemma for us as a corp and any opinions on this would be welcomed.
The third target is perhaps a surprising one. Moving back to nullsec. Ever since I started Eve, I have been in nullsec. Nullsec life for me is fascinating, from the diplomacy and politics, the coalitions, the fights, the history. I wanted to be back there as soon as possible. At the time, I thought it would be a perfect idea to throw us in the deep end and see how we faired, and I still believe that it was a good idea. However, we lost some of our corp identity. From lowsec, we could develop pilots and do our hot drops, have fun. Once you are in a nullsec alliance, the demands change, and become more focused on your alliance and the corp. If you are in a coalition, then it goes coalition, alliance, and lastly corp. We had no issue from a leadership point of view, as, once again, my selfish views got in the way of the corp’s growth. However, there is no doubt in my mind, that corp growth was hindered by our hasty move into nullsec; we were only a 2 month old corp and already we had made the transition into nullsec. Looking back, we should have developed the corp more and then moved into nullsec.
Finally, the last target is an obvious one. Provide content to the corp members. This is important, as without content, the corp dies. Our move into nullsec provided this on a coalition and an alliance level, less so on a corp level. However we do still run our corp ops, whenever there are no stratops in place. That’s not to say this is a perfect area, but it is one that is down to us to maintain or lose our dream, and this is a challenge that is widespread in Eve.
The targets we set out at the beginning of 2012, we felt were realistic. As listed above, some were hopeful ambitions. That’s something we will work towards heading into 2013. This is the way we tackled forming a new corp, I'd certainly appreciate where we went wrong in 2012 and what we should have done instead, if our approach was the right one, what we did right, etc.
One thing I can say; setting up the corp was the best thing I have done in this game thus far. It’s provided challenges that I encounter on a day to day life at work, it’s also provided me with bonds with pilots I’d otherwise not have.
The next article will cover the early few weeks of the corp, from its base out in low sec to the offer to move into nullsec.