A Tale of Two Tales

With SMA, the second alliance has dropped out of the Imperium, the Goons-led erstwhile clusterfuck coalition (CFC).

Wilhelm, who I admire as a blogger, is in the unenviable position of being a member of TNT, an alliance that has been part of that coalition for years, and whose homelands have just gone down in a torrent of blood hunger (with little help coming from their powerful Goon allies, it seems). It seems as if half of New Eden is up in arms to tear down Goons and their allies. To the repeated questions why he decides to throw in his lot with the Goons (he’s been getting those for years, but only very occasionally; now there’s a veritable flood of them), he points out that he’s been flying with TNT for so long that he feels loyal to them, even if that might mean that TNT is disbanded and absorbed by the Goons. I suggest you go over and read his post, because the rest of this text is a reply to it that got a bit unwieldy.

Back? Good.

So you might have had a look and seen my reply. I thought I had made it sufficiently Godwin-proof by pointing out that is in an extreme example that just is intended to show the reasoning, not that Goons are Nazis or something similarly ridiculous. My point was that Wilhelm’s exasperated question why some people just can’t understand his loyalty to the Goons has a simple answer: some people hate Goons so much (really, that’s not hard, I can’t think of any other current group in the game that is similarly despised) that loyalty to them is not considered an endearing treat.

I really think a lot of this fighting comes from a disconnect due to wildly different narratives.

Of course Wilhelm likes it in Goons… well, CFC… Imperium… whatever. And I’d like it there too if I were him, for exactly the same reasons. I’d like the degree of organization, the fact that you can fly whatever is needed without having to invest much work, and even getting reimbursed for losses. It’s almost like paradise! I’d love to be his in your position! Sure, I would (and he probably does) cringe at some of the people you fly with, and the guy at the top is a nutjob, but the middle management is nice guys, and the benefits are great, so who cares.

That’s the one side.

The other side sees a blob of assholes whose advertised core idea is scamming the weakest, and “ruining everyone else’s game”. They don’t see the decent middle managers in Goonswarm, they see the figurehead and the loudest and most despicable of the line members they had contact with. They feel Goonswarm crosses a line from “it’s all fun and games” into “you literally ruined my game experience”. And being loyal to such assholes obviously gets you, at best, restrained applause for putting your sense of duty over your moral compass, and at worst attacked as a bad person.

That’s the other side.

OK, I maybe went a bit overboard with painting the picture, but that’s where some people are coming from. It also doesn’t help that the map tells a story (true or not) of a powerful alliance who can’t be bothered to go and defend their longtime coalition allies’ lands. Or maybe they literally can’t. I guess we’ll figure that out in the next few weeks.

I personally would like to see Goons disappear from the map, but not because I hate them: I don’t, to be honest, that would be too strong a word. I, however, dislike them for the image they project. I feel a bit dirty around them, because of how appealing I find their “we’ll provide content, you can relax most of the time” system, even though I consider parts of their behavior immoral and over the line, especially since that kind of behavior is officially sanctioned and encouraged by their leadership. That’s reason one why I’d prefer to see them out: I don’t like their presence and the negative influence they have on the game in that respect.

Reason two is that I’d love to see the moment at which Goons are destroyed and the anti-goon coalition will break up sooner than you can say antidisestablishmentarianism. (Yes, that is actually a pretty long word; I’ll play it safe and account for some delay in the outbreak of hostilities.)

Me, personally? After I’m done fighting Goons in this war, I might go back to PvE. Or look for a more long-term null-sec corp solution. Time will tell.

4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Tales

  1. That pretty much sums my side up. I’ve taken issue with any number of things Mittens has said, from the manifold errors in that Kickstarter to our horrible name for the war. But Mittens is just this guy I don’t fly with or talk to on coms or whatever.

    And I don’t think you can ever put in enough disclaimers to Godwin-proof something if you then mention Hitler. The whole thing goes south once he comes into play because that history is so far beyond the pale that it drowns out any message. Also, it didn’t help that Rob was there with another Hitler comment right after yours. Hitler double-team! Or Nazis, rather, since you didn’t actually say “Hitler,” but once you’re at Nazis, it is already folded into the picture.

    1. (I took the liberty to concatenate your two posts.)

      Yeah, Godwin-proofing is hard. And I know you personally aren’t a great Mittani fan, and probably, the same goes for a lot of other Imperium members. Hell, I knew several Razor people who totally didn’t care about any of that and were basically always only doing their own stuff up there in Tenal. (Or was it Venal? If I could ever remember. Maybe both.) But EVE fosters a certain “us vs them” mentality that I don’t especially care for, and in that one, you are to stand behind your alliance without reservation, and you basically hang with them. Even if you don’t do that yourself, others will treat you like you do. Basically, some people have a lot of fun producing propaganda (and some is very entertaining), and many people take it a bit too seriously. Nevertheless, I think Goons are… convenient, but unfortunate allies.

  2. I’ve never played EVE and I’m not very likely to start but I knew the Goons by reputation long before I even knew there was an MMO with internet spaceships. When I started playing EverQuest the server names meant nothing to me so I picked one with a short, easy to remember name – Prexus. After a short while, though, once I was settled and had a vague idea that servers might have different communities and cultures, I decided to look at the other options.

    While I was doing my research, learning which servers had a large Japanese presence, which was roleplay-friendly and so on, the name “Goons” kept cropping up, usually in the context of “don’t roll here – it’s full of Goons” or “I’m looking for a new server because I heard Goons were coming to this one”. That got me curious enough to look into just who the Goons were, which took me to the Something Awful forums, after which I had a pretty clear idea what it was people were so worried about.

    The purpose of that nostalgia trip is to point out that Goons have been around for a long time and they’ve always been either feared or hated by, well, almost everyone except Goons. Over the years Goons seem to have become inextricably linked with EVE and their image and reputation has, if anything, softened. My gut feeling is that that’s probably an illusion. There’s probably a hard core (or maybe a hardcore) that hasn’t softened at all. I do wonder if this isn’t all a bit like some bravos egging each other on to poke a sleeping bear with a stick. Maybe when the bear wakes up we’ll all see that it’s old and toothless and gone to seed. Or maybe there will be one very big, very angry bear and a lot of small figures disappearing over the horizon in the opposite direction.

    I guess we’ll find out.

    1. I’m also looking forward to finding out what will come out of this.

      Also, I remember a discussion… but now I of course can’t find the link any more… that went basically along the lines of “Goons are a multi-game community, right? So might they all just leave EVE if they lose, or drop out for a bit then come back in force?”, and it sounded like EVE, by now, is their dominant game, to the point where there are supposedly many SA members who are “only here for Goonswarm”. That would be in line with your “hard core” idea. I can’t really say much about Something Awful. I never had so much as a look at it after I heard it was a weird web forum community. I’m not really a web forum person.

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