In the Trenches: How Socialization in EVE Online Killed BoB
Just over a week ago, we ran a story on Ten Ton Hammer giving a brief
account of the disbanding of the "Band of Brothers"
uber alliance in EVE
Online at the hands of Something
Awful's Goonfleet. While I'm not an EVE Online veteran
or an expert on all things EVE in any way, shape, or form, I've had the
opportunity on numerous occasions to discuss the conflict between BoB
and Goonfleet with representatives from the Goons and
from the CCP
developers themselves. One quick look at the thread outlining BoB's
destruction only helps to display the polarized attitudes
toward the BoB / Goonfleet conflict. It was an epic saga that I never
thought would end, and yet last week it all came to a screeching halt
for the upper levels of BoB.
The Goonfleet finally did it. They killed BoB.
Boy was I wrong.
Like the fall of Rome, the Band of Brothers was taken down by a group of barbarians (aka - Goons) that had become disgruntled with the reigning empire. Although the Goons weren't starving, nor did they march into a city and kill its denizens, the comparison still rings true. This goes to show what a few very dedicated individuals can do when driven to frustration, revenge, and competition.
It seems incredibly appropriate that the biggest alliance in all of EVE Online would be taken down by a single individual. If any guild wants to learn something from the story of BoB's downfall, it's to never allow your leadership to be spread thin enough that something like this could occur. Although it may not be the most popular strategy, the use of a single-man leadership hierarchy (like the Syndicate's) would have avoided this sort of problem altogether. Rather than be taken down from the inside by one individual, a guild would only disband if that single guild leader was swayed one way or another.
This brings up one of the most intriguing elements of EVE Online. Although many games rely on leaderboards and statistics to determine who can claim the title of "best player," the EVE Online developers have crafted a game where another set of priorities are tossed into the equation: the social element. It can't be judged by numbers or people on a friends list, but the importance of being a charismatic and compelling individual in EVE Online obviously has some very palpable power.
The social portion of EVE Online is incredibly important.
It's incredibly compelling material, so much that if it occurred in real life we'd see a movie and book deal made within months of the situation happening. What was happening behind the scenes that made this BoB director go AWOL?
While we may never find out the answer to this question, the competitive nature of EVE Online is in full war mode. As corporations try to push into the vacuum left behind by BoB, it means that thousands of conflicts are going on every week. Are you a part of a corporation that's trying to scoop up territory in BoB's absence? If so, feel free to email me or post on our forums. I'd love to hear from you.
If you aren't thinking about it already, you may want to try your hand at EVE Online just to see what sort of enemies or allies you can gather around you. Maybe your charm will make you the leader of the next "BoB" alliance. Even I may try my hand at it one more time. If I do, you can rest assured that I'll talk about it here on In the Trenches.