CZ Minutes: No Longer Relevant

Whenever major coalitions reorganise and alliances change their strategic goals, their opponents or detractors will heckle them with catcalls about relevance, but what does that even mean? Is relevance in EVE something that is tied to owning sov? Does it depend on killboard stats or alliance tournament victory? What are they relevant for and how far does supposed relevance extend? Alliances who impact the gameplay of some people every day may be unheard of in other regions. What is your view on the concept of relevance and how does it affect you? Apoth: As far as I can tell, relevance loosely correlates to how well how many people would recognise that person/corp/alliance if you posted him/her/it on reddit. Rather ironically, it’s largely irrelevant unless you’re into the whole space-politics popularity contest thing. Niden: A thing that annoys me is how people equate relevance to them with relevance to all of EVE, this is especially common amongst nullsec powers. It annoys me even more when F1 pushers who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag sign up with a large alliance and then develop big mouths about how others are “irrelevant”, when in fact they are nothing more than a statistic themselves. How quickly the team mentality is adopted, how swiftly the reddit trolling starts. It is as if there is some universal scale of relevance that only makes sense if you’re a major established power in nullsec. Guess what, your massive blob is not relevant to hard core small gang PvP:ers, simply because they do not engage in the same type of gameplay you do. The core of the problem is that people too often think this warped idea of relevance also gives them the license and right to behave like dicks to everyone that can’t kick their (and their blobs) ass. There’s a difference between “these people are not relevant to me” and “these people are irrelevant, they should all just kill themselves because they’re bad at EVE”. Take me as an example, to me the Caldari Militia has not been “relevant” for some time, they simply do not threaten my alliance or coalition in any vital way, but that does NOT mean I look down on them. I’ve spent recent months fighting the likes of Sniggwaffe, Snuff Box, Overload Everything and Vox in a theater where the squids have elected not to participate in any organised way, and wisely so because they simply don’t have the numbers and hardware to do it. When I head over to east Black Rise and Citadel with a small gang however, CalMil are highly relevant because the playing field is a lot more balanced and these are the fights I enjoy the most. So yes, they can be seen as both irrelevant and highly relevant to me, depending what I’m doing that day. I will admit however, that even though I try not to, I cannot help but look down on people with crap killboards. This is not a good trait and I’m trying to quit, honest.
Georgik: Relevance is a holdover concept from Kugutsumen, or at least that’s the place where I originally saw it.  It could have, of course, been from the inception of EVE.  Relevancy historically has been how much sway an organization or group has over the game of Eve, and what the lasting impact will be.  Everyone from my generation, (2004ish – 2006ish) knows the name of Guiding Hand Social Club, at the time they were one of the most relevant groups, because their name was synonymous with EVE and over the top heists.  Tyrrax Thork was relevant for his over the top diplomacy, Declarations of War while at the Alliance Tournaments, and notoriously losing expensive ships.  Interstellar Alcoholic’s Conglomeration, was relevant, at the time, for being the first real Alliance to occupy Catch.  The way the stations are laid out in Catch, especially the F4R pocket is directly correlated to IAC setting those stations up.  AAA at the time is what NC. is now.  Lotka Voltara is what Solar Fleet is now. Morus Mihi is what the Minmatar Faction Warfare, as a whole, is now.  The CVA have always been relevant in Providence, in fact, they *made* providence. Relevance has been, and continues to be, how much of a mark does a group leave on EVE.  Providence is indelibly stained by CVA.  Even if it CVA was to be dissolved tomorrow, their stations and history would live on in the fabric of EVE.  Fweddit (J4LP) were once highly relevant in shaping Amarrian FW and whatever other Faction warfare groups they joined, but they’ve since become irrelevant in joining CFC.  No one knows or cares what they do anymore.  Sure, they hold space, and null sec stations, but they’re no longer the nameable force, they’re part of a larger collective. Wormholers are seen as relatively, and generally, as irrelevant.  On the whole no one knows or cares what goes on in wormhole space because it has such little impact in the game overall.  Recently No Holes Barred [NOHO] left Polaris. For NOHO Polaris was the most relevant thing in EVE.  There is even a Rooks and King’s video about Polaris, and the other C6, Nova.  But if you ask any high-sec pilot, anyone on Reddit, or anyone at Fanfest what the significance of NOHO leaving their home of 3 years, no one could tell you.   Compare this to Pandemic Legion [PL] giving up the drone regions.  PL lived/owned/rented the drone regions for about the same amount of years, except when PL sold off the regions, people took notice.  Why? Because NOHO and one system in wormhole space has very little relevance, but several regions of space suddenly being freed up is something notable. Relevance is how big of a splash does one person, or group’s actions have on the world of EVE. If the ripples are little, they’re insignificant in the rolling waves that make EVE dynamic. Niden said that the Caldari Navy in Faction Warfare is irrelevant, and he’s correct.  The Caldari Faction Warfar as a whole have no impact on the game of EVE at the moment.  In fact, GalMil, as a whole, have had a huge impact on the game of EVE.  Because their faction is winning, and has won, the LP for their group have driven down the prices for VNIs, which helped increase Vexor productions which helped the proliferation of Ishtars and VNI fleets.  Were there other factors that made the VNI and Ishtars useful? Sure, the broken drone mechanics and bonuses of the two ships are what made them great to begin with, but it was GalMil that made them cheap.    Similarly in 2012 it was Fweddit, and their domination in Amarr Faction Warfare made the proliferation and use of the FoxCat  possible. No one would have flown the doctrine if the ships had continued to be outrageously priced. In an alternate EVE, were CalMil were “relevant,” a doctrine based around the Navy Osprey, or Navy Caracal might have become a thing.  Who knows the Raven Navy issue might have seen some use, somewhere.  But it doesn’t, and didn’t, because the meta never shifted in favor of CalMil.  If Apothne’s F*ck Ishtar’s 4th concept had any merit in the public eye, CalMil would have been bolstered with new people looking to plex and make money on the sales of Navy Scorpions.  FoxCats became a thing because Navy Apocs were dirt cheap, Navy Scorps could have become a thing for the same reason. Calmil is irrelevant because it didn’t make a splash.  Galmil is relevant because it did. Groups and people can be locally relevant, or irrelevant, most Null Sec people find CODE particularly irrelevant because they have no impact on their game, but for newbros CODE can be quite relevant at killing the game for them.  In the same way, Niden finds Calmil both relevant, but irrelevant on the greater scope of things.  Some groups are flashes in the pan, burning twice as bright for half as long, while others slowly inch their way into relevancy, and become behemoths in their own right. Brave Newbies [BNI] were a sensational hit when they first formed, growing faster than any other group.  They were the second largest alliance in the game, and largest non-sov holding alliance. They were amazing and did great things in whatever system they occupied.  Hek, Barleguet, Catch.  But now they slowed down and became cumbersome compared to their original vision, of just having fun.  Conversely, I doubt when North Coalition Dot was formed anyone expected them to own almost the entirety of the East, they certainly were expected to rival the CFC and Goons so directly.  For a group that had such a shakey start against the CFC, and holding a small part of CVA space, the star has continued to rise and rise.  Of course, how much relevance either group has in the future is yet to be seen. It’s rather dismissive to say a group isn’t relevant.  It’s an easy sucker punch.  Things in Eve are dynamic.  Just because a group isn’t relevant now, doesn’t mean it will be that way forever.  Things change in Eve on a dime.  Groups often return to their roots or wither on the vine.  Pandemic Legion was known for being the best mercenary alliance in EVE, and are returning to that.  Maybe BRAVE should do the same.  For them, EVE was never supposed to be a job, it was supposed to be fun and learning new things.  Hopefully with their ownership and loss of Catch they learned greatly.  I hope they learned what they needed to take and hold sov, and are already training on SiSi for the future.  While Calmil might be highly irrelevant, I don’t think Brave are done yet.
Tags: cz minutes

About the author

Tarek Raimo

Former nullsec spy (no not under that name of course) and current failure at lowsec solo PVP, Tarek spends his time not logging in to the game as much as he keeps thinking about its social and metagame nature and sharing some of those thoughts with the CZ readers.

  • Kamar Raimo

    Unfortunately I came in to late with my two cents so I just paste it into the comment section:

    There is not much I could add at this point after the comments of Niden and Georgik. Especially the latter presented a great explanation on the concept of “relevance” in EVE. Particularly interesting there is the observation that a “relevant” organisation can become “irrelevant” by joining a larger force that makes a great impact on some area of the game. It is often said that people want to group together and be part of something significant, great or powerful but in the process of doing so they end up becoming a statistic, a cipher to be added up in strategic calculations of bloc-level FCs on whether they should engage or blueball the enemy.

    Many people who end up in that situation will become aware of it and then the reaction can take forms like the behaviour Niden criticises when line-members fly the flag of their respective organisations in the hope that some of the fame achieved by major FCs or organisation leaders might rub off on them.

    Of course the concept of relevance can and will be used as a tool of psychological warfare just like any other form of trolling and smacktalk. By taunting the opponents with it, one can attempt to lure them into making mistakes or otherwise manipulate them. Currently Brave Newbies are the focus of such a trolling campaign from the side of those who either want them to commit to fights or poach members from them who may fear that their place in EVE’s player-made narrative could be threatened. Like Georgik I don’t think BNI are quite done yet, and joining another large organisation actually would increase the chance for members to just become pawns on someone else’s chessboard.

  • Bam Stroker

    Completely agree with Niden’s sentiments. What he describes reminds me of the Doug Stanhope quote about nationalism: “[it] does nothing but teach you to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in.”

    Eve players have a tendency to get too parochial – they look around their immediate vicinity (their corp, their alliance, the space they fly in or the forums they frequent) and they take what their peers regard as important – whether it be KB stats, space held, wallet size or post counts – and they then apply those standards to everyone who plays Eve, as though their metric for success or relevance is the only one that matters. In reality though 90% of New Eden have no idea who the fuck you are or give a shit about what you consider important.

    To quote myself from one of my many, many, many gudposts on FHC:

    “Everyone projects their own biases about ~what’s important~ onto [Eve]
    though, so the guy who writes a blog about Jovians/Sleepers/Sansha is
    considered a neckbeard autist by a certain audience and the guy who
    spends the same amount of time coming up with a sick fit and soloing 50
    nerds in it is considered pro. But really it’s all subjective.”