Confessions of a Goonwaffe Line MemberViktor Fel
Recently, a member of EVE Online’s reddit community asked a serious question in /r/eve – how can any self-respecting capsuleer remain in the Imperium, let alone in Goonwaffe, given some of the behavior of its leaders? Well, in the tradition of our Fabian Strategy, I’m not about to answer it over on /r/eve. What follows is my attempt to answer some of the most commonly asked questions to the best of my ability. The opinions are my own and do not reflect the official policies, or positions of Goonwaffe, GSF, or the Imperium. I’m a line member these days and sometimes a backup FC. I’m not a member of the Illumittani, nor do I see myself as ever being in such a position.
From the HBC to Space Refugee
I’m a Goon because those who I once knew and called ally in the old HBC parent organizations wanted nothing to do with me after its dissolution. I was a worthless Insidious Empire (EMP) pet to them and had outlived my use as line fodder. No one would communicate with me, vouch for me, nothing. Back then, I didn’t have well over 60 million skill points. I didn’t own three capital ships and an additional two suitcase carriers. I didn’t have billions in ISK on my accounts in reserve. NC., PL, and TEST all refused the feelers and applications I submitted to them. So I was essentially sent packing to lowsec and highsec – an exile. For me, it was a fate worse than being podded on the Jita 4-4 undock.
From Refugee to Imperial Grunt
A few months into my exile, my old corporation from my time in the HBC had negotiated with the Imperium and gotten into CO2. I was a line member as well as an FC there for a time. Overall, it was a good experience, but the time zone wore me out so I shifted to DPG, the Bat Country. I wasn’t sure if I would actually be accepted into any GSF corp, but after a rather comprehensive interview with Digital Ebola, AKA Digi, I was allowed to join the Imperium proper. I was of course watched carefully for a time. This felt logical rather than insulting, given my corp history. I’ve been a member of GSF corporations since then, and not looked back. Furthermore, I’ll always be grateful to those crazy Bats for giving me a chance. Thank you Endie and Midge especially, even though you are now space enemies. As we all remember from last fall though, BAT left the Imperium. I chose to stay and I needed a home. Sion Kumitomo and The Mittani sponsored me into Goonwaffe.
The Metagame in EVE Online
In general, I don’t like the metagame as it’s played by most people currently. It’s a bunch of pointless dick waving and posturing that has copulated in an incestuous tryst with social justice warrioring and pastebin wars. I never had any interest whatsoever in recruitment scamming, suicide ganking, or other such activities that Goons are infamous for throughout Eve Online. I don’t particularly enjoy inflicting misery upon others through trickery either. My view of the Something Awful forums is that it is no better than Reddit and 4chan with a $10 paywall. If you want to see how real life interactions and metagame interactions between players should be conducted, look at Lazarus Telraven and Elise Randolph. They’ll blow each other to hell in space, but when they meet in real life or talk outside EVE Online it’s like watching a nerdy bromance. It wouldn’t be an article on the life of being a Goon and the metagame without mentioning a bit about controversies. So let me briefly address this sack of shit that’s been hammered to death. Recently, people on both sides seem to be taking the game a bit too seriously and that’s one of my critiques of the Goons with major interests in TMC. For example, I wasn’t a fan of the IWI article implying criminal actions or civil liability on the part of CCP, IWI, or it’s users. To me, that was a low blow and there seems to be a bit too much tail wagging the dog in general over there in the past months.
Years ago, as we all know from endless shit posts on /r/eve, a highly intoxicated The Mittani suggested a player to kill himself, and then encouraged others to harass him to the same ends. At the end of the day, It was an ill-timed joke at someone else’s expense that was later blown out of proportion and has frequently been used as a weapon in the assassination of his character. We’ve all been there, done that, made the joke in poor taste. I personally don’t believe for a moment that The Mittani meant any harm by it. For him it was simply basking in the sweet tears of the space vanquished, as PvPers will often do. However, been docked in Amarr watching hundreds of people spam local in celebration of Vile Rat’s death was equally reprehensible. Local chat thought it was funny, at least a lot of non-Goons seemed to agree. I thought it was disgusting. Why is there all this outrage over The Mittani’s lapses in judgement at Fanfest a few years back and not so much on these other things? One could argue that it is because he is space famous, a public figure, with a greater community responsibility. However, that seems to me like a weak argument. Do a person’s words matter less because they are less space famous? Visibility is a factor, and no one is going to remember every line of text from local. What they will recall, and exploit, is a video from Fanfest. The answer for me is a bit different, because it seems to this Goon that people love their hypocritical selective outrage social space justice warrior fuckery when it suits their ends. Just like blobbing and blue balling – making offensive statements and pseudo-doxxing is only bad when the other side does it. It’s why I caution anyone on claiming the moral high ground in real life and in EVE Online to think twice. It has a tendency to bite nearly everyone doing it right in the ass at some point. What I find most amusing about most of the criticism out there is that we in GSF have very deliberately aligned ourselves against Gamergate types. We have initiated several internal reforms to create a more friendly environment for our LGBT, minority, and female players in the past years. The cultural revolution was very real. We just won’t use it to give out SJW I win cards.
Is there anything you disagree with your leaders on?
I’ve had some great times with The Mittani in EVE Online and in the real world. I consider the player behind him to be a friend. Sadly, 2015 was the year that The Mittani may have dug his own space grave. Some of his conduct has made him look like the Martin Schiralli pharma bro of gaming media and EVE Online. Nobody likes that asshole Martin Schiralli, and the image The Mittani put forward via TMC and the Imperium hurt us all in the same way pharma bro’s congressional testimony hurt him. Like George S. Patton got told by Omar Bradly, “The problem with you is that your men don’t know when you’re acting”. I know that the vacation The Mittani and others took to Mexico last autumn had nothing to do with EVE or TMC, but he seemed to project that the trip had everything to do with gaming journalism and being space important. It left players, and even some of our own members with a sour feeling about yachts and GSF leadership. It’s time for my friend Alex to stop acting and start taking a realistic look at the situation we’re in, because from the fireside chats and articles so far it seems he’s stuck echelons above reality. The focus he’s had on the war and what he talks about most makes The Mittani sound like a bitter person because he didn’t get what he wanted from the toy store – book deal, CCP feuds, naming rights. This makes us look like we’re all just the tool of one man’s ego – not something I care for.
I have a lot of respect and even awe for what Corps Diplomatique has accomplished in EVE, but the way that they apparently went about an attempt to forge the Goonhammer was diplomacy on par with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq – the absolute worst way possible to do things. It’s caused a hell of a lot of damage that we’ve not felt the full effects of. Accusations that Sion had been levying threats of disclosure of personal information for those who don’t comply with what Corps Diplomatique and The Mittani wanted are very disturbing. Anyone who could see the trends in mechanics changes under Aegis knew mergers needed to happen, but how Corps Diplomatique went about it was shady. Digi, the head of Counterintelligence (CI) is very good with interrogations. He has really good interviewing techniques on par with the instructors at the military intelligence schools where I used to work. In spite of his reputation he is very professional. However, this is a space video game and our CI program is a bit creepy. Internet spaceships is not serious enough business to warrant a pervasive OSINT based CI network outside of the usual spy games of EVE. Scraping data for a metagame virtual drone strike on the character of others, again rather creepy. Skyteam, our strategic leadership, signed off on this whole Fabian strategy. Thankfully, it seems to be coming to an end. It was killing our morale as much as the enemy’s. It’s cancer, AIDS and ebola for everyone and if this game is to survive we need to limit the use of such dumb assery. All of the above are things we need to disavow, and discontinue as part of our operations. Having said all of that, I may disagree with various leaders on some things, but I’m an adult. Part of being middle-aged adult with some experience in life is being able to disagree with your leadership, but also being able to continue working toward collective goals of an organization within the scope of leader intent in spite of some differences. You stand by your friends for as long as you can, even when they don’t always stand by you, or you disagree.
Friends, Fleets, and SIGs
Moving on, it isn’t actually Something Awful that binds us, at least not now. Sure, that forum is important to some Goons, but not most of us these days. It isn’t our hate of all things not-Goons either, though we do ham that up a lot. Goons have a unity that outsiders frankly seem unable to grasp. So what unites us? It’s the fleets and SIGs – Blackops, Bomberwaffe, Hole Violence, MINILUV, the alleged Reavers who do not exist, Space Violence, the various other swarm channels on Jabber. Kill the imperium, kill GSF, and what do you have left? Pilots with mutual interests or cultural backgrounds and identities. Goons step to the beat of one drum – though at times it’s slightly off key because Xel’thuric won’t stop masturbating with an open mic. We march to of one vision – except for when Asher Alias forgets to check boosts before a fight. We do this with an with an awful purpose and a terrible resolve set in our minds – awful and terrible because DBRB gets us all killed or PAPusa gets us pipe bombed. I remain in Goonwaffe and the Imperium because these people are my friends. They’ve helped me countless times in and out of fleets. I’ve become a better player of EVE and other games because of them. It’s all quite hilarious, and it’s fun. That’s it, the reason I’m staying with Goonwaffe. It’s likely the same reason you are all where you are. Fun.