Diana OlymposShareTweetDisclaimer : The author is part of PFR.
There are many different alliances in Eve. Some are driven by a strong leader, some are motivated by profit. Some exist only because capsuleers are social and need to chat about Taylor Swift. But there is also another kind of alliance that can leave a footprint in New Eden. Alliances which are driven by an idea.
Examples of such capsuleer associations made Eve shine last year, in my mind anyway: The NPSI community, Signal Cartel, Brave Newbies, Provi-Bloc, etc. These communities are changing how we imagine New Eden. People end up shooting at their blues with NPSI groups, answering wardecs with fireworks and snowballs in Signal Cartel or using out of game standings like Provi Bloc. Groups like these are twisting game mechanics and player paradigm in ways that go against the mainstream. Alliances like that are a part of what keeps Eve moving and ever-changing. Today I will present to you one of the alliances based on an idea: Phoebe Freeport Republic (PFR).
What is this… thingy?
Everybody can dock—PFR stations are freeports. This means that every pilot in New Eden is free to dock. It also means that PFR doesn’t really need standings. Everybody can come into their space and stations. Fight if you want, trade if you prefer. Those are all legitimate actions in PFR space.
Stay classy—Don’t shoot haulers, speak with people, be respectful of others. Everybody has the same right to live in New Eden. Respect every activity.
Content, content, content—PFRs was created to bring life to an abandoned part of nullsec. Never let a system you control rot. Be there, do things!
These three rules define PFR ideology. Refreshingly simple but contradictory to the nullsec political environment. Nullsec is a dangerous place, how would they be able to have secure space if enemies can dock or come in a hauler to spy or light a cyno beacon? Some said it was doomed from the beginning. But an idea is not always easy to kill. Let’s see what happened with this one.
Guys I have an idea. What if…
The founding charter of PFR first appeared on reddit. At that time, the first phase of nullsec change was coming with the Phoebe patch. A lot of space (called buffer space) was unused. Changes to power projection coming with Phoebe, mainly the introduction of Jump Fatigue, could allow a group of players to take sovereignty and settle in with their idea: freeports all around New Eden. Places where people could find a good market, fight, refuel or wait for their fatigue to wear off.
The novel idea quickly gained traction, with pilots joining the First Crusade to free some nullsec space, but they also encountered a lot of hostility. New ideas are fragile, and nullsec is a pretty tough environment to grow in, especially when you are still taking your first baby steps.
During the week following the Phoebe patch, PFR took their first station in CT8K-0, and named it Freeport 1. This proved that the freeport idea wasn’t a complete failure, but danger was coming.
During the following month, PFR had to fight tooth and nail every day to keep the freeport running. Hordes of Russians descended on the sovereignty structures and station services got disabled every day. The future of Freeport 1 was endangered, mainly by Russian alliances. Any action the Freeport fleets tried, they encountered hostility. Despite help from different groups like Spectre Fleet (NPSI), Pizza and Love Squad it seemed that the first freeport would not be long for this world.
Then a light appeared at the end of the tunnel. Gorgon Empire, an alliance in the southeast, was going to launch a freeport program in Scalding Pass and proposed PFR establish it inside that area. Despite the threat against Freeport 1, most PFR forces took the long trip to what would become the home and heart of their ideology in the coming months : 4-CM8I.
Getting down to bounce higher
On December 17th 2014, PFR mourned the fall of Freeport 1. Despite help from Hero Coalition, assorted smaller entities and even a Black Legion multi-boxer bomber wing, a Russian fleet took CT8K-0. Freeport 1 ended its life in a desperate fight. That defeat forged the second part of PFR ideology, codified in a quote from Coelomate, Founder of PFR :
To be worthy of the time and effort so many have devoted to PFR, we must improve for next time. We will be back, and we will be better: not just with more pilots, more ISK, and more SP – but with more practice flying together, more training, and better planning. Not every fight can be a win, but every fight is a lesson. PFR intends to be an entity where losing is O.K., but failing to learn from the past never is.
PFR took some time to settle in Scalding Pass. After fighting every day to keep Freeport 1 running, which exhausted many pilots, Scalding Pass helped PFR to grow. A basic command structure emerged and doctrines were formed. All the infrastructure needed for a nullsec alliance to work came together. Coelomate realized that PFR was beginning to overwhelm him and he decided to join Black Legion instead. As a result, leadership of the alliance was passed to Walter Cohen in February 2015.
The neighbourhood was politically quiet. While PFR pilots found fights every day against small alliances around the region, the big Russian powers (Gorgon Empire, Blue, Red, DreamFleet) had formed a non-invasion pact (NIP) covering all of Wicked Creek and Scalding Pass. Then the Wicked Creek NIP fell apart due to political reasons and PFR saw that as an interesting change.
Content, content everywhere!
PFR took their chance and fought for multiple systems in Wicked Creek. Two more stations became freeports and it seemed like Wicked Creek could become a Thunderdome – a focus point for many engagements and roams where people come to fight from all around New Eden. Fights happened every day in PFRs home system. Gangs showed up constantly, and despite their lack of experience PFR fought them because you can only learn by trying.
During all this time, PFR was growing. 4-CM8I became the first freeport trading post in New Eden, entering the top 50 of nullsec markets. A big industry wing was at work showing the power of PFR ideology: Everybody can come to PFR. A freeport allows everyone to dock and that means industrialists can come to nullsec to produce on site where products are needed, skipping the need to transport goods from highsec space.
Forced holidays, the Big Freeze
Test Alliance Please Ignore then decided to part from Hero and come to Wicked Creek. On one hand, PFR was happy to have TEST around. They had helped PFR in the past and proved that they liked the Freeport idea. Having an alliance like that around meant a lot of fights and fun for PFR pilots, and in just a few weeks 4-CM8I climbed to be on the Top 10 most violent systems nearly every day.
But on the other hand, TEST stopped every possibility for PFR to continue its expansion in Wicked Creek. Slowly, any chance to fight for sovereignty disappeared once again. PFR tried to launch a Crusade to Catch and Querious to open new freeports, but this move proved that PFR command structure was not ready to handle such a deployment and made the organisation understand its flaws. They quickly decided to put a stop to the venture. Again, greater powers had pitted themselves against the freeport idea, but we kept trying and learned from every defeat.
Summer is coming!
Now that we are up to date with history, how is PFR today? Pretty good thank you! Thanks to the political situation in Scalding Pass, PFR is able to pass through the growing pains any nullsec alliance encounters. Building an industry, organizing logistics, running IT services, upgrading space, sharing responsibilities, recruiting new pilots, training FCs and getting onboard with doctrine ships. Encountering these problems too late during a war is the reason most alliances don’t survive.
For a new, small entity, PFR got a lot of visibility. Our own Twitter account, interviews on Eve news websites, multiple appearances on The Scope, a blog dedicated to PFR adventures, and even an appearance on the o7 show. The public attention proved that capsuleers are excited by fresh and novel ideas. If PFR can survive its growing pains, keeps undocking, and does not forget its founding ideas, we could see the freeport ideology flourish all around the cluster.
Who knows? By the end of the summer, you might be able to make a complete trip around nullsec, docking every night in a freeport station, refueling in a healthy market and easily finding fights thanks to the constant work of Freemen and Freewomen. Keep in mind that this is a colossal task, however. So if you like the idea, lend a hand. New Eden is what YOU want it to be!
Big thanks to Rhook Shaman and Hakkod.
Tags: diana, Phoebe Freeport Republic
Diana Olympos is one part logistics mastermind, one part avid fan of EWAR, sprinkled in with newbro training . Known as “the strange French guy”, he has the bad habit of overthinking every aspect of the game . He flies with Phoebe Freeport Republic in nullsec.