Pray For WarNiden
The old war machine stirs. Some of its parts haven’t moved in a while and it needs a little oil. But it remembers how to do this. It remembers how to kill. Because the drums of war are beating again, such as they haven’t for long time.
The last time this happened was when TEST moved to the Gallente/Caldari war zone, over two years ago. Having been soundly beaten in nullsec, they moved to Factional Warfare lowsec to lick their wounds and farm LP. Some of them fought, and most of those died. It was a time many Gallente speak of fondly. The kills came easy, and killboards were green. It was also the time that caused so much outrage against blatant farming in FW that it lead to changes in plex mechanics. On the other hand, TEST grew from that experience and are a better alliance nowadays for it.
After TEST left, the Caldari were systematically ground into dust, the war zone taken, and for a long period there was very little activity from the remaining “squids.” Those who fought did so to the last man, but in the end they lacked both the hardware, manpower and breadth of experience to withstand. So as the enemy withdrew, the Gallente evolved, fighting Snuff Box, Shadow Cartel, Black Legion, Death by Design, Project Mayhem, etc. It developed the split personality I spoke of last time on Lowlife. Some of us lost touch with Factional Warfare as our doctrines got bigger, our pilots older, and our strategies adapted to fighting in a different way.
Having had enough of being farmed for kills by Pandemic Legion and others, Brave Newbies recently moved to the lowsec system of Aunsou, a mere three jumps from their old home in Barleguet, next door to the Gallente/Caldari war zone. It was an escape from predators and internal failures in leadership. I remember that moment because Aunsou became the hottest spot to be in all of lowsec overnight. GalMil headed over there, and for the first two weeks we had fantastic fights against Brave, Snuff Box, Black Legion and others.
The disaster within Brave became apparent to us in the following months, however. We would roam over there looking for a fight every weekend, in later stages even telling Brave we were coming so they could form up to fight us. We were met with 70 or so pilots docked in station, complaining that they did not have an FC to form a fleet and undock. In the end, we simply stopped going, and so did everyone else. I felt sad for them, 70 people just sitting in a station, unable to undock and kill some 20-30 cruisers sitting on their undock. It was a symptom of the chaos within Brave.
The debate raged within Brave on their next step. Fingers were pointed, opinions had, even leaders changed, and all the while Brave lost members. Last week however, Brave made the right call: Factional Warfare, more specifically, the Caldari State.
Not all of Brave are happy about this. Indeed I spoke with CZ’s own Dunk Dinkle about the move (something I had suggested to him several times mind), and he is not as positively inclined as others. To me, this is a match made in heaven. The Caldari need the numbers, and the Gallente want the targets. The case in point was Agoze this past weekend, a system Brave pushed hard. The fighting was thick for several days in a row, and we got back to our old habits of long-standing fleets with FCs rolling in and out as the time zones passed. Several times the system was contested, and it almost looked like we would lose it. Unfortunately for Brave, however, they don’t seem to know the lay of the land just yet and got their dreadnought on the iHub promptly annihilated by five titans and five supercarriers from Snuff Box, who stage in the next door system of Vey. Never not have eyes on Snuff Box lads.
Who won the fight and held the system is beside the point really. What’s important here is that people had fun, on both sides.
Brave recently announced that they would instead move to Kehjari, a gateway system to the very north-western portion of the war zone. The system has easy access to both the center of Black Rise, one of the most violent places in all of EVE, as well as Placid and highsec. It is well positioned to let Brave take part in the boatloads of content that has made Black Rise, Placid and The Citadel so popular. It’s already a massive fight club, and it’s about to get even bloodier.
If I would give Brave one piece of advice at this stage, it would be to listen to the veterans in CalMil, the guys who have done this for years and know the area like the back of their hand. Combine this with the plex system, which will allow Brave to scale fights down to what they have and are capable of fielding at any given time, and you have a recipe for the much touted “fun per hour.” FW lowsec is wonderfully scalable like that: You can go out solo and get content against both newer players and some of the best in the business, or you can knock over a Snuff Box POS and have a big capital fight on your hands, like an all-you-can eat buffet of PvP.
If Brave give Factional Warfare a honest go and are prepared to listen to advice, it will pay dividends. There’s a reason lowsec PvPers are some of the happiest EVE players around, and I just hope that it’s not too late for Brave to be inspired by it.