|Donut holes are tasty too|
A small 60-70 pilot alliance arrived in my constellation a couple of weeks ago and set up shop in my nice sleepy low sec system. That kind of put a crimp on some of my operations, especially mining, until the alliance leader contacted me over the weekend and we negotiated a non-agression pact. The negotiations amounted to him asking if I was interested and me replying, "sure, how do I set an alliance blue?"
For me, the choice was simple. The new power in the system was bluing everyone up and if I joined in I'd get to operate in a good location. Even if the alliance didn't honor the pact, the most I figured to lose was a Procurer, and that's more than paid for itself over the past month of use.
Looking at the situation from the alliance's point of view, I can understand why setting the locals blue is a good thing. The alliance is small enough that if the long-term residents really got pissed off we could cause some trouble. I'm pretty sure the leader is looking to secure his flanks against the small fry so he can stay focused on the major players. I mean, I don't have to worry about getting hot dropped by Pandemic Legion, but he does.
I guess I should add that the alliance doesn't seem like a combat-adverse bunch. One of its pilots teamed up with the resident FW pilot to go fight an Amarr militia pilot that cruised into the system. Sounded like all three had fun making internet spaceships explode.
Also, while they like to make things, at least one corporation doesn't like mining. I did see a pilot from the executor corp mining in a Skiff, but another appoached me about putting up some of my excess on the local market. I actually might do that if I get that far ahead of my own needs. Right now I'm struggling to build up a surplus of pyerite. Currently that's my production bottleneck.
One funny thing is that I wound up arranging a NAP with the local 3-man faction warfare corp. We've shared the system for months but just didn't talk much. He actually told me he felt rude that he hadn't offered before now that the alliance was coming in bluing everyone.
Rude? I'd say prudent. When you're a small fish, getting the attention of others more aggressive or more capable than you is a bad thing. So we just swim around not drawing attention. When the alliance moved in, I didn't want to draw attention to myself so I just moved my mining operations completely to a neighboring system that has an ice belt. I surprised some people when I emerged last night in a Procurer. All they'd seen me in up until that time, if they'd seen me at all, were cloaky ships. Getting spotted in a Hound leaves a different impression than getting spotted in a mining barge.
My diplomatic activities extended past the Blue Munchkin when I blued up another corp. Trying to hide and make myself look tough from that corp wouldn't work as the diplomat I'm in contact with reads the blog. They're a good trip away but I cruise through his area every once in a while when I'm tending my datacore farm. That relationship could prove interesting.
So Odyssey has provided something unexpected into my world: diplomacy. Now we'll find out if I'm good at it.