Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Imperium's Latest Antics

One of the benefits of playing EVE Online is the opportunity to watch the antics of the community up close and get the subtleties that outsides will miss. Whether it's Pandemic Legion hiding its love of k-pop in the shadow of Taylor Swift fanboi Elise Randolph or the trials and tribulations of Brave Newbies or the community's love affair with hats, I've never lacked for storylines to follow. But since I started playing in 2009, perhaps the longest running storyline is the Goons/CFC/The Imperium.

In that time, the most prominent Goon of all is The Mittani, although that's probably because Mr. Vee keeps leaving his Curor in NOL-9M and Goons keep having to invade Delve to get his ship back. Back in 2009 and before, one way to get hired by a game company was to become a prominent games journalist or a well-known guild leader. But, starting in 2010 with his talk at GDC I didn't believe that just working for a game company was The Mittani's end goal.

That belief was reinforced in 2011 with the emergency CSM summit held in the wake of the disastrous launch of Incarna and all the associated issues brought about with the introduction of a cash shop. The Mittani broke into the gaming news again as the chairman of CSM 6 and became, if not already, a media figure. Not bad for a mere player in a game.

Since then, I've watched both the actions of The Mittani and the CFC, er, The Imperium waiting for them to do unique things in the gaming sphere. The launch of TMC in 2012 signaled that, unlike what many believed, The Mittani was not out to destroy EVE. In fact, the existence of TMC now means that The Mittani is now invested in the success of EVE, as the game is the base of his fame as well as the centerpiece of an out-of-game enterprise.

What happened this weekend, with The Imperium launching an invasion into H1Z1, was bound to happen one day. Game companies cannot produce content faster than players can consume it. That's not such a problem for sandbox games, but players still like things like live events. But live events take planning, setup, and resources. CCP, with only one server, usually only has the resources to conduct live events in the EU time zone. Now, imagine trying to conduct live events across multiple shards. No company, not even Blizzard, is going to pull off that trick.

What if a game company can convince a large group to come into a game and hit multiple shards? That solves a problem, doesn't it? But you can't have a group of goody-goodies come in. The purpose is to have the existing community rally against the invading evil. But what group large enough to matter would not mind about having such a reputation? Also, who can a company find to inspire such feelings that would have a community rally against?

The Mittani makes a pretty good bad guy, doesn't he?

Okay, so The Imperium is a natural OPFOR (opposing force) to bring into a sandbox PvP game. Daybreak Games is a natural choice of game developer, as the ties between The Imperium and Daybreak are pretty close, going back to Smed's days flying with the CFC (as part of TEST?). And with H1Z1 still in a paid alpha, not only could the game use a little publicity but some server stress testing as well.

I will say I was surprised at how organized the effort is. Not the player organization displayed on the Twitch stream, that's a given. I'm referring to the item givaways. In addition to the cosmetic item pack, TMC gave away an ASUS ROG G751JL gaming laptop (the drawing conducted by Daybreak). For the TMC Twitch stream, Nvidia donated 5 Nvidia Shield Portables and 12 backpacks to give away to subscribers of the Twitch channel.

What The Imperium brings new to the table isn't a single guild playing multiple games. Many, many guilds have done that for years. The same holds true for establishing communities in multiple MMORPGs. No, what The Imperium brings is a group of players willing to go into games and serve as the opposing force in a live event. I haven't heard of that occurring before. And that is why I play and follow EVE. Fascinating things occur, and I'm interested in how this one turns out.


  1. Smed's addiction to Reddit came after his time in the CFC. I believe he was a Space Monkey back in the day.

    Best/worst time of the weekend in H1Z1 was when DBRB picked a spot for our base right next to a hill on the Antidote server, so hostiles could just sit up there and snipe into our base. Fort Necessity all over again.

  2. Viince_SnettertonMay 5, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    The failed lawyer is in it for the money. How much did Daybreak give to him to direct his minions to stress test their game?

    Further, as an added bonus, he gets to feed his inner psychopath by wreaking havoc on a whole new bunch of internet game players.

  3. all he's doing is monetizing the cfc playerbase. i cant help but wonder how much money h1z1 paid him to bring his crew in and puff up their sub numbers.

  4. Wow... it really is you... Dimmy... isn't it? Cause for all these years you were the ONLY one who called mittens The Failed Lawyer.

    Old habits huh... give you away every time. Everyone noticed you sorta faded away and stopped complaining about Goons 'owning' CCP and EVE after all the changes... but haters just gonna hate... don't cha? =] LOL

  5. Anybody else amused at the large mirror next to the ego?

    Of interest is the comment that the tears have dried up in Eve. I have noted this for some time. The rage on the eve-o forums quickly dissipates over perceived victories. Threadnoughts are now few and in-between. Welcome to the law long ignored; the law of diminishing returns.

  6. That must have been a great marketing meeting.
    "We need badguys."
    "Have you tried EVE online?"

  7. Was thinking the same when i saw it. This is the first time they do such thing and don't see they would pay him... it's more like showing to the public that thay can do such stuff..