August 2, 2013

What Would the Fall of CVA Mean for EVE?

It's no secret that CVA is in the midst of a civil war right now. Formed in November 30, 2004, by a group known for (among other things) being roleplayers, CVA is one of the oldest alliances in EVE's history.  Very few alliances that formed in 2004 are still kicking today, especially in the context that CVA is.  CVA reminds me a little of Israel in many ways.  The land they occupy has no great economic value (Providence), yet is a hotbed of small battles, and is inhabited by peoples from many different backgrounds.  They've also both survived, inexplicably, when opposed by much larger enemies.  Somehow, CVA has managed to survive many close calls, and they always manage to rise from the ashes.

But what if they didn't?  CVA is not only unique for its longevity and history, but it is also one of the last areas that live by the Not Red Don't Shoot rules of engagement.  This makes Providence very newbie friendly.  Anyone who doesn't have a bad history with CVA can come through the area freely.  For new players, this means that Providence represents a great place to try nullsec for the first time.  If CVA didn't exist, would the NRDS policy and neutral-friendly lifestyle survive?

The war has only begun so far, consisting of two major fights: a nearly 300-man CVA fleet which attacked Of Sound Mind station, and then a 400 man fight over the same station on August 2nd, EVE time.  CVA easily reinforced the station the first time, but were pretty soundly defeated when they came back.   Quite a few third-part organizations came to 4B to be involved that may not have been expected, such as TEST, Dirt Nap Squad, Brave Newbies, and us, Noir. Mercenary Group.

Credit: JayneF
As I mentioned, CVA has survived many battles and wars that could have ended them, through which they persevered.  But let's imagine that this war with SOUND proves to be the end for them.  Let's imagine that the war turns uglier and lasts longer than anyone had anticipated, what was thought to be a quick purge turns into a slug fest that lasts months and months.  A civil war that started over a neutral ship being shot at (which is against the NRDS policy we spoke of), turns into a war in which every fight has neutrals show up, sometimes they shoot at you, sometimes they don't.  Will the common man in CVA become disgruntled at a ROE they view shackles them?

I doubt that CVA would fall from pure military action alone.  They've been there before, they know how to armor themselves against that, to weather the storm.  But if dissent were to become so high among the grunts of the alliance, fighting a long, drawn-out war over one Omen and began to leave the ranks? Certainly that could be damaging enough to CVA to allow for a hostile take over.  And without a unified alliance, it may be a one-two punch that they can't recover from.

 CVA is precisely the type of thing CCP loves to proclaim: an alliance that forged its own path, creating an entire culture out of nothing.   If they were gone, totally and irrevocably removed from Providence - along with their policies regarding neutrals - I think EVE would lose a valuable resource for new players. Outside of CVA, I don't see a place for the NRDS ROE.  The friendly, inviting nature of Providence would be gone.

Providence would likely become a fractured region with CVA out of the picture. The map would be in a constant state of flux, and it'd be ripe for any large alliance that would want to move in (although it's unlikely anyone would. Well, maybe TEST will continue to be pushed across the map and move in!) It'd likely still retain its overall feeling for those of us who used Providence as a hunting ground. That is to say, Providence would almost certainly remain an area that people go to when they're looking for a fight. But without the large intel channels, it'd be easier to move through.  And although unlikely, it'd be interesting if pirates moved back in, bringing Providence full circle to its origins.

In any case, if CVA were removed from Providence, the ones most effected would be the new players, without a doubt.  While there are still many groups that are newbie friendly and provide experiences in nullsec (Brave Newbies Inc., EVE University, TEST, just to barely scratch the surface), CVA allowed new players to come in, live in nullsec as long as they wished, and be safe from any hostiles while they were there.  They didn't have to join any particular group, pay any fee for staying there, or commit to some sort of defense organization.  They could come and go as they pleased.  If, in CVA's place, a half dozen feuding corporations moved into Providence, the freedom of movement currently offered wouldn't be an option any longer, and it would add a barrier to people who enjoy not being tied down, but having open access to an entire nullsec region.

There's no doubt that with CVA gone, EVE as we know it would be different. Would it be better or worse overall? Well, personally I'd be sad, but I'm a romantic.  Besides, in EVE, one can't be afraid of a little change. Right?