Why I defected from EVE Online’s greatest empire

War continues to ravage EVE Online: trillions of ISK destroyed, supercapitals breathing their last breaths, alliances switching sides and leaving coalitions—all pretty typical in a big EVE war. In my last article, I explained how after a few months of low-intensity fighting, Imperium member SpaceMonkey’s Alliance pissed off the largest and richest in-game gambling cartel in the galaxy. Known as I Want Isk or IWI, the proprietors of this group paid almost every competent alliance in the game to band together and attack Imperium space, forming an anti-Imperium coalition called MoneyBadger Coalition. This came to a head at the Battle of M-OEE8, in which 5,600 players fought across a constellation for the fate of an Imperium capital system. The Imperium lost.

Following the Battle of M-OEE8, former system owners Circle-Of-Two left the Imperium. They maintained their sovereignty in holdings across the north and did not interfere with the other half of their home region of Tribute being taken from Imperium member alliance Tactical Narcotics Team. As the skewed Fabian Strategy employed by Imperium leader The Mittani continued, many Imperium citizens and leaders became disgruntled; SpaceMonkey’s Alliance, one of the largest Imperium members and final catalyst in the chain of events leading to the war, announced their departure from the Imperium and Imperium space for a remote region known as Outer Ring (but keeping ‘blue,’ or friendly, Imperium relations). Peaking at around 5,000 pilots prior to the war, SpaceMonkey’s Alliance was in the 3,000s before steeply dropping to around 1,300. 

Meanwhile, Fidelas Constans, another very large Imperium ally, was rapidly losing ground in their home region of Fade. A large, approximately 3,000 player battle for their main staging system resulted in the loss of the system, and an evacuation to the Imperium capital, an NPC-owned station. Shortly thereafter, Fidelas Constans announced their own departure from the Imperium with the same friendly stance as SpaceMonkey’s Alliance. Fidelas Constans went from over 4,000 pilots to about 2,600 and moved to the south of the galaxy to rebuild.

Participation metrics across the Imperium have overall gone down while what’s known as a hellcamp (continual camping) continues on the undock of the Imperium staging station. MoneyBadger Coalition forces, including supercapitals, run wild through former and current Imperium space and their home station; the ancestral Goon homeland of Deklein now exists with no systems still under Imperium control and the regions of Tenal, Branch, and Tribute have completely fallen to MoneyBadger alliances. Fighting over the western half of Vale of the Silent continues in low intensity while Goonswarm Federation, along with assistance from other allies, fight MoneyBadger fleets over control of Fade, the former home of SpaceMonkey’s Alliance.

Betrayal over sea

Among all the carnage and drama, I have a small part in it. I used to be part of a corporation known as I’m Fine And You. I’m Fine And You (or its ticker, DOKDO) was a predominantly Korean but secondarily mixed European/American corporation led by Lemba, a Korean man who had lived in America for some time. As a simple CFC (now Imperium—nomenclature in EVE is weird) citizen, he dreamed of creating a home for his people. Acting upon this, he started the corporation and joined The Bastion, an Imperium member alliance. Following the stunning growth of his corporation and his own growth as a leader and fleet commander, he took his corporation to Goonswarm Federation where he quickly rose through the ranks and became an alliance director while his second-in-command became an alliance diplomat.

The Imperium leadership had a party on a yacht while Lemba was squandering time with his family for the sake of a video game.

When a foreshock war began in October and November over the Cloud Ring region, Lemba was called upon as an effective Australian timezone fleet commander to wage war. During the conflict, Lemba ran many ops but soon became disgruntled; the Imperium leadership had a party on a yacht while Lemba was squandering time with his family for the sake of a video game. In retaliation, he began leaking top secret information from leadership and military channels to enemies of the Imperium and to Reddit. Then, he was caught and revealed by Twizzlespark Celes, his second-in-command.

Twizzlespark made the announcement to the alliance and to the corporation through in-game mail, saying he sent a bait text file to the leaking Reddit account. When clicked on, the host server recorded the user’s IP. “It breaks my heart to say this,” said Twizzlespark, but the IP matched that of Lemba’s. From there, Twizzlespark gave details on what to do next as the original corporation had been kicked out of alliance. A new corporation for those wishing to stay with Imperium and the Goons was made, named I’m Fine and You aren’t.

In response, Lemba sent a mail titled “A Change in View.” In it, he admitted to being a spy and documented his complaints as previously explained. He ended with a charge to join him where he goes next and a prediction of the Imperium’s future, saying:

“I suggest all of you move with me. I sent you the mail days ago telling you to move and its for a reason. You are going to lose, the Imperium will fall, and you will be stuck with all of your stuff in space you don't own. The Imperium is falling apart and corps/members are dropping daily.”

I myself was briefly caught between two minds: stay with Twizzle and remain loyal to the Imperium or go with Lemba. I chose the latter with the reasoning that most of my friends are loyalists and would likely join me. They did. Following a storm of anti-Lemba rhetoric from the Imperium and praise from the MoneyBadger Coalition, a new corporation called Wife Is Sleeping (with the ticker SOMEK, a Korean spirit) was formed for Lemba’s loyalists. At first about 25 pilots joined; following the corporation joining MoneyBadger Coalition alliance and regional power Snuffed Out, this count has grown to 45. This represents about 11% of the original membership, with 111 inactives staying in the old corporation and 175 joining the new corporation; about 75 were lost to other groups.

Life has been good following the drama and the move; fights abound and we get to participate in the potential fall of the Imperium, the largest empire the game has ever seen, from the side of the aggressors. You can participate too, on either side: new player-friendly groups include Karmafleet on the Imperium side and Pandemic Horde on the MoneyBadger Coalition side. Lemba’s decisions may help precipitate an empire’s collapse