The fighting in Kamela has stopped, and the Minmatar have risen victorious, but the underlying use of lore-breaking game mechanics and grey area exploits is gaining attention.
Handing in one faction’s uniform for another might be impossible under some circumstances, but not in Eve Online. Swapping factions would likely have been seen as an unconventional tactic at one point in the history of Factional Warfare, but according to multiple accounts, switching sides in factional warfare has reportedly been going on for years. There’s something wrong in Eve Online.
The so-called “Pendulum War” is the result of one of the deepest, most problematic trends of low security space pertaining to the struggle of the empires against each other. The causes are likely numerous, complex and nuanced, but one of the main culprits of this game-breaker is multiboxing. Occurrences in the factional warfare warzone can never truly be of lasting consequence, although it appears that wasn’t necessarily the intention of the game’s developers.
It’s possible (and in fact, very easy) to place characters of conflicting allegiances inside enemy forces, hiding them through the use of covert standings tactics. An Eve Online player can simply run missions and activities to increase their standings with their declared faction, in this case the Minmatar, while simultaneously using another character aligned to the same corporation to carry out
illegal attacks on “friendly” forces. After seeing evidence of this tactic implemented repeatedly and without intervention, I came to realize why even the most devout RP voices agree that the Pendulum War may never end, due to the lack of apparent Pendulum weight; in stark contrast to the stories
that make up Eve Online’s voluminous lore, there’s no value in any loyalty to your chosen race(s) in Eve Online.
This is obviously problematic from a lore perspective, and has festered to the point that it might be very difficult to correct by developers at this stage.
An article documenting the fighting in Kamela before it changed hands to the Minmatar recently highlights what would likely have been seen as an unconventional tactic at one point in the history of Factional Warfare, but has reportedly been going on for years. This is yet another example of the damage that multiboxing does to every aspect of the game; were it impossible to create burner characters, Eve Online players wouldn’t be able to so easily assume different in-game identities to take part in typically nefarious, or at least typically consequential activities.
Regardless of the unconventional tactics at play and the clever, yet ineffective attempts at deception of the readers of EOC by Amarrian leadership, Minmatar forces moved in to Kamela and crushed the final remaining defenders of this once well fortified Amarrian stronghold on 16-1-YC124. The fighting raged on for weeks,but finally, the residents of Kamela’s planets and other governed structures await new provisional guidelines from Minmatar Militia leadership. Whether the Minmatar will be viewed as liberators or occupiers has yet to be seen.
In the meantime, the Absolute Order conglomeration, still impersonating Minmatar forces as before, are still unobstructed from the use of this same unconventional tactic to remain in system comfortably, provide intelligence to their true Amarrian allies, and harass Minmatar occupying forces in their newly conquered system completely unabated. Otherwise, they could simply go dormant until they’re needed again, which might have the added benefit of minimizing the chances of the scheme being found out in the future against different Minmatar opponents.
Although factional warfare is fascinating to me and at least some of those that participate in it, the experience is cheapened and compromised by tactics rooted in multiboxing; over the course of my investigation into the tactics at play in Kamela, I found that the systems change hands often due to massively implemented strategies that would never be possible if multiboxing were made impossible. One conclusion then, might be that the removal of multiboxing would also remove these odd, lore-deficient and game-breaking exploits, having the effect of not only strengthening Factional Warfare, but every other useful aspect of Eve Online itself.
At one point it was apparently easier to convince new recruits to compete when they were convinced that signing up to play Eve Online is signing up to compete in a fair experience. But now there’s no more pretending that there’s anything resembling an even playing field, and it’s becoming increasing more evident that the only players that want to play on it are those already comfortably perched on the hill, or those too inexperienced to know that there is a hill, or that they’ll need to climb that hill to join those players to survive.
A deeply kept secret of Eve Online seems to be that if only a few of those players on that hill don’t want a new player to join them up there on the hill of tranquility and self-determination, they can make it disproportionately difficult for any new player to scale the notoriously steep Eve Online learning curve. After years of setting up infrastructure and gaining experience in game mechanics, they have systematized means, even those that you’ve never considered, haven’t heard of, or just don’t believe, that they can use, on a whim, in order to keep even the most excited and motivated new player from enjoying their chosen profession in Eve Online.
Many aspects of Eve Online are disagreeable, to many different people that play it, but multiboxing is emerging as the single most destructive aspect of Eve Online’s perceived value to those that don’t necessarily play the game. It cheapens the players’ experiences, which siphons value off their achievements. Multiboxing makes things easy for players that should never have been easy; it robs accomplishments and items of their significance in Eve Online.