wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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The history of Goonfleet

As told by Dear Leader. Again, for thaadd, who wanted to know.

This is going to be the thread that ends all of the "omg drama what happened to evegoons?!" threads. I've written it in the third person because it sounded better.

Backstory: For more than 2 years, goonkind have been totally unable to get their shit together to create a viable, functional gooncorp that could last more than a month or two before being rocked by horrendous drama and dissolved as goons went seperate ways.

Part of this is because Eve encourages high amounts of independence because literally nothing stops you from leaving your corp and joining a completely different corp sixty jumps away in another part of the universe in the same day. Part of this is because Eve also encourages griefing on huge levels: there is no "fraud court" in Eve, corp theft is virtually unpunishable once the offender leaves, Concord high-security protects people from vengeance in Empire, and the GMs have no policy against scamming or griefing as long as it's not done from the Eve-o forums.

But most of the reason why most of the vets you've met in Eve so far hold the philosophy that "gooncorps never last" is that people from SA are intelligent veterans of other MMOs, and carry themselves with a healthy amount of ego. When goons fled from everquest and asheron's call to come play Eve, they had no idea how deep the griefing could really go, since Eve is totally unlike most mainstream MMOs. Thus when Istvaan griefed the first gooncorp way back in early 2004 and hired mercenaries to literally hunt newbies until they had nothing left to fly but newbie ships, lots of older goons decided that this game was really all about being a complete asshole.

Every attempt thereafter to create a stable gooncorp: Yulai Financial, Red Hammer Industries, Awful Industries, Free State Project, Leonard J. Crabs I, Leonard J. Crabs II, GoonCorpse, Regulars, on and on - every single one of them eventually failed. Most often the cause of death was drama caused by a small handful of goons that resulted in the entire corp being town apart by strife and everyone becoming disgusted and quitting for better things. Red Hammer Industries fell apart because a goon (who was never caught) stole several BILLION isk in minerals from the hangars, and Aliksr just couldn't figure out where it went while he was trying to pay off his investors, so he slowly gave up and the corp dissolved, leaving several people hundreds of millions of isk in the hole. Free State Project fell apart when Remedial stole some ore from a big corp which took the event as an opportunity to extort and then grief the corp until the goons again scattered. Leonard J. Crabs I was infiltrated by goons who already belonged to enemy corps, and then spied on until every op it held was essentially public knowledge and griefed until the corp fell apart. Gooncorps in Eve have been a history of failed dreams - but what is worst is that it really jaded a lot of the older goons and made them cynical to the point that simply forecasted doom and gloom and the worst of all scenarios whenever anything mildly dramatic happened.

Duckk, Tribal, Maximillian Kell, and hosts of older goons would periodically "quit" Eve for weeks to months at a time after drama, only to come back in the end. What made (makes) life bearable for many of the older goons, despite the complete failure of goons to be united, is that being old meant that you had a lot of SP, and a lot of SP meant that you had acquired power of sorts as an individual - and that way, even if everybody and everything was unreliable, at the end of the day you could still fly your Raven and make enough money to get by without anyone else. So you could hang out with a couple of close goonfriends, and at least chat with the other goons, but vets really become a small-corp, lone-wolf set of goons that didn't put a lot of stock in either new goons (who were considered naive and SP-weak) or old goons (who they quite often developed various animosities towards).

Now take all of that back story and the experience of older goons, and inject something like Remedial creating GoonFleet. Here's this guy that comes along and announces that even though every gooncorp has failed to date, and that he had personally failed at creating a gooncorp three times before, that this time he was going to get it right. And to do it right, he's going to bring dozens to hundreds of 100k SP newbies into this game and make an alliance out of them - newbies that couldn't even fly cruisers for the first few days of their existance! Newbies that didn't even have all their learnings trained up to V or two million SP in gunnery or missiles!

This was bullshit and it wasn't going to work, and most of the vets made sure to tell Remedial that it was bullshit and not going to work. There would never be a gooncorp because gooncorps failed, because goons were prone to drama, and in Eve drama meant corp death. That was the goon collective wisdom of all goons more than a few months old.

So imagine the surprise when GoonFleet was formed and immediately began raiding 3FA successfully, attracting a reputation that actually spawned several threads by other corps praising GoonFleet, and talking about how crazy and fun their fleet antics were! 3FA were so unable to deal with hordes of these newbies in frigates that even nearby alliances like OSS started taking notice. Imagine the kind of crow older goons would have to eat after they talked about how foolish it was to try an idea like GoonFleet, only to have to admit that somebody was finally getting it right, and attracting a hundred new players to Eve in the process.

Even worse, the leaders of GoonFleet didn't care about SP, at all. Most of its directors had less than two or three million SP, total. The entire membership of GoonFleet might equal two 2003 vets in terms of raw SP. The people that got promoted to positions of power weren't necessarily the old guard veteran goons that had come to enjoy power in other corps because they could fly battleships and HACs, but rather the newbie with 750k SP that offered to spend an hour a day teaching newer players how to set autopilot, orbit a target, and set up a sell order at station.

The message here that Remedial was putting out seemed to be that the only thing preventing goonkind from working together in the past were the old goons. The jaded goons that acted like Eve was FYAD in space 24/7 and who took nothing seriously got annoyed at how serious GoonFleet was trying to be, and the jaded goons that acted like everything goon-made in Eve was bound to fail were annoyed that none of them were in charge. And as GoonFleet began its second recruiting drive, swelling to 200 members as its place in Syndicate was established by its reputation, and Remedial checked out of the game for a few days to work on a final, things went South.

Three of the old goon directors that had been appointed to positions of power began making decisions that were more in line with old goon philosophy than Remedial/GoonFleet philosophy. Instead of laissez-faire ways of trying to get goons to do things like defend space and mine, more heavy-handed actions like threatened expulsion and public ridicule became more common. Big lists of rules were written up governing behavior, and everyone was expected to read and abide by them. Corp decisions regarding politics and foreign relations began to be decided away from Remedial, including some very strange promises to 3FA that Remedial "wouldn't be coming back to GoonFleet as CEO", and that he had left GF for GFTP because he had been privately shamed by the corp.

Of course, when Remedial finally got back and learned that a lot of this was going on, he was pretty annoyed and he called the aforementioned directors into a chat. In that chat he was told on no uncertain terms that the old goons considered him more of a liability than an asset to the corp, and that he should content himself to taking care of the newbies instead of trying to run the corp - that job should be left to the vet goons who knew what they were doing. Remedial disagreed. And then came the dramabombs.

The goon vet directors briefly debated not letting Remedial back into the corp, Remedial aired a public thread and hosted a TS session describing the problem, and determined that the goon vet directors had almost no support among the vast majority of GoonFleet. He informed the directors of this, who did their own polling, and after much drama, decided to leave GoonFleet for KHM or elsewhere. Those old goon directors also took with them some of the more sympathetic oldish goon directors that had to choose between staying with Remedial/GoonFleet and leaving with the friends they had made over a year ago. Choices were made in favor of both sides by several people.

In the end, about seven or eight veteran goons left GoonFleet, leaving behind a population of about 230 after all was said and done. But the parting was still bitter, and Remedial decided that since his ability to moderate the evegoons.com forums had been given to Firstname Lastname as a joke, that he needed a new forum for goonfleet. He regged goonfleet.com, one of the older KHM goons found out and told the evegoons.com staff, and they hid (and later deleted) all of the threads and hard work that had gone into building an information database there for newbies to use and enjoy.

Suffice to say, the drama fallout was massive. It's why we're all here right now instead of viewing this on evegoons.com: many of the older goons and Remedial no longer get along at all.

I think that Furnok, FNLN, Josiah, and a couple other older goons simply don't care about anything other than themselves and they treat the game like a joke. To them, everything is going to fail in the end anyway, so why not be the court jester all the time? Grief people, take their stuff, laugh at them, yell chinese character in local and piss on everyone. Who cares if you pod some newbies? They should get used to it because Eve is comedy and anyone that doesn't think what they do is funny is a faggot. Eve is FYAD because you can make people miserable and it's funny.

I also think that Adar (Werner Bohr, Mystiel Raleigh, etc.), duckk, Tribal and several other older goons are so bitter about not being rightfully in charge and being on the outside of the first successful gooncorp that they would rather see it fail than help it at this point. Adar spent weeks training corp management skills and tried for months to get YF then RHI then LJC then Regulars into "success" land, but could never do it because he wasn't popular enough to lead those corps and somebody else (sometimes Remedial) was voted into CEO-ship instead. Duckk and Tribal both quit Eve for awhile and then came back, expecting that their status as vets of months past would be enough to make their decisions valid and final, not subject to scrutiny from Remedial. But all three of them could tell that none of them was valued any more highly than Remedial valued low-skill directors like Virtuoso DeToure, Zazi, FatKao, or Hoegaarden. Tribal even went so far as to post an "I'm quitting because I'm underappreciated" thread on evegoons before being temporarily talked out of it.

And finally, I think at this point it's safe to say that the scars aren't going to heal between the oldest goons. But here's the key: it doesn't matter.

SP mean nothing in Eve when it comes to being a successful corp, and one of the downfalls of gooncorps in previous incarnations was a commonly held assumption that "we don't have enough SP." Maturity, experience, and planning is what makes GoonFleet different, not how long its members have been subscribed. Without directors patient enough to explain to newbies how things were done, and to bring them on ops and make things fun, GoonFleet would never have been successful on the scale on which it is now successful. I think what the older goons hate is that it's turned out that battleships can't win a war against cynicism and apathy, but a couple of 500K SP newbies were able to do what they could never get around their egos and fears to do.

We have built GoonFleet up to be the gooncorp that never was: a place that is welcome to all goons mature enough to care, smart enough to survive, and caring enough to help the next generation up the ladder. Two and a half years after Eve went live, we finally have a place for goons to call home. And that home is worth fighting for and protecting, which is why I've had to exclude a lot of the older goons (Furnok, Adar, etc.) from being a part of our community again. They simply either don't care enough to help or are so bitter that they cannot see what an incredible opportunity we have here. As much as it pains me to say it, I think that it was inevitable that this clash in ideologies was going to result in a permanent schism. What I'm thankful for is that we are on the "right" side of the schism: we didn't do anything wrong, we didn't make the first move, we didn't delete their forums or pod them or anything like that. That was done to us first.

What I'm also thankful for is that we are also on the only side that is going to grow out of this. Old goons just get older, and I'm sure that the ones that are jaded are going to get even more jaded over Remedial "stealing the gooncorp" away from them, but on this side of the schism we can still recruit new goons with megathreads and training. With enough new recruits and organization, we will eventually go past "only gooncorp to survive" and reach "first goon alliance", with GoonFleet the executor corp leading the way.

Anyway, I hope that people can actually tolerate reading through all this. GoonFleet is my creation, but it wouldn't be possible without the directors and producers and volunteers that work around the clock to make the wheels of progress go forward. I want to thank all of the people that stuck through the black hole of drama and emerged on the other side into a new world of possibilities. The darkest times should be behind us, and I'm looking forward to a bright future.

From the GoonFleet wiki.
Tags: eve
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