Monday, May 5, 2014

Why I left CVA

So people keep asking my why I left in February.  Sometimes I semi-troll  back, other times I give a somewhat serious answer.  Its honestly a hard question to answer because there are so many little reasons.  So probably start in the beginning?

If any single event or item is the most responsible it is probably this:

Imperial Aeon #2
Meet Imperial Aeon #2, this Aeon was the second mothership built by Imperial Dreams and originally belonged to Pers before I inherited it when Pers left the game.  (Still waiting on Gothika's Avatar btw :p ).  Originally piloted by Rovern and sat by Ryuu before Ryuu became skilled enough to use in combat.  This Aeon was the perfect example of my philosophy ("If You Train It, It will Come").  Sadly still waiting on that Titan :P.

If any event you can blame, you can trace the root back to Late May of 2011 and the Yong Aeon gank were CVA and crew baited out 3 pirate Aeons and killed them in Yong (Balder Con Fraps Below)

Whats the connection?  From that event, my love of killing capitals was solidified.  Capital warfare emerged as my personal endgame.  My Goal, My Dream.  

Fast Forward two and a half years . . .  A lot of faces have come and gone, the political landscapes changed over.  I've been CEO of Imperial Dreams, and Allied Capital Commander for two years.  If anything, our capital fleet is weaker than when I started.  Super pilots have left or sold their supers, capital ships are not being pushed by corporations.  Nobody cares about killing capitals or losing them for that matter.  Is it my fault?  In a way Yes.  I failed to keep capital operations running.  Did I have good ideas?  Sure, did I ever push them through?  No, not really.  The organizational system I had been running just wasn't working.  Corporations weren't pushing for capitals, their CCFM's barely talked to me, assuming they had one appointed.  We had 300 people with capital access but hardly had more than 20-30 folks in cap chat.  I couldn't form an all CVA cap fleet, half the time I couldn't even get enough allied dreads to one cycle medium towers, let alone hit dickstars or serious threats.  Capitals weren't dieing, capitals weren't flying, Eve was a chore, it lacked fun for me.

Art0n Crew pulled me out of that slump.  Jssix and Nbele often would chat on steam, would bring my attention back to the game (or other games).  I'd look at the killboards and see, heres a group of people killing caps, lots of capitals.  This is what I want to do.  But they are KOS, can I work with them?  Well if you follow CVA politics you know there is a long history with the members of Arton Crew.  Many are x-cva, some are alts, some aren't alts.  Some flip back and forth, everyone is tied to Provi-bloc in some fashion or another.  Its like a retirement home for bitter vets who have had enough with idiots and just like to shoot things. 

For me I had been thinking of potentially leaving for most of 2013.  At first it was just a whisper.  Sure, sometime in the future I thought.  Things started to change though as I became more disenfranchised with the direction that both Provi-bloc and CVA had gone and my frustration in how cap fleet had been working out.  The major tie still to CVA wasn't CVA itself but Imperial Dreams.  Being CEO I obviously can't leave.  But one of the wonderful things about IG was that the corp as we were set up ran itself.  I could dissapear for two weeks and come back and nothing would be the matter.  So that wasn't the issue, instead my deepest tie (outside of friends for years and eternal loyalty to IG) was our BPO collection, particularly are t2 bpo collection.  We were organized as such several of us built off the BPOs (and paid fees based on profits) back to the corporation.  If you've ever used t2 bpos before (I dare say most of you have never seen one let alone used it) they are extremely easy and the ones we utilized printed money in the 20-40% profit range.  It was very easy isk and hard to walk away from.  My reliance on personal income from using corp bpos however became severed during the summer of 2013 when after seven years I finally taught myself how to do invention (started with jumpfreighters than ended up with t2 crusier hulls such as HICS, HACs, and Recons).  

With my financial concern now taken care of my thoughts of leaving turned from "can I leave" to "should I leave."  During the fall of 2013 I slowly started retreating from my alliance level positions.  I asked Equi to start finding people to replace me as I was running Cap Fleet, FCs, and theCitadel.  I was also starting to hang out on Jssix's Art0n comms, even though I couldn't actually fly with them.  It didn't take long till I was on Art0n comms more than CVA Mumble.  It felt more like home than mumble ever did.  November 2013 really became a significant month for me.  At the beginning of November I stepped down as CEO of Imperial Dreams, handing the baton over to Koit who was our most active Director remaining (many have moved on to Mortal Online with Aralis or withdrawn from Eve).  This cut the final connection forcing me to remain and also preemptively removed any temptation to potentially walk away with corp BPO assets (which are all locked down and can only be unlocked by the CEO).  I of course never seriously thought about it but by stepping down well ahead of any movement there would be absolutely no cause or chance for suspicion.  This is Eve after all and one never knows what will happen or what one will be accused of.  In conjunction with this there were a lot of changes happening for me in real life too.  

As a Millennial I had of course moved back into my parents house after college and been working nights for about 18 months.  In November I moved out to rent from my uncle in Minneapolis, MN.  Big deal as it meant leaving my old job and moving to a large city (rural MN boy for most of my life).  A lot of changes happening.  New Job as a part time order selector at a supermarket distribution center started in December and as I focused on new job I let my eve accounts unsub one by one.  I still kept in touch with people but for the most part tried to do other things (like catch up on my anime).  

And than . . . B-R happened.  Like a fly attracted to a bug zapper I just couldn't turn away.  Eve does that too me, I may have to take a break but its never long and I'm always drawn back.  Same thing had happened when Asaki happened.  So I'm resubbed but now what?  Nothing had really changed when I was gone, issues I had had both with CVA and the game were still there.  I started the long process of withdrawing assets.   Let me tell you about moving seven years of assets out of a region.   I probably blew over half a billion in isk on isotopes alone, carrier and jump freighting ships and mods out of various Providence stations to Arton.  When I actually told JSSix I was going to join I think he was more surprised than anyone else.  Many thought I would go to Silent Infinity if I left.  The thought was very tempting.  I had first met Tasha's alliance when we had a capital op in Modun, catching a large group of capitals attacking one of their POS.  When they were made holders as we retook providence and given space surrounding my nest egg (VKI) I had really gotten to know Tasha and quite a few AFK members as we became close neighbors in Providence.  They are a really great group of people and I deeply value our relationship and friendship.  However joining Silent Infinity would mean not a whole lot really changing for me, I would still be in Provi-bloc with the same issues that bothered me, and if anything it would weaken my position as CVA has still for the most part been the source of authority in the area, although its impact and respect has diminished over the last few years.  No I needed a clean political cut from Provi-Bloc directly and Arton was the easiest solution for me, other options might have included potential spots in Nulli Secunda or maybe even trying to get into a PL corporation but I wanted experience before anything else so NULL it was.

I'll be the first to admit I wasn't expecting to be shooting CVA the next day.  I decided to leave quietly, a quick post in council a few days before actually leaving and a quick talk with equi.  A squabble with Dyntheos over being  a traitor in a chat channel, but that was it.  No big goodbye speach, no attention grabbing thread on the forums, just a quick hop to a different corp, split between my alt corp and Derivian Solutions which belonged to a friend in NULL. The next day I found myself flying a guardian in a small tech 3 fleet defending a POS in Mamet from Provi-Bloc.  I latter learned almost nobody outside a few people who had been told ahead of time knew I had left so when I showed up on the field (with Ren'va) I guess there was some confusion and a lot of surprise.

Since that move I dare say I have had a ton of fun.  While my kill numbers aren't anything special I've been involved in a significantly larger number of capital ganks/fights than in the last several years and I've been able to utilize ole Imperial Aeon #2 significantly more over the last few months.  The last few months have been some of the most enjoyable times for me in Eve ever.  Especially working with (really just tagging along and kmwhoring) the fishing crew from PL.  Its been an eye opening experience in how people can be hunted and just how focused and good these guys are at what they do.


So after typing this huge wall I'm sure I still haven't really answered the question of why I left.  I kept hinting at being upset with the state of Providence, particularly CVA but never broached what bothered me.

I joined CVA in late Spring, early Summer of 2007, the week after the fall of 9uy when CVA took the station from Ushra'Khan.  To be more correct I joined Imperial Dreams which happened to be the executor of CVA.  I did not join IG because of CVA, I joined CVA because of IG and I have publicly made that clear numerous times.  Eve was very different back than, conflicts were significantly more localized, power projection wasn't nearly as far as it is today.  There were no Jump bridges, no titan bridges.  You 'walked."  Capitals were rare and extremely valuable logistically as well as on the battlefield.  CVA was strong, coming off a major victory over one of their most biter rivals, they were respected for their staying power and battleship fleets.  The CVA of that day was very different from today's iteration.  There was no question of who they were and what they stood for.  They were Amarrians bringing law and order to the lawlessness of null-sec.  NRDS was their tool, but the empire was their endgoal.  You didn't talk in local, you didn't trashtalk the empire.  If you looked at us funny we would KOS you and be done with it, no time wasting, gunboat diplomacy when needed, and never afraid to war dec.  

Over the next two years as Ushra'Khan slowly fell apart and CVA lost its nemesis that hardness started to disappear.  The perma war with UK came down.  We let in more corporations who weren't nearly as committed to the empire.  At some point we stopped being the loyalist alliance and became the NRDS alliance.  When the Catch war failed and we were expelled most of our allies disappeared but we stuck to it as friends went off to greener pastures.  CVA persevered but it never returned to that "Amarrian Alliance."  When we retook Providence we became even laxer.  We had become 'a casual' alliance, full of 'carebears' and fluff.  We threw space at anyone who showed up to take it as long as they agreed to NRDS.  Some deserved it, some perhaps didn't.  We lost our leadership, the old guard slipped away, the experienced FCs with an exception or two slipped to other places were their skills were more valued.  Our Super pilots left or sold their supercarriers because why own it if we won't use it?  We became militarily backwards, always following never innovating anymore (RIP Pulse Pocs & Panic Fleet).  

Today CVA is a leader of equals, not a ruler of Holders.  The FCs and the combat pilots were no longer majority CVA.  Capital Ops had to be coalition level as CVA struggled to field its own capital group.  The region, while it can pull decent numbers, continues to exist at the whim of its neighbors.  Casual alliances have no place as a leader in Null-Sec.  I grew up in a harder, leaner, less casual alliance.  My dream is that of a CVA that was mobile and militarily powerful, that could play with the big boys, deploy were it needed to.  Today's CVA is not that, and will probably never be able to become that without completely destroying itself.  The Amarrian vision was corrupted and lost and so was my faith in the alliance.  

That is not to say the people in CVA are failures or that anyone person or group of people are to blame.  The desire to be casual handicapped the alliances development and the people in leadership roles including myself did nothing to guide it down a different path and in that sense I failed not only myself, my dream, but my alliance and my corporation.  The people in CVA (for the most part) are a great group of people, many of whom I have known for years.  I stuck around for seven years and its not easy letting go of the relationships you develop over that stretch of time.

So I guess, after all that writing and splerging . . . I left CVA because CVA ceased to be the alliance I felt it was suppose to be.  I was tired of casual in an alliance I felt shouldn't be casual (Arton is even more casual but there is no pretense for being anything else nor is there an expectation of anything else).  Combined with responsibilities and disappointments that soaked all the fun of EVE out of my day to day experiences with it I needed a change and NULL was my answer.  As far as the future goes who knows.  I'm having a blast in NULL right now, participating in fishing Ops, trolling Care Factor, and genuinely just shooting whatever happens to undock next to me (try it sometime its rather relaxing).  I have a feeling however that at some point I will grow bored of it and move on to something else.  How long that takes or when it happens is anyones guess.


  1. I'm really happy that you're happy Rovern :) <3

  2. Apart from some posts on Facebook i think we never had the chance to chat after you left; glad to see you re-gain the joy of the game. cheers

    1. I'm always in 'Hashu' or actually the IG public channel ("guards")