Friday, July 17, 2009

Alliance Management

I've been through two EVE alliances thus far.

Both of which have ended in their space being taken. One without much of a fight and the other putting up with a tremendious struggle.

What I have learn, while flying in Fleet Ops, reading forums and paying attention to how an Alliance is run, has given me a very strong perception of who NOT to run an EVE Alliance.

I will begin with my first Alliance. Hydra Alliance, which is now disbanded and long dead. Dieing off in 2008 to a combined BoB, TRI and friends blog and sov attack. Hydra had the usual entities that all EVE Alliances need, at the most basic level. I will list them now.

1) Having an established Command Structure. From The Grunts to the High Command or Alliance Executor.

2) Having voice coms, such as Ventrilo or Team Speak.

3) Having an INTEL Channel where enemy movements are reported, never friendly movements.

4) Forums for which the Alliance can discuss things, for which only the Alliance members are allowed to par take in.

5) A strong POS and Jump Bridge infrustruture.

6) A Strong PvP centric mobilization and home defense policy/plan.

7) A strong Industrial base or Tax generating system to ensure the Alliance can support a Capital Fleet, fuel Towers, build Towers and maybe a ship replacement program.

8) Most important of all... a Charismatic Alliance leader. Requiring the knowledge of the political climate (past and present) of all other sov holding Alliances, especially your own Alliance's neighboring Alliances. A Leader that knows how to motivate the Alliance members, especially in a time of grief, such as while being invaded, in order to keep Fleet numbers high and the log in rate as high as possible.

Every Alliance needs at least these 8 basic things, in order to function. Many Alliances are strong in many areas and weak in others. If any one of the 8 is ignored or lacking, can result in the down fall of a space (soveriegnty) holding Alliance.

Hydra Alliance had a strong #7. It had a dead end system that had a refinery, ice belt, decent ore and a large player base of Hulk and Macinaw pilots to fuel the Alliance well. Hydra also had a large PvP base (#6). Hydra often went on 'roams' and regularly attacked other Towers belonging to other Corps or Alliances.

Hydra also had a charismatic leader. However, once this leader decided to retire, another would replace him, which would lead the Alliance into the gutter and ultimately losing space and disbanding.

The most important thing to an Alliance is #8. Hydra had it all, yet once the founding Leader left, the culture changed and the new leader was not able to lead properly. The facts behind leading an Alliance properly can fill a nice sized book! But, for this write up, I'll just say, that #8 is the center of it all, and if weak or wrong choices are made, create a ripple effect that vibrate all the way to the foundations of the Alliance and cause it to crumble.

The second Alliance I was in, called Etherial Dawn, was a good Alliance. However, it depended on a sister Alliance known as Intrepid Crossing. This is going to be a story of how one Alliance can bring down their Allies as well as themselves, when rules 1-8 are not strongly satisfactory.

ED (Etherial Dawn) and IRC (Intrepid Crossing) formed a Coalition. ED had a leader that mainly took directions from IRC's leader. IRC dragged ED and itself into a war that they thought they could win. Again, #8 was to blame for losing the war and both Alliances losing their space.

IRC was and still is a very rich Alliance. At least, the High Command is rich. ED was not so rich, instead allowing their pilots to get rich with a 1% tax rate, while IRC had a whopping 15% tax rate. When the war started, it was clear ED had a stronger PvP force. Mostly in the form of many excellent Fleet Commanders. IRC would contribute about 40-50% of the combat Fleet because IRC had around 3000 members, while ED had around 1800.

However, as time went on, it was clear that ED was running the combat Ops. However, ED also was not a Rich Alliance. It did not have a stock or spare Towers, Dreadnoughts and Carriers. So, ED was reluctant to deploy their Capitals and in time began losing Tower after Tower and consequently sov and their space.

The space lost contained the only revenue stream for the Alliance, which was in the form of Stations acting as refineries. Once, the 2 refinery stations/systems were lost, ED could no longer generate income, in the form of Towers to replace destroyed ones. ED pilots were forced to make ISK in IRC space.

This is when things became clear, that IRC leader had serious non-participation issues. Or perhaps he did not grasp the foreth coming conciquencies of his selfish leadership. IRC's leader, which as state before also commanded ED's leader, was a hoarder of ships, ISK and everything EVE money. As ED was clearly the stronger combat Alliance, IRC should have stepped in and gave at least some amount of Towers, ISK, Fuel and etc to help ED.

In the end, it was the failed leadership of both ED and IRC, in that ED's leader was too pressed down with pride to ask IRC's leader for ISK, or IRC was too selfish to give it. I think both are to blame.

To end, after ED's leadership announced to it's pilots that it's Alliance (ED) was now utterly broke and not able to replace towers to regain their lost refineries, the pilots simply stopped logging in to play and fight. IRC was then invaded. Since, IRC no longer had the help of ED Fleet Commander that ED was reknowned for having, IRC quickly lost their space.

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