The EVE Experience
For those of you who do not know, EVE University (or E-Uni for short) is a high-sec corporation that specialises in recruiting brand new newbies and giving them a head start in the difficult and often harsh world of EVE Online. They provide a skill book reimbursement programme, offer free ships for PvP and have an extensive catalogue of articles and guides on their Wiki. On top of this they have several experienced players who run classes on the various styles of play in EVE, including piracy. They also encourage progression through their Freshman to Graduate series of titles which ends in a medal.
Some praise E-Uni, others criticise them. Most complaints stem from the somewhat limited PvP experience the Uni gives its members. Arguments against these criticisms however explain that the Uni isn’t specifically a PvP academy. Either way the Uni has dozens of staff members who spend their game time helping and teaching others, which deserves respect irrespective of your opinions on the corporation itself. E-Uni graduates are a sought after recruit amongst many nullsec corporations and the Uni Workfair forum section is a very busy place.
The Nullsec Camp
For some time now the Uni has sought to increase PvP activity amongst its members by running a lowsec camp which saw them “deploy” to the lowsec system Dudreda. I often follow the Uni killboard and I have personally seen many great fights, including capital kills, as well as lots of welps. It was refreshing to see the Uni killboard with so much lowsec activity rather than the usual highsec wardec kills.
Nullsec however has been one area the Uni, as of late, has not had much interest in. Many years ago E-Uni used to have Sov and so does have experience in Nullsec but in the past year or two this activity has dwindled. One of the biggest problems it could be said the Uni faced was its restrictive NRDS (Not red don’t shoot) policy which meant unistas could only shoot if attacked, or if the enemy was flashy. In nullsec where practically every entity operates on NBSI (Not blue shoot it) it meant unistas were put in very difficult situations. Fortunately E-Uni management ran a full review of its policies and the NRDS policy for Nullsec was scrapped, with an NBSI policy being put in its place.
This past week saw an announcement made by E-Uni staff declaring they would be setting TEST Alliance Please Ignore blue and would be heading down to Fountain NPC space to set up a Nullsec camp. For the majority this news was welcomed with open arms, both in the Uni and in TEST itself. Nullsec is a major part of the game and now the Uni will be able to give its members a taste of what it has to offer.
What about Syndicate?
Although there has been mostly praise for this announcement there has however been some criticisms. The main criticism put forth is “Why not Syndicate, or Curse?” Those of you who have read my past articles will have read one I wrote about Syndicate and how it is a hotbed for small gang PvP. In fact, so inspired by my own article I actually rented my corp an office close to Syndicate, stocked the hanger with T1 frigs and cruisers and began running some fun-as-hell roams there. So why didn’t the Uni go to Syndicate? Why is NPC Fountain a better choice? The following is a list of reasons why I think the Uni’s decision was the right decision:
- Syndicate won’t give unistas a full view of nullsec
- E-Uni isn’t “small gang”
- TEST can provide a decent market and offer a strong logistical backbone
- E-Uni has strong ties to several corps in TEST
Let me explain further before you start mashing your keyboards and spitting at your screens. The Uni wants to give its members a view of nullsec and although I love Syndicate it misses one vital ingredient: Sovereignty. Setting up camp in NPC Fountain and being blue to TEST means unistas can use TEST’s jump bridges and see sov systems as well as npc systems. Here they can see other sov aspects in use such as iHubs, see the effects of system upgrades and also laugh at our terribly named player-owned stations. There is more to nullsec than just fighting and choosing NPC Fountain means unistas will see all aspects of nullsec.
Syndicate is a great place for small gang PvP, as already said. Since when was E-Uni small gang? Is E-Uni not famous for the “Uni Blob”? Has it not become a sort of meme for terrible high-sec griefer corps to wardec the Uni and then post on the EVE-O forums complaining of a thousand blackbirds? My corps T1 cruiser gangs into Syndicate usually numbered around 20 and whilst we did find good fights we did also see lots of gangs run away and were also called blobbers. Yes that’s right, a small corp roam of 20 called blobbers. Whilst entities such as Agony can field bigger numbers and Rooks & Kings could take on gangs much bigger than themselves for the most part small-gang in Syndicate is just that, small gang. E-Uni has approximately 1500 members and can easily throw 50-60 into a fleet and often top 100. To be frank, E-Uni would struggle to find regular fights in Syndicate with these numbers. Earlier in the day when their camps have less numbers, or with pre-arranged fights, the Uni will find fights but for anything larger and more organized I imagine most hostiles would stay clear.
One of the main issues with setting up a camp anywhere is the logistics behind it. Trying to set up a market for such a large player base will cost a lot of money and require a hell of a lot of JF jumps. Forgetting for a moment that TEST Alliance is a self-admittedly bad alliance they do have the ability to stock their 6VDT staging system with everything needed for several different fleet doctrines for approximately 6000 members. All “terrible” jokes aside the logistical capabilities of TEST are massive and so this market hub will take a massive amount of pressure off E-Uni.
But, why TEST? Out of all the entities in nullsec why exactly did the Uni choose TEST to work with? To put it quite simply, members in Ponywaffe, a TEST alliance corporation set up by ex-staff members of the Uni, made an offer. And the offer was accepted. Those in Ponywaffe, such as Xolani1990, were loyal staff and the bonds of friendship remained even despite their departures. Although I had nothing personally to do with the Uni coming to Fountain my corporation Enlightened Industries does recruit quite heavily from the Uni and there should be plenty of familiar faces for E-Uni on coming to Fountain.
The Issue of Neutrality
I laughed at this “issue” when people brought it up on the forums. Suddenly the policy everyone criticises the most is raised as an argument against blueing TEST. Still, despite the obvious lolness of this I still think it is worth discussion the issue.
As I said previously, the Uni re-evaluated its “NRDS” policy in nullsec and decided on changing it to “NBSI”. Just because the Uni has a policy it does not mean this policy cannot be changed. The landscape of EVE is ever changing and it stands to reason the Uni has to adapt to keep up with current trends. Despite all this however I will simply re-iterate the arguments used (mostly by the same people now trying to use this “issue” as an argument) to ridicule this particularly policy, and that is: The idea that a nullsec entity would declare war on the Uni and mount an offensive in high-sec against them for acts of aggression in their sov space is laughable. Seriously, what comeback is the Uni going to have for blueing TEST? Is NCDot going to re-deploy to high-sec and hellcamp Aldrat? If any nullsec entity, at least any of any significant, re-deployed to high-sec to declare war on a corporation for newbies I imagine the slopes for the slope throne would be glorious.
The fact is there is no “issue of neutrality”. The Uni’s policy on not interfering in sov space is itself inherently misguided and trying to use this in an attempt to criticise the Uni’s involvement in Fountain is idiotic.