Mord Fiddle’s writings are an invitation to high tea in a world of rave parties. His readers gather at http://fiddlersedge.blogspot.com/ for thoughtful analysis, daring prose, deep insights, and Mord’s tendency to use words not writ nor spoken conversationally since Middle English went out of fashion.

Dennis:
What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.

King Arthur:
Well I am king.

Dennis:
Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how’d you get that, eh? By exploiting the
workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates
the economic and social differences in our society.

– Monty Python And The Holy Grail

The lot of the medieval peasant was not a pleasant one.

Mind, if you had nothing with which to compare it, I suppose it was bearable.  After all, if filth, lice, malnutrition, disease, a relentless march of days filled with soul-crushing labor, suffering and an early death are what you expect, it’s hard to feel disappointed when that’s what you’re handed.  Given this as your baseline for fun, the odd maypole dance, harvest festival or extra bowl of gruel would have come off as pretty good times.

As bad as a peasant’s day to day was, however, things were infinitely worse when life got interesting.  And when I say interesting I don’t mean it in the “Hey Drogo, come look at this really interesting boil I’ve got on my nose,” sense of the word.  Interesting for Drogo and his family usually involved lot of running, screaming, hiding and/or dying. Dull was good.  Dull was safe.  Dull meant the chances of dying a violent death at the hands of some armored stranger were somewhat remote.

The majority of medieval conflict was not the epic clashes of mighty armies a la Hastings or Tours.  They were usually smaller, more local events involving modestly sized forces. For any number of reasons, a feudal lord might call in his feudal obligations, assemble a force of fifty or so men and march on his neighbor’s holdings. Unless caught by surprise, the neighboring lord would simply pull back into the castle with as much of his important people and goods as he could manage and bar the door. Lacking the advanced siege techniques
and equipment of a later age, there the invaders would sit. Standing outside the castle. In the rain.
Rusting.

However, the guy inside the castle wouldn’t be smiling either.  For although the he was locked snug and safe in his castle, the same could not be said of his livelihood; his farms, his fields, any agricultural infrastructure and, more often than not, a lot of his peasants.  A feudal lords’ income was normally dependent on agricultural output. Burn his farms and fields and you diminished his purse for the coming year.  Kill enough of his peasants, however, and you diminished his purse for years.  For, while peasants represented a renewable resource, infants make notoriously poor field hands.  Rebuilding a feudal estate’s workforce took time.

And, since peasants were largely incapable of fighting back against armored men on horseback, killing them had more the tang of sport than of combat or hard work.  Thus, with the lord of the manor penned up in his castle, the raiders would begin the cheerful pass-time of raping, pillaging, burning and engaging in a jolly bit of peasant hunting.

Sigh.  Good times.  Good times.

This is precisely this sort of good time the The Mittani® hive-mind are offering up to PvPers with the ‘Farms and Fields’ initiative it is championing.

‘Farms and Fields’ was initially put forth by Mittens during CSM 6, and after his re-election to the CSM chair he stated that he would continue pushing the concept during CSM7.  Unfortunate events conspired to remove him from CSM7, and he subsequently allowed his individuality to be incorporated into the The Mittani® hive mind.  However, the hive mind continues the good fight, promoting ‘Fields and Farms’ via its primary propaganda organ.

The idea goes something like this:

Nullsec is boring to small/subcapital fleets because it is a target-poor environment.  In terms of Sov warfare, there’s no meaningful role for small fleets as there’s little they can do to harm a large sov-holding alliance. Like our medieval raiders, a subcapital fleet roaming sovereign nullsec often finds potential targets locked up behind the castle walls of outposts and POS shields.  If the Sov holders were invested in a robust industrial infrastructure located in nullsec, the component POS-based structures would act as targets for the raiding fleet, like unto the fields and farms of a medieval fief.  Throngs of carebears, attracted to nullsec from highsec by the robust industrial infrastructure and abundant high-value raw materials would play the role of helpless medieval peasants.  Hapless and incautious, the bears and their armadas of mining and ratting ships would be lambs for PvP raiders to slaughter at will.  Under ‘Fields and Farms’, every day would be Hulkageddon day in nullsec.

Further, as a result of all this nullsec carebearing, the shelves in nullsec markets will be fair bursting with goods manufactured in nullsec, making the lords of nullsec very wealthy indeed and Jita freighter runs superfluous.  By attacking the yummy industrial targets, conventional fleets will be able to deprive the Sov holders of the industrial infrastructure and carebears upon which they depend for a portion of their income and for the materials of war.  Thus, in addition to having more fun, subcap and small fleet specialists will be provided a meaningful role in sovereignty wars.

Of course, anyone with an ounce of sense and a bit of experience in nullsec can see obvious holes in this plan.  It simply will not work as described.  Nullsec isn’t highsec, and the idea that bears will behave the same way in both places is belied by nullsec’s own history.  Ironically, bears are much harder to kill in nullsec for a number of reasons I’ve described elsewhere, and as the very success of Goonswarm and Test Alliance attest.  As I wrote in Creatures of Light and Darkness, ‘nullsec’ means that the only security you have is the security you can enforce.  And the enforcers in nullsec don’t play by Concord’s rules.

Both bears and nullsec alliances are motivated by self-interest.  Medieval peasants were tied to the land.  Drogo didn’t have much in the way of career options and he couldn’t move to another fief if he wearied of being hunted and having his life’s work (such as it was) burned to the ground.  Nullsec bears have no such limitations. When things get “interesting” in nullsec, industrialists move their expensive toys out of harms way.  If things remain “interesting” on an ongoing basis, and the sov holder cannot or will not enforce an adequate level of security against raiders, the bears will move elsewhere.  Likewise, the hosting sov-holder is not going to go through the exercise of incenting the development of an industrial base for the sole purpose of allowing enemies and sundry raiders out for a laugh to burn it to the ground.

The promoters of ‘Farms and Fields’ are on the record as opposing changes to combat, structure defense and sov mechanics that would diminish their ability to protect this new industrial infrastructure once it is in place. They also are on record as opposing changes to jump freighters that might diminish their access to high sec markets and industry should their internal markets and industrial infrastructure be compromised.  Thus, the originators of the policy want the increased industrial capacity and markets, but without creating any attendant vulnerabilities; the very vulnerabilities they are using to sell the carebearification of nullsec to a PvP community resistant to such changes.

If the ‘Farms and Fields’ initiative is unlikely to support its publicized primary goal, we are left, once again, with one of two possibilities:  Either The Mittani® is stupid, or The Mittani is lying®.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think The Mittani® is stupid.  That being the case, the announced goals are likely a deliberate misdirection intended to distract nullsec and lowsec PvPers from the actual goals of the policy.  Which begs the question: If  ‘supplying the peasants to put to the sword’ isn’t the primary goal for ‘Farms and Fields’, what is?

The answer has to do with ship yards, super-veldspar and resource cartels.  We’ll go into that next time.

– Mord Fiddle

Send us Intel/Corrections via dropbox or shoot us an e-mail

29 Comments

  1. noob

    Your idea of 'farms and fields' appears to be a little narrow. From what I gather the term is used in conjunction with the 'bottom up' proposal for the construction of wealth in nullsec, so that alliances get rich by having people out 'working the fields', so there is an incentive to protect and defend your space from roaming marauders.

    December 20, 2012 at 6:20 am Reply
  2. NullSecHoBo

    What on earth are you talking about?

    December 20, 2012 at 7:31 am Reply
    1. 15 Trillion Loss

      He's missing some fairly important points about farms & fields. Firstly, he's assuming that the players who move to null sec will be defenceless peasants – forgetting about the significant numbers of PvP ers who will move their far from defenceless Alts out of Hi Sec and back to null. Hes also conveniently ignoring home defence fleets, co-operative game play, and the fact that the whole concept of farms and fields has actually been proven to work, (until CCP broke anomolies by nerfing them to uselessness)

      The whole point of farms and fileds is not to populate null with defenceless carebears at all. – its to make it an absolute requirement to USE and DEFEND the space you claim.

      December 20, 2012 at 8:55 am Reply
      1. Goonion

        If you even tried to understand this you are a moron. It can be summed up in one sentence. You are a peasant and Goons are your king. Got it?

        December 20, 2012 at 9:37 am Reply
        1. Bittervet

          Goonion,

          Lets imagine a Goonswarm without tech. It would rely on 15% taxes on ratting income for cash flow. It would need a market team that made the Alliance money. It would have a defense plan that eschewed expensive supercapitals and had a plan A that read 'We will fight them under cynojammers in USTZ'.

          In short, it would look a lot like Goonswarm.

          December 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm Reply
          1. Goonion

            Dude we don't need tech. Even our pets are tiresome and don't seem to understand they are only pets that are more then a little expendable. We are the top end of elite and no other alliances can claim to be our equal. :-)

            December 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm
          2. googetit

            Dude! you're killing me! I love your stuff!! Hell I bet half these folks actually believe you are a goon!! Keep up the good work and keep the Goon hate alive!

            December 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm
          3. Superbadassrobots

            Lol no tech=no drake swarms. How long ago was it that u cried to CCP to save u from wardecs? Lol that much irony could destroy universes. How long ago was it that you were yelling, "Nerf titans cuz they beating us withz them?" Goons won eve fair and square? Sry calling BS on that.

            December 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm
          4. Bittervet

            Its another idiot who doesnt understand EvE finances.

            Goons pay 15% ratting taxes. An average Goon rats for 40m an hour, representing 6m an hour for GS.

            Goonswarm's Drakes cost about call it 50m. Therefore, SRP can afford 1 drake per call it 10 hours of Goon ratting.

            Assuming 10% participation on a 4 hour Boat op that welps … hey, they paid for the fleet.

            Therefore, without tech you *will* see even more Welpfleets of Hurricanes and Drakefleets. What you wont see if as much Capswarm.

            But it isnt like the Goons have ever done anything fighting in USTZ under cynojammers, is it ?

            December 21, 2012 at 2:18 am
          5. Guy

            The members of literally any alliance, regardless of income, can afford to constantly lose cane and drake fleets. That's how cheap they are.

            December 21, 2012 at 8:38 am
          6. BntyHunter

            You do realize Goons was handed all of Dek without 1 ship explosion right? Literally transferred to them by TCF.

            They didnt earn it. Then they waited for NC to fall and took all the fallen Coalition members and filled the power Vacuum.

            All GSF is now is Northern Coalition MK 2 and only change is its a dictatorship. And when a Dictator is the head of a coalition, the other members are called Pets. they pay there rent by attacking who ever he commands them to.

            They have done nothing special except they have amazing Diplo skills to use the NC let them die then convince guys like Razor who used to be in charge that its better they become there pets ….LOL

            December 21, 2012 at 7:26 am
          7. Bittervet

            BntyHunter,

            The explosions happened during RedSwarm Federation. The 'Federation' part of that were TCF, who gave the Goons Deiklin when they folded.

            The you had more explosions during the Battle of VFK and subsequent hellcamp.

            The power vacuum wasnt much of a vacuum – unless you count White Noise, NCdot, Pandemic Legion and so on as nothing, of course. Its a pretty

            Regarding amazing diplo skills, it's something that the heirs and successors of Tri might practice, by the way. I'd suggest you personally start by taking some roaming gangs up to your ex-ally IRC and beating the fuck out of Razor and the CFC members in IRC's space – IRC took a serious diplomatic risk siding with NCdot when Solar stayed neutral, and as far as I can see they were abandoned by their Dotbros.

            Classic Tri diplomacy, yes, but grab some ships and bleed a little in the defense of your friends.

            December 21, 2012 at 8:28 am
          8. BntyHunter

            Sorry on most things I totally agree with you.

            But if PL. Raiden us and the rest of DRF was Smart we would have rolled all of Pure Blind, Cloud Ring and Dek and done it easily. We essentially scattered the SC cap fleet to the wind so what we would have fought is a way weaker Goons than today except with the strongest Supercap Fleet of ALL TIME. Instead we left FA+Fcon+all of PB+CR alone and left GSF alive there, we should have rolled them.

            Also I disagree with our Diplo choices alot and even question if we have a diplo corp at all, But IRC was trying to get SOLAR into the action and trying to stand up and show Goons they had buddies who wernt scared of them. Problem is Solar sided with GSF, so have our Battles IRC was unable to help in the last 2 Months.

            Anyways, we have been on numerous trips up to great wildlands area and fought Razor etc.

            If IRC was in real trouble, I think we would help them, Vince has stated time and again he loves those guys. We moved south not to leave them or leave a fight but because Nulli needed us alot more than IRC did.

            In the end IRC got screwed over way harder by SOLAR than anyone and really they ddnt stick there necks out as GSF+Razor had been attacking them since the dawn of time.

            Lastly just because 'Red Fed' did hapen doesnt take away the fact that the NC gave GSF everything they have today with 0 bloodshed. RZR and MM let it to happen, they could have said no and TCF would have given it to MM/RZR partially to OWN or ME etc etc.

            TL;DR
            We killed Ateam NC and B team NC but let all of CTeam and all of the so called DekCo alive when we could have rolled them up and let DRF all take Dek rent out PB+CR and we would still be in Tribute.

            December 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm
      2. Hopeful Raider

        I would like to see CCP add in minor objectives which small gangs can hit. Something like a moon mining device which can be attacked buy a 25 man gang or so and holds 24 hours worth of moon goo. If the attackers aren't stopped fast enough that days moon goo drops and they can take it. Imagine how quickly defense fleets would form if a days worth of moon goo was vulnerable to attack. I know moon mining is gonna be changed but not for at least a year, if not longer.

        It would also be nice if there was something similar for bounties paid out from ratting. For both system have the amount dropped by half what was actually produced so the alliance that holds the space doesn't go around just attacking their own stuff. For the bounties make it so that the ratter gets half what he made and the rest is held for 24 hours.

        With something like this raiders could roam around looking for miners and ratters to gank and get fights. If the defenders decided they don't want to fight, fine, then they lose isk.

        December 21, 2012 at 7:08 am Reply
        1. Bittervet

          Hopeful Raider,

          Sounds good to me on all fronts.

          December 21, 2012 at 8:23 am Reply
  3. fredthecabbage

    Killing bears in player owned null is very difficult, they have perfect intelligence from local which now even helpfully flashes before the hunter even gets in system. The idea that more bears equates to more small gang PVP is nonsense. You don't need defence fleets when everyone is aligned to a POS and in warp before I’m through the gate.

    Removing tech. moons and replacing it with a more sophisticated taxation method for alliances makes perfect sense and would be a great improvement in the game. If you could tax all player income, traders, miners etc and not just ratters alliances would be paid on player activities. It does seem to be that hidden under this is the idea of buffing player own null sec income whilst wanting to gimp low and high sec earning potential – which isn’t going to happen.

    However; player owned null is still the worst place to look for a gang fight and even if you have more ratters and miners it still will be. It's empty and even if you buffed null sec most of it would still be empty because bears min/max everything and only go to the best systems. Finding fights has nothing to do with the value of space, it's about the people who live there.

    If you want a fight in Eve it isn't hard to fight it, I live in syndicate – I can find a fight every night. Ninja groups in high sec get PVP everyday. If you want gang fights move next to other groups that like gang fights.

    If you really wanted to have more fights in null you’d remove jump bridges.

    December 20, 2012 at 8:37 am Reply
    1. dead= good drake

      why jb around nul sec player too move too gang fast i mean in intel channel i see guys 16 jumps out but 2 gate 1 jb and then its like 3-4 jump away also alot of nul sec has about 2-5 alt maybe more so some time when you jump into its just an couple of people also an gang of 5 jump into the system i live in 1 loki 1 legion 1 rapier 2 bombers all cloaky and wouldn't fight 1 legion 1 protues 1 apoc instead they ran sorry but most people in gang roaming nul sec are looking for easy kills i mean we have an guy would comes pass in the cynabal every day yet he has only try too fight me once now he jump in and warp too the out gate and run's or take another longer route one thing i would like is temp reset freindly allaince near by just for decent small gang

      December 20, 2012 at 8:53 am Reply
    2. Bittervet

      Fred,

      I think you ought to look at 401k's killboard for kills Branch over the last month or so. They've been reliably getting a mixture of ganks of Machariels, carriers and even the odd Paladin hard at work in the Gurista fields, interrupted by the occasional brawl with home defense forces.
      http://www.401k.eve-kill.net/?a=home&m=12&amp

      Removing jump bridges would do very little to help get fight, by the way – you'd just get what happens in Venal, where the overwhemling amount og ratting occurs in closed pipes.
      http://evemaps.dotlan.net/map/Venal#npc24

      In short, nerf moon minerals and make revenue come from working in the farms and fields.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:57 am Reply
  4. Goonion

    You boys understand that Goons are your king and all the other alliances in EvE are our peasants right?

    December 20, 2012 at 8:51 am Reply
  5. Wiu Ming

    can someone pls Google translate this wall of… "text" and re-post, kthxvm

    December 20, 2012 at 9:01 am Reply
    1. Goonion

      The translation is "Goons are your king and you are a peasant". Understand now?

      December 20, 2012 at 9:27 am Reply
      1. BntyHunter

        Please make a user ID to become the all time lowest poster….You could at least get 1 record right.

        December 21, 2012 at 7:30 am Reply
  6. Random Miner

    not a soul would move to null over such changes. More likely less would stay in null

    December 20, 2012 at 10:30 am Reply
    1. Bob

      Actually, peasants had way less taxes and laws to deal with, plus justice was swift. If you were to give them the technology we have and then compare. They would be way better off than us.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:48 am Reply
      1. Random Miner

        *facepalm*

        December 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm Reply
  7. Squinty McBlindy

    I am 6 and what is this?

    December 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm Reply
  8. ADD

    To long didn't read.

    December 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm Reply
  9. CareBearStares

    It'll come down to how the Null Landlords apply any such changes.
    I predict it will be the same old song, just with larger herds of cows (industrialists) to hunt.
    But it's possible that it could fostered in a way that would promote organic and fair enrichment of Nullsec. That's not likely tho.

    December 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm Reply
  10. Widot grunt

    Imho, the whole 'farms and fields' concept is going in the wrong direction. Nullsec PVPers should be able earn a living as nullsec PVPers, and not as paid bodyguards for industrialists. The most boring task in the entire game, by far, is being the defense guy for a mining op. Ratting doesn't even come close.

    Instead, the real problems with nullsec are moon goo income is largely divorced from sovereignty and sovereignty is largely divorced from activity. Or put more simply, that the PVP itself mostly doesn't matter any more. Change that fact (e.g., adding destructible goo yield upgrades and destructible fueling bots upgrades, based on sov. Perhaps even add defensive bonuses to holders' ships in their system) and things will improve.

    December 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm Reply

Leave a Reply