Well, more or less immediately after becoming comfortable with a goal and trajectory for a return to Eve as a long-term, if not permanent member of Pandemic Horde, I find that I am no longer a member of that alliance. Frankly, I am now in the mood to take another year off from the game. I think I am too old for it at this point. The story that follows will recount my exit from my alliance of 437 days. It will be a cautionary tale.
First, though, let me described be my time with the group in broad strokes. I joined the alliance at the outset of WW Bee. My primary contribution to the war was blogging, with a couple of posts at that time reaching 3,000 viewers as I participated in the propaganda war. I also ran some stealth bomber fleets and camps as a part of training many enthusiastic bomber newbeans, and went out a few times with ISBAD for my own personal enjoyment after the war drew down. In all that time I never said a single unkind word to anyone, argued with anyone, or had a problem with anyone. Since returning, I’ve been hanging out in the GME fleet providing about 4 hours a day of perfect perfect Rorqual boosts and helping the miners with their ISK-making. Again, not a conflict with anyone at all.
Now Horde has developed a bit from what it was over a year ago. One of the new developments is a new corporation, Horde Vanguard. I first heard of the corp by someone in some standing fleet saying that they get their own ratting areas. The corp’s description says, “Horde Vanguard. is a vouch only corporation within Pandemic Horde which asks its members to challenge themselves.” This signified a couple of things to me that I was not excited about. I understood the description to mean that the corp is for 4chan basement-dweller locker room culture in the alliance, in which narcissistic members hide all mistakes at all costs and haze everyone they see making a mistake, and who pretend that they are perfect by taking no risk and sucking off authority figures. That was my assumption anyway, given what I know about Eve culture and history. That particular culture was not in the noobie alliance model pioneered by Brave and improved on by Horde. I had no intention of joining, and was content to wait for time to tell me if my assumption was true or not.
Now one might guess that Horde’s toxic vets might wind up there, to include a large number of Horde’s higher skill point players, such as those who might be in the capital group. Now I was in the capital group a year ago. It was initially neglected, and then taken over by some PL guy who had no idea about the capital ship changes that had just come out and who would never drop caps. Remember, there is that community of players that just won’t take any risk, no matter how fun it might be. So I left the group. However, after my Rorqual got tackled and was saved by a carrier drop, I decided to put my capital pilot back in it.
Well, on June 7 a Rorqual got tackled in GME. The pilot said in fleet that he had a PANIC, he had not yet activated it, and his tank was holding. No one had pinged the capital group. So I loaded up discord, and by the time it was loaded I saw a ping about a Rorqual tackled in GME, which had a PANIC, and whose tank was holding. The ping did not specify any ship type. I only had a dread, and did not think that one would be welcome for a drop, but I thought I would make sure for good measure. No ship type was specified at all, actually. Armor carriers, shield carriers, FAX, nothing. So I asked in capital pings if a dread would be welcome to drop. The response was an idiotic play around with the emoji reactions at the bottom of the ping saying “12 hours”. Now this was my first ever interaction with the cap group since Horde moved to discord. Confused for a moment, I then noticed that there was ANOTHER channel for cap group members to talk in. I clicked it and there was a whole encyclopedia of stupid hostile snarky comments about not typing in the ping channel, the ping being old, etc. calling me a “mango” and other hostile names. Now just as I read all that nonsense, the Rorq pilot in GME mumble said his attackers left. I guess they have people in our cap group comms even though the elites demand freaking APIs for every single account a player has. (I’ve long told you guys API checks don’t catch spies – they are just means for your group to spy on you.)
Nevertheless, I comment that a ping should include a ship type (so I would not have had to ask anything, much less in the wrong discord channel). I then get more berating about talking in the wrong channel, old ping, etc., at which time someone else comments that there was a Rorq just now tackled in GME under identical circumstances as the ping. Completely frustrated with these retards, I comment that we shouldn’t be C-words. (Rule #1: don’t be a dick, right?) I then get more berating and get kicked off discord altogether.
But that’s not all. When I log on to my main about 1/2-hour later, I have an eve mail from Storm Delay saying I am being kicked from Horde in 24 hours. I think to myself that this has to be a joke. So I contact Storm Delay. No response. I contact Travis Uchonela, the only director showing up green at the time (I had reapplied for discord). No response, and his dot turns orange a few minutes later. Way to step up and handle things. So, in shock, I start moving my Rorq and caps and 50-billion in assets out of Horde space. Still in shock, I decide to contact the Man Himself. Gobbins does indeed respond. (Like a leader should – 5,000 players in the alliance, and every one of them matters.) He says though that it’s 4 AM and he’s dead tired, but he will put a note in for Storm to contact me.
Storm doesn’t contact me until the next day. I had spent all night moving crap the night before and would not have been happy to hear, “just a joke”. So he starts in on me about my attitude, claiming my c-word comment was the first insult he saw. I pointed out all the berating and snark and the mango comments and all. Later in the conversation he would tell me to join Blades of Grass, where the people are mature. But not yet. Since my attitude was just a reaction to the insults of others, he switched tactics to my not owning up to talking in capital pings. I pointed out that I did mention it. I did not feel the need to burst into tears and buy everyone in the cap group flowers because it was an utterly insignificant mistake made by someone newly joined on their first time on discord. I told him I left the cap group, and no such issue could possibly happen again. (I really don’t like being around those types of players.)
I think that got him mad, as he continued to find fault with me, and it was clear to me that there was no standard of reparations to meet. He just wanted groveling and some fellatio, as is normally the case in 4chan basement-dweller locker room culture. By this point I really didn’t want to be in Horde, and I told him as much. He gave me an extra day to get a dread out of build. As I publish this, I will be leaving Horde.
The cautionary tale is this: Pandemic Horde is a good group. Storm Delay is a piece of garbage and should be fired, but the group overall is good. However, Eve elitism is actually egotistical idiocy. Storm did not like how I handled my conversation with him. However, there never should have been a conversation. A player that has been in the group for a year and a half without ever once having any sort of spat with a single one of the alliance’s thousands of members, who has 50 billion ISK in alliance structures including scores of fitted ships, capitals, and an entire cap ship construction program, when he experiences his first ever negative encounter in the group, even if he is totally out of line and utterly wrong, should get a warning for goodness sake. Any idiot knows that. Kicking such a player as a first reaction is an unconscionable failure.
However, Horde is a big group. I had been a way for a while. Most of the people I knew are gone. So some retard like Storm can just utterly fail to think and kick me like I am some kind of alpha clone Goon spy alt and then go AFK for a day. This is the sort of thing that happens when the 4chan basement-dweller locker room culture that passes for Eve “elite” is allowed in via institutions like Vanguard, and directors turn into Walruses ramming everyone on the beach. My parting words are that Horde should not go the way of Waffles or PL, but keep it’s own identity based on the newbean culture. Now, as things are, the alliance is a good group, but the league of extraordinary morons has taken its first steps in. So if you’re a Hordling that is injector mad and/or been around a while, and are looking to join the cap group, you know what you have to look forward to. As for veteran players who may be interested in a noob group because of the low stress, low narcissism lack of 4chan basement-dwelling toxic vets, I would try Brave. In any event, I would not say that Horde is a good place to actually invest oneself unless one is prepared to circle-jerk with the elite. It’s a big place. Nobody is going to know you or give a damn about you. Stepping away from the game can be dangerous.
As for me, I might do some looking around for some other groups in Eve, but groups where people act like adults are few and far between. I may just be too old for this game. It could be time for another year away.