If you read this blog you know that I'm pretty much as casual as you can get as an Eve player: one main night a week on average I log in and PvP my heart out. I'm also pretty far removed from the workings of FCON alliance leadership not to mention the NC's leadership.
In other words, I 'm a grunt who gets once a week in the trenches snapshots of the state of the NC for the past months as the war with DRF / PL / NC. / Ev0ke developed.
So how did we go from fighting tooth and nail for O2O-2X in Geminate in February to writing obituaries in the beginning of June? One simple truth, my friends, and I'm going to say it loud and clear:
There is no counter to a super cap fleet except a BIGGER super cap fleet.1
The NC was out blobbed on the field, pure and simple. Not by sheer bodies but by number of super cap pilots in the warzone. As soon as Pandemic Legion entered the conflict with their supers in the North American timezone, and the willingness to use them, all subcap and sub-supercap ops were vulnerable to a hot drop and the NC became terrified to use their own supercaps in retaliation due to spies and fear of getting whelped.
Without the NC super fleet, which became effectively stood down from that point forward, the long slow failure cascade began. Unable to easily destroy or reinforce SBUs, enemy deployment towers, stations, TCUs, IHUBs, etc, and with the enemy able to do so, the advance was simply a matter of time. And with each station taken a few more players were knocked out of the fight, a few more decided to say "screw this" and moved back to empire to regroup.
By the time Goonswarm and TEST weighed in on the NC side to defend Tribute, the psychological and emotional state of NC leadership appears to have been broken beyond repair. Analysis paralysis, fears of spies everywhere, blue ball frustrations when FCs decide to not jump in, failure to adequately lead pilots into battle safely, etc it was all very morale breaking.
Blob wars often go like that: the out-blobbed only seems to shrink making their chances or winning smaller. Its a little ironic that the NC, which was often pulled out as the poster boy of blobbing and why its bad, was killed by a blob of a different sort.
(Its hard to measure concretely, but its worth noting that the Anomaly Nerf and Jump Bridge nerf bothwent down during this period and possibly created some bitter vets on the NC side who simply stopped logging in. I know of a couple personally.)
1 - Supercarriers are BROKEN, CCP; get on with the balancing already.