I've been listening to the interviews of CSM 9 candidates on Cap Stable podcast and got to the one for Sion Kumitomo, one of the CFC / Goonswarm candidates (with Mynnna being the other official candidate). Listening to his interview infuriated me.
In November of 2012 I wrote about the stagnancy of null sec in a post called "Why So Stagnant?". Let's review what I said then:
The reason for the stagnation is that the null sec alliances at the top have been too successful for their own good.
What do I mean by that? Well, I think that the reason we don't see new FCs rising into the spotlight is because we don't see new alliances and power blocs rising into the spotlight anymore, and the reason we don't see alliances coming on strong out of the gate is because the current null sec power holders have become so good at the fleet doctrine meta that any new competition is quickly smashed and routed before they can get a foothold. The only way to get a new alliance into null sec is to find a benefactor or sponsor and thus accept their FCs and doctrines and command structure over yours. In other words, new FCs are not rising to prominence because current FCs are already so good at their jobs.
Now this is not to say that current alliances are purposefully keeping new pilots out of fleet command opportunities. In fact, every alliance I've ever been associated with has had training programs to create new FCs and I have no reason to doubt the current powers that be are any different. But the reason we don't see any new major coalition level FCs (or at least very many) is because the current class is very very good at their job already.
Contributing to this stratified ceiling is the increasing size and coordination of fleets that the current power blocs can muster (specifically the HBC and CFC but not limited exclusively to them). In the past, a big fleet was 100-150 pilots for a major conflict, and getting all pilots in the right ships with the right fits was an exercise in near futility. These days it seems that each side can fill out multiple fleets and each one has pilots in perfectly standardized fits that work in the doctrines. If you are not up to the numbers and professionalism of the current crop of null sec alliance war machines, you are not going to be in null sec long. More importantly, you are not going to break the stagnation as a result.Here we are, about 15 months later, and nothing has changed. Even worse, if we take Sion Kumitomo as an exemplar of high level sov null sec opinion, the current leaders of sov null sec can't see that they themselves are to blame for the stagnation, not CCP's mechanics. Sure, the Dominion mechanics do not help in the matter but the fact is that the professional gamers in the null sec coalitions' leadership have min-maxed those mechanics to the point where they have built a great wall around sov null sec to keep everyone out but themselves and then sit around complaining there is no one new to fight. And should someone new try to scale that wall, the incumbents use those same mechanics to strangle the life out of them.
At this point, I can only assume that Sion and other leaders of null sec are practicing willful ignorance. Everyone there refusing to admit their own culpability in the state of null sec because they all sit there with guns to each other's head knowing if they accept responsibility and put down the gun that the others will execute them for trying to break the stagnation.
Another point I had issue with was Sion's disdain for renting empires. He seems to think that renting was forced upon them by the changes to Technetium but doesn't see renting as a good alternative. I thought to myself, what is the alternative? Renting is actually a pretty good system for sov null sec: the income is derived bottom up by lots of pilots instead of a handful, and renting empires are distributed and vulnerable to disruption by the enemy... if massive agreements/treaties like the B0tLords Accords didn't exist to prevent meaningful combat in those arenas. Would Sion like to go back to a single source of income so the coalitions could fund their massive wall-protecting war machines again? Ultimately, as long as alliances and coalitions "live beyond their means" of their own pilots and space, renting is the best of bad options for income generation. Perhaps CCP can add more income generators for these space communist empires, but I suspect now that they are hooked on sweet renter payments, they will never give them up. These are professional EVE players after all, and will always move to min-max the equation.
In the end, I fear the only way the wall will come down is for the current null sec residents to quit from boredom. Any change that CCP introduces will be consumed and gamed by the entrenched professionals whose investment in the status quo ensures that only their desire to stop guarding the wall will see it breached.