Several days ago, I wrote about the "nerf New Order" threads that popped up on the EVE-O forums. Over the past week, there has been an even greater uptick in buzz about the New Order. The general discussion subforum has been filling up with threads that either directly address the New Order and its Supreme Protector, or otherwise delve into the topic of highsec mining and what needs to be done about it.
Some of this is in response to our Gallente excursion. I will address that more fully in an upcoming "State of the Order" post. Today, I'd like to talk more generally about why the New Order has gripped the attention of the EVE populace to a seemingly disproportionate degree. Since it's a related topic, I'll also speak briefly about the phenomenon of denialism.
Whenever one of these threads pops up, certain disgruntled forum residents blame it on "another James 315 alt". Actually, I don't post on any alts. Alt accusations are a form of denialism that's been around right from the start. When I founded the New Order a little over four months ago, anyone who stopped by Halaima local to voice support for me was accused of being my alt. Then my shareholders were accused of being either fake accounts or my alts. When the first bumper Agents appeared, they joined the ranks of my so-called alts.
The great bumper fleets we organized in October put an end to the in-game alt accusations. I don't often see my Agents or shareholders accused of being alts, though occasionally you'll see a denialist or two who thinks no miner has ever paid the 10 million isk fee.
While in-game denialism has shriveled up due to the abundance of Agents flying around, denialism is still present on the forums. Some forum posters don't play EVE or haven't visited our theater(s) of operations, so they haven't seen the New Order firsthand. (In the early days, some denialists questioned whether I had ever bumped miners in Halaima at all!)
Why does this kind of denialism exist? Because the average highsec carebear is absolutely terrified by the New Order and what it represents. The very thought of an organized society putting an end to carebear anarchy turns the denialists purple with rage. They would rather believe the New Order doesn't exist than contemplate the future we would create. If the Agents of the New Order didn't exist, they could write me off as a fanatic. But if the New Order does exist, and if it is a rapidly-growing movement, then all bets are off.
Then there's the question of why the New Order and its philosophical cousins are so dominant on EVE-O right now. The answer requires us to consider the nature of EVE and its playerbase. It's often said that the vast majority of EVE players stay in highsec. The percentage is difficult to track, since many lowsec and nullsec players have alts in highsec for making money (this shouldn't be the case, but it is, since risk/reward is so far out of balance). Nevertheless, it would still be fair to say that most EVE players do live in highsec and never venture outside of it.
EVE's identity doesn't derive from the masses of highsec, though. When people think of EVE, they think of the great stories of nullsec wars and shenanigans. Highsec and its sprawling populace are a void. There are few stories to be told in highsec. There are no empires, no territories to be won or lost, no sense of adventure. There's almost no community, no emergent gameplay, no content of any kind. When something does happen worth noting in highsec, like Burn Jita, Hulkageddon, Miniluv, etc., its origin is still the nullsec players, who briefly invade and then leave. Basically, highsec is a big vacuum.
Then came the New Order.
We stepped into the emptiness of highsec and began to create. And unlike the temporary events staged by nullsec players, the New Order is here to stay, and to grow. To take over. Forever.
For much of the EVE playerbase, the New Order is the only thing happening that is, or could, affect them in the future. Our vision and our Code are the only threats to their routines. Without us, they would continue to mine in silence the same way they have mined in silence for their entire history. And these carebears make up the majority of EVE.
Now the buzz starts to make sense. For much of EVE, we are the only ones shaking things up. We are the change. As the New Order continues to grow in strength and influence, don't be surprised if there are days when people act like EVE Online is the New Order Show, featuring James 315 and the New Order Show Band. For many players out there, we're the only channel broadcasting anything. The rest is just static.