Click here to read Part 1.
In the early days of the Code, enforcement operations were limited to one system. This was natural, since a bumper could only bump one miner at a time anyway. The New Order's limited sphere of influence enabled onlookers and aspiring Agents to easily find the center of action--if there was any action to behold. Over time, and especially after the launch of the MinerBumping blog, more bumpers rallied to the cause. The first Agents tended to belong to NPC corps or one-man alt corps, so a channel was created to help them keep in touch. Usually only one or a few people were in the channel at any given time.
The addition of new bumpers had an enormous psychological impact on the miners. After a couple months, the New Order was occasionally able to send five or more bumpers into a single system at the same time. The miners had no choice but to admit that they couldn't all be alts of the same person. The madman from Halaima had "spread his madness onto others," they said. The carebears became terrified at the possibility that a new trend was developing, one that threatened their sleepy highsec.
Anti-Code resistance took place from the very beginning. Miners were infuriated when bumped. Early observers were surprised by the sheer amount of rage induced by bumping. Those with experience in nullsec warfare all agreed that a highsec miner was angrier about losing a mining cycle than a nullsec pilot was about losing a fleet, or an empire. Many carebears were also upset when they returned to their keyboard to witness other miners being bumped. James 315 and his Agents seemed so confident about their authority over highsec. Surely there was a way to take them down?
Try as they might, the rebels could find no effective means of resistance. When they petitioned the bumpers, GMs rejected their pleas and gave them advice for countering bumping. None of it worked. Talented bumpers were able to hit moving targets. Counter-bumping was impossible. Some carebears reshipped and yellow-boxed the bumpers, but nothing happened. Wardecs were pointless because CCP had nerfed them so much--a cruel irony. Some rebels even went so far as to try suicide ganking, but the Invincible Stabber always survived. In their frustration, the carebears showed their true colors: They made real-life death threats and spewed forth all manner of filth. Organized resistance became nearly impossible, as the rebels repulsed even each other.
The New Order was small, but concentrated. Agents got to know and trust each other. If the timing was right, there might be enough Agents around to form a small fleet. This raised an interesting question: If Agents traded their Stabbers for destroyers, could they gank miners? Since the August 2012 buff to barges and exhumers, miner ganking had all but ceased to exist. A year earlier, the mighty GoonSwarm Federation had conducted a successful and widely-publicized miner ganking campaign in Gallente highsec. Now, thanks to all the nerfs, they concluded that another ice interdiction was impossible. It was too easy for miners to tank their ships.
But the New Order wasn't focused only on conducting campaigns of total annihilation. From the start, Agents were content to do what little Code enforcement they could. They followed the example of James 315 himself. If they were only able to bump a few miners, fine. Everyone in local mocked them, telling them they couldn't make any difference. Critics said if the New Order couldn't bump every miner at once, if they couldn't control every system at once, then it was all pointless. Most people would have agreed. The "all or nothing" philosophy was no doubt part of the reason why no one had ever tried to take over highsec before. But the New Order was strangely immune to this brand of defeatism. Agents repeated what they heard the Saviour say time and again, "It doesn't matter. I will enforce the Code when and where I please. If even a single miner is bumped out of range, it is a total victory. And some day, all highsec will obey the Code."
And so the Agents of the New Order became interested in the possibility of ganking miners, even if it was just a few poorly-tanked ones. Prior to the nerfs, solo ganking was a viable career. If done correctly, it might even be profitable. Those days were long gone. The concentration of bumpers in a single system opened the door to multi-ganker operations. This, too, had disappeared from highsec, since it wasn't profitable. However, the New Order was not motivated by profits; it was motivated by the Code. If a Code-violating miner was blown up, even at a loss, it was a total victory.
In December 2012, the Knights of the Order were officially created. MinerBumping provided instructions on creating and training ganker alts. The idea was to have Agents fly small groups of tech I Catalysts to kill a single target. Their security status would soon plummet to -10, but if properly coordinated, they could still do their job. Since their firepower was limited, and since mining ship EHP had been buffed so much, they would need to work together. The practice of bumping miners in a single system and forming a community had made this possible.
Possible, but barely. The Knights of the Order was a fragile organization. They could only gank a target if enough pilots were available for a fleet. A fleet would also require someone willing to command and, since -10 security pilots needed a warp-in, someone willing to scout. For most of the day, no fleets could be formed. The New Order had few resources at its disposal. A typical active fleet would have a scout and perhaps three or four tech I destroyers, just enough to take down a badly-fit miner.
Logistics were also an issue. Since the New Order was comprised primarily of alts of random volunteers from across EVE, there was no real organization in place. Catalysts and their fittings had to be bought directly from the market. Some Agents had access to industrial ships and could partially seed a system's market. But the miners in the system could sabotage operations by buying up those supplies themselves. To bypass this, the New Order created its first official corporation; Agents could acquire ganking supplies from private, corp-only contracts.
Most of the time, Knights were able to get their hands on enough Catalysts and guns. Nevertheless, even when they formed a fleet, they were vulnerable. The New Order could only get enough pilots in a fleet if they hung around their home system. The ganks, which took place in the same few systems over and over, attracted a lot of attention. Miners were shocked to see the return of miner ganking. Our Agents knew better than anyone how ganking had disappeared from highsec. Spending months bumping miners out of the ice fields, there wasn't a gank to be seen. Now the ships were exploding again.
Anti-Order rebels could have ended the movement right then and there. With so few Agents, only one fleet of gankers could operate at a time. The locations were predictable; our Agents repeatedly ganked miners in the static ice fields. Even the targets were obvious, since we had very few scouts to provide warp-ins, and most of them couldn't cloak. Catalysts were (and are) almost absurdly weak to ECM attacks. A single throwaway ECM frigate could camp out in an ice field and jam our entire fleet from 50km without breaking a sweat. There were plenty of rebels who wanted to see the New Order fall. Thousands of miners had been enraged by the bumping campaigns, and now they were being ganked. From the masses of highsec carebears, surely they could scrape together a few competent anti-gankers and put a stop to this enterprise before it started.
But they didn't.
Highsec industrialists turned out to be breathtakingly bad at EVE. Their combined centuries of AFK mining did them no good when it came to actually playing the game. They gnashed their teeth, petitioned CCP to end combat in highsec, and continually warned that someone else would stop us. A small handful of pilots did try to disrupt the ganks, but they were slow to develop proper tactics. This gave the New Order time to grow, and to adapt.
The New Order's collection of ganker alts grew in number and capability. After a few weeks, some could even equip tech II weapons. Miners fled in panic from one ice field system to the next. In one case, an ice-mining system with over 100 regular miners emptied out in just a few days of our arrival. When the rebels finally devised ways to stop the attacks, New Order gankers developed countermeasures and kept right on going.
The rebirth of miner ganking spread terror across highsec. The miners soon learned that things were different this time. They heard about the New Order and its Code. They became regular readers of MinerBumping. Even those who hated the New Order found a guilty pleasure in reading about their fellow carebears crying over being ganked or bumped. Over the months that followed, thousands of miners purchased mining permits and pledged to follow the Code. Other miners, resisting the Code out of "priciple", yelled at them upon reading their pro-Order bios.
The ranks of the New Order grew dramatically. Many of the new Agents were former carebears--including gank victims who found the experience exhilarating. With more Agents and firepower available, the New Order no longer fielded one single fleet. Agents operated in multiple fleets, and "branch offices" of the New Order sprang up all across highsec.
But while the New Order grew, the resistance did not. Due to turnover, the number of active rebels remained pretty much the same over time. The days of stalking a single New Order fleet and protecting its next victim were over. With the New Order spread out and operating in a multitude of cells, there was simply no way to stop the ganks. Protecting an ice field or asteroid belt was pointless, since the New Order fleets would rack up kills elsewhere. Seeing the futility of their mission, rebels gave up. Some rebels, having spent time protecting ungrateful, AFK miners, became disgusted by them and realized the New Order was right all along. Many of the original rebels switched sides--and found themselves welcomed by the New Order with open arms.
Meanwhile, the MinerBumping blog grew in popularity. The most widely-read EVE-related materials are, of course, news sites and the official EVE website. Even before the retirement of blogs like Poetic Discourse and Jester's Trek, MinerBumping became the most widely-read EVE blog--aside from Gevlon Goblin's, with its audience built from his years of posts about World of Warcraft. MinerBumping's popularity inspired more EVE players to enforce the Code in every way imaginable. Countless wardecs and awoxes were performed in the name of the Code. On some occasions, even a single New Order Agent could bring down a corp or alliance full of carebears. In the early days, the targets of these operations had to be filled in on the details of what the New Order was and where the Code could be read. Today, upon reading the words "New Order" or "Code", the carebears nod (or bristle) in recognition. Highsec miners who have never heard of Chribba react with passion when they hear the name "James 315".
In nullsec, far beyond the borders of New Order territory, the transformation from alliance-based to coalition-based politics was completed. The nullsec economy also changed, from moongoo-based to renter-based. Before, alliances could look at a sovereignty map and judge the relative power and importance of the various powers. Now they have outgrown in-game sovereignty. Coalitions own space, but can't own in-game sovereignty. Renters own in-game sovereignty, but they don't own space. Members of nullsec alliances have become untethered, lacking the comfort of objective, easily-measured, easily-viewed metrics. Since they can't point to the map, they argue with each other about "relevance". Does an alliance matter? Should it be recognized as important, or "have a seat at the table"? The ultimate put-down is to tell a rival alliance that it's not relevant.
The New Order, now recognized as a genuine power in EVE, will be told by others that it is not relevant. The New Order can't be defeated in-game, so its importance must be dismissed in the meta-game. However, one might fairly say that if someone blows up your ship, he is relevant to you. The New Order is in highsec, but it blows up a lot of ships. Fair warning to all readers who have made it this far: What you are about to see is heresy. In the polite circles of EVE society, you are not supposed to repeat or even be aware of these facts. In the style of the aforementioned Goblin, I have prepared a chart listing the damage inflicted this month by CODE. (which conducts a large fraction of the New Order's activities), and many well-known nullsec alliances. For comparison's sake (and for amusement), I also included a single pilot, Agent loyalanon, in the chart. The data is from Eve-Kill.net, and the usual caveats about killboard statistics apply:
Here's a permanent Imgur Link in case you wish to share this chart with others in the future. But again, fair warning--this is a dangerous chart. Some may experience extreme consternation when viewing it, possibly an upset stomach and/or eye-watering, and they are likely to blame the person who shared the chart with them.
Carebears look upon the events of the last two years and shake their heads, wondering how some guy with a Stabber in an ice field turned the world upside down.
Now for year three.