The simple fact is there is no such thing as truly independent sov holder in todays null sec. Everyone, either by choice or by need, has a list of blues to help them. Looking at a map of alliance sov is outright impractical. Just like you can’t specifically target a corporation in an alliance and go to war; you can’t target just an alliance in a coalition. You take on the entire thing, or you do not. With that being the case a new level of map is needed to navigate the game. Therefore; a coalition map is born.
Those For and Against
The response to coalition mapping has generally been positive. It does make it easier to visually see what is actually happening as far as coalition control. There is of course, some who expressed a dislike of such a map. At first I was surprised, but after talking to them it became obvious why. There is a real loss of identity, especially for the smaller alliances. With an alliance level map they can point and proclaim, “Look! We are something. We matter. We are – relevant.”
This of course is meaningless on a coalition level. I don’t mean that spitefully, just truthfully. This is the current state of the game. No alliance is holding any sovereignty in null sec without having blues or as an official term – a coalition to back them up. So for most players, they see null at this level. Nothing against those who are demanding their alliance be somehow shown as some independent entity, but until an alliance takes a sov system without belonging to a coalition, there is no point in singling them out as such. Maybe in the future the days of an alliance controlling sov without needing to join a coalition will return. Until then; the coalition map will stay.
And of course, there are those who flat out state having a coalition map is some form of evil propaganda. Information is power and some will do whatever it takes to maintain the status quo we now live in – to keep the masses in the dark. That is something I can not abide by.
One of the biggest challenges of creating this kind of map is due to having to gather the information on who is aligned with who. Who are their feeder alliances, their renters, their pets; all of these things. This is done by checking recent standings via eveskunk.com, failheap-challenge.com, using spies from across the coalitions, talking to the powerhouse alliance leaders and even dredging through trash such like k.com.
After a while you start to put the pieces together. There is of course semi-official lists of who is in each coalition, but if you just map out those alliances you end up with half with sov unassigned. Some are easier to place due to them being advertised as renters such as Brothers of Tangra and Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Of course with all this data a few pie charts are easily made. Right now I am only tracking the breakdown of systems and member count for alliances that own sov. I may start including stations owned, but they don’t have an impact on coalition tracking. The map will be the main focus. In the meantime you can find the suitable tabs on the Google Doc to see the system and member count breakdown.
Effort to Update
With Verite Renditions coalition influence map now automated and updating daily and I will do my best to keep it current. It still needs to be updated from time to time as things change. At minimum it will be updated once a week up and every other day if time permits. If you see anything that is incorrect or otherwise, mail me in game to let me know. The most recent map and data can be found HERE on Failheap Challenge.
Live Coalition Map
Recently Matril, Pink Fuzz and SmallFatCat created a live version of a coalition map found HERE. Just press the Get Data at the top and give it a moment to process.
It is still in a beta testing phase, but it is already looking pretty great. It pulls data from the API when the page is loaded and is based off the assignments of the data I collect for placing alliances who have sov. If you have feedback or want to report a bug, send a mail to SmallFatCat. Not to be forgot, is a great battle report fixer that has been growing in popularity. You can find it HERE.
Terrible Sovereignty System
Looking at the different maps, on a coalition level, over time has a different feel than on an alliance level. This move much slower and of course far less colors. If anything it speaks loudly how terrible the sovereignty system is and the extremely high bar on what it takes to hold sovereignty. Over the last month of tracking the alliances, the only new face in null to take sovereignty that was not already part of an existing coalition or remnants of an alliance collapse has been the Brave Collective, TEST and Spaceship Samurai. Then again, they both along with Nexus Fleet (who has since consolidated to a single corp and joined Nulli Secunda) had formed their own coalition – H.E.R.O.
Like it or not, the fact is that coalitions are the minimum requirement to take and hold sovereignty in EVE.
Perhaps it would be revealing too much in a mostly secretless game to have standings be public knowledge. I would find it interesting if they were, not only to help me with tracking alliances for the coalition map, but in the drama and content it would create. Then again, it might have a negative effect causing more risk averse behavior as groups wouldn’t engage another group if they see one of their blues is nearby. Either way, I hope this map helps those who are not in the loop and of course those who are.