Nullsec Alliance Growth and Decline

Individual Influence

One of Eve’s tenets is that anything created can also destroyed. With the passage of enough time, anything will eventually crumble as the universe is slowly heading towards a state of ever increasing entropy.

Players in Eve can be an agent of this entropy. Given enough time you can gain trust within your corporation, perhaps even eventually becoming an identifiable leader figure. If you choose to become involved at a higher level, you could propel yourself into alliance politics. Over time you could leverage your alliance clout to move into a leadership role and thus gain valuable privileges at the alliance level. Access to information, privileges to disband, and access to assets and money could all be yours.

Perhaps you will use that type power to hone the military might of your alliance into a campaign of territory conquest, or perhaps your goal is to engage in a take-the-money-and-run scam.

We’ve seen both scenarios play out and as shown in the Causality video, major events can be enacted by just one person. Large, influential alliance have formed out of nothing — TEST, while major contenders have declined and reformed again and again — BoB to KenZoku to IT to Raiden.

All Good Things

Things ebb; Delve Dysprosium and Northern Technetium fortresses have fallen and changed hands. When I started playing Eve in 2008 people were using plate sniper Megathrons to wage war in nullsec and BoB was king; nothing could topple them. If you follow Eve politics, take a second to reflect on what has changed.

Visualizing the change of power can be done through the membership growth and decline rates of major alliances.

In order to graph alliance changes, I needed access to a lot of historical data regarding member counts. The alliance API only returns the current statistics so I reached out to a high profile member of the Eve community for assistance.

A special thanks to Wollari at Dotlan for providing me with the historical data for analysis. This post would not be possible without his data, which he so generously reproduced a few times after corrections to my source query were needed.

The Data

  1. Ranges from 2007-06-26 to 2011-09-15.
  2. Contains alliances that were in the Dotlan top 100 list on 2011-09-15.
  3. Added BoB, KenZoku, and IT Alliances to the query since they are historically significant.
  4. Anomaly on 2009-10-28 where the majority of member counts were inaccurate. The data points for this day has been removed.
  5. 87,543 rows of membership information for 114 alliances.

tl;dr Charts

Grown and decline of the Northern Coalition next to the rapid growth of the Drone Russian Federation over the past year.

Combined numbers for the NC and Deklein Coalitions.

On 20010-02-03 GoonSwarm (OHGOD) forgot to pay soverignty bills and lost all of their claimed nullsec space. They have since reformed under Goonswarm Federation (CONDI). Test is still smaller than the current incarnation of the Goons.

The above stacked graph shows the Big 10 (12) alliances over time. It looks as if there were only a few major powers back in 2007. Note that this shows how the current big 10 have changed and does not show who was the big 10 over time.

BoB transitioning into KenZoku seems to be an almost one to one member switchover while the formation of IT Alliance brought in a lot of new member corporations.

The fall of IT Alliance seems to have fractured the group. Corporations that were in IT Alliances are now in Black Star, Cartel, Nulli Tertius, Executive Outcomes, Northern Coalition., AAA, Razor, Cascade Imminent, and the Initiative. Only 33.2% of the members moved into Raiden.

Sev3rance is an interesting entity as they have been moving around a lot. Historically they have been the guardians to one of the entrance routes (KBP7-G) to Providence. Having lost their constellation systems in 2010-03 to Ushra’Khan, they found a home in the NC in Pure Blind and Cloud Ring only to move back to Providence in 2011-07.

Messy stacked graph of all 114 alliances in my data set. It does look like there is definite stagnation in nullsec in 2011.

If you would like to see additional graphs or a separate post on how I transformed the data set, please let me know. I only created a few graphs that I thought would be interesting for the vast majority of the Eve audience. Additionally, my nullsec political knowledge may be lacking and I am open to corrections. Again thanks to Wollari for letting me work with his data.

14 Comments on “Nullsec Alliance Growth and Decline”

  1. I’d like to see a graph that shows the total member count of all sov holding alliances trended over time

  2. ET says:

    Interesting set of data, thanks for that. Few inaccuracies though. In the NC list you are missing Brick Squad (and also quite a lot more smaller entities – Get off my Lawn, Space-Monkeys Alliance, TNT, Convicted, GENTS and many others), then having blue standings. In the list are also some alliances which were then part of the newly forming Deklein Coalition bloc (now called simply “The Clusterfuck”). If they are included in the NC list, goons and test should be too. Also it doesn’t give a complete picture, since some of the then-active alliances are now defunct (but you mention that, so that’s fine). I think the whole Northern Coalition plus Deklein Coalition combined had well over 60k members at it’s height, maybe even approaching 80k. There was once an influence map with these numbers posted on kugu, but I can’t find it now.

    Also, United Front Alliance were Razor’s renters and (aside a few negligible exemptions) didn’t participate in sov warfare, so it is questionable whether they should be included in the bloc list. So are Shadow of xXDeathXx on the DRF side. If you include them, you should also include other renter alliances like Solar Wing, Red Citizens, White Angels and AAA Citizens (all the names make their owner obvious).

    Now onto the DRF side. RED.OverLord is not part of it, they live on the other side of the map and are quite hostile. If you include Raiden. and NC., you may also include Evoke/Ewoks. They don’t hold any sov up north, but they heavily participated in the war to dislodge NC alongside DRF. They may have reset their standings since then though. Also missing are some small alliances like Bloodbound, Cluster of Rebirth and probably some others, which participate in sov warfare. And finally, to add the confusion, Controlled Chaos has since changed sides from the NC to the DRF.

    All in all I find the last graph the most interesting, in terms of null population and the anomaly nerf impact. But it is not clear if there was an actual drop in population or a plateau like the graph suggests, because it only includes currently active alliances. Would it be possible to compile the null population time trend of alliances which were in top 100 at that time (ie. simply the curve of combined null population)? I know that’s more difficult, but I think many people would greatly appreciate even a crude graph of ten points with the 2010/2011 period cut into ten bins or something like that. Hell even two points, three months pre-nerf and three months post-nerf.

    Uh and finally, gj :).

    • Blake says:

      Wow thank you for all the corrections. I’ve made some updates to the graphs and added some more granular detail on the All Alliance graphs to show 2010 to current and 2011 to current.

  3. Bede says:

    sexy graphs doth please me 🙂

  4. Ripard Teg says:

    This is good stuff: great job!

    Would you be willing to share the raw data? There’s a couple of questions that I’ve had lately that I’ll bet that data could answer.

    • Blake says:

      Sorry, I actually agreed not to share the source data from Wollari. What questions do you have? Perhaps I can help you out.

  5. Michael Smith says:

    I’m sad to see a reduction in Null sec player count. It’s an area of the game I look forward to getting involved with!

  6. Aesop says:

    Is there anything interesting in the totals of nullsec players before and after the sanctum nerf?

  7. Bede says:

    so people leave null sec? and then where do the move to?

    do the leave the game , wh’s or become hs bears

  8. […] Nullsec Alliance Growth and Decline […]

  9. Arggram Soothslayer says:

    Love those sexy graphs.

  10. Lee Wilson says:

    I’m recently back to the game having played a minor part during the BoB wars then taken several years off. It is interesting to see how things changed post BoB.

    As you illustrate the large scale forces necessary to forge an expansionist alliance are endlessly fascinating..The entropic forces bringing on decline and sometimes renewal are also of great interest from both game and human dynamics standpoints.

    Excellent work. Reminds me of my Masters Thesis.

    Having had my fill, for the time being, of large scale events (ala BoB wars) I am currently working on small corp move to a wormhole. Any observations on whether the decline in null sec involvement is impacted by increased interest in WH ops?

  11. […] “to the student”, as my professors used to say.  As to the second prediction, Blake over at K162space and I are eventually going to do a joint post on how this went for the small alliances.  […]

  12. […] Carrier building in wormhole space [post]. Capital building in lowsec [post]. Jump Freighter constriction [post]. Empire POS research [post]. 20 questions about me with the #tweetfleet [post]. Used a custom database and wallet manager to track and report on profits [post]. Moon reactions [post]. Funded massive nullsec wars from the Industry standpoint [post]. Worked with  Wollari of Dotlan to look at nullsec Alliance growth and decline [post]. […]

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