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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Legacy of The Mitanni

[Edit: This just in! The Mittani doesn't share my esoteric view of history. Who knew?]

Eve character names run the gamut. Mine is an old nickname bestowed upon me by a roommate. I use it in all my MMOs. Others are infantile plays on various vulgarities. Some are role-play oriented. Some are function oriented. Most are boring, like mine.

Then there are the names that make me smirk. One such name is Helicity Boson. That name is creative and works - in non-obvious ways. A boson is a sub-atomic particle. The helicity of a boson is "the projection of a spin vector in the direction of its momentum vector." Now, if THAT doesn't describe Helicity Boson nothing does!

Another name that has intrigued me from the first time I read it was The Mittani. You see, I'm an avid reader of ancient history and I know from wince that name comes. Let me fill you in if you don't mind. It will make my coming observation more sensible.

The Mitanni were an indo-aryan horse breeding people who lived 3500 years ago in what is now Syria, Iraq and Turkey. This era was the dawn of civilizations and the Middle East was the locus of many. We all know about the Egyptians and the Babylonians (I hope.) Some few less know about the Hittites. Very few if any of you know of The Mitanni... also known as The Mittani. (I was NOT spelling it wrong. *STO*.)

The Mitanni ruled the Hurrians, a non-related group of people who have been absorbed into the Semitic Middle Eastern populations of today. The Mitanni were not Hurrians themselves. They were a foreign elite who imposed their will on the older and more established Hurrian cities of the region. Back in those days, horses were power and those that knew how to raise them ruled empires.

This is how The Mitanni came to prominence. With horse-drawn chariot armies to rival those of Egypt and the Hittite empire, they took the stage and carved out an empire for themselves. Like the Hittites, another indo-aryan people, (and unlike the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians who were Semitic) they were not monument builders. From what we know from the writings of those empires that bounded them, The Mitanni were a feudal people, distrustful of those who would "own" land (selling land was not allowed by Mitanni law) or seek to exist outside their feudal grasp.

"So why the ancient History lesson Mabrick?" you ask.

"Because you didn't know any of this," is my reply. You need to know this so the irony of what I say next isn't lost on you.

The Mitanni is known as the forgotten empire. Our historians know volumes about the ancient Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Hittites. We know precious little - next to nothing by comparison - of The Mitanni. They left no written records of note. The only stories we have of them are told by their adversaries the ancient Egyptians and the Hittites. In the 500 years they existed, only one letter, written by one of the last Mitanni kings, survives to this day - and that only because it was sent to the ancient Egyptians who preserved it. Their armies were defeated. Their king was assassinated. Their cities and estates fell to dust. Until recently even their name was forgotten. They left no lasting impact on the people they ruled or those they fought.

History has a way of repeating itself. Eve is real. Enjoy the ironic implications of that for awhile.

Fly careful.


  1. I think it is entertaining that thirteen year olds figured this out before you. You can't be forgotten if everyone on the internet is covering your exploits, even you have fed fuel to the lasting history of The Mittani legacy. He built something that will be remembered forever.

    1. Assyrian coalition? Seriously? Whoever came up with that name knows nothing of ancient history. The Assyrians rose to regional power after The Mitanni (and Babylonians) fell. Before that they were a vassal state of the Babylonians. Rather than overthrow their only buffer against the Hittites, the Assyrians aided The Mittani at every opportunity. After the Hittites sacked The Mitanni capital, The Mitanni king formed an alliance with the Assyrians. That is when the Hittites had him assassinated and placed a Hittite stooge on The Mitanni throne. That was the end of The Mittani empire. It was part of the Hittite empire after that. Seriously Powers, read some history would you.

    2. Remembered forever ? Wow. His mind-melting techniques sure must work, I'll give him credit for that.

      All he'll ever be crdited for is utterly ruining the 'Old School' feel of the Panel Discussions at Fanfest, and that's it.

      Also probably for having put the only Sci-Fi Sandbox out of business.

      That is proceeding quite well, thank you.

  2. Mabrick, you've missed Powers' point completely. Your history is accurate from what I know/can find out, but your application to EvE is orders of magnitude off.

    The Mittani (Eve player) has had an impact on the gameworld no matter where you are or what you do. If he quit now, the legacy he leaves will overshadow how the game plays out at least for the next year, minimum.

    In context, The Mittani has been a dominant force in EvE for around 25-33% of EvE's total lifespan to date, has collapsed several empires and leads the dominant one.

    There's no figure in actual history you could compare those achievements to, except perhaps the Roman Empire. Of course, the Roman's haven't had any influence on modern society one bit :P
    Furthermore, his previous place as the CSM chair, able to step outside the game and influence the way the universe actually works, is a power you could only liken to a God.

    If you're going to cast loose realworld aspersions then you need a better starting place than a namesake. After all, it's what people do that is important, not their name.

    Unless he's sending his regards.

    1. No, I didn't miss the point at all and thank you for making mine. No one person in the history of the world has made a lasting impression on it. When The Mitanni ruled, they impacted their world just as our Mittani today impacts Eve. But as they said in Rome, all glory is fleeting. Perhaps our Mitanni will be remembered by capsuleers until the end of Eve. A decade after Tranquility is shut off forever, no one will know of or even care about our Mittani. His achievements are at best ephemeral and at worst a total waste of time.

      And as for not knowing any one person that has greatly affected the world, I can think of quite a few. I'll start with the unknown human being who invented the knife. I'll add to that the names Aristotle, da Vinci, Einstein and Hawkings. All these people have had tremendous influence on the world and their contributions have direct bearing on the world we live in every day - not unlike gods if that is the comparison you wish to make though I find it a bit over the top. There are many others I could add to that list but that would be a long read. I can tell you they all have one thing in common: none of them were empire builders.

    2. Couple the fact that if he falls from grace, people will be talking about it and referencing it in eve until the game shuts down permanently. People still talk about other controversial fallen leaders in game, but none were as successful as The Mittani is now. You can't erase hulkageddon. You can't erase the Ice Interdiction. You can't erase Burn Jita. You can't erase him rebuilding goonfleet/swarm after Kartoon forgot to pay our bills. You can't erase him toppling an empire by being nice to someone. The internet is permanent.

      P.S. I'm pretty sure he's responding to my tweet about James Gibson.

    3. The question I've always wanted to know about Mittens is how much of his success is because of him, and how much of it is because he didn't inherit an alliance so much as he inherited a culture. No one else in Eve looks at the game quite the way the goons do. Everything they do is dictated by that shared outlook. From ganking ice miners, to burn jita, to scamming.

      Put him in charge of any other alliance and I don't think he'd have been anywhere near as successful.

      Oh, and also. Aristotle, da Vinci, Einstein and Hawking are not important. Famous, but not important. Breakthroughs come in science because enough small advances have been discovered to allow the large ones. Just about every major advancement has been found concurrently by more than one person, but only one name is ever remembered by history, and it's not necessarily the one that discovered it first.

    4. "No one person in the history of the world has made a lasting impression on it"

      And my point is that Mittens, as a character, HAS had a very lasting impact on the "world" of EvE and very evidently will do so for a long time to come. Any history of EvE would be completely remiss to not include his name, or his alliances.

      Your point is silly because, as I said, you're casting vague real-world aspersions and trying to prove your point in a world that doesn't exist.

  3. "[Edit: This just in! The Mittani doesn't share my esoteric view of history. Who knew?]"

    It's cute that you think Mittens would push the button himself on this.

    I'll note you've had "If that makes me weak in your eyes, just try me." on your blog for ages, so it'll be fun to see what happens when someone calls you on your crap.

    I have even money on "stay docked and chestbeat on your blog" or "didn't want that corp anyway."

    1. Well, your a healthy troll aren't you? You should feel good about that. Of course he didn't do it himself. However, as you have brow beat me with several times he IS the one who is the face of GSF and to him goes all the press - good and bad. It's all part of being famous don't you know.

      Now, this will be in my next post but I'll let you in on a little secret so you don't jump to the wrong conclusion - again. I am going on RL vacation in a week. I will be gone for 9 days. I will be in a remote area where the Internet (and therefor GSF) does not exist. There will be no blog posts during that time. Eve is not real there. Eve is frankly unknown there and that's awesome in its own way. Fortunately I have a life beyond Eve and beyond this blog. As I say above the passage you quoted, carebearing is what I have time to do. Or rather, it is what I allow myself to have time to do. Anything more would be unhealthy. My family and my RL friends deserve better. I deserve better. A fact reinforced in spades last week when my father-in-law passed away. However, if it makes you happier, I have no intention of disbanding MABMM or not logging in during those hours I do allow myself to play Eve. What happens will, of course, get recorded on my blog so stay tuned.

    2. Pretend to not be logging in anyway via amazingly coincidental holiday plans, gotcha. God speed, word warrior


  4. Hawkings? You've got to be kidding. Comparing him with Aristotle, Da Vinci and Einstein is laughable.

    Hawkings isn't the genius the politically correct make him out to be. He's just a hack who rewrites other's work and gets a ton of good publicity for it because he happens to be severely handicapped. He'll be forgotten by history in no time.

    1. Hawkings hasn't made an impression because of his science. He's made an impression because someone with his particular ailment would never have been allowed to even try a hundred years ago. He is a great inspiration to many who suffer from debilitating disease. He is proof that even the physically incapable have value that we should encourage and aid. He is one of very few people to whom I can point and say, "that gives me hope for the human race."

  5. Ironic that this can only generate Einstein and Hawking Bashing.

    IT's not a sad world, it's now a pathetic, dying world.

  6. BTW, my Alliance was decked by The Goons too.

    May as well hang it up now. I gave it another few weeks afterwards, but let me put it this way: none of my 6 toons can even consider undocking ever again.

    Another POS ? Out of the question.

    CCP is perfectly fine with that situation, and in writing.

    Civ 5 is actually great fun now tbh.

    1. I have some small knowledge of your predicament. It is sad that the community condones such harassment and some even encourage it. However, people are people no matter where you are and as a race we've been doing this to each other since before we could write about it. That's just the way it is. So, start a new toon. Be a noob again for awhile. Try a different path. Or, enjoy Civ 5: it is a great game!

    2. Welp, starting over after building up over 48,000,000 SP on 2 of the 6 toons, 2 others at about 25,000,000 and the other 2 around 8,000,000......being a 'noob' again is certainly an option, but is it a worthwhile option ?

      No. That's a lot of time and financial investment that SOMEONE ELSE thinks one does not deserve. I take that back. They are incapable of considering it as undeserved. It really means nothing to them except the utter elimination of anyone non-Goon.

      I guess the equivalent would be building a huge model railroad as one's lifetime hobby, then discovering you made the landscapes for it out of radioactive material. The whole thing must be abandoned as is.

      And once you are on the Goon's Death List, they do 'come around' to see what one is up to. They WILL find your new POS. They WILL dec any corp you attempt to join.

      I'll just finish by saying again, that 6 weeks ago when ths started going down, CCP was perfectly OK with all of this. Their solution: 'join a Corp that works to defeat CFC and use any other mechanic provided ingame as workarounds.'

      Yeah. Okey-dokey.

  7. Just one more point on this:

    Those who want a totally safe high sec: leave the game please. Those who want a Goon-type All PvP only: please leave.

    The balance worked for almost a decade.

    Unfortunaely, CCP has made a fatal mistake by allowing an EXTRMIST GROUP to take the reigns. Game or not, any form of extremism ALWAYS, in RL or E-Life utterly breaks the system.

    And I don't blame any player for not wanting to join in a limp, unwinnable recreation of the Allies vs. Axis here. I was not aware the CCP is aiming for the Microsoft Combat Simulator crowd, but actions are telling indeed.

    EVE ? It's a Trap.

    1. Move to Low sec? I very much doubt Goons will go after you there and if you're in a decent PvP corporation, they should appreciate the extra targets if they do bother.

    2. @Suleiman - This has been proposed in fact! You can see the details in my latest post. The location proposed is Providence, where CVA holds sway and we all know how they feel about Goons. Only time will tell what decisions I must make. You know, if The Mittani had selected a more suitable name, one like yours, this whole war would likely never have happened. There is only one historical comparison you can make to Suleiman the Magnificent, longest ruling Ottoman Emperor, and it's a great one.

    3. Providence isn't low sec though - CVA actually has infrastructure that is vulnerable to Goons, can have its services offlined etc whereas in low sec it's much more "free".

      Also I wasn't suggesting you to move to low sec, but rather "James" who seems to not understand the term "sandbox".

    4. @Suleiman - Um, no, that's not what I meant at all. It was not suggested by you and not by James aka Krixtal Icefluxor either. I do know about Providence's sec status. My comment was about an in game email discussing this option that I detailed in a post after this one. Go ahead and have a look at it (D-day Plus One post.)

  8. I've been playing for three years now, and have several toons in a decent sized nul-sec alliance. I got into the game believing that the power structure in conquerable space constantly fluctuated. While fighting with Rol, Kadeshi, -a-, and others against RA and PL all the way to c-j I felt like I was getting my money's worth.

    I left for vacation in December last year, and hen I came back from vacation in January last year RA and PL had beaten us all the way back to AZN (ROL's old Capital). This setback invigorated me more than any other change in my Eve playing experience because it further proved that the wars of conquest I sought to get involved in were INCREDIBLY DYNAMIC. I fleeted up more than ever and EVE's promise of conquest was all but a fact to me at that point.

    When the war ended, new possibilities arose for what became the Southern Coalition. We tried to deploy north and failed, and our efforts triggered the first event that led to me un-subbing.

    The battles for 319 and c3n were very hard on line member pilots (I am barely that). We were docked up and stuck with more hostiles in system all day everyday until nulli gave up, SOCO decided they'd be better off working alone or engaging in infighting, and the south fell. Test then asked the GSF to leave and they gave the space (or allowed the space) below/above/to the right (lol) of Paragon Soul to alliances they approved of.

    Since then I've been in many battles, but none that counted as much as the fights for 66-pm. The reason? Because I liked the people I fought with, and cared about us surviving. As I write this I realize that the poison pill we all take by entertaining the conquest dream has been mentioned before, but it's this:

    What if SOCO had won in Delve?

    I would have wanted our leadership to keep going, and at some point we would have become what the Goonswarm currently is. I would never want my friends to fall, I made tons of friends from Muppets to Rageful Terrorizers, but ultimately what would I have wanted to do if we had conquered Fountain? I would have wanted to keep going, and this is exactly why Eve will die at some point.

    The impulse to work together to achieve the goal of conquest coupled with the desire to keep your friends around will always lead to this result. The only thing the cfc can do to bring chaos back to null sec would be to disband or reset everyone, and why would they do that? Would you do it if the rest of null-sec asked that of your alliance/coalition?

    TL;DR: Null sec conflict for sov ultimately makes underdogs into overlords, and once you and everyone else knows you can crush anyone anywhere, what do you do? Are the people in this position evil by virtue of the fact that they have accomplished what we all strive for?


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.

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