A look back in time to an alien world of early pvp and in particular, the infamous m0o Corp. The original pirate material.
In the beginning New Eden was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
It is hard to imagine, unless you were there of course, the humble beginnings of this great universe that we call New Eden. Imagine a game where just about everybody who is traversing the stargates is a starry-eyed noob, everything is alien, new and beautiful. Killmails don't exist as we know them today, nobody can warp to a gate at zero and sentry guns, eh? what are they?
Then imagine, a little over one month into this early adventure, the devil himself unleashing an army of death, a plague, a nemesis on the landscape. An army with knowledge and an advanced understanding of game mechanics and an undesirable will to achieve one thing. The destruction of everything that gets in its way.
m0o Corp, or Masters of Ownage, was originally created by former players of a Counter-Strike clan that went by the same name. The corporation first set up its roots in the Lonetrek region and it was here that they first became famous for their notorious pirate activities, resulting in general outrage that then triggered community and developer response. They are one of only a few corporations which have actually forced CCP to change or add new features to the game. Known mostly for their pvp prowess, an in-your-face attitude and infamous reputations, they are considered to be the original pirates and 'serial killers' of New Eden.
The success of m0o can be attributed to many things. A combination of skill, innovation and knowledge of the game mechanics created the most effective fighting unit in the game. Many would regularly accuse them of exploiting game mechanics and using unfair tactics and strategies. Of course, these allegations were continuously denied. Explanations of the game mechanics being used, and why playing the game as designed is different to exploiting, were given by m0o pilots on many occasions. The original m0o never grew to more than about 15 members, with their average online presence usually consisting of at the most 10 pilots.
The Mara Blockade
The system of Mara was one of New Eden's busiest choke-points, that also just happened to be the home turf of m0o. Over the coming weeks it would be impossible to pass through Mara. During the first day of the blockade alone a reported 250+ ships perished at the hands of the gatekeepers. Over the next few weeks the death toll would run literally into the thousands. The residents of New Eden were just beginning to see the havoc m0o would cause.
Many pilots and corporations were incensed by this behaviour and would try to fight back and remove the blockade. Most had one thing in common; they failed.
The blockade quickly become a hot topic on the forums, mainly because some players just couldn't understand how such a small crew could defeat, well, just about everyone. That’s when players started accusing m0o of cheating the system.
In the weeks of the Mara blockade, there were very few posts on the forums which didn't have something to do with m0o. Players openly discussed the pilots, their tactics and stated their opinions repeatedly. Arguing over whether or not they were exploiting game mechanics was common, and several GM's confirmed in both petitions and forum posts that this simply was not the case. Through the forums m0o reached true superstar status, and whether one was with them or against them, most people started to respect them.
But things would soon change.
With bad blood between m0o and everyone else running deep as the blockade dragged on, CCP decided to rush the Mara camp with a squad of developer-controlled CONCORD battleships, in a brazen attempt to fire a warning shot at them and their aggressive, trash talking ways.
The sight of the arriving fleet caused the camp to flee, but for one individual, the CEO at the time, who went by the name of The Reverend, who stood and fought for his cause against the CCP-led fleet. He didn't last very long and his cruiser was reportedly one-shotted off of the field.
CCP had flexed its muscles and although this is what a lot of the community had wanted, amongst the many that were cheering and hollering in the 'victory' many also blasted CCP for messing with the ‘lawless’ nature of the game.
Regardless, CCP later intervened for a second time, sending all members of m0o Corp to random locations in the game world away from their camp in Mara, scattering them far apart to hopefully spread disarray in the ranks. It didn’t work, they simply found their way back to Mara and carried on where they left off. The decisions for this random scattering are still unclear to this day.
The Mara camp lasted until roughly early August 2003, when m0o moved to its legendary home system, FD-MLJ. It was the choke-point entrance into the entire northwestern area of New Eden. Syndicate, Fountain, Outer Ring and Cloud Ring were the homes of many new corporations and alliances, and m0o exploited that in any way they could. The camp of FD-MLJ lasted for around two months, was filled with thousands and thousands of kills and then m0o entered its first hibernation period.
The Second Chapter
m0o returned later in the same year, late October 2003 and had expanded from their original quota. A merger with The Legitimate Businessmans Club and a recruitment drive and the poaching of several other pvpers resulted in the corp's roster jumping to around the 30-40 mark.
This era also coincided with the release of some of the first and most famous m0o pvp videos, some of which can be found today by searching on youtube for The Chronicles of m0o. The alien interface and graphics really are quite intriguing and are highly recommended viewing. It is like Stone Age eve.
During this time, m0o pilot Lord Zap became the highest-profile player in EVE, with a mind-boggling bounty on his head of 20 million ISK (a record at the time, yes that is a twenty) and a place among the legends of New Eden.
m0o now found themselves in the Stain region and waged a new war upon the local residents of Stain Alliance, they now had some allies to back them up too, most notably Curse Alliance. During their time away the game had changed somewhat and m0o found that they needed to create new strategies, fits and tactics.
After a month or so of geurilla operations and sparring with Stain Alliance, and after destroying Grikl's Apocalypse Imperial Issue on December 1st 2003, m0o decided upon a new target; the Coalition of Free Stars. This would kick off a chain of various wars that m0o waged, they easily became bored of their enemies and would simply choose a new war when they saw fit. They were even known to turn on their allies if they so chose.
With the rise in numbers of m0o pilots it was only inevitable that a bad egg might fall into the nest. In February of 2004, Miz Cenuij (who would later become infamous for camping the Rancer corridor with a Nyx for months on end as well as for the Ginger Magician permaban) who was a member at the time borrowed about 500 million ISK from several of his corpmates. He had told them it was for a Battleship BPO investment. The next day he wrote a heartfelt post detailing the reasons for his departure, and subsequently departed the corp to join MASS, 500 million ISK richer.
The dizzy days of pvp super-stardom were beginning to creep into the clouds. In the summer of 2004, The Reverend attempted to sell off m0o corporation to the highest bidder. Little or no interest was shown in his auction, and the corporation kept going as before. The corporation dealt with several internal disputes, such as the departure and re-joining of Lord Zap, Stavros and Vegeta (in three unrelated cases).
One other event of note was the destruction of the only Gold Magnate in existence to a m0o camp. The ship was downed in A2-V27, piloted by Tyrrax Thorrk, and the final blow is said to have been claimed by m0o pilot DrStrangelove.
The second chapter of m0o lasted until the end of 2005, when the corporation had grown to around 75 members. Many were unhappy with how the corporation was run, mostly due to loose recruitment policies and lack of goals. The decision of hibernation was made by The Reverend. Was this now the end of m0o?
The Third and Final Chapter
It took just over two months of hibernation before m0o were back playing and active again. Many saw these hibernations as a regular 'm0o thing'.
This chapter saw very few of the original and older members returning. The key people now running the corporation were Odet, Madcap Magician, Tbone and Fairlane, and while the former leadership sat semi-inactive on the sidelines it wasn't quite the same. The third chapter was regarded as a mistake by some people, since most felt that the corporation failed to live up to its high standards. It is notable that m0o ended this 'third chapter' with a perfect 10 to 1 Battleship kill/death ratio, despite usually fighting heavily outnumbered. However, a corporation's inner structure is not made by kill/death ratios. Despite this efficiency, most uninvolved people perceived m0o as having lost its touch because it was less influential in New Eden politics and pvp development.
Over the next few months, many new players were brought into the corporation. Some of the older players left and found homes in other corporations, most notably Evolution. In the spring of 2005, m0o corporation was finally closed down for the last time. The original serial killers and the most notoriously infamous corporation the game had ever seen was no more.
m0o pilots left to form and/or join corporations like The Royal Syndicate, D.N.A, Finite Horizon, Evolution and Reikoku.
Effects on EVE
If it wasn't for m0o then New Eden would perhaps not be the same today. Sentry guns, CONCORD, Gate NPC's, warp-to-zero on gates, are all here in the form we know them today because of m0o and what they did back in the early days.
They also pioneered frigate combat, at the time it was the norm to fit over-sized missile launchers (that could fire cruise missiles) to frigates and m0o mastered these tactics. Balanced turrets as we know them today are mainly here because of m0o's tactics and fighting styles.
At the other end of the scale, m0o were masters of the battleship hull. At the time a very rare sight in the skies of New Eden.
Gank fits were also a 'm0o thing'.
Log-on traps and aggression tricks were all born out of the mind's of m0o pilots.
The use of oversized afterburners was mastered by m0o pilots.
m0o pilots were the first pilots to master the art of scouting with an alt. At the time an alien concept until m0o began doing it.
There are a lot more, I am sure, but what we take for granted these days is easily missed when looking back to a time that is so long ago in gaming terms and is easily accredited as 'the norm'. One final thought, smacktalk, could we label m0o as the original smack kings? I'd like to think so.
Stavros > Keep flaming lamers, just like your ships did when we ended you
Spikum > I joined m0o just short before
Spikum > Reverent told me that he wanna check my scorp fitting and he need it to look at it
Spikum > i gaved it him
Spikum > then he kicked me out of corp
Tachy > Spikum :) mOo is a great corp, isn't it?
Odet > How is it possible we dont have a tackler?
Nmwone > Well if you'd stop killing all our recruits maybe we'd have a tackler right now.
Odet > I hope your mother dies tonite
Many of the old m0o members and indeed its founding membership are no longer playing. Some are still active though, and most are scattered amongst many corporations. Are you a former m0o pilot? It would be great to hear from any former members or veterans of eve who have crossed paths with m0o in the past.