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Nullsec Pets

Having recently read a post by Kirith Kodachi here I strongly resisted the urge to write an entire blog post on the subject (you can see my long comment), but one of the other comments posted a link to an article in ten ton hammer (here) regarding “pets”, alliances that pay rent in order to exist in space conquered by more powerful alliances. I highly recommend you read that article, it raises some interesting points.

My first set of 0.0 experience (apart from that gained from living inside a wormhole for 1.5 months earlier this year) was gained by being part of one of these pet alliances. I joined a corporation that was one of the first corporations I joined as a newbie because they had recently moved out to Deklein to join Defi4nt Alliance, a fairly small alliance which was at the time, renting space from Tau Ceti Federation. I spent about a month there, before moving to Mostly Harmless.

Pet Alliances have many pro’s and cons. The article I linked earlier seemed to very lightly brush over the pro’s and harped on about one specific example where the pet/master relationship went poorly. I think their example was particularly poor because the master alliance at the time was undergoing full-scale attack by the most powerful coalition that the eve universe has ever seen.

My experience within Defi4nt alliance convinced me that being a pet alliance can be a very good thing. and I’ll attempt to state my reasons why here along with some other discussion.



Firstly, the motivation of the alliance considering renting space needs to be examined. why become a pet alliance when your corporation(s) could just join an existing space holding alliance?

In the case of Defi4nt alliance, there were a bunch of corporations who either decidedly did not want to be absorbed by an existing space holding alliance, or could not meet the requirements for joining one (as was the case with the corporation I was in). The end-goal was to eventually become a space-holding alliance in their own right.


Although the Ten Ton Hammer article mentions all the way the pet alliance gets screwed (and a lot of them are true somewhat) there are a lot of benefits that can come from this arrangement. The most tangible benefit is access to better ratting, better minerals, better complexes than would normally be available to the alliance elsewhere, without having to fight to acquire it. Ten ton hammer says this is a raw deal because they don’t get the high end moons, I say that if they weren’t pets, they wouldn’t have any 0.0 space at all.

Prior to the dominion patch a certain levels of sov were required to build supercapitals. renting space gives the alliance everything necessary to build a capital fleet in relative safety (who wants to try building capitals on a large scale in lowsec or npc regions?)

Nothing builds ability like experience. In becoming a pet alliance, the previously empire-based Defi4nt exposed themselves to significant PvP and became closely acquainted with the rigours of 0.0 living. The members learned and practiced things that 0.0 residents take for granted such as paying attention to intel channels, learning how to care for pos’s. learning good discipline in defence and attack fleets, experiencing POS warfare, managing null-sec logistics. There is no way an empire based alliance could hope to take and hold sovereignty without having a good portion of its members with this experience, and it’s not like they would tell their members to go join a 0.0 holding alliance for a few months and then reform again.

other ways of getting experience?

Although an extremely good place to get exposure to nullsec, CVA space is not the answer for everyone.

Moving into an npc region is another way to gain experience, but it is still different. never having to actually defend your space (unless you hold strategic moons with your pos’s) is not the same as the “omg we’d better defend this system or we won’t be able to dock at this station anymore”.

Towards the future.

Not every pet alliance is happy remaining a pet. Defi4nt alliance always had the goal of eventually holding its own space. This sort of began happening before the sov changes in dominion were announced. With the help of their master alliance TCF, Defi4nt began taking sov in some of the systems in cloud ring despite heavy opposition from Evoke and Cry havoc. In the time that I joined them about 5/6 months ago until now, they have progressed from struggling to get 15 cruisers in a defence fleet to being easily able to field 50+ battleships for POS defence operations.


I actually predict that there will be more pet arrangements post-dominion…. I know, the dominion expansion is supposed to make nullsec more accessable, but the fact remains: there are huge alliances out there with lots of isk and lots of combat experience. Then there are alliances coming from empire and npc space with perhaps a lot of combat experience but either without the resources or without the discipline of the current space holding bloc’s. There is no way that they will be able to just walk in and take territory without negotiating with the current power blocks.

It is certain that a lot of existing alliances will have to shrink the space that they hold, but their military capabilities will not diminished in the slightest. With the possible guerrilla-like disruption tactics that will become available post-dominion it will be difficult to gain any space your neighbor doesn’t want you to.

  1. November 4, 2009 at 22:53

    I also hope the opportunity for industrial corps to move into 0.0 to utilize the new resources works out. Having military back up is a positive if you want to focus on industry while also enjoying the excitement and occasional PVP of non-Empire space… The emergent results of Dominion will be fun to watch!

  2. November 5, 2009 at 04:46

    Jaggins :
    I also hope the opportunity for industrial corps to move into 0.0 to utilize the new resources works out. Having military back up is a positive if you want to focus on industry while also enjoying the excitement and occasional PVP of non-Empire space… The emergent results of Dominion will be fun to watch!

    I don’t think that industrial corps will be able to move into 0.0 without investing in their own military after Dominion. Currently, having a jump bridge network and cyno jammers allows the petholder alliance to project their force where it’s needed without exposing their flanks. With Dominion, having those protections everywhere is not going to be cost-effective, so the petholder alliance won’t be able to bail out their non-combat pets so easily. Therefore pets are going to need their own security force.

    • evemonkey
      November 5, 2009 at 09:37

      good point – I hadn’t even thought of that. perhaps though we’ll see alliances instead of holding sov in a number of consecutive systems, they’ll intersperse between eachother to enable more expansive jump bridge networks….

  3. Chrysos
    November 6, 2009 at 01:12

    Quoted from Ten Ton Hammer:
    This enabled BoB to avoid the problem of logistics strain associated with rapid territorial acquisition, provided steady income, and brought thousands of new players to the banner of the ‘Greater BoB Community’. The result? Within a year, all of this territory was lost, the pet alliances who once lived there had disbanded, BoB was humiliated, and half of their territory was gone.

    It’s rather disengenious to blame the loss of Delve on the pet system Bob had in place and totally gloss over the fact that with one director dissolving Bob and putting all the structered defenses offline Bob and pets were still able to hold out against practically the rest of Eve for several weeks.

    The pet system wasn’t always ideal and depended heavily on the contract agreed but without it a lot of people wouldn’t have made it into 0.0 at all.

  4. November 6, 2009 at 04:23

    Your article made me think Dominion is going to be sweet. Should bring in lots of new targets to 0.0. I would tend to agree with the required negotiations. Empire Alliances may walk in thinking they have a lot of cash and realize when they get out there that they are lacking resources relative to older power blocs. To me this spells more targets and a better game. Right now most fights are large fleet battles between power blocs and while fun, I would like to PVP more outside of that. If it was CCP’s intention to make more skirmish fights exists in 0.0, then I believe Dominion just might be successful in doing so. Exciting.

    • evemonkey
      November 6, 2009 at 09:33

      agreed – whatever happens it’s going to be fun. I’m hoping for more smaller ship fleets especially with the accompanying Assault frigate changes. those with less resources may be able to contribute. or at least more dynamic large fleet fights with sides not having to make the choice between battleships or capitals, the established powers can bring the expensive ships while the newer alliances can bring battleships and support.

      I hope CCP is still able to reinforce nodes in time for large battles like this – as it stands 500 players seems to be the limit for an unreinforced node to remain playable…

  5. wannos
    April 8, 2011 at 08:27

    being a renter corp is bad if you have plans and aspirations to stay in 0.0, you will get charged the earth for the worst qaulity 0.0 space and the whole idea behind it is so the alliance can foccus on the best qaulity space while still takeing a premium from its low qaulity space.

    thats right people 0.0 has diffrent levels of qaulity in its syetms and regions..
    starting from 0.0-1 which is usually bordering empire and low sec space. and then you have the more lucrative systems such as 0.0-9 which is usualy burried in bowls and depths of the darkest recesses of 0.0. its these low security 0.0 systems that alliances target, these are the money pits these are the resource pits. these are what the wars are all about. and this is where you usualy find the highest qaulity moons.

    as a renter corp you dont have a hope in hells chance of ever ever getting your hands on these kind of systems but you will certainly be charged a premium fee as if you are being given these kind of opportunities.

    my advice is simple, earn your own space take it by force and dont pay any one a penny and make your own rules and laws. dont forget to make allies and forge coalitions along the way.

    renting is only usefull to train new members in the ways of living in 0.0 space, renting is not beneficial to your corp and you will earn the title of pet which is really really bad for your corp and your members.

    dont be a pet!!! earn what you want most 🙂

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