For fuck's sake...
SMERG was quick out the gate in Planetary Conquest (PC) and managed to snag two districts on Bosena IX in the Molden Heath region. We've held District 4 for several consecutive battles, while District 6 was under constant assault from Molon Labe. One attack was pushed back, the following one was close, but another lose, while the third was a decisive loss, leaving only 16 clones on the District. Needless to say tactics were divised to fight as conservatively as possible for that last engagement, but the outcome was inevitable.
Fast forward to last night: Molon Labe. attacked our second district, District 6. Until then it held strong against several assaults. We were poised for another good fight when we realized what many other corps had prior: we were infiltrated by Grief Uni. They are a band of griefers that make use of the extremely-open planetary conquest battle system that allows any random member of a corp to join the fight, unchallenged, and bring in as many as 5 friends with them. They did this to us, attempted ransom, which of course we didn't pay. The only strategy from there on in was to sit at the loading screen and let the match play out. We lost the default 150 clones, and several of the Molon Labe. guys contacted us with statements saying they didn't pay these guys and they honestly wanted a good fight. It pumps my ego that they A) considered us a good fight... or B) are lying and were worried about potentially losing enough that they actually did pay Grief Uni. However, I feel that C) They are lying about the good fight and just wanted to farm some loot drops off my corpse... since I would single-handedly drop everything of value, lol.
What they are doing is awesome. No sarcasm, no lies. I love it.
SMERG has always been pro-grief in all of its forms. Everything shady in EVE, short of camping the newbie systems to kill 1 day old characters to pad our killboard stats, is something we love. Its why we stick around in this universe. It's dark, its underhanded, its everything that most games aren't.
One of our members ran Dynasty Bank, which stole 800 B ISK from its "customers." While its a small amount by recent scam standards, it was top of the heap for a while.
We won Hulkageddon IV, a player-run competition designed around suicide ganking expensive mining barges in areas that they believed to be safe. I took home the prize of 1st place individual kills among many other "achievements."
We've griefed people that applied to us out of the blue.
I've created gank alts for the sole purpose of killing miners, so even the chore of grinding Burseg's sec up would no longer phase me.
And we even grief established members inside ourselves.
We are fully accustomed to grief. I figure we'd get boned eventually, I'm just surprised it happened this early on, to be honest. It's quite amazing we showed up on their radar at all, considering we only held 2 districts. Either that or they failed to get anywhere worth a damn and had to settle on a fairly Dust-noob-friendly corp. There is upsides to everything, however!
The real eye-opener from this situation was that rapid growth isn't always a good thing, especially when we have actual assets on the line. While I hate the idea of segmenting my member base as it hurts cohesion and creates artificial castes and competition it was long past time; and this incident made me come to my senses. Several of our squad leaders are moving alts over to our new recruitment/training corp "Smerglings." This will be the new home for all the new guys I will be recruiting, and most of the recent joins. Any character that has applied in the last week (save for vetted character) has been asked to transfer, and they will be kicked tonight from SMERG if they haven't made the move. Every single player that applies will be accepted, but they won't necessarily be included in any corp battles, sorry to say. I will be regularly taking them into squads in public matches, however, and showing them the ropes. When/If CCP implements roles that allow the kicking of members from PC battles, we might merge the Smerglings across, but for the foreseeable future they'll have to wait in stasis. The corp will be in General Tso's Alliance and have access to the same Alliance chat.
All that being said, it is a little too easy to accomplish. It's on par with someone joining a corp and being able to unanchor towers and raid corporate hangars on day one.
While the role system in EVE is a fucking mess, Dust has gone to the other extreme. Either members are normal line dudes with no importance, or they have access to everything. And currently even the line members have the ability to ruin PC battles. Either by taking the spot in a match and not being in a squad, thus blocking squad entry into the match, or by doing what Grief Uni does.
There needs to be the addition of a Squad Leader role, quite simply. It would allow for entry into corp battles. It's a little more than a band-aid, as there needs to be work done to kick people from matches or even ban members from participation entirely, but just limiting it to joining the match would at least make it a tiny challenge for spies to gain trust to wreak havoc, a la EVE.
Update from CCP FoxFour Regarding AWOXing.