Well, I didn't have as much time to post event-by-event updates this past weekend as I thought I might, so I'll just do an overall recap of the events of yesterday and today a year ago.
April 19th, 2009 was a Sunday. I'd been up pretty much continuously since Thursday by that point, and I was rnning on raw adrenaline. The weekend had been taken up with activity that revolved pretty much exclusively around the goal of keeping us from getting crushed. A good deal of time was spent discussing diplomatic strategy regarding the talks and how the were going, and the rest of the time was taken up in attempts to build and organize a coalition that would be capable of winning in the event war actually did break out.
The talks had been interesting. (You can find most of them here in a saved copy of Sponge's Tattler article). They started with TORN and TPF demanding that OV come clean about what they had done, but not being very specific about the details other than that it was regarding Blackstone Collusion. The accusations that were thrown out in the talks included signing a secret treaty, passing intel about TPF to Blackstone, knowingly harboring and building up Blackstone nations in OV and accepting a screenshot about NPO war chests. The part of all of this that is interesting is that all of it except for the NPO line was completely abandoned by the end of talks, and the only actual evidence present were logs that SethB posted himself of the conversation in which he received the screenshot.
This lead pretty much everyone in the fledgling coalition channel at the time to conclude that the whole thing was a fishing trip designed to find something to pin on OV. The fact that the alliance that claimed the CB at the end of talks and declared war over it wasn't even one of the instigating parties who claimed to have known what OV had done was a pretty major indicator.
Now, to switch over to the coalition side for a bit. Organization was a bit hectic. We simply weren't prepared for events to heat up this quickly. There had been a few incidents over the last month or so that looked like they might blow up and had brought a few of the core alliances together so we had some idea of who was on our side or not, but nothing had escalated to the level this had and at the rate that it was moving. It wasn't just a handful of alliances interested in finding a way to avoid getting stepped on, it was them and their allies and everyone who wanted to topple the existing political order because by the end of the weekend, it wasn't just a backroom diplomatic incident, everyone on the planet knew something major was going on and the details weren't a very well kept secret. (The afforelinked logs were published publically on the 19th in Sponge's Tattler). The level of arguing and dissent on the forums had risen markedly over the past few months in comparison to the prior year, but that weekend saw public clashing on the level you'd expect to see when you're already at war.
Propaganda was flying about, taunts were tossed across both sides of the aisles and the whole world was staring over the edge of a cliff and waiting for it all to topple over. In fact, I recently stumbled across a sig I made in response to mhawk's repeated quetioning of whether they were sure of an answer and specifically the line "<mhawk> alright thats your final answer to that/"
Fun times all around.
Anyway, the coalition channel swelled to the bursting point and the forum we had set up was a bit of a mess. At some point, there are just so many vioces that people don't know what the hell to do with them all. That's where I have to tip my hat to Archon. He stepped up where everyone else was pretty much either unwilling or unable and provided the initial kick that got people to start doing what needed to be done in terms of organizing something out of the chaos we had. Once everything got rolling, it built on itself pretty well and by Sunday, we were pretty optimistic. Any war still looked like it might be a bit of struggle, but we had some decent enough organization going, TOP and MHA were both confirmed to be leaving Continuum and while talks were still a bit rocky, there was no CB with anywhere near the strength we had feared might be possible when events had kicked off.
It was right about that point that we almost died. Sunday is when Chill decided that he thought the CB was valid and would oppose Grämlins' entering any war that was started over it. In case you don't know who Chill was or understand why this is relevant, suffice to say that he effectively had veto power over any Grämlins war declaration at the time. With Grämlins suddenly seeming to be out of the game, a lot of other alliances started to sound iffy about their involvement in the coalition. You could literally see that first domino wobbling. A lot of time was spent yelling, screaming and pleading with Chill from all corners and I even got word of Ejay leading something of a revolt within Grämlins that had an overwhelming majority in favor of the war, but none of it really worked. By that evening, SF had basically decided we were going to get stomped and started going around finding who we could count on to go down swinging with us. We'd pretty much figured months ago that we'd probably wind up going FAN in that kind of situation, and I even started talking to a few members I knew wouldn't want to fight an indefinite war letting them know they might want to get out early on in the fighting. It was not a pleasant time. There was chaos in the coalition channels, and quite frankly, if the attack had happened that night instead of the next, I don't think we'd have won.
That said, finding out who will go on a hopeless death ride with you tells you a lot about who your friends are. There was one conversation I had with Tulak, for example, where I pretty much went about trying to talk him out of it and hestill committed, anyway. Things like that stick with you.
Of course, by update we'd stumbled upon an argument that brought Chill around. Essentially, the CB was that OV had accepted information, and the only way to have found this out was to have accepted information, so we'd ask for mhawk or his informant in exchange for SethB and if they shot that offer down, Chill would support coming in to defend.
By Monday, April 20th, things had calmed down considerably. Our coalition had held together, we actually had a plan for the negotiations and the drama of the night before actually had many of us feeling fairly confident in the resolve of our friends should things turn sour.
Now, as regards a name, a lot of suggestions got tossed out on the coalition forums. I don't remember most of them. I do know Archon wanted The Revolution, and that was mildly popular. Whether or not that would have been a better name, I'm not entirely sure, but at the time, all it did was remind me of an old alliance (also name The Revolution) that, for various reasons that don't need to be brought up in-depth here, I didn't particularly like. So I tried to think of something else instead and suggested Karma. That got a lot of support in the channel, and then pezstar gave us the banner and the name stuck.
Talks resumed that evening. There were several rounds of negotiating including an offer on our part of two weeks of war against SethB which was rejected and, somewhat amusingly, cited as being an offer NPO gave us which we had rejected by many general membership after the war had started. There wasn't a resolution reached, but by the time Moo pinged out, we had pretty much figured there wouldn't be a war that night and people were starting to sign out and go to bed. We took the time to discuss options and came up with an offer we figured might actually have a decent chance at being accepted for when Moo got back. Of course, I no longer have any idea what in the world that offer was going to be any more because about five minutes later NPO started hitting OV. The coalition channel pretty much erupted at that point. People were laughing, screaming, and wondering where the hell the DoW on the OWF was and shouting about the fact that the negotitions hadn't been officially ended yet.
When the topic was posted seventeen minutes after update, we all got a second shock. The logs quoted in the OP were from the talks that had taken place the day before and completely ignored the ones that had been on-going and which were being mediated by a member of TOP. It should be said that before this point, we'd all pretty much been crossing our fingers and hoping that TOP would stay out of the war. That changed quite fast. In fact, I laughed out loud upon reading Feanor's post in that thread and it's stuck with me ever since. Granted, Crymson and a few others' behavior in backchannels pretty much wrecked my image of TOP during the war, but I've always liked Feanor and at the time I could have kissed him. I pretty much spent the rest of the hour repeating "We just won" in a slightly giddy sleep-deprived voice in the Skype call I had going at the time (shout out to that call which made the whole build up period that much more fun).
That was easily the single most intense weekend I've ever had in this game.
Side note: I tried to be as unbiased as possible, but considering this involves a recounting that includes my thoughts and feelings at the time, it would be difficult to have presented this entirely objectively without losing out on a lot, so expect various people to have a different perspective on events.