(If you need a tl;dr, just read the bolded text above.)
Let's begin with one of the greatest things CCP Soundwave has ever written. This is so completely awesome, that it puts to rest completely, finally, anything he might have written in 2011 for the Greed is Good CCP newsletter.
I think the biggest issue here is that we're trying to solve different issues. I'm trying to bring the merc trade back into EVE and you're trying to add some measure of fairness into wars, which isn't really a design philosophy in EVE.
Why would I want to balance a fight? That's never really been the goal in EVE and the war dec system wasn't built for that either. I understand that it's annoying when a big alliance war decs you, but that's hardly new to EVE. Big alliances get annoyed with bigger coalitions outnumber them and so on. That's a fact of life in EVE and we're not likely to change that direction anytime soon. The other thing is that war dec prices are determined by the value you get from them. If you want to go to war with someone, a higher number of potential targets should be more expensive. If you're a smaller alliance, this makes you a less attractive target, unless you've made someone angry in which case you're responsible for any social repercussions you've created.
Letting attackers add allies conflicts with the notion that attacking someone is risky. If you decide you want to go to war with someone, the consequence is that he could punch harder than you anticipated. If this is just about stacking up allies, the power of that choice fades away a little bit.Emphasis is mine. It is important to understand the design principles of EVE Online before continuing.
The meta-game is important. CCP understands its importance. Start yapping about some one or some group, expect repercussions. Blogging is not a free pass from in-game consequences. You blog about the game, you've become part of the meta-game. You do not need to be logged into EVE Online to be taking part in the game.
Making wars fair is not a design consideration. Why should war be fair? In the history of human existence, when has war been fair? Oh, we have 2 to 1 advantage over you? Oh, you don't have any cavalry? Well, we'll just sit out all our horsemen and half our army, wouldn't be fair otherwise. Sorry about that. Okay, let's start the fighting. EVE is a simulator of human conflict, artificial rules to even playing fields is not EVE, that's some other game, like World of Warcraft, with their battlegrounds and arenas. Go play that if you want a semblance of fairness.
One of the premiere features of the Inferno war declaration system is the ability for defenders to hire allies, also known as mercenaries. Much was made of this by CCP, much talk about a mercenary marketplace and a validation of a legitimate role/profession in-game. Much talk about improving the mercenary marketplace UI even before Inferno 1.0 had released. CCP was excited about this, they had plans for this.
EVE players being EVE players, the mercenary market, as envisioned by CCP, did not materialize. Instead, a Privateer system evolved rather quickly, on the very first day of Inferno's release, May 22 2012. Corps started joining any wardec looking for allies. A large number of corps were quickly attached to 30 - 50 wardecs. One corp in particular, Unquestionable Prosperity Alliance, was attached to over 70 wardecs.
Dogpiling onto wardecs is not a marketplace, this was obviously not what CCP intended.
Alekseyev Karrde, of the CSM, predicted this would happen before Inferno was released. He made his opinion known through normal CSM/CCP channels. CCP chose to wait, see what would actually happen. Player actions can be hard to predict. The dogpiling occurred as Alekseyev predicted, and CCP/CSM discussions began immediately on how to fix the new wardec system so that a mercenary marketplace could have a chance to flourish. (It's like the old John Lennon song, Give Mercs a Chance.)
CCP will be implementing these changes in the Inferno 1.1 update on June 19 2012. Four weeks after Inferno 1.0 was released.
So on to the conspiracy. Here it is in a nutshell. Jade Constantine decides to talk some shit about Goonswarm. Goonswarm wardecs Jade's alliance, The Star Fraction, on May 31 2012. Jade sets the war to mutual. The war will now last forever (or until one side or the other surrenders.) Goonswarm doesn't care, they welcome some highsec mayhem (does anybody remember Burn Jita?) Forty or so corps join the war on the side of The Star Fraction, for free. What happened here is not unique. On May 22 2012, 38 corps dogpiled onto an ongoing wardec Goonswarm had against The Honda Accord. In fact, every wardec that began or was active when Inferno released had corps dogpiling onto them as allies, if allies were requested. This has been an unintentional side-effect of the new Inferno wardec system since it was released. This is not a problem that CCP just stumbled upon three days ago.
Two days ago CCP Goliath posts on the EVE Online forums, detailing some of the changes that are going to be included with Inferno 1.1. Among them are some fixes to the wardec system that will curtail dogpiling. Jade Constantine replies, accusing CCP of giving in to Goonswarm demands and whining. Basically, he all but accuses CCP of showing preferential treatment to Goonswarm, claiming these changes to the wardec system are emergency fixes that CCP only gave credence to a few days earlier.
First of all, Goonswarm did no such public whining. Anyone that asks for links to these whines are ignored, because there are no such posts. Second of all, CCP did not suddenly realize "Hey, we have a problem here! Goonswarm is in trouble! Get the patch team mobilized!" CCP was well aware of the problem the day the patch released: 1. because every wardec (not just those initiated by Goonswarm) from May 22 2012 onwards became an abject lesson in dogpiling; 2. because the CSM was well aware of the problem. The CSM and CCP talk daily. From day one, the CSM and CCP were discussing possible ways to rectify the situation. (Hell, I wrote about dogpiling on May 27 2012.)
To make matters worse, Ripard Teg, one of the most respected and famous bloggers in the EVE-O-verse, decided to fuel the fire and blogged that he too thought CCP was showing favouritism to Goonswarm, completely ignoring any actual facts on the timeline of events. Ripard is usually better than this, even though he is a big closet carebear, who's pretty high on himself and his influence on design and development issues over at CCP. Basically, he wrote his post, not so much because he believes the conspiracy he's espousing, but because he feels if he stirs up the drama-storm to a crescendo, that he'll influence CCP to keep the dogpile mechanic intact. (That's how much influence he believes he has.)
(I'm not going to link to Jade's or Ripard's tinfoil-hattery, because both posts are terrible. If you really need to read them, they should be easy enough to find.)
So yeah, no fucking conspiracy. Remove the tin hats. CCP had made the decision that things needed to be fixed (iterated upon) starting May 22 2012. This was not a quick, off-the-cuff decision by them. The changes coming June 19 have been well-considered and planned over the last 3 weeks.