Hello, ghost of Goonmas past here. Just wanted to clear some stuff up. Ignore it if you want, but note that I've long since checked out of the game and have no allegiances or politics to push.
First up, it was very much sincere, and happened long before any "blocs within blocs" came about. We got along quite well with TKR and many of the other Chaos alliances. We wanted them out of the war and would have been very open to working on a "sphere" with them post war. We ultimately worked it out with the coalition that we could extend an offer of white peace to Chaos, but they refused to peace without KETOG.
This was not a deal breaker, we didn't really care for many of the KETOG alliances, particularly considering TGH were the reason we ended up in the war in the first place, but whatever, fight to the end. The real final nail in the coffin was the two-facedness, namely when you have an alliance such as TKR playing the BFF role in private, and then posting on the forums that the GOON Boogeyman wanted to drive them from the game, while an offer of white peace was on the table the entire time.
So yes, when all your options are either alliances you despise, or two faced manipulators, you get "blocs within blocs" with NPO. Keep in mind, we had no strong ties to NPO from the outset. We started out with a protectorate from them because we were familiar with Roquentin from back in the CN days. We had no interest in the war until we ended up dragged by TGH, and we had no grudges or dislikes of any alliances outside of those who were ideology opposed to us. We could have went in any direction post war, but everyone was nice enough to shoehorn us into a role, so naturally we embraced it and bonded with what would become the OD sphere.
Nope. We just didn't like Epi very much. Arthur and the rest were cool, and we honestly had bigger and better fish to fry than gunning for Camelot.