Header art by Cryo Huren
On the 2nd of August 2021 a miracle took place in Delve. The unthinkable happened and at a pace that would leave many a “stunned carp” in disbelief. Not only had the Imperium achieved the greatest victory in the history of New Eden, but there was a realization among PAPI members that they had stumbled into the worst gaming loss of all time. These words might appear hyperbolic, but when the events of the last 15 months are fully appreciated, history will note that these claims are justified.
First, let me provide a quick recap on the final happenings of Beeitnam (formerly called World War Bee). For more specific detail, check the weekly reports from Ban Syrin. Or, you could browse past articles on INN.
In my last Beeitnam summary piece, I left off with the “equilibrium” narrative from PAPI as the dominant feature. PAPI leadership had stated its contentment with the war as it had been waged. I have to admit that reading the piece again I feel a bit like a time traveller from the future sent into the past. Especially with the question I asked: “Will PAPI leadership behave in completely honorable ways and not pursue their own self interests?”
Many commentators from here at INN pointed out the silliness of the equilibrium narrative. In fact, the PAPI narrative had gotten so ridiculous that key alliances, corporations, and notable figures had begun fleeing the rotting carcass of PAPI.
The use of the word “rotting” is very deliberate, as I will explain. When the “equilibrium” message became the established party line, most of PAPI leadership gave out the concomitant message to their pilots: feel free to “take the summer off.” Imperium pilots, however, received no such message, nor did they need it; they knew what they had to do and where they were going to do it. No summer off for them.
With this PAPI party-line message, things were becoming clear for the typical line member. Despite all protestations to the contrary, PAPI leadership had no clue what they were doing and were deceiving trusting line members. Some began to see through the problematic messaging. Soon, Northern Coalition, a lead alliance in PAPI, lost almost its entire US TZ representation – including high profile and active FCs. Things started to come apart, the center could not hold. Soon mere anarchy would be loosed upon EVE (apologies to Yeats).
As I have said many times during this war, the truth eventually comes out. Wars tend to be built on “narratives and hyperbole.” They are useful things in order to get people to remain active. The more honest the narrative, the more durable it is through time and testing.
So, let us recap on some of the positions of both Imperium and PAPI leadership.
The Blood-dimmed tide is loosed
We began to see instability within PAPI as spring 2021 turned into early summer. “Strong and stable” groups, like AARP, REQ, Watchmen, Warped Intentions, Federation Uprising had problems, and that list is just from the Legacy Coalition. These five “valued allies” fell apart, to sate the egos of TAPI. Fortunately, Brave and TAPI were there to pick up members from their former valued allies. When it comes to the winner of the “most alliances killed in the war,” TAPI is the clear winner. Under their stewardship, member alliances of Legacy suffered the most by far.
But we saw other mixed or confusing messages out of PAPI, sometimes even early on in the conflict. As the war began, “total support” was the theme from Winter Coalition, FIRE, and others such as AoM. However, the numbers being fielded by these PAPI members told a very different story. It was obvious to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention that none of these alliances/coalitions were present for much fighting in Delve. Where were FRT in Mx2, for example? It wasn’t lost on anyone, including PAPI members, that “total support” meant different things to different people.
In contrast, the Imperium sent the message “we are all in,” and it reverberated through to the line members. Everyone knew what had to be done and the immense cost that would come during the war. The Mittani, as the war began, specifically told Imperium members to count all their ships as already gone, before fighting had even started. Realistic expectations were established. PAPI members were being told to have several doctrine ships ready to go; whereas, Imperium members were told to have 50 and more combat ships.
The Best Lack All Conviction
PAPI had now manoeuvred themselves into a position where they had to attack. Many PAPI line members were eager for the big final battle, only to hear from Gobbins (PH leader) that such a battle would not happen. Other PAPI leaders joined in the messaging – don’t expect a massive battle; they would use subcaps instead and just hope to somehow catch the Imperium unawares.
But after months of “probing” and failed attempts, with line members growing increasingly restless and some leaving the game, yet another message came out. Gobbins was saying that there would be a final massive assault and he, along with other PAPI leaders, encouraged members to invest heavily in this final Armageddon.
INN’s Elthar Nox wrote about the start of the PAPI “final assault.” This initial phase did not end well for PAPI and was perhaps a portent of what was to come.
New Eden did not have to wait long at all. On August 2, 2021 the “real” assault began on 1DQ by PAPI forces. A few scant hours later, the veil of deceit was lifted and PAPI line members learned the truth: their leaders had been lying. While line members were sacrificing their ships and pods in various battles, PAPI leaders were withdrawing their capital ships and were undocking their citadels. From one moment to the next, PAPI went from perpetrating the “final battle” to running for their lives, every man and woman, for themselves.
Initially, PAPI leaders described the retreat as a “planned withdrawal.” The reality of the situation meant that this phase soon turned into a rout. PAPI members were now competing with each other to obtain enough fuel isotopes to get out of Delve as quick as they could. As for those PAPI members who had heeded the advice to “take the summer off,” well, they had asset safety available. INN also covered more of the “withdrawal” in the pieces by Gwailar.
The worst are filled with a passionate intensity
Here at INN we have taken great care to be honest in our reporting. Everything I have written had to provide sources that were publicly available. My editor was a real task master in this regard. But this was also true of other writers, such as this piece from Sophia ‘Alizabeth’. In it, the author reveals the “Manny-festo, ” a plan that revolved around the concept that the Imperium was rotten to the core, and would run away at the first sign of serious losses.
No matter what we reported here on INN, detractors called us liars and worse. But with the spectacular failure of PAPI leadership, line members were finally forced to confront an unconvenient truth. They had listened to PAPI leaders; they had gotten all those special doctrine ships ready for the assault on 1DQ; they had believed in the mission and the plans. But as they died while leaders undocked, they realized they were like children in the Children’s Crusade.
Some PAPI leaders were also swift to distance themselves from the mega-rental-coalition-blue-donut of PAPI. Again INN covered this development with a piece by VanPatton about the rapid reset of the former valued allies.
Some PAPI leaders, however, were holding true to form and staying on message. This article by Gwailar covers in detail the “economical truths” of TAPI leadership. But, in the cold light of day, only the most fervent of PAPI supporters clung to the obvious lies of their leaders.
What Rough Bee-ast Comes Slouching?
Although there was a great deal to celebrate for the Imperium, they did not do so for long. Work was undertaken to restore former previous Imperium regions back to a state where they were working for their members. The lessons of the assault on Fountain, Delve, Querious and Period Basis would be taken to heart in this endeavour. The new homelands would be built with the expectation that PAPI would reform and invade again.
The spirit of the Imperium members were fueled with a desire for action. Mother Delve was reclaimed at a lightening pace. On August 22, 2021 PAPI lost all their sovereignty within Delve. Over a year’s worth of effort was undone in a matter of weeks. Simply remarkable.
Many members of Legacy, in particular, had invested heavily in developing regions their leaders had assured them that Legacy would own. With PAPI leadership lying to their members right up until they gave up on the war, line members had little time to prepare for the retreat and abandonment. For many, all their personal investments would be lost. However, PAPI leadership assets moved out of the region far quicker than the assets of their members.
The Mittani, leader of the Imperium, has made it very clear that Delve is to be rebuilt as a war machine. His intent is to “be the crisis” and sow chaos and disorder as he sees fit. Much of his ire, however, is still focused on renting and other activities he considers bad for the game. Unlike the members of PAPI, the Imperium will not support renting. No doubt exists that a well-organized coalition can used relatively little space and still support a vast amount of players.
A Revelation Is At Hand
Much was said by PAPI and their supporters for the duration of Beeitnam. They not only predicted the fall of the Imperium, but they cheered it on. They made claims about “toxic lying leadership” and “rotten” cores. But in defeat, PAPI leaders and their mouth pieces have switched to another technique: blame absolutely anything other than themselves.
The variety of PAPI excuses is a magnificent list of denial and deflection. They have blamed the servers, CCP nerfing highsec taxes, and of course Goons, for cheating in undefined ways.
PAPI leaders are now fiercely trying to create a fictional history in which they are victims of the Imperium. Vily, for instance, is claiming to be harassed. Others are quick to support this view, ignoring that Vily publicly stated he to see the end of the Imperium and wanted some members to stop playing this video game forever. Meanwhile, in any media outlet under PAPI control, any comment, opinion, or fact that goes against the PAPI “victim narrative” gets shut down in a hurry. Things have gotten so bad in PAPI media that they will ban people even suspected of being a “goon.”
Trying to recover some dignity, Vily went so far to make claims that Imperium was making “agreements” with others. Vily implied it was “blues,” but then walked that back. When he was pressed for evidence, he presented none. He has subsequently stepped down as Military Director for TAPI. I am sure a sigh of relief was heaved by all TAPI line members. Then, perhaps, they remembered that they were still led by Progodlegend. You see, TAPI military leadership was based on a comedy duo where the blame was shifted accordingly.
Vexed to Nightmare
PAPI had planned to have some weird council exert control over nullsec. They would dictate who could live where and what tribute would be extracted. Grand claims were made about who would own what. Reality had other plans. So, let us take a bit of a look at each of the main groups from the Beeitnam War, to see what their futures may hold.
Legacy coalition is dead. Its members have gone to the winds to pursue their own self interests as best they can. Most member alliances suffered very badly during the war. Brave and TAPI picked up the remnants of former “valued allies.” AoM has formed PIBC Coalition, along with other residents of the south. This is with a view of securing space from FIRE, as well as defending against Winter Coalition. Recent battles show they have their hands full. Overall, then, things are really bad for former Legacy members. Many are still in a state of flux, with no clear direction for the future. Also, issues of leadership remain unresolved for many.
PanFam faired quite well, despite the loss. But, things seem to have fractured a little. The cosy family of Pandemic Legion, Northern Coalition and Pandemic Horde seems a little less cosy. The power shift within PanFam has been all too evident during this war. How that dynamic will play out in the future could prove to be interesting. For now, PanFam remains cohesive. Their space is secure for the most part, although it is probably less than they were expecting to hold, had the Imperium sunk.
Winter Coalition are very well placed. Finding a number of reasons to keep themselves out of harm’s way, especially at M2, they avoided heavy losses. Fraternity, especially, have stated their desire to enact revenge on AoM. To this end they have already been active. But Winter Coalition has also suffered some losses at the hands of lowsec. Perhaps Winter Coalition would be wise to be cautious, as sometimes a snowball rolls in unexpected ways.
FIRE Coalition also managed to escape any significant loss during the war. As with Fraternity and AoM, they always had a pressing matter to attend to back home. Or, they offered excuses about time zones and content. FIRE find themselves in a very similar position to the newly formed PIBC Coalition. They have borders with each other and are trying to control space from each other. But FIRE needs to exercise some caution here. They have already been spotted working closely with TAPI and this will surely gain the attention of The Mittani.
The Imperium forges ahead with their plans. Mother Delve is all but healed; Rorqual saves and losses are again a feature. The Mittani has also made very public his desire to seek revenge on those who have wronged the Imperium so badly. But he has also made it clear that he doesn’t want anyone to stop playing the game. Quite the opposite: The Mittani seems more keen on making sure that the “war criminals” keep playing for as long as possible. That way they can be reminded of their part in the most spectacular failure in gaming history.
There has been a lot of noise from PAPI about resets. Much of that talk is hollow rhetoric, due to all the non-invasion pacts in place. How long those NIPs will last depends upon the self-interests of the respective parties. It is not like any of them have been known to break NIPs in the past, right? At some point, we could see some more in-fighting, as the epic love affair disintegrates further.
Probably the most interesting bit remains the newly-formed PIBC Coalition and Winter Coalition. Winter Coalition alone, at least on paper, should be able to defeat AoM easily. But with other entities in the south set on assisting AoM, and being quite good at killing capitals, Fraternity could have issues projecting power that far south. FIRE are also in the fray when it comes to the PIBC Coalition. FIRE are being assisted by TAPI and would likely also get support from PanFam as well, if things look ever worse for PIBC. But again, most of these contenders have no interest in supercap fights. Meanwhile, the Imperium gets to come in and shoot whoever they like, with no regrets or recriminations.
The Imperium is also encouraging other groups to rise up against the renting model that has been the bane of nullsec for so long. This clarion call could add yet another dimension to the nullsec meta. Plenty of candidates could act as a focal point for action. Even the rental groups themselves have the potential to seize space of their own. At least The Mittani will be able to say “he tried” to end the bane of renting.
It’s Just a Stony Sleep
If you were thinking that this is the final chapter of Beeitnam, then you are wrong. The Mittani has said Imperium will rebuild and then sallying forth for revenge. How, what, who, where and when were all left undefined. The Mittani is probably still waiting for things to settle further. Watching PAPI kill itself has a certain charm for many members of the Imperium. Why interrupt a jolly good show?
List of Honors
Every single member of the Imperium contributed to the impossible victory that they have secure. It was their dedication and effort that held firm. Their desire not to be “extinguished” made their flame and passion for war all the greater. Outnumbered, outgunned but not outfunned, the Imperium held steadfast.
PAPI will likely want to play this war down forever. They had every possible advantage and they still lost and then ran. They ran from the will of the Imperium. Every member of the Imperium should take great pride in this amazing feat. It is, without doubt, the greatest gaming victory of all time. But the best part is that this story is not yet over.
It is never too late to get involved. Every journey starts with a single step, as the cliche runs. You will find no better time to get involved if you, or your group, want to own some of nullsec. Just be warned that there will be some that would prefer to rent it instead.