Header art by Major Sniper
Sit back. Relax. This is going to be quite the ride.
Once upon a time there was an elite group of players within New Eden. This group came to be known collectively as BoB. Now BoB was a sterling example of an ideology being imposed on nullsec. BoB was meant to be an empire of fiefdoms, much like the Holy Roman Empire. This vast empire would be managed by an elite few who would decide who lived and died. Any group that would even dare to challenge this new world (or New Eden) order would be crushed mercilessly. And so it came to pass. This was the path that nullsec followed; a path where only the “chosen” would benefit.
In their quest to impose their will on New Eden, BoB encountered a plucky group of newbees who said “NO!” This group of newbees would ultimately grow up to become the Imperium. Unlike BoB, the Imperium had a very different ideology at play, “Our people deserve the best.” People-centered, not leadership-centered. An entirely different ideology, you see, which did not come overnight for the Imperium. Mistakes aplenty were made on this new path. But since The Casino War, the Imperium have been an example to all in nullsec. Collectively, the Imperium created the finest jewel in all of Eve, Delve.
Now we see these two ideologies in open conflict again.
But before we get into the meat of it, there is a little bit more history to be covered here. As we all know, the evil BoB was defeated by the heroic and amazing newbees during what would be known as “The Great War.” This by no means meant that BoB were down and out or erased. Quite the contrary; they were still very much in the game. BoB did, however, learn the value of distributing its operations. No longer would a single front be presented in the same way as in the past. The new BoB empire would consist of core PvP alliances that held no or little territory. The rental schemes would be hidden in plain sight, with imaginative names such as “Holy Rental Empire” or “Rate My Ticks.” BoB would even go so far as to enable other coalitions to be the face of the rental empires, as with Legion of XDeath, which later still became FI:RE, after being crossed by BoB leadership.
Thus began the back and forth power struggle of over more than a decade. At times deals were struck for Non-invasion Pacts (NIPs) and even Non-aggression Pacts (NAPs). However, plots and schemes were still being conducted to further the goals of the respective ideologies in conflict. Remember that beyond the coalition names (which occasionally change), we have ideologies (which remain consistent) in conflict.
The marked difference between the two was always plain to see. In fact it would be fair to say that The Imperium reveled in being the big bad guy. They provided a steady stream of action, of all types, for its members. “Our people deserve the best.”
The Haves vs The Have Nots
So how do these competing ideologies fair when compared to each other? More to the point, by what metric should you even try? This is, of course, very subjective. But one indicator is where the wealth is displayed. For the Imperium, it is all too evident to see. There is nothing like 1DQ in all of New Eden. Supers are rife throughout the Imperium as well. Members were encouraged, for years, to buy a Rorqual, train a FAX alt, train a dread alt and of course the supers. The evidence of this activity was shown month after month on the Monthly Economic Report generated by CCP. There was little doubt about where the ISK being generated by the Imperium was going: it went to their members who became rich in ISK and in assets. This has been underlined time and again during World War Bee, with contributions and War Bonds filling The Imperium coffers.
The Imperium has also been an advocate of getting new alliances into nullsec. The Querious Fight Club, for example, was open to any, rent free.
On the other hand, BoB had a vast rental empire. Of course when you confront them with the idea, they deny it vehemently. But if you were to approach them and ask for a rental deal, then a plethora of opportunities present themselves. And if BoB does not have a solution for your renting needs, then they will know another party that can meet them. This even extends to wormholes, which are managed fiercely by the elite few. If you look at the rates for renting, they can be quite the sum – trillions per month. Now multiply that by the number of systems being rented out and then multiply THAT by the number of months in a decade. Where is the ISK, BoB?
The Future Meta of New Eden?
For some people EVE is all about the pew pew and the instant gratification it can bring. But this comes in varying levels. From undock and shoot to stalking prey for hour, days, even years. This is exactly the same for wars. Some are just fighting whatever the current war is and not thinking of anything else. Others, however, are not just thinking of the war being fought – they are thinking of the war after that and beyond.
In the spirit of this thought I present to you this idea of the future of nullsec. Let us consider who are the real winners and losers of the current World War Bee.
Losers include the Imperium (to a degree) and most definitely The Legacy. Although The Imperium lose a great deal of wealth, they do make massive gains in other respects. They are fighting the blue donut in open warfare while being vastly out numbered. That is priceless. Who watches an underdog sports movie and cheers for the team expected to win? The situation for The Legacy is far more complicated. Even if World War Bee were to stop tomorrow, The Legacy have committed themselves to a path that has diminished them greatly. With The Legacy weakened to a degree, and they now must focus their strength on Delve, the east of New Eden is left free to be developed.
There has been much talk of Fraternity being the winners of this war. To this I would suggest that some need to pay more attention to what Noraus has said in the past. Noraus is the leader of Fraternity but he did not start out there. Noraus started out in Nulli Secunda, who we all remember was run by Progodlegend. Later Noraus moved to NC where he became steadfast friends with Vince Draken. This is a history and relationship that should gain attention more than it does. Fraternity have gained a lot from this war, which is a fact that cannot be denied. But will Fraternity just be another front for BoB-like renting activities?
The predicament FI:RE has found themselves in has also been a tad awkward. They have seemingly patched things up with BoB a bit, but only after they were put in their place via the Triumvirate proxy. With the destabilisation of The Legacy in the east, and the recent activity of AoM, FI:RE will have plenty of chances to expand their renting operations again.
The real winners in all of this are PanFam. They will be free from interference for some time to come. Flanked on either side by “loyal allies” who know only too well keep their place.
Where is the proof?
Now of course there will be many claiming that this is a work of fantasy on my part. So what can I offer as proof for such a bold claim? Well, let us revisit some of the very public declarations that have been made.
We already know that The Legacy approached the Imperium in order to attack PanFam. The reason for this was simply that Vily considered it the best space in the game. However, the Imperium said “no.” The Legacy then approached Panfam and asked them to dislodge the Imperium from Delve. PanFam accepted this offer.
It is also well documented that Progodlegend (military leader of TAPI) was drumming up support for a “war of extermination” against those who he considered responsible for the death of his own failed alliance Nulli Secunda. Do note that Progodlegend was doing this while the NIP between Imperium and The Legacy was still in place. If this is not an act of breaking an agreement and back-stabbing “valued allies” then I do not know what is. But do remember here that Progodlegend also has a long history with BoB. Although Progodlegend blames The Imperium for the collapse of Nulli Secunda, to say that BoB did not have a hand in the downfall would be incorrect.
Noraus, the leader of Winter Coalition, has stated publicly that PAPI will exist a lot longer than people think. Again we should not forget the history of either Noraus or Fraternity here. It is again linked closely to the intent of BoB’s own ideology.
FI:RE has again been less public in their opinions. But actions are a better indicator of intent. FI:RE were formed with a view to unifying eastern European players. This dream has failed and the core of FI:RE has returned to the east to fulfill the role they have performed for years: Landlords.
Now in all of this you have to wonder: is this a fortuitous path that BoB found themselves on? The greed of The Legacy allowed for a situation for BoB to not only reclaim what they had lost but to also extinguish those who had put them to shame so many times before. BoB now had coalitions on either side that would actually guard their interests. Wormhole space also secured. Renting opportunities aplenty with a subjugated and, hopefully, “exterminated” Imperium.
Now I fully expect that the ideas presented here will be derided. Many will jump forth to say “what about this or that?” But what I think has been demonstrated very well over the years is that renting is not healthy for the majority of nullsec. Only a select few seem to benefit from the activity. As a result, the rest of New Eden suffers. There is no doubt that at this time the renting ideology is the one “winning” in nullsec.
But as my last piece of evidence I offer you this map. This is not how the future is planned to be; it is the present.
BoB is back.