Header art by Major Sniper
The PAPI Dream
Far too often during World War Bee, I have seen a common misconception among some PAPI members : a recurring dream that, if you outnumber the Imperium by enough – as this particular PAPI FC seeks – they will crumble. Quite a few people in PAPI dream that they are saving the game, by uniting to remove the Imperium from the game. The story goes that if PAPI can cause a failure cascade in the Imperium, all the other coalitions will also disband because they will no longer be afraid of the Imperium. This mass disbanding will supposedly save nullsec from large bloc warfare.
If PAPI’s goal in World War Bee has been to break up the Imperium, PAPI has failed in that regard. With the O-EIMK constellation appearing unassailable by PAPI, all the diplomacy or rhetoric in the galaxy is apparently not enough to break up the Imperium. This has caused many to think the Imperium is invincible. However, history tells us another story, one which PAPI should have paid attention to before they began this war.
The Abundance Age
Before the war, the situation in nullsec was fairly stale. The Imperium was not interested in a serious invasion in Drone Regions. The Imperium instead opted for harassment deployments with Liberty Squad and the Goonswarm Expeditionary Force. Legacy’s attempt at invading the Drone Regions saw a mass number of Legacy dreadnoughts vaporized by PanFam’s super fleet. With Eve bursting at the seams with the abundance of wealth and materials, large-scale coalition war was incredibly rare, simply because it was far more beneficial to stay home and make more money than it was to deploy. But before we get into the effects the Abundance Era had on the Imperium, let’s look at how many coalitions form.
How N+1 Happens
When a solo pilot encounters several people and loses, in many cases they realize that if he had some more friends they would have won. This idea scales from duo roaming, to gangs, to pick-up fleets, corporations, alliances, coalitions, and mega-coalitions such as PAPI. One of the advantages of banding together is obvious: increased safety.
Super-Capital Umbrella Safety
In order to avoid the fate of the Casino War from ever happening again, and to get revenge, the Imperium began building capitals and super-capitals at every opportunity. With soaring wealth, the alliance of a thousand stings quickly became the alliance of a thousand titans. In Delve, the Imperium opted for safety and solved most PvP problems with numbers and opulence, dumping billions of assets onto all threats, even small gangs, to discourage roaming in Delve.
While many are quick to point out that the Abundance Age was a serious boon to the Imperium, it was also the Imperium’s bane. With the major nullsec coalitions hiding under super-umbrellas, life for the average line-member was incredibly safe. So, if your goal was to krab, produce, or transport, life was pretty great. However, if your goal was to PvP, life was very boring. This reality hit the Imperium particularly hard during the Abundance Era. Deployments were very rare, and rarely involved the big toys (capitals and super-capitals). As a result, many players decided to go their own way.
The Consequences of Safety
We see high profile examples of the negative effects of safety. The Space Violence FC Kendarr left and formed Trigger Happy. Cainun, Thomas Lear, and Zed Starshine, FCs of Liberty Squad, also left to form Freight Train Diplomacy. Another example is the famous Pittsburgh2989, who, after being kicked from the Imperium, joined Kendarr in Trigger Happy. Even the famous Initiative FC Pandoralica was pushing to leave the Imperium to escape bloc warfare.
Despite becoming very rich and powerful, the Imperium was experiencing a very high turnover rate of FCs. These FCs sought a more exciting life outside super-capital umbrellas and coalitions, places where they could call the shots.
The Price of Threat
Although the Imperium gained a great deal of wealth and assets during the Abundance Era, it came at great cost. Before World War Bee, with many tired of safety and krabbing, it appeared that the Imperium was coming apart at the seams. PAPI came along and changed that. By turning “summer children,” as The Mittani calls them, into hardened war veterans, PAPI has removed any illusions of safety and forced a once-decadent Imperium to rise to the occasion. As more groups join the Imperium, such as Siberian Squads, and as Imperium members fight side by side as underdogs in this incredible war and strengthen their bonds, the Imperium continues to fight together as united allies. By not letting the Imperium break apart from decadence and safety, PAPI has not only failed in its goal of breaking up the Imperium, but instead has achieved the opposite.