Header art by Cryo Huren
Grasshopper: Is this war about extermination of the Goons?
Master Po: No. Some people believe that because Vily, one of the leaders of TEST, announced via an article in Polygon that “For us, this is a war of extermination. This is a war to the death. We are aiming for the removal of Mittani and The Imperium from Eve Online. […] We are here to purge them.” Other PAPI leaders have never used the “extermination” rhetoric, and instead talk about bringing Goons down to everyone else’s level – in other words, to damage them enough that they cannot dictate or dominate EVE nullsec. Indeed, Grasshopper, PAPI leaders do not chirp with one voice; we hear many different sounds at night from the PAPI side, which partially explains the complexity of understanding the war and the confusion regarding motivations.
Grasshopper: If no one believes the “extermination” talk, why have Goons repeatedly referenced it in articles and comments?
Master Po: Confucius says, ““The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” Goons enjoy pointing out when others do not heed this advice, even if they do not always abide by it themselves. Vily’s statement was ludicrous and unattainable and it made Vily look foolish. Goons thereby draw the conclusion that PAPI, or at least The Legacy, are led by people who don’t think things through.
Vily himself must have realized how ridiculous that claim was shortly after saying it. He began walking it back immediately, actually in the Polygon article itself: “Of course, Vily knows he won’t be able to remove The Mittani from the game unless Gianturco literally deletes his account. But Vily says he is committed to permanently damaging Gianturco and his faction — potentially enough to cause its members to splinter and break apart into smaller groups.” Other walk-backs have occurred as well, including Vily claiming that he was misquoted.
Grasshopper: So, extermination was never the real goal. The goal, on Legacy’s part at least, was to damage the Imperium very badly, and perhaps cause them to break into separate bits? Do I have that right, Master?
Master Po: No, Grasshopper. In another interview with IGN, Vily makes it clear that he didn’t initially want to go to war against the Imperium at all: “We offered to go with The Imperium against PanFam first,” Vily said. “They were only willing to half commit to it – if at all – and we decided to go the other way.” This quote clearly indicates that when Vily was making war plans, he initially wanted to side with the Imperium. So, any suggestion that The Legacy believed the Imperium was too big or was “bad for the game” doesn’t match the facts.
Grasshopper: Well, since extermination of the Goons wasn’t the goal, and since Vily first wanted to ally with the Imperium against PanFam, what WAS Legacy’s motivation for the war?
Master Po: We enter the shadow world here. We cannot always believe the words of others. But, let us listen to statements by Vily and Progodlegend (PGL), and see if we can gain some insight. In a November townhall, Vily stated, “ We are telling you [TEST members] now, over the course of the next one to five, six months, whatever, we will be moving out of Esoteria and into Delve and Period Basis. . . . As a reality, I guess you could say, we cannot live in two places at once to the degree that we have traditionally done.” 3:31
A few seconds after this statement, at the 3:50 mark, PGL confirms the news that the move away from Esoteria was always the plan: “The plan was always we were going to move into Delve and Period Basis at some point. It is better space. It is very much better space. One of the things we’ve talked about on the FC team is that if Goons actually knew what they were doing, it’s very likely we would have lost this war trying to assault it. Trying to break into Delve and Querious.”
Grasshopper: I think I’ve got it now. So, the war wasn’t about extermination and it wasn’t about the Imperium being “bad for the game.” The real reason for the war was that The Legacy wanted Delve and Period Basis, right?
Master Po: No. But I admire your courage in trying, Grasshopper, more than your memory. You have forgotten already that Vily, prior to that last statement, admitted to IGN that he approached the Imperium first, seeking war with PanFam. So, The Legacy could not have wanted Delve and Period Basis at that time, when they planned to ally with the Imperium against PanFam.
Grasshopper: I can see why people get confused. Every time I seem to get my head wrapped around this, the real reason for the war slips away.
Master Po: Let me see if I can help you. Regardless of whether or not The Legacy went to war with PanFam or with the Imperium, what do they get out of either conflict? Keep in mind TEST’s townhall statements from November.
Grasshopper: Uh, different space. They wanted different space! They thought Esoteria was poor space, so if they attacked PanFam they could take over PanFam space and if they attacked the Imperium they could take over Delve and Period Basis.
Master Po: Very good, Grasshopper. Now tell me, what have other PAPI members, like Fraternity gained from this war?
Grasshopper: More space.
Master Po: You have said.
Grasshopper: Fraternity attacked Tribute and Venal so that they could have even more space. I think I’m getting this. In fact, didn’t The Legacy once want all the entire southern half of the map?
Master Po: Your memory is improving. Here’s the quote, which comes from the December, 2020 Legacy SOTC given by PGL: “Legacy will be taking Fountain, Delve, Querious, and Period Basis while maintaining all of the space that we currently hold. So we will be getting an additional four full regions. Every single Legacy alliance will be getting space in Delve, Querious, Period Basis, and Fountain. We will be divying it up as a coalition.”
It is irrelevant, Grasshopper, that they have subsequently changed their minds about that goal, understanding as they have that their dreams were unrealistic. Remember, the Polygon article. The Legacy has a history of saying something which they then must abandon. Confucius says, ““The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.”
Grasshopper: Master, why would they want so much space?
Master Po: You are learning to ask better questions, Grasshopper. Why do these PAPI members keep wanting more space?
Grasshopper: For RENT!
Master Po: And why do they need to rent?
Grasshopper: They need ISK.
Master Po: And why do they need ISK? Remember, your answer cannot be that they need ISK to cover the war costs. There was no war at the time that they wanted more space, so the additional ISK was not required to replace ships and structures, which had not yet been lost. They should not have needed more ISK, Grasshopper, unless . . .
Grasshopper: Yes, unless what, Master?
Master Po: We have now gotten to the heart of it, Grasshopper. We are at that which cannot be named.
Grasshopper: But it has to do with renting and needing ISK and what that ISK goes for, right, Master?
Master Po: Confucius says, “Study the past if you would define the future.” I cannot do all the work for you, Grasshopper. Study. Research. Look to the past for indications of motivations and to make predictions about the future. You will uncover that which cannot be named, if only you are willing to make some inferences. Look to the past, Grasshopper.