As the PAPI Coalition tightens its grip on 1DQ, and as they make war plans to capture the last remaining Goon stronghold, we ask whether they are saving the game, or destroying it. Saturday, April 24 saw Pandemic Horde leader Gobbins address his troops in a Town Hall address. The normally quiet but steady figurehead opened his speech with “If you are expecting a massive fight then I think you will be disappointed.” At that point we could almost hear the groans of everyone who plays the game. PAPI’s slow and steady grind may yet see them emerge victorious, but their intent to assault the Imperium’s capital without a headline grabbing fight will do enormous damage to the whole EVE Online brand.
Some Build Titans to Use Them
The whole galaxy is holding its collective breath, waiting for PAPI to attack 1DQ, but if you keep people holding their breath for too long, eventually they suffocate and die. The aptly named “Anaconda” has wrapped itself tightly around Delve. It has successfully destroyed all but one Keepstar outside the 1DQ1-A constellation. However, in doing so it has denied us all the opportunity to fight in another battle similar to M2-XFE. Innominate, on The Meta Show, summarized the difference in approach between Goons and their adversaries: “the reason why Goons buy supercapitals is so they can die gloriously in combat, whilst most of the rest of the game buys super capitals to give them social standing in their group.” This difference in culture is evidenced in what we are seeing in World War Bee.
Some Build Titans to Say They Have Titans
We, as actors in this fight, must be under no illusion for what the blue donut coalition represents. This is a structure formed from almost all non-Imperium alliances in the game, designed for one goal: to eliminate the group that doesn’t think like them. PAPI isn’t interested in good fights; rather, they are only interested in grinding out the win. Vily famously said they are here to “save the game,” but whether by design or poor strategy, they now sit on the cliff edge of destroying EVE Online.
If we were to use a sporting analogy, PAPI are the spaceship version of playing 10 defenders in football (which Americans call “soccer”) or, in cricket batting out for a draw. For you Americans out there, I’ll compare this PAPI strategy to winning the World Series by having your best home-run hitter bunt a man in from 3rd on a suicide squeeze instead of having him swing for the fences to win with a walk-off homer. Or in basketball, getting a large lead and then making sure you run out the 24 second clock every single possession. No excitement, no cheers, no drama. But a win.
PAPI is the team that gets booed by their own fans after a two-pointer at home for the draw when they passed up a wide open 3-pointer for the win. EVE Online makes the headlines when the big fights happen. These huge fights are why non-players know about the game and are the reason it attracts new players in its 17th year. No one ever clicked on a link with the following headline: “Small Group Shot an Unarmed Structure!” The BBC will not cover the onlining of an Azbel or a cheesy starvation—however, if we are the game that destroys $1,000,000 in a night, heads will turn.
Want to Fight or Post?
This is a fight for the very soul of EVE Online. It isn’t Imperium vs PAPI. This is a fight between players who want to have fun versus those who are more interested in reddit posting. If you are a PAPI line member who was hoping for a rousing speech or a “tonight is the night, of nights” moment, I feel your disappointment. If you are a line member, I would have wanted the pre-battle rush, standing at the gate, waiting to jump into occupied territory. Well, forget it.
Ask yourself, when you are having a beer at the next EVE convention, are you going to tell stories about the time you killed a Sotiyo uncontested? Or will you talk about the time you stormed the gates of the most heavily defended fortress in gaming history and lost your Nyx, then reshipped and went back in again? This is your choice. Do you want to go to Home Depot again, or do you want to go skydiving?
Everyone who is interested in gaming is looking forward to the 1DQ Battle. Think of the possibilities. Could it be the last stand of the Imperium, the moment where they hold back the tide outnumbered, outgunned but somehow prevail against the assault on the citadel? Or, maybe it’s PAPI’s heroic charge, the story where they fly into the mouth of the dragon and slay it against thousands of Goon pilots. Or equally likely, the story of when the servers melted like the polar icecaps. The point is, it doesn’t look like we’ll ever get to know and we will never get to experience such a battle if the Suffocation Coalition gets their way.