Header art by Cryo Huren
While the leadership of the former mega-coalition called PandaFam Alliance Please Ignore (shortened to PAPI, standing for PanFam+WinterCo+Legacy+Assorted Others) had the intention of destroying the Imperium forever, quite a few members of PAPI had a different goal. The goal was to save the game from the state it has slowly sunk into over the years, as more and more nullsec players coalesce into coalitions and blocs. The idea, then, was to break up the large blocs and return nullsec to alliance versus alliance (or perhaps even corp vs corp) conflicts. Many believe the way to achieve this redistribution goal involves war – hence, Beeitnam. Remember, one goal: to destroy the Imperium. The second goal: to break up the large blocs.
Sometimes the hammer breaks the rock . . .
This idea is akin to taking a hammer to a rock and breaking it into pieces. Considering humans are not rocks (though some demonstrate considerable rock-like tendencies), this idea tends to backfire, as exemplified in the case of Dead Coalition. That group, after a long campaign against PandaFam (PanFam+WinterCo), literally became a dead coalition. After Dead Coalition dissolved, its members, instead of breaking into smaller units and remaining small corps or roaming pirates, simply joined other large blocs – mainly the Imperium and Legacy. Therefore, the death of Dead actually exacerbated the issue of mega-blocs growing larger.
World War Bee – Beeitnam, or whatever you want to call it – was different.
And sometimes the rock breaks the hammer.
In this war, the rock broke the hammer instead. Unlike the death of Dead Coalition, the remnants of the PAPI dispersed into smaller blocs. Brave, a major playing in the last war, claims to be leaving coalition warfare for good. TEST claims it is no longer connected to PanFam or WinterCo. Only time will tell whether these claims will hold up.
The rest of Legacy has either disbanded or joined other small coalitions and alliances. For those seeking a more diverse map of nullsec, this diminishment is a good thing. Hence, my claim in the title of this article: In this light, through this lens, PAPI won the war. They break a mega-coalition, and some very large blocs like Legacy, into smaller groups. They reduced the wealth of large coalitions and they actually stopped a massive mega-coalition from dominating Nullsec. By destroying themselves on the walls of Fortress Delve, PAPI succeeded spectacularly in those goals.
Though I do not often talk in local, I do watch it and read Reddit frequently. Before the war, while living near or in enemy territory, I often ran into people who were fearful that the Imperium was going to dominate all of nullsec. I never understood this mindset or knew where it came from. There was plenty of space in nullsec and he Imperium had even cleared space for others to move into, such as Tribute. More often than not, these vocal people in local appeared to view themselves as freedom fighters. In their minds, they were fighting against the will of The Mittani and his horde of mindless thralls, myself included apparently.
The rhetoric became quite dreary and defeatist with many clamouring for a giant reset of the game or an EVE 2. Many claimed that too much wealth had been pumped into the economy and that too many capitals had been built. The largest coalitions were getting richer and larger. Many claimed the Imperium had “won” EVE and it was time to start the game over. It is this mindset that successfully achieved its hopes in this war, albeit not in the way many had intended. I argue that it was PAPI, not the Imperium, that became the nightmare in EVE Online.
A Nightmare Made Palpable
The reasons for wanting the destruction of the Imperium were many. Reasons ranged from reducing the Imperium’s power to destroying the Imperium out of vengeance. Many sought to end the Imperium so that the other coalition would stop having to protect themselves against the Imperium. With all of this blather, a nightmare was born.
PAPI began as the largest mega-coalition in the history of EVE Online. With reported numbers ranging from 120,000 to 150,000 capsuleers (activity metrics may vary), it was several times the size of the Imperium. The blob to end all blobs. With a massive numbers advantage, its member alliances pushed to control all of nullsec.
At its height, around April-May 2021, the PAPI coalition controlled almost all of the nullsec map. Shortly afterwards, Legacy lost the majority of its home regions, thanks to the heroic work of The Initiative and allies. Despite PAPI’s desire to hold Legacy’s home regions and the Imperium’s home regions, it could not control both. But don’t lose sight of the fact that they wanted to control both. Contrast this grasping mentality to the Imperium goals: they simply want to own their home space and even after the war is over, they aren’t grasping to conquer former PAPI regions.
While the Imperium seeks active members and space to live in, PAPI was a coalition of landlords who rented out their vast amounts of space to others. Eventually the Imperium reached the limits of its needs in its home regions of Delve, Period Basis, Querious, and Fountain. Instead of further expanding its borders, the Imperium opted to burn enemy space and leave it empty. Examples of this are the Fade and Tribute campaigns. However, for PAPI, expansion is desirable as long as there are renters. It’s still taking place, among some former PAPI members. Look at the Venal area and understand what is happening there.
A large number of players underestimate the terror that would have been the Warden system, a council of the gatekeepers of nullsec. Certainly far too many cheered the idea. The warden system was discussed at length in an article written by INN’s Gray Doc, “The Serenity Certainty.” Much akin to bouncers at a club, these wardens would band together to remove anyone from nullsec they felt were not worthy of being there, especially should they pose a threat greater than any of the wardens could handle alone. Essentially this plan would have been a nullsec-wide mutual defense pact. It represented a nightmare scenario where a handful of allies or “bluetrals” (people who appear neutral to each other but otherwise act as allies) would determine the status quo of nullsec instead of sworn enemies working hard to keep each other in check. Enemies, who destroy each other’s assets, used to be the formula for containment, not blue-ing the entire map.
Destruction On a Grand Scale
One of the things that has worried people in the last few years is capital proliferation and out-of-control wealth generation. CCP has taken this worry to heart with the Scarcity Era. Scarcity, coupled with Beeitnam, saw a large reduction of wealth of some of the largest alliances in this war, notably Goonswarm Federation (GSF), Pandemic Horde (PH), and Test Alliance Please Ignore (TAPI). All of these alliances paid a hefty price to wage this war, with TAPI arguably taking the worst of it by losing a large portion of its titan fleet and almost all of its structures.
Titan caches on all sides were also depleted, as several hundred titans were destroyed in M2-XFE. As reported by INN’s Ban Syrin, the war cost the belligerents in excess of 154 trillion ISK. GSF, PH, and TAPI all took large titan losses. With the severe difficulty of replacing capitals in the Scarcity Era, it seems the worries of capital proliferation might become a thing of the past.
Now, at the end
Many in PAPI set out with the goal to create a healthier nullsec. However by the end of the war, with a desire to dominate all of Nullsec, PAPI became the monster many feared the Imperium to be. By expending a great deal of resources in its attempt to dominate all of nullsec and, then by disintegrating into smaller groups than before the war, PAPI succeeded in the goal of shaping a more healthy nullsec; albeit, it was not the way they had intended.