TEST’s ‘Reasonable’ Victory


There has been some talk, some mocking and some boasting, about TEST leader Progodlegend’s (PGL) announcement that they will be moving into Delve when the war is over. But what should we make of this announcement, as either a member of the Imperium or PAPI?

Firstly, we mustn’t focus on the content of the announcement so much as the reasons behind it. That should be a general rule when analyzing the rhetoric of EVE’s politicians (or other ones for that matter). At first glance, it looks as though TEST, if they succeed, has pulled one over on the rest of the gaming community. At WWBII’s end, no one will be better off than TEST. The Imperium will be in ruins, Horde will have expended their capacities and energy in service of TEST, and TEST will have doubled the size of their empire. Should such a scenario come to pass, it would appear correct that Goons were victims, Horde were dupes, and TEST were conniving empire builders–even backstabbers. At least this is the spin coming from Imperium members and illustrated by many INN articles and reddit posts.

But as I said, we should not focus on the content of PGL’s narrative and vision so much as its political purpose. If we do this, TEST’s victory, should everything “go their way,” doesn’t look quite so absolute.

Extermination is Just War Talk

TEST has declared, much to the chagrin of every Goonswarm member, a war of annihilation. Goons must be wiped out of the game entirely for the good of the game. And in a rather interesting rhetorical counter, Goons have declared that, since annihilation is the condition of victory, when they merely sign back into the game – after the dust has settled – they will win the war because they weren’t exterminated. In other words, PAPI can’t win, under their own stated terms, so long as Goons keep playing. Quite likely TEST leadership has been listening, hence the announcement to move into Delve.

It’s true. Goons will never stop playing. True extermination was never achievable, nor was it ever really desired by PAPI, in my opinion. As a Horde member myself, I never wanted Goons to quit the game. I wanted to kick their ass, and then hope they might come back one day to try to kick mine. Space guns aren’t any fun if there isn’t anyone to shoot. “Extermination” is just war talk.

Reasonable Victories

But war talk has consequences, and because TEST can never eliminate Goons, the best thing they can do is to eliminate their name from the sov map, erasing some essence of their legacy. Goons might survive as nomads somewhere after WWBII, temporarily in low/high-sec to later rise again, while the map without Goon sov might well look like the Imperium, as a political entity, was indeed eliminated. “No they didn’t all quit. But look at the map! Where are they? Nowhere! We wiped them out.”

Further, I doubt that TEST would ever be able to hold the amount of space they are claiming; I also doubt that TEST leadership believes they could hold that much space either. But political rhetoric serves other purposes than the words it carries. TEST needs something to show for this war, some tangible evidence of victory. Both having more (claimed) territory, coupled with the elimination of Imperium yellow space in the bottom left of the sov map, would look pretty solid. It would be something for TEST leadership to point to, and would encourage TEST citizens that they gained from their war efforts. It could be something to reference when Goons scream “We’re still here!” “I don’t see you (on the map)” will be the reply.

Whether PAPI can actually eliminate Goon’s presence on the sov map is yet to be seen. If they do, it’s doubtful that TEST will be able to hold all the space its claiming. I think they know it too. Nevertheless, TEST claiming all that space in the meantime is the politically right thing to do. It would be a reasonable and measurable victory short term. There are many ways to convince your own that you’ve won the war and removing the Imperium’s name off the sov map for really any portion of time would be an adequate one. And while I don’t think it likely TEST could hold much of the space they are now claiming, there’s no guarantee lost space would be would be (re)taken by the remnant of the Imperium. TEST could fail to hold what they claim while succeeding in erasing the Imperium’ possession of sov space. Perhaps even for a fair amount of time.

I predict that at the end of all this, both sides are going to come out saying they’ve won. Goon’s will be saying “We’re still here!” and PAPI will be saying “For the first time in a long time people looking at the sov map can’t find your name.” Not something to balk at when talking about the Imperium — a foe whose power and legacy is worthy of respect. At least, that’s what I predict if the Imperium doesn’t stop that from happening.

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  • kwnyupstate .

    TEST is much weaker than the Imperium and would be even if all Imperium assets went into asset safety in lowsec. There is no way TEST can ever hold Delve against Imperium. Even in this war looking at what TEST contributes it is far less than the Imperium forces.

    December 29, 2020 at 7:36 AM
    • Moomin Amatin kwnyupstate .

      There are a lot of members to The Legacy. A lot more than people realise. The weakness comes from the “hell dunk or blue balls” mentality within TAPI. They have the numbers where crushing us should be a simple matter.

      December 29, 2020 at 9:38 AM
      • William Doe Moomin Amatin

        Numbers don’t mean much if they can’t get people to commit to it. It’s why it’s always fun to bring up the ~150k potential players number of the blue donut week in and week out. But it really amounts to little these days when you add in their hell dunk or blue balls mentality. If they stick with that mentality, at this rate the war will be over in a few weeks as it dies with a whimper.

        December 29, 2020 at 9:50 AM
  • Moomin Amatin

    Some very good points and some less good ones. What you say about TAPI being the winners as they double their holdings with the effort of PanFam is very true. This is a point that I think many still fail to realise. Just as they fail to realise that the only reason this war is against The Imperium is because The Imperium said “no” to TAPI when asked to attack PanFam.

    As for the language used for war. That is incredibly important and you need to be very careful in how you set your victory conditions. “Extermination” was used as that is what this war should have been. The numbers do not lie and we all know how war works in eve. This should have been an extermination but it isn’t. Now why is that?

    December 29, 2020 at 9:36 AM
  • William Doe

    The fact TAPI who are more or less the instigators of this war and seemingly contributing the least of the 3 big blocs is more telling than anything else. Legacy and by and large TAPI has a target on their back and not just from the Imperium wanting payback when this war is done. We know FRT is ready and waiting to do some damage to Legacy at the bare minimum.

    The outlook for TAPI as general really isn’t that great. They’re struggling to get people to make the big push into Delve to really make the war mean something to finally evict Goons out of null as they desperately want but have yet to do so. They’re getting harassed in Catch, Esoteria and more often than not they’re showing their defenses aren’t up to snuff for harassment tactics despite them not putting in the manpower and dedication that PanFam has been consistently doing since this so called “war” started.

    “Reasonable victory” is just another way of saying goalpost shifting multiple times over because their lackluster efforts alone hasn’t done a good enough job to achieve any long-lasting meaningful victory thus far. Even if they somehow miraculously do evict all of the Imperium out of Null into low or high sec, their gains won’t last long. With no Imperium in the way, former allies in PandaFam will happily start tearing up Legacy’s gains of this war for themselves.

    Let’s call this war for what it is. The failed attempt to destabilize and destroy the Imperium, but instead just spend time damaging the Imperium’s economy and SOV instead. At least Horde gets what they want in bashing goons – so at least we get one real winner out of all of this.

    December 29, 2020 at 9:45 AM
  • Rammel Kas

    I think the only likely BEST case scenario is what Sister Bliss stated. We will farm the ever living SHIT out of them if they stay close to Delve.

    December 29, 2020 at 11:44 AM
    • kwnyupstate . Rammel Kas

      TEST moving next door to an undefeated and much more powerful Imperium is the worst move TEST could have made. I will be waiting to see how they spin needing to move away from Delve soon.

      December 29, 2020 at 5:09 PM
  • Simon Chui

    I have a completely different read on what TEST planned at the start. I think they really meant to exterminate the Goons, not to make all the bees quit the game, but to make them quit the Imperium and defect to Legacy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t Vily and PGL both ex-goons who left because they disagreed with the direction of the Imperium? They think the Imperium treated them poorly, and they assume the Imperium treats all their members poorly, that no one in the Imperium is actually loyal. Look at all their predictions of the Imperium collapsing under pressure, the propaganda about the Imperium abandoning Initiative. They think they are better leaders than TheMittani, that they can dethrone the emperor, take his place, and all his subjects will jump ship. That’s why they think they’ll have the numbers to hold all the space they expect to own. Honestly, although that sounds ridiculous in hindsight, it’s not actually crazy. How many coalitions have fail cascaded in Eve history, and have key groups jump ship? The Imperium holding together for this long is the actual crazy part.

    There is a second way they can live in Delve when the war is over, by the way. They can surrender, join the Imperium. If you can’t beat them, join them.

    December 29, 2020 at 12:34 PM
    • Moomin Amatin Simon Chui

      Piggles was never goons – but Vily was for about 5 years. Vily of “hell dunik or blue balls” fame I hasten to add. After that you need to be careful about what you listen to from Vily and Piggles as it seems to be an ever shifting story. I think you are right though that they initially desired to see goons disbanded and folding into their own ranks somehow. This whole thing is a war of fantasy. I cannot wait to see how history writes this one up.

      December 29, 2020 at 6:08 PM
      • Simon Chui Moomin Amatin

        Right, and clearly Vily still thinks hell dunks or blue balls is the superior strategy, because he’s still doing it. If that really was the better strategy, and if TheMittani really was as toxic as their propaganda claimed, then a lot of people would defect, for sure. I think a lot of Legacy members really do buy that story, shifting and detached from facts as it is. If they didn’t believe it, how can anyone tolerate their own leadership lying to them over and over again? On some level, they must accept it as true. A mass grr goons delusion.

        December 29, 2020 at 9:33 PM
        • kwnyupstate . Simon Chui

          Bad guys call Mittani toxic but he really is charismatic and a good leader. I’ve seen plenty of toxic people on games and Mittani isn’t one of them.

          December 30, 2020 at 4:27 AM
          • Let me add my 2c. I know what bad alliance leaders are. Take the old BRUCE alliance. When pressured in Fountain, Fredrick (sp) had his holding corp load up their assets and left Fountain in the dark of night…never to be heard from again. Or how about Vuk Lau, leader of Morsus Mihi, who to save some big assets, sold the alliance out. Mittani has proven time over time that he is sticking by goons and exhibits all the right things a leader should have.

            December 30, 2020 at 3:09 PM
          • Garreth Vlox kwnyupstate .

            That’s really just an excuse, like all the rest of test’s motivations. You’ll notice when it came out a TEST higher up had made a pretty unfunny Nazi joke with the names he chose for his character and clan in another game literally none of them cared how toxic that was.

            December 30, 2020 at 5:56 PM
  • Guilford Australis

    You… seriously believe Goons will be wiped off the sov map and be forced to live as nomads in lowsec or highsec after the war? Bear with me for a moment while I attempt to stop chortling.

    Goons aren’t going anywhere.

    PAPI has done absolutely nothing to force us decisively to leave Delve, so why would we do that voluntarily? The whole war was planned on the assumption that Goons would just pack up and leave when we faced the reality of 3:1 odds against us, but we declined to do that and now it has become painfully obvious that PAPI lacks the resolve to do anything about that.

    The sov map in Delve looks virtually identical now to what it was three months ago. Gobbins stated a month ago that Horde would siege 1DQ and then moonwalk back north. So what precisely is the grand plan to eliminate Goon sovereignty and force us into reclusive wandering?

    December 29, 2020 at 2:20 PM
  • Lord Ixlandis

    A little repetitive for my tastes, but a well written article. It’s nice to hear the, well, one of the other sides of the story.

    December 30, 2020 at 2:48 PM
  • Benito

    I can only say this to test -> Don’t sell the skin till you have caught the bear

    January 2, 2021 at 9:35 AM