The Big Lie


Art by Cryo Huren

Nullsec politics in EVE is fascinating. The characters, the geopolitical moves—the sheer manpower required to run some alliances is equivalent to that in real life corporations. It is the driver behind some of the most compelling reasons to play. At least, it is for me and many like me.

Currently, we have the biggest war in EVE history still ongoing. It has without a doubt been a lengthy one. The war has seen many ups and downs, many great victories, and mistakes. However, there has been one truth in this war, as with most wars in EVE. The only way the Imperium dies is if the Imperium kills itself. And to be frank here: that’s very unlikely.

Different Goals

The goal of this war at its start was somewhat elusive. Some people were saying “content” others were “to downsize goons” but this has become clearer as the way progressed. On September 15, 2020,  during an interview with Polygon, Vily stated:

“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.”

Now, this was previously spun as, “This isn’t what Vily said”, but the problem here is that interviews typically use speech marks to directly quote what was said. It’s hard to spin that this is not what Vily said, but it is a minor point in the true lie of this war.

Next comes Gobbins, and the goal of Pandemic Horde. On December 13, 2020, Gobbins was recorded stating that their goal is to grind down the 1DQ structures in Delve. That means Horde has a fairly attainable, somewhat realistic goal—not impossible in the least.

‘Why are we talking about goals?’ you ask. This will become clear when we delve a little more into the roadmap of Legacy alliance.

Escalating Rhetoric

Progodlegend—the guy who proclaimed 1000 titans would be moving to Delve also delivered the news on the TEST townhall on November 15, 2020.

Because we are confident we are going to win, we’re kind of in a position to actually announce what we’re going to do, to a degree. Which is that. We’re telling you now, at in the course of the next 1, 2, 5, 6 months, whatever. We will be moving out of Esoteria and into Delve and Period Basis.

The logical flow of this information shows the utter shambles that is the messaging of the Legacy coalition. Progodlegend and Vily have created a situation where they have had to escalate on each alliance townhall in order to save face. That, in turn, culminates in the decision to try and claim Delve for themselves. There is, however, one tiny issue. And this is the biggest lie being told right now, one that is being swallowed whole heartedly.

Legacy Alliance is not capable of holding Delve against the Imperium. It’s not a “maybe” “possibly” or “potentially”. It is, strictly speaking, impossible for the Legacy Coalition to hold Delve against the Imperium when they no longer have any backup.

The reality is, Pandemic Horde will be leaving the warzone at some point. Once their members return to their home space, the effort required to mobilize and move again will be immense, far greater than the effort required for this war. Legacy will be left at the mercy of the Imperium. It’s generally a bad idea to work in absolutes in EVE, as there is always a chance that it comes back to bite you in the ass. In this instance, though, Legacy will not be able to hold Delve or Period Basis alone. The defence agreement agreed between Pandemic Horde and Legacy is not worth anything when the effort required to mobilize again becomes unattainable.

TEST is Next

The big lie—that legacy can hold Delve—means this war will have been for nothing. In the end, it will only create the biggest crosshair ever seen in EVE. A crosshair centered right on Legacy’s back.

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  • Guilford Australis

    PGL and Vily have painted themselves into a corner by setting expectations so absurdly high for this. ‘We’re going to exterminate our enemies, stack up their bodies like cord wood, and inherit everything they owned.’ They’ve been forced to walk back these claims a number of times, with Vily recently using “coin-toss” imagery to depict his confidence of success, and PGL, in his inimitable sad-sack rhetorical style, mumbling in a recent SOTA “uh, hypothetically, if we can kick Goons out of Delve…”. Not exactly the stuff we read in that heady pre-war Polygon interview.

    I’m reminded of a case study I once read about a new CEO who was hired based on an extravagant claim he’d achieve 15% revenue growth within his first year. The board pointed out the best annual growth the company had ever realized previously was 4% and asked whether he wanted to revise his commitment. Nope. He achieved a remarkable 12% growth his first year. The board fired him because they’d made assurances to their shareholders based on his promise of 15% growth.

    The moral of the story is that leaders don’t promise their stakeholders wildly impossible outcomes on the assumption they can just spin their way out of them upon their inevitable failure. That’s a lesson PGL and Vily never learned.

    March 4, 2021 at 8:43 AM
    • Seir Luciel Guilford Australis

      The moral of that story to me is that they fired some guy who tripled the best annual growth they had ever been able to achieve. I guess they went back down to growing only 4% afterwards. Seems like a bad decision.

      I think Legacy recognized that they weren’t going to be able to say they killed Goons if they were still on the map. What’s the point of smashing up delve, leaving, and then watching Goons build back up right where they were. Its basically handing on a silver platter the Goon rhetoric “We are still here. You didn’t kill us. We won the war. You all lost in shame.” Legacy, anticipating this response, decides to move in on top of Goons. It makes sense from a political perspective; you actually have something to show for the war i.e. the map doesn’t look the same as it did before the war. Wars start looking real pointless if space and resources don’t get redistributed; otherwise you don’t have wars, you just have sports. We will see if Legacy can pull it off, but there is a logic behind it.

      Back to the story; why did the board members pass along the promise to their stake holders? Why didn’t they say: “Yeah we got this guy promising big gains. He promises 15 percent, but we will see.” And shouldn’t the stakeholders have been suspicious of the promises? If they didn’t want to get burned they shouldn’t have given their money up to extravagant promises.

      There is an EVE point to this. I see a group like Brave and other PAPI members in the war a bit like the stakeholders. They have invested in this war hoping it comes out their way in the end. Stakeholders have agency. They are supposed to make calculations about the odds of an investment. Considering the way things were going, the odds weren’t looking good for the Imperium. And as Goons are constantly saying about these EVE stakeholders, if your calculation is wrong then its your fault for being with PAPI and getting burned. Not necessarily Vily’s fault or PGL’s.

      But neither side has won or lost yet. So far, TEST as an alliance is doing rather well. If they continue to do well I say they owe their stakeholders some compensation for their investment later on.

      March 4, 2021 at 4:04 PM
      • Moomin Amatin Seir Luciel

        I liked the PH townhall as an example of a shareholders meeting. Objectives were set and it was all rather business like. Now to keep on with that, this was the townhall before M2-X. After a multi trillion loss to PAPI in M2-X and many more keepstars to go you have to wonder if the Cost of Investment is worth it given the Return on Investment. This is a question being ignored seemingly by PAPI. Just posturing about how they will just kill goons by performing a seige. This “plan” has to be one of the most foolish offered as yet and this includes being “pre-staged” in M2-X. Meanwhile CCP is doing CCP things.

        March 4, 2021 at 5:01 PM
        • Seir Luciel Moomin Amatin

          M2-X was excellent play by Goons and very unfortunate for PAPI. It cost a lot. But I don’t think PAPI is ignoring the question of cost, like you say. I don’t see any evidence to support that assessment. War and conquest follows the old saying “you have to spend money to make money.” Will it work out? Still to be decided.

          The siege plan which you deride makes a lot of sense to me, seems very reasonable. Goons won’t be able to win the war on outside isk alone, but will have to reinforce their industry with raw materials and other supply. A siege could severely hamper Goon’s ability to resupply while giving PAPI soldiers rest/moving periods. There is a reason sieges have been applied, and worked I might add, throughout all of military history.

          March 4, 2021 at 7:23 PM
          • Simon Chui Seir Luciel

            I wouldn’t assume that sieges in game are anything like sieges in the real world. Ships can literally teleport across multiple systems and people can jump clone around, and if all else fails there’s asset safety. Locking stuff down in game is much harder than in the real world. The real test is this: after all these months, does it look like the imperium has any difficulty reshipping after fights? Doesn’t look like it.

            March 5, 2021 at 1:20 AM
          • Moomin Amatin Simon Chui

            You know people could just check the publicly available contracts in a system to see how things are. Really odd how I can get some great firesales at the moment from all over Catch.

            March 5, 2021 at 8:05 AM
          • Moomin Amatin Seir Luciel

            Why do you persist in believing you can siege space in New Eden?

            Here is the thing. PAPI keep talking about sieging and logistics and yet these are not an issue at this time. In fact they are unlikely to become an issue for a number of well established reasons that have been demonstrated time and time again in Eve.

            So how exactly is this siege supposed to work? Was the KS dropped at T5Z not supposed to be “closing the ring”? Or was it the ZXB stuff? Or the NPC stuff? Or the Querious stuff?

            March 5, 2021 at 8:03 AM
      • Guilford Australis Seir Luciel

        You’re getting into precisely the mission-creep that the article describes and I mentioned in my comment. Legacy didn’t say that victory would be defined by a different sov map. PGL and Vily specifically said their victory condition was exterminating Goons and ensuring that neither we nor The Mittani are involved in EVE anymore.

        Neither side will win the war. Your own alliance has found its stated goal of burning 1DQ to be far more difficult than anticipated. 130 PAPI titans remain trapped in M2. 40 Imperium Keepstars remain within Delve. The worst case scenario for The Imperium is that we are forced into NPC Delve, where we cannot be evicted, after PAPI spends three or four years killing all our remaining Keepstars. And even if that happened, a TEST claim of victory is blunted by the knowledge that we’ll farm them relentlessly, and PanFam will have to come to terms with having lost much or most of its supercapital armada on behalf of TEST.

        The point stands that TEST has promised something it cannot deliver.

        March 4, 2021 at 5:12 PM
        • Seir Luciel Guilford Australis

          Goons are doing a lot of defining lately.

          March 4, 2021 at 6:53 PM
        • Seir Luciel Guilford Australis

          I see what you are calling “mission creep” more as the logical progression of conquest.

          March 4, 2021 at 7:10 PM
      • Carvj94 Seir Luciel

        How long would it even take Goons to rebuild Delve in this scenario? I’m guessing they could easily drop kick Legacy out of Delve in a little over a month. Not like they lost many caps all things considered so ratting and mining would essentially be back in full as soon as they strategically reclaim the space with the ADM maxing out in short order. At which point it’d take them maybe another month to get several strategic Keepstars in place and necessary Complexes online with jump gates and such soon after yea? Even since the beginning of the war I’ve been wondering what the point of it all is. Even if Goons got kicked out of Delve permanently I cant imagine they’d be set back more than a couple months at worst as they’d just take a different region to print isk while the “winners” of the war laugh and divvy up their paltry loot. It’s not Delve that put Goons on top. It’s Goons that put Goons on top.

        March 4, 2021 at 7:53 PM
      • Gray Doc Seir Luciel

        So, you are in favor of stakeholders, like Brave line members, getting full and complete information from their leaders? Yeah . . . me too; hence my disappointment with the Brave leaks where we found that line members get some version of “spin.”

        March 4, 2021 at 10:51 PM
  • Bumpy Dog

    Chaunticleer, a rich and educated rooster. His pride in his wealth and
    accomplishments leads him to lose track of what is real, and he is
    easily duped by a fox that flatters his vocal ability. The fox eats him.

    March 4, 2021 at 10:16 AM
  • Caleb Ayrania

    The mere truthiness level of this article is 10/10.

    March 4, 2021 at 10:36 AM
  • Alaric Faelen

    The BIG LIE is the blue donut.
    It’s a meme in Eve to blurt out some rehearsed statement about the great Null Sec Blue Donut and how bad it is for the game. Most players don’t even know why, but they will regurgitate this claim at any opportunity. And because of the economic success of the Imperium, it’s assumed we are the ring leaders in creating a giant blue…uh…ring.
    But the coalition map doesn’t lie. The Imperium had it’s little corner of null sec but was exceedingly good at making isk from it. Not only did we not have anything approaching a donut- but as this war has proven, even ‘friendly’ alliances jumped on the vily bandwagon to wipe out Goons. That map is literally a blue donut EXCEPT for Goon space.

    All the Grr Gewns types hopped on the bandwagon to cheer on papi, without bothering to notice that it those exact groups that are doing exactly what those howling masses claim to be against. Botting? Look at the CCP produced map, check out that handy pie chart. Blue Donut? Look at the coalition map.
    For everyone hoping for the end of Goons- all they are getting is the very thing they accuse us of being. All of null sec a complete blue donut. Locked in an outdated renter empire system that is good for elevating some gamer nerd to near god status in Eve, but shit for the game itself. Join the elites or rent and be a meat shield moo cow milked to pay for your master’s faction titan collection. High sec markets will be the personal plaything for null sec barons. They already were to a degree, but without competition it’s a wrap on the game’s economy. People like to bandy about Serenity as the fate of a monopolized server…look at the coalition map and tell me which side is working towards that goal.

    March 4, 2021 at 5:15 PM
  • Lord Ixlandis

    The reality is that PanFam won’t leave until they have to, and they will get quite the boost of numbers when the burning of keepstars starts in a couple weeks if we don’t retake some ihubs.

    March 5, 2021 at 5:33 AM
    • Moomin Amatin Lord Ixlandis

      M2-X was a keepstar fight. The numbers got boosted alright, just not to PAPI’s liking. I am starting to suspect that PAPI are less keen on KS fights now than they were. Just before Christmas Villy was saying that he planned to kill 10 KS before the year was out. How did that go again? Also do remember that M2-X was originally fought with PAPI owning the jammer. So they had every advantage prior to execution. I am starting to think that M2 is actually the thing keeping some of PAPI here. Already seen FIRE and Frat move capitals back home despite what some may say. Anyhoo, should be an interesting week or two.

      March 5, 2021 at 8:10 AM
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    This all reminds me of what is happening with Russophobe histerya for the last 5 years. A huge blue doughnut of Anglo-Saxon world consolidated against Russia and producing lie after lie just to ensure its exterminated while they only think to grab this richest region by natural resources.

    March 6, 2021 at 1:08 PM