The Delve Crusade


Header art by Major Sniper

In 1096 the first of several religious wars, known as The Crusades, began when the Byzantine Emperor Alexis Komnenous requested the aid of Pope Urban II against the Seljuk Turks. The attackers wanted to capture the Muslim-controlled Holy Land.  In this first assault into the middle east, the European Crusaders were successful in capturing the city of Jerusalem and establishing new Christian kingdoms there. 

It didn’t work even for Indiana Jones

Over the last year, EVE Online has seen its own Crusade play out – in the form of PAPI’s invasion of Delve. The aggressors sought to purge New Eden of what they considered to be the evil forces of The Imperium, especially Goonswarm.  However, this digital war was not one of religious ideology. Rather, it was a conflict of leadership styles mixed in with good old-fashioned revenge. 

Vily, a leader in PAPI, was once in a leadership position in the Goonswarm Federation.  However, returning from military deployment he found that his services were no longer required, or rather, he was asked to function as a common Goon pilot before he got dropped right back into command roles. The story varies, depending on the source. 

The Devilish Problem with Holy Wars

However, what is beyond question, in 2020 Vily led TEST in building the largest mega-coalition in the game’s history. Their goal: to make war on The Imperium, with the intent of erasing them from the game.  Legacy, PanFam, and Winter Coalition formed a leadership council, and the mega-coalition invade the space of heavily-outnumbered Imperium.  The Imperium’s singular leader, The Mittani, defiantly invited them all to take their best shot at cracking fortress Delve.  Over the 13-month conflict, The Imperium lost almost all its sov systems. But, during an all-out assault on the Imperium’s capital system of 1DQ, the PAPI coalition melted, TEST retreated to Outer Passage, and Vily disappeared for a time, no longer in a leadership position of a coalition that no longer existed.

PAPI lost for the same reason medieval European kingdoms ultimately failed to conquer the middle east.  There was a distinct lack of coordination between Crusader leaders on most of the major crusades.  Difficulties on the front lines led to finger pointing, disputes, backstabbing, and rivalries.  This eventually led to many crusades to be abandoned, so the kings could go back to Europe to make war on each other. 

As Monty Python said, “Run Away!”

PAPI infighting has, for the most part, now been made public in the halls of Reddit.  Although technically they should have had the resources, will, and pilots to achieve their goals, asking a bunch of cost-averse nerds to load $7000 capital ships into the meat grinder with no end in sight isn’t as clear cut as it looks on a spread sheet.            

Let your voice be heard! Submit your own article to Imperium News here!

Would you like to join the Imperium News staff? Find out how!


  • Guilford Australis

    Vily said a lot of foolish things before and during the war, but I can respect that he resigned from TEST leadership in acknowledgment that his campaign failed. I’d have done the same thing. He said before the war that he was determined to fight the Imperium even if it cost him his coalition, and it did. So he stepped aside to give room for others to move into leadership.

    At least he did what he said he’d do. His colleague PGL delivered nothing he promised and still (to my knowledge) has not admitted fault or failure in this war.

    September 24, 2021 at 5:06 PM
    • Garreth Vlox Guilford Australis

      “but I can respect that he resigned from TEST leadership in acknowledgment that his campaign failed”

      He didn’t really acknowledge fault though, just a lot of “oh shit guys it didn’t work” type statements like he made after M2- rounds 2, 3 and 4.

      September 24, 2021 at 5:14 PM
      • Guilford Australis Garreth Vlox

        Maybe not when he announced his resignation, but there was an episode of TTT right after the war ended where he was asked whether he took responsibility for the biggest failure in the history of online gaming, and he said he did.

        September 24, 2021 at 6:54 PM
        • Havish Montak Guilford Australis

          He’s “stepped out of military decisions” to hold a more Mittani style role in my opinion. He is still top dog. But now has generals to blame.

          September 27, 2021 at 11:48 AM
  • Sirhan Blixt

    My first impulse was to compare the PAPI misadventure to the Children’s Crusades, but I guess none of those actually reached the Holy Land.

    September 24, 2021 at 11:50 PM
    • Zaand Sirhan Blixt

      Stopped at the gates of Jerusalem.

      September 25, 2021 at 5:23 PM
  • kwnyupstate .

    I feel sorry for all the line members of the former PAPI alliances who can’t get rid of their horrible leadership because the leaders control all the corporation and alliance assets. You can be sure that if the line members had such power these bums would be kicked to the curb. Sadly they keep their claws gripped on the reigns of power after over a year of utter failure. I hope members vote with their feet and desert these groups who have proven to no longer be viable player organizations (hey isn’t that what PAPI predicted would happen to the Imperium?).

    September 25, 2021 at 1:54 AM
    • Alaric Faelen kwnyupstate .

      I don’t feel sorry whatsoever. They can see the map just like everyone else. They KNEW they were the ‘blue donut’ that all of Eve (except them) agrees is cancer for the game. They happily regurgitated every idiotic thing their leadership said. They engaged in a campaign specifically to bore people out of Eve. They didn’t ditch their leadership when it wouldn’t undock, and none of them stepped up and led the war when it was clear their leadership were worthless.

      They had over a year to vote with their feet and chose to keep ship spinning in station, keep supporting toxic leaders, and keep pushing for a blue donut.

      September 25, 2021 at 2:17 AM
      • Garreth Vlox Alaric Faelen

        yeah not a lot of pity here for the “poor linemembers of papi” they saw the reality of the situation in the meme and reddit wars, and they thought they were on the winning side of it all thanks to their numbers.

        September 25, 2021 at 4:10 AM
        • Havish Montak Garreth Vlox

          I have no pity for PAPI. They choose to be victims. Ripped off repeatedly everywhere with higher taxes than Imperium to boot.

          September 27, 2021 at 11:50 AM