The End Of War


Recently I’ve noticed an increasing number of discussions by EVE Online players about the end of the current war, which so far is one of the biggest and most costly conflicts in the history of the game.  We may well wonder: what constitutes the end of a war in EVE Online and what constitutes victory or loss.  Right now, as many of you know, many players are focused on the events surrounding the Imperium Capital system of 1DQ.  Many argue that its hypothetical fall would be the end of the war.  Also, hypothetically if the Imperium simply moved all its assets to NPC null space but continued attacking TEST and BRAVE, could we really call that scenario the end of the current war?  Or, would that be considered a new war?  There are many different views on this depending on whom you ask. 

Wars as Chapter Headings

This history of EVE is a history of war.  Even in the real world, why is it that we always break up our history by the wars?  You crack open a book of 20th Century World History, you get chapters regarding World War 1, World War II, The Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, etc.  You don’t get chapters entitled “The Marshal Peace,” “The NATO Peace,” or “The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.” The reason for this is because wars enthrall us and because on some level people like to see something big fall apart or blow up from the inside out.  Cascade failure is the best popcorn show in New Eden.  Let us examine what has been coined as “The Great War,” which started in 2006, as our starting reference.

The Great War

The Great War refers to a series of conflicts surrounding Goonswarm, which was in its infancy, and Band Of Brothers (BoB).  BoB was a heavy-hitting powerful alliance at that time and was already in a war with the largest military-industrial bloc in the game, Ascendant Frontier.  Long story short, over a few years Goonswarm rallied most of the in-game powers to fight against Band Of Brothers.  There were shenanigans, controversies, titan kills, civil wars.  Whole regions were conquered and reorganized.  At the end of the conflict, there was a clear-cut end to the war with a clear winner and a clear loser.  BoB suffered several setbacks, the biggest of which was when one of its own disillusioned directors hit a button and deleted the alliance.  All its sov, capital fleets, and holdings went away in a single day.  The war was over, for all intents, because BoB didn’t exist anymore.  The Goons even quickly started a Band Of Brothers alliance so the name could never be reclaimed.      

BoB attempted to reform and start from scratch as Kenzoku.  Fighting continued against Goonswarm.  In 2009, the player base was referring to this conflict as Delve War II, which also had a clear-cut end with a clear winner and loser.  Kenzoku’s director ordered his forces out of Delve and Querious, with them essentially giving up.  So, do we count all the conflict I’ve mentioned so far as The Great War 2006-2009, marking it as having a clear beginning, middle, and end?  Do we extend it to the alliances Kenzoku pilots moved to and their subsequent wars?  How far down the rabbit hole do you try to chase the “truth?”    

This is usually what historians do in the real world.  People like to read a narrative; it’s how their minds organize information.  They want their history to have a clear beginning, middle, and end with clear good guys and bad guys, almost the way you would organize a work of fiction.  World War 1 for example: the Allies are good; the Central Powers are bad.  The Allies win for many reasons, including the addition, late in the war, of American troops.  When did World War 2 start?  Was it in September of 1939 when Germany invaded Poland?  Or on September 3rd 1939 when Britain and France declared war on Germany?  Or do we go back to 1937 when Japan invaded China?  Or do we go all the way back to 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria?  Or, did it not truly become a “World War” until America entered the war late in 1941?  Since Germany was considered the driver of the war, deserving of the most focus, historians settled on September, 1939. But, if you ask a Chinese history, you will still get a different answer.

The Casino War (or is it WWB?)

The closer you get to the present the better idea you get of how history really forms itself.  Let us examine The Casino War, AKA The Mercenary War, AKA World War Bee from 2016.  The beginning of the conflict is debatable.  You could conceivably roll the 2014 Halloween War into it.  You could look at it as starting with the bad blood between two groups in what was the biggest ISK business in the game at that time, player-run Casinos.  The community was also angered by a Kickstarter program to get an EVE history book published.  Certain facets of gameplay were also stagnating, and there were a lot of scandals and leadership changes.  Alliances were demanding tribute from each other to respect borders.  Any one of these events, or all of them blended together, could be pointed at as starting the war.  But, in brief, a Casino baron provided a coalition of separate in-game entities (which came to be known as the Money Badger Coalition) over seven trillion ISK to invade Imperium holdings in the North. 

Did that conflict have a clear-cut end to the war with a clear winner and a clear loser?  Yes, but it is nevertheless contested.  A director on one side of the conflict stated that as soon as Co2 defected, for all intents and purposes, the Imperium had lost the war.  This version doesn’t seem fully accurate, as fighting continued for quite awhile after that.  What can’t be argued, however, is what the Imperium actually did.  They lost three regions in the north, partially moved their holdings to lowsec, and invaded Delve.  TEST, the small, divided Delve alliances, and the depleted remains of the original invasion forces were not strong enough to stop them.  Then, because most of the fighting ceased and TEST ended up signing a non-invasion pact, most considered the war was over. 

Who Writes the Histories?

You could get every EVE pilot in the game arguing about this war just by saying Goonswarm lost, or Goonswarm did not lose.  Some players want to uncouple these events into two separate wars, so that they can clearly argue that the Imperium lost the war to hold the north, but won a war to conquer Delve.  Other players call the current conflict World War Bee, which started with the breaking of the Non-Invasion Pact by TEST, and they may provide a convincing argument that Imperium never lost anything. 

Here is the truth as I see it.  The people fighting in the war right now won’t be the ones to name it or decide who won or lost.  They don’t get to study it.  They’re living it.  The further forward we move in time, and the clearer events become (supposedly) in hindsight, players that others pay attention to will ruminate on old shenanigans, controversies, titan kills, civil wars, and add their own spin. 

So, I’ll see you at the front lines of World War Bee, World War Bee 2, The Casino War 2, The Merc War 2, Delve War IV, or whatever the hell we’re going to call this one.  When will the war be over?  When we decide it is.

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  • Deni'z von Meanace

    If Imp move to Delve npc, they’ve done. Since it would be surrounded by hostiles and they never let goons to settle industrial business. And without indexes and bonuses from structures in sov space they would dry fast. There is no reason to move to npc and live test nearby. 1DQ is in question since test, i mean those two clowns pgl and vily-dily know that while attacking it they would lost up to 80%what have left from their supers inventory. Even with help of Horde or say it right, having Horde in avant-garde and test in second lines it’s not enough, since every dying bee would take as many as could enemies with it. So PAPI need more, and there is a thing. Nobody in hteir mind would agree to attack goons in the first line. Only Horde could but they won’t. Brave couldn’t do but looks like they have to. Since they are brave but dumb. So TEST has a dilemma on how to build attacking plans and win taking down this stronghold. As far as o know they still can’t find an agreement among all their coalition.

    April 15, 2021 at 7:49 AM
    • Rammel Kas Deni'z von Meanace

      You are assuming a lot about the NPC Delve pocket. We’ve seen groups stage from there non-stop for years at a go without any real change in what they drop on people. Trust the people who’ve had to deal with it for over 5 years now know what they’re talking about.

      April 15, 2021 at 8:45 AM
    • ” it would be surrounded by hostiles”

      Men, we are surrounded by the enemy. That means we have the greatest opportunity ever presented to an army. We can attack in any direction we choose.

      April 15, 2021 at 10:11 AM
    • See the problem with that is PAPI will fall apart if there’s no sov to target. Under no circumstances will they stick around for more than a month in Delve if they manage to make goons retreat. Either burnout forces them home or the coalition breaks up and everyone is forced to retreat to defend their home region. And once most of PAPI is gone goons will quickly and easily destroy any assets leftover and have Delve essentially back to normal in well under two months.

      April 16, 2021 at 8:46 PM
      • Alaric Faelen Carvj94

        Well it would certainly take longer than two months. The main point is that once the super blob disperses, it is unlikely to be reformed anytime immediately after. That is zero hour for whoever Goons feel like attacking. It doesn’t have to be TEST in Delve and all the other alliances know that. So they are in the position of if any of them risk and lose a bunch of supers, they are the path of least resistance for a counter attack. They might have helped TEST get space at no benefit to themselves, only to lose their space because no one is coming to their rescue when it means risking their fleets. Remember PAPI keeps claiming they are going to reset and not be a blue donut– if that is true then none of them can risk sending their supers away from home without risk of invasion.
        Once the blob disperses it’s going to be some time before anyone risks deploying them again.
        Goons can stage out of NPC space indefinitely. It’s been done by far less organized groups and at this stage of game mechanics, might be preferable to owning sov.

        April 17, 2021 at 5:27 PM
        • Carvj94 Alaric Faelen

          I mean I’m pretty sure industry would be back up within two months. Which is pretty much the core of goons. Obviously not all the ridiculous blot of citadels.

          April 17, 2021 at 9:08 PM
          • Elithiel en Gravonere Carvj94

            Most of industry is now done in lowsec and highsec (for mining) so we’d simply need the Engineering Complexes. Added to that, the need for C320 will make wormhole space (and industry) absolutely critical to success. Goonswarm was always a nullsec power with arms in other sectors. Now it’ll need to be truly expansive in that it’ll need to have settlements in lowsec, highsec, wormhole space and nullsec. I’m confident we are in the best possible position to capitalise on that.

            Papi are stuck on this renter and empire building model. The meta has now changed substantially and they are stupidly trying to wed themselves to a region once again.

            April 19, 2021 at 3:03 AM
    • Garreth Vlox Deni'z von Meanace

      “Since it would be surrounded by hostiles and they never let goons to settle industrial business.”

      LOL we wouldn’t move there to fucking pve…. we’d be moving there for the sole purpose of shitting on tapi whenever they try to pve.

      April 17, 2021 at 3:38 AM
  • Moomin Amatin

    “War of extermination” was a gift from PAPI to The Imperium. It set the bar for The Imperium at least “not losing” so low that just by logging in you are showing you are not exterminated. This should never have been said, PAPI should have been clear in their objective from the start. This makes me wonder though, what are the real win conditions for PAPI as no one seems able to state them?

    April 15, 2021 at 8:44 AM
    • Garreth Vlox Moomin Amatin

      “This should never have been said, PAPI should have been clear in their objective from the start.”

      Well that’s what happens when you put a pair of bumbling idiots in charge who don’t bother to think about what they actually want to get out of a war besides making themselves look cool. This whole thing has been a mangled cluster fuck of a campaign from start to finish.

      April 17, 2021 at 3:37 AM
    • Dripple Moomin Amatin

      I mean… If you can call “we are persistent as cockroaches” a win… Sure,
      I still don’t think that really counts as a win, or in Imperium case “not losing”

      April 17, 2021 at 9:24 PM
      • Garreth Vlox Dripple

        When you moron of an opponent declares that victory is you no longer playing the game, when he fails to drive you out you “win”. Now I get that you are now regretting your leader’s stupidity in picking an unattainable goal at the outset of this war, but that is between you and vily…

        April 19, 2021 at 11:16 PM
  • Havish Montak

    Didn’t realise the Casino War was over, I’m still fighting it…..

    April 15, 2021 at 10:57 AM
    • Guilford Australis Havish Montak

      BoB is still fighting the Great War in Delve at this very moment.

      April 15, 2021 at 11:05 AM
  • Guilford Australis

    I don’t think the war will end in any traditional sense. The Mittani has said that diplomacy is off the table and that the worst case scenario for The Imperium is to move to NPC Delve, where we can’t be evicted, and farm TEST relentlessly once PanFam decides to sod off. PAPI, although they now deny it, repeatedly stated that the war objective was extermination of The Imperium, driving The Mittani out of EVE, and pushing the alliance into lowsec. None of that is happening, ever.

    PGL, meanwhile, is laboring under the delusion that Delve is what made Goonswarm great, and that if he could only take control of it, TEST would magically transmogrify into a great alliance. He apparently fails to understand that leadership, organization, and discipline are what made Goonswarm great – and none of those attributes characterize PGL, Vily, or their alliance.

    In point of fact, with CCP’s resource changes, Delve is not a spectacular region anymore. It has NPC systems from which 33,000 sweaty, angry Goons (and other content-seekers) can stage indefinitely, single-mindedly devoted to making it miserable for any TEST pilot to undock anywhere, at any time. It is far from TEST’s patrons and protectors from the north, so they’d better have a long cord for that Batphone and pray PanFam actually shows up every single time The Imperium is kicking them in the teeth.

    And PanFam has handcuffed itself to a bumbling, incompetent alliance that can’t hold Delve on its own, so they’re either (1) doomed to an Afghanistan forever-war scenario in which definitive success is impossible, or (2) going to have to let TEST go its own way to reap the wages of betrayal.

    April 15, 2021 at 11:30 AM
    • Garreth Vlox Guilford Australis

      “PGL, meanwhile, is laboring under the delusion that Delve is what made Goonswarm great,”

      I still can’t figure out how that guy managed to convince an alliance to put him in charge of anything.

      April 17, 2021 at 3:34 AM
  • Romulus Loches

    To me, this is the Covid War. My personal opinion is that this war will end when enough people are able to go out and do other things, to the point that the steam just isn’t there anymore.

    April 15, 2021 at 2:41 PM
    • Alaric Faelen Romulus Loches

      Well they are kinda stuck. They are committed with no easy way out for any of them. It’s very debatable whether they can ‘win’ this war even with the entire null sec super blob behind them. They’ve had their noses whacked with a newspaper already when they tried. All of them have to think post-war defense and can’t go losing their supers in Delve.
      So they either stick 100% with the war and in fact hurry the hell up already…..or the whole thing collapses instantly. The moment any major alliance in PAPI goes home, it’s over. All that will be left is the move ops home for everyone, and the tears of TEST left to their own devices against Goons and Init.

      April 17, 2021 at 5:40 PM
      • Romulus Loches Alaric Faelen

        This war isn’t about winning conditions. The Imperium won’t disappear, even if they move out of Delve. Occupancy sov mechanics make it so Legacy must try to live in Delve if they want to evict Goons. This might actually just lead to a giant swap. All of that isn’t the point though, this war isn’t truly an eviction war.

        In my opinion this war was always going to be the next great war because only these groups have the resources to escalate to that size. While the war was inevitable, the factors allowing it to continue this long and intense are unique.

        For one, people don’t really have anything better to do. The world is dealing with a pandemic so most people are staying inside, making it possible to fill fleet after fleet. Then there’s the state of the game. Because of the scarcity there is literally nothing else to do other than fight because everything else has been nerfed to shit. Scarcity has helped the war, not because people are fighting over what little is left, but because there’s not enough incentive to stop fighting and mess with the meager scraps CCP has left us.

        Ultimately this war may reshape the sov map, but the political fallout is relatively small. The Imperium, Panfam, and Legacy will still be dominant. Fraternity will become the 4th superpower. And CCP will feel their scarcity was a success but be wrong about why.

        April 19, 2021 at 5:47 AM
  • kwnyupstate .

    War ended with scarcity and much more expensive titans and supers. PAPI is clearly scared to attack 1DQ.

    April 16, 2021 at 12:57 AM
    • Garreth Vlox kwnyupstate .

      lol They couldn’t afford to replace their first two battles worth of lost titans and that’s when they were “cheap” the second CCP decided to make them harder to build and jacked up the mineral cost the titan fights were over because papi can’t stomach the isk losses.

      April 17, 2021 at 3:39 AM
  • Alaric Faelen

    They are all looking for a way out, and those pilots that aren’t benefiting from this war are the sands in TEST’s hourglass. As more people decide to stop wasting their game time fighting a war so vily can feel like he’s at the big boy table with the grown ups, they will lose their blob. As scarcity makes replacing supers difficult, people that aren’t benefiting from the war are going to stop risking them and take them home.

    Blob is all they have…they certainly lack the talent that GSF has in leadership, logistics, and strategic planning. All they have is a blob of supers and they’ve already gotten them trapped due to stupidity so if I were Brave or PL or Horde I sure as hell wouldn’t fleet up my precious supers under any of those people.
    Wars in Eve last a couple months usually, and players are enthusiastic at first because wars come after long periods of stagnation. But this war defines stagnation and boredom on it’s own. It’s gone on almost as long as the stagnate periods between wars- but with far less reward for the effort. And yet there isn’t even light at the end of a tunnel for them.

    TEST is going to be pushed into a corner. The longer they drag this out, the worse it is for them, the more people will leave robbing them of the blob they rely on to win anything. But, they have already proven they don’t know what they are doing as evidenced by getting their entire super fleet held hostage. They absolutely need to make a grand push and get this war done before people quit and go home with their supers but they are likely to get slaughtered if they try. And their allies have to weigh the benefit of risking supers that are now hard to SRP or replace against winning a war for some other alliance that has already bungled the war beyond repair.

    April 16, 2021 at 4:07 AM
    • William Doe Alaric Faelen

      It’s why I believe that FRAT will be seen as the absolute biggest winners of this war. Considering how much time and resources the invested compared to TEST or PanFam, it’s generally pretty minimal and they got moreso with their recent gains with their mini-war with the Freemen of the North.

      It’s also in FRAT’s best interest to keep the blue donut alive as long as possible as their overall participation isn’t really required. I actually imagine Vily is screaming or begging Norhaus to throw more of their weight in like PanFam has done. FRAT can simply throw in the absolute bare minimum and get away with it. What’s Vily going to do? Boot them out of the blue donut and start attacking them while they possibly instigate an action that may cause aggression to the heavy lifters in PanFam? Of course not, but I’d love to see that unfold just to really throw this war into pure clusterfuck status.

      “TEST is next” isn’t just an obvious objective that the Imperium intends to make reality when the war is over. But given TEST’s history as basically seen as bottom-wrung plebs who always need someone carrying their worthless ass, I really do anticipate FRAT’s vendetta with AoM will extend to TEST too. TEST will have served their purpose and the more competent big blocs will eat them up when they’ve been weakened enough.

      April 16, 2021 at 12:06 PM
      • Alaric Faelen William Doe

        That’s the thing about a blue donut– anyone can be set blue. TEST isn’t remotely vital to any of these other alliances. They can stick any pet in that gap.
        TEST have proven they can’t be trusted (backstabbing is how they operate) and they have flip flopped between masters according to whoever they think is stronger at the moment.TEST cucks for whoever they think can carry them to victory. They are the perpetual pets of Eve’s null sec.
        They have proven they cannot lead a war, or even fight one without literally all of null sec behind them. Until they had that- they were quiet little doggies that Imperium kept. Now they are good little doggies that Panfam keeps.
        TEST knows that if so much as a girl scout troop attacks them on their own, they will require Panfam to come save them. The moment the blob disperses TEST is simply a speedbump to taking their space away.

        April 16, 2021 at 2:04 PM
        • Gray Doc Alaric Faelen

          But IF the Girl Scout troops brought Thin Mint cookies, that might make for an interesting war, especially in the time of scarcity.

          April 16, 2021 at 2:49 PM
          • Alaric Faelen Gray Doc

            I think in accordance with Meagan’s Law TEST isn’t allowed within 500 feet of Girl Scouts.

            April 16, 2021 at 9:50 PM
  • Guilford Australis

    Is that why Goons have fought off a coalition three times their size for nine months and STILL haven’t been dislodged from Delve? Because we were guaranteed a win?

    What a joke.

    April 16, 2021 at 3:54 PM
  • Romulus Loches

    This is a great example of how Goons had a cultural revolution and how many of the toxic people left and are now in other groups that are attacking Goons.

    April 16, 2021 at 7:26 PM