The Imprisoned Flame


Header art by Major Sniper

Now that the first two months of the siege of the O-EIMK constellation is over, it’s time to take a look at the current situation for both PAPI and the Imperium. As of this writing, PAPI has failed to anchor any Upwell structure, maintain control of any POS, successfully reinforce or capture any iHub, or cut off the Imperium’s supply route.  PAPI has made zero progress towards extinguishing the Imperium’s presence in Delve during these months. Let us analyze why.

Fuel for the Fire

If the “Anaconda” strategy were working, then why are the Imperium’s members still showing up in large numbers to fight? PAPI appears to view the Imperium like a flame, attempting to starve it of oxygen to extinguish it. The problem for PAPI is that the flame still has fuel and space to burn.

Imperium can move supplies in and out

The first problem for PAPI is that smothering the Imperium is difficult due to the geography of Delve. The jump freighters of Eve Online are able to reach Delve safely via NPC space and stations from Jita. Coupled with jump freighters being able to use the incredibly cheap industrial cyno, and the cheap ships that can light it, all attempts at harassment are minor annoyances at best. Hence, any hope for PAPI to snuff out the Imperium via cutting off supplies proves difficult and unlikely.

Imperium members have other sources of income

So, what about starving the Imperium’s members of income? Yet another problem for PAPI is that after the famish and mineral redistribution patches hit nullsec income particularly hard, CCP has effectively broadened viable income sources to other regions of space. Once upon a time, having so little space to rat and mine would have been a problem for the Imperium. But now that nullsec income has been so heavily nerfed, Imperium members can safely generate comparable wealth far from the dangers of war. These factors, coupled with the Tranquility Trading Tower’s passive income, makes “breaking the bank” of the Imperium unlikely for PAPI.

The Trapped Firefighters

Some proclaim that the Imperium is “contained,” and because of that it isn’t a threat. However, the wardens of the Imperium appear just as trapped as the Imperium. If left unchecked, without enough wardens to stop or contain it, the Imperium – fuming for revenge – would spread throughout Delve like a California wildfire. While the Imperium may not appear to be a threat, anyone living nearby should rightfully be worried.


As we approach what appears to be a long dull lull in World War Bee, it appears that PAPI are stuck and are unable to make any progress toward the goal of removing the Imperium from nullsec. As discussed here, should PAPI opt for a wait-and-choke strategy, it will likely not turn towards their favor, as PAPI have yet to make time an enemy of the Imperium. With what appears to be clear design philosophy from CCP, the starving strategy seems completely untenable in the current meta; therefore, one has to wonder why PAPI is even opting for this strategy.

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  • Rammel Kas

    Seems you’ve only touched the first-order effects. It is actually extremely harmful for SAPI to stay in this situation.

    June 22, 2021 at 7:33 AM
    • Eve_Osir1s Rammel Kas

      I’m trying to keep it simple in this one. My last article covered a bit too much and I had to cut quite a bit out of the last article simply because it was just too long. I wanted this one to be more focused, specifically on the idea of the anaconda strategy and what effects it could have on the Imperium.

      June 22, 2021 at 8:01 AM
  • Eve_Osir1s

    Outstanding work from the editor and artist on this one.

    June 22, 2021 at 7:58 AM
  • Guilford Australis

    A fine article.

    PAPI is “contained” by The Imperium just as much as they imagine we are contained by them. They can’t move forward, can’t go back home, and can’t figure out how to reconcile those two realities. They’re effectively our prisoners, permanently garrisoned in Delve because Vily won’t let go of his vanity project.

    June 22, 2021 at 10:32 AM
  • William Doe

    I love the point on destroying the “warden” strategy CRAPI wants to put up. If even half of sapi’s actual playing members actually accept roleplaying as “wardens” in choking The Imperium out later on in the future, they’ll still get overrun and destroyed.

    I seriously doubt a majority of sapi even the most diehard of loyalists or bloodthirsty “Goons Bad” plebs wants to sit on their ass all day just watching and waiting for Goons to make a move. Which is pretty evident since this is basically what’s been going on for the past couple months and their dwindling player participation numbers.

    June 22, 2021 at 10:49 AM
    • Eve_Osir1s William Doe

      They won’t sit. It’ll be like prewar where there are content deployments and the like. Hell PanFam and Legacy might eventually fight. But if goons come out they’ll stop I’d bet and come evict us.

      June 22, 2021 at 7:10 PM
  • Michael Porter

    Probably won’t become a hot war again until Fall.

    June 22, 2021 at 2:02 PM
  • Orihara Izaya

    The article briefly mentions one thing I have always wondered about: the Tranquility Trading Tower. In particular how it has never really become the subject of threats or negotiations or anything. Not publicly so at least, as far as I know.

    June 22, 2021 at 2:19 PM
    • William Doe Orihara Izaya

      It was under attack by Snuffed Out not that long ago iirc. But that was repelled by the parties involved (Legacy, PanFam, and The Imperium).

      I always believed that if sapi wanted to hurt The Imperium in the wallet, they should try to boot them from the TTT arrangement they got going on. Obviously there has to be a lot more things involved you and I are not privy to that’d make that feasible let alone a reality.

      June 22, 2021 at 3:08 PM
      • Orihara Izaya William Doe

        Yeah, I know about the Snuffed Out war declaration, but that was never a serious threat. As long as all of nullsec is unified behind defending TTT, the chances of anyone else taking it down is virtually zero.

        The ones who have power are the nullsec coalitions, and in their political maneuvering against each other, colluding behind the scenes to shut one or another out of the deal could be conceivable. Clearly, multiple safeguards have been put in place to prevent such a thing, but as long there is a will, there is a way. The question is simply whether anyone is willing to put such a gigantic mutually beneficial source of ISK, and in particular their own necks at risk, if there is reason enough to justify that. Are any parties certain enough that such attempts won’t end up backfiring spectacularly?

        Evidently, no one has decided to make such a gamble thus far, but the TTT deal is still an elephant in the room as something that might just become relevant down the line.

        June 22, 2021 at 5:04 PM
    • Rammel Kas Orihara Izaya

      Nope, because TTT was negotiated and agreed at a formal diplomatic level. And neither side have reneged on the deal nor their commitments. So it stays. All 3 formal sides have as I understand it a big red button in their possession. So anyone, particularly people outside the deals making a grab will be in for a rude surprise. Snuff discovered some of this just recently.

      It was a contentious issue when it was put up. But the conflict essentially proved that blowing it up would be an excessive pain in the backside under current TIDI mechanics coupled with war deck and crime-watch. So it simply makes more sense to leave it off the high table.

      June 22, 2021 at 3:37 PM
  • kwnyupstate .

    The Imperium have removed more titans and supercarriers from PAPI than the other way around.
    The Imperium have reduced PAPI’s numbers by more than the other way around.
    Sounds like the Imperium is winning the war.

    June 22, 2021 at 11:08 PM
  • Elithiel en Gravonere

    They may be waiting for us to drop our guard but even for those of us who aren’t always directly in the game each night (typically bitter vets or people busy with RL), we are waiting and ready to go at a moment’s notice should they try another ‘surprise attack’. I don’t think they realise that we’re a guild of loyal players where even if Eve goes into the background for a while for some members, we will always be there to respond and don’t fully switch off when not playing. Most of us have alerts going straight to our phones and if the alarm bells ring, we are there if we can be there.

    June 23, 2021 at 5:38 AM
  • Without wanting to sound too much like, “Didn’t want those regions anyway,” I really never cared much about space and ratting. In fact, the vast majority of my time has typically been spent far away from Goonswarm / Imperium space, deep behind enemy lines where the ganking fun is to be had.

    Now, though? I can shoot at people with almost no effort at all. No packing up suitcase carriers, no trekking to the opposite side of the map and living out of cloaked blockade runners and GSCs. I can log in to the 1st Imperial Palace in 1DQ, buy whatever I want, equip a cheap ship in ten minutes and go stirring up all kinds of trouble within a handful of jumps. I don’t think hijinks have ever been this accessible in the history of the game.

    Conversely, every region of space that I’ve managed to filament into that isn’t in the vicinity of Delve is a barren content wasteland, sparsely populated by Chinese gold farmers and bots, with little to offer anyone whose intention isn’t uninterrupted ISK-farming in peace and quiet.

    June 23, 2021 at 8:43 PM