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.