With the major Imperium offensive having passed through Tribute and moved into Vale of the Silent prior to the Drifter Offensive, much of the sov has remained unclaimed as Imperium entities have stated a lack of intent to remain in the region. However, in recent days, a portion of the region has seen flags planted by small alliances. At the time of this writing, five alliances have staked a claim into the region: Ashfell Federation, Arkhos Core, Bow Down., Sector Seven., and The Nafjala Cooperative. Between these alliances, more than twenty systems in four constellations have been taken in the name of small and mostly independent playstyles. In a way, each is their own island – a sort of Caribbean of Independents.
While independent alliances are by no stretch new to Eve Online, their ability to take sovereignty is widely considered to be a near-impossibility in the current nullsec meta. Notable exceptions such as Unspoken Alliance still face existential threats and even they have been evicted by larger blocs, causing damage to Eve Online’s long-term health. This damage is further exacerbated by the nearly universal installation of renters in systems where such evictions occur.
Small and independent alliances are well known for their increased desire for combat and their space is generally considered a good place to roam. It is no secret that this writer is a vocal proponent of supporting such entities and encouraging a sort of “sustainable conflict” where these alliances can be kept from extinction provided they do not actively avoid battle. Time will tell if the newcomers to Tribute will maintain the space, or if a new renter landlord will attempt to quash life in the region.
When asked for comment about their status, alliance Arkhos Core stated they only had eyes for one system, but took additional systems to deter potential incoming renter landlords. Alliance Ashfell Federation stated they were only interested in the two systems they had already laid claim to, though their territory has been reinforced on at least one instance since. Sector Seven., The Nafjala Cooperative, and Bow Down. could not be reached for comment at the time of this article’s writing. Some of these alliances appear to be brand new, and were potentially formed to take advantage of the open systems.
Large swathes of open sov are rare in Eve Online. The two other most recent instances were in the northeast dronelands, as the Russian Blocs were evicted and replaced by Skill Urself, a group that disbanded in turn. While there was hope that the initial eviction would open several regions to colonization by independent groups, the regions were soon rented out instead. In the aftermath of Skill Urself’s disbanding, the vast majority of the systems were picked up by Fraternity, though some were taken by independent entities. Time will tell if they can maintain the space, though personally, this writer certainly hopes they do, and that others follow across all of New Eden.