World War Bee: Six-Month Summary, Part 2


Header art by Cryo Huren

This is the next in a series looking at the past six months World War Bee. In Part 1 I covered who the main actors were in our first piece, as well as some of the complex history between the groups. In this article we will look at other elements of the current war between The Imperium and PAPI. So let us start with looking at how World War Bee ramped up.

The NIP Has Slipped

The more powerful alliances and coalitions commonly form diplomatic agreements. These come in a variety of flavours, with all the legalese you would expect. Non-Invasion Pacts (NIPS) and Non-Aggression Pacts (NAPS) act as the basis of such agreements, but they can also extend to commercial ventures. How each party handles their side of such agreements can have a long lasting impact. Groups that violate agreements develop a poor reputation.

The Imperium had no interest in expanding its borders, as it has had more space than it required. The economic miracle enacted by the Imperium over the past years occurred through player density and co-operation rather than accumulating vast territory. But in order to secure borders in the south the Imperium made an agreement with The Legacy, an agreement the Imperium honored, sometimes to its detriment.

On the 21st of June 2020, The Legacy coalition formally advised the Imperium that they would be breaking the Non Invasion Pact (NIP) in two weeks.. You can read the declaration from Vily and some brief analysis and reaction here. In short order, The Mittani, leader of The Imperium, gave a response. The Mittani finishes his own statement with “We will be outnumbered, we will lose titans, we will lose Keepstars, but no one can fight a war of annihilation quite like us – and at a fundamental level, no one enjoys it quite like we do.”

Such agreements always have some ambiguity woven into the framework. In this instance you have to consider the question of whether the NIP was actually broken. The Imperium contend that rallying a mega-coalition, before the NIP ended, in order to attack the Imperium is very much breaking the agreement. Lining up your troops on the border and securing allies to attack is not a passive act. Therefore, the Imperium sees The Legacy move as a back-stab. You can decide for yourself.

Reasons for War

Every “good”, “true” and “just” war needs powerful narratives to maximize the attendance. Some people just love to fight and need no excuse; but line members require more than that. They need ideals, such as “fighting for our homes” or “crushing our oppressors.” Ideally, a coalition leader would like to hit as many touch points as possible when rallying the troops for war. Phrases like “toxic leadership,” “annihilation,” and “extermination” were all used by PAPI (an sobriquet that has stuck). The casus belli has to be appealing, for the more bodies you can throw at the problem the greater your chances of success.

Vily and Progodlegend have been the loudest voices in PAPI leadership. Other leaders have been less vocal, with some avoiding the limelight altogether. So, for the first months of World War Bee we can only assume that the other leaders were content for Vily and Piggles to speak on their behalf given their silence. Silence is tacit acceptance.

With the messaging we have perhaps seen the greatest mistake of this war (though M2 was a doozy). For some unknown reason Vily started the war using language such as “For us, this is a war of extermination.” He goes on to make other outlandish claims, such as stopping “goons” from playing the game. Progodlegend was also using similar phrases and so was affirming Vily’s remarks.

With these early and outlandish victory conditions,  the Imperium was given a gift. In these very public statements (the “extermination” phrase comes from Polygon, the 4th largest gaming magazine with a large international readership. Vily had set the conditions for victory so high that they were now unobtainable, a fantasy. The Imperium was fighting a defensive war and this made their messaging simple: “We fight to survive and NPC Delve awaits.” While what counts as Delve proper may have shifted some, the win conditions – survive – have remained remarkably fixed.

As the war has continued over the months, the initial PAPI win condition – “extermination” – began to change, creating a split in the victory conditions messaging was seen from PAPI. Pandemic Horde (PH) did not share the same view as The Legacy. The PH view was that they were invading Imperium space to cause significant financial harm to the Imperium, in order to negate the economic advantage Imperium had gained over the recent years. PH wanted to level the playing field through war, rather than through mining and industry. There was also an element of revenge involved, given the history between the Imperium and PanFam as I discussed in Part 1 of this series.

Meanwhile, Winter Coalition leaders were still very quiet about World War Bee. Whenever I enquired about the position of the Winter Coalition vis a vis the war,  I was met with more hostility to AoM or TAPI than the Imperium. The same hostility is generally true of the FI.RE coalition, although they probably only see this war as good business in the future.

With the casus belli of PAPI very loosely established, let’s look at some data to further examine the PAPI claim that the Imperium was, prior to the conflict, controlling too much space and had gotten too big.

The Numbers

There are a variety of sources that are available when it comes to meaningful numbers in New Eden and its nullsec blocs. Unfortunately, they all suffer from weaknesses and are inherently difficult to track. Therefore, I will deliberately “stack” numbers to make The Imperium look as “evil” as possible. Perhaps this will make the comments section easier to handle, when zealots start arguing about a 500-person alliance, that no one has ever heard of, has been missed in the data.

Character Breakdown Per Coalition

I primarily use Dotlan here. Some will argue that zkillboard should be used to show active combat characters. The problem with that technique is that there are many wartime roles that will never see a character enter combat. It’s important in war to mine and to build ships, but those pilots don’t appear on zkillboard. Additionally, many alliances will have some of their characters in other alliances for the sake of appearances. Finally, with the disparity of numbers on the respective sides we have also seen asymmetrical warfare. Nonetheless, with these caveats, data can still tell us something about the respective sides.

Data has been taken from Dotlan for the respective alliances at two points. The first date used is July 1, 2020, as by then all of the main participants are well defined and active on a war footing. The second date used is January 1, 2021. Do note that there are many alliances missing, especially from the PAPI side. The top alliances by activity/member count have been used as a basis to show the general shape of data. By all means feel free to add, remove or even swap as you see fit.

The Imperium (Defenders)
Get Off My Lawn1100800
The Initiative42005000
Ranger Regiment30002600
The Legacy (Attackers)
Requiem Eternal21001900
The Watchmen1100200
Army of Mango44004900
Warped Intentions24002500
Siberian Squad21001900
Federation Uprising8001200
Winter Coalition (Attackers)
Lord of Worlds Alliance1300800
The Stars of Northern moon600600
PanFam (Attackers)
Pandemic Horde2200022200
Northern Coalition37003700
Pandemic Legion22002200
FI.RE (Attackers)
Legion of xXDEATHXx37003400
RAZOR Alliance16001600
UNREAL Alliance18002000

Region and Systems

So, with the warring factions out of the way, what are they fighting over? The space being fought over in World War Bee is called “Outlaw,.” But this is only a fraction of the space in New Eden as a whole. The following graph shows how “Outlaw” space stacks up against other kinds of space.


Regions Owned Per Coalition

Again, Dotlan is the source of this information. There are 40 regions in “Outlaw” space, more commonly known as nullsec. Two are NPC controlled and the rest are up for grabs by player owned groups. So how does this relate to coalition ownership of Nullsec, who really are the big players here?

Player Density Per Coalition

Now that we know how many players there are, roughly, for each coalition and how much space they have, we can do some more math and work out who is using their space efficiently and who is not. This is simply a matter of taking the coalition member count and dividing it by the number of systems they have influence over. The higher the number, the more people live in that space, which is generally considered good by all.

CoalitionMember density per system
The Legacy82.60
The Imperium130.83

In the last installment, I will cover the losses for each coalition and then recap, month by month, some of the major events of World War Bee so far. 

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  • Guilford Australis

    I agree that TEST’s preposterous messaging was a blunder. But it wasn’t just empty agitprop – it stemmed from their actual belief that The Imperium would be “exterminated” and disappear from EVE, which they NEEDED to happen in order for their foolish gambit to work. Now PGL and Vily are realizing that (1). The Imperium is not going to be exterminated, and (2). The Imperium is not going to leave Delve, which PGL and Vily stupidly claimed to their line members would be TEST’s inheritance. So they’re left holding the bag while their temporary allies in PanFam are rolling their eyes and we in The Imperium are sipping Scotch and chortling in M2-.

    TEST is farked no matter how the war turns out. PanFam has hinted their alliance with TEST is temporary. WinterCo has effectively left the campaign and still resents TEST for their eviction from Detorid. Brave has effectively left the campaign. PanFam’s motivation to toss away MORE titans on PGL’s vanity project can only be diminishing, especially after M2-. So TEST will end up living right on top of a bunch of bloodthirsty Goons in Delve after the war, with a disillusioned line membership and a bunch of eager enemies on all sides. I can’t wait.

    January 15, 2021 at 12:49 PM
  • Nate Hunter

    When counting up characters i wish you guys would attempt to analyze combatants but nobody does because it must be too hard to look at trends. My reasoning is you counted Legacy as having more characters but if Imperium were to go against Legacy only they’d outnumber them every single time

    January 15, 2021 at 6:14 PM
    • Guilford Australis Nate Hunter

      This has been done in Ban Syrin’s weekly roundups. My understanding is that PAPI’s combat participation has reduced in numerical advantage over The Imperium from an initial proportion of about 2:6:1 to about 1.3:1. That seems to support The Mittani’s theory that PAPI line members would quietly peel off from the front lines the longer this drags on – and simply go back to whatever they enjoyed doing before being deployed for 7+ months fighting on behalf of Piggles.

      January 15, 2021 at 6:49 PM
      • kwnyupstate . Guilford Australis

        Most line members in most alliances aren’t go to leave home for what in eve time is an eternity to fight for another alliance’s goals. TEST is a wounded fish in the ocean and its enemies it has allied itself with are circling it.

        January 15, 2021 at 8:28 PM
    • Moomin Amatin Nate Hunter

      As mentioned in the article, it is hard to establish all the “active participants” when the killmails do not show logi pilots or scouts or a host of other roles. There was some work done on participation but again that would not be a good measure. For example if The Imperium is quite happy for PAPI to tire itself out shooting undefended structures then so be it. Under such circumstances The Imperium would look like they were failing and PAPI would look great. This is not true though, it is just one side is doing something the other is happy to let them do. I mean “never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake”.

      Do note that TAPI also asked The Imperium to attack PanFam first so that TAPI could claim PanFam space. It was only after The Imperium said “no” that TAPI then asked Panfam to throw The Imperium out instead. PanFam and many others said “yes” believing the “half truths” or simply happy to shoot “goons”. All of this is fine of course.

      Oh an TAPI has framed this as a war of “extermination” to get “goons to stop playing”. As stated by The Mittani (leader of The Imperium), there will be no diplomatic solution for TAPI. I wonder who the new leader of The Legacy will be?

      January 15, 2021 at 7:11 PM
      • Garreth Vlox Moomin Amatin

        Dead coalitions don’t need leaders. I think when this whole delve invasion ends with papi going their separate ways what follows will be a war that brings an end to tapi, with the surviving losers except test probably joining either frat, fire or panfam, but I think they will leave test out in the cold as thanks for the leaderships “stellar” performance in this war.

        January 16, 2021 at 9:56 PM
  • kwnyupstate .

    TEST failed.

    January 15, 2021 at 8:25 PM
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    So much data in numbers from they guy who don’t like to count 😏

    January 16, 2021 at 3:07 AM
    • Moomin Amatin Deni'z von Meanace

      Well someone had to put a flag in the ground with regard to the numbers. There has been a lot of talk about who has what and the like. Yet, when asking for numbers or sources they suddenly change topic or have something more important to do. This is an idiots attempt to get something better in place.

      January 16, 2021 at 5:44 AM
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    Do RA and Stain rus counted on Imperium side?

    January 16, 2021 at 10:11 AM
    • Moomin Amatin Deni'z von Meanace

      No. But that is mainly as RA started out in FI.RE, but so much time passed they came to their senses and now fight on the side of The Imperium. I also left off about another 60 alliances or so from the PAPI side. If you want to “correct” the data then by all means do so. I did try to do this but the list was too long to be able to print. I can tell you that by adding all the loose change PAPI numbers are affected adversly.

      January 16, 2021 at 12:47 PM