Eight years ago I began my EVE Online career. Truth be told, I actually haven’t played for those whole eight years but I would drop in from time to time, usually after a big headline-making battle, and I would resub and then slowly drift away. For myself, the first time was the Battle of Asakai, and again after B-R. They say the third time is the charm, and for me, it worked. I read progodlegend’s “Million Dollar Battle” intently and I listened to the 9-4 live coverage and I became obsessed.

I didn’t want my experience this time around to be like the others. I wasn’t going to play alone in my real-life friend’s dead corporation. I was gonna make it in null-security space. So I began to look around at the null blocs to see where I could fit in. Ultimately I settled on “Brand New Bros” who, at the time, was a part of TEST. I spent two enjoyable years there, learning the game, making friends, making ISK. I experienced my first solo kill, took part in my first time dilation battle, did all of the things that nullseccers are known for. Due to real-life constraints, I was forced to take a hiatus from EVE. I’ve since settled in a little high-security system back playing mostly by myself but sometimes with my real-life friends. But I do my best to stay current with the going on in New Eden. I listen to the various podcasts, hang out in the Discord and lurk on Reddit.

I have no horse in the race known as World War Bee II. Even with the time that I spent in TEST, I hold no preference as to who wins this War. This war, however, feels…. different. And yet, it is strangely familiar. The setting is familiar, Delve. There are familiar faces and names from the past. Have we finally come full circle in EVE? Have we finally made it to the point where Goonswarm Federation — once heralded across New Eden as the destroyer of the evil and vilified Band of Brothers, the proverbial Little Engine that could — are the baddies now? Have The Mittani, Goonswarm and the Imperium become the modern-day SirMolle, Evolution, and Band of Brothers? The argument could be made that in fact, this is exactly what has happened.

However, the argument could also be made that over the course of the years since World War Bee I, The Imperium have created arguably the greatest Empire New Eden has ever known. An Empire, while not vast in sovereignty, is vast in terms of wealth and production. Something that the other empires in New Eden have tried to accomplish, and while somewhat successful, none were successful to the degree that The Imperium has reached. It could be said that the rest of New Eden has finally become too envious of The Imperium and want to kick over their sandcastle in a fit of jealous rage.

While the similarities of this war are numerous, as I said before, this war feels different. It has started slow and has maintained this methodical pace with brief flares of intense fighting. Hopefully, this leads to battles that will stand next to Asakai, B-R, UALX, and X47. We have already seen hints of the titanic battles to come with the Battles of NPC Delve, including the record setting Battle of FWST-8. Have the military commanders finally figured out how to maintain a proper and prolonged war? Have they found that razor’s edge of balance in maintaining constant pressure upon their enemy while moving at a pace that significantly reduces the burnout of their respective line members? I believe that no matter the outcome of this war, the way that significant wars in New Eden are fought will be forever changed.

One of the things that I enjoy the most about being neutral to all of this is the fact that I can sit back and enjoy all of the narratives and propaganda that spew forth from both sides of the war. I listen to most of the shows, be it Talking in Stations, (do their best to stay neutral and offers a well-rounded program) Trash Talk Tuesday (credit to those guys for putting on great shows each week even with players from both sides), Primary Target (Great one on one conversations with players who are known but maybe not well known), The Meta Show (let’s be honest, Fountain Frank and Querious George are some of the best propaganda that has come from this, and the spin gets a little weird when Mittens gets his hate boner going) and Pando’s FC chats. The media of EVE Online is truly what sets this game apart from all of the other MMO’s in existence today. 

As the fighting in Delve continues, I’m curious as to see what will happen next. Fortress Delve has been breached. The horn of Goondor has been sounded. The Imperium has made the smart move by consolidating behind their walls of Helms Deep. The system of E3OI-U will make history one way or another. Will The Imperium take a page from history and make their stand like the Russians in C-J6MT? Or will PAPI forces accomplish something believed to be impossible and crush their enemy under their boot? Time will tell, and I for one am excited to see.