Years ago, Delve was the throne of space. Whichever alliance sat atop this throne was arguably the most powerful group in the universe. For years, Band of Brothers (BoB) held this throne and lorded down from on high. Their rallying cry? “Nice region, we’ll take it!” At the height of their dominion, they controlled Fountain in the west all the way down to Omist and Tenerifis in the south.
For nearly half a decade Delve has been a husk of its former self. The Dominion expansion of late 2009 brought about the Technetium bottleneck that shifted the throne of space to the northern regions of the game. On June 4th, Odyssey will once again make Delve - and the neighboring regions of Fountain, Aridia, Querious, and Period Basis - the most valuable space in the game.
Drunk ‘n’ Disorderly had just wrapped up their Platinum moon campaign in Aridia, Genesis, and Solitude - with the help of Unprovoked Aggression - and were about to head off for greener pastures. Then Fozzie told the world that Dysprosium, Thulium, Promethium, and Neodymium - the R64s - were once again going to be the most valuable moons in the game. Shortly afterward, DnD did a full 180 and started a massive siege operation to conquer as many R64s as possible. Unprovoked Aggression settled into their home in Meunvon to support DnD, and Lost Obsession later moved into Fihrneh. The combined group of Drunk ‘n’ Disorderly and Lost Obsession occasionally calls themselves Drunken Obsession. Three of the largest lowsec powers are now living in Aridia full time since Fozzie’s announcement; the only remaining major players that haven’t moved in are Shadow Cartel and Rooks and Kings.
As these lowsec groups spent their time consolidating in Aridia and the surrounding lowsec regions, the HBC's rotted carcass finally collapsed; TEST brought it down with BoodaBooda's now famous speech.
The western powers - Raiden, Tribal Band, and TEST - formed into a defensive pact of sorts, while the eastern groups formed into a new coalition known as The Dinner Squadron. Tribal Band, up until recently, was funded almost exclusively by Unrefined Platinum Technite reactions, or the ‘Cobalt Throne’, while Raiden and TEST are believed to be heavily invested in Neodymium. In short, Tribal Band is in some hot water financially, and TEST and Raiden are looking at a big income buff. A proper contact for Raiden and TEST was not available at time of writing.
Unclaimed seems to be suffering some serious internal turmoil, with what could be described as a mini-coup taking place. At time of writing, the coup is so fresh that the head of the new hostile alliance, Badboris, is still listed as a diplo on Unclaimed’s alliance description.
The new alliance, Ex Cinere Scriptor, expects to see 1600 members by the 27th and is looking to retake Feythabolis. Its leader is not overly concerned about the new moon changes coming forward in Odyssey.
Darkness of Despair has also been gaining momentum and fighting The Dinner Squadron in the south. They’ve conducted a siege campaign aimed at aborting unborn supers in the area and taking R64s. Their diplo claims that they’ve taken back 90% of the R64s in Stain amid the chaos of the HBC’s collapse. As of late, PL has been dropping supers alongside Raiden to beat back Darkness of Despair.
Amid the political turmoil in the south, the CFC deployed two of their larger squads, European Goonion and Freedom Squad, to Delve, and are now staging out of 1DH. Two other major powers have moved in as well; NCdot has moved into Sakht, and Pandemic Legion has moved into NPC Delve. Both groups maintain they left their supers and most of their capitals at home. Both groups also maintain they’ve deployed to the area in search of good fights. NCdot and PL are blue to each other, and have occasionally temp blue'd CFC elements to get more even fights out of TEST and friends.
With TEST staging in NOL, this means that Delve has transformed into a thunderdome of epic proportions. Fights are raging almost non-stop, with numbers as low as 40v40 skirmishes and as high as 300 vs 700 moon sieges.
Unfortunately, while Delve is blossoming into a land of PVP nirvana for those large enough to fight in it, the neighboring lowsec regions are not. With well equipped and skilled titan bridgers inhabiting the area, roaming and gate camping gangs have ground to a halt. The once vibrant small-to-midsize gang PVP of Aridia, Genesis, and Solitude has all but evaporated. TEST’s NOS Squadron, recently deployed to Aridia’s Nema system, has been recalled to NOL. Both Infernal Octopus and Sadistica Alliance stopped fighting each other for fear of third party involvement. DnD’s Platinum campaign resulted in the collapse of a small coalition lead by Extinction Level Event, and its components have scattered to the winds. The once infamous Genesis gate-camping system of Gonditsa sits barren, its famous Bherdasopt gate often uncamped.
Though NCdot’s leader - Vince Draken - claims that NCdot moved down south for good fights, it is worth noting that TEST poked an NCdot Neodymium moon before their arrival.
PL claims their supers are in Amamake; Elise Randolph even went so far as to suggest running a locator agent on them. However, there are several killmails showing a sizable PL super fleet in the area. This fleet even made an appearance in lowsec, though Elise called this a quick deploy to save their dreads.
In the deep south, The Dinner Squadron set a station in X-7BIX and is supposedly staging their coalition out of it.
Among the conversations conducted during research for this article there was a repeated sentiment that the south may get a substantial moon buff in Odyssey. The notion of CCP dumping even more valuable moons into what is already the most valuable area of the game is absurd, especially given the fact that players have already showed a willingness to cartel.
There are, of course, many more rumors and all kinds of tinfoil rolling around, but I'll leave some for Kugu.
No matter how you look at it, the southwest is heating up. A huge portion of the playerbase is now concentrated in the area, and most of them are highly skilled and well equipped. Something is going to happen there come Odyssey; whether it leaves the realm of politics is anyone’s guess.
Badboris - Executor of Ex Cinere Scriptor - Full Interview
Mystic Rebel - Junior Diplo for Darkness of Despair - Full Interview
Raiden - Mail Log - No Response
Drunk 'n' Disorderly - Mail Log - No Response
Elise Randolph - Pandemic Legion Delve Campaign Commander - Full Interview
Amymuffmuff - Lost Obsession Diplomat - Full Interview
Vince Draken - Executor of NCdot - Full Interview
Nulab Jones - Executor of Unprovoked Aggression - Full Interview
Quindaster - Executor of Infernal Octopus - Full Interview
BlueMajere - Pandemic Legion Fleet Commander - Full Interview
Kcolor - Commander of GSF's BomberWaffe - Full Interview
Demerlis - Tribal Band Diplomat - Full Interview
TEST AtAt Image Credit - Slurms SonofKenzie
Contacts were poked for TEST, but no official contact could be found.