Well, that was a fun war, don't you think?
N3 are making brave noises and kudos to them for that, but this thing is over. Without a viable escalation option, they can't deploy the "wrecking ball" carrier fleet that's been so effective in the war to date. The CFC has a super-cap fleet to escalate to knock out the N3 carriers, N3 doesn't have a super-cap fleet to defend them. The CFC has already started reinforcing dozens of new systems. We've seen how every single war in EVE where one side could easily out-escalate the other has ended. Yes, N3 is better at guerrilla tactics than all of CFC's past enemies were. But it's not going to matter.
Pandemic Legion have a fearsome -- and highly deserved! -- reputation. But anyone who thinks this is the first time they've pulled back when over-matched doesn't know their history. They've done this before, lots of times, going back to 2010 just in my own memory of the game. The only alliances that have gained and lost more sov in more regions in the history of this game are probably Goonswarm and Red Alliance. PL's independent tournament team is called "Why Dash" because the alliance has a genetic fear of systems with "Y-" in the name because of a couple of major lost battles in them. A joke's been going around that B-R needs to be renamed "B-RY-59". ;-)
Hell, knowing when to fall back when over-matched so they can fight back another day is one of the things that makes PL so fearsome. So yeah, don't worry about PL and anyone making claims that this is gonna break them is being ridiculous. They'll come back just as strong.
But this war is over. And get ready to yell at me: I hope you enjoyed it because it's probably the last that EVE is gonna see for a long while. Additionally, it's a good bet that B-R5RB is not only the costliest battle EVE Online has ever seen, it's the costliest battle EVE Online will ever see.(1)
To have large wars, you need two large adversaries. To have a large battle, you need two sides willing to commit large numbers of expensive assets.
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was and will remain the largest aircraft carrier battle in the history of the world, with 15 U.S. aircraft carriers facing off against nine Japanese carriers. It holds the record and will continue to hold the record for the simple reason that after this battle was over, never again could Japan or any other country challenge the supremacy of the U.S. carrier fleet. Today, in the combined navies of the entire rest of the world, there aren't enough aircraft carriers to challenge the current U.S. carrier fleet.
And in a couple of months when N3 is crushed, that's where things will stand in EVE as well: even if the entire rest of New Eden were to combine their forces, it would be unlikely they could challenge the supremacy of the combined escalation capabilities of the CFC and their Russian allies, particularly as the B0TLRD agreement goes into effect. I suppose it's possible that the CFC and the Russians might turn on each other -- this particular group of Russians has never had much love for Goons -- but it seems quite unlikely to me. Neither has anything the other wants. So don't misunderstand: this is not me saying the Goons are going to conquer the rest of New Eden because there's no reason for them to. As long as no threats to their existence rise in the east or CCP doesn't put large new income sources there, they'll be content to ignore it.
But any even potentially existential threats to their existence will be crushed very early in their development... long before they can achieve the standings to field hundreds of super-capital ships and threaten another risky B-R-sized engagement. This will happen both to give the CFC pilots something to do and because it's the smart thing for their leadership to do. The CFC has proven to be very good at this. At least as much credit for the success of B-R has to go to their spy network as to their super-cap pilots. For that reason, we might see some minor Goon/Russian wars but nothing on the scale of the Halloween War or the past Great Wars. More likely, we'll see the Russians turn on each other with Goons cheering from the sidelines and maybe jumping in as "honorable third parties." Same difference: the scale of the fights will be smaller.
You could say "But Jester, the CFC will fall sooner or later and that will make new larger battles possible!" and yeah, I'd have to agree that's at least possible. But it also feels to me like a loss of the large number of CFC pilots needed to make the fall of the CFC happen (if thousands of them decided to switch to Star Citizen, say) would also be an existential threat to EVE Online itself.
That last is a separate issue, but also important: to have enormous fleet battles, you need enormous numbers of players who are both active subscribers and logged into the game. And those numbers, as I've said many times, are quite stagnant. The CFC might fall, sure, but I doubt enough new players would come into the game to make up the difference and make another hugely expensive fleet battle like B-R happen. So while the idea of large fleet battles caused by the fall of the CFC is possible, I don't consider it likely.
So to CCP, I suggest you guys make hay while the sun shines. B-R5RB is a fantastic marketing opportunity! But it's never going to come again.
(1) Though to be fair, if the game ever goes into some kind of massive decline death spiral, we might see some kind of one-day event where bitter-vets were all encouraged to activate their unsubscribed super-cap pilots on the same day to have a final massive free-for-all somewhere.