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The Hot Spot in New Eden August 7, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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I haven’t seen a big red spot on the map like that since Burn Jita. (Though Jita’s was bigger.)

TEST and Pandemic Legion have their own war going on in the south now, while we have our own in the north.  We were all at 49-U6U less than a month ago.  Now there has been not just one, but two battles for this key system in Querious, sitting as it does on the border with Catch.

TEST still holds it, but it is clearly being contested for now.

Convoy Ops – Home From Delve July 23, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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One of the mysteries of EVE:  How can a fleet op that takes us on a grand tour of high, low, and null sec, which included six supercarrier kills, take less time than a convoy op from Delve to Deklein, which is essentially 15 gates and five jump bridges?

I have to guess that it is just a matter of motivation.  If our FC, Sour Blossom, had told us that there was a potential capital ship kill waiting for us in VFK, we would have been on the ball.  As it was though, she had to lead and keep together the fleet of epic bad connections and little lost sheep.

Arriving at another gate

To her everlasting credit we did not lose or leave behind everybody.  If it had been me, an hour into the op and something like 8 gates in, I would have been screaming.  I am pretty sure DBRB would have been leaving people behind.   So I admire her fortitude in the face of such things as finding out that one of the people dropping was running six simultaneous EVE clients, streaming the Alliance Tournament, talking on Mumble, and probably clicking on all the porn links in chat.  Or something like that.  I might be exaggerating a little… but only a little.

I put the game in window mode, put Mumble on the speakers, and played Peggle Nights while waiting for the jump command at each gate.

It wasn’t that bad, really.  Nothing like the multi-hour scale of the supercap convoy to Delve, of which Endie wrote, which appeared at first glance to be a plot to punish Pandemic Legion, who were guiding the whole op, for some past sins.

The Trail of Tears

Originally I said I was going to leave some equipment and a jump clone in Delve, just in case.  But on Saturday there were lots of convoy ops heading back home and I decided to clean up some of the junk I left down in Delve and bring back at least one fleet fit ship, a Drake, and whatever I could fit in the cargo hold.  I ended up with a ton of crap primarily because, unable to find contracts for correct, doctrine fit ships, I had to buy non-standard fits and then refit them with the correct modules, which lead to some excess.

Plus, in some quiet moments while waiting for fleets, I killed a few rats and, in my usual manner, looted and stashed away every single drop.

Add in the piles of ammo I bought in anticipation of a long war and I had stuff to sell.

Of course, my selling this sounds more pre-meditated than it actually was.  I saw the announcement for the convoy fleet op go up and had to scramble to get myself in position in my Drake just as it was leaving.  I only realized when already outside of the station and warping to the fleet that I should probably sell some of that crap.  This is the point where many minutes between gates came to my help, as I was able to remotely list almost everything I had in 1Dh-SX on the market.  Training up all those trade related skills paid off, as I can list items from anywhere in the same region.

And while the prices I set were somewhat at the bargain basement end of the spectrum, at least I was able to get some ISK out the stuff, which is preferable to having crap sitting around forever in a station you may never visit again.  I have a lot of stuff in that situation in New Eden.  The case against region-wide buy orders.

While our convoy arrived unmolested in VFK, SoCo was organizing some going-away surprises.  They whelped a Rokh fleet in order to kill two dreadnoughts that were part of a capital ship convoy, along with a few Drakes that came out to support them.  I guess that SoCo will spin that as a moral victory of some sort, as they seemed to lose on both the total kills and ISK front by a wide margin.

Meanwhile, it looks like all will not be boredom and ratting back in Deklein.  Nulli Secunda is not just still alive, but has joined up with Black Legion in Venal.

Gentlegoons, we may have announced that we’re done with the war in the South, but the war is not done with us. Nulli has moved north and is actively working with Black Legion to siege our techs; last night we, soft after weeks of smacking around incompetent -A- fleets, welped a drake fleet and lost a Convicted tech in late US tz. The South and their laughingstock fleets has made us weak, fat and soft – which is unacceptable.

You need to be out of F20Y and back to VFK ASAP. Cap Convoys are going out regularly, as are subcaps; pay attention to broadcasts and get out of the shantytown, it’s time to fight some real opponents.

The original goon broadcast was by the_mittani to all-all

There is a post up on EVE News 24 about the battle and the Nulli/Black Legion alliance.  I was actually planning to be in that fleet, though it came up at midnight local time for me and I ended up falling asleep before it happened.  Probably a good thing too, as the results of the actions at 42XJ-N could not be spun as a victory for the CFC in any way.

Nulli Secunda – Still Alive July 22, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Nulli Secunda updated their Alliance Tournament promo ad.

Strong alliances carry on in the face of adversity.

The War in Delve Ends… For Some of Us July 20, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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I didn’t lose my job.  It is still there.  Just when I go to the office now, there is somebody else doing it.

-Some comic in the 80s

There is still a war going on in Delve against the remains of SoCo.  Just when I go there now, somebody else is fighting it.

The news last night was that TEST asked its friends from the north to… well… go back to the north.

Endie, the chief spokesman for Goonswarm, a man with a gift for turning a phrase, put up a post reviewing the relationship between Goonswarm and TEST and how TEST, now the biggest holder of sovereignty in the game, wants to stand on its own two feet.  Look at all those systems TEST now owns.

How TEST stands compared to other alliances.

Alliance with 100 or more systems

This 150% jump in sovereignty came about after TEST blew the Horn of Gondor and brought down the legions of the north to drive SoCo out of Delve and Querious.  (And, effectively, Period Basis.)

And we came.  We came and we did our very special blob-tastic thing with relish and enthusiasm and blatant disregard for losses, driving the enemy before us in despair and causing them dock up and decline battle more often than not.

But now that we have accomplished that particular mission, TEST would like to take over.  They would like to play in their new domain, tend their garden, have good fights, and generally not have our Hodor fleet op style scaring off all of the game in their new preserve.

As Endie put it, “The Boatman… has no “medium” setting.”

TEST is not ungrateful.  They have their own public statement, posted by DurrHurrDurr, that also reviews the history of their relationship with Goonswarm. (This is one of those great things about EVE, history is held close, cherished and remembered. It isn’t something that falls away with new expansions or the long wait in between them.)

We will secure our legacy. We’ll start our own foreverwar with the mouthbreathing peasants of the South and the cockroaches of -A-. We’ll start our own family with our Honey Badger bros, and though this means we might spend more time with our waifu PL and adorable little children 99 and Tasha (now known as Tribal Band) we will not forget the lessons and support given to us by our GSF brethren. Though she might fret from afar and worry herself sick about our future, Mother Goon understands that this is something we need to do.

And so we are done, for now, in Delve.

There is, naturally, some disappointment at this turn of events.  I count myself among those letting out a wistful sigh at the thought of all those potential battles we will be missing.

Like others, I was looking forward to pushing operations into Catch in the hope that -A- would put up a fight to defend those systems in a way that they failed to do in Delve and Querilous.  I like fleet battles and going on operations to take systems or save towers.  I like to be part of a mission with a purpose beyond getting a few kills. (Though I do love me some kills… or at least enough to demonstrate I was there.)  I would have gladly gone along with an epic, night after night meatgrinder operational tempo, win or lose.

But according to The Mittani, who apparently shopped the region around to both friend and foe, nobody would want to take Catch off our hands and live there if we conquered it.  Something about never being able to get the old -A- smell out of the place.  And we are not going to take Catch simply to hand it back.

So it is back to the north.  Back to occasional roams and gate camps.  Back to the rare moments of excitement when a homeland defense fleet is called or one of the OTEC techmoons needs to be defended. (Though we’ll see how that cartel holds up with the planned changes.)  Back to ratting and mining.

I am, however, keeping a jump clone and the ships I purchased down in Delve in an NPC station.  This is TEST we’re talking about.  There is a reason they feel they have something to prove.

In the mean time, things have been awfully quiet in Jita, haven’t they?

DSS-EZ – Facing Stiffer Resistance in Stain July 17, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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I am a sucker for Jabber fleet formation messages that promise an imminent fight.  In fact, much of my time in null sec space has been Jabber driven.  I don’t spend much time just hanging around or sitting on gate camps, but a fleet call goes up on Jabber and I am at my desk and I am there.  I am sort of the null sec minute man, in a half-assed sort of way.

Anyway, as these posts tend to go, there was an alert on Jabber calling for a fleet with a fight imminent, your typical “go! go! go!” situation.

While the form up point was in F2OY-X, the starting point for most operations so far in the Delve War (or whatever we call it now that the actual fighting in Delve has tapered off), our first jump was to a system I suspect will become more and more important over time, 49-U6U.

49-U6U was a system that was at least contested by the SoCo, though it rolled over to Goonswarm back on the 10th.  It is an important system at the moment by virtue of having a station and being in Querious on the border with Catch.  That makes it a  natural staging point.

However, we were not going to Catch.  At least not for long.  We caught another titan jump bridge deep into catch, then burned along, gate to gate, into Stain, an NPC controlled section of null sec, where Gentleman’s Agreement has been putting up towers in an attempt to… I don’t know, really.

As usual, I am ignorant of the strategic objectives.  It could be to establish a foothold on another route into Catch to facilitate on upcoming invasion of the region.  Or it could be just a way to draw SoCo out into a fight.

If it is just the latter, it has been quite effective.  SoCo no doubt does not want another CFC/HBC foothold on the border of Catch, so they come out to play.  And so that was where we headed as well.

This is actually another new section of space for me.

Southwest Systems Map

On the map above, you can see Delve and Querious, marked with little yellow dots.  Those represent systems I have visited in the last two weeks, the dots growing and changing color as my activity in the area goes on.  You can compare that with high security space at the top of the picture.  Those systems I have visited many more times during my years in the game.  And Delve and Catch have no dots, because I had not been there.

We rolled into Stain only to catch another titan bridge that put us deeper into the region as a blocking force.  We then began moving back towards the system in contention, DSS-EZ, acting as something of a blocking force.  We were following a SoCo fleet, trying to catch it before it got to DSS-EZ I would imagine.  We did catch one Rokh on a gate in X1E-OQ, but that was our only real contact with the enemy fleet until we arrived back in DSS-EZ.

Once back there, we were confronted with the SoCo fleet, which was heavy on Rokhs and had two Thanatos carriers in support, pretty much right there on the gate.  It was then time to jockey for position.  DBRB burned us away from the hostiles, as we came through within range of some of their long range units but outside of our own missile envelope.

Drake fleet turning to increase the range

DBRB pulled us far enough away that we could do a short warp into their midst, and then the fight was on.

The way most battles look at a distance

We seemed to be doing very well initially.  We were able to knock down a couple of their recon ships, some of their Rohks, and best of all, first one then two of the carriers went down.  Those are nice, high value targets.

Thanatos on the field

Our own losses seemed to be quite minimal for a stretch, but then SoCo got its act together and began popping Drakes.

You can often tell when a fight is not going your way just by the change in tone on voice coms.  The logistics pilots began to growl on coms about the Drake pilots not calling for reps soon enough, the logi pilot theory being that the smart bombs that were hitting us could only be killing Drakes if the Drake pilots were absolute morons.

However, what was really happening was that the Rokhs were coordinating their attacks and killing off Drakes in a single volley.  Shortly after the carriers went down, I got primaried and blown up, with almost no transition time between first hit and me sitting in a pod.  There was no watching shields break and armor get stripped away.  I happened to be looking at the control to check my ammo when it happened, and it was more a matter of “hey, where did my modules go?”

Life in the danger zone.

Once in a pod I was left alone, but I could see people in fleet chat typing in “-1 Drake” as they got popped.  I moved out of the bubble and set my destination for our starting point, F2OY-X, which was 27 jumps away through hostile territory.  My options, however, were limited.  I could hang around at a safe spot and wait for the fleet to withdraw or I could try to get somewhere I could get another ship and be ready to come back if there were to be reinforcements.

I started off towards home.  I didn’t think I would make it.  27 jumps through null sec pretty much guarantees you will run into a gate camp at some point.  And, sure enough, I went through a gate and ended up in a bubble in X4-WL0.  I broke cloak, said hello, and asked to be sent home please.  I think that gave them a moment of pause, as they locked me up pretty quick, but then took a minute to actually kill me.  I was still in their bubble when they did, though I had been moving out on the off chance they might think flying back in a pod was worse punishment than buying a new clone.  They opted for the kill.

And so I was back in Delve where I found no Drakes available for sale on contract.  Well, none in the vicinity and certainly none that were fit to Drake fleet doctrine specs.  But the fleet was pulling back in any case.  There was to be no reinforcement fleet.

The kill board results for the ongoing battle in DSS-EZ, which actually isn’t that screwed up this time around (only a few people showing up on both sides of the fight, shows a fairly even fight.  We were slightly outnumbered overall, though it is hard to tell who was there at what time.  SoCo won on total kills and on the ISK front, losing 16 billion to our 21 billion.  And they knocked out the towers that Gents were setting up.

So a tactical victory for SoCo.

But on the scale of the ongoing war, the CFC/HBC wins in the long run with these sorts of exchanges.  The resources available to be committed will allow us to grind down SoCo over time.  SoCo needs to win big in these sorts of battles to push back the barbarians at their gate.

Walltreipers Alliance Defeated – Conquest of Delve Complete July 16, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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The Walltreipers Alliance held on to T-IPZB, the sole remaining unconquered system in Delve, through a major attack the day after I mentioned their efforts.

The Wallpapers Admiration Society that sprouted up on the forums and comment threads when their heroic stand came to light did not have much influence in the end.  War is war.  They were cornered in their system waiting for the inevitable.

A follow up attack two days later was too much, and yesterday TEST picked up the last system opposing us in Delve.

Thermopylae.  Masada.  Wake Island.  T-IPZB.

So Delve has fallen to an invader.  Again.

Looking at the system histories at DOTLAN, you can see that this is just another turn of the wheel.  T-IPZB, before Walltreipers Alliance owned it, had belonged at various times to Band of Brothers, Goonswarm, KenZoku, Pandemic Legion, and Ewoks, among others.  Now it belongs to TEST.  Who will it belong to in a year?

Delve – July 16, 2012

I suspect that the Walltreipers Alliance, having shown what they are made of even as some of their erstwhile allies were quitting the field, shouldn’t have trouble finding a new home somewhere.

Meanwhile, TEST has almost finished sweeping up Querious as well, the former home of Red Alliance.  That leaves most of the western edge of the galaxy in CFC/HBC hands.  Sovereignty map from the usual source.

State of Null Sec – July 16, 2012

There is a lot of blue on the western edge of the galaxy now, though I see that the Viking Empire is still there.  I guess somebody changed their mind about that summer vacation home.  (Oh, this happened.) Still, TEST now holds sovereignty in more systems that any other alliance.

This conquest was accomplished, according to Endie’s math, by 4,234 in-game characters, many of whom traveled across the galaxy to be there, and who had a logistical tail equally as long.  A bit less than the fearsome horde of 50,000 that people sometimes mention.  Though, we did have a force multiplier when it came to intel.

All of which leads to the usual follow up question: What next?

There is Period Basis to the south, with the remains of Nulli Secunda and the Vera Cruz Alliance, and there is Catch, the home of Against All Authorities.   We’re down there, we’re geared for war, and the summer is only half over.  Are we going on or are we going home?

Notes from the War in Delve July 12, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Some updates about the situation in Delve, mostly here to time stamp them so I do not forget them later.

Null Sec Power Blocks

The above picture was stolen from the opening post of the Kugu thread about the war in Delve, primarily because I thought it laid out the balance of power nicely.  Or at least how the balance stood a while back.  Also, it gives some scope to the size of null sec and empire space.

The opening post to that thread includes some background on the conflict to go along with the Elise Randolph post on the subject.

Meanwhile, what has been happening.

Nulli Secunda Pulls Out

Nulli Secunda, one of the original participants in the war in Delve (read the war origins posts linked above) and an important source of pilots to SoCo, announced to their membership yesterday that they were pulling out.

As some of you may have heard from faggot -A- corps or rumors from others, as of now, we are officially pulling out of 319. Starting immediately, any assets that you have in 319 or in PB for some reason if your still have stuff there, need to be moved to nearby low sec in Khanid or Aridia. Your corps will most likely have a location picked out where you can move stuff out too, it doesn’t particularly matter which low sec in Khanid or Aridia you pull out too, because we will be moving to a new location on Sunday anyway.

Right now the main focus is on making sure we get everything out of delve and period basis, and that means everything. All supers should already be out to low-sec as per orders from last week, but in case any are left, consult the super channel and make sure they get out safely. All capital ships need to be moved out, any assets that remain in Period Basis, etc. etc. Please be ready to work with other people in the alliance to help with cyno chains, making sure the station is clear of shit that pop’s cyno’s, and maybe even clearing bubbles. You have a good 4 days to get everything out of 319, and most of the stuff is pvp assets, so if the station is camped at one point, just be patient and wait for an opening.

Gaff, who had eyes on the 319 system last night, reported a regular stream of jump freighters moving in and out of the system, covered by carriers.  -A- has responded by increasing their effort to get Nulli Secundi members and corps to join them instead.

Meanwhile, I suspect Nulli Secunda’s Alliance Tournament ad might get pulled from YouTube.

They won’t be seeing anybody in 319 station soon.

Makalu is Putting You on His List

Gentleman’s Agreement, part of the CFC, managed to take down -A- FC Makalu in a 4.5 billion ISK Vidicator and then again in a 2 billion ISK Archon, earning them a serious, and much quoted, warning in local chat:

[22:00:32] Makalu Zarya > you killed my ship
[22:00:33] Makalu Zarya > congrats
[22:00:36] Makalu Zarya > now i kill your alliance
[22:00:45] Makalu Zarya > u can ask DRF for reference

Does this mean we’ll be fighting in Branch soon?  That is where the Gents make their home.

And this all happened in in TG-Z23, deep in the Stain region.  I am not sure if that portends anything for the war, but it cannot have made Makalu, who has been oft quoted from voice coms, very happy.

Walltreipers – Send More Goons!

The heroes of Delve at the moment have to be the Walltreipers Alliance.  They are currently hanging on to the one remaining system in Delve, T-IPZB.

According to a post provided by them over at EVE News 24, they have been holding firm since the start of the fight, against great odds.

They blockaded our system and attacked our outpost, reinforcing it. We were shocked. How could we confront the numbers of the enemy? We had many engages, some of them in our very home, others in the enemy’s. We lost ships, we lost clones… but we kept fighting. All the scars, all the pain were in our souls, not our bodies. And that made us stronger and stronger.

They have refused any quarter from the CFC-HBC forces and continue to defend their system.

In this stubborn, Wake Island-like defense, their primary concern appears to be that they won’t have enough ammunition to kill us all.  Meanwhile, they have been putting up some decent propaganda.

Cornered in Gaul, but holding firm

This has lead to more than a few expressions of respect and admiration for the 400 pilot alliance.  Ideas have been floated to allow them to keep their system, to give them the whole constellation, or just to bring them more ammunition so that they can continue their glorious defense unimpeded.

Oddly, these sentiments seem to be coming from their enemies or neutrals.  I am not sure where their friends and allies are.

And, finally, the big question in my mind, what does “Walltreipers” actually mean?

Addendum: Their defense in Delve came to an end.

49-U6U – Another Night, Another Boat Fleet July 10, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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My people, we are facing heavy resistance tonight in 49-, the most key system in the Southeast. Our TCU has not onlined and the foe are trying to launch towers there; I need everyone to wake up and be prepared for a late US TZ slugfest. We need to win 49- and claim sov tonight, or else this system will go into Dominion Limbo.

The original goon broadcast was by the_mittani to all-all

After the long fleet operations of the weekend, I was going to skip that sort of things for a few days.

Gaff, who had also recently been away on vacation, made it down to Delve and was IM’ing me about cheap Rifters up on contract.  I logged on and grabbed one… because I really need another ship to leave behind after the deployment wraps up… I still have a couple of ships up in Tenal left over from the conquest there… and joined him on the semi-premenant camp of the PR-8CA gate in 1DH-SX.

That gate is sort of the front line for the moment.  The SoCo camps one side pretty much non-stop and we camp the other, each hoping to snag a straggler or infiltrator.  It is the reason that you wait for a titan to bridge you into the on and off camp of 319-3D, as you are likely to get picked off if you try to run the few systems there by yourself.

So I joined the fleet, logged into voice coms, and formed up on Gaff on the gate and zoomed around in a MWD Rifter for a while.

In the progression of things early on in my EVE career, I went almost straight to battlecruisers, spending as little time in frigates as you possibly managed.  This “go big” attitude was formed because the very first post-tutorial mission I picked up in game was Worlds Collide.  So I pretty much went to destroyers as soon as I could, then battlecruisers, and then battleships.

In the drag bubbles at

So, for me, there is still a sense of freshness, or newness in flying a frigate.  I was quite enjoying zooming around in excess of 3km a second around the gate, guns loaded and wondering if I might actually get to shoot something.

And then the word came down for an emergency fleet form up.

It wasn’t the message quoted at the top of this post from The Mittani.  That came later.

No, this was from Dabigredboat and was of the “Get in fleet! Get in a Drake! Get on the titan in F2OY-X! Hurry! Hurry! Fight going on NOW!”

And somehow, I always fall for the promise of a “fight now.”

So I left the camp in 1DH, took the gate to F2O, and mulled over just staying in my Rifter… might I actually get to web/tackle?

I decided to go with the old standard, swapped to a Drake, and got to the POS just as the titan bridge went up.  I had to turn on the MWD to get to it in time to catch the bridge, giving it a bump for good measure.  Hey, it was DBRB’s titan, he can take it.

We bridged into the region, moved a couple of systems, and then set up a camp on the gate at 8QT-H4.  It was then, when we were finally at rest for a bit, that DBRB took some time to explain what was up.

Men who stare at gates

We had a Territorial Claim Unit going online in 49-U6U, an important system in the Querious region as it has an outpost and is on the border with the Catch region, which starts to get into Against All Authorities home turf.  Once the unit finished and went online, sovereignty would change from Cascade Imminent to Goonswarm and we would have a new outpost to work with in a position where it could easily become the staging ground for operations in Catch.

During the period when the TCU is going online, which takes 8 hours, it is vulnerable to attack.  And SoCo decided to try and take it out in hopes of poking the CFC blob in the eye. (Their own attempt to plant one in the system got shot down earlier.)

There was actually another fleet in 49-U set to defend the system and chase off the SoCo fleet.  We were to be the blocking force, to camp a gate on the route through which the SoCo fleet would withdraw, assuming that they would head back to 319-3D where they had been staging so far.

The plan worked, to a limited extent.  The SoCo fleet did not come through en masse, but we were able to pop a few ships trying to head back to 319.  We then pulled back a system, to SVM-3K to give the illusion that the door was now open.  This brought a few more targets into our grasp, though much to the annoyance of the Drake pilots, there were several “Insta-Canes” in the fleet (Hurricane battlecruisers configured to lock and shoot targets very quickly) who managed to pick off almost all the enemy ships before the rest of us could lock them up.  I personally got on exactly one kill report there in a half a dozen tries.  I am going to have to look into that Hurricane fit if I want to kill whore with the pros I guess.

When that dried up, we moved off to try and track down the SoCo fleet.  It looked like a pile of them hit the station 5V-BJI, was in reinforce and which seemed to be having some graphics issues on my system.

Shouldn’t that shield graphic overlay the station graphic?

The SoCo fleet appeared to be leaving or logging off at that point, so we returned to 49-U6U, where they had planted a tower in order to keep a foothold in the system.  It had not gone online and so we warped to it in order to shoot it up.

Chipping away at the tower

This was a large tower and our fleet shooting at it was not doing huge amounts of damage.  Fortunately for us, by this time The Mittani’s call had gone out and had been responded to and further reinforcements were sent our way, including some capital ships.

Dreadnoughts join the shoot

The tower went down, so now I have a structure on this month’s kill board.  Go me, I suppose.

And then we began what is often, subjectively speaking, the longest stage of any DBRB fleet; the gap between when Boat says we are going home and when we actually do go home.  I realize that once he has a weapon in his hands along with access to alliance intel, the desire to smite just one more thing must be pretty big.

So it was the usual routine.  Set destination, all gates green.  No, stop on gate X, gate X is red.  All gates green until gate Y, hold on gate Y.  We need to hold here for a few minutes.  And so on and so forth.

Intellectually, I know he does it for good reason.  However, the fleet in general does not have access to the same intel, so we just get surly and impatient.  We fidget in our seats, punch our siblings, and keep asking, “Are we there yet?”  Minutes start to seem like hours and we’re all thinking, “Just say ‘go!’ already!”

Eventually we got to 319-3D, where we were going to stop… or camp the station… or sit in the safe POS… when DBRB announced that all gates were green back to F2OY-X and we were free to go.  And off we went, a blob of Drakes rushing along, bursting through the eternal gate camp where I started off and back to the station.

This morning I checked as saw that sovereignty had changed hands and that Goonswarm now had a station on the border of Catch.

And as we are getting there, The Mittani seems unsure about continuing on into Catch.

Meanwhile, there is a diplomatic call out to flee the sinking ship that is the unhappy SoCo. (You have to log into the EVE forums to use that link I am afraid. Otherwise you get a 404 error, which seems like the completely wrong way to handle things, but that might just be me.)

So while there is a pretty well written summary of how we all got here in Delve, where it goes from here seems to be, as yet, unwritten, whether it be a great war or not.

Watching the Alliance Tournament in 319-3D July 8, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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They don’t seem to understand that if they want to blueball us, they can’t then come out and fight us.

-Dabigredboat, paraphrased from fleet chat

It was one of those hurry up fleets.  A announcement came up on Jabber, get on coms, get in the fleet, get in the system, get on the gate, there is a fight going on NOW gogogogogo!

And so, like the Scotsman who saw the sign that said, “Drink Canada Dry,” I went.

The hope is, as always, that you will be able to get in, get a fight and maybe a few kills, then call it a day with a feeling of accomplishment.  You can run off and do other things because you’ve held up your end in for the coalition today.

I got online, got into the fleet, jumped, got on the right gate just as people were jumping through, and joined in the jolly chase getting on at least one kill report along the way.

We ended up, as if by magic, on the station at 319-3D, where we spent so much time the day before.  And we stopped there and set up another camp.  It was, as Admiral Ackbar might have put it, a trap.

And so we sat on the station and watched the Alliance Tournament.  I updated my nVidia drivers last night, so was able to stream without crashing my video card.

DBRB explained that we were sitting on them in 319 because we had a super capital fleet out knocking over towers, putting things into reinforce, and whatever else it is titans and super carriers to when they are not blapping sub caps.  So we were going to be there for a while and without any real support.

Which, looking at local, seemed to favor the opposition.  There were over 700 people in local, and while we had a full fleet of 256, there were the usual number of stragglers and AFK that got left behind.  So we were about 200 sitting on the doorstep of a potential 500 bad guys.

Those odds seemed to be favorable enough that after about an hour, Boat woke the fleet up because intel (spies in their coms) indicated they were going to come out and get us in battleships.  Boat had us dock up and change our shield hardeners, which was actually pretty easy, as the station in 319 is an NPC station and the hardeners we needed were all for sale there.  We docked up, refit, and surged back out to get ready.

Getting back on grid for a fight

Docking and undocking taxes the systems running EVE and triggers time dilation.  That is actual an early warning system for a station camp, as TiDi will spike when the enemy is trying to undock en masse.  And us docking up and undocking slowed everything down.  But we got back out and got ready.  And then nothing happened.

Word was passed they were reshipping to Oracles and then to Drakes.  And then Boat told us they decided not to come out, had disbanded their fleet, and nothing was going to happen.  That did not get rave reviews in local.

I am not sure of the history behind “fofofofo”

Some more propaganda got linked as well.  I always enjoy that.

War in the South

I always favor anything with the former Iraqi minister of information.

So we went back to scraping the station, trying to target the occasional undock, and watching the alliance tournament.  There was one carrier, an Archon, that kept undocking to let us shoot at it a bit before it docked back up.

Shooting the Archon

The theory in fleet was that he was trying to make us waste ammo.  He tripped up at least once and we got him into armor.  Shield recharge automatically when you dock up, but armor costs money to repair at an NPC station.  A lot of money.  Certainly more than the cost of the missiles expended.

In the alliance tournament we watched Goonswarm win their match 50-0 (fight video here), while Against All Authorities got stomped, scoring only 2 points to the 50 their opponent managed.  And the two points came from one of the opposing ships disconnecting before the match began (fight video here).  There was much comment on that in local, while the Goons themselves seem as amazed as anybody at their undefeated standing in the tournament.  As Endie put it in a broadcast:

Just as stout Cortez stood silent upon a peak in Darien and looked out over the unknown Pacific sea, so equally stout – if not stouter – Vily has led our AT X team to the brink of the unknown: an Alliance Tournament performance to be smug about.  Let’s just hope that the finals don’t involve random drug-testing of competitors.  Now every little goon can go to bed at night with a mind afire with dreams of introducing themselves to girls in bars as a member of “Goonswarm Federation, the number one elite PvP alliance in Eve Online, you may have heard of us.

And so we sat and camped the station while watching the tournament.

Just as we were about done, having received word that the super caps had finished their own mission and that Boat was officially bored with the whole camp, we got word that the reds in the station were going to move on us at last.  We slowed things down a bit by changing back to our original shield hardener configuration and got ready.  At last they enemy surged out and battle was joined.

Missiles fly at last in 319

The bad guys got a surprise.  Since the super capital fleet was done with their work, they showed up to help us with ours.

Supers on the field… again

If they had come at us any time in the previous two hours, it would have just been us, mildly out numbered.  But they waited too long.  We got some kills, to a couple of losses, and they docked back up, no doubt complaining about being blobbed yet again.  Timing is everything.

And that was the end of action in 319 for the time being.  The supers jumped out, we got a bridge home from the safe POS.

Supers jump out under Drake cover

And all was right with the world as far as I was concerned, having added a few more kills to my total for the month.  And the alliance tournament was actually more interesting that I thought it would be.

I Came to 319 for the Conga Line, But I Stayed for the Kills July 8, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

I am tired of watching ccp show the JITA undock – Lets get them to show a conga line. OPERATION SUPER CONGA LINE OF 319 UNDOCK IS STARTING – BRING A DRAKE AND BRING A BUBBLE. Op3 on mumble. Fleet forming now. Fleet up on jarna civire. Lets go pick on -A- and be on live tv with a bubble camp conga line.

The original goon broadcast was by dabigredboat to all-all

That is all we were promised, a conga line in 319-3D, the current staging system for our Southern Coalition opponents.  And since there wasn’t much else going on, a chance to goof off and trail our collective coats in an enemy stronghold seemed like a reasonable option.  There wasn’t even any real ship restrictions, despite the message on Jabber, it was bring what you want.  So DBRB piled about 120 of us in the back of the station wagon… erm… titan, and bridged us into 319.

Mostly Drakes, probably out of habit

The real motivation was to get us on the alliance tournament streaming feed between battles.  Kills were not promised.  And yet, as we jumped in, there was a carrier sitting just far enough away from the station undock to be a reasonable target.  We locked it up and tore it apart.  Already the day was a success.

Bubbled within reach of the station and… boom

Other ships were popping in and out of the area, and some people in the fleet managed to pick off targets of opportunity.  Meanwhile, drag bubbles were being deployed all around the station in 319.  Occasionally somebody would undock and stay out long enough that we could target them (you are safe for a short time after you undock), and they faced a spray of fire.

Missiles to the undock

We were also, somewhat unsuccessfully, attempt to form the promised conga line, though that did not seem to be working out very well.  The picture above bears that out.

And the moment it seemed to be starting to take shape, with ships starting to actually shake out into trail formation, word came that the SoCo pilots in the station were going to try to undock and take us on.  At that time we were pretty well outnumbered.  The conga line was forgotten and we anchored up.  Hostile ships started to undock in numbers and a fight was on.

Lasers, missiles, and a red glow…

The numbers were not in our favor, but the red glow in the screenshot above is the residual effect of people bridging in to the cyno that was put up, so our ship count went from around 120 to approximately 500 in pretty short order, a number which included some very heavy support.

Oh, titans, how lovely

That did not make the SoCo team very happy.  They got themselves together and docked up after a bit.  I only ended up on two kill reports, despite locking and shooting at quite a few ships.  Some of them just docked up when damaged, others popped before I could pile onto the kill.

Once the fight was over, we went back to our two previous preoccupations.  The first was to surround the station with drag bubbles.

Many bubbles

These actually were mildly effective in that now and again they caught somebody jumping to the station and gave those quick enough a kill.

And the second was trying to form the damn conga line.

Some of us in a line

The conga line did have some success, though it never really shook out to the spectacle that it might have.  People would get disconnected or warp off and the line would break or get kinked or otherwise look sloppy.

Still, CCP FoxFour showed up in a Polaris Legatus Frigate to check out what we were up to.  You can see one of the kinks in our conga line in the background of the picture below.

CCP FoxFour’s ship

I understand that we did appear on the tournament live stream for a bit, though when I brought up the stream on my system, the video card crashed.  The version of the nVidia drivers I have seem to be hostile to certain video technologies.  I have seen crashes before when I have tried to watch a stream as well as when I have tried to create movies or burn DVDs.  Time to check for an update.

Of course, I then had to reboot, which dropped me and, I am sure, further screwed up the conga line.

After that, I headed off to the safe station we have in 319 and logged off.  The family went off to see Brave, which was good, but not really up to the standards set by some past Pixar movies.  DBRB had declared that the camp of 319 station would go on.

And after we got home from the movie, I found some time to log in and he and his fleet were still there.  I was able to jump from the safe POS to the fleet and get into a quick fight which got me killed.  But at least I was in a legitimate fleet, so I can expect to get reimbursed for the loss.

I was able to pick up a new Drake and get a bridge back to 319 just in time to get in on a couple more kills, though I am not so sure I should be happy about this one, a fellow CFC member.  At least the kill mail shows that I inflicted no damage, but being listed at all has to be some sort of faux pas.  I have no idea how I managed that.

After things settled down to another camp routine, I caught a convoy home, had dinner, watched a movie with my daughter, and sorted through my screen shots to pick out pictures for this post.  After all that, I logged on to find DBRB still at it in 319.

It appears that he handed over the camp to another fleet who managed to get driven off and lost all 80 or so of the drag bubbles that had been planted earlier in the day.  So he was back to re-assert the camp on the 319 station.  I followed along for that, which let me put one more kill up on my count.  At least I am on the board for July now.

Then it went back to sitting on the station waiting for something to happen.  DBRB and some others were playing League of Legends while running the camp.  I looked at the clock and realized I started off in the first fleet more than 12 hours earlier.  I had put in more than enough time into EVE Online for the day.  I caught a lucky bridge back to our staging system and logged off.

The question for me, at the end of the day, is how much longer will 319 be the focal point for the SoCo after the fold at C3N-3S?  I heard a rumor that we had started operations in Catch, which is getting into the home of Against All Authorities.  Will we be fighting there next weekend?