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Friday Night Movie Ops November 12, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
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After the bitter trench warfare of Tribute, we essentially just won Vale by announcing that we’d be taking it in a hellish sovgrind, without actually going through the ‘hellish sovgrind’ part.

-CFC Wretched Peace Update

There was an op called for Friday evening, late in the US time zone.  It was for Alpha Fleet, which meant I could get out my Maelstrom which, at this point, I was kind of hoping would get blown up.  I bought it last December, it  has been insured three times, and that third term is coming close to expiration.  Losing it on a reimbursed operation so I could turn around and buy a Rokh seemed like a reasonable plan.

But it was not to be.

The war is winding down.  Ev0ke is leaving town, and has sold its moons to GSF for 250 billion ISK, depriving Northern Coalition of an ally and leading to a mid-war reset.  The map shows the CFC having swallowed all of Tribute (save one system) and most of The Vale of the Silent at this point.

Tribute and Area – October 14

Tribute and Area – November 11

While the fleet was called and assembled to cover the capital ship fleet should any opposition appear, the likelihood of opposition appeared to be slight.

So Schadenfreud, who lead my first op into The Vale of the Silent, formed us up in UMI-KK, lead us out to the Vale, and parked us in a POS bubble while we waited for events to unfold.  And since they seemed unlikely to unfold, a link was put up in fleet for a room on SynchTube (which I didn’t even know was a thing before this fleet) so we could all watch videos together while we waited.

They also serve, who only sit and watch movies

We watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome and the first half hour of Hook (no idea how a movie about an adult and his relationship with a fantasy world got included) before the word came down that the cap fleet had done whatever it was they had to do and that we were free to go.

And so the war winds down.  My Maelstrom survived another fleet op.

Into The Vale of the Silent October 29, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
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Last week I was looking at the map of the Tribute region in EVE Online and wondering if the war against Norther Coalition might be coming to an end.  NC held just three systems in one corner of the region after internal politics and the trench warfare of the sovereignty grind basically sapped their will to live and they lost eleven systems in one day.

The implication seemed to be, as demonstrated by excerpts from one of NC’s recent alliance meetings, that if they just gave up in Tribute, they could get back to more fun aspects of null sec life, like getting stuck into the Russians in Solar Fleet.  Good fights and good times, and no more shooting SBUs and repping towers.

A State of the Goonion message gave the CFC response to this idea.  The TL;DR version being:

We’re chasing NCdot to Vale and purging them. Also their techs in lowsec. Fuck’em.

So… War On!

The CFC has even built up enough infrastructure in Tribute… in the form of POS and jump bridge locations… that we are not even being asked to redeploy again.  We have a pretty simple commute to and from the war at this point.

The Vale of the Silent is a little more complex, sovereignty-wise.  In addition to NC, there is EvOke and Ewoks and Rolling Thunder, and Babylon 5 rattling around in the region, each with some sovereignty carved out.  Some are known quantities, like EvOke, others I have no clue about, like Rolling Thunder, who showed up one day when Raiden imploded in the north.

The Neighborhood

And, in amongst all of that there is NC and 25 tech moons.  Time for more strat ops.

More on that… with pictures… after the break.

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Looking at the Map of Tribute October 24, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
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I haven’t written much about EVE lately, mostly because I have not been doing much in EVE lately.

There is still a war on in the Tribute region of space for the moment.

The battle between the CFC, which includes my alliance, and Northern Coalition and their allies continues.  But so far during the month of October I have only been on a couple of strategic operations.

DBRB FC’ing from a Vigil

(That picture is my only proof I have been on an op this month!)

This hasn’t been for a lack of desire to go on such operations.  Strat ops are, right now, my favorite thing in EVE.  I enjoy being in large fleets with hundreds of people battling over things that change the map of the game.  It lets me participate in a way that matters, yet gives me a small enough role that my lack of total lack skill (as opposed to skills) won’t mess things up.

No, this is primarily because of the times fleets have been going out.  NC has been playing the time zone game… something that would bring cries of “night capping” in GW2, but which is just part of the game in EVE… by trying to get timers to expire in prime time of time zones in which they are stronger.  This has generally been Australian time, which Vince Draken, the NC leader, said is a time zone they have actively recruited for in the past.  24 hour coverage, another EVE thing.

Anyway, the upshot of this that fleets have been going out, for the most part, when I am at work or asleep.

I am not even on the kill board yet for the month.

There have been some fleet doctrine changes (as noted in the Not Winning Fast Enough alliance update) which, along with the impending heavy missile nerf, has me training up skills so I can leave the Drake behind.  However, I am kind of mid-stream on training plans.

I want to fly the Rokh for Alpha fleet, but getting gunnery skills up for tech II hybrid weapons is one of those “train this, but first train these other six skills to level IV or V” chains that ends up feeling like your driving from New York to Chicago via Mexico City.

And then, as I kicked off that plan, Gaff started trying to tempt me into flying capital ships.  And, as it turns out, the skill plan for me to fly a Caldari Phoenix dreadnought is only about four weeks longer than it would take me to get into a fleet fit tech II Rokh.

Okay, it isn’t pretty or anything…

This is primarily because I have all of the secondary missile skills they want you to have before you join cap fleet trained up to V.

I have clearly been all about the missiles up to this point.

Plus, the dreadnought plan also includes a couple of skills that would finish up my requirements to fly in stealth bomber operations.  Those sound interesting.  Of course, they also sound like they require some skills beyond the ability to “press butan,” which makes me wary.

Anyway, because of all of this, I have opted to play space priest for a while now, flying a Scimitar and keeping other people alive.  You can always get in a fleet with a Scimitar and at this point I have all the Scimitar skills maxed out.  You just don’t get on the kill boards unless something rare occurs.

And so the war in Tribute has been grinding along without me for the most part.  I have ships in our forward deployment station, I just don’t get to use them very often.

But my participation is not really required.  After a long slog to set things up, it sounds like the CFC has made a great leap forward in the war.  Earlier this week, a series of operations turned sovereignty in 11 systems in Tribute, and NC appears to be down 15 for the last seven days.

That was enough to make the colors on the big sovereignty map (updated daily here) change noticeably, as well as moving the “front lines” in the war even farther from home in Deklein.  This war started out practically in our front yard back in August.

Tribute and Area – October 14

Tribute and Area – October 24

Of course, part of the reason for this advance seems to be related to NC’s own internal drama and deteriorating relations with their ally Black Legion.  EVE is as much about building and maintaining relationships as anything else.

This leaves NC left holding a total of three systems and one station in the Vale of the Silent corner of Tribute.

I am not sure how this is going to play out going forward.  Will the final conquest of Tribute end the war, punishing NC enough for their breaking of the OTEC treaty? (That is why we started this whole thing, right?)  Can a peace settlement be worked out?  Or will the war go on?

And what will the CFC do with all that additional space?  Sovereignty costs money and an alliance can have too much.

The wheel of null sec continues to turn.

Of course, if Tobold were to recount the tale of the war in Tribute, it would no doubt be summed up as the work of half a dozen deranged basement dwelling sociopaths because, you know, nobody really plays EVE.  (Well, unless they are evil I guess.)

How has CCP not gone bankrupt yet?

Addendum – Two days later, we have a CFC Alliance Update on the war.

Waiting for the Resulting Kill Mail… September 2, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
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When something like this comes over Jabber:

Gentlegoons, moving is a time of Darwin Awards. Hostile can create fleets you can join; if you, hypothetically, are so stupid that you join a hostile fleet and jump to a hostile cyno and lose a carrier over it, you will not be reimbursed – you will in fact be roundly mocked for your stupidity.

The original goon broadcast was by the_mittani to all-all

You know somebody out there is feeling stupid already.

And it seems that our staging point for operations in the Tribute War is moving forwards.  Time to pack up stuff and move again.

Addendum: There is more about this in a recent update about the war.

Addendum 2: Oh, now there is a story posted detailing exactly what happened.  Three carriers down.

The Station at UMI-KK Changes Hands August 31, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
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The station at UMI-KK, the system at the center of the war in Tribute for the last week, changed hands.

The outpost is now in the hands of the CFC, with a new name, “U MIght Have Lost Tribute.”

Northern Coalition also lost sovereignty in the system, which will no doubt soon be added to the systems already owned by the CFC in the region.

I would like to report that this all came about due to an epic fight… but I cannot.

While I understand there was some fighting, by the time I showed up with the second Drake fleet, it was all over.  And so we spent a couple of hours shooting more structures, which lays the groundwork for further changes of ownership.

Shooting a jump bridge

The only kills we got were based completely on the bad luck of the opposing pilots who chose the wrong moments to show up in our vicinity.

Picked the wrong time to use that jump bridge

My experience in null sec so far has been that there comes a point in these wars where one side gives up and seeks to minimize any further ship losses.  Have we reached that tipping point in the Tribute war now?

Addendum: More details from last night and the war in general are showing up.

Tribute – A Rumor of War August 29, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
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I seem to be missing most of the Tribute War.

Which is annoying, since the whole thing is happening practically in our front yard. The big battles in UMI-KK are only about a dozen jumps from the systems I consider “home” in null sec.

QPO is practically in our alliance’s front yard.

In fact, there was a flurry of corp and alliance wide messages this past weekend because because hostile forces made their way into one of the TNT held systems and put a cyno jammer into reinforce. There was a call to arms with a request for a full alliance ‘stand to’ in order to meet this threat.

And it took place on Monday at 17:00 EVE time, which is about the time I am sitting in my cube at the office thinking about what’s for lunch.

So while The Mittani dot Com has run a number of stories about the war, my own exposure has been limited.

I did get in a fleet last week that blew something up, and there was the titan loss in QPO.  But for the most part, a combination of life and Euro Time Zone battles has kept me out of the action.

Last night though, the stars seemed to align.  There was going to be a big timer related battle at UMI-KK, the system focus of much of the efforts over the last week.  And it was going to be in prime western US time.  Would I get in a fight?

More after the cut.

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