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.
(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.
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.
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.