The big, pre-Phoebe alliance update was posted yesterday addressing the new order in sovereign null sec. Since the CFC is as riddled with spies as any other organization in New Eden, updates from The Mittani get posted directly over at The Mittani dot com, saving people the trouble of stealing/distributing them and generating some ad revenue as some people rage against The Mittani in the comments. You can view it at your leisure.
Some of what was mentioned had been gone over before in less formal venues not long after the Phoebe changes were announced. In fact, such fireside chats in Mumble with The Mittani started as a campaign to calm down some of the super capital pilots who were losing their heads in the forums about the death of their gold-plated space coffins. When you opt to fly a super cap, that is pretty much all your character does from then on. Of course, a bunch of us line grunts piled into the room as well because Mittens is a good public speaker if nothing else and these became 400+ pilot events.
For the super cap pilots, the message was that supers were becoming more powerful and more likely to be used in combat because, with Phoebe in place, a fleet of local supers no long has to fear a group of hostile supers dropping on them from the other side of New Eden. Super cap fleets cease being a huge stick to be brought down literally anywhere in null sec on a very short notice, something only the three large powers could manage. Instead they become the local super powers that can drop on anybody within 5 ly immediately, and within 10ly pretty quickly, becoming less of a blue water navy by analogy and more of a coastal defense force. Without the threat of incoming forces from all over New Eden you can drop on your are much more likely to drop on your own zone of control. Even Gevlon seems to agree with the idea that supers will not fall by the wayside, and the goblin would find a technical reason to oppose Mittens if the CEO update declared the sky to be blue.
The rest was more about how the Phoebe changes favored us more… or at least hurt us less… than our rival superpowers (My joke about the genie at the end of my own first cut at Phoebe seemed to match that), how much this will favor the defender who actually lives in their space, and some plans under way to help us adapt to the new world. Stepping up MiniLuv operations to harass jump freighter operations so as to make pre-Phoebe prep more difficult for our null sec opponents was mentioned early, as was a new group called the Reavers. More on the latter further down the page.
That was all a couple of weeks back. Since then more obvious preparations for the coming expansion have surfaced all over null sec. Pandemic Legion has divested itself of nearly half of its rental empire. The Mittani says that Northern Coalition is abandoning space in the east to the Russians and looks to be headed towards the southwest where it was announced that the CFC is pulling out, drawing back into the northwest of null sec, abandoning Querious, Period Basis, and Delve as being too far from our core and too sparsely populated to defend itself with local residents. Phoebe working as intended for many. (EN24 has a null sec movement rumor mill post up that is worth a look.)
A joke going around is that the Goons, having invaded and taken Delve six times already, gave up the region out of habit just so they could invade it again later. Hell, even I have been through two Delve invasions at this point. But I am still shipping all my stuff in our forward deployment base in Querious back to Deklein before the expansion.
It isn’t quite setting the clock back two years, but with the CFC pulling back into the northwest and Russians possibly resurgent in the east, it seems like all we have to do it get Intrepid Crossing back into Cobalt Edge and we would practically have the band back together.
The 2012 map looks like it has a lot more entities on it, but if you count the various Russian alliances as one coalition, they overlap a lot with N3’s rental empire. And that brings us to the renters. In an age of static null sec, one upside has been an ample supply of stable and relatively safe null sec systems to rent, which has lead to a lot of corporations being able to move out to null and mine, rat, or whatever. PL’s rental empire, Brothers of Tangra, had more than 10K pilots in it until they started to divest, while N3’s rental space, Northern Associates, currently has nearly 14K pilots spread over about 360 corporations in nearly 700 systems across 15 regions.
That is a lot of players… a lot of entities that just don’t show up on the map… for whom the much ballyhooed “blue donut” era has been a benefit. Where will they go when Phoebe, Rhea, and expansions beyond make holding vast tracts of sovereign null sec untenable? Phoebe and beyond, working as intended, means a lot of different things. The CFC will hunker down and weather the storm, PL will consolidate, NC has its own core defense perimeter in sight, but there will be areas in null which will become the wild west. That will likely be a good thing in the larger scope of the game, but may suck mightily if you’re a PvE sharecropper in a null sec empire that has abandoned you because they can no longer move fast enough to defend far flung space.
So we will see new entities on the map… or old entities returning… while a mass of invisible entities may well be at the mercy of whoever shows up. Will the find new landlords to protect them or barbarians who will drive them back to empire space.
Back to Reavers. This is a new formation in the CFC, and I joined up because they look to be the place where things might be happening going forward. It is actually the first CFC group I have joined.
As noted in The Mittani’s post, we are tasked during war time to deploy into the enemies rear areas to be partisans. We will destroy infrastructure, siphon moons, and basically terrorize the PvE locals who stayed behind. This will be made a viable strategy by Phoebe, which will keep anybody attacking our territory unable to move quickly back to defend their own. We will slip in, shoot up the place, and move on.
As part of the plan we have been on a practice deployment down in Insmother, where we have had a few days of token resistance as we reinforced and blew up towers. (Let’s hear it for low stront and no stront towers!) Even in this pre-Phoebe stage, where fast travel is still a thing, N3 seems to be more focused on trying to hit our structures in the north than defending their holdings in the east. I hear they may have woken up to what we are up to at last, so we may have to move on. But as a learning exercise it has been good, and a lot of fun. It is also nice to be in on the creation of a group, where the traditions and procedures (and inside jokes) are being formulated. You end up feeling more a part of things. I even spoke on voice coms… once.
And it is even a new section of space for me. The Goons have a history out here, but I have never been deeper in the east than B-R5RB… though that was a memorable visit. So new sites for the tourist in me.
We will see how the deployment fares. In the mean time I have a few postcard screen shots from the deployment which (I hope) do not violate operational security.