Notes from an Undisclosed Location in the Insmother Region

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.)

Farewell southwest null!

Farewell southwest null!

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.

2012 vs. 2014

2012 vs. 2014

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.

Interesting times.

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.

 

7 thoughts on “Notes from an Undisclosed Location in the Insmother Region

  1. Dinsdale Pirannha

    And what was NOT said was that goons have confirmation from their dev lackeys that yes, riches per null sec system is being ramped up big time to support a higher density of null sec players / system.

    Just like you guys asked for, your people inside CCP will deliver. It is quite a win-win situation. Your cash flows, at the very least, stay the same, and more likely go up, while your logistics costs, time, and effort go way down.

    And of course, as you described, and as have many others, you and the other cartels will be sitting pretty in impenetrable bastions, forever.

    Bravo. The blue blanket may end up with some holes in it as all the cartels shrink in space, but your power will only grow.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Everything has at least two sides. As I pointed out, a lot of people are cheering at the shrinkage of the major coalitions as their rental empires become untenable, but that is also probably 10K players at risk of losing their happy little farms and fields in null sec. Lots more conflict, and confilct in null is practically bread and circuses to a lot of people, inside and out of null, but will that make it better or worse for people who want to use null sec for something besides constant conflict?

    As I see it, the flaw in your world view Dinsdale is the assumption that CCP can do something that will break up or diminish the power of these cartels, made up of some of the most dedicated and hard working players in the game, in such a way that won’t hurt everybody else as bad or worse. Killing off Goonswarm is killing off EVE, as my first hand experience with them is that they are a microcosm of EVE. People like to talk about MiniLuv ganking in high sec, but nobody brings up the various PvE groups in the alliance. Incursions, missions, ratting, mining, hauling, production, you name it, they do it. (My own alliance, TNT, does a lot of that too, though I wish we had an incursion group as that is something I’ve not done in EVE before.)

    In the end, PL, N3, and the CFC do not survive because of favors from CCP, they survive because of a willingness to roll with whatever changes CCP throws at them. While a lot of null pilots were wailing about Phoebe in the forums, the leadership was looking at how to adapt to the inevitable. They look for the upside and, when they inevitably find it, you declare that it was CCP’s intent all along. You see cause and effect where I can barely see correlation.

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  3. Random Poster

    I swear EVE comments are the only ones I read where I have to check and make sure I didn’t somehow slip in to a political forum war between Democrats and Republicans. That paranoia and bitterness , over a game, is impressive/scary.

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  4. boerewors

    As a 8mil SPx 2 account Eve Noob that has just joined a Corp in N3 space a little while back, what are my options if CFC destroys infrastructure in our little farming system? I find the politics and dealings pretty interesting and was sitting cloaked off a system gate that you and the reavers jumped through in your HAC fleet to come break stuff up. Since I have never even seen a fleet before, it was pretty inspiring stuff. Even though my home was being destroyed, I still felt awe and respect for the strategic planning that went into this Reaver raid.

    I gave the reasoning why you were there some thought and came to the conclusion that these were indeed interesting times, my ponderings were not far off based on what you wrote.

    I thought that this was a Goon probe to see what the N3 reaction would be. It paid off handsomely since it was obvious that you have unopposed free reign to harass and cut off TrilISK supply lines with ease and with no resistance.

    I am paying a subx2 to be a front seat witness (and victim) to what makes Eve so amazing.

    Still, the question remains for me, what now? Up to now I had one goal in mind: train skills to make money ratting. What can renter corps do now to continue being supply drones for alliances? I have never seen this kind of thing before so I have no idea what renter corps usually do when this happens. Move out and rent space closer to the new bastions of power? Stay and eke out ISK in no SOV space? Can corps actually find stations to dock in while there is no SOV?

    As much as I fret at you guys destroying the fun I have had, I applaud you for creating a different kind of fun. Uncertainty and seeking a future is a feeling I have never had in an MMO. It is a good feeling for a jaded MMO vet.

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  5. Dinsdale Pirannha

    William, I have no doubt that the cartel leaderships and those that maintain the infrastructure of the cartels are among the most organized and motivated in the game. I also recognize they are also among the most ruthless, and stand the most to lose when much of the current income streams are cut off

    There is no chance at all the leaderships of these cartels would be so sanguine and willing to give up huge rental income streams unless they already knew that something else was coming down the pike to balance out that loss.

    As for CCP destroying goons and the other cartels means hurting all other players in the game, that is total hogwash. CCP could have done any number of things that impact directly the cartels that would not impact everyone else. Removing T2 raw materials from moons and replacing it with T2 mats found in belts in randomized locations that have to be mined manually would have been dead easy, and improves the game for all non-cartel players.

    But no. CCP did not do that. Instead, they maintain those static income streams, which now become even easier to defend. And when they increase the amount of PVE density and mining potential and hence the ISK/ hour each in each null sec system, goons and the other null sec feudal lords will be even richer and more powerful than before.

    This is not about goons et al adapting better than all their non-cartel competitors because they are better in-game players. No, this is about the cartels et al proving they are far better at the meta-game than those non-cartel players. This is indeed about the cartels orchestrating changes to the game mechanics that once again enhance their income streams.

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @boerewors – Hey, were you Razor Achasse by any chance? If so, I think your comments in local might end up in the after action report.

    This was a trial run for the reavers, to see if we could drop into the middle of hostile space and carry on operations in a sustained way. I think we expected your N3 landlords to come and kick us out eventually. Instead, aside from some locally formed resistance, we mostly had free run of Insmother and surrounding regions. I think we dropped 30 towers yesterday.

    As for what to do with the potential for chaos around the corner with the Phoebe expansion, I do not know. Your current landlords could hang on to the region, and probably will for a while. Somebody new might show up and want to take over as landlord, one way or another. Some areas are being sold off to new landlords, some will no doubt be taken by force. In those situations you can probably hunker down and get on with the new deal in the region.

    If somebody comes out there and wants to actually live in your region, things could go differently. They might forcibly evict you. Or they might not. My own alliance, TNT, was up in Deklein before the Goons moved in and ended up coming to an agreement so that we kept on living up there. A new alliance might want some of the current residents to help secure their hold on the area.

    But for the most part, I have no idea what is going to really happen. Interesting times.

    @Dinsdale – I am not sure that your suggestion would have the impact that you are expecting. Remove value from moons, or kill moon mining altogether, and the coalition just stops caring about them. That is a huge cost removed from the table, and to get an income stream they put a tax on what individuals are mining from the new T2 spawns. 10% of the yield or whatever goes to your alliance. It has been done before. Since the coalition already sells a large amount of moon spoils at cost to locals for production… and only from R64 moons, everything else is owned at the corp level… I don’t think this will be the income hit you might imagine. But I don’t know, and you are just speculating.

    Again, the coalition leaders will figure out a way to roll with the changes. And since CCP has long stated that living in null ought to have rewards consummate with the risks, there will likely always be a possible revenue stream to exploit.

    And the coalition leaders have decided to go into the business of taxing people bad at math by opening a lottery dressed up as a casino as a way to earn ISK. I am sure that will kindle anew any “Goons = Mafia” theories, but it shows that they will go looking for opportunities.

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