Back and Forth Across Fountain and Delve as Dominion Fades

The repulse of the attack on Fountain and the subsequent punitive invasion of Delve have been going well for the CFC.  I joke about Goons invading Delve out of sheer habit at this point, but the joke has its basis in fact; this is my fourth year in the CFC and at least my fourth time into Delve.

In the near corner of Delve, N3 continues to lose systems, with 15 now having been taken from them, a jump of 8 since Thursday.

The conquest continues

The conquest continues

As that was going on I missed what might have been one of the most glorious moments so far in Reaver history.  Sure, we’ve caught and killed some supers in the past, but this was even better.  The Reavers managed to break NCdots hold on one of their systems in Querious, so that they lost sovereignty for a short stretch of time.

In ED-L9T the Reavers, with some help for the final fight, managed to temporarily wrest sovereignty away from NCdot.

ED-L9T slips away for a few hours

ED-L9T slips away for a few hours

N3 lost more in that fight than we did, including a big fat Moros dreadnought, and had to pull allies back who should have been defending Delve (in addition to offering ship replacement coverage to their renters) in order to retake and hold the system while their TCU came online.  The system now has to go through the slow process of regaining “levels,” something that just happens over time as you hold a system, in order to restore full capabilities to the system and station.

This is exactly what the Reavers are supposed to do, keep prodding behind enemy lines until the hostiles have to respond in force, at which point we fade away.  Asher gave us a day off from operations to celebrate this coup so we could satisfy any need we might feel to join the main fleet and help burn a bit of Delve.

All of which is a lot of fun, but which also ignores the longer term question as to what the CFC plans to do when the sovereignty changes come this June.  We gave up Delve, Querious, and Period Basis, selling them to N3, before the Phoebe changes back in November, and nothing has changed to make me think that we will suddenly be able to hang on to Delve in the longer term.

Then, over the weekend, the other metaphorical shoe dropped and it was announced that the CFC will be pulling out of Fountain before the June Fozzie-Sov hits.  This came as a statement directly from The Mittani and via the LAWN state of the alliance update.

That means that at some point in the near future, the CFC is going to hold, the relinquish, possession of Fountain and Delve (circled in red below) before moving back to the north, outlined in blue. (Map from the usual source.)

April 12 map, marked up in MS Paint

April 12 map, marked up in MS Paint

The CFC will back at the top of the map, alliances packed into closer proximity so as to better defend our space during the chaos of change.  Because there is still a question as to what Fozzie Sov will bring.

I doubt it will bring down any of the established null sec organizations.  That would require a system where the best organized groups were put at a disadvantage, which would seem like a pretty counter-productive long-term goal for CCP.  Punishing the people who are likely the most invested in your game would be a bad plan.  But the goals laid out in early March made it clear that CCP wants to make sovereignty easier to take, which should still favor the organized.  And, as a counter to that ease of conquest idea, there is the plan that sovereign space that gets used for things like mining or ratting should receive a defense bonus.

What I have yet to hear… and I haven’t dredged through the 200 page long threadnought regarding the Fozzie Sov changes, so maybe it has been fully addressed… is whether or not null sec space is going to get any sort of boost to make it worth keeping.  Because, right now, there are systems in null sec, in the space I live in, that are held merely because they are adjacent.  They don’t spawn anomalies worth doing (and spawn very few at that) nor do they have belts worth mining.  Add in systems on heavily traveled paths through null sec, so nobody wants to rat or mine there as potential hostiles are always passing through, and you will find a not insignificant number of systems in null that nobody will want to invest time in.  I will be interested to see if there is a plan for those, or if they will simply become the weak parts in any sov holding entity’s armor by design.

Meanwhile, it looks like a good time to get into null sec if you are a new player.

Back when I started, getting into null meant establishing a reputation and knowing somebody already in an alliance to vouch for you.  Recruitment of newbies wasn’t all that common aside from certain groups that could pull from their external source, like the Goons from Something Awful or TEST from Reddit.  I got into null because I knew Gaff, and he got in because he knew somebody through another game, and how he got into null I am not sure, but it was probably through yet another recommendation.  There was something of a wall between new players and null, enough to cause some rage to be directed at me when I highlighted one day old character tackling in a fleet op because those results were not typical or available to everybody all the time.  How dare I pretend null sec entities want new players by telling an anecdote about a fleet op!

And then Brave Newbies, a group that specializing taking on new players, got into null sec, and the flood gates were open. (Not that it was tough to get into TEST, but it required a little effort.  BNI removed even that minor effort.)

The success of Brave Newbies and their ability to field large numbers apparently had some impact.  Goonswarm opened up Karma Fleet, which allowed just about anybody to join up and get into the fight in null sec.

Seriously, anybody was getting in for a while... though not everybody was allowed to stay...

Seriously, anybody was getting in for a while… though not everybody was allowed to stay…

Since then, Pandemic Legion has announced their own new player friendly enterprise, the Pandemic Horde, which already has more than 600 pilots, not all of which can be spies.

I would suspect that other null sec entities would want to get in on that influx of new players in order to bolster their own numbers, lest they find themselves at an even greater disadvantage, and to provide a pool of potential candidates to promote into their core organizations… if they can get over their elite PvP bias.  I suppose you could view renting as an ingress, but it really isn’t the same thing.  There is a distance between the renters and the landlords.

So Fozzie Sov, when it arrives, will at least start with the CFC in a smaller space and probably with a scramble for the soon-to-be-abandoned Delve and Fountain sovereignty.  I wonder who our new neighbors will be?

Addendum: And judging from how Jabber is humming today, there should be an epic GSF Alliance Update out in the next day that will be full of smug.

6 thoughts on “Back and Forth Across Fountain and Delve as Dominion Fades

  1. Gevlon

    Actually, punishing your most invested players is the best idea, since they may write 200 pages, but they won’t unsubscribe. The not invested will unsubscribe if something goes south with the usual “this game isn’t fun”.

    Yes, I hate this logic just as much as you do, but it’s still true.

    Like

  2. SynCaine

    Aside from MMO history suggesting otherwise (NGE, DAoC ToA, Trammel, LotRO F2P, etc), Gevlon might have a point about it being totally fine to upset your core to chase ‘others’…

    The numbers around free invite newbie Corps are interesting though; one has to wonder where those people come from, and what they would have done otherwise if such options weren’t around.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – Heh, indeed!

    @Gevlon – That misses the point I was going for, though it was perhaps not as clear as it should have been, which was more directed at people who want CCP to break the null sec blocs via code changes, but who can’t quite seem to grasp that anything that hurts the very organized people will hurt the less organized even more. Because for all the bitching Goons do in the forum (where 400 Goons wrote at least half page each after the Phoebe jump changes were announced) their leadership is always looking for how to adapt to each change.

    Basically, the organized groups will still be adapting when the scrubs have left in disgust over some horrible CCP change. The flip side is that anything that helps the disorganized will likely be exploited and will end up helping the organized even more so.

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  4. Random Poster

    If something like these newbie fleets had been around when I played I might still be playing. It was the null sec stories that got me interested in the game only for me to start playing and be stuck running missions, or mining until my eyes bled because I didn’t know anybody in game, Hell I paid for the game for a while to see if I could get in to anything, and all I ever got was people trying to scam me (avoided that by sticking with “if I don’t understand what the person wants me to do and I only have their word to rely on answer was no, will keep my ISK tyvm) Stuck around long enough to get a Raven outfitted, and enough ISK to replace it a couple times over, but when the situation looked it was never going to change I just quit playing.

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  5. Gevlon Goblin

    @Wilhelm Arcturus: this is only true for groups of the same size. 1000 Goons will adapt better than 1000 TEST due to better leadership.

    However with smaller size, less organization is needed, down to the solo PvP-er, who needs absolutely zero organization. So changes that help smaller groups can break up coalitions.

    Take MoA for example. No matter how organized they are, they can’t take Sov in Dominion. Even if they get every member into ships for a timer, CFC can bring 3x more without making an effort. But in FozzieSov they can reinforce half Pure Blind with a 50 man gang.

    The “CFC will prevail” logic is based on the old “CFC vs N3” scheme. It is true that N3 will take nothing from CFC. But small groups will. This is why CFC is running from Fountain, despite crushing N3.

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