I suppose the real end of TNT in Deklein was when we finally handed over sovereignty in K5F-Z2 a couple of weeks back.
That was the end of an era, as the alliance had held that system since early December 2009, making for a five and a half year run of continuous occupancy. I was told on a number of occasions that TNT dominion over K5F was the longest running sovereignty still current, and I could find nothing to dispute that claim. Now that title will have to pass to another system and another alliance. I am not sure who wins that prize, though I suspect that it might fall to Goonswarm and their holdings in the region. Deklein has been a rock of stability for a long stretch.
But now we are coalescing down in Tribute, which has its ups and downs.
After several years of traveling to and fro in Deklein, I have found that I actually know the neighborhood fairly well. It turns out that the seemingly random alphanumeric designations of systems in null sec isn’t any harder to get used to than the odd, and sometimes seemingly unpronounceable, system names of high and low sec. (I’m looking at you, Uosusuokko.) And the standard voice coms practice of designating a system by its first three letters ends up working and makes routes easy to remember over time. (Though there are any number of systems where I am not sure if they include the letter O or a zero in their designation, since everybody just says, “Oh” on coms.)
Now I have a new neighborhood to learn. My knowledge currently stops at UMI-KK, which was the staging system for a war a some time back. And we have new neighbors in the form of the Circle of Two alliance. They have apparently taken a hard line with us, objecting if we stray into their systems in pursuit of hostiles. After having free run of Deklein with Goonswarm, that is something of a change. Then again, Circle of Two seems to be known for making friends. If we’re out on ops and working with Pandemic Legion, they are fine cooperating with most of us, but will go out of their way to shoot anybody from Circle of Two. So they have that going for them.
It also puts me an awkward distance away from the coalition staging system in YA0-XJ. That used to be a few gates distant, but now it is a ways off. I can get there via a jump bridge and some gates, but for a form-up it will most likely have to be a jump clone move to get there and not have any jump fatigue hanging over me.
I have been glad of having a carrier finally. During the move down to Tribute and then setting myself up in a constellation in which to rat on the occasional off day when I am up for it, I have ended up doing more jumps in my Archon in the last month than I had done in the first 18 months after I bought it.
I have found myself a system with a station off the beaten path where a pile of Euro TZ miners seem to hang out… and they start logging off about the time I start logging in, so that I have gotten the system to myself later in the evening a few times. I have even used that ratting fit Ishtar I built quite a while ago but only just undocked last week. I at least got a couple of anomalies done with it before the Aegis expansion Ishtar nerf. I’ll probably got back to my heavy missile Tengu again after that, since missiles are getting a boost. We’ll see.
It is also somewhat strange to look at the map of Tribute and see low sec systems I recognize from my early days in EVE Online.
I started out as Caldari back in 2006 when the initial tutorial ended up sending you to Jita, which wasn’t quite the big city back then, but still felt a bit crowded. So I packed up and moved to what I felt was a distant location… Hageken, all of six jumps from Jita… and spent quite a bit of time there before deciding to move to Amarr space.
But names I remember from way back then, like Navula, where I was blown up a couple of times, are suddenly quite close. Hell, even Jita suddenly seems quite close. Deklein felt like it was deep into null sec, but Tribute is a border region. Even our staging system is a single jump freighter hop to the low sec systems favored by coalition shipping operations. Not that the proximity seems to lower the price any. Those that actually deliver to UMI-KK charge the same 300 ISK per m3 as a delivery to YA0-XJ, despite that requiring an extra jump. I suspect that we are a low-volume market compared to the heart of Goonswarm, so we’re probably lucky that somebody stops by on demand.
And then there is what will come with Fozzie Sov on the 14th. I have just been logged into the Goonswarm Jabber for updates for quite a while now, since that is where Reaver messages pop up. But I will have to get back into TNT coms more thoroughly as well, as local defense against people testing out Entosis Links on the frontier. We shall see how lively things get in the region once that hits, but for now it is actually fairly quiet when I have been on since the move.