After the false start of Wednesday, when downtime was extended well into the Icelandic evening and jokes about Fozzie Sov killing EVE Online were starting to feel uncomfortably close to real, it looks like people really dove into the whole new sovereignty mechanic with a vengeance.
If you look at the Timer Board web site that somebody put together to use the updated API’s ability to tell you what systems are in play, you will see… as of when I am writing this… more than 200 things are being assaulted. Obviously, not all of them are going to get taken. A lot of timers look to be past their mark. But clearly Entosis Link trolling is a thing, if nothing else.
Meanwhile Wollari over at DOTLAN EVE Maps has integrated some of the new data available into the map options on the site. In addition to the usual sovereignty view of a region, you can also now choose views that show systems that are vulnerable, which systems have which of the three key structures (TCU, ihub, station), and what the active defense multiplier is for systems.
That last one is important for both attackers and defenders. For attackers it determines how long the Entosis Link module has to run to capture something, a range of 10 to 60 minutes depending on the multiplier. And for defenders, it essentially lets you know what your response time has to be for given systems and where you might want to focus some effort in order to boot that number. (I am waiting for somebody to put that ADM data together into a chart to show how many sovereign null sec systems people actually use regularly. If the ADM is 5 or greater, people live there. 3-4 shows some life. But if it is less than that, not so much.)
This has lead to some changes of behavior, at least in The Imperium. Before now, the carebears amongst us were, at a minimum, kidded about spending their days ratting, mining, building, or otherwise whiling away the hours in space not shooting people.
Now though, with their behavior influencing the ADM, the call goes out for shock workers to perform hero ratting in low multiplier systems. Strategic mining ops are called and participation links given out for burning rocks. Industrialists are now hailed as heroes of the coalition. I am not making this up. Well, maybe I made up that last one, but the first two are real.
It is a good time to be a carebear in The Imperium. And it isn’t a bad time for combat operations as well. Mordus Angels and Pandemic Horde have been making runs at systems in Pure Blind and Fade in small, easily destroyed fleets. I managed to get into a homeland defense fleet that caught MASSADEATH himself and a small Cerberus fleet trying to finish off a vulnerable node in Pure Blind. We got some kills, drove them off, and made the save.
The theory seems to be that if they get in quick with a small fleet, they can get away with it. But small gangs and squishy Entosis Link ships just feed the Feroxes of the Homeland Defense fleets.
The Timer Board site only shows a few systems of The Imperium under attack out of that list of 200+, and mostly on the periphery where hostiles have easy access. It is a little early to make much of a claim, but it feels like having the coalition contract into a smaller perimeter that consisted of space that was mostly occupied and in use on a regular basis was a good plan. Attacks are only really getting any traction where we are thin on the ground.
And the ihub upgrades for rats seem to be having an effect. A system I ratted in pre-Aegis used to generate a single Guristas Forsaken Hub, the best generally available ISK/effort anomaly. After that system got the upgrade, it was generating three Guristas Forsaken Hubs and a Haven.
I also had an opportunity to go out and be part of the offensive side of the Fozzie Sov equation. Last night Asher Elias and the patron saint of welps, Dabigredboat, ran a joint Reavers/Bomberwaffe operation down to the Reavers’ home away from home, Querious.
A test run, we went down in Caracals and interceptors via a convenient (if more rare) null-to-null wormhole to see if Darkness would defend some of their space. Ideally it would have happened in ED-9LT, the former Reaver outpost in the region. That was not an option. Instead we were headed to UYU-VV in the 8BO-IH constellation. (This is going to mean learning system AND constellations now, isn’t it?)
We faced no opposition on the first Entosis Link attack and pushed the event into the “scatter round” when additional command nodes appear throughout the constellation… in this case six systems… forcing us to break up into smaller groups.
The group that stayed in UYU-VV actually faced a bit of opposition. The group I was in, sent off to W6V-VM, was not bothered. We flew off to the Territorial Claim Unit Command Node that spawned in the system.
That appears to be the overview marker for the actual target, the Structure Command Node.
Of course, in the grand CCP tradition, the option in the overview to actually SEE these nodes is unchecked by default, harkening back to the battle cruiser split when one of them… attack battle cruisers I think… didn’t show up on overviews by default.
Upon finishing off the node inW6V-VM , two more nodes spawned. Our Entosis Link fit interceptor went after one while we flew cover and, upon finishing that one, we were called back to UYU-VV. Enough other modules were running that we did not need the additional one in our system. And while Darkness appeared in small numbers, they did not seem interested in hitting any of the Structure Command Nodes to contest or operation.
And so the system was rolled. Later, Plaid Rabbit ran out, grabbed a TCU, and planted it in UYU-VV, thus taking sovereignty for Reavers in Querious yet again.
It would have been nicer if it had a station, but I am not sure we’re going to spend ISK upgrading a system we grabbed on a whim at the other end of New Eden.
After that we had the option of starting the process on another system or going 20 jumps on the off chance we might get into the middle of a fight. The killers won the poll, clearly betraying out Reaver philosophy, and off we went.
We did catch a blockade runner along the way just idle near a gate. I am going to guess the pilot went AFK cloaked and then got decloaked by somebody passing too close. That was a quick kill. And while I understand that eventually some of us got on a dreadnought kill or two, I ended up getting popped when we crossed paths with a Northern Coalition fleet headed for the same fight, and so missed out. Life in a combat zone.
So that has been my experience with Fozzie Sov and the Entosis Link module dynamics so far.
CCP has put out a video detailing how the mechanics of the new system work.
How the new system will actually play out over time though, that is a horse of a different color.