Daily Archives: August 25, 2015

The Invasion of Providence – ADM Can Save Your Systems

The Imperium’s invasion of Providence is now through the second day of its plan.

Day one, Sunday, was the announcement and the “getting there” phase of the plan.  People flew individually or in convoys down to our low sec staging system while the logistical arms of the various alliances got ships up on contract for members.  This was what the map of Provi looked like then.

The Providence region - Early on August 25, 2015

The Providence region – August 24, 2015

Day two, yesterday, was the first Entosis Link module day.  Structures throughout Providence were reinforced during their vulnerability windows.  This is what the region looked like at the end of the second day.

The Providence region - August 25, 2015

The Providence region – August 25, 2015

Systems with the orange highlight around them are the ones where structures were reinforced during the day two operations.  The total numbers, which I gleaned from the Timer Board site, are 50 infrastructure hubs, 25 stations, and 20 territorial control units, for a total of 95 structures reinforced across the 84 system in the region. (The data for this is after the cut at the bottom of the post if you want to check my ability to count… and you probably should.  I just looked at row numbers in Excel.)

The plan was to try and reinforce the ihubs in every system in the region, but clearly that did not happen.  And if you line up the systems that are not highlighted in orange on the map above with the Activity Defense Multiplier in the map below, a pattern emerges.

Providence Activity Defense Multipliers

Providence Activity Defense Multipliers

The systems that were successfully defended during the day two operations all had higher ADM numbers, which require the attacker to spend more time reinforcing structures and, in turn, allow the defender more time to form up and send the attacker packing.

So that is the big picture for day two.  Not a full success, but a lot got done and some unlikely candidates showed up in space and even on kill mails.

I had to look that kill mail up because it stank of Photoshop.  The Mittani and Xenuria team up to kill a HERETIC during the holy war in Provi?  How does that even happen?  That is Bizarro world unlikely in the extreme.

But it is a real thing.  I seen it here and here and here! (As an aside, after The Meta Show interview with Xenuria  last Saturday I was pretty sure he’d be in GSF soon enough.  He already writes for TMC.  And yes, this is something of an EVE vet test.  If you know why I brought this up, then you get it.  If not, you’re probably lost.)

My own response to the question, “Daddy, what did you do during the Provi invasion?” is somewhat less dramatic.  As the vulnerability time windows for most of Providence were set for European time, the Entosis Link operations largely happened while I was at work and were just wrapping up after I got home and was able to log in.  I managed to get in on the tail end of a Laz fleet… not even my own alliance… but spent the whole time dodging gate camps and never did end up linking up with the fleet until they landed in the staging system.  (The idea of camping in a POS out in the various constellations seems to have fallen by the wayside for practical reasons.)  I did enough running about, and provided some intel, so I felt entitled to click on the participation link, but I was nowhere to be seen when Entosis Link activity was going on.

Instead, I ended up having to clone jump back to Tribute.  Mordus Angels decided to use this time whileThe Imperium was away to hit some systems.  They reinforced the ihubs in four Circle of Two systems in Tribute last night and then started in on the station in UMI-KK, our alliance capital.  So a ping went out on TNT Jabber… which I recently hooked back up… calling for a defense fleet in UMI.

We managed to chase MOA off and reset the station timer with our own Entosis Link module, then disbanded.  However, MOA came back a while later with more pilots, while the second ping for a defense fleet only drew a dozen TNT defenders.  So we sat in the station while our leaders dialed up GSF HQ and asked for some support.  We got a small Harpy fleet down to help us from YA0-XJ, which was enough to hold the grid immediately around the station, blowing up any MOA ships that wandered too close to the undock.  But their doctrine of high speed Vexor Navy Issues and an interceptor orbiting the station at 200km at very high speed hurt our ability to deter them.  We did not have the fleet composition necessary to stop them.

We did eventually get our own Entosis Link module on the undock and running, blocking the MOA progress with less than two minutes on the clock.  MOA sacrificed some ships to get in close and hit it, eventually blowing it up.  Ships running the module can get reps, so all we could do was try to hit attackers and swat drones as they wore him down.

As it turned out, that was the only Entosis Link module we had available, so we had to sit and watch the timer count down until the station was reinforced.  And ignominious defeat.  If only our ADM had been higher!

After that we blocked their way back home and hunted them for a while, getting a few kills, which made us feel a bit better.  But their over-prop modded Vexor Navy Issue drone ship (here is the fit from one we managed to catch) were able to pull range on us quite effectively, saving themselves time and again.

(Also depressing, The Mittani is on more kill mails than I me this month, and there aren’t even any structures kill mails any more.  Must fix this.)

So we have a timer of our own to worry about.  And it looks like MOA has been busy today, as more things have been reinforced since then in Circle of Two’s part of Tribute.  They had best get their act together on defense when the time comes.  However, those timers all have a ways to go.

Today is day three in Providence, and the plan is just to roam about camping gates, shooting ratters, and generally looking for fights while reinforcing more structures if possible.  Other groups, including Brave Newbies and some of TEST, have decided to come on over to Providence in search of action, so there will be fights.

Tomorrow will be the big day.  Day four, when all those timers come out and the capture events start, will be the real test of various Fozzie Sov doctrines.  That will be the day when Provi Bloc can save the day or lose big.

As noted above, the list of reinforced structures in Providence is after the cut.

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EVE Online gets Galatea… or is it Galleria?

Galatea might be a sea nymph from Greek mythology, but the EVE Online expansion which launches today, and which bears her name, contains so much in the way of fashion that it feels like a visit to the mall, so perhaps Galleria might have been a better choice, being a popular name for malls in the US.

Which isn’t to say I am against cosmetic items in the game.  I have spent a good chunk of ISK on ship skins.  I’ll buy any Quafe skin I can find.  I want a Quafe Drake!  I know it breaks the lore, but I want one!

However, the game does not thrive on looks alone.  Then again, iff you push an expansion every six weeks, some will seem more end up feeling more substantial than others I suppose.

Part of the plan was to redesign the great space potato, the Dominix, to give it a little more panache, as part of the ongoing ship revamp process.

The Galatea Dominix

The Galatea Dominix

I will withhold judgement until I have seen it in space, but I am not feeling it so far.  Still, a fashion item.

Then there are designer skins coming for ships, especially Caldari and Minmatar ships, which have been somewhat neglected.  The first is the Raata Sunset skin for Caldari vessels.

Bright Red

Bright Red

On the Caldari front this at least gets us away from the militaristic but somewhat drab Wiyrkomi skins that dominate the Caldari skin market and puts some more color there.  The following ships get the option for this skin style.  A list of the ships that get to use the new skin, along with previews, is available in this new post from CCP.  Highlight for me, the blood red Drake.  How can Drakes not come back with that skin available?  Anyway, very much a fashion item, being something literally to be sold in the New Eden Sky Mall.

There was an update to the visuals that certain modules produce.  The biggest one on the list was an update to the doomsday effects for titans, but other modules got updates as well, including warp scrams, tractor beams, and salvagers.  Enhancing looks is fashion.

Then there was a change so that if you have your camera set on a target, the camera will stay focused there as the ship blows up rather than jumping back to your ship the moment the explosion begins.  I see some decent screen shot potential in this change.  Very cool, but still on the edge of visual, and thus fashion.

All of which would have made for an okay, if not memorable six week feature drop.

But then, as the date got closer, CCP added one more batch of features related to Fozzie Sov.

  • Reduce the base capture time of Command Nodes from 10 minutes to 4 minutes
  • Defenders start with 60% control at the beginning of a capture event
  • Reduce cap on total nodes per structure from 20 to 10
  • Reduce spawn rate of new random nodes by ~50%.
  • Replace Entosis Link mass penalty with a 4000m/s speed limit while fitted

That was actually a substantial addition, at least for folks who live day to day in null sec space.  It was enough allow The Imperium to launch its crusade against the Jamylites in Providence at the direction of Maximillian Sigularity VI, the first major assault on a region under Fozzie Sov.  Many timers were set yesterday under the original Fozzie Sov rules, but they will come out under the Galatea updates, so we will see how the changes worked out pretty quickly.

That is all that is listed on the updates page for the Galatea release today.  The patch notes for Galatea are also available and contain additional details along with the usual list of fixes that came in with this release.

And, finally, there is the Galatea release theme, a somewhat moody tune for an otherwise colorful expansion.

All of which appears to have been successfully deployed.

The next stop is the Vanguard expansion, currently slated for September 29th and which has the updated fleet warp mechanics and new burner missions on the agenda so far.