Monthly Archives: April 2016

FCON Shows Up in Immensea

One headline from the litany of bad news for The Imperium last week was about Fidelas Constans, or FCON, leaving the coalition.  While they gave a general statement about seeking sovereignty somewhere else, no details were immediately forthcoming.

Down nearly 1,000 since last week

Down nearly 1,000 members since last week

Well, they have popped up on the sovereignty map already.

While the alliances that are part of the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition, including Darkness, The Methodical Alliance, Nerfed Alliance Go Away, and Blades of Grass are busy taking over some of the territory ceded by FCON (and Executive Outcomes) in Branch

Branch - April 19, 2016

Branch – April 19, 2016

…FCON is down in Immensea and Detroid attacking systems from those same alliances, with its flag already planted in a few places.

Immensea - April 19, 2016

Immensea – April 19, 2016

I doubt this is any sort of agreed upon exchange, especially since it looks like everybody besides TMA is contesting at least some of the timers down there.  However, if the GotG coalition is serious about setting up shop in Branch, it is going to be very difficult for them to hold onto territory down south in Immensea if FCON is determined to push into the area.  Of course, we’ll have to see how other residents in the area react to having new neighbors.

Immensea is a distant location for me, though I have been there a few times.  We never ended up in the region for Reavers, but there was a special deployment (including a long flight home), the Halloween war forward staging , and of course, the epic battle of B-R5RB.

The Last Good Day

There’s no way of knowing that your last good day is “Your Last Good Day.”  At the time, it is just another good day.

-Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars

Yes, I am going to take a quote from a movie based on a book about teens with cancer and try and apply it to video games.  I will take it as read that this makes me a horrible person and probably guilty of cultural appropriation or some other first world thought crime.  I even have a graphic just to seal the deal on my horrible nature.

Serious business...

Serious business…

Anyway, my daughter, who had read the book, insisted that the whole family go see the movie back when it was in the theater despite the fact that she knows that my wife will cry at anything sad or emotional on screen.  And tears were indeed shed as this sad and emotionally manipulative film ran on before us.

But what stuck with me, aside from the abuse of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and how much seeing this movie made watching Divergent difficult/amusing/distracting (Augustus is her brother! It is Luke and Leia all over again!), was the whole concept of there being a “last good day,” a high point in any endeavor, after which things are never quite that good again.

So, yeah, of course this applies to video games.

Well, at least to MMORPGs.  So maybe I can change that graphic.

A more general statement

A more general statement

I suppose I could make it more specific, or a version for each MMO I might play, but I think that is sufficient.  If you are dying to have one of your own, I made a background template, you just have to provide the text.  You’re on your own for the font.  I used one called “eraser dust” I found on the internet.

Anyway, that is all off the subject at hand, which is that of a last good day in an MMORPG.

There are MMOs where I can identify that last good day.  In Warhammer Online it was probably that one great keep battle we had before things went south for our group as the game emptied out.

In Rift it was no doubt some date not too long before the first expansion came out.  Everything was good, I played a character from each of the four base roles up to level cap, and then Storm Legion hit and changed the nature of the game for me.

For EverQuest it was likely to initial stages of the Fippy Darkpaw server, when Skronk and I were playing, the game was active with lots of low level players, and the whole thing felt… if not as good as day one back in 1999, then a reasonable facsimile of that time.  Certainly there was less crashing.

But those are all games I stopped playing.  Even EverQuest, for which I bubble with nostalgia, hasn’t really been a destination for me since Fippy Darkpaw.

And, in having stopped, I can pick out the high point.  I can find that theoretical last good day… or week… or era… or event.  But that might change if I would… or, in some cases, could… go back and pick up the game again.  Probably not, but there is a non-zero chance of good days ahead.

This all came to mind because of a more current game.  Not EVE Online.  I made that graphic at the top for Rixx Javix a while back.  No, this all came about due to the the Legion expansion for World of Warcraft getting a ship date.

WoW Legion coming to a server near you

Just in case your forgot that since yesterday

August 30, 2016 and the whole thing goes live, while at some date a couple weeks in advance of that there will be the pre-expansion patch that will have the warm-ups for the whole thing.

I am coming up on a year of not having been subscribed to WoW.  I have a two copies of the expansion pre-ordered for my daughter and I via Amazon.  But now that there is a date set and a timeline out before me.  I won’t be resubscribing today or tomorrow or next week, but at some point over the course of that timeline, between now and August 30th, there is a date at which I probably should subscribe and get back in the game and start getting warmed up to fight the Legion.

But the announcement of the date also made me question whether or not I really want to go back.  I do not feel a lot of enthusiasm for the expansion.  In large part that lack of enthusiasm is due to how Warlords of Draenor played out for me.  It wasn’t horrible, but it was dissatisfying, and garrisons carry the lions share of the burden on that front.  Dungeons were mediocre, mostly in how sparse they were, and the story line was mostly just okay, but garrisons were the anchor.

Garrisons failed to be the right thing for me on all fronts.  They were not optional, you had to do some garrison stuff if you wanted to play through the expansion.  And they were not housing, or at least did not have any aspect of housing that I wanted.  There was no way you could make the garrison really your own.  Meanwhile, they did exactly what Tom Chilton told us housing would do, back when he was saying they would never do housing, it took people out of the world and hid them away.

In my view, garrisons were basically the worst possible set of features, doing what Blizz said housing would do without any of the beneficial “sticky” features of housing that make people feel like they have a spot in the game that is uniquely their own.  I guess if I were to make a prediction now that Tom Chilton is saying that Blizz will never do a vanilla server, I might guess that they will end up doing some sort of special rules server that will satisfy neither fans of vanilla nor more recent lapsed players, at which point Tom can say, “I told you so.”

That is all my view of the expansion.  So when I think back in search of a “last good day,” which at this point I am likely conflating with a peak of enjoyment as opposed to saying every day thereafter was “bad,” I have to go back to Mists of Pandaria to find a real happy time… which is odd because I was pretty dismissive of MoP when it was announced and didn’t buy the expansion until nearly a year after it went live.  Meanwhile, Warlords of Draenor, with orcs as the bad guys yet again, that I was up for.

So perhaps missed or misplaced expectations were the real problem?

Nah, garrisons just sucked.

Anyway, as the quote at the top says, you can never know if that last good day is happening as it happens.  You can only identifying it in comparison to the days that come later.  The question is whether or not there is a peak of enjoyment waiting for me in WoW Legion or if I have simply had that last good day already.  I guess I have a few months to consider that, but I am feeling doubtful right now.

WoW Legion to Ship 22 Days Before Summer Ends

It looks like August 30, 2016 will be the ship date for the WoW Legion Expansion.

WoW Legion coming to a server near you

WoW Legion; coming to a server near you

People have been asking the “when” question about the expansion since it was announced, myself included.  Look at the poll on that post.  I thought dates past July 2016 were not even worth mentioning.  Eventually we got the target window of summer, which using the calendar they have on the wall down in Anaheim, meant as late as September 21, 2016.

(Cue the inevitable comment about the dates for summer between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer.)

Optimists felt that this left open the ability for Blizzard to ship the expansion with the Warcraft movie, which is set to hit theaters on June 10, 2016.  Others, myself included, were more inclined to believe that the release would come much closer to the end of summer.   Maybe not on the last day, but within a month would be about the norm for Blizz.

And now we have the date.  On the scale of between-expansion gaps, that puts WoW Legion at the faster end of things, with the average being about 719 days.

  • WoW Launch to The Burning Crusade – 784 days
  • The Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King – 667 days
  • Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm – 754 days
  • Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria – 658 days
  • Mists of Pandaria to Warlords of Draenor – 778 days
  • Warlords of Draenor to Legion – 670 days

Of course, it isn’t the gap between expansions that hurts Blizz so much as the inevitable year long dry spell when no new content is introduced before the next expansion hits.

With the expansion date now out and about there are two additional things I am waiting to hear about.

The first is when the pre-launch patch is going to hit, as that usually ushers in the story and often includes limited time events.  True believers will resubscribe for that.

And the second is somebody complaining that Blizzard has deliberately chosen the date to mess up some other game’s launch.  It really isn’t a WoW expansion without that.

How Will We Know if We Have Won?

The question came up in the comment thread on Friday’s post about victory conditions for the war.  Rather than waste more time in comments with an off-topic thread (which about six people might bother reading) I figured that would be a reasonable topic for a blog post.  Why keep that old fire burning when you can set a new one?

Victory can be a strangely intangible thing in a video game where you can never actually destroy or remove your foe from the game.

Sometimes it is clear.  I think all sides agree that the CFC won the Fountain War.  In the end TEST agreed that they lost and, after one final spectacular battle, packed up what they could and left.  TEST and its allies stopped fighting.  The war was over.

And there are times when things look like they are going one way and yet end up another.  I think all sides agree on is that the battle at B-R5RB was a major victory for the CFC/Russian coalition.

Wait, what?

Even during the fight PL had gone to their welp logo

We’ve all seen the infographic by now I think.

The war itself though… After B-R5RB the Russians imploded, the coalition collapsed, and the area we were fighting over became part of the vast NCDot rental empire.  A victory for PL and NCDot.

Oddly, the loss of that rental empire as jump fatigue and Fozzie Sov began to come into play wasn’t really seen as a loss for either that I can recall.

The Moneybadgers are #Winning

By any metric you care to look at you can demonstrate that the MBC is winning the war.  They have a huge and diverse coalition.  They are taking space.  They can assemble numbers that The Imperium simply cannot contest.  They go where they please and drop supercaps on us if we form in any significant numbers.

Still I am not sure what their victory condition actually is.  I am not sure they have a satisfactory answer to the question I insist on asking at project planning meetings, “How do we know when we’re done?”

I have heard a range of answers that include:

  • Take VFK-IV
  • Take all Goon sov
  • Take all Imperium sov
  • Break up The Imperium
  • Break Goonswarm
  • Remove The Mittani from GSF leadership

Honestly, I think they could legitimately claim that just forming this coalition was a victory of sorts, since people have been saying things along the lines of, “If everybody just banded together against Goons…” for over five years now.  I wonder who first posted such a statement in the official forums?

Anyway, with a multilateral alliance like the MBC, there are many voices claiming to represent the group.  Who really speaks for the coalition?

Meanwhile, the problem with most victory conditions that I have heard is that they seem to assume that The Imperium is going to be good sports and go along with them the way TEST did at the end of the Fountain War.  Taking all of our sovereignty is a great headline moment, but if everybody high-fives and goes home after that, The Imperium is going to still be there and is unlikely to let the status quo sit unchallenged.

The Imperium – Welcome to Afgoonistan

Victory for The Imperium, on the other hand, is somewhere well over the horizon.  Reddit may mock The Mittani’s “hellwar” and “Goonhammer” metaphors, but he is clearly not selling us an easy win.

The Imperium is going through a paradigm shift.  After years of being fat and happy back in a safe homeland, where whole groups never deployed and devoted themselves to ratting, mining, and industry, we have had to shed all of that very quickly.  Deklein is falling, peacetime reimbursement is a thing of the past, and our reach from the Quafe Factory Warehouse in Saranen is limited.

Deklein - April 18, 2016

Deklein – April 18, 2016

That alone has caused players to leave The Imperium.

The immediate goal of The Imperium is simply “don’t lose.”  We cannot lose if you don’t buy into the enemy narrative, don’t give up, and keep getting into fleets to attack the enemy where we can.  We cannot face the enemy head on, but they cannot be strong everywhere at once.  As they take more territory they become more vulnerable to counter-hacking.  Pandemic Horde found out over the weekend that setting up shop in a station in Fade to rat and mine was inviting trouble.  Reavers and Bomberwaffe were able to sting PH pretty hard while reinforcing various sov structures in the region.

Small victories have to sustain us.  This is helped along by the fact that, for Goons of a certain era, being the underdog is just the natural order of things and they welcome the return of that situation.  Being the insurgent is a more natural role for them.  And, of course, when members of the coalition against us are busy shooting each other… in Iitanmadan or down in Providence… that simply buoys our spirits.

Something About Victory

So who wins and how?

I think the Moneybadgers could clear out Deklein and Pure Blind, setting all the ADMs back to 1.0, legitimately declare victory, and move on.  They would have made a tangible change to the game and could legitimately claim to have defeated The Imperium as it was at the start of the war and the north would remain chaotic for some time to come.

To hit any of the bigger goals, such as breaking up The Imperium or Goonswarm, would require the coalition to sit, in force, on Saranen for a long time.  I am not sure the coalition has the wherewithal to manage that.

On the other side, there has to be an admission that the old Imperium is dead.  With the current state of the game, there won’t be any return to holding all the space we had before.  The only victory is in not losing and coming out the other side of the war able to exert control over null sec space within easy reach of our staging base in Saranen once the Moneybadgers tire of sitting on us and move on to other ventures.  We win by being around to fight another day, by emerging from the crucible or war intact and hardened, and by simply refusing to admit defeat.

Of course those two victory conditions are not mutually exclusive.  They could both come to pass and each side would claim their own victory.

Are there other victory conditions possible for either side?  Can you ever truly declare an unambiguous victory in New Eden if your foe refuses to acquiesce?

Friday Bullet Points Come Around Again

We are at the last weekend before taxes are due in the US… I am not sure why we got a reprieve until Monday, but I won’t argue… and I just got a “so sorry, but not really” message from one firm informing me that they won’t be sending me that last tax document I am waiting on for at least three weeks.  So I will be learning about filing for an extension this weekend.  Go me!

Meanwhile, I am back to things on my list that I want to mention but couldn’t quite get a whole post together for.

The Goblin Leaves New Eden

I knew when Gevlon left WoW and came to New Eden that sparks would fly.  I have said on multiple occasions that Gevlon and EVE Online seemed like a perfect match.  And, I must say, I was not disappointed.  Over the years he has managed to stir shit up and annoy people on a regular basis, which speaks to a certain level of effectiveness in his mission.

However, his “ISK = power” theory having been proven on the large scale by I Want ISK in the Casino War and the shift in ISK earning potential to the major military powers coming with the Citadel expansion… the rich get richer… has led him to liquidate his assets and leave the game.

I will miss his focus on New Eden. Of course, that is probably something a social would say, so it will likely just annoy him.  Where will the Goblin land next?

Brave Bastion

CCP announced the return of the Alliance Panel to EVE Fanfest 2016, because nothing ever goes awry there.  The lineup looks like an odd mix.  Certainly one of these things is not like the other.

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

There is only one alliance on the panel, Scary Wormhole People [WHBOO], that isn’t directly involved in the current Moneybadgers vs. Imperium war.  They seem to be shooting everybody about equally.  In addition, WHBOO is an alliance with only a single corp, so I think they might be pushing a definitional line somewhere with this.

Meanwhile, I suspect that, in being the only Imperium alliance amongst four foes, things will be rough for The Bastion [BASTN] on the panel.  Given the strong “if you are still in The Imperium then you are a horrible person” vibe running through the war’s narrative, I am not sure I would want to show up at EVE Fanfest this year, much less stand up and speak.

Leaks Bite Mittens in the… Press

There is an article up over at the International Business Times which, among other things, calls EVE Online “The Most Boring Video Game In The World.”  Not a great article, though I did get a chuckle when Richard “Lord British” Garriott was identified in a picture simply as “another “Eve Online” player.”

I have to think that the whole article was at best a mixed win for CCP’s marketing group.

Focus on The Mittani makes up a good chunk of the post, which includes this caveat about what he says,

But it is almost impossible to take what Gianturco says at face value. An arch manipulator, he is keen to promote his side’s view of the current conflict, and in leaked chat logs shown to IBT after an interview with him, Gianturco boasts that the media (and IBT in particular) are “eager to print whatever I’ll tell them.”

And so it goes for the self-described Vladimir Putin of New Eden.  I am pretty sure GARPA is even now working on an unloggable chat tool.  The hellwar demands it!

Still Smarting

Speaking of hellwars, the persistence and effort Derek Smart has put into his personal war against Star Citizen continues as epic post number 11, Star Citizen – Extinction Level Event, hit his blog this past week.  The legal threats seem to have subsided from his posts, as have the almost constant references to his own game, Line of Defense (which itself is set to leave Steam).  Instead he is focused on savaging Star Citizen business plans, schedules, promises,  customer relations, and the current level of quality… and memes, his post has lots of memes in it.

Diablo III Season 5 Ends Today

Diablo III Season 5 ends today.

Hrmm, that seems a bit redundant.

I wanted to note the date, but I do not really have much else to say other than I enjoyed Season 5, right up until the moment I finished the set dungeon and got the last of the base achievements…

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

…and then I totally stopped playing Diablo III again.

Still, I will probably log in again once the season closes to see how my crusader integrates back into my regular cast of characters.  He certainly brings a lot of gold and recipes to the mix.  We shall see if I come back for Season 6, which starts on April 29th.

Anyway, that is what I had on the list

Rooks and Kings – Message in a Bottle

I had heard a few rumors on coms that, with the changes that have come to EVE Online over the last 18 months, with jump fatigue figuring prominently in each mention, Rooks and Kings had decided to leave the Tranquility server for greener pastures.

Because out there, on the other side of the great firewall, there is Serenity, the Chinese EVE Online server, run by a local partner, and still living in the era of Dominion sovereignty.  No entosis link modules, no ADMs, and no jump fatigue. (TMC had a post about the server and its culture a couple years back.)

The Empires of our Chinese Comrades

The Empires of our Chinese Comrades, also fighting in Deklein

(The Serenity sov map from here.)

I do not know how far behind the Serenity server actually is, but if it is anything like WoW has had to be handled in China, where the local partner has a lot of say in things, it could be quite a different place when it comes to the code.

Anyway, Rooks and Kings released a new video that confirms what I had heard, that they have indeed transmitted themselves and their style of play to Serenity.  The video starts with a bit of story/lore to account for their arrival, followed by what they do best, making people swear in space.

Also, surprisingly short for a Rooks and Kings video.

Echoes of Faydwer comes to the Stormhold Server

I meant to mention this last week, but the war in EVE Online has gotten in the way with posts about the game taking up 10 of the last 14 posts.  My efforts to note events as they happened there led to me missing things elsewhere, such as the unlock of the Echoes of Faydwer expansion on Stormhold, the nostalgia focused EverQuest II time locked expansion server.

That is Daybreak's graphic for the idea

We are down to just one server now however

Why am I so keen to bring this up?  While I have been noodling around on the Stormhold server some over the last month or so, as a game it has been a distant third behind EVE Online and Minecraft. (I have about five Minecraft posts I want to do. Aaron won’t stop building cool new stuff.)

Part of it is that, with Echoes of Faydwer, we are now straying into the realm of things that occurred during the life of the blog.  EoF came out on November 14, 2006 and I can look back and find posts about that, including one announcing the day another about me trying to find a copy of it (back when CompUSA was still a thing), and then one about the patch process.

Nostalgia within written memory, something I do not have for the launch of EverQuest back in 1999 or even the launch of EverQuest II in 2004.  So I am happy in that regard for a start. (Though I was still figuring out how to deal with images on the blog and was hosting them on ImageShack for a bit. Those images are all gone now, since they don’t host for free any more. But I probably have them squirreled away in a directory somewhere.  Also, in a sign of who SOE used to report to, the install for the expansion put a Sony Pictures trailer on your desktop.)

Beyond that however, in the EverQuest II community the Echoes of Faydwer expansion represented a considerable change in how SOE viewed the game.

Echoes of Faydwer

Echoes of Faydwer

It is no secret that EverQuest II got off to a rocky start for many and varied reasons.  SOE seemed to have come away from the king-before-WoW that was EverQuest with a series of notions, some rather odd, as to what they had to do to make its successor better, a few of which I summed up in the back half of another post from a while back.

But of those notions, the most Bizarro world seemed to be the idea that they should avoid the EverQuest lore as much as possible.  We were still on the world of Norrath.  The cities of Qeynos and Freeport still existed.  Orcs and gnolls abounded.  Broken wizard spires lay in a few key spots.  And we had the heritage quests.  But all of that was treated as more trivia or coincidence than important parts of the world.  After the shattering everything was different.  And the first two expansions, Desert of Flames and Kingdom of Sky, sought to blaze new lore trails away from even the bits and pieces of EverQuest we could find.

Yes, there were many other problems, like simply being able to walk through Qeynos harbor without lagging to death.  But the neglect and abandonment of the lore worked against EverQuest II.  Not only was never as popular as its predecessor at its peak, there was speculation that, with people abandoning the game after launch, it wasn’t just behind WoW in subscription numbers, but EverQuest as well.  You couldn’t find a lot of EverQuest in EverQuest II.

The Echoes of Faydwer expansion came along to change all of that.  The expansion would return to the continent of Faydwer.  The zones would have the same names we knew of old.  Locations like the chessboard would be featured.  Even the geography would feel similar, with the valleys and winding paths.

Greater Faydark scout map

Greater Faydark scout map from in-game

And there would be a new home town, Kelethin that, like the town of old, would be in the trees.  And it wouldn’t be chopped up into half a dozen instance, but actually exist in an active zone, the way that old Kelethin did back in EverQuest.  Old names would resurface, like Crushbone Keep, re-imagined but still with the same character.  Other places, like the old starting towns of Kaladim and Ak-Anon would be there, but taken over by creatures and turned into places of dread.

And you would have to take a boat to get there, eschewing the travel bells and other teleportation schemes that EverQuest II had embraced for its first two years.

Carpet on the Ship

On the boat… with one of those goddam Desert of Flames flying carpets

At the time it was seen as something of a rebirth for the game.  The expansion also gave players a new route from character creation to level cap.  We also got cloaks, the return of deities, adornments, and… the Fae.

Well, Fae glide was pretty cool, right?

The expansion also represented a change to an every November expansion pace, something SOE and Daybreak have managed to keep to, and the inclusion of past expansions as a roll-up included with the purchase of Echoes of Faydwer.  This is how I ended up with Kingdom of Sky, having never purchased it stand alone.

So kind of a big deal, in an SOE-centric way, given the changes the expansion ushered it.  A lot of people came back to see this new vision of places from the original EverQuest.  Granted, the place feels pretty dated today.  Butcherblock is still very good, and I don’t mind the Steamfont Mountains, but any charm Greater and Lesser Faydark had for me back then has worn off completely.

Thus I felt I had to mark the transition, the time when the nostalgia focused Stormhold server hit the point when the game itself first decided to grasp the nostalgia theme for itself.

Of course, some forms of nostalgia work better than others.  We also saw the merger of the Deathtoll TLE server into Stormhold, ending the PvP version of the nostalgia fair.  That, and the merger of the Russian Harla Dar PvP server into the the EU Splitpaw server spells the end of open world PvP in EverQuest II.

As for the Stormhold server, in light of this nostalgia bloom I am building up here, I will see if I can’t find some time to go explore there this weekend.  My Stormhold character is in the zone for Butcherblock, so he can get on the boat and set sail.

No Last Stand in VFK as War Comes to Deklein

I opined a couple weeks back that I had nailed my colors to the mast for this war and would go down with the metaphorical ship, ready for that last ditch fight at VFK-IV, the one-time center station of the CFC and still a location with historical weight to it.

Of course, that grand vision ended up being made moot as we abandoned all our null sec staging systems and fell back to the hills of low sec to conduct a guerilla war out of the Quafe Company Company Warehouse in Saranen where we cannot be bubbled or camped effectively and where, while we lack cloning services, we have a nearly limitless supply of pretend carbonated beverages.

Effectively The Imperium logo now

Effectively The Imperium logo now

What I am waiting for now is somebody to put together a picture of The Mittani with a Che Guevara beret holding a bottle of refreshing Quafe or Quafe Zero.

Meanwhile the Moneybadgers have finally turned their attention to the heart of Goon space, the region of Deklein.  Relatively peaceful up until earlier this week, leaving aside the botched attempt to take VFK-IV on April Fools Day and repeated attempts to hack that one TNT system in the region, the MBC chose to put its weight into the effort and first reinforced, then finally blockaded and took two key systems in the region, VFK-IV, which has symbolic value, and YA0-XJ, the previous staging system for the coalition and the one-time biggest market station in null sec by a significant margin.  (When I checked EVE Market Data rankings earlier, Provi Bloc’s station at F-YH5B had eclipsed the current YA0 market, while the market at our staging station in Saranen had pulled ahead.  That said, it would seem there is still a lot of stuff in YA0.  Not everybody shipped their stuff out when I did I guess.)

So the map of Deklein now has this on it:

VFK and YA0 in new hands

VFK and YA0 in new hands

I would be interested to know how the MBC decided who got to take which system.  Certainly TEST and NCDot have suffered defeat at the hands of the CFC in the past, NCDot on repeated occasions after coming at the CFC.  Did TEST get VFK to make up for the fact that at the end of the Fountain War, their bitter rival from their own time in the CFC, Fatal Ascension, was allowed to take their capital at 6VDT-H?

Anyway, the oft stated slogan of “VFK by <date>,” first summed up after a White Noise pronouncement back in late 2011, has finally been achieved.

The war will continue in Deklein, however the numbers our foes can bring to bear and the distance from our staging system pretty much assures that we will lose the region sooner rather than later.  So we hole up in the back room of a soda pop warehouse and make our plans while The Mittani polishes his Goonhammer and talks about the wonder weapons that will send our foes fleeing before us.

I favor Vanilla Quafe myself

I favor Vanilla Quafe myself… also, Caroline’s Star visible

Of course, with TMC having pissed off I Want ISK, causing them to vow to continue to fund the war forever if necessary (Casino War eternal), we may be here for a long time.  At least I have the appropriate skin for my Megathron.

FCON Leaves The Imperium

It was announced in a broadcast this past evening that alliance Fidelas Constans, or FCON, would be leaving The Imperium.

FCON - April 13, 2016

FCON – April 13, 2016

While FCON still holds two thirds of their sovereignty, it is up on the north flank of The Imperium, in the Branch region, beyond the range that the coalition can possibly defend from it staging system in Saranen.  With The Initiative and Razor space in neighboring Tenal having been almost completely overrun by this point, FCON could no doubt see the writing on the wall.

FCON is the third alliance to leave The Imperium during the war.

The Imperium - April 13, 2016

The Imperium – April 13, 2016

As with SMA, which announced its departure earlier this week, FCON leaves The Imperium on good terms and with blue standings.  FCON takes with it ~3,500 capsuleers, down from ~4,200 at the start of the war.

FCON’s plans have not yet been announced/leaked, but one can presume that they, like SMA, will look for a more quiet slice of space in which to regroup and decide what is next for their alliance.

Meanwhile, The Mittani has put out a war update entitled Forging of the Goonhammer which lays out the plan for continuing the struggle against those who would oppose The Imperium, with CO2 topping the list of traitors to be dealt with.  FCON members and corps can join GSF if they wish to continue the fight, though the declaration of a “hellwar” means a protracted struggle with no sign of a  return to happier times for the foreseeable future.  FCON, being a different culture than GSF (for example, FCON members were not allowed to participate in Burn Jita/Burn Amarr), it seems unlikely that there will be much movement between the two.

Addendum: FCON’s alliance announcement has been posted over at TMC.  Their plan is apparently to conquer sov elsewhere in New Eden on their own.

The Russian Complication – That Escalated Quickly

Yesterday I wrote about Legion of xXDeathXx and their to declaration of war against the Drone Walkers, a group that developed under its wing. (EN24 has a post about this now as well.)  I was curious to see how that would work out, whether Legion could keep the conflict between just itself and its progeny or if the whole thing would get mixed into the wider war in the North.

I still don’t know if this conflict will link up with the main war, but the Drone Walkers and their allies were quick to turn their focus on their erstwhile benefactor, going directly after the Legion’s rental space that resides under the Shadow of xXDeathXx banner.

The xXDeathXx empire as it stands

The xXDeathXx empire as it stands

Basically, “Entosis all the things!” seems to be the quote of the day.

A peek this morning showed lots of activity in the Oasa region, where Shadow was losing most of the Fozzie Sov tug of war events:

Ugly in Oasa for xXDeathXx

Ugly in Oasa for xXDeathXx

Likewise, the Cobalt Edge region looked to be aflame as well, with events going against the defenders:

Cobalt Edge on fire

Cobalt Edge on fire

The Perrigen Falls region was likewise heavily hit, but being closer to the Legion core, the events seem to be going more the way of the defender:

Perrigen Falls events

Perrigen Falls events

Systems in Etherium Reach and The Kalevala Expanse have also been hit, but not to the same degree, while the Legion’s home in Geminate appears to have remained untouched, perhaps indicating that the Moneybadgers haven’t turned their gaze in the Legion’s direction.

These are, of course, early results.  The Drone Walkers and their allies were clearly mobilized and ready and the ferocity of their attack appears to have caught Legion and its renters by surprise.

There are a lot more Fozzie Sov entosis events queued up and it is possible that the Legion might rally against its foes.  But it looks like the Legion has its hands full even without the Moneybadgers getting involved in this part of the conflict.  Has the Legion made one of the classic blunders and gotten itself involved in a land war in Asia?