The Keepstar, a Hellcamp, and Pure Blind

Last Thursday I posted a picture of a Keepstar citadel deploying in EVE Online, strongly implying that there was going to be something happening around that.

Looks like it has about 18 hours to go...

That is a titan’s worth of ISK in structure form…

And now it is Tuesday and I haven’t written any more about it, so I thought it might retrace what happened, or at least my own path through it.

If you are a regular on /r/eve you have likely read the story already and can probably skip this, as it will be a subset of events, mostly what I actually saw and heard.  If you live in New Eden vicariously through my posts, well, here is another tale from deep space.

Thursday night there was a ping for a Cerberus fleet led by Asher Elias.  This is a very Asher doctrine and I try to go on such fleets whenever I can.  They tend to be a good time.  I logged on and got into the fleet.

We had some special instructions.  One was to bring along a medium mobile war disruption bubble if we could deploy it.  The other was to bring along some extra ammo.  I bought a bubble and put it in my cargo along with some cheap t1 missiles, as it sounded like we might be shooting structures.  Then we undocked.  We had decent numbers, with over 200 in fleet, so there was a mass of Cerbs.

Cerberus undock

Cerberus undock

From there in Saranen we headed out a few jumps to catch a titan bridge into Pure Blind.  From there we headed through Fade and into Deklein, with our destination being the system 2O9G-D.

It was there that we saw, on the grid with the station, the Keepstar going up.  It was still early in its 24 hour deployment cycle, so I figured we were there to lay some groundwork in order to contest it once it came out of its deployment and spent an hour going online, during which it could not defend itself.

And that seemed to be our task.  First we went and dropped our bubbles around the station in order to making coming and going from there in anything besides an interceptor a chore.

2O9G station bubbled up

2O9G station bubbled up

We went and hit the POS in the system that had a cyno beacon and a jump bridge module in order to hinder comings and goings.  We also covered the deployment of a pair of POS towers and spent some time popping hostile warp bubbles around an Astrahus in I30-3A, which is the system next door.

Not much happened while we did this in the way of fights.  We killed a couple of bombers who tried to hit us, some interceptors that we buzzing around, and a couple of fighters sent out from a carrier.

During this The Mittani got on coms with us to tell us about the grand plan.  He said that we were not there merely to shoot the Keepstar, but to hellcamp the station through the 96 hour period it would take to turn the ownership over to us, thus locking down all the assets held therein by the locals.  We would also be there for the Keepstar fight, but the hellcamp was the thing.

A hellcamp is when you bubble up a null sec station and put a fleet on it to halt all but the most minimal comings and goings… you can’t really stop interceptors… for an extended period of time.  In this case, we The Mittani was talking about embargoing the station for 96 hours straight.  Not the longest hellcamp in my time… I think we spent at least a week camping a station in 319-3D in Delve back in 2012… but still a call for a commitment.

To do this Asher was going to take us back to Saranen and swap out for a Confessor fleet.  Those of us who didn’t want to stay up for the hellcamp… there were late night Euros in the fleet as well as early risers like me… we could safe log out in the POS and log back in the next day for the big fight and whatever else came up.

There was also the promise of a State of the Goonion announcement come the morning.

It wasn’t really that late, but I didn’t want to fly to Saranen and back out again, so I decided to call it a night and camp in the POS.  I was already planning to work from home on Friday and I figured if I camped in the POS I could log in to see a bit of the big fight… it was slated for about noon my time, so perfect for a lunch break diversion… and then figure things out from there.  So I left.

I do not know what happened with the hellcamp plan overnight, but when I finally got around to logging in the next day before lunch, 2O9G was starting to fill up.  There were already over 1,400 people in local.  Unfortunately for us, only about 20 of them were blue, and most were orbiting the stick in the now reinforced POS that had been setup the previous night.

As local climbed to 2,000 and time dilation started to kick in even without anybody fighting, the word came down through Jabber that there was not going to be a fight as there was no way we could kill the Keepstar in time.

Apparently, when time dilation kicks in and slows everybody down, one of the things that is unaffected is the timer to online a citadel.  Somebody had calculated that even without hostile interference, so long as tidi was running, we could not put enough sustained DPS on the Keepstar to keep it vulnerable and kill it before its unaffected timer ran down and it went online.

And, of course, hostile interference was going to be a big deal.  With about 2,000 people on grid with the Keepstar, including supers, we would be going in outnumbered, so that even without the tidi hitch the Keepstar seemed safe.

The calculations by the heads of the Imperium seemed to include an assumption that the MBC wouldn’t form back up as a single unit again to defend a single citadel, or even that PL might join in to get on a Keepstar kill.  They seem happy enough to shoot MBC capitals of late.

Instead, once again, the MBC showed itself to be the CFC 2.0, a massive essentially blue coalition holding the north together.  Protest all you like, but actions speak louder than words.  Even PL was able to get in on the act thanks to a suspiciously convenient wormhole connection opening up between Thera and 2O9G before the fight.

But no fight was coming.  Some people who were keen to stream the event… including TMC… clearly felt led astray.

Instead, the Imperium undocked a couple of battleship fleets to shoot structured in Pure Blind.  Those of us per-positioned in 2O9G were feeling a little lost.  I safe logged again and went back to work.

Fortunately for me, that evening Thomas Lear came out with a fleet to rescue some of us that were stuck in 2O9G.  He got us back to a titan that bridged us close to Saranen.

Another titan bridge

Another titan bridge

Finally, on Saturday, during the usual Meta Show time frame, there was the previously promised State of the Goonion.  There is a summary of it over at TMC, but the essence was that the plan didn’t work and we were going to pursue a more modest/methodical approach to the long promised reconquista.  We would be pushing into Pure Blind from Saranen, taking systems in the first two constellations, the one based around 93PI-4 and the one next to it, referred to as “the kite” due to its shape on the DOTLAN map, defending the timers and raising ADMs on the systems to make them more defensible.

There was also some announcements about doctrines that would be used going forward.  We had quite a few doctrines live up until this point.  Reducing that will make supply easier, though now I am stuck with two Naga battlecruisers I never got to fly.  I will either ship them back to Jita myself or go do a long range camp on a gate or something with them until they die.

Caps to be used going forward were discussed, and since only the Caldari and Amarr force auxiliaries are going to be used/reimbursed going forward, a few people undocked their insured Ninazu’s for us to shoot.  I got one one kill mail just to be there.

Then it was off to raising ADMs, which means raising the Military and Industrial indexes, which in turn means killing rats and mining.  So after the SotG I joined up with Jay Amazingness’ mining op and broke rocks in 93PI-4 in a Procurer.

Rock crushing in a Procurer

Rock crushing in a Procurer

And that is the plan for now.  We have secured the constellations in Pure Blind.

Pure Blind - July 11, 2016

Pure Blind – July 11, 2016

Now we have to see if we can hold them, raise the ADMs, and push forward.  Deklein is always the goal on the horizon, the Goon homeland for many years.

Gevlon says it won’t work.  And certainly, if the MBC continues to work together and applies itself again to sov warfare, we are likely to be pushed back to the soda warehouse in Saranen.  We shall see how this turns out, this next stage in the war for us.

I am kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to see the Keepstar after it was deployed.  I might have to sneak out to take a look at some point.

Meanwhile, some screen shots from the events of the last few days put together into a gallery.

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