So many pings.
Things have begun to stir in null sec here in the new year. The Imperium has risen from its ratting and mining binge… krabbing is us… to focus on blowing something up. It isn’t really a war. We’re not off to conquer more territory. Instead we are focusing on a Pandemic Horde Keepstar in the system 9-4RP2 in Cloud Ring.
And so the alerts have been going out to rally people to be ready to join the fight, even asking people to resubscribe their capital and super capital pilots. This started in earnest after the first attack set a timer on the Keepstar, practically becoming the Jabber equivalent of the old “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! See “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Shirley “Cha-Cha” Muldowney…” radio ads as the directorate tried to get the troops rallied and eager.
I was eager myself, ever keen to be part of a big fight, even if it was only to be a timer fight rather than a possible kill. The problem was the time. Form up for the fight on Tuesday was slated for 18:00 and the timer itself would come up a bit past 20:30. Those are New Eden times, which runs on UTC, which puts those event at about 10am and 12:30pm on a week day out here on the left coast of the United States. Even though I tend to be early into the office, I am never so early as to be able to be home by lunch time.
Still, I had a hope of seeing some of the action. If the fight developed into a big enough brawl, if the goal expanded beyond the timer and became a slug fest between super fleets looking for titan kills, time dilation could help me out. I couldn’t get into the game until 23:00 UTC at the earliest, but if everybody was running at 10% tidi then a fight might still be under way.
To get myself setup for that possibility, I hopped into a stealth bomber, made sure I had a couple of bombs and a stack of torpedoes, and flew out to Cloud Ring so as to be pre-positioned for any fight.
The flight out went without incident, it being late US/early AU time when things can be quiet, but when I arrived in 9-4RP2 I realized I had to find the Keepstar still. It doesn’t show up on the overview and I hadn’t bothered to find out even a general location for it. But I saw we had some citadels in the system as well… more than a dozen, including a Fortizar. I figured I could just hole up in one of those and find the fight when the time came, so I warped to one only to find they were all still in the process of deploying.
That meant no docking up for me as well as an interesting angle to the coming fight. In addition to the armor timer for the Keepstar there would be a range of Imperium citadels coming online and vulnerable just to confuse the issue. If the locals stuck to the Keepstar, we would have a bunch of bases in the system. If they attacked the vulnerable citadels, they might lose the Keepstar timer.
Anyway, warping to a deploying citadel did help me out, as I found that they were all on grid with the Keepstar.
The timer was running down, but the event was still about 15 hours away.
I looked around for a bit, then went off to make myself a safe spot. I did not want to log back in on grid with the fight lest I find myself in the midst of hostiles. Once I had a nice location bookmarked I uncloaked and did a safe logoff.
The next day at the office I watched the pings come in on my phone. There were early form ups, late form ups, supers and sub-caps, battleships and destroyers, and all the sundry in between forming up and heading towards Cloud Ring.
I saw a report of two hostile titans having been blown up, another that we lost the timer, and a third that because the Keepstar was again vulnerable that we were going to re-do the shield timer yet again to start the event again. Taking a quick peek at the INN stream it appeared that we were doing the shield timer via a mass of fighters that had somehow formed themselves ala Voltron into an Avatar class titan. (Source: INN stream and Joe the Barbarian)
The overwhelming fighter super capital assault was enough to drive off the enemy.
There were more than 3,000 people in local at the peak of the fight, but by the time I got home, logged int, and warped onto grid that number had dropped closer to 30. We had set the shield timer again, so success on that front.
We also seemed to do very well with our own citadel array as there was now a constellation of CONDI citadels around the target, including a Fortizar in which we could hide dreads and carriers.
In addition there was another Fortizar going online, just to add to the collection.
That left the a growing Imperium citadel count in system.
Even though I missed the fight, there was some upside for me. Because the shield timer got set later in the day, there was a greater likelihood of my being able to get home and online to see the next day’s fight.
However, yesterday’s fight went even more quickly that the previous one. By the time I got home the system had again emptied out. We did win the armor timer fight. That meant a six day wait for the final fight.
That will put the battle for the destruction of the Keepstar early Tuesday afternoon next week when, naturally, I will be at work.
But I have hope. Timers are timers and not so serious, so people slack off.
This fight though, this could mean the destruction of a significant Pandemic Horde asset, so I suspect the defenders will be pulling out all the stops in order to get people in system and on grid to defend the Keepstar.
And on our side there are already ‘”fight coming” pings going out in multiple languages to make people aware of this fight.
Then there are the third parties who will show up looking for kills, and maybe even a Keepstar kill.
With all of that I have high hopes that it will be everybody to the limit and time dilation at 10% and the system still lagging for a long fight into the night, leaving me plenty of time to get home, get logged in, and get on grid to see how it plays out.
In the mean time the Keepstar waits.
Of course, that is just my story. I’m still sitting in system waiting for the big fight. For what actually happened this week the following stories have been posted:
- INN – Imperium Attacking PH Keepstar in Cloud Ring, Jan. 15
- INN – Live Blog Keepstar Timer in 9-4RP2, Jan. 16
- INN – 9-4RP2 Keepstar Armor Timer Round 2, Jan. 17
- EN24 – Second 9-4RP2 Preludes the Start of the Next Great War, Jan. 17
- EN24 – Is TEST Moving North?, Jan. 18
There are also a number of posts on Reddit with good pictures of the first two fights.
- Keepstar fight in 9-4RP2 (Pictures)
- 9-4RP2 – Round 2 (Pictures)
- The Main Reason to Keep Drone Models on
- Actual Footage From The 9-4 Keepstar Fight (meme)
Now to see if Tuesday brings a B-R5RB level blood bath.