The Coming Battle in 9-4RP2

Not too long after this post goes live the first fleets will be forming up.  Fleets of ships, each as big as 255 pilots in size, will start to coalesce and begin their last minute preparations.  The final timer for a Pandemic Horde Keepstar in the system  9-4RP2 in Cloud Ring set to expire later today.

I logged in last night to take one last peek.  There were fewer than 40 people in system.  The Imperium citadels ringing the Keepstar sat in silent vigil, watching the timer tick down.

Less than a day to go at that point…

That was at about 04:00 New Eden time, which puts the the start of the Keepstar repair cycle at about 22:00.

In a bit of a quirk, a bunch of the citadels around the Keepstar hit their vulnerability window a few hours before the big fight, so there is the possibility of some early action, though Asher says that nobody defends on the shield timer, so it might just be some attackers and people gunning the citadels exchanging shots, but it will be a side show to the main event.

The PH 9-4RP2 Keepstar

As these things tend to go, the form up and the start of any fight will happen while I am still at the office.  The earliest I can possibly be home and logged in is about 23:00 New Eden time, which is a full hour after the timer.

That is still better than last week, as the times have crept later and later with each fight.  But, if nobody shows up to defend the Keepstar… or if nobody shows up to attack it… the whole thing will be over in 30 minutes and I won’t even be on the road home by then.

I’m pretty sure the attackers are going to show up.  Imperium Jabber has been full of pings about the coming battle over the last five days… which probably means half the coalition still doesn’t know about it.  There have been no end of move ops to get ships pre-positioned for the fight, while the capital ops have been opened up, and reimbursement offered, to people who can only qualify for CrapSwarm, to fill out as many capital fleets as possible.  We shall see if people will risk their ratting carriers.

Which leaves the defenders.

I suppose the easiest option for Pandemic Horde would be to play the “Didn’t want that Keepstar anyway, made you form!” card and just let the Keepstar die without forming.  That at least has a reliable result.  Other options involve more risk and may not save the Keepstar.  But if they go that route, the question then would be “What will they defend?”  The Imperium might just move forward and try their Keepstar at C4C-Z4 in Fade to see. (We were there recently.)

On grid with the PH Keepstar in C4C-Z4

Ideally for them, they and their allies would both save the Keepstar and destroy copious Imperium capitals and super caps.  Saving the Keepstar but losing a lot of supers would not bode well however.  I strongly suspect that the Imperium’s primary goal is to destroy as many super capitals belonging to the coalition of the north as possible, the Keepstar just being the bait to get them on the field.

The Imperium would happily trade titans with them all evening and consider themselves the winner based solely on their ability to replace losses.  You have seen the production numbers for Delve from the December Monthly Economic Report, right?

December 2017 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

I suspect that were not just building Rorquals and ratting carriers down there.

And, of course, there is the “good of EVE Online” aspect to this.  Big fights like this generate headlines in the wider gaming press and bring attention… and new players… to the game.  I wonder what is going on at CCP as the battle looms?

From my own selfish point of view, I hope for a big fight as well because then time dilation will kick in and the fight will drag out to the point that I can get home, get settled, and log in to see things unfold.

The view from the Fortizar where I am docked

Maybe I will even get on a few kill mails with my stealth bomber.  We shall see.

Anyway, the coming timer is the topic du jour over on Reddit, with plenty of speculation, advice, and memes to be had.  Elsewhere there are some reviews of what has happened so far and previews as to what may come.

Addendum:

The Keepstar lived, no titans were lost, no great super cap battle was had, but more than 6,700 people were in the fight at one point.

As the battle progressed, a couple of the mainstream gaming sites posted about the fight:

I am not sure where the whole “million dollar battle” came from, but sites were using that to get clicks, and the idea was enough to get the game on the news… or at least the Canadian news.

I cannot find a direct link to that video at the moment, so the Tweet will have to do.  If AdBlock eats the tweet for you, you can find it here.

Waiting for some final numbers on the fight before I do a follow up post.

9 thoughts on “The Coming Battle in 9-4RP2

  1. Sendric

    I have been in lower power mode in Eve for the last few weeks so this slipped by me for a while. I was about to move out for this fight last night, but RL issues happened. In addition to my Rat’atos, I had also scooped up an Archon hull really cheap a while back for suitcase use and eventual capswarm, but i am still in crapswarm boat. However, this did convince me to finally bite the JDC5 bullet. Like you, I wont be able to get in until pretty late, but if the fight is still going I may just travelceptor over and hope there are still doctrines on contract.

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  2. Hordling

    Wow… EVE doesn’t work so well when 8000 people try to get in one system and fight. I had my carrier on grid when 4 Goon Nyxs warped to the wrong cyno. Only 90km away and I couldn’t get my fighters to trundle over through the TIDI to get on the kills. Later, like 2 mins EVE time and an hour my time, I docked to try to change my position on the Keepstar… and then the game wouldn’t let me undock for 3 hours – my carrier is still in the Keepstar! So I titan bridged in on an alt in a Scorpion. Warp tunnel took 25 minutes. Once there, I jammed 2 fighters…. and the Keepstar timer restarted and was saved. Go me!

    I think they could have gotten an attendance of 8000 or more but CCP apparently had some protections in place that restricted new logins once the player count got to 6000 or so. I heard of lots of people who got dc’d and couldn’t log back in for hours.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    On the stream they announced when the number crossed 6,700 and were calling for 7K, but then the system dumped over a thousand people and the login process balked at letting anybody else into the system. I hope that CCP will do a Dev Blog about their side of things. The INN stream had CCP Falcon on and he was giving details about the server from time to time, but I’d like to see a real write up.

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  4. fatherofdaughters

    I actually looked at a few streams on Twitch to follow the action (or lack of it). Sad to say it was not a great advertisement for EVE. The most entertaining moment was when one streamer’s viewer count went from 10 viewers to over 2000 because he was the only coherent streamer with a computer that hadn’t yet crashed. To be fair to him (and his cool hat) he handled the newfound fame rather eloquently. I stopped watching after about half an hour but it was already very clear that even aside from the enormous technical issues neither side was going to risk taking their super capital ships out from the protection of their structures. I did get to see one incident though where three ships were tricked into warping to the wrong beacon. It was the only highpoint of an otherwise unimpressive spectacle. I have played EVE so I kind of knew what to expect but I would imagine that if any newcomer logged in to see the ONE MILLION DOLLAR BATTLE they would have been sorely disapointed at a very dated looking game struggling to cope with the whole event.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    The INN stream had more that 10K viewers at one point and never crashed, but they were afraid to even move the camera in game lest it crash. The INN stream also had CCP Falcon on for a while, who gave some insight into what was going on behind the scenes.

    But yes, the streams were not very helpful for anybody who had never played EVE or had been in a big battle. I had a friend who was asking me about the fight, then said he was going to try to watch one of the streams and I told him not to bother.

    I would disagree that any viewer would see a “dated” looking game, mostly because you couldn’t see the game up close at all.

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