Daily Archives: August 13, 2018

And So We Begin to Battle for Azeroth

The time has come.  With the worldwide launch of the Battle for Azeroth expansion is set to go live semi-simultaneously world wide today, which in the US means 3pm Pacific Time.  My characters are set, my addons have all finally been updated, and I am otherwise set to go.

Battle for Azeroth is now

Since this is Blizzard, and not Daybreak, it seems likely that the appointed hour will be met.  When you’ll have access to the expansion is illustrated on a chart Blizz has put out.

When can you play?

That also shows what time the blog post is scheduled to go live… well, the US times are correct.  Your mileage may vary elsewhere in the world.

As to whether or not you’ll be able to log in to your server at the appropriate time or just be stuck in a long queue is another story.

And speaking of story, we have had our last bit of the preliminary story.  Unfolding over the last three weeks, it has sought to set the tone for the Horde vs. Alliance conflict that is central to Battle for Azeroth, pretty much dumping the burden on Sylvanas Windrunner, current War Chief of the Horde.

Sylvanas is waiting for you…

After playing through the pre-launch events on both Alliance and Horde, I am still unclear on the “why” of her actions.  She keeps speaking of the survival of the Horde, but what that has to do with the world tree one way or another isn’t certain.  Her orders seem more designed inflame conflict than foster survival.

Nice tree..shame is somebody BURNED IT DOWN!

This provoked the Alliance just as we expected it would… mostly because it was featured prominently in the Battle for Azeroth cinematic trailer from BlizzCon last year.  Young King Anduin Wrynn takes the Alliance to the Unercity for a showdown.  The Alliance prevails, entirely because Jaina Proudmoore shows up at their moment of need. Jaina ex Machina.  And so Andiun seeks out Sylvanas.

I am so going to give Sylvanas a talking to!

But when the naive king goes to confront Sylvanas he is outwitted again.  She escapes and, in the final moments of the cinematic, she and her lieutenants are formed up in what I would consider very much the smug, bad guy lineup.

Sylvanas wins again, I think

The parallel cut to Andiun and his group shows a weary determination.

Duped again

And now the stage is set… for something.  There is, or course, dissent in the Horde leadership that makes me think that Sylvanas might be headed down the Garrosh Hellscream path.  Or maybe she just isn’t telling us everything yet.   We will see as this unfolds over the next eighteen months or so… once we can log in.

MER – How Much Does War Cost Delve?

CCP has released the Monthly Economic Report for July 2018 so we can see what impact moving off to war has on the Imperium’s economic engine in Delve.  So I will be comparing this to the June report which was the last peacetime period.

We might as well dive straight into mining output, as that is where Delve and the Imperium dominate every month.

July 2018 – Mining Value by Region

July saw a big hit to mining output in Delve, dropping from 14.7 trillion ISK in value in June to only 8.2 trillion ISK in value in July.  That is only 55% of the June output, a 6.5 trillion ISK reduction.  A lot of Rorquals were clearly docked up as capital and super capital pilots flew north to Cloud Ring.

And while, in the past, I have had to point out that changes in output might be related to the price in minerals from which the measure is derived, this month the economic indicators show that mineral prices were flat, even rising ever so slightly as the month moved on.

July 2018 – Economic Indices

So there is the cost of war.

Regions in northern null sec, where a lot of the war is occurring, suffered downturns as well, save for a few like Branch that stayed stable or even rose a bit.  There is no bar chart this month so we cannot see the relative rankings easily, but even a diminished Delve is still dominant.

Then there is the NPC bounty output to look at.

July 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

As with mining, NPC bounties in Delve were down.  In June the number was 11.2 trillion ISK, but in July that number sank to 7.5 trillion ISK.  Unlike mining, which has to be sold or used in manufacturing to be turned into ISK, this drop saw 3.7 trillion ISK less flowing into the pockets of Delve pilots, with a corresponding reduction in taxes for corporations.

I wish that the bar graph for this data had been included… and I am too lazy to make one myself… because you could more easily see Branch, where many northern players have gone in order to escape the war and keep krabbing, creeping up in value compared to Delve.  July saw Branch hit almost half of Delve’s number, up from less than one third in June.

The reduction even saw a slight change in the sec status balance of bounty payouts.

July 2018 – NPC Bounties by Sec Status

Null sec dropped 0.8% causing the percentage for High sec space to rise just a bit.

Overall NPC bounties saw a mid-month dip.

July 2018 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

War activity, move ops and battles alike, took people away from ratting.  Or, took some people away from ratting for a bit.  Even the bottom of that dip is still pretty high as an overall number.  And, ever so slightly, incursion payouts saw a dip at the same time while insurance payouts went up during the dip.

On the trade front Delve stayed steady.

July 2018 – Trade Value by Region

Instead it was Jita that saw the big boost, supplying the northern war front.  Trade in The Forge was up by nearly 50 trillion ISK in July.

July 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

At leas there we have the bar graph to illustrate the dominance of The Forge, home of Jita.

July 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph, Forge Excluded

Without The Forge you can see Delve holding steady in third place behind Domain, home of Amarr, the second trade hub of New Eden.

When it came to contracts Delve again stayed steady while The Forge surged.

July 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Chart

That surge may be related to the war, at least indirectly, but seems likely to be more about mutated modules from Abyssal space as they are becoming more readily available and can only be traded via contracts.

Then there is production.

July 2018 – Production Values by Region

Here again The Forge surged, but Delve sank some.  This may be due to a shortfall of minerals in the region.  I know we were already importing minerals from Jita to support production, but with the drop in mining there have been requests from leadership going out asking that we make sure and list minerals in the Delve market because they are needed.  This was a key speaking point for The Mittani during the most recent coalition fireside chat.  Minerals and ice products are in high demand.

And then there is the war time chart, destruction by region.

July 2018 – Destroyed Value by Region

Since the report lags by a month we are only now seeing the numbers for the battles at UALX-3 where a Keepstar was destroyed along with hundreds of capital ships in two consecutive bouts.  That boost the Tenerifis number by about 3.3 trillion ISK.

In Delve the numbers were up a bit as those who kept on ratting and mining while the super capital umbrella was elsewhere paid the price.  In The Forge however ganks were apparently down a bit compared to June.

And, as usual, I will close with the regional stats chart that puts a chunk of the data into one chart.

July 2018 – Regional Stats

The July numbers reflect only the start of the pan-null sec war, with the opening struggles in the south.  Already in August we have had two major battles with losses measured in trillions of ISK, so next month’s report should be interesting.

Meanwhile the shortfall in mineral and ice product production may send the prices upward.  Something to keep an eye on come next month’s MER.

You can find the July 2018 Monthly Economic Report and all of the charts it provides, along with the raw data from which they were made, over on CCP’s site under Dev Blogs.