One one Keepstar awaited in wormhole J115405. Named “Unassailable Wealth,” the Initiative had been in the night before to get it to the final timer.
That was the last big target in the hole known to some as “Rage,” the final loot pinata to smack, and its timer was running down, set to end just after the transition to December 15th on the UTC clock that EVE Online uses.
There was a bit of a warm up a couple of hours before as a Fortizar on grid with the Keepstar had its final timer come up.
Above the Fortizar is the Keepstar, below it the planet around which they all had been set. My alt got out on grid in his Astero to drop a sentry drone in order to get on the kill mail. I also got out Wilhelm in the Hound he looted to take a few shots as well.
The main effort was by the usual ball of Ravens that the Initiative favors for these operations. The Fortizar, lacking the Arcing Vorton Projector doomsday weapon, just sat there and took the damage until it blew.
According to the kill mail my Hound actually kept up with individual Ravens as far as damage went, though damage deflected by the damage cap makes that an odd metric to figure.
After that there was a couple of hours off before the big kill. As the time approached pings went out to alert everybody who wanted to be there for the final fight… if there was to be a fight. It seemed unlikely that Hard Knocks would show up in force at this point, but complacency on our part might make resistance viable.
For Reavers Thomas Lear came out to FC our Ishtar fleet. I jumped into my Guardian and, this time, remembered to put the Bouncer II sentry drone I brought along into the drone bay. I wanted to be able to tag the Keepstar, as last time around it didn’t work out.
The rules for this fight were laid out up front. This time around the Initiative, which had spent the last year setting up this whole event, was claiming the loot from this Keepstar for itself. Once it blew everybody else was going to have to get off grid as they would be shooting any outsiders looking to scavenge.
In the Reavers channel this didn’t get much of a response. It certainly seemed right to me that those who did the bulk of the work reap the rewards. And let them try to haul stuff out after we were done. I was there for the spectacle and a couple of kill mails, not some random stuff I would have to worry about taking home. (I almost never loot after battles. I don’t even think to do it until somebody mentions it.)
On the main fleet coms however, people were apparently pissing and moaning about getting left out of the sack of the Keepstar. If there were ever a reason to join a SIG or a squad, it is main fleet coms.
The event itself went down about as expected. Various fleets showed up, the main one being the ball of Ravens fielded by the Initiative. They unleashed their barrage of cruise missiles at the Keepstar and, in return, the Keepstar gunner zapped them with the Arcing Vorton Projector whenever it cycled.
With a 10 minute recycle time, only two shots were made before the final moment when the Keepstar exploded.
Then the loot pinata began spewing hangar containers to loot. At that point the Initiative did something special. They warped in and formed their logo in brackets on grid.
For reference, this is their logo on DOTLAN EVE Maps.
It is really only the center part of the logo, but it was a nice bit of work. My screen shot of it isn’t that good, since I was caught unaware and just had to use whatever overview I had to hand to try and see it. Over at INN their post has a screen shot with just the ships and aimed so the sun is behind the eye of the logo. Very nice.
It is my understanding, confirmed on NER coms, that on person set that up, making the bookmarks for each ship location, then handed them out before the fleet so everybody could warp to the spot and, tah-dah, logo in space!
At that point all the wise people not in the Initiative warped out and docked up or tethered. Those foolish enough to ignore the warnings, or unlucky enough to have missed them, were blown up according to the kill board. More loot for the Initiative.
There are still some more structures to blow up and the Initiative has committed to hitting every last one of them, leaving only after they have all been destroyed. Much of the rest of the Imperium headed home though. The big kill mails and epic loot are all gone. Only die hard structure shooters like Reavers are hanging around for some more kills.
And so it goes. That post at INN looks a bit at Hard Knocks. They aren’t imploding or shedding members. They still have their null sec rental space in Cobalt Edge. There is a rumor that they are folding into Pandemic Legion and merging their rental space, but there is as yet no substance it.
I suspect that once we have cleared out of JJ115405… nobody in the attacking force wants to keep the place… that Hard Knocks will return. They will probably set up a more modest holding there. No Keepstars. The Keepstars were an extravagance, some bling to show off to the world. And that is why we ended up there. Fortizars are cheaper and would suit their needs.
I do wonder whether CCP might look into the Initiative’s Raven fleet tactics to see if EVE Online players have found yet another hole in the game mechanics that ought to be filled. What starts as ingenuity tends to become the meta. We shall see.