I don’t think anybody who has to use the Fozzie Sov… or Aegis Sov… mechanics with entosis modules and such is going to argue about it being something of a drag at times. Some of my most tedious moments in New Eden have been centered around sov wands.
The fun thing is that Fozzie Sov is really annoying only when you are determined to take or defend space. When you feel you have to do it, it can be a serious grind. But if you just want to troll the sov owners it can be a bit of a low investment lark. That was certainly what we were up to in the opening hours of the war when we hit Paragon Soul.
We had no intention of taking those systems then. Certainly not with the odds arrayed against us. But everybody in TEST got notifications about the ihubs being under attack and then reinforced and then again when then nodes decloaked. It was a bit of a finger in the eye.
Naturally enough they have, as I previously mentioned, returned the favor. They haven’t been able to manage a sweeping result like the one pictured above, but they do persist. It is a low effort operation to send out small ships with entosis links to hit ihubs, and we have to respond. I spent a few hours in quick reaction fleets moving from one location to the next to blap hackers and chase off any cover fleets that might be trying to protect them. You have to work to catch the cover fleets as they always spook and run when we show up. Giving us a fight would be satisfying and would undermine the effort to frustrate us.
Because that is surely part of the exercise here, to drive us a bit crazy and get us down as we run after each of these notifications. But we cannot ignore them, because the ihubs are critical to ADMs. Lose them and the systems because much easier to take.
So sometimes we just stay out, patrolling, chasing down notifications, and doing a bit of ADM work when nothing else is going on just to pass the time.
If nothing else, that pays back the Ansiblex fees that come from traveling back and forth. (GSOL must be doing a lot of work though, as I have yet to run into one down for lack of fuel.)
Keeping people out constantly on patrol with not much in the way of action is a good way to burn people out, so it isn’t really a viable long term plan. So the coalition came up with an incentive plan to help combat the entosis hacker menace.
If you are out and managed to get the final blow on a hacker in our space, you can post the kill mail in the forums and receive a 50 million ISK bounty. If the entosis module drops you can contract it to the alliance for an additional 10 million ISK if it is tech I and 150 million ISK if it is tech II.
As an incentive program, this started out pretty well. There were a few people racing to chase down hackers, with one guy in a Tengu knocking out quite a few.
I wasn’t sure what would be a suitable hunter, but I went out to return the favor of annoyance with a bit of my own when I had some spare time. I parked an Ares interceptor with an ECM burst jammer and a 2 second align time in the middle of Querioius and waited around for some notifications.
When a notification came up I would just zip out to the system and warp to the ihub. Once there I align out to the nearest structure, click warp, then set off the ECM burst, an area effect target lock breaker, and then away I go before anybody can lock me up.
If I land right and the ECM burst hits, I land on the structure I warped out to and look back to see that the attackers are no longer making progress. CONDI making progress means op success.
That means the entosis link lost its lock and the hacker is sitting there waiting for it to finish its five minute cycle so they can start it up again. And if I missed, then I just warp back in again until I get a hit. Since I am too fast to lock up I just land, burst, and warp off. I had a dozen Caracals sitting on one hacker unable to stop me. At another they had a Sabre with them and kept putting up warp disruption bubbles, but the Ares is interdiction nullified, so it passes through bubbles without a care.
And, if I keep them hanging around until a response fleet shows up I get on the kill mail, having applied electronic warfare damage to them.
Of course, even with all of that, some hackers slip though. It looks like they hostiles managed hit six ihubs successfully yesterday, though five of those were on the far fringes of the region. We will see if they come back to contest the capture event when the time comes. (Edit: A check this morning shows that most of the timers were allowed to lapse without contest.)
The conflict is heating up on the border between Catch and Querious, and the gate in 49-U6U is now watched a lot more closely. A few ihubs on the far end of the region might not matter compared to trying to push us back from the boarder so they can establish a foothold in the region.