It is the middle of 2020. Upwell Structures took over the last bit of functionality from the venerable POS, the Player Owned Starbase of old, back in November of 2018 with the Onslaught expansion. There was talk by CCP of finally removing the legendarily complicated, unsustainable spaghetti code from the game and giving it a Viking funeral.
I have been wondering since then if any POS I shoot might be the last I see.
They were once the center of system control in null sec, before Dominion sov came about, the place where you manufactured everything up to titans, something in space you could own, and now…
And now I seem to be out shooting one or two every night.
We were warned almost a month ago now, back when TEST announced that they would be cancelling the NIP between Legacy Coalition and the Imperium, that we needed to get the ADMs up in critical systems because it was expected that TEST would use the tactic of dropping small Upwell structures, usually the Raitaru, all over areas they planned to attack. But, if the ADM in a system is over 4.0 (and you don’t own the ihub… again, ihubs are key) then you cannot drop medium structures.
So ADM work became, and remains, a thing, with fleets going out to mine and rat in critical systems on the periphery of our territory. Word is that, closer to home, Rorquals scooping up mining anomalies have been quite effective at raising ADMs.
Unable to do the Raitaru drop thing in our space, the fall back was apparently the venerable POS. Those are not as handy as a Raitaru. There is no tethering, so you can’t just warp a fleet to a POS to be safe, get repairs, and dock up to refit if you need. There are also POS passwords and access control lists to control who can come it, how to set the reinforcement timer with stront correctly, and the mechanics of what you can do inside, outside, and next to the force field. Furthermore, unlike Upwell structures, there are limited locations where you can drop a POS. It has to go on a moon at a specific point and there can only be one there at a time. There was quite the art to grabbing all the moons in a system before your opponent could in a strategic system ahead of time. GSOL used to be champions at this.
But the POS is cheap to deploy and doesn’t appear on everybody’s overview the moment your drop one, the way Upwell structures do. It is easier to be stealthy. Somebody has to actively check every moon in every system to see what is there. You also don’t need a freighter to haul them around. And so TEST has been slipping into our space to drop them.
In war we use all the tools at our disposal. So TEST is no doubt building new POS towers somewhere, while I am sure somewhere a group on our side is regularly scanning down systems to check if any have been dropped.
If I understand correctly, we’re even back to camping hostiles fleets that are hiding within POS force fields again.
I still wonder which POS shoot will be my last, but it doesn’t seem like that shoot will be any time soon in coming. Until then, we’re still doing what we were doing back when I came out to null sec in 2011.
So it goes.