Two Weeks of World War Bee

I think my biggest disappointment so far in the war is the lack of coverage it is getting.  Huge forces are arrayed against each other, clashes of hundreds happen regularly, and thousands have collided several times.  And yet there hasn’t been much written about what is going on.

Last week CCP released a video with the title TOTAL WAR RAGES IN NEW EDEN and I thought surely that this was the coverage I had been waiting for, official acknowledgement by the company.  But, no.  The video was solely focused on the Triglavian Invasion event which currently, if I followed the video, involves about 4 systems total in the game.

I don’t want to begrudge anybody their PvE fleets or attention to the Triglavian events.  The game supports all sorts of different play styles.  But when 100+ alliances are lined up to evict us and four full regions are in play, my sense of what constitutes “total war” in all caps seems to be measured on a different scale.

Basically, Alton Haveri and The Scope seem to be indulging in a bit of sensationalism.  Damn click-bait journalism. *shakes fist*

In looking for coverage I am sure somebody will want to point at a couple of streamers, or Reddit, or a five hour long episode of Talking in Stations where somebody spoke about how they felt about the war, but I don’t have the time or patience for any of that.

I long for the coherent written word (which leaves /r/eve out of the running 99% of the time), and on that front the usual suspects, INN and EN24, haven’t said much. (And New Eden Report seems to be dead again, though every time I say that an article gets posted, followed by another long silence.)  I will give credit to January Valentine for trying to do a series of summary updates on Reddit for a bit, but that fell by the wayside after about a week.

In the past I have generally depended on other sources to get a sense of what is really going on in a war.  I remember a time of ongoing written updates and opinion pieces about such conflicts.  As a line member in a coalition I am probably less well informed than any decent spy.  All I have as a baseline source is a war update thread in the GSF forums which tracks big fights and battles over objectives.  Otherwise, I just write about the bits and pieces of the war I see in person.

Of course we are not really into the interesting bit of the war either.  As I noted last week, we’re not yet to the part where we’re fighting over Keepstars or where titans are clashing, the things that generate headlines, at least when the ISK to real world money calculation is high enough.

But the war so far has kept me engaged, providing that sense of purpose that gets me to log in regularly.  And there are fleets forming and going out pretty much all hours of the day, so there is opportunity to join in as well.

Since I mentioned my PAP link status last week, I’ll keep going with that as a metric.  I was a 33 for the month last week.  That number has risen to 46 as of this writing.  I wouldn’t use that number as a literal representation of my investment… none of that time spent lurking in Catch is counted, for example… but it does show I am logging in.

Another metric I can add in is ship losses.  So far in, in war related activity, I have lost the following ships:

  • Ares interceptor – 5
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Atron entosis frigate – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1

Nothing bigger than a frigate really so far, though that Purifier loss was on a rough op.  A returning FC brought us out for what turned out to be a work up cruise to get him back into running bombers and they bit off more than they should of in TEST space.  But that is what SRP is for.

For the wider war, the northern front in Fountain saw a lot of action.

The northern theater of operations

PandaFam has been attacking aggressively from their base of operations in Hophib.  The constellations on the Fountain side of the regional gate have had their ihubs reinforced multiple times, so the map there often looks like this:

The Hophib adjacent constellations

As of this writing on Sunday afternoon, according to the structure list on DOTLAN for the region, PandaFam has managed to capture 7 ihubs in the region, along with 2 TCUs, which represents quite a bit of work.

They still have not captured ihubs in any of the critical systems that would break the Ansiblex travel infrastructure which allows us to move fleets from Delve to support The Initiative, though there was an attack on the Ansiblex in KVN-36, on the critical backbone of the Fountain bridge network, that destroyed the structure.  But an Ansiblex is easy to replace.  Attackers need to take the ihub in the system to prevent us from putting up a new one to have anything more than a short term impact.

On the southern front things have been less active.  In Period Basis TEST and their Legacy Coalition allies have managed to keep us from taking back the ihub in XZ-SKZ.  There have been several skirmishes over it, and the ihub remains reinforced, but they still hold it.

Where the ihub fights have been

Otherwise, while there have been fights in the south, the attacks have been nowhere as aggressive and what PandaFam has been doing in Fountain.  Legacy seems content to defend their one foothold in Period Basis, troll entosis in Querious, and scatter POS towers around in hopes of securing an advantage.

Even in Delve, which is closer to Legacy than PandaFam, it is PandaFam that gets out and organizes gate camps and such.

We clash with Legacy often.  There are lots of short, sharp fights with 5-20 billion ISK in losses between the two sides.  So I wouldn’t say they aren’t out fighting, but their allies up on the Fountain front, who had to move across New Eden for this operation, as opposed to just living next door, seem to be putting in a lot more effort.

So it it looks to me two weeks in.

Addendum: Somebody at INN is writing weekly updates on Sunday night as well it seems.  You can try to line that up with what I wrote, if you are so inclined.  That post has more details.

Addendum 2: The New Eden Post has some coverage of the war, so I will have to keep an eye on them as well.

10 thoughts on “Two Weeks of World War Bee

  1. r'Hant Daer

    I can give you my two cents, as a complete outsider.

    I fear that the expectations were set too high: spectators want huge battles with giant ships (because it is known they exist) – and all they get is skirmishes between frigates and destroyers, with total losses counting up to… what, a quarter of a titan?

    So, this might indeed be interesting content and serious business for those who live it – but for the universe of EVE in general, replacing an Ansiblex once a day does not really measure up with Triglavians invading a system, and never-ever leaving it.

    Imagine how that would look: all Legacy/PanFam cap/supercap fleet appearing in one of the key systems you are mentioning here, and never leaving it. 2-3 days of continuous battle. Alterac Valley of old, come to EVE.

    But no, we get speedy Atrons, overpriced HACs, and a sovereignty system that feels like a gimmick from a browser game. Not good for television.

    But I will still devour every post of yours, because I enjoy your style.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. anypo8

    @r’Hant Daer “…a sovereignty system that feels like a gimmick from a browser game.” Well put. One of Fozzie’s explicit goals with WandSov was to increase the role of subcaps in sov battles. Unfortunately, he overbalanced more than a little: having to scatter Titan fleets across multiple nodes during the capture phase is dangerously infeasible for the attacker, so nobody’s doing that.

    Honestly, if I were EVE’s current Game Design lead (Heaven help us all) I think I’d consider replacing WandSov with… nothing. Remove all bonuses related to sov, give the sov flag to whoever owns the TCU just to keep the maps neat, leave ADMs attached to the IHUB owner, etc. It’s never been quite clear to me why we needed some magic sovereignty system rather than just being “welp if you try to build or work there the locals will blow you up”. I’m assuming it was always supposed to be a conflict driver, but if so it seems to have mostly failed.

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  3. anypo8

    @Wilhelm Your writeups are excellent. Maybe you should submit versions written in a bit more journalistic style to one or more of the EVE news outlets? The lack of reporting may be partly lack of reporters, and it would be fun to have a byline.

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  4. horf dorf

    “I think my biggest disappointment so far in the war is the lack of coverage it is getting. Huge forces are arrayed against each other, clashes of hundreds happen regularly, and thousands have collided several times. And yet there hasn’t been much written about what is going on.”

    Because it is a blatantly contrived hollow shell of a war. People cared about wars in Eve because of the storylines, the narratives, the grudges, the overarching reasons to fight.

    There aren’t any. Those are gone. They have been gone for about 4-6 years and CCP hasn’t even tried to build conflict back into their game.

    Certain idiots will blame players for playing the game that is before them, which is blatantly ridiculous. The problem is that the talent, daring, and risk-taking has disappeared from CCP, and along with them, the potential for a creative sandbox.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @anypo8 – I have been open to letting sites repost my work. At various times EN24 and NER were doing so. But to write a blog post a day I cannot always commit to something that isn’t more about me and what I’ve done than the war overall. I am more a diarist than a journalist.

    @Nogamara – I mentioned her in the post, but she faded after a week. Funny you should mention bias, because I know her null sec main is in a PandaFam affiliated alliance and she tended to focus a lot on action in Fountain… though that is where the action really is a lot of the time, so that might be coincidence.

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  6. Mailvaltar

    While there is a lot going on on our front, as you said, I don’t feel much enthusiasm for it all sadly, which is why I don’t have written any posts about it myself yet.

    With just one exception every op I’ve been on since the war started was just boring.

    The pings always go like this of course: “LOG THE FUCK IN, FIGHT ABOUT TO HAPPEN!!!11”. If it’s Vince that ping goes out six to eight times in the span of five seconds, and then again two minutes later.
    Shortly after the fleet is on the move and the FC is like “Be ready, there are 150 Init Abaddons on the other side of that gate!”, or something like that.
    Then, most of the time, either of two things happens: Our FC deems that we don’t have enough to fight them, so we don’t, or we get reinforcements by Pandemic Legion, which in turn makes Init run away.

    Actually these even were the less boring ops because there was at least a little moment of excitement, whereas many an op is just reinforcing stuff without any opposition at all.

    Now granted, I could see to it that I get more excitement by proactively going out and doing stuff, like you have been doing, but a) I’m not good at such things, and b) I play so many different games at the moment that as long as there are no pings I’m most likely doing something else anyway.

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  7. Nogamara

    @Wilhelm apologies, I must have skipped over that even when re-examining the article before I posted. It looked to me though that she posted day 1-3 or 4 quite timely, then later with a little more time and not “daily” but as day 7 came out on day 11 or 12 I’ve not given up hope. And about that bias.. as I said, both parties had nothing but positive comments, I saw some mild discussion about her valuing something “a devastating loss” for one party, or some other colorful or non-strictly neutral language. Wish we had just that format, but in a timely manner. I don’t care much about the bias, but INN is a bit too lopsided for my taste ;)

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  8. Yeebo

    “I long for the coherent written word” and yet here we are, bloggers in the age of podcasts and u-tube.

    I can consume written words at my own pace. I can scan and very easily get the gist, dive in for a few details at any point, or hunker down and consume every word in a few minutes. Contrast with a video where it often literally impossible to even discern whether it’s worth watching without betting in 5-10 minutes of my life on it while the (often glacially paced) audio-visual feed creeps across my senses. Who has time for that? When did we all decide that being spoon fed content at whatever pace a narrator decides on is better than reading?

    I’m old . . .

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  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Yeebo – That is always the rub. I used to listen to a lot more podcasts, but you are committed to the pacing and content of the speakers. There is the occasional podcast that puts time markers in so you can jump to specific topics of discussion… or at least skip past the interminable “what are we playing” segment that seems to be mandatory… but you are mostly at the mercy of the speakers getting to the point. And, unlike text, you can’t easily skip ahead, jump back, or search to find a specific mention or reference.

    But I have also not grown more patient with age, and my tolerance for long, slow moving, meandering discussion podcasts or streams is somewhat limited.

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