Daily Archives: September 24, 2020

The 49-U6U Fight Foreshadows Battles to Come

A large battle went down last night in 49-U6U, with over 3,000 pilots in system and a trillion ISK in losses.

Right there in Querious

It was a fight over an armor timer on an Imperium Fortizar, one of the structures we still have in that system in Querious.  I joined up with Lazarus Telraven’s Rokh fleet to go out and help defend the timer.

Rokhs on the move

The invaders had been sending out pings to rally the troops for this fight, no doubt feeling a bit stung when, last Friday, they declined to contest the armor timer on this very same structure even though they outnumbered us.  Their advantage then was insufficient.

Last night they got the numbers, outgunning us on the field by about a 2 to 1 margin.

The fight started when the timer finished its count down.  We had subcap fleets on the Fortizar with fax support for reps.  They had subcaps on hand as well, but started dropping dreadnoughts near us almost right away, the first group landing pretty much on top of the Fort.

On the Fortizar

The Rokh fleet started shooting a TEST nightmare fleet and managed some kills but, as the fight escalated and people kept piling in, the server began to stagger under the weight of commands.  And a struggling server can be a capricious factor.  Back at the KVN-36 fight, the node went down and won us the timer.  This time around the node stayed up, but balked at our super carriers jumping in, with a bunch failing to jump and those that made it getting disconnected.

That stopped the battle escalation in its tracks.  Titans were not deployed and the supers started getting pulled back.  The fight devolved to an attempt to kill as many attacking dreadnoughts as possible.  We were told to stop fighting, tether up, and to get to our Keepstar in system to grab an interdictor to hold down enemy dreads.

That was easier said that done.  I sat for about 20 minutes trying to get my drones taken care of… somebody’s smart bomb managed that for me in the end… my guns to cycle down and for tethering to finally grab me.  And it was a near run thing too.  As I was watching the aggression timer count down the last 20 seconds… at 10% speed due to tidi… a hostile Munnin fleet that was rolling through the scrum decided to target me.  I could see their yellow boxes turn to red as their damage started to land on me.  I overheated my hardeners and hoped for the best.  The timer ended and there was a long wait as my shields dropped below half to almost one quarter before tether hit and I was invulnerable.

I’m going to say that tethering is pretty OP, even when it saves my ship.

Then it was just a matter of getting over to the Keepstar… through a field of warp interdiction bubbles.

Bubble, bubbles everywhere

I spent quite a while trying to motor off in a direction that would get me a clear line of warp to the Keepstar.  I went and did the dishes while that was going on.  When I was back it seemed like every time I seemed to be clear, the server would decide that a Sabre had launched its bubble before I had initiated warp and I would be back to trying to get clear again.

Meanwhile more and more Sabres were being bridged in as bubbles when up all over to hold down hostile dreads.

Bubbles all over the place

Eventually I managed to warp off and made it to the Keepstar, but by then it was getting late for me on a work night.  The battle seemed to have reached its crescendo and was now wandering slowly to its conclusion.  I decided to go to bed.

The Imperium lost, undoubtedly and without question.

We lost the objective.  For all of our dread killing the enemy was able to keep applying damage to the Fortizar and it is now set for its final timer this weekend.

We also lost the ISK war by a two to one margin, with the battle report showing us having lost over 756 billion ISK in ships while the attackers lost shy of 380 billion ISK.

Battle Report Header

Two thirds of our ISK loss can be chalked up to the 16 super carriers that we blown up after  jumping in, a tally that includes a Vendetta faction super carrier.  That Vendetta was 19% of our ISK loss in a single ship.  Luckily the two other Vendettas that jumped in got away, or the count would have been much higher.  But that is the risk you take when you allow your pilots to bring their expensive toys to the fight.  The 300+ interdictors we sacrificed to hold down enemy dreads… we might have gone a bit overboard on that… added another 25 billion to the total.

The bulk of the enemy losses came from the 90 dreadnoughts that we managed to kill on the Fortizar, close to a quarter of the 375 they dropped into the battle.

And yet, even having suffered an undeniable defeat, things are not downcast on our side of the war.

Yes, people are pissed about how the servers decided to roll this time.  The first post up about the battle was over at INN complaining about that.  However, somebody is always pissed at the servers when tidi goes beyond 10% and things just stop working.  Generally both sides are, as it leads to missed opportunities.

But there is also the knowledge that this fight is a sign of how hard the invaders are going to have to work to defeat us.  This fight wasn’t even in Delve.  This fight wasn’t even on a Keepstar.  This fight didn’t even escalate to titans.  This fight wasn’t even all that consequential.  There is another timer to go.

But this fight was just a taste of what is to come.  This was the first trillion ISK battle in what may end up being a series of them.  The question is who is going to get sick of this sort of thing first?

In the slow motion scrum of battle

Since Vily has declared this to be a war of extermination, I am guessing we’re good doing this at least a hundred more times.  What other choice do we have?

Of course, that idea must weigh on him as well.  If you look at who showed up to the fight you will see that, once again, PandaFam was there doing the heavy lifting, as they have throughout the war.  If they get tired of this and go back home… which is what they did during the Fountain War, abandoning TEST to their fate… the invasion will be over.

That isn’t going to happen any time soon, but neither is the conquest of Delve.  We’ll have to wait to see who can last the longest.

Other Coverage:

SuperData has Fall Guys on Top for August

SuperData Research got their digital revenue chart for August out and, no surprise, revenues were up over last year for another month.

  • August digital games revenue totaled $10.8B, up 16% year-over-year. Digital console earnings grew the most and were up 88% compared to the same month in 2019. Revenue also rose by 15% on PC and 3% on mobile.

The pandemic continues to boost the video games industry as 2020 stays ahead of 2019.

  • Digital games have earned $82.8B through the first eight months of 2020, a growth of 13% from the same time span last year. Gaming revenue took off in March as COVID-19 lockdowns spread worldwide. Since then, each game device type (mobile, PC or console) has generated higher year-over-year revenue. 

But it is the chart that we like to look at, and the August chart has a shakeup of the usual order on the PC end of things.

SuperData Research Top 10 – August 2020

And, as I wrote above, the usual order on the PC side of things got a shake up in August, with Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout topping the chart.

  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout had the highest-earning launch of any PC title ($185M) since Overwatch in May 2016. The innovative take on battle royale, published by Developer Digital and developed by Mediatonic, was free to PlayStation Plus subscribers, but 8.2M players still paid for the PC version. The breakout success of Fall Guys was especially impressive since it came from a relatively small development team. The game’s chaotic, wacky gameplay was a big draw on gaming video content platforms like Twitch, where it topped the viewership charts in the lead-up to launch.

I had not even heard of the game… or I had ignored it… until the SuperData chart came out, but there it is on top for August.

That pushed the usual top four, which I think of as the LCDF lineup due to their frequent ordering, down a notch as their usual order changed up, with Crossfire in second, League of Legends in third, Fantasy Westward Journey Online in fourth, and Dungeon Fighter Online in fifth.

The bottom half of the list saw Fortnite back up in its spot relative to the LCDF titles after having fallen in July, seeing a revenue boost in August.

  • Fortnite revenue grew 76% month-over-month on PC and console, more than offsetting its falling mobile revenue. Player spending jumped in late August thanks to a new season of content featuring cosmetic items based on Marvel Comics characters. This is in sharp contrast to its mobile revenue, which fell by 62% after Apple and Google removed the game from the iOS App Store and Google Play as part of the ongoing legal dispute between Epic and the two technology companies. (Our published mobile revenue totals do not encompass the Android version of Fortnite available outside of Google Play.)

Fortnite was followed by Roblox in seventh, CS:GO in eighth.  New shooter Valorant was down from fifth in July to ninth in August, and World of Warcraft managed to stay on the chart in tenth position.  World of Tanks fell of the list for August.

On the console chart Call of Duty: Modern Warfare took the top spot back as last months number one, Ghosts of Tsushima fell back to sixth position.  FIFA 20 and Fortnite followed in second and third, with the venerable GTA V in fourth position.

And at the mobile end of the chart, Pokemon Go continues its summer reign in the top spot.

  • Pokémon GO continued its upward momentum in August and broke its all-time earnings record. The game generated 25% more that its previous revenue peak achieved during August 2016. It benefited from warm weather and frequent limited-time events that appealed to its passionate player base. Pokémon GO has historically performed best in the summer and revenue will likely begin a seasonal decline in either September or October.

Then there is Free Fire, the title from Singapore that popped onto the charts in third place last month.  It has worked its way past Honour of Kings and into second place.  Behind them in fourth position is Peacekeeper Elite, the mobile version of PUBG available in China.  PUBG Mobile, the version for the rest of us only rings in at eighth position, just ahead of Candy Crush Saga.  However, PUBG Mobile may be in for a fall, as it has since been banned in India.

  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile was the 8th highest earning mobile title in its last month before being banned in India. The game was frequently the country’s highest-grossing game before India’s government furthered a widespread crackdown on Chinese apps (Tencent has operated the mobile version of PUBG). Also in August, the game’s overall revenue and player numbers did not change significantly, which indicates that bans of the mobile version of Fortnite did not lead to a mass player exodus to PUBG Mobile.

NPD also has their top ten chart forAugust available as well.  As always, NPD numbers are US only, combine PC and console sales, and doesn’t always include digital sales (where noted).

  1. Madden NFL 21
  2. UFC 4
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  4. Ghost of Tsushima
  5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  6. Ring Fit Adventure
  7. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  9. Paper Mario: The Origami King*
  10. Mortal Kombat 11

*Digital sales on Nintendo eShop not included

As usual, this list continues to indicate how much consoles still depend on physical retail distribution.

So it goes.  Another month of pandemic remains good business for some.