I woke up yesterday and wandered over to my computer at the usual 6am-ish time, the price of working for a company with its HQ in central time and, as the usual channels and apps came up I saw on Jabber that Fraternity, one of the PandaFam alliances in the PAPI coalition, had dropped a Keepstar in NPC Delve and we were throwing things at it to kill it before it could finish deploying and start its anchoring cycle.
I didn’t have time or the attention span to get in a fleet op for real, but I undock an interceptor to roll out and see if I could lay eyes on this new event. I wrote just yesterday that this was a possible scenario and one that The Mittani seemed to be relishing.
The problem was, I don’t think we were quite expecting it to happen at just that moment. It came when the EUTZ people were still at work and some of us were still asleep here in the US.
And, of course, nobody was saying where the Keepstar was being deployed because op sec is opsec I guess, but NPC Delve isn’t that big, so I zipped out there to look around. I went north first, wondering if they were coming in from Querious via that route.
That proved fruitless, so I went south and figured I was getting warmer when I blew through a gate camp in PR-8CA and knew I was in the right place when I was hit in the face with the 10% tidi slow down as I gated into FWST-8.
There I found about 3,500 people in local and a Keepstar on the overview… sort of. My “show all hostiles” overview runneth over as they say, and I had to pull one up that just showed hostile titans and citadels before I could zero in on the structure. I warped over to it in order to get a closer look.
I flitted around, watching the hostiles supers and titans and as our side sent in waves of ships to kill the structure before it could start its anchoring cycle. Foolishly, I decided to shoot the Keepstart, because never not whore on a Keepstar email if you have the chance. That let the Keepstar hold me down just long enough to get me blown up.
I was podded shortly after, which sent me back to 1DQ1-A. But that is just a few gates away, so I was quickly back in another Ares and on grid shortly thereafter. The Keepstar was almost dead by that point. I took a bit more care this time, got on grid with it, and took a few shots at it just before in went up.
Of course, with the Keepstar gone there were still, at that point, almost 3,900 people hanging around in system, so the shooting carried on with both sides trying to get some more kills in.
It looked like we might be able to down at least one hostile titan, as there was a Brave Ragnarok off on its own. But that did not come to pass. Instead the bad guys went about killing off as many of our dreadnoughts as they could.
I got a bit sloppy again and managed to lose another Ares, but that was fine. I got to see the spectacle and shot the Keepstar before it blew up.
The results of the battle were very much against us when it came to ISK. The battle report was very lopsided.
We may have destroyed the Keepstar, but we did it by pouring dreadnoughts and heavy assault cruisers and bombers on grid in a constant stream to get chewed up by the hostiles. Here are some of the loss counts.
Down in the details you can see that the hostiles commited 59 titans and 209 super carriers to the battle, while we sent in none.
Of course, the one kill mail that nobody can find it the one for the Keepstar. The theory is that the hostiles shot the Keepstar in the end just to make their kill boards all the more green (completely consistent with past actions) and one of them got the final blow and won’t sync it with zKillboard just to annoy us.
So you can add 187 billion ISK to Team 2’s losses, as that was the value of a Keepstar lost in similar circumstances last week. And that means that, effectively, I did not get on the kill mail. Oh well.
That makes this another trillion plus ISK battle. A serious fight, one that put FWST-8 and surrounding systems at the top of the list for ships killed yesterday.
And even as that was settling down a ping went out from Asher:
(8:45:17 AM) firstname.lastname@example.org: Watch for enemy freighters jumping into systems, we believe they have 1 KS left
~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to all at 2020-10-05 15:45:17.848456 EVE ~~~
And, sure enough, they did have one more. They managed to slip it in to FWST-8 and get it through its preparation, so it will finish its anchoring and go into its initial repair timer a little while after this post goes live.
So there will be another Keepstar fight today. This time it will be deeper into EUTZ and early USTZ and we will have had 24 hours to prepare for it. I hope somebody told CCP to reinforce the node. We may need it.
This is reminiscent of the battles at UALX-3, where TEST lost a Keepstar to PanFam and threw down another while PanFam pilots tried to petition their way out of being stuck in the system after the server crashed. That was back when we were helping them against PanFam.
Of course, the reason for throwing more Keepstars down this time around may be less about content and more about the fact that CCP’s Quantum Core patch is going to hit next Tuesday, after which a new Keepstar will require a 30 billion ISK core to be installed after it anchors, which will require a freighter to haul it out.
Addendum: The story of the second Keepstar here.