World War Bee has truly picked up over the last couple of weeks as the previous slow pace of things turned into a crescendo of destruction which has seen trillions of ISK in ships and structures destroyed. As I wrote previously, the October MER is going to be interesting.
CCP has thrown their own monkey wrench into the machinery with war, as the update last Tuesday made deploying citadels more expensive and complicated as well as nerfing mining in a big way. Expect prices to rise on everything if the war keeps up its burn rate and the null sec alliances have to secure supplies.
But we did get the UI-only option for the client, which made the big fights more manageable for people running multiple clients. It isn’t a huge change, but it makes things incrementally better.
It was a rough week for the Imperium. There were three large scale clashes in NPC Delve, two of which went badly and one was something of a Pyrrhic victory.
The losses… the failed trap at YZ9-F6 and the bubble wrapped Keepstar… tipped against the Imperium more due to server performance than any implementation of strategy or tactics by the enemy. The first, executed with precision, failed when damage didn’t apply while the latter saw PAPI fill up the Keepstar grid with 149 warp disruption bubbles… a number deliberately chosen because CCP is alleged to view 150+ anchorables as an issue that they will step in and correct by removing them… along with a continuous stream of dictor bubbles in order to make any fight on the grid untenable.
So PAPI won both. They got to kill 2.5 trillion ISK in ships, including 16 titans and 27 supers and they got their Keepstar in NPC Delve on the fifth try, and nothing can change that. A bunch of people in the Imperium are angry about these two events, but experience says that is the way the game goes and you have to be prepared to deal with it or stop playing. CCP isn’t going to step in and make things better, so we just have to carry on.
Meanwhile the big win, the destruction of the fourth Keepstar, cost the coalition more than 1.2 trillion ISK, including 2,000 battleships lost.
On the upside, while the invaders have managed to get their Keepstar in the region and knock out several Fortizars in NPC Delve and SVM-3K, they have yet to be able to turn any of the ihubs in the region, something they have made a prerequisite for any offensive action so far in the war.
If I had to guess, once PAPI gets done with their inevitable move op to the new staging, there will be a push on ihubs in Delve systems near the NPC space and Querious as well as possibly in “fake” Querious, the section of the region that is an enclave within Delve and which remains in Imperium control.
There was a running joke that when we lost a fight we would go hit things in G-M4GK and when TEST lost they would hit TCAG-3. While the Period Basis region had been mostly quiet since the invaders moved into Querious, as the fourth Keepstar battle raged TEST managed to use the time to with the entosis match for TCAG-3, taking the ihub there as well as in RJ3H-0 further into the region.
They have since lost the RJ3H-0 ihub and we will see if they contest the TCAG-3 ihub when the Imperium pushes back on that.
Last week I reported that Bastion had captured several TEST systems in Esoteria, which I expected TEST would take back shortly. Busy in Delve… and Period Basis… TEST has yet to clean up that incursion.
Furthermore, during the fighting in NPC Delve, Bastion managed to anchor a Fortizar in one of the systems, giving them a base of operations that allows them to continue being a thorn in TEST’s side. Not something that will win the war, but a distraction none the less.
I somehow found the time to get stuck in on the three big fights last week, which meant I spent a lot of hours in New Eden in slow motion. I also lost some more ships during the fourth Keepstar fight, five Crusaders and a Raven. I managed to get home safe with my original ships from the other two.
That makes my loss count for the war:
- Ares interceptor – 11
- Crusader interceptor – 5
- Rokh battleship – 5
- Atron entosis frigate – 5
- Ferox battle cruiser – 3
- Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
- Purifier stealth bomber – 2
- Guardian logi – 2
- Malediction interceptor – 2
- Scalpel logi frigate – 2
- Raven battleship – 1
- Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
- Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
- Scimitar logi – 1
- Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
- Cormorant destroyer – 1
- Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
- Sigil entosis industrial – 1
CCP put out a trailer regarding their fourth quarter plan, the Phoenix Quadrant.
The sound track syncs well with the feelings within the Imperium.
But the post that went with the trailer says that super carriers will be getting an overhaul as part of this quadrant, including giving them clone bays that allow capsuleers to respawn directly to them in battle, putting them in a ship stowed within the carrier. That will introduce a new element to the war.
Much hay was made of the fact that The Initiative cut their SRP amounts from a 50% to a 25% of cost policy. This led to a lot speculation about their finances and concern trolling about why Goonswarm isn’t financing them. I was more surprised that they were only getting 50% as a matter of course before the cut. In GSF it is close to 100%, and if you’re in KarmaFleet you get bonus SRP for logi ships, so you can end up making money on a ship loss. So whether or not this policy change by INIT is significant or not remains to be seen. They have always been a very independent ally and plot their own course.
And then there is the weekly peak concurrent user count.
- Day 1 – 38,838
- Week 1 – 37,034
- Week 2 – 34,799
- Week 3 – 34,692
- Week 4 – 35,583
- Week 5 – 35,479
- Week 6 – 34,974
- Week 7 – 38,299
- Week 8 – 35,650
- Week 9 – 35,075
- Week 10 – 35,812
- Week 11 – 35,165
- Week 12 – 36,671
- Week 13 – 35,618
- Week 14 – 39,681
- Week 15 – 40,359
The war finally saw the Sunday prime time PCU pass the 40K mark, something it hasn’t done since back in April when the pandemic was new and everybody was stuck and home and trying to obey the rules and suggestions to help stop the spread. It probably helped that the bubble wrap fight was slated to kick off right before the usual peak time, even if no real battle ensued.