Here we are on the first Monday of the new year. A lot of us are back at work.
And the war?
The war is now at about the six month mark. That is a long time for continuous operations. The great war lasted for three years, but was a series of intense periods of fighting broken up by quiet periods where both sides rebuilt. We’re still fighting and have reached levels of destruction never before seen in New Eden.
I was worried that the week between Christmas and New Years would be quiet, so had a couple of small items to hand to fill out this opening section of the weekly post, like the fact that Asher Elias, 23rd best FC in the Imperium, is now at the top of the kill mail list for Goonswarm Federation Alliance.
He passed Bratok Srayona, a pilot nobody could really recall, and who was active between February 2012 and August 2017. They apparently went on a lot of fleets and got on a lot of kill mails. He was the epic line member of the alliance in his time. I must have flown with him, looking at some of his kills, but never knew him.
Then there was the fact that the Imperium began issuing war bonds to support the fight. This has been viewed by PAPI as a sign of weakness, a last desperate attempt to stay in the fight, a sign that we were on the brink. But it raised more than a trillion ISK in the first hours of issue, so it will sustain us for a bit. One billion ISK will buy you one bond with a return rate of 10% per year, with payments due on the first of the month. That one bond will earn you about 8.33 million ISK every time the first rolls around. [edit: changed from 8.4 to 8.33 million ISK]
But all of that was eclipsed by the battles over the Keepstar in M2-XFE where, during the armor and hull timer fights, the two sides may have destroyed more than 300 titans. (~250 for the first fight and maybe as few as 50 or as many as 170 for the second.) CCP is going to have to do a dev blog to give us an official count because, unlike the presidential election, there are actually some irregularities in play here.
No matter what though, trillions of ISK went up in flames as the Imperium and PAPI clashed in the battles that so many were hoping for. It was an epic week in New Eden. The Monthly Economic Reports for December and January are going to be interesting.
There was also a monthly loss report put together for December.
This includes the titans from the first M2-XFE fight, but not the second. The balance of loss remains fairly close, with the Imperium losing 16.5 trillion ISK to PAPI’s 15.9 trillion. For January though, PAPI might already be close to 10 trillion ISK in the hole. And there are, as of this writing, still a significant number of PAPI capital ships logged off on the Keepstar grid in M2-XFE that are being camped around the clock by Imperium forces, so there may be some more losses when PAPI makes a serious break out attempt.
Titans exploded in huge numbers in M2-XFE, a system previously of no particular consequence that has now entered the realm of legends. There are a number of articles specifically about that event and, rather than retelling the tale here, I will link to them specifically at the end of this post.
With much of the week spent focused on the Keepstar in M2-XFE, the map did not change dramatically.
A few ihubs changed hands, the most important likely being the one in PUIG-F, where an Imperium Keepstar is anchored. Taking that ihub back reset the 35 day clock on PAPI being able to install cyno jammers and reduce the structure without the Imperium being able to drop supers and titans to defend it.
And then there is the metaliminal storm, which has wandered into the Helms Deep defended systems. This is actually a bonus for the Imperium as the storm disables the ability to cloak, so there won’t be any sneaking up on an anomaly to light a covert ops cyno for a hot drop.
At the beginning of last week I was pretty sure this was where the action would be. The Initiative and Reavers and other Imperium groups were out and setting fire to the place. The Watchmen Alliance was falling apart and its sovereignty was collapsing. We were reinforcing the ihub in Brave’s capital system and getting fights over it. Good times were being had.
Even the two metaliminal storms seemed to be on the move in the region… and an incursion popped up in The Watchmen space, like they needed something else on their plate. And then on Wednesday all eyes turned to Delve and M2-XFE and operations went mostly quiet in the region.
One interesting item did come up later in the week. With all the focus on M2-XFE, The Initiative put the TEST Keepstar in 0SHT-A into the hull timer. We could have another Keepstar fight this week… just in Catch. We’ll see if anybody shows up for it tomorrow.
Querious remained a secondary point of conflict, as ihubs were reinforced and occasionally changed hands.
The biggest win for the Imperium was the GOP-GE ihub, as that system hosts another Keepstar of ours.
Over in Esoteria the insurgent forces continue their work against TEST, expanding their reach a bit further while eyes were on the big titan fights.
I somehow managed to stumble into the right place at the right time all week. I was in the fights in Catch early in the week and then managed to show up just at the right moment in M2-XFE for the first fight, witnessing the opening titan salvo as I tethered up at the Keepstar.
And then I was back again for the second fight, where we were able to pick off PAPI titans as they loaded into system, leading to a lopsided slaughter.
So I had a few more “I was there,” or at least “I can say I was there,” experiences in New Eden.
I also lost a few more ships, including two more Ares interceptors moving around Delve and a Scimitar at one of the fights in GE-8JV, which brings my total war losses so far to:
- Ares interceptor – 15
- Crusader interceptor – 5
- Atron entosis frigate – 6
- Rokh battleship – 5
- Drake battle cruiser – 4
- Malediction interceptor – 4
- Scimitar logi – 3
- Ferox battle cruiser – 3
- Purifier stealth bomber – 2
- Guardian logi – 2
- Scalpel logi frigate – 2
- Raven battleship – 1
- Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
- Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
- Bifrost command destroyer – 1
- Cormorant destroyer – 1
- Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
- Sigil entosis industrial – 1
- Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1
CCP gave us the option to make My Year in EVE Online videos, which had the option to include the most valuable kill mail you were on. And then, two days later, M2-XFE happened and a lot of us had an even more valuable kill mail for the year that wasn’t in the clip. Oh well.
That battle though, it managed to pop up the peak concurrent user number for the week, getting it close to the 40K mark. CCP Explorer put the count across the three key systems as well past 13K, giving Delve 37% of all pilots logged in at the peak.
If the servers could have handled it, we would have almost doubled the world record set at FWST-8. However, the servers were not up to that task, not by a long shot.
Remember that when somebody says null sec is a tiny fraction of the game that nobody cares about. The fight itself made for the third highest concurrent peak of the war, reversing the downward trend we had been seeing over the last few weeks.
- 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
- Week 16 – 36,642
- Week 17 – 37,695
- Week 18 – 36,632
- Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
- Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
- Week 21 – 34,888
- Week 22 – 33,264
- Week 23 – 33,149
- Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
- Week 25 – 31,611
- Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
- INN – World War Bee: Week 26
- M2-XFE first fight
- INN – Fight is On in M2-XFE
- TAGN – Titan Massacre at M2-XFE
- INN – Mayhem in M2
- NEP – The Massacre of M2-XFE
- Reddit – Live Updates Thread
- Kotaku – Both Sides Claim Victory in Massive EVE Online Battle
- INN – EVE of Destruction: The Titan Massacre aat M2-XFE
- MOP – The Christmas truce in EVE Online ends in explosive fashion
- INN – M2-XFE in Pictures
- M2-XFE second fight
- INN – The Second Battle of M2 – The Fight is On Now!
- TAGN – PAPI Thwarted at Final M2-XFE Keepstar Timer
- NEP – EVE Online Shatters World Records Again, But Not in the Way You’d Expect
- Twitch – Pando and Progodlegend discuss the second fight
- INN – Meta Show special super smug edition (You have been warned)
- CCP – Statement about the server during the fight
- Polygon – Players Broke the Game