This past week saw drama in Brave Collective, the fifth largest alliance in the game currently and a member of Vily’s Legacy Coalition. On Wednesday morning US time they had an alliance meeting where it was announced that they would be moving into Querious. The fact that this was going to be fun was repeated frequently. Other groups were reported to want to come live nearby and be close to Brave. They were going to total take out Siberian Squads, who announced last week that, after having left Legacy Coalition, they were joining the Imperium and going to stage in Querious. And taking and holding Querious was going to be in addition to maintaining their presence in Catch and Immensea, along with whatever commitments they might have to the war in Delve. Nothing was being abandoned, there was no evacuation planned.
This seemed like a late point to make this sort of commitment. As late as Week 24 of the war Brave held significant numbers of ihubs in the region. They have since lost all of those ihubs, but now they were going to move in and start all over.
A while later a leak showed up on Reddit dumping internal leadership discussions about the state of the alliance and the move to Querious that was very much at odds with the happy, upbeat tone of the alliance meeting. The outlook there was bleak and the ability to hold their old space while moving into Querious seemed unlikely, while the cost of all of this was going to be prohibitive.
This led to another alliance meeting that evening where Dunk Dinkle admitted up front that the leaked discussion was real. He said it was embarrassing, but then commenced to hedge and try to paint a rosy picture once again. Everything will be fine. The M2-XFE hell camp is dragging the Imperium down. Goons will collapse soon. Victory is close at hand.
That prompted further leaks which reinforced the idea that Brave’s finances might be at the breaking point, along with some memes.
One of the strange bits was the need to pay 12 billion ISK to TEST to be able to receive Imperium ping relays for intel. But then Vily said on Discord that TEST pays that too and that it is just some guy in TEST that runs the service.
Looking over from the Imperium, that seems like a pretty ad hoc way to run a coalition. Whatever.
Despite financial problems and too many commitments, Dunk echoed Kerensky in 1917 in saying that he has to keep Brave in the war. But the fact that somebody in leadership is leaking these discussions indicates that there is discord within the ranks.
And then it sounded like there was discontent over in Federation Uprising, another Legacy Coalition alliance.
Admittedly this war is different than past wars. Seven months of continuous fighting at this scale is unprecedented in New Eden and the obvious assumption on the PAPI side was that this would be the Casino War all over again with the Imperium falling back to low sec in a few weeks. But Vily declared repeatedly that this was a war of extermination to drive Goons from the game because they are all bad people, and few things will make Goons dig in and hang on than making things personal. Welcome to Delve.
PAPI continued to field large fleets and push on Imperium space in Delve, successfully taking ihubs in the SG-CTQ constellation.
PAPI also managed to destroy more than 20 large structures like Fortizars, Tataras, and Sotiyos in the region.
The hellcamp in M2-XFE carried on. No serious efforts were made to try and break out the remaining ~130 titans and myriad smaller capitals trapped in bubbles around the Imperium Keepstar. There was an uptick in capitals logging and getting destroyed as some players apparently were getting tired of waiting (some have been trapped in there since Dec 31, 2020) for the rescue that does not seem to be coming. The big break out two weeks back apparently got enough leadership titans out that the rest of the trapped ships do not seem to be a priority.
Then there is the metaliminal storm, which has wandered down and has removed cloaking as an option in the staging systems for both sides in the war. That is likely going to make things interesting, and all the more so if it keeps on moving down the path to 1DQ. It does, in some ways, help the defender, as cloaky camping eyes cannot remain hidden.
In Querious Brave started laying down ihubs as part of their move-in plan.
Since there were no ihubs in place, there was no contest over deploying them. They just had to spend the 500 million ISK per ihub… if the Jita price is any indication… and carry them out there. That is more ISK they are spending. And, as you can see, they ended up getting reinforced.
Siberian Squads (SB-SQ), which joined the Imperium last week and which Dunk Dinkle was saying they would simply brush aside, took ihubs from PAPI during the week as well. Brave did take the GOP-GE ihub, which is an Imperium Keepstar system, but they failed to take the Imperium Staging system in Querious, W6V-VM. That also has a Keepstar and is where Siberian Squads is now based.
Back in Catch and Immensea The Initiative and their friends continued to make life difficult for Brave, Warped Intentions, and Federation Uprising.
Out there structures and ihubs continued to be reinforced regularly and lost fairly frequently.
And then down in Esoteria The Bastion has kept on pushing against TEST, so that this week I not only have to put up a new map, but I have to change over to the whole region rather than just the northwest corner.
The Imperium continues to try and make Legacy Coalition regret their plan to move into new space in Delve and Querious while holding their old space. Again, hearing the heart ache this is causing Brave, the second largest member of TEST’s Legacy Coalition, will only make the Imperium increase its efforts to disrupt their backfield.
I will admit that I used most of my available game time to play Valheim last week. That meant EVE Online (and World of Warcraft) didn’t get a lot of attention. I did go on a couple of fleets and did some time on the M2 Hellcamp… missed a carrier kill when I was in the bathroom… but wasn’t all that invested.
So my losses for the war remain:
- Ares interceptor – 15
- Malediction interceptor – 7
- Crusader interceptor – 5
- Atron entosis frigate – 6
- Rokh battleship – 5
- Drake battle cruiser – 4
- Scimitar logi – 3
- Ferox battle cruiser – 3
- Purifier stealth bomber – 3
- 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
The Mittani announced the Silver Ticket program last week. The Golden Ticket program was an offer to any alliance with capitals trapped in M2-XFE to negotiate a price for their release. Only one Golden Ticket was available and TEST was the only alliance barred from the plan. This seemed largely a troll and nobody has taken up the offer that I have heard about.
The Silver Ticket program is an offer to individuals still trapped in M2-XFE to contact Imperium diplomats in order to sell their trapped capitals to the Imperium at a modest discount so that they could get out of the bubble camp with some ISK in hand. This offer has netted the Imperium a Leviathan already. (A ghost titan too, one from the second fight that showed up as an unfitted kill.) The pilot, who had gone over to Brave from GSF to play with a friend was apparently treated badly by Brave due to his corp history, which certainly motivated him to sell. You can argue that he is the exception due to his background, but that is one more titan in the ranks of the Imperium. But Brave has been having some troubles keeping up with its “Stay Classy” motto of late.
CCP also announced the Reign Quadrant this past week with the first February update which, as I mentioned, seemed to be dedicated to the Tactical Supremacy alliance, which has been one of the groups attacking Catch. Another blow to Legacy Coalition there.
We also got the annual Guardians Gala event along with a login campaign. Reports are that the sites pay off fairly well, but that they are more difficult than last year.
The war and the holiday event were not enough to boost the weekly peak user count, though it did not sag by much compared to the previous week and it is still up some from the holiday doldrums:
- 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)
- Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
- Week 28 – 34,713
- Week 29 – 35,996
- Week 30 – 38,323
- Week 31 – 38,167
- Week 32 – 37,259