Monthly Archives: March 2021

March in Review

The Site

As of a post earlier this week I had a post up every single day for an entire year.  The last day here on the site without a post was March 27, 2020.

AYearOfPosts2021
Filled in the blocks for a full year

Like a lot of such achievements, I did not set out to do this, but once I noticed it was happening it became a thing.  I rolled into last April with a plan to post every day due to the Blapril event.  Making it through that I had enough momentum to bring me through May and into June.  Then a war started brewing in EVE Online, which was fresh and exciting in late June of last year, but which has grown routine by now.  That gave me a lot to post about and I decided to stretch my posting run into August for the Blaugust celebration.  And once I had gotten through that I had almost a half a year streak going, so why not carry on.

As for what it means… well, it doesn’t really mean anything.  It is my own little post streak.  I think the previous such streak went for four months.  I just have to decide how much it really means to me to have an unbroken run of daily posts, because once I let it lapse it will take me at least a year to get back.

I will say that it is a good thing  I made it to this milestone, such that it is, this week.  Because this week saw WordPress.com finally delete the old classic editor, which I have been using for more than 14 years at this point, in order to force users into their new block editor, which was designed by a sadist and implemented by people who clearly don’t have to use it.  It impedes my ability to write.

Seriously, it sucks.  Even the classic block, which they claim is the same as the classic editor, sucks.  Features are missing, it keeps asking me if I want to convert to other blocks, everything takes a few more clicks to accomplish, and it is rather insistent that 24 time doesn’t exist. And don’t get me started on what happens to a post if you accidentally click that persistent “convert to blocks” button if you’re working in the classic block tab. I had to throw away a post and start over it was so mangled.

And they also did away with the old dashboard and stats, so even managing posts and comments and such is a huge pain in the ass now.  And data I used for things like my annual review post… well, that is just no longer accessible.

It is all a punch in the gut that doesn’t make me enthusiastic to post every day.

I sent in a complaint detailing all of this and I expect to hear back from one of their “Happiness Engineers” ignoring everything I wrote and gushing about how wonderful the block editor is with a link to a video.  The next helpful response I get from them will be the first.

Addendum: I enabled the new “Advanced Dashboard Pages” option and got back the ability to use the old Classic Editor once more. So yay! Why it was linked to that option I cannot explain, but I’ll take it.

One Year Ago

Oh man, it was the start of the pandemic lockdown, the March that lasted forever as we all learned how to stay home.  Fortunately I received a Ninendo Switch Lite for my birthday to keep me busy.

I did another poll about which voice service people were using.  Discord swept the poll.

I summed up the Winter Fantasy Movie League run, but FML was soon put on a pause due to theaters being shut.

Gamigo CEO Remco Westerman was unironically going on about synergy.

I was still playing a bit of EverQuest II, though it was mostly the Overseer feature getting me to log in.  EverQuest turned 21, which brought with is new servers, server merges, and other special items.  We got a free heroic upgrade… to level 85… which I used on one of my characters.

The big news from Daybreak though was Holly Longdale, who had been running the Norrath franchise for the company, leaving for Blizzard.

In WoW Classic the instance group was working through Razorfen Downs before heading off to UldamanArchaedas was an issue, but with some suggestions we were able to finish him as a four person group.

I was also trying to farm the Hydrocane from Gnomeregan.

In EVE Online there was an early March update that brought us some changes, which was followed later with an update that included low sec and faction warfare changes as well as giving battleships a frigate escape bay.  CCP was also moving along with their economic privation plan, announcing the removal of minerals from moons.  The February MER was already showing mineral prices rising and this was expected to make them go higher still.

CCP threw more skill points at us.

There was a question as to whether of not there should be a shooter from CCP like Project Nova.

Out in space we were packing up to head home from VenalLiberty Squad was done as Terrifying League of Dog Fort corp, which was running the group, left the alliance to find adventure elsewhere.

There was a plan for Blapril, an early run at Blaugust, as we were all home with free time.

And there were some Friday Bullet Points from Gamasutra, including some more about CCP’s Project Nova.

Five Years Ago

Daybreak announced that they were giving up on EverQuest Next.  That left me wondering what the future looked like for Landmark.  It wasn’t going to have PvP.

I also wrote up a post about all of the SOE/Daybreak MMOs and their then current (and mostly closed) status.  Things still looked pretty good for EverQuest at 17, though I wasn’t sure how experience injectors were going to play out in EverQuest II.

Also in EverQuest II the PvP version of their retro nostalgia server, Deathtoll, was getting folded into the PvE version, Stormhold, due to lack of interest, thus ending open world PvP in the game outside of that Russian server.  I was looking for nostalgia on the Stormhold side of things again.

Voting kicked off for CSM 11 with Xenuria on the official Imperium ballot.  How things change.

The monthly EVE Online update introduced Project Discovery and made it so you had to be mutual friends in order to track somebody’s online status in your contact list.  The month’s blog banter wanted people to imagine other games based off of the EVE Online IP, so I went with something akin to Diplomacy.

There were a bunch of little EVE Online things, like server upgrades, downtime compensation, and skill injector fun that I put into one bullet points post.  I like those posts when I do them, I hate them a year later when I want to do my summary.  It is easier when each topic has its own post!

Fighting was going on as the Casino War widened.  Some of the coalition was staged in Saranen, which meant flying quite a ways to defend territory on the far side of Tribute, including an unfortunate event with a Higgs anchor rig on my Guardian.  There were things going on in several regions, including a really good brawl in Fade.

Then the weight in numbers began to tell as we had to fight fires on several fronts.  I wondered if we were going to have a last stand at VFK-IV.  The plan, however, was not to waste ships against the superior numbers arrayed against us.  Instead we gave up territory, announcing the abandonment of the Vale of the Silent region, occupied by Lawn and Bastion, with one constellation owned by Circle-of-Two.  CO2 decided to leave the Imperium over this in order to save their territory, which would soon be the front line in the war, betraying us even as the fight was still going on in M-OEE8.  Once the war was over their new friends turned on them and took their territory anyway.  Who says there are no happy endings?

The M-OEE8 fight was still a big one and got CCP some press.  That is one thing null sec is good for, bringing attention to the game.

Black Desert Online went live and much bitching about the cash shop ensued, so I couldn’t resist jumping on that bandwagon yet again.  The cash shop is a necessary evil at this point.

I was poking fun at VR, which is still struggling for relevance.  Meanwhile EVE Valkyrie and Gunjack went live with the official Occulus Rift launch.

Minecraft 1.9, the Combat Upgrade landed, giving us shields.  I stopped wearing one of those ages ago, as you can’t read maps, among other things, if you have one on.

In Minecraft Aaron’s zombie pig farm was causing MC Pro Hosting to lag out on us.  But we made the switch to the much more reasonably priced Minecraft Realms hosting option, which solved that issue.  Premium pricing was not getting us premium service.

In Diablo III I was chasing the Season 5 set dungeon.

And, finally, things looked grim for WildStar, with China cancelled, layoffs, and dwindling revenue.

Ten Years Ago

Rift officially launched.  And while I wasn’t playing, the social media options integrated into the game made it feel like I was there.  And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Pokemon Black and White came out, which became the theme for my birthday.

World of Tanks was talking about going live in April.  There was, of course, a pre-order offer.  There always is these days.

Potshot and I made it to GDC thanks to Darren, where we were able to hobnob with the likes of Brian Green and Damion Schubert.

March of ten years ago found me spending time in EverQuest.  It was on the Fippy Darkpaw progression server, which at that point was still set in the original EverQuest zones.  Potshot and I were doing some classic things, like getting stuck in the Ocean of Tears and making alts.  And running out of money.

There were the newbie armor quests to work on, which required travel to Freeport at one point, something as hard as we remembered.  We also visited Unrest, North Karana, the Desert of Ro, and Najena.

It was also the 12 year anniversary of the EverQuest launch, and nobody was more surprised that I that I was playing the game 12 years later.  But no corpse runs please.

The instance group, still in Cataclysm Worgen form, spent a couple of nights in Scarlet Monastery and then went to Razorfen Kraul.

I put up a poll asking people which of several items in my drafts folder (current population: 88) I should buckle down on and finish.  I think almost everything on the list except the winner is still in my drafts folder.

And I came home one day to find the TV had died.  Emergency CPR (read: banging on the damn thing) brought it back to life temporarily, but clearly a replacement was going to be needed.  It was, after all, a few years older than EverQuest.

Fifteen Years Ago

World of Warcraft hit 6 million subscribers.  Eventually it would double that number.  And later it would sink below that number.  WoW Classic seemed to get it back up to that number again, though all such numbers from Blizzard are pretty vague these days.

Twitter launched, but who in the hell wants a platform limited to just 140 characters?  Or 280 characters now I guess.

Brent, going by the “Prognosticator” handle back then, launched the VirginWorlds podcast which began what was, for me, the golden age of MMO podcasting and eventually nudged me into blogging.  Trust me to pick up the old trend when a new one starts.  His site had fallen into disrepair over the years and, recently, disappeared altogether.  Time to pull it from the side bar I think.  I still have all the podcasts in my iTunes library, and you can peruse the site and descriptions over at the Internet Archive.

Twenty Years Ago

Nintendo released the GameBoy Advance, the handheld model between the GameBoy Color and the Nintendo DS.  Games for the GBA were still available when I eventually got a Nintendo DS as it had a GBA cartridge slot to allow backward compatibility.

Thirty Years Ago

Neverwinter Nights, an online multiplayer Dungeons & Dragons themed game launched on AOL.  In an age of text and MUDs, it was an online graphical multiplayer RPG and either one of the first, or a direct precursor to, modern MMORPGs, depending on how you want to define the “massive” part of the acronym.

Sierra Online launched The Sierra Network… their name having “online” in it before they had an actual online presence was a mistake in hindsight I suppose… which includes the title The Shadow of Yserbius as part of the package, which was also an online graphical multiplayer RPG (or a graphical MUD as they called it), which also gives it a claim to either being one of the first, or a direct precursor to, modern MMORPGs.

Most Viewed Posts in March

  1. The Federation Grand Prix Starts in EVE Online with Events and Login Rewards
  2. Death on the Plains in Valheim
  3. Tunnels and Trolls and Teens and the Bronze Age in Valheim
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. Deer Hunting in Valheim
  6. Robbing Some Space Banks
  7. SupreData says WoW Jumped in Subscribers and Revenue
  8. CCP is Just Going to Keep Selling Skill Points for Cash
  9. SuperData and Wavering WoW Subscriptions
  10. CCP Now Just Baby Steps from Selling EVE Online Skill Points Directly
  11. Diablo II Act Five and some Thoughts
  12. What Does LOTRO Need?

Search Terms of the Month

valheim keep dying in black forest
[Wait until you walk into the plains!]

i came upon fulings and died valheim
[Yeah, though the deathsquitos are worse]

why cant i buy large skill injectors with plex?
[Sell the PLEX, use the ISK, problem solved]

eve online casino
[That was the war five years back]

eve online what is really going on in null
[Damn if I know]

eve minokawa solo fit
[Let me know when you undock]

why it’s all about money just bomb ccp get rid of them
[What were you even searching for?]

making fake favebook profit for oculus
[Favebook is like that]

how to clean pokewalker
[Don’t put it in the washing machine!]

Game Time from ManicTime

Once again this month saw Valheim take up most of my focus. The time split was as follows:

  • Valheim – 84.71%
  • EVE Online – 10.90%
  • WoW Classic – 4.30%
  • World of Warcraft – 0.10%

At this point Valheim is where I have spent about half of my gaming time so far this year. In the first half of the month I had more time on it that in my main browser. (Though, to be fair, I have to split between Firefox and Chrome for work related items.)

EVE Online

The war carries on.  I’ve said that a few times, haven’t I?  This past month was a bit lighter for me that January and February.  My participation status shows over 100 ops in the last 90 days, but only about 15 of those were in the last 30 days.  Blame Valheim a bit, but more it is the fact that no grand events have been happening really.  I did do the Federation Grand Prix for the SKINs on an alt, but that was another story.

Pokemon Go

My wife and I both made it to level 41.  It wasn’t that tough of a climb.  We were helped along by the fact that we had accumulated some xp after hitting level 40 but before the new levels were announced.  Not as much as some… I have people in my friends list who have as much as 60 million xp pre-done… but it boosted us along a bit.  Now for level 42.

Level: 41 (15% of the way to 42 in xp, 2 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 628 (+9) caught, 656 (+9) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 11 of 12
Pokemon I want: Need Eevees for the level 42 tasks
Current buddy: Frogadier

Valheim

As you can see from the ManicTime numbers, this is the title that dominated my gaming time again this month.  Right now on our world we’re ready to slay Moder once we can get on together and then we will be moving towards the plains. 

World of Warcraft

I did log into retail WoW, though only for Darkmoon Faire and a few pet battles.  I did nothing out in the Shadowlands expansion.  The events there have skipped far enough ahead of me that I likely won’t ever catch up.  My renown remains meager and such.

WoW Classic

While the instance group has been mostly focused on Valheim, I did find a bit of time to run around with my paladin alt.  I’d like to get him up to 60… or at least 58… before Burning Crusade Classic shows up.

Coming Up

Well, tomorrow is April Fools, so I am pretty sure some of you can guess what the post of the day will be about.  It is the same thing every year.

In Valheim we have two bosses left to take on.  We might actually accomplish that and get back to spending a bit of time in  WoW Classic, though I suspect we’ll keep the Valheim world up and keep building and such.  It has a Minecraft-like appeal in that.

I expect that we’ll start getting some news about a timeline for Burning Crusade Classic.

And in EVE Online CCP is ready to turn industry upside down by changing dramatically how all ships larger than a battlecruiser, plus all T2 and faction ships, are built.  When even the devs are predicting chaos and things taking 4-6 months to settle down you know we’re in for a wild ride.

The Hunt Event Returns to EVE Online

The Hunt event landed today in New Eden and will carry on for the next two weeks, until downtime on April 13th.

TheHunt2021

Live now in New Eden

The first thing most capsuleers will notice is a new series of login rewards to go along with the event.

TheHuntDailyGifts

The daily login rewards for The Hunt

The prizes for that include SKINs, skill points, boosters, and event related items.  As usual, Omega pilots get more prizes than Alphas, but if you upgrade to Omega during the event you can go back and claim the prizes you missed.

In addition to that there will be special Guristas combat and exploration sites popping up.  They will only be accessible to frigates and destroyers and will only appear in Caldari lowsec space and the Venal NPC null sec region.  The low sec sites are said by CCP to be tuned for T1 frigates and destroyers, while the Venal sites are tuned for T2 frigates and destroyers, though I expect that your mileage may vary.

As with last year’s event, there is also a 50% drop rate for capsuleer implants during its run, so you can expect to get podded very quickly if your ship gets blown up.  Players are going to want to crack that egg-shaped capsule to see if you have any goodies plugged in that they might be able to grab.

Then there is the usual Abyssal Proving Ground special event for those who like to twink their ships for arena PvP.

There are also specials in the New Eden Store, an Omega subscription deal that includes Multiple Character Training, and CCP is even throwing special SKINs at you if you visit their long neglected physical merchandise store.

38 Weeks of World War Bee

Another week of skirmishes and undefended structure kills in Delve.  I was inspired to revive a bit of propaganda from a past campaign in the region.  Back in 2012 the Walltreipers Alliance held out for an extended period against overwhelming odds, earning the respect of all in the campaign.  Somebody repurposed an Asterix map for that back then, which I revised to reflect the current situation.

The Siege of 1DQ1-A

In a bit of a replay, the main corporations from the 2012 Walltreipers Alliance ended up in The Initiative and are currently involved, once again, in a fight against heavy odds.

Over on the PAPI focused Trash Talk Tuesday show this past week Vily made another attempt to reel back in the comments he made to Polygon when interviewed about the goal of Legacy Coalition in the war back around week 11.  For those in need of a reminder:

When we started this war, we knew that we were fighting this to the end,” Vily told Polygon. “For us, this is a war of extermination. This is a war to the death. We are aiming for the removal of Mittani and The Imperium from Eve Online. […] We are here to purge them.

-Vily, in an interview with Polygon about the war

He has tried to walk that statement back a few times, saying he didn’t really mean it.  But the original statement wasn’t him on yet another Twitch stream speaking off the cuff.  This was an interview with an online publication, a situation where one would generally be ready with some prepared statements.  Meanwhile, his attempts to “prove” he didn’t mean it have all been hand waving, leaving one to suspect that he did mean it and that now he merely regrets its.

Vily did say that PAPI would be attacking 1DQ1-A, that they have a plan to destroy the Imperium capital.  Details were absent, as one would expect, so we will just have to wait and see if he really meant that as well.

Of course, then on Friday afternoon CCP announced their “significant update to industry” plan which seems designed to make capital ships cost 3-5x what they do today, something that will discourage any sort of bloody assault on the Imperium capital.  In addition to the usual effect of locking in the “haves” versus the “have nots” in terms of power, it is likely to make the capital “haves” much more conservative in how they use them.

This led to a cross-coalition Meta Show on Saturday, with representatives from both sides of the war discussing the possible impact of these proposed changes.  There seemed to be agreement that the rich will get richer… Malcanis wins again… but when the question of whether or not expensive capitals would mean an end to the war, neither side backed down.  Kenneth Feld of Pandemic Legion said he had titans ready to go and wasn’t leaving until 1DQ1-A had been burned to the ground, even if it took another year to get there.

So the war remains “on.”

Delve Front

PAPI had a banner week when it came to Keepstar destruction, knocking down five more in systems where they were able to put up cyno jammers in order to operate without the threat of Imperium capitals showing up to defend.

Week 73 losses

The Keepstar in 39P-1J was the KarmaFleet home base citadel, so I am going to guess a lot of stuff is on its way to asset safety.  My PI Epithal is headed that way now.

Off it goes

The coalition instructions for the last few weeks has been that if you want to keep something safe, move it to 1DQ1-A.

Otherwise the map of Delve remains the same as it was last week.  At least I can just run last week’s map, which will save me a bit of time.

Delve – Mar 28, 2021

There has been no push into the final Imperium constellation and no ihubs flipped outside of it.

Other Theaters

In Querious Brave and Severance have managed to claim all the remaining ihubs, so none are left in Imperium control.

Querious – Mar 28, 2021

That is their new home.

We are getting down to the end of the fight over Catch, as Brave has lost their final ihub in the region.  There is only a single Legacy ihub left in the region belonging to Warped Intentions, circled in red.

Catch – Mar 28, 2021

Once that is down and structure clean up has finished, Catch will cease to be a front to cover, the fighting being all but done now.

Likewise, Immensea is down to the last bits and pieces.

Immensea – Mar 28, 2021

Impass, which I haven’t bothered to post maps of, is also pretty much done, so the Legacy Coalition alliances that lived in those regions are now committed to Delve, Querious, and Fountain.

Further along in Esoteria, that region remains in play with Army of Mango and Evictus trying to backfill TEST’s space to keep it out of the hands of The Bastion and its allies.

Esoteria – Mar 28, 2021

And then down in Fountain, the most recent of the secondary theaters of operation, Federation Uprising continues to push into the region.

Fountain – Mar 28, 2021

My Participation

Another week of me going on a few ops.  I seemed to favor Mister Vee this week as I ended up on a few of his fleets, though not much came of them until a Muninn fleet yesterday that ran out to defend an armor timer on a Fortizar in 39P-1J.  We successfully did that, then went to shoot their jump bridge that connects T5ZI-S to HZAQ-W, which drew a response from them, which got us to ping for another fleet, which got more of them revved up and we soon have 1,600+ of us zipping around in HACs and dragging the server down to the point that things were not responding.  I had locked and was shooting PAPI ships at one point and getting no responses… no hits and no misses, just ammo being expended.

After that started to get really bad we decided to extract and I got stuck on the gate out because my guns wouldn’t finish cycling down so my aggression timer was stuck at 1:00 and wouldn’t start counting.  Somebody suggested spamming F1 until they responded, which eventually worked, after which I had to wait out the very slow due to tidi timer.

Waiting on the gate as ships explode around me

At 20 seconds left I became the primary and overheated my hardener and lit off my assault damage control.  With three seconds left on my timer I was at 25% shields, which gave me just enough buffer to jump though.

On the far side of the gate I arrived just in time to help kill a TEST Minokawa, which was a nice way to end the fight.

So I ended up with no losses this week, though I was very close to one, so my overall losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 17
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar logi – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • 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

Other Items

As I mentioned at the top, there was CCP’s Friday afternoon announcement about the coming industry changes.

We also got the Monthly Economic Report for February, which included some new data.  I wrote a post about that.

Over at War on the Rocks, a site that explores defense policy, there is a piece up about EVE Online and the current ongoing war and how it may be relevant (and not) to current ideas on war.

And on the peak concurrent user front, the high point on Sunday was up over previous weeks, reversing the downward trend we had been seeing.  I will say, however, that peak largely seemed to be driven by the escalating fight I mentioned above, which kicked off just before the usual daily peak tends to land.  Still, it got us over 36K.

  • 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
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319

Related

Circle of Two and its Legacy of Betrayal

We are at the five year anniversary of Circle of Two Alliance (CO2) and its betrayal of the Imperium at the battle of M-OEE8.  Much digital ink has been expended in defending CO2’s actions on that day when, after fighting all day… as the battle was still going on… CO2’s leader GigX sent one of his FCs… not having the guts to do it himself… to tell the Imperium they were leaving the coalition.   They didn’t just leave coalition either, they aligned themselves with the Moneybadger Coalition and took up arms with our enemies to attack us.

One particularly whiny correspondent over at EN24 seems especially invested in pitching a scenario where CO2 was not simply justified in their betrayal, but trying to force that square theory into the round hole of it being the only real option they had.  They couldn’t wait until the fight was over to leave, as decency might have suggested, or couldn’t just exit the war without joining the enemy, as other alliances in the Imperium somehow managed to do.  They did everything exactly as they should have, according to at least one revisionist scribbler.

But here, five years down the road, with the distance that provides, you can decide for yourself if CO2 made the right call.

Certainly things went better for them initially.  The Moneybadger coalition, lavishly funded by the soon to be banned RMT bankers and their casino money, was certainly welcoming.  CO2 got to keep their stuff as they joined in attacking the erstwhile allies.  Meanwhile the idea of the undying enmity of the Imperium, by then living in the back of the Quafe Factory Warehouse in Saranen, seemed of little concern.  We were soon in retreat to Delve in the south.  There was a threat to follow us down, but we were beaten and shrunk and not deemed a threat.

And then the Moneybadgers turned on themselves which, to give them credit, they said they would do.  PanFam set itself against CO2 and TEST, now allies in Tribute and Vale of the Silent, a conflict that built up slowly but which culminated in another battle in M-OEE8, this time to witness the destruction of the CO2 Keepstar and the exit of CO2 and TEST from the north.  CO2 simply postponed their fate by betraying the Imperium.

In the south the Imperium setup to support the Russians in the regions where CO2 and TEST were attempting to invade, but after one big fight the Russians decided they did not have it in them and came to an agreement with the invaders.  Soon the Imperium and TEST were neighbors, with CO2 on the other side of TEST.  But TEST viewed PanFam as the real threat and came to an accommodation with the Imperium.

The Imperium, however, was still eyeing CO2 and happily worked with PanFam when the opportunity arose to knock out some CO2 titans.

And then came Judgement Day.

Sitting around on the former CO2 Keepstar

The Imperium orchestrated the betrayal of CO2 by The Judge, who was unhappy with how GigX had been running the alliance.  Even TEST,  their allies from the north, were happy to jump on and help out in the dismantling of CO2.  This seemed to be the end for the alliance as GigX was caught in game threatening The Judge with physical violence… something about cutting off his hands… which got him banned from EVE Online.

But the tale was not quite done.

Through subterfuge and CCP complacency GigX managed to get back into the game using an alias for his account, though he was quite open about it with the game itself.  He tried to get the band back together and set up shop in Fade after Pandemic Horde decided it was a bad neighborhood, what with the resurgent Imperium now in control of Fountain and roaming around next door in Cloud Ring.  But GigX didn’t mind.  He seemed to feel that his new allies… he was now running with Darkness and Guardians of the Galaxy… would have his back.

Their presence brought the Imperium north with CO2 as the primary target.

They held out for a bit, but soon enough they were losing structures, including their home Keepstar.   The war saw five Keepstars blown up in a single day, though only two of those belonged to CO2.  The war went badly for them, the lost their space and were in full retreat into the arms of PanFam for protection when CCP finally got around to applying GigX’s ban to his new account, effectively killing off the alliance once more. (They are still trying to rally support to get GigX unbanned.)

It remains an open question as to whether or not you can kill an alliance in EVE Online against its will.  Alliances tend to die from internal collapse.  That may be helped along by external factors, but many alliances have suffered huge defeats but had some nucleus of members stick with them to see them restored to some stature within the game again.

But the tale of CO2 going forward from the betrayal at M-2OEE does show that your behavior and reputation as an alliance, and as an alliance leader, does matter.  GigX and CO2 showed themselves to be fair weather friends and continued to pay a price for it over time.

So if you see somebody thrashing away with some rationalization about CO2 doing the right thing five years back, just remember what came of that choice.  When you make the bed, you get to sleep in it.

Quote of the Day – Empty Vision

Yes, today’s world is a magical place. But our online alternatives have gotten kind of… mundane. Predictable. Kill some blues, collect some purples, fetch ten of whatever. They don’t have to be that way.

-Raph Koster, The Future of Online Worlds

I enjoy a good Raph Koster post.  He can bring a lot of insight into the history of online games, especially MUDs and MMORPGs.  So I was anticipating something good, something with some heft, something that would leave me thinking when I saw a new post pop up in my feed from his blog.

That turned out to just be a “go look at the thing I wrote elsewhere” post, directing people to a new item over at Playable Worlds, his current venture.  So I went and read that.

The future is somewhat vague

And it was a whole lot of nothing.

I mean sure, he invoked a some nice ideas, which I will sum up with bullet points that are the phrases he highlighted in the text:

  • We dreamt of living worlds
  • A lot of those big dreams did not come true
  • It’s time
  • yes, worlds can feel alive
  • fits into your life
  • it shouldn’t matter what device you have or how much time you have free
  • playable worlds

And in between those phrases is a lot of empty filler.

Seriously, I got to the final sentence of the whole thing…

We can dream big again, together. It’s time to turn those dreams back into playable worlds.

…and wondered where page two was.

The whole thing reads like the opening of an investor pitch or a GDC talk… throwing in the name of the company as the final words is almost too trite… that will then proceed to get into the meat of the topic.  But there is no meat.  That is all you get, a vision so nebulous that one hesitates to call it a vision.

Of course, the mere fact that he posted even that vaporous tidbit will get some people worked up.  This is Raph Koster, who has Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies on his resume, both of which stand out as special in the long line of online worlds.  Part of me gives him the benefit of the doubt just based on that.

But another part of me, the somewhat more abrasive and cynical part that has been nurtured by the industry over the last 20+ years, wants to shout out, “But what have you done for us lately?”

Because those two titles were also from a long time ago in the current technological timeline.  And, after leaving SOE in 2006, his sole public venture was MetaPlace, which had a similar open vision, and which shut down rather suddenly, taking with it any work that those who invested time with it had created.  And even that happened more than eleven years ago at this point.

It is almost a tech industry genre, the young designer with vision who has a huge impact early in their career, and then never has similar success afterwards and ends up on Fitzcarraldo-esque journey to relive and even top their youthful acclaim.  Their names alone generate interest and a following… think Richard Garriortt, Chris Roberts, Brad McQuaid, Mark Jacobs… and set expectations that their new vision, which is generally their early vision reinforced and revised upwards, will deliver.

The next time that pans out will be the first time so far as I can tell.  The jury is still out.

Of course, I might commend Raph for not going too deep or too grandiose with his vision, though it still feels too light to drum up any enthusiasm in my jaded heart.  At least he didn’t lay out a bunch of specifics that we will later hold against him when they fail to appear.  But I remain confident that we’ll find a way.

Related:

The February EVE Online Economic Report Brings New and Updated Graphs

I was starting to watch the calendar, wondering when we would see the February Monthly Economic report.  It can run later in the month, but when there is less than a week left you begin to think CCP might have forgotten.

EVE Online nerds harder

But they did not forget.  In fact, we got some new data with the February MER, so lets go take a look.

Bounties, Commodities, and ISK

As we have seen over the last few months, since the big NPC bounty nerf in null sec, NPC commodities have take over as the largest ISK faucet into New Eden.  February was no exception.

Feb 2021 – Faucet end of the chart

However, there was not a lot of insight as to what that commodity market meant.  There is 32.1 trillion ISK that had been, in the past, somewhat hand waved.  Like much of wormhole life, it was a bit of a mystery to many of us.  But now we get a chart dedicated to just commodities.

Feb 2021 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

That chart isn’t very easy to read unless you click on it to view it full size, but the blue line is Sleeper Components, the red line is Overseer Personal Effects, the teal line is Triglavian Data, and the brown line is ESS Bonds.

The first two of those are wormhole item, though you can see the big boost in Overseer Personal Effects because they were part of the holiday even in other areas of space.  Triglavian Data are drops from running Abyssal pockets, which has seen its peaks.  And ESS Bonds are what you get from robbing an ESS bank, which you can see was very popular for a bit when the mandatory ESS nerf hit, then fell off dramatically soon thereafter when people either defended their ESS banks or just stopped ratting.  But that was the CCP plan I am sure.

There is, of course, no regional data for these numbers, and not just because most of it is from wormhole space.  The NPC commodities are drop that you have to go turn in at an NPC station to collect the ISK, and they don’t count as an ISK faucet until they are turned in.

We also got an update to the top sinks and faucets chart, which now tracks the top ten sinks and faucets.

Feb 2021 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

Commodities were added and skills were broken up into “skill market” and “skill purchase,” a division I do not quite understand.  Maybe the latter is skills purchased from your character sheet rather than via the market interface.  I am not sure.  It is also in a new format that is less easy to read unless you click on it to view it full size.

NPC bounties, diminished though they be, still tally up by regions.  There were 25 trillion ISK in NPC bounties paid out in February, down from 28 million trillion ISK in January.  The sinks and faucets data even lines up more closely than usual with the regional data this month.

The top regions for NPC bounty payouts were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.75 trillion (PandaFam)
  2. The Kalevala Expanse – 986 billion (PandaFam)
  3. Insmother – 981 billion (FI.RE Coalition)
  4. Perrigen Falls – 898 billion (PandaFam)
  5. Oasa – 889 billion (PandaFam)
  6. Tenal – 861 billion (PandaFam)
  7. Metropolis – 857 billion (Minmatar High Sec)
  8. Deklein – 835 billion (PandaFam)
  9. Fountain – 827 billion (Imperium)
  10. Branch – 778 billion (PandaFam)

Once again, the northeast of New Eden null sec, where PandaFam (Pandemic Legion, NCDot, Pandemic Horde, and Fraternity) is where a lot of the bounties are being paid out, it being far from the war in the south of null sec.  Vale of the Silent jumping to the top may relate to the battles between some of the local, smaller groups and Fraternity, which saw the latter seize most of the ihubs in the region and then drive up their ADMs to make them defensible.

Surprising me a bit again was Metropolis showing up in the top ten.  The next highest high sec area is Lonetrek, which would sit in 15th place with 627 billion ISK in bounties.  Must be a lot of mission running going on around there.

Destruction

As mentioned, there is a war on, and the MERs for December and January showed record levels of destruction in Delve thanks to the battles around the M2-XFE Keepstar, with and 74.83 trillion and 55.34 trillion in destruction game-wide respectively.

Things settled down in February, as the hellcamp of the logged off PAPI super capital fleet carried on.  Total destruction game-wide was down to 38.43 trillion ISK, with Delve again topping the top ten list.

  1. Delve – 4.37 trillion
  2. The Forge – 2.31 trillion
  3. Lonetrek – 2.30 trillion
  4. The Citadel – 1.90 trillion
  5. Sinq Laison – 1.77 trillion
  6. Metropolis – 1.40 trillion
  7. Catch – 1.37 trillion
  8. Vale of the Silent – 1.32 trillion
  9. Domain – 1.02 trillion
  10. Querious – 996 billion

However, Delve was less than a quarter of what is was in January, and not even a fifth of what it was in December as the attackers lost their momentum after the big fights.  High sec regions dominate the list, though Catch, where Brave space was under attack, Vale of the Silent, which Fraternity grabbed, and Querious, with Siberian Squads moving in, all made the top ten.

Production

On the flip side of destruction is production, and February saw 104.6 trillion ISK equivalent produced in New Eden, down about 5 trillion ISK from January.  The top ten regions were:

  1. The Forge – 22 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Delve – 10 trillion (Imperium/PAPI)
  3. Lonetrek – 6.23 trillion (High Sec)
  4. Sinq Laison – 6.09 trillion (High Sec)
  5. The Citadel – 5.20 trillion (High Sec)
  6. Domain – 4 trillion (High Sec)
  7. Heimatar – 3.52 trillion (High Sec)
  8. Fade – 3 trillion (We Form Volta)
  9. Oasa – 2.74 trillion (PandaFam)
  10. The Kalevala Expanse – 2.73 trillion (PandaFam)

Delve carried on in second place, but was down a bit, having produced 11.7 trillion ISK in January.  Vale of the Silent, purged by Fraternity, dropped from the top ten (it was 11th), while Fade, primarily home to We Form Volta, showed up in 8th position.

Trade

The regional stats sum up to 583 trillion ISK in value for February, down from 675 trillion ISK in January, which might reflect a reduction in the need to replace ships after the huge losses around M2-XFE.  The top regions for trade were:

The Forge – 407 trillion (Jita)
Domain – 53.5 trillion (Amarr)
Sinq Laison – 20 trillion (Dodixie)
Delve – 16.03 trillion (Imperium/PAPI)
Lonetrek – 14.06 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
Metropolis – 11.11 trillion (Hek)
Heimatar – 9.81 trillion (Rens)
Essence – 5.17 trillion (Gallente High Sec)
The Citadel – 4.81 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
Tash-Murkon – 4.10 trillion (Amarr High Sec)

The Forge, home of Jita, tops the list as usual, though it was down 60 trillion ISK compared to its January total.  But all regions in the top ten were down noticeably and, while the list of regions remains the same, Delve fell below Sinq Laison, its trade numbers having dropped almost in half compared to January.  Again, the slow down in the war and the reduction in the need to replace losses no doubt factors into that.

Mining

The price of minerals continued to rise to yet another all time high in February, though the slope of the rise has tapered of relative to the spike of the last few months.

Feb 2021 – Economic Indices

I remain a bit dubious of that chart still, if only because when I am in Jita I don’t see anything like that sort of slope for any of the minerals I check.  But I am not sure how that number is calculated.

Meanwhile, in the regional stats, the actual value of ore mined fell again, dropping from 20.4 trillion ISK in value to 18.94 trillion ISK.  That may be related to Fraternity being busy with Vale of the Silent, as their core region, Oasa, fell out of the top ten.

  1. The Forge – 1.15 trillion
  2. Metropolis – 1.14 trillion
  3. Sinq Laison – 943 billion
  4. Domain – 926 billion
  5. Lonetrek – 754 billion
  6. Heimatar – 642 billion
  7. Everyshore – 619 billion
  8. Tash-Murkon – 601 billion
  9. The Citadel – 592 billion
  10. Derelik – 473 billion

I do not even have to mark the regional affiliation as they are all primarily high sec regions.  The age of the AFK Orca has conquered the list.

So it goes for another month in space economics.  As always, you can find more charts and download the raw data over at the dev blog.

In the mean time, CCP has just promised a “significant update to industry” set to launch in April.  That means we won’t see any changes to the MER until it comes out in May.  We shall see how significant they really are.

Making the Dragur Fang Bow

With every boss defeated there is a new tier of materials and gear unlocked in Valheim.  This is a very MMO-esque aspect of the game, and not one without a hint of peril.  Too much of that and it becomes a grind.

But Valheim’s range of gear isn’t all that extensive, and upgrades don’t leap ahead in stats or protection with each upgrade, so it is a rather calm progression that works for me.

Collecting the resources, on the other hand… well, I seem to enjoy that, but if you’re not an explorer type who wants to see the world, I could see it becoming a bit of a drag.  Logistics as well, with metal being forbidden from portals.  It has become a bit of the challenge of the game for us and where we end up playing is somewhat dictated by that.

We started in our main base, which is pretty much at the world spawn point.  When it came time to refine bronze, much of our work was done in the base we built in the black forest to battle The Elder.  With iron we were back to our main base, shipping loads of iron across the water to it.  And now, with silver as the focus, the base named Dieppe has been upgraded to handle our current crafting needs as it sits at the foot of the largest mountain biome area we have yet found.

And it is there I have been on a bit of a silver binge.  I take the portal up the mountain, run over to the current silver node, mine out 20-22 units of ore, about all I can carry, then run back down the mountain to our base, start it smelting, and take the portal back up again.  This has left us with a couple of chests full of silver and I have been using some of it to outfit myself.

Armor was first, especially since the frost resist effect, so necessary in the mountains, was part of a couple of the pieces.  But after that it was time for weapons, and the first on the list was a new bow.

The Dragur fang bow is currently the best bow in the game and I was happy to get my hands on it as soon as I could.

The Dragur Fang in hand

Making it requires silver, which I was hauling down the mountain, and ancient bark, which we have in abundance, as you find it in swamp crypts as well as in every ancient tree in the swamp.

Then there was guck, a material I had only discovered by accident when I was trying to figure if those green blisters on trees in the swamp might be used for something.  A bit of trial and error with one at blister at ground level showed that a pick axe would pop them after a few blows, and I received one unit of guck, which unlocked the recipe for the bow.

But you need 10 guck to make the bow and 22 guck total for a fully upgraded bow and I wasn’t seeing a lot more guck blisters down at ground level in my swamp exploration.  There are, however, more further up in the trees, though the trees they inhabit cannot be chopped down.  So I built a work bench nearby and then some ladders to get up into the trees to harvest.

Up the ladder for guck

On the bright side, the higher up the blister, the more guck that seems to come out.  Three ladders up I got one that dropped 6 guck, so at least I did not have to find 21 more such blisters.

My guck in the bag, I was able to go back to base and craft my bow… and then immediately upgrade it all the way.  And I am pretty happy with the bow.

It has a bigger knock-back than the huntsman’s bow I was using, which comes in very handy at times, like when I am on alone and I get that “The Ground is Shaking” alert that a troll raid is on the way.  Then I scurry up to the stone tower at the front of the base and start shooting trolls.  The knock-back puts them off balance for a bit so that swapping targets, along with a bit of luck, has kept them from tearing the guard tower down.

Repelling the troll attack

If I remember to swap to obsidian arrows and get a good opening shot, a troll is now down in 3-4 shots.   Maybe 5-6 if I forget and am still using the wooden arrows, which I carry around to shoot lesser mobs.

The poison damage the bow has, which seems to get applied as a DoT, is fun as well.  There have been a few times that I have failed to kill a drake up in the mountains with my second shot, only to see it fall out of the air a few seconds later because the poison finally landed.

The bow has also made sea serpents fair game.  Early on I would run for shore when I heard the cry of a serpent.  With the huntsman’s bow I could drive them off at sea, occasionally killing one before it got away.  The Dragur Fang bow, with obsidian arrows, now makes a serpent a fairly reliable kill.  When I hear the cry I stop the boat and get ready to shoot.

Waiting for the serpent to show

I have started killing them regularly enough when I am afloat that we have begun to build up a supply of serpent stew, which is the best food we have access to right now, and which we save for big fights.

Cooking up some serpent before making the stew

I have even managed to kill a couple close enough to shore to retrieve their scales which, unlike the meat that floats on the water, drop to the bottom of the sea if you’re out too deep.  I collected enough to make the serpent scale shield.

Serpent Scale Shield

It is a tower shield, which slows you down a lot when equipped, so I tend to just use the silver shield I made.  But if I need to go toe-to-toe with trolls, this works nicely.

So the bow has been pretty great so far.  It is accurate, hits hard, and looks good.  But it does have an issue.  That glow on it looks cool, right up until you’re trying to hit a target moving from left to right in front of you.  Then that glow has a bad habit of obscuring the target.

That glow is really annoying in the dark too

But otherwise, the bow has been a very good upgrade for me, and worth the effort in silver mining and guck harvesting.

The March to Burning Crusade Classic Begins

Blizzard announced this week that the anticipated beta for Burning Crusade Classic has begun.

Beta is now a thing

Of course, it was anticipated… there was a whole panel about it at BlizzCon Online… but while there is information out there, an actual timeline towards launch is just speculation and rumors at this point.  I don’t think we’re on track for that May 3rd/4th rumor from the beginning of the year, but early-to-mid summer still seems like a very viable window for launch.

Meanwhile, I haven’t said much about WoW or WoW Classic around here for a while.

Our group finished up Blackrock Depths back around mid-February and, since then, we have been wrapped up with Valheim, with WoW mostly falling by the wayside as we explored the viking afterlife.

I don’t think that means we’re done with WoW Classic.  But, after a year and a half of slowly working our way through the original content, I think a bit of a break to do something else might have been in order.  Valheim won’t go on forever… or at least not at the level of play time some of us have been putting into it.  We’re about ready for Moder, the fourth boss, and then it will be out into the plains to explore and gear ourselves up for the final challenge.

I suspect that we will wrap that up and still have a bit of time to do a couple more instance runs and get all our mains, and maybe an alt or two, up to level 60 before the Burning Crusade Classic pre-launch events kick-in.

When it does arrive, I think we’re all on board to move forward with the expansion.  I have enjoyed our time in WoW Classic, but I don’t think I need to leave any characters behind just to bum around in the old world.  The old world still exists after the portal to Outland opens, it is just the character classes that get a revamp.  And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For us Burning Crusade Classic will mean a whole series of dungeons to run.  Both it and Wrath of the Lich King were something of a high point for single group content, which is our focus.  The raiding doesn’t mean much to me and the overland quest content doesn’t bring back a ton of fond memories.  Blizz decided to be more forthcoming with quests… so many critical quests in vanilla were on an easily missed NPC or required a drop to activate… by going all-in on the quest hub idea.

But a lot of the quests, especially in the first couple of zones, are just “kill x, collect x, or click on x” that are repeated over and over, simply substituting a new value for x with every iteration.  If it wasn’t for that early bombing run quest… which was so fresh and new at the time, though they have re-used it since multiple times per expansion… and some of the quirky Blizz quests later on, I might despair of the whole thing.  But I can get through Hellfire Peninsula and Zangarmarsh one more time.  I’ll be interested to see how much I remember.

As for the beta, I opted in… I was on their site opting in for the Diablo II remaster and it was just another click… but I am content to hang on until they get to the load tests and such.

Anyway, we have some time before the coming of Burning Crusade Classic.  But with beta going live, the reality of it is getting closer.

Clone Management Becomes Easier in EVE Online

Last week CCP mentioned a series of quality of life updates planned for today’s patch update.  The patch notes from this morning indicate that we got them.  So what did we get?

Tragedy tomorrow, Quality tonight

Clone Management!

The big fat hairy deal with this update for a lot of us in null sec is the change to clones, clone storage, and clone management.  Per the patch notes:

  • Enabled multiple jump clones in the same location. Jumping or installing new clones will no longer override the existing ones.
  • The “Install Clone” banner in the Jump Clones tab in the Character Sheet is now always visible.
  • The “Install Clone” banner now states how many jump clones you have installed in your current location.
  • Activating a jump clone no longer close your inventory windows.

Not only can you have multiple clones in a single station, but they have also done away with the accidental “oops, I destroyed my implant clone by mistake when I clone jumped” issue that has plagued many of us over the years.  The first thing I did was go out and consolidate a few clones I had in different structures in 1DQ1-A into the main Keepstar.

Clones in a single station

My expectations were so low that I was even surprised to find that the names you give your clones persist through jumps back and forth.  The Nosy Gamer reports that these changes apply to NPC stations as well.  Clone management for the masses!

Between this and the red dot change from last week, I’m starting to wonder what is going on at CCP.  It is unlike them to have two big wins so close together.  Now I just need a new skill that gives me another five jump clones and I’ll be set.

ECM Burst Jammers

From the patch notes:

  • Fitting a burst jammer now disallows interdiction nullification.

This will make ECM burst interceptors “less oppressive” according to the dev post.  Nobody likes being on the receiving end of ECM burst interceptors… or ECM in general… and CCP has been nerfing ECM for ages now.  They listen to complaints about things that keep ships from blowing up I guess.

There is, of course, a thread of paranoia in Goonswarm about this change.  We were not the first to use ECM burst interceptors, but we picked them up and ran with them after being oppressed by them.  And, in the current war, Globby from ElitistOps ran many ECM Burst fleets and became known for them, as our foes in PAPI complained vehemently about him, which led to propaganda about him.

The legend of Globby

I went on a few of those ops and, I will say, he is a really a fun person to fly with.  He also reimbursed one of my interceptor losses out of his own pocket when the SRP person didn’t like the fit we were using.  So pour one out for Globby, though I am sure he will find a new path.

This change also his “chemo” fits, smart bombing strategic cruisers using the interdiction nullification subsystem.  They have traditionally fit ECM bursts to help them shed tackle, since their align time to warp out is a lot slower than an interceptor.  We will see how the change impacts that doctrine.

Target Spectrum Breaker changed to Signature Radius Suppressor

This battleship only module has been changed to give a bonus to signature radius, with an accompanying skill that improves the duration

  • Reworked the Target Spectrum Breaker [and renamed it to Signature Radius Suppressor] to now grant a small bonus to signature radius passively that can be activated for a short burst of extreme signature reduction.
  • Target Breaker Amplification skill name changed to Signature Masking.
    • Increases duration time of Signature Radius Suppressor active mode by 5% per level.

The in-game description for the module now reads:

This device uses a variety of emissions suppression and masking methods to reduce the overall signature radius of a ship observable by enemy sensors and represented in targeting computer algorithms. Signature radius suppression has the advantage of increasing the time to lock of enemy targeting sensors, while also reducing incoming damage from almost all weapon systems by confounding enemy firing solutions and proximity detonators.

This device operates in both passive and active modes, providing a small benefit through passive emissions reduction and a dramatically enhanced benefit in active masking mode.

This could make battleships move viable in combat as, if used at the right time, could reduce the effects of stealth bomber attacks.  Right now Heavy Assault Cruisers still rule the roost, even after their recent nerf, due to their speed and sig radius, which makes them unlikely to suffer from bombers.

Wormhole Changes

There have also been some updates to wormholes, which I honestly do not understand.  But they seem meaningful for the residents.  I hope their quality of life is generally improved and not torn apart by unintended consequences or collateral damage.

  • Medium wormholes maximum jump mass increased from 20m to 62m.
  • Large wormholes maximum jump mass increased from 300m to 375m.
  • Extra Large wormholes maximum jump mass increased from 1.35b/1.8b to 2b.
  • Reduced the frequency of wandering connections between high-class wormholes by 50%.

And so it goes.  The patch notes are available and the updates have been deployed.

37 Weeks of World War Bee

When the headline topic for the Meta Show is the red dot (which I mentioned last week) and the New Eden Post up and disappears itself, it might be a sign that the war has become less than exciting, at least on the main front in Delve.

There the Imperium is still holed up in 1DQ1-A with the bulk of its forces and a dizzying array of citadels on the main grid, while PAPI scrupulously avoids any direct confrontation in that entire constellation, busying itself with destroying Imperium structures with its supers and titans in cyno jammed systems.  They blew up the D-W7F0 Keepstar and started attacking the F2OY-X by gating their supers in so as to avoid any possibility of having to face another titan battle after M2-XFE.

I went out to watch at F2OY-X

That doesn’t bode well for any hope that there will be a battle over 1DQ1-A, where even a cyno jammer won’t prevent Imperium titans from showing up, as they are in system already.

The Imperium plan is to out last the invaders while simultaneously burning down as much as their backfield as they can.  Vily’s plan of driving Goons from the game seems less likely now than it did back in September when that was his main talking point.  Likewise, the stated plan to take Delve, Fountain, Querious, and Period Basis while keeping all of their old territory seems to have fallen apart since Progodlegend laid it out three months back.

So I am left wondering what the end of the war will look like.  The Imperium isn’t leaving 1DQ1-A without a fight.  Vily and Progodlegend have invested their reputations in an unattainable victory.  PanFam and Fraternity, the least invested in the war, and the group still able to mine and rat in their own space, seem the likely overall winners in the long term.

Delve Front

The invaders retook the PS-94K ihub in the SG-CTQ constellation and, as noted above, blew up the Keepstar in D-W7F0.  Smaller structures died as well, but those were the two major events.

Delve – Mar 21, 2021

Otherwise it is skirmishes and structure bashes and attempts to annoy the invaders by making them defend the ihubs they have taken.

Other Theaters

In Querious Brave went on something of an ihub spree.  They took two ihubs away from the Imperium and planted 17 more in systems that were otherwise empty, so the map of the region looks solidly Brave and Severance.

Querious – Mar 21, 2021

Meanwhile, in Catch, the former Brave capital system fell.  The Brave SOTA last week as much as said they were simply over extended and were going to lose their backfield, so they are focused on Querious while their old territory burns.

Catch – Mar 21, 2021

Likewise, Immensea (and Impass) are both being taken apart by the Imperium and their co-belligerents in those regions.

Immensea – Mar 21, 2021

In Esoteria, Army of Mango alliance and Evictus are stepping in to take the remains of TEST space.

Esoteria – Mar 21, 2021

That has led to fighting between The Bastion and allied forces and AOM, giving whatever TEST has left in the region.

There isn’t much left in those regions to be burned at this point.  Whatever you think of Legacy Coalition’s plan to live in Delve, Querious, Fountain, and Period Basis, they are now committed to it.  And, speaking of Fountain, that appears to be where Federation Uprising has been promised space and now that they have been burned out of Immensea, they are starting to take ihubs there.

Fountain – Mar 21, 2021

The Initiative retook a bunch of ihubs in the region once the invasion moved on to Querious, and not much has happened since.  PanFam announced a re-invasion of Fountain back during week 20 or so, but by week 23 it had petered out.  Now it looks like somebody is finally going after the region again.  The Initiative is also done with their work in Legacy’s backfield, we’ll see if they come back to Fountain to push back in Fed Up.

My Participation

Once again I did get out and go on a few ops.  They most exciting was probably the spectacular Tom Flood Muninn welp in GY6A-L.  I was out with the logi wing and we were getting chopped to bits after Tom brought us into a fight with the odds stacked against us. (The HAW dreads were a nice touch.)

I actually thought I was going to get away.  I did, initially, finally getting out of bubbles and eluding the Malediction that had me tackled, getting into warp with 53% of my hull remaining.

That feeling when you’ve escaped the trap

Unfortunately, it was out of the frying pan and into the fire as I landed in a bubble on more hostiles.  I nearly got away again.  I was out of the bubble and aligned and almost in warp… and then my ship exploded.  Actually, due to tidi, my capsule was ejected and I got to sit and watch my ship explode.

Watching my ship brew up from my pod

The battle report shows what happens when you throw a fleet in to face odds 2 to 1 against.

Battle Report Header

At least I got my SRP by the next day.

I also managed to lose two Ares interceptors doing other operations, which brings my loss totals for the war up to:

  • Ares interceptor – 17
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar logi – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • 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

Other Items

CCP announced a Quality of Life patch coming this week that will have an impact on null sec.  They key item is the ability to have multiple clones in a single citadel.  For people who have clones with implants for specific doctrines or roles, it has been a pain in the ass to have to undock and warp to another citadel to swap clones every time you were doing something different.  I have clones in 4 different citadels in 1DQ1-A and I barely do anything special at all.

In addition, there will be some nerfs, because there are always nerfs.  This time around ECM burst interceptors will be taking a hit.  I gather few people like those… but I am one of those few.  That is the way it goes though.  Everybody gets their turn in the barrel.

Also on tap is Friendship week.  Not really in sync with a war, but there it is.

As for peak concurrent users for the week, that fell before 35K, supplying further proof I suppose that the war in Delve isn’t exactly lighting a fire under anybody at the moment.

  • 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
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394

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