The war is extending into numbers that make me want to try and break it down by quadrants. It would be nice if it fit into four nice, 9 week segments. But it doesn’t really. Not that there have not been phases of the war, they just don’t slice up into nicely symmetrical time segments. Instead they are all messy and overlap.
We have, for example, been in the “invading Delve” phase since last October, which started with the PAPI attempts to get a Keepstar in NPC Delve, which succeeded on the fifth try. We finished the two months of “PAPI titans trapped in M2-XFE” phase in week 35 and PAPI has taken that as a cue to move to what seems to be a “declare victory and hope the Imperium will take the hint and leave” phase of the war.
I suspect that they will be disappointed.
Not that there wasn’t some bad news for us. PAPI continued to sblow up our structures, including two Keepstars this past week. More disturbing to me was a notification I saw mid-week.
I wondered if ElitistOps had once again been cast out of Goonswarm for some transgression as they had back under the reign of Darius Johnson. (SA post about it if you want some gory history from over a decade ago.) Them coming back to Goons at the start of the war had been a big boost and they got up to the antics for which they have become rightly know, like Madcows stealing a Leviathan from an unfueled TEST POS back in week three of the war. That earned them a lot of leeway on ping abuse. The word is that they have gone back to Snuffed Out to get back to their more normal mode of operation and that the split was amicable.
But their leaving hasn’t slackened the pace of blowing up unwary Legacy pilots as they try to evac out of their old territory. Things like this Erebus packed full of goods gating through null, or this Ark caught in Brave’s station hauling fuel, a Vagur being used to carry, or even this Impel being used to transport a lot of value in a cheap hull.
Not that PAPI hasn’t had their own kills. Despite repeated warnings… I think there is a ping about every hour about this now… Imperium capital pilots keep jumping to the bait cyno beacon in AJI-MA, including a Ragnorak and a Wyvern recently. The carnage continues.
As noted above, Vily has been preaching a “Victory in Delve” message of late. TEST went so far as to expend the effort to take all of the territorial control units (TCUs) that they could in Delve just so the region would look to be all theirs on the null sec influence maps.
Unfortunately, TCUs don’t really count for much and have generally been ignored by both sides, as ihubs demonstrate the practical control of a solar system. Also, they like to ignore that big patch of Goonswarm space in Delve, the fly in the ointment of their propaganda. And when you zoom out the blue donut needed to get to the gates of 1DQ1-A becomes apparent.
Which isn’t to say they don’t control most of the ihubs as well, as the ihub map from DOTLAN shows.
PAPI now needs to defend those ihubs, which the Imperium has been out reinforcing regularly, even flipping a couple over the course of the week. They have their conquest, but we still live in the big blue circle on the map and can range out from there to make them work to hold it. Their progress on territory has stalled.
As noted, they have been reducing our structures in systems where they have held the ihub for long enough to put up a cyno jammer. They killed the Keepstars in M2-XFE, S-6HHN, 5-CQDA, and ZXB-VC under the umbrella of cyno jamming safety. They clearly do not want to fight Imperium titans after losing badly at M2-XFE.
Meanwhile, on the weather front, the second Delve metaliminal storm has moved off to Period Basis, leaving the region storm free. In order to celebrate, the RNG brought an incursion into the YX-LYK constellation, so we have that to deal with as well.
In Querious Brave continues to hold onto their new living area.
That is good news for them as their old space in Catch is on fire and will soon be naught but ashes and memories.
Brave is down to just three of its old core systems. They managed to defend GE-8JV, where their Keepstar and much of their assets in the region are located. It seems unlikely that The Initiative and its allies are going to let Brave unachor that Keepstar in peace.
Likewise, Immensea continues to fall as the last few Legacy systems are under siege.
And, while I haven’t been covering Impass, another Legacy region, that has begun to fall as well, with The Initiative finding an low power Fortizar in the region that ended up being quite a loot pinata, including a cache of dreads, which got scooped up.
Then there is Esoteria, where The Bastion has continued to take systems now that TEST has mostly given up.
The Army of Mango Alliance (AOM), which left the front lines back in week 17 of the war, and which had promised TEST that they would help them defend Esoteria, has begun to scoop up systems of their own in the region. Perhaps they will better defend the systems they take that the ones TEST has left behind.
I did get out into the war a couple of times this past week. The highlight was a series of running battles to defend several Fortizar timers in Delve. We were successful across the board despite starting off down in numbers. I was in the early Ferox fleet and lost my ship in PUIG-F when the FC’s client disconnected and we were left hanging in space for a minute.
However, I was able to reship and joined the reinforcement Cerberus fleet to get back in the fight, flying a Scimitar this time around, which survived.
I ended up on a few kill mails, so proof of life for yet another month, but had to add another hull to my loss list, which now stands at:
- Ares interceptor – 15
- Malediction interceptor – 7
- Crusader interceptor – 5
- Atron entosis frigate – 6
- Rokh battleship – 5
- Ferox battle cruiser – 4
- Drake battle cruiser – 4
- Scimitar logi – 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 Imperium switched their structure timers settings, an operation that takes 30 days to process in order to keep alliances from flipping them for immediate tactical gain, to be in Euro time again. They were in US time, which meant that structure fights tended to be very late indeed for the Euros. With the flip the Euros will now be on the front line and US time zone players can filter in as reinforcements if a long fights erupts.
CCP kicked off the Federation Grand Prix event which had tasks and rewards, including their first Expert Systems give-away, a package that boosted player skills up so that they could fly an interceptor hull, which makes the event much quicker/safer. This seemed to me to be a much more viable path than trying to sell these packs, but we’ll see how CCP runs with them as time goes on.
And then here in many parts of the US Daylight Savings Time started. I don’t know if that hour’s shift will impact the weekly peak concurrent player count, but for this week it was down a bit again, sagging right to the 35K mark.
- 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