Daily Archives: May 18, 2021

Slugfest in 3-DMQT over iHub and Azbel

After spending much of the weekend shooting targets on secondary fronts after the pasting they received at the hands of Imperium bombers in two consecutive fights, PAPI decided to make an aggressive attack on the ihub in 3-DMQT just before 00:00 UTC yesterday.

As I have mentioned in the last few weekly updates, the system of 3-DMQT is the focus point for PAPI in their attempt to break into the O-EIMK Constellation which is the capitol of the Imperium and the last bastion of our defenses in Delve.  As such, both sides have Ansiblex jump gates setup to facilitate piling forces into that system

O-EIMK Constellation – May 17, 2021

As the fight started several fleets were called for on the Imperium side, including one for carriers and supers.  As we had done previously, the carriers sat on the Fortizar nearby the ihub on tether and sent their fighters in to clear enemies from the ihub.  The subcap fleets went in to keep the hostiles from being able to simply shoot fighters.  We have a fighter shooting doctrine we have used to great effect previously, and PAPI sent in a Harpy fleet to do that.

Battle around the ihub

I went in with the Drake fleet under Kretin Valefor, in part because it was the first fleet called, but also because I am happy to see the return of the Drake to a fleet doctrine.  It isn’t quite 2012 again with clouds of perma-MWD Drakes prowling the spaceways, but the hull is back and spewing heavy missiles.

Yes, I can bring my Drake

For whatever reason… I guess I thought this would be a short and/or easy fight, I decided to dual box and got my main alt in a Scythe to play logi.  What could possibly go wrong?

The ihub grid was crowded when we got there, with bubbles up and the usual mess of clashing fleets.  There were around 2,000 people in the system and, while tidi was clearly in effect, it managed to hover between 13 and 20% for much of the fight, meaning the server had slowed us down, but was still able to keep up and process commands.  Things still took seemingly forever to accomplish… nothing like the FC having you change ammo and then, just as that starts to cycle, seeing a different fleet on grid, tells you to change back… but nothing was backlogged.

This was the costly part of the battle for me, as I managed to lose three Drakes during the skirmish over the ihub.

Seeing your ship brew up from your pod

The finance team was on the job though.  I applied for SRP for my losses and was paid before I was back in the fight with a fresh Drake… expect for the second one, when I was in a hurry and forgot to check if the rigs were in the cargo hold before I undocked.  SRP Denied.  Oh well, I guess Progodlegend and I have something in common now, though I only did it once in a single fight.  But getting back into the fight was speedy and I was on a couple of the better kills, those being the two Minokawas that PAPI dropped in to rep their subcaps.

Minokawa brews up on the ihub

I did considerably better with my alt in the Scythe on the second screen.  I couldn’t be bothered to save my own Drake it seems, but I managed to get reps on a few others and, with my armor and hull drones, managed to haul one Drake pilot back from the brink.

Back from the brink

One more volley would have done in that Drake, but the enemy saw he was getting reps and switched targets.  Oddly, the hostiles left my Scythe alone for the most part during the ihub fight and I was able to amble about the field repairing as I went.  We were intermixed with a fleet of hostile Harpies, but aside from the occasional potshot, they focused on fighters and ignored me.

The ihub battle went on until the vulnerability window closed, after which both sides pulled back a bit and we safed up on the Keepstar in system.

The doomsday reaches out to hit some PAPI pilots who strayed too close

We were waiting for the next round, which was one of the PAPI Azbels that was set to come out of its six day timer and anchor.  As the time ran down we got on an Astrahus that was 1,051km from the Azbel.  Because we own the system, it only takes us a day to anchor a structure, so we can always plant one near any of the ones they are trying to drop.

Azbel with 2 minutes left

They deployed bubbles and ships between the two structures, but there are enough bounces in the system that when the time came we were able to warp in right on top of it.

They got the core in and the 15 minute repair timer started counting down, but we stopped it before it hit 10 minutes and it never moved after that.  It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that the Azbel was going to die.

Instead both sides brawled in an attempt to destroy as many opposition ships as they possibly could as drones and some Bigbillthaboss specials chewed away at the structure.

BBtB Myrmidons from his personal fleet

In this fight the Drakes were mostly ignored by the enemy, who sought out more valuable targets.  The only exception was my Scythe, which got blapped at one point.  But I was able to reship with my alt and rejoin the fight.

We shot the Azbel ourselves from time to time, then get stuck into whichever hostile fleet we could find.  Slowly but surely the health on the Azbel ticked down until it exploded.

Azbel blows

The quantum core dropped… because cores have a 100% drop rate per that update… and a TEST Mammoth scooped it, only to be destroyed.  But the core dropped again… because cores have a 100% drop rate… but I don’t know who ended up with it.  It is 50K m^3 in size, so you can’t just grab it with an interceptor and run.

After that there was a bit of a frenzy to get in some final kills and then we settled down back on the Keepstar.  The fight was over but we needed to wait for PAPI to extract in order to ensure they were not up to any more mischief.

That took a while because PAPI, having learned its lesson, didn’t try to squeeze through the out gate in one giant, server melting mass this time.  Instead they went out by small groups, which took them a good while.  Eventually they cleared off and we were able to take the Ansiblex back to 1DQ1-A and log out ourselves.  I was tired at the end of that, being a long battle that started just as I was done with work… and since I work from home, meant sitting in my desk chair for another five hours.  But that wasn’t as bad as our FC, who said at the end he had been up for 25 hours straight.  He must be young though, I saw him in a ping leading a fleet the next morning.

It was a long fight.  The battle report showed quite a bit of destruction.

Battle Report Header

PAPI soundly won the ISK war, with the Imperium losing more than double their number.  This was helped along by a Nyx super carrier that got itself blown up and some dreads and faxes of ours that were on grid for the Azbel part of the fight.  I am pretty sure part of the reason the Drakes were left alone is that they were going for big targets.  And as well they might.  We would have done the same.

Progodlegend posted a brag on Reddit about PAPI winning the ISK war while being outnumbered.  That is certainly true, though it also raises an eyebrow when the side that has three times the total pilots of its foe can’t out number them in a big fight.  What good is blueing up over a hundred alliances if they won’t blob for you?

The Imperium, however, can claim to have won all of the objectives.  The ihub did not get reinforces and PAPI once again failed to anchor a structure in 3-DMQT.  Having made no progress for all the effort, PAPI has to do it all over again.

So the “Siege of 1DQ” carries on.

CCP Rushes Warp Core Stabilizer and Interdiction Nullification Changes into EVE Online

Just last Thursday, six days, or four business days ago, CCP announced a plan to make changes warp core stabilizers and interdiction nullification.  While the former saw only a few changes, the latter went through a cycle of alterations that moved it from a low slot to a high slot and updated the ships that would be allowed to use the new module.

CCP apparently felt they had enough feedback and launched all the changes on the live server this morning.

That’s the name they chose for this

Launched under the title “The Great Escape,” a banner worthy of the Ministry of Truth, I can only imagine they mean that ironically as both changes are targeted at keeping players from being able to escape destruction.  It will be great if you actually escape I guess, but CCP ideally wants less or that and more ships exploding.

Warp Core Stabilizers

The warp core stabilizer summary remains simple.  From the announcement post, here is what the tech I module is now:

  • Warp Core Stabilizer I
    • Activation cost: 80 Gj
    • Active Duration: 10 seconds
    • Reactivation Delay: 150 seconds
    • Maximum number able to be fitted: 1
    • Warp Scramble Strength: -2
    • Targeting range reduction: -40%
    • Scan resolution reduction: -40%
    • Drone Bandwidth Penalty: -50%

You now can have 10 seconds of 2 warp core strength with a 150 second cool down, and only one can be fitted per ship.  The other flavors of the module alter the activation duration, which can be as long as 18 seconds with a faction version. The scan resolution and targeting range penalties, which are applied when the module is fit, as with the old passive version, are reduced with the higher meta modules, but the drone bandwidth penalty remains the same.

Warp Nullification Module

Interdiction nullification, after having gone through multiple gyrations, has now landed on the following plan:

  • Interceptors, yachts, and nullification subsystems now have passive nullification removed.
  • Interceptors, yachts, and nullification subsystems have received a new role bonus: 80% reduced target range penalty and reactivation delay for interdiction nullification modules.
  • Interceptors, yachts, and nullification subsystems have now received a new role bonus: 100% increased duration for interdiction nullification modules.
  • Passive nullification has been added to all shuttles.
  • New blueprints, seeding, and manufacturing data have been added for the new modules.

Of note there is that blueprints have only just been seeded with this patch, not in advance as CCP has done in the past, so right now the only ships with interdiction nullification are shuttles.  For days, if not weeks, production will have to ramp up to catch up with the change, during which bubbles in null sec are essentially unavoidable. A few are on the market already, but only enough to accommodate experimentation.  Blueprints still need to be optimized and there is research needed for the tech II versions.

And even when the market settles, expect to see a lot more of those on gates during your travels.  And on both sides of gates where possible, since the cool down will force you to motor out slowly as you wait for the activation timer to run down.

Those details are a bit short of the full picture, so you have to go to the patch notes to get a few more details… though not that many.  CCP’s lack of transparency in documenting the changes here seems like another indication of the almost indecent haste they have shown in getting these changes in.

The new module will be usable by the following ship types:

  • Interceptors
  • Blockade Runners
  • Deep Space Transports
  • Tech I Industrials
  • Covert Ops Frigates
  • Victorieux Luxury Yacht
  • Strategic Cruisers

In addition, the following applies:

  • All interdiction nullifiers are High-Slot modules and only one nullifier can be fit per ship.
  • When fitted these modules will reduce targeting range and ship scan resolution by 50%.
  • Module types:
    • Interdiction Nullifier I
    • Compact Interdiction Nullifier
    • Restrained Interdiction Nullifier
    • Interdiction Nullifier II

The high meta version give you a longer duration of nullification, with 10 seconds on the tech I and 15 seconds on the tech II.  But the reactivation delay remains 150 seconds on all of them.

So it goes.  As with most rushed things, expect issues.  The in-game information is incorrect in some places, with the Restrained version of the unit still listing stealth bombers as part of the supported ship list.

Welcome to a new age in null sec.


CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online

Last week we got news that changes relating to warp core stabilizers and interdiction nullification were arriving on the test server.  This week changes meant to address cloaky camping are on the menu.

Cloaky camping is next on the list

For most cloaky campers are pilots who land in a low sec or null sec system, cloak up, and just sit there.  The idea is to inspire paranoia and suppress activity like ratting and mining in a system because you never really know if the cloaked pilot is AFK or is quietly stalking you or about to cyno in some friends to blap you.

While I’ve tended to think of cloaky camping as just a cost of doing business, having been cloaky camped by various parties from random passers by to the Olmeca Gold Goon-Hate campaign, a lot of people get very upset because you cannot really “do” anything about a cloaky camper.  So people have been complaining to CCP about the practice since long before I knew it was a thing.

So, 18 years into the life of the game CCP is planning to introduce a new deployable call the Mobile Observatory which, once activated, will ping the system every ten minutes with a chance to decloak anybody cloaked up in the system.

The Mobile Observatory

And the attributes:

The attributes

The observatory, once it is correctly coded, is deployable in low and null sec space (not wormhole space) with a limit of ten per system. (Currently it can be deployed in WH space and next to stations and you can have as many as you want deployed in one system.)

In order to protect the legitimate cloaking pilot, cloaking up will give you 15 minutes of “cloak stabilization” to keep you from being decloaked.

Cloaking Defense

I tinkered with one a bit on the test server with a stealth bomber and was decloaked fairly reliably once the cloak stabilization wore off.

Being decloaked at the same tick every time

The effect is system-wide, so proximity to the observatory presumably has no impact.  I was 15 AU away for three of those four decloaks.  It did not decloak me at the 19:53:03 tick, when my stabilization had worn off, but the other three times it decloaked me on the first tick after I was no longer protected.

For the last round I was close by when it decloaked me as its lifetime was nearing its end and I wanted to see how much it would take to kill it.

Well within torp range

Five salvos of faction torps from my Purifier was sufficient.

There was no cool explosion or anything because the item doesn’t even have artwork associated with it yet.

That fact indicates to me that we’re likely not going to see this pushed into the live game quickly.  As with the warp core stabilizer and interdiction nullification, I expect that CCP will take time to digest feedback and make changes for a while.

And the comment thread is getting a lot of feedback, though you have to skip down the page a bit because the first problem was that CCP announced to everybody that it was available to test… and then it wasn’t on the test server for another couple of hours.

This will clearly shake up the cloaking meta.  AFK cloaky camping might even cease to be a thing.  But it is the impact on other playstyles that use cloaking that might be the trick here.  I’ve sat on a blops in a hostile system for 90 minutes easy waiting for a hunter in a distant system to get in position.  While those waiting can stay safed up and recloak, that hunter is in a bad spot if they get decloaked.

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