Daily Archives: June 1, 2021

All Eyes on the Dark Portal

A few hours from when this post goes live Blizzard is expected to open the Dark Portal and let us all through and into Outland and Burning Crusade Classic.  The magic time is 3pm local for me here in California, midnight Paris time, or 22:00 UTC.

The World Wide Launch Plan

There isn’t much time left to prepare… well, there isn’t if  you plan to go through the Dark Portal at the first possible moment.  But our server was very busy over the holiday weekend, so a lot of people look to be ready to go.

Despite not being quite as far along as I thought I might more than a year and a half after WoW Classic launched, I do have three characters at level cap.  Ready to head to Outland are:

Tistann – My level 60 hunter and solo character.  He will, no doubt, be my first character through the portal and headed towards Honor Hold.  I am actually pretty happy with his progress.  In addition to being at level cap, his trade and secondary skills.

  • Leatherworking – 300
  • Skinning – 300
  • Cooking – 300
  • First Aid – 136
  • Fishing – 151

He is my only character to finish maxing out his primary trade skills.  First aid he is stuck back at heavy wool bandages, which is kind of a flat spot in the training curve.  He has some remedial work to do on that front.

Wilhelm  – My level 60 paladin and now my main instance group character, he was my last to level 60, getting that last half a level after the pre-patch hit, but he is ready to go.  He is also doing pretty well on his trade skills.

  • Engineering – 280
  • Mining – 300
  • Cooking – 300
  • First Aid – 300
  • Fishing – 270

Viniki – My level 60 warrior and the some time tank for the instance group.  I have to figure out what I am going to do with him.  I am actually surprised, it putting this together that his cooking isn’t at 300.  Going to have to fix that.

  • Blacksmithing – 271
  • Mining – 300
  • Cooking – 285
  • First Aid – 300
  • Fishing – 121

In addition, I have one up and coming character.

Alioto – My now level 45 druid.  He was level 36 when the pre-patch hit, which put him in prime position to take advantage of the additional quests added into the game and has moved pretty quickly towards the level cap.

I had toyed with the idea of boosting him to level 58… I think Blizz tapped into the scarcity idea in that you can only buy a boost for one character in classic… back when he was just level 36.  But since the pre-patch I have enjoyed playing him enough that I am just going to level him up to 60 the old fashioned way… or, the Burning Crusade old fashioned way in any case.  He only has harvest trade skills, and those are easy to catch up.

So that is my team for the Dark Portal.  I am still half-tempted to boost a character to 58, though I suspect that is the scarcity thing playing with my head a bit.  I am not even sure who I would boost… maybe my level 21 rogue, maybe my level 25 warlock… and I am unlikely to have the time to play yet another character if my WoW Classic experience is any guide.  But my enthusiasm is high at the moment and that can lead to bad decisions.  We shall see.

And the game itself… I hope that load test was enough for them to tune up Outland.  It seemed pretty laggy in the beta, but had shaped up some once they hit the second load test.  Still, this video is probably a reasonable simulation about what is coming:


47 Weeks of World War Bee

This post is coming out later than usual due to the end of the month and Memorial Day coinciding, along with my firm belief that nobody needs three blog posts from me in quick succession.  But I couldn’t just push it 24 hours out because Burning Crusade Classic is coming as well.  So here it is something of the dead zone between days.

Week 47 started off with PAPI feeling pretty good about itself.  Progodlegend led a Legacy Town Hall meeting (which you can listen to here in its entirety) where he repeatedly denigrated the Imperium’s fighting and theory crafting abilities (we also only have two bloc level FCs, Asher and Mister Vee, and maybe Elo Knight if he shows up) while talking up Legacy’s strengths in that regard.

He also reiterated that the PAPI blue donut would remain so long as Goons are any sort of power in the game, with a council of wardens (made up of basically everybody but the Imperium) allied so long as we still exist.  If we go to WH space or Pochven or where ever, they will follow and remain united until we have been purged.  He was careful to repeat that PanFam was totally committed to this plan.

The town hall also continued the ongoing strong support by PAPI for Vily’s “Imperium Delenda Est” war aims that I recorded back in week eleven of the war.   We’re bad people, bad for the game, bad at the game, must be driven out, yadda yadda yadda.  They would destroy the game rather than leave us be.

On that theme, Monday started off strong for PAPI, with a surprise AU/CN TZ flash form that managed to drop two Azbels in 3-DMQT as well as reinforcing a couple of Imperium towers in the system.  The ISK war was a draw, but they won the objective.

High on this, PAPI returned on Monday night in US prime time to defend an Azbel that was coming out to anchor… and got wrecked.

Their new Abaddon battleship doctrine was pretty much wiped out on the gate, the space superiority fighters, which Progodlegend had mocked as a tactic in the town hall, ate up their blaster Harpy fleet exactly as they were supposed to, and their Azbel was destroyed, bringing the Azbel death total up to 14 at that point.  They lost the objectives, never getting off the gate in 3-DMQT, and the ISK was was so tilted against them that even Progodlegend had to allow that the Imperium had won this one battle in the war.  It must have stuck in his throat to even say that much.

And then they stopped hitting 3-DMQT in any serious way for the rest of the week, with no more Azbels dropped. They went back to running ops into Curse to shoot an INIT structurem though they subsequently forget to scoop the core when they were done, allowing INIT to recover it.  The rumor is that PAPI is giving up on trying to assault the Imperium capital and will, instead, attempt to starve us out in some sort of cold war approach that, so far, seems to mostly involve complaining about the Imperium posting too much on r/eve.


The stalemate continues.  PAPI has the numbers to keep the Imperium from pushing back in the region, but cannot bring itself to commit to taking the losses that would be needed to actually break into the 1-DQ1A and the rest of the O-EIMK, the Imperium’s capitol.  In the town hall Progodlegend blamed the advantages of defenders and suggested that CCP needed to fix that.  Then there is the cold war rumor.  As such, I can re-use my map of the Imperium capitol constellation for the fifth post in a row.

O-EIMK Constellation – May 30, 2021

The assault on the Imperium capitol began back at the end of April and looks to have petered out for the moment.  Skirmishes continue, but if you look at the campaign report for Delve, the week, action was down considerably.

However, there is still a possible fleet action approaching.  I am writing this on Sunday to correspond with the end of the week, but this won’t post until Tuesady, and on Monday morning the two Azbels that were dropped last week will come out of their deployment timer and be ready to anchor, again in late AU/CN time and right about the middle of the day EUTZ.  And, since Monday is a holiday in the US and UK, there might have been a titanic battle… or PAPI might have passed.  But that will get reported as part of week 48.

[addendum: in case I forget, they passed.]

The campaign report for the week shows that overall destruction was down for the region.

Delve Campaign – Losses for Week 47

While not as lopsided overall as the Abaddon massacre, things still tilted in favor of the Imperium for the week.

Other Theaters

In Esoteria The Bastion and its allies appear to have stopped the mark of Army of Mango Alliance, which had been retaking their gains.

Esoteria – May 30, 2021

Whether that was because of action elsewhere or the incursion in the region I am not sure, but The Bastion continues to hold on.

Likewise, The Bastion and Red Alliance are still holding on to a corner of Feythabolis.

Feythabolis – May 30, 2021

A few ihubs in the center of the region changed hands, but there was no dramatic change in the situation.

And in the Dronelands The Initiative has kept up its activity in Etherium Reach, reinforcing systems and forcing PanFam to jump clone back home to defend timers.

Etherium Reach – May 30, 2021

The Initiative has yet to destroy an ihub, but they would like to remind everybody that they took a side trip over to The Kalevala Expanse and reinforced the ihub in R10-GN, which happens to be Pandemic Horde’s capitol system.

Pandemic Horde’s main system in TKE

I am going to guess that PH will feel the need to jump clone home to deal with that.

My Participation

I was in the thick of things Monday night for the fight on the gate in 3-DMQT and managed to survive, though many of my fellow Eagle fleet pilots were blown up in the brawl.

Eagles helping bump a fax out of the bubbles after the fight

After that though, there wasn’t much going on.  The nightly stand to for the vulnerability window saw no attacks.

I did end up losing two Jackdaws in skirmishes towards the end of the week, though for that to happen John Hartley had to bring us into E-VKJV to hang around, shoot their Ansiblex, hang around some more, eventually they formed Caracals, which we traded well with for a while, then they finally formed Munnins, after which we took off.  That brings my loss total for the war up to:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Cormorant destroyer – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other items

CCP launched its Stargate Trailblazers event which encourages players to get out and support the four main empires in their efforts to construct new stargates by getting involved in resource harvesting, which allowed CCP to recycle its old resource wars content.  TNG has a couple of posts about the event.  I did find it interesting that, after pitching this as a bit of a competition between empires, CCP Fozzie had to confirm that all the planned stargates will get built now matter what players do, so it isn’t like the Triglavian invasion where players has some small influence on the outcome.

From the forums

So if you’re in it, it is for the rewards.

I forgot to mention this last week, but the candidate application and review process for the CSM16 election was wrapped up and CCP announced all of the candidates that qualified, though there process left us wondering about happened with the candidates who did not make the cut.  60 people posted threads in the forum, as required by CCP, but there were only 47 on the final list.

Voting for CSM16 starts next week, on June 8th after downtime, and continues on until downtime his on June 15th, per the dev blog.

CCP also published their video of user submissions for the 18th anniversary celebration.

On the player count front, it is starting to feel like the easing of the pandemic, warm weather, and a war in stalemate is leading more players to go outside.  The daily peak concurrent number did not rise above 30K on Monday through Friday, a trend that carried through the weekend, with Sunday peak falling just short of the 30K mark for the first time since the war began:

  • 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
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708
  • Week 42 – 33,521
  • Week 43 – 33,731
  • Week 44 – 33,742 (Saturday)
  • Week 45 – 33,758
  • Week 46 – 31,768
  • Week 47 – 29,898