Category Archives: EVE Online

MER – Pre-War Delve Numbers

CCP has released the monthly economic report for June 2018, and it might turn out to be an interesting report for comparison sake.  June was a month of dull peace in Delve, with ratting and mining and production and commerce rolling along unhindered.

But now, in July, we have conflicts in null sec.  Pandemic Legion has deployed to the southeast to join in on the attacks on TEST and the Legacy Coalition while the Imperium has taken PLs absence from the north as an opportunity to roll north, drop a Keepstar, and start pounding on Circle of Two and Guardians of the Galaxy.  That not only pulled a bunch of capsuleers north, but also the super capital umbrella that protects Delve as well, leaving those who didn’t get the word (which always happens), or thought they were invulnerable, open to attack.

So we can look at the June numbers as a baseline for how war changes output in Delve.  And we can start, as usual, with the mining numbers.

June 2018 – Mining Value by Region

We even have the bar graph back this month.

June 2018 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

Delve is, as usual, far ahead of every other region in mining output, and second place is Querious, which is also controlled by the Imperium and the host to the monthly “locust fleet” operations to harvest moon output in the region.  The scourge of the Rorquals I suppose.

Delve was up 600 billion over May, which is fairly impressive because the mining value measurement depends on the price, and prices were again down in June.

June 2018 – Economic Indices – Three Year Snapshot

If the price of minerals is still headed down but mining value in Delve is up, that means a lot more ore had to get mined.

Mineral prices aren’t close to their all time low yet, as the long term chart shows.

June 2018 – Economic Indices Long Term

But the trend is still way down.  Cheaper prices make it harder to get rich as a miner… unless you’re running a fleet of Rorquals… but they also make manufactured items cheaper overall in Jita.  If you’re not a miner, this is probably good.  If you are, it probably pisses you off.

On the NPC bounties front, Delve also held on to its top spot.

June 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

Again, we have the bar graph back.  Several of those went missing for the May report.

June 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

Delve, despite its dominance, was down almost 2 trillion ISK compared to May.  Meanwhile Branch was up, the place where the groups in the north have fled to escape the attentions of the Imperium SIGs and Squads.

Fade was up, almost doubling from May’s 396 billion ISK number by hitting 747 billion ISK.  That is no doubt due to Circle of Two moving in and settling down in the region and having the first half of the month free of attacks as the Imperium took two weeks off in June to give its pilots a break.  I suspect that number will be down in the July report due to the return of the Imperium.  Rumor has it that GigX has forbidden anybody to rat in anything more expensive than a VNI or mine in anything better than a T1 barge.

The share of bounties across sec status remains heavily tilted towards null sec.

June 2018 – NPC Bounties by Sec Status

High sec, which was trending up a bit over the last couple of reports, was back down to 6.2% of the total, while overall bounty payments saw a slight decline over the course of the month.

June 2018 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

On the trade front The Forge was in no danger of losing its top position.  Jita remains the place to go to buy and sell.

June 2018 – Trade Value by Region

The bar graph shows the dominance of Jita more clearly.

June 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

That dominance is such that they have to make a bar graph without The Forge in order for people to see how other regions stack up against each other.

June 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph, Forge Excluded

There we see Domain, home of Amarr, still comfortably in second place, with Delve trailing behind in third.  After that are the three other New Eden high sec trade hubs, then Geminate, home of Pandemic Horde.

For contracts however The Forge is not as dominant.

June 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Chart

There are a lot of contracts in Jita, but Delve is not far behind.  As usual, I suspect this is because a lot of things like fleet doctrine ship sales, capital and super capital sales, buy back schemes, and some raw material sales are done via contract.  Still, overall, contracts remain a small item in Jita relative to the main market.

Then there is production.

June 2018 – Production Values by Region

Previously Delve was the top region for production, though the three regions in the vicinity of Jita still combined to well out produce Delve.  However this month Delve slipped, dropping from 40 trillion ISK in production in May to 33 trillion ISK in June, putting it in close competition with The Forge, which held steady with 32 trillion ISK.

What happened in Delve?  Did we run out of pilots rich enough to buy a titan finally?  Is that why The Mittani was was extolling us to get alts into supers if we already had a main in one?

Anyway, production was down.  We will see if a war suppresses it further or if losses… should we join battle in any serious way… will spur production in order to replace them.

And so this month’s chart of interest is the destroyed value by region.

June 2018 – Destroyed Value by Region

War in New Eden may make this chart interesting to compare with next month’s chart.  But I also wanted to compare it against May’s chart to see what Into the Abyss did to the numbers.  I was wondering if the losses in abyssal pockets would up the numbers.  But abyssal pockets aren’t in normal space, so in places like The Forge, ever a hot spot for suicide ganking, destruction numbers actually went down 800 billion ISK.

So Into the Abyss didn’t change the chart, but I suspect war might.  So we will revisit this one again next month.

Finally, I will close with the usual regional comparison chart.

June 2018 – Regional Stats

That just nicely summarizes the stats for a few key regions.

Those were the June numbers.  But now, in July, war is on, both in the northeast around Fade, where the Imperium is pressing on CO2 and GotG, and in the southwest, where Pandemic Legion is leading a large but loose coalition of alliances against the TEST and the Legacy Coalition.  If both conflicts carry on, the numbers could change up quite a bit.  But wars can also end suddenly.  We shall see.

Again, you can find the monthly economic report here.  It includes many more charts than I choose to review and has all the raw data if you care to make your own.

Imperium Ignorance Saves the CO2 Keepstar in DW-T2I

After laying down a Keepstar in Cloud Ring last week, the Imperium went straight to work on Circle of Two, reinforcing their Keepstar in DW-T2I the next day.  The Imperium staged in Cloud Ring meant that most of Fade was in capital range, if those capitals took the gate between the two regions.

Fade Map with Locations noted

With the Keepstar in DW-T2I reinforced, the next big even was set to be the armor timer.  To destroy a fueled citadel you have to go through three battles.  The first is the shield layer.  You can attack at any time and if you get the citadel’s shields down to zero, a timer comes up.  When that timer finally counts down the citadel goes into a 15 minute repair cycle.  You have to form up and shoot it again, this time shooting its armor layer down to zero.  By applying enough damage you can stop the repair cycle and get through the the final timer.  When that comes up you do the same thing again, only shooting away the structure.  If you succeed, the citadel blows up.  If you fail, you get to start all over again.

So it was the second round, the armor timer, that came up yesterday.  It was set to hit at a little after 19:00 EVE Online time, which is UTC.  However, because fleets had to move and get in position, the call to form up came a good four hours before then.

That was before I got out of bed here on the west coast.  I turned on my computer to find fleets already forming and heading out from Delve.  But that was okay.  I wasn’t interested in heading out with main fleet for the long drive there and back to visit CO2.  I hung around waiting for something to form up in Pure Blind.

And I was rewarded for waiting with a fleet ping from Dabigredboat.

Some might not consider that a reward.  Boat can be an acquired taste.  But he works hard, gets you in the action, and tells you what is going on.  Plus, he was handing out free ships.  We were going to head out in Tengus to snipe targets of opportunity and run down disconnects.  I was happy enough to be in a Tengu again that I bought the snappy new Ghostbird SKIN for it.

55 PLEX well spent to my mind

Meanwhile I already had an alt online in a stealth bomber in DW-T2I to watch what was happening with the Keepstar and the system in general.  CO2 had been busy.  Both of the gates into the system were heavily bubbled, so any fleet trying to gate in to contest the timer would have to get past that.

The P-33KR Gate

You can just barely see the Keepstar in the background of that screen shot, through the dense layer of bubbles laid about the gate.  The array of bubbles was big enough that if I pulled back to get them all in the screen shot, the gate and the small bubbles around it become difficult to see.

The same gate from a distance

Everything seemed to be coming together for a big fight.  While Boat was arranging a black ops bridge up to DW-T2I my alt sat and watched CO2’s allies start to show up.  Darkness and their coalition brought a Tempest Fleet Issue fleet.

Darkness in a ball

Ranger Regiment brought an Ishtar fleet.  NCDot brought a Machariel and a Cerberus fleet.  CO2 undocked a fleet of Megathrons.  And capitals began to form up about the Keepstar.

Boat got us a bridge into system and we went off to safe spots to cloak up and wait for something to do.

Tengus on the way

In system Boat was keeping us up to date about what was going on while also looking for something to shoot.  We went and tried to pick off some transports that were parked near the O-CNPR gate.  We didn’t get a kill, but we scared them off at least.

Then Boat said we were going to go try and shoot the cyno jammer in system.

This was the first of many times I would hear the words “cyno jammer” during the op.

Boat explained that the previous day and evening the Imperium spent time putting up POS towers on every free moon and reinforcing the towers that CO2 or anybody else had deployed in the region.  This was to keep a cyno jammers from being deployed.  A cyno is a beacon which lets ships with jump drives travel to it.  You need a cyno lit in a system in order to jump into it.

A cyno jammer, as you might imagine, blocks cynos from being lit.  The ones on a POS jam the whole system, and CO2 had one in DW-T2I.

(Cyno jammers do not block covert cynos, which only black ops capable ships may use, such as our Tengus, which is how we got into the system.)

So Boat warped us over to the POS with the cyno jammer and had us start shooting it.  Very shortly a Minokawa force auxiliary logged on just outside the POS, close to the cyno jammer, and started to repair it.  CO2 had prepared for an attack on the jammer and, later, more Minokawas were spotted on the POS.  The Minokawa was repairing faster than we could inflict damage, so Boat warped us off and we went to our safe spots again.

As we sat around I turned up the volume on the INN stream of the event and heard Boat talking about the situation.  There, and on our own coms later, he explained that somebody running the preparatory ops believed that cyno jammers would not function on reinforced POSes.

This turned out to be a fairly wide-spread belief.  Progodlegend, on the same stream, said that they had just done the reinforce thing to Fraternity recently.  However, it appears that Fraternity just didn’t try anchoring a cyno jammer on a reinforced POS, no doubt because they believed the same thing.

GigX however, knew better it seems.

If we had known some simple contingencies could have been put in place, like leaving behind some logged off dreadnoughts to knock out the cyno jammer quickly to let fleets start pilling in.  But we didn’t so we were stuck.

That left the only way in to the system for the converging Imperium fleets… with more capitals on the way than the defenders had ships on hand… with one way into the system; through the O-CNPR gate.  But, as I mentioned, that gate was heavily bubbled.

The O-CNPR Gate

And it wasn’t just heavily bubbled.  It was also heavily defended.  The direction scan of the vicinity of the gate showed the following:

O-CNPR Gate DScan

Yes, you cannot possible read that unless you click on it.  But among the things on the list were 425 battleships, 124 super carriers, 35 carriers, 683 fighters from the carriers and super carriers, 504 drones from various ships, and a titan.

That titan, just sitting in a bubble waiting to boson somebody

So while it was possible that the Imperium could have thrown everything through the gate and eventually muscled past the defenses, it was going to be a slog.  Defending on a bubbled gate like that is referred to as “water boarding,” because it is torture that the attackers cannot escape.  With more bubbles no doubt set to be deployed and inderdictors on the field, a hostile fleet could be kept writhing in that mess for hours.  Certainly they could be held in check until the repair cycle on the Keepstar finished up.

Instead everybody turned around and went home.

That was it.  GigX won the day and saved his Keepstar.

As far as I can tell the biggest fight in the whole event was a smart bombing drop by NCDot on an Imperium Jackdaw fleet.  They did kill a lot of ships, 64 according to the battle report.  However, they lost 20 of the black ops battleships they used, destroyed by their own fleet’s smart bombs, which left the cost of the operation at roughly ten times the ISK of the hostiles they destroyed.  Not a good trade.

Battle Report Header from the Black Ops Drop

That was fine for everybody else.  However those of us in Boat’s fleet were still in the system and he was on the INN stream talking about events as they unfolded.  However, the stream wrapped up pretty quickly once it was announced that the Imperium was not going to show up.

Boat did not forget about us, though he forgot about his titan in the super fleet for a bit and almost got left behind.  He got a black ops battleship in to send us all back to Pure Blind, staying behind to cover two people who had gone AFK long after some FCs would have left them to their fate.  I got one last look at the Keepstar before we bridged out.

Still 35 minutes left on the clock

I was glad again to not have schleped all the way up from Delve in a Baltec fleet only to have to turn around and go home again.  But that was still shorter than having a fight before the return trip, so a bunch of people got some of their day back.

The Mittani held the weekly Fireside Chat on coms where he explained what went wrong and how we were going to go back to doing things the old fashioned way, grinding and suppressing the region until CO2  retreats.

Not our most brilliant hour.  Reddit will be filled with comments about Goons being dumb and not knowing POS mechanics for a while.

I guess we know the answer

But everybody knows about that POS mechanic now for sure, so if if anybody else falls for it… well, more of the same on Reddit I suppose.

So the war goes on.  We still have a Keepstar of our own on the border of Fade and SIG and Squads are still roaming north from Pure Blind.  The fun is not over, but it may be a while before we pave our way to the Keepstar to do anything more than keep it reinforced.  I suspect we’ll keep reinforcing it to ensure that CO2 can’t pack it up and move away.

Meanwhile there was no saving the TEST Keepstar down in 4-GB14 in Immensea.  They couldn’t even use GigX’s cynojammer trick since hostiles had already grabbed the ihub for the system, and if you don’t own the ihub you can’t setup a cynojammer.  And so that Keepstar died.  It wasn’t their capital Keepstar, but losing one hurts no matter what.

And then there was the Provi Bloc Keepstar, anchored down in 9UY4-H, which went online successfully.  This event also involved a cyno jammer, that being the EVE Online word of the day.  Hostiles sacrificed dreads to incapacitate it, but Provi just finished it off and anchored a fresh one, leaving the attackers without an easy way in.  Even being able get the cyno jammer offline doesn’t mean you’re good to go.

[Update: Or maybe Provi repaired the jammer. I’ve heard both stories now.]

So it was quite a day for null sec Keepstars, with one successfully defended, one destroyed, and a new one online.  And we all know just a bit more about POS mechanics, just in time for them to go away at some point in the near future.

Others on this topic:

CO2’s Keepstar Reinforced in DW-T2I

As expected, with our own Keepstar safely installed in 6RCQ-V the night before, operations directly against Circle of Two in Fade began.

Fade is not a big region, and while CO2 also holds a bit of Pure Blind as well, the bulk of its holdings are in Fade, including its capital and Keepstar in DW-T2I.  So that system and Keepstar are not far from where the Imperium’s own Keepstar is now planted as well as being close to NPC space in Pure Blind where Imperium SIGs & Squads have been based for the last few months.

Fade Map with Locations noted

Fleets were called up for various tasks last night, including Reavers.

I actually missed the initial ping, but reports were that nothing really happened and I managed to get online and catch up with the fleet as we headed off to DW-T2I.  There we hung out for a while on one of the Raitarus we have anchored in the system, waiting to see what CO2 would do when another group started shooting their Keepstar.

We spend a lot of time hanging around structures

While somebody was at the helm of the Keepstar and using its weapons to hit the attackers, no resistance showed up in ships, so we were allowed to run off and shoot something on our own.  Our target for the night was the Draccous faction Fortizar that replaced the station in system when CCP did the great outpost conversion back in early June.

CO2’s Draccous Fortizar

We approached this with some caution.  We were not a big fleet and a Fortizar’s defenses are not without teeth.  But nobody was at the helm and when scanned we found that only the default fittings that came with the conversion, the rigs and services, were there.  Without defenses we were clear to fly around and let our drones reinforce it… and goof off a bit.

HarleyQ trying to catch up to us

Aside from a lumbering point Proteus falling behind the fleet… somebody may have webbed him… the shoot went without incident.  The armor timer was set to go early on Saturday.

Draccous Reinforced

After that we warped over to the gate that would send us in the direction of home.  That gate is on grid with the CO2 Keepstar and we stopped to watch the attacking fleet for a bit.  There were some titans with fax support with Megathrons and Ravens along for the shoot as well.

Titans in defensive bubbles, battleships just barely visible

Looking at the related kills over on zKillboard, it looks like the Keepstar defenses were able to pick off some of the battleships, but none of the capitals were in danger.  And, looking at some of the kills, at least one was blue on blue.  I don’t know what Kun’mi did, but all the pilots on the kill mail for his Nestor are in the Imperium.

The Keepstar didn’t have much further to go.  It was down to the last few percentage points of shield when we arrived, so we saw a bit of shooting before it was reinforced.

Keepstar reinforcement timer

After that we were off for home, the evening’s work done.

The next attack, the armor timer, is set to come out on Saturday… if I am doing my calculations correctly… at about noon Pacific time, which is 3pm Eastern time, or 19:00 EVE Online time.  that makes it an evening event for the Euros and an afternoon fight in USTZ.

This puts the fight in contention with the final timer for the TEST Keepstar down south, so I suspect many of the possible allies of CO2 will punt on the armor timer to get in on a potential Keepstar kill at the other end of New Eden.  We shall seem come Saturday.  Meanwhile ops continue in the north to suppress the locals and reinforce other structures they have about.

The Keepstar Fight at 6RCQ-V

There is a war on.  Or a war is on.  Another one.

Over the past weekend The Mittani said we would be mobilizing and come Monday INN announced that the target was the northwest end of null sec.  Pandemic Legion had been moving its capital fleets down to the southeast of New Eden to assail TEST, Brave, and the rest of the Legacy Coalition.

That move left a vacuum up north, a serious reduction in the number of capital ships the locals could bring to bear on any invader.  The Imperium plans to move in and fill that vacuum.  Pandemic Legion and NCDot are seen as the biggest threat to the Imperium, so with PL away and just NCDot and the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition left to watch their homeland, an opportunity was seen.

Of course, Reavers and a few other SIGs and squads have been up north since at least November of last year hunting the locals and trying to bring them out to fight.  We’ve seen change over that time, with Pandemic Horde moving from Fade to Geminate, Mordus Angels collapsing in Pure Blind, and most recently, the resurrected Circle of Two taking up the space in Fade.  The locals have occasionally put some effort into trying to suppress our operations.

Our station wrapped in bubbles at one point

But more often than not they avoid us, leave our structures alone unless we’re on a break for a couple of weeks, and only form up for final timers on their structures or when we’ve got another Rorqual tackled.  I am sure there is a not unreasonable idea that if we get bored we’ll go away.  But Reavers live to shoot structures and do things that seem boring, knowing that it can all lead to a fight if we persist.

Anyway, once Imperium forces were on the move from Delve northward the first objective was to setup a deployment base.  So a Keepstar citadel was dropped in the system 6RC8-V in the Cloud Ring region.

The first staging in the war

The Gallente Militia alliance Federation Uprising owns the territorial control unit there, so they get their name on the map, but The Initiative owns the infrastructure hub, and since they are part of the Imperium any structure we drop there takes just 24 hours to come online.  (It can take days if you drop them in hostile systems.)

The location is right on the boarder with Fade, where Circle of Two lives.  If we were allowed to plant a Keepstar there, that would put them under a hostile capital and supercap umbrella.  We could drop forces on CO2 which they would be hard pressed to resist.

It became vital that the locals kill the Keepstar as it came online.  That is the point of vulnerability.  After it is online and can be armed it becomes much more difficult to take out.  So a big battle was brewing.

Fortunately for me this was all set to happen in the evening my time, which is the middle of the night EVE Online time.

I was already up in the north so planned to go with the SIGs and squads deployed there.  I did, however, fly an alt over to 6RCQ-V and put him on grid with the Keepstar just to make sure I could keep an eye on what was happening there.

And that turned out to be a good thing.  While fleet after fleet was getting called up and ready to move from Delve and Fountain to the fight, we undocked to take care of other business.

Undocking our Ishtars

While all eyes were on the Keepstar our fleet ran out and dealt with smaller structures.  We covered a Raitaru on grid with the hostile Keepstar in DW-T21, CO2’s capital.  It was in its final timer and we were there to make sure it got through that so the hostiles would have to start over reinforcing it.

We also reinforced a CO2 Astrahus on that grid, giving the locals something to form up and defend later.

Hitting the Astrahus

We then started in on a CO2 Sotiyo, which was gunned, hoping to reinforce that as well.

The view from the Sotiyo, our fleet boost visible in the distance

The Sotiyo was going to take a while however, and before we got even half way done there we were called off to help support the main fight by setting up to block hostile reinforcements.  We managed to knock-off a Gila and a few bombers while doing that.  We never actually went into the 6RCQ-V system.

That was probably a good thing, because in 6RCQ-V things were happening.  As the timer counted down on the Keepstar a cyno went up and the Imperium supercap fleet began to land on the structure.

Titans visible on the Keepstar

And then another cyno went up and a second group started landing.

Some more titans arriving

And then a third cyno went up and then a fourth as super capitals arrayed themselves in and around the Keepstar.

And even more titans start landing

There ended up being a lot of titans on the field, possibly as many as I have seen on the field since B-R5RB.

So many titans

What is hard to see is the super carries mixed in with those fleets.  They are big ships when compared to subcaps, but they seem so small when mixed in with titans.

Meanwhile the locals were forming up as well, with CO2 dropping a Muninn fleet into the system.

Muninns landing near the gate

Likewise Darkness and other GOTG groups formed up an Ishtar fleet and was circling the gate to Fade as they waited for the timer to count down.

Ishtars with the Keepstar in the distance

More and more people kept piling into the system, but things were not too bad… and then the shooting started.

My alt got knocked offline a few times during the fight, but things were not as bad as during the 9-4RP2 fight, the so-called “million dollar battle” where getting back in was pretty much impossible.  If your client died… and I could see my client grabbing more and more RAM until it expired… need a 64-bit client… you could get back in with a bit of patience.

But this fight wasn’t as hyped as the 9-4RP2 battle was, and we were well shy of the 6,142 players in system that earned that fight a Guinness record.  The peak I saw when my alt was in system was just past 3,800.

3,813 and 10% tidi

The fight itself involved the hostiles using Gilas and Ishtars and some long range fit dreadnoughts to stop the timer and start chipping down Keepstar.  They were successful for a while, getting enough damage on the citadel to stop the timer with 10 minutes of online repair to go and they did break it down to 85% of its hit points.

But the weight in numbers was against them.  While they got out in front of things, the titans and super carriers had been joined by a dreads and subcaps who chipped away, cutting back the attackers until the repair timer started up again and the outcome became inevitable.

Titans firing on attackers

Once the timer started up again the prospects for the attackers dimmed and they began to extract.

The Kirkland Protein Star about to go online

Tidi was still bad though, but my main was on the other side of the gate in Fade trying to catch some hostiles coming and going.

Asher, whose ongoing Kirkland Protein Bar meme helped name the Keepstar (though the name changed a couple of times), was not there to the Reavers.  He is now the Sky Marshall, the overall commander and coordinator of fleets and in charge of strategy.  I am glad he has an opportunity to move all the pieces on the map.  There are not many games where you can drive the actions of literally thousands of other players.  But I do worry a bit as the position tends to burn out those who sit in the Sky Marshall chair during a war.  I would miss him if he left the game.

Zed Starshine was leading us for the evening.  He has led us on some ops before.  He got us out to our targets, then to block the comings and goings of the locals, and then the hell out of the way when the hostiles packed up to head home en masse.  Our little fleet wasn’t going to stem that tide, we’d just be a snack for them on the way.  So we got home early and never had to face any tidi.

The Keepstar went online.

With a big flash

The capitals and super caps didn’t have to head home.  They were home.  They could dock up and be ready for ongoing ops against CO2 and GOTG.

The fight itself saw more than a thousand ships blow up.

Most violent system on DOTLAN

Most of those ships belonged to those attacking the Keepstar, as the battle report indicates.

Battle Report Header

[Corrected that battle report as I had CO2 on the wrong side initially.]

The ISK count wasn’t that big however, barely a titan’s worth of ships destroyed.  TEST and Brave, who are now allied with us against PL and NCDot, sent forces north to join in and cover the Keepstar coming online.

But once that Keepstar was online the situation in the north changed.  6RCQ-V is close enough to CO2’s capital and Keepstar in DW-T2I that the super fleet can just take the gate into E9KD-N and then jump straight there.  And you can bet that their Keepstar, and all of their structures, are clearly in our sights.  If they stand there will be more fights.

Rumor has it however that they might pack up shop and head to Venal.  There are still NPC stations there, places that cannot be destroyed.  That is, however, just a rumor at this point, as is the rumor that Slyce might join them.

But if they hang around there will be more titans on grid and more battles over structures in the weeks to come.  Maybe even another node killing, 6,000 player, “million dollar” battle.

Other coverage:

The EVE Online July Update Brings Performance Updates, a New Event, and More

We are in the midst of Summer now, which is generally a slow time for CCP as they crew goes off on Holiday, leaving space to mind itself for a while.

But before people clocked out and headed for their various destinations they put in some work to give us something to chew on for a while.

The Agency

First of all there is a new live event launching today, the Minmatar Dawn of Liberation.

Dawn of Liberation Event

This will feature sites in The Agency interface where you can fight slavers and free the subjugated.  The event will run until July 24, 2018 and will feature rewards including fireworks, SKINs, and cerebral accelerators.

Missile Redux

On the actual code change front, probably the biggest technical item in the patch was the update to missiles to improve client performance.  The current missile graphics went in with the Inferno expansion back in May 2012.  Missiles went from colored blobs of light to projectiles with launch animations, smoke trails, and explosions on contact.

Missile exhaust trails

This made missiles very pretty to watch, but also put a performance demand on the client which had to render all of that pretty launches and trails.  It clearly wasn’t the biggest demand on the client… after all, it took CCP six years to get around to working on them again… but it eventually came up as something to address.  And so there is a Dev Blog on missiles and the work that went into making them perform better.  We are, however, back to missiles being blinky lights in the night again.

Abyssal Updates

Also in today’s update are the changes mentioned at EVE Down Under regarding Abyssal pockets.

All in the update

More POS News

There was also another step on the path to the end of player owned starbases.  Blueprint copies for faction starbase towers will no longer drop.  In addition, the amount of minerals you get for reprocessing starbase towers and modules has been increased.  CCP is no doubt hoping that you will take care of removing some of those yourself via that route.

Wager No More

Also facing removal from the game, though more immediately, is wagering on duels.  This feature went in with the Lifeblood expansion last year.  I’m still not sure who wanted this feature, I do not know anybody who used it, and now I don’t know why they’re taking it away.  Business as usual I suppose.

Fozzie Claws and Zealots

On this ship front, the Amarr Zealot heavy assault cruiser got a drone bay in the hope of making it viable for Abyssal pockets as I understand it, while the Minmatar Claw interceptor got a bonus change from a damage boost to a rate of fire boost, meaning that roaming Claw fleets will be less able to alpha bigger ships off the field.

Notification Reduction

There has also been a change so that corps and alliances will only get notifications that somebody is shooting one of their structures if the shield hit points drop below 95%.  Pinging towers has long been a way to annoy your foes.  I have been out to hit structures in order to provoke a response only to cloak up and warp off when the defenders arrived.  Now you have to be more serious about that.

In addition to the above there are the usual list of small fixes and adjustments that went into the update.  You can find most of the information in the patch notes.  The Updates page seems to have fallen behind and does not have an entry for this patch.

Addendum: The updates page got its update as well.

Welcome to the New North

Which is pretty much same as the old north.  At least the north as I last wrote about it, and it has been a while.  I mean, sure, some of the names and colors have changed.

The North around Pure Blind – July 5, 2018

Mordus Angels folded up and most of its corporations moved to other alliances in the area, many of them to Circle of Two.

MOA Dropping Off

Circle of Two, having suffered a stinging defeat when The Judge defected to GoonSwarm, stealing a huge amount of assets on his way out last September, lost Impass and had to spend some time on a couch in Vale of the Silent to rebuild under the protective umbrella of Pandemic Legion.

Good times… good times…

However, Circle of Two is back now, sent from the safe couch to fill in part of the hole in the front lines left by MOA’s departure, taking over Fade and part of Pure Blind.  Their leader is The gigX, who is rumored to actually be gigX, whose account was banned after threatening The Judge.  I am not sure if this is true, but even if it is not, it is somebody flaunting their defiance to CCP.

Meanwhile the Imperium SIGs and squads took a break for the first half of June, which no doubt helped CO2 get settled in.

But that has since ended, as has my own vacation time during the back half of June, and now we are back to our usual business of trying to draw out the locals to get them to fight.  The three usual methods are back in play.

The first is shooting their structures, setting timers, in the hope of getting them to come out and defend.

Shooting up an Astrahus just last night

The second involves planting our own structures around their space.  If the locals come out we get the fight we’re looking for, and if they do not then we get a safe spot to tether up and repair in their space.

Another Raitaru anchored and repairing

And third there is the ongoing hunt for their ratters and miners.

A CO2 Rorqual under attack

I was back from vacation just in time to get on that kill.

This is a priority, hunting down miners and ratters in order to suppress the income of the locals.  The Imperium, as reported over at the New Eden Register, has stepped this campaign up a notch by creating the National Goons Surveillance Agency.  Under this plan people will get participation links for cloaky camping hostile systems in the north, systems being doled out to get maximum coverage, as well as bounty payouts if they call in a hot drop that ends up in a kill.

The response to this from our foes was naturally dismissive.  They questioned the economic sense of it… to which one can only ask if they read the Monthly Economic Report… and claim to have setup an always on-call coalition-wide defense fleet of capital ships ready to counter-drop any Imperium activity.

The latter could be a thing.  We do, after all, operate under what should be their capital umbrella.  However, though I haven’t been out on a ton of ops this month, I have yet to see evidence that this counter force is in place.  It certainly didn’t show up to help that Rorqual, and we had to wait out its PANIC module.  Plus, it had a cyno and fuel.  So what happened?

Yes, they did counter drop a couple days later and made a save.  That proves that they don’t really have to deply a lot in order to counter-drop.  But Rorquals still seem to be shy in the north.

Anyway, the usual tempo of operations… we’ve been at this since at least November with a few breaks… continues.  We’ll be out on the evenings USTZ to play the structures game and the cloaky campers will be on the look out for targets on which to drop, all the while waiting to see what the north does in response.

Ten Years of the EVE Blog Pack

I never run out of things to blog about because as time goes on I end up with anniversaries and other milestones about which to write.  So on with another one of those.  This time it is a memory of the EVE Blog Pack.

I pledge allegiance to the pack…

At some point around the May-June 2008 time frame CrazyKinux started emailing some bloggers who wrote about EVE Online about an idea. He had read something about blog packs or some such, an idea that a group of like-minded blogs and bloggers would cooperate, cross-post, cross-link, and otherwise work together to promote each other and our passion of choice.

Being less than two years into my life as a blogger I was keen to join in.  That was back when blogs were almost still a thing and I would expend effort in order to grow my readership.  Heady days.

Having collected a few volunteers, on June 16, 2008 the EVE Blog Pack was proclaimed.

I waited around until July 1, 2008 to run my own post about it, as we were still in the process of settling things, with a couple of last minute swaps in the lineup. But the initial list of blogs was:

  1. A Mule in EVE
  2. Articulated Sky
  3. Bitter Old Noob
  4. Caldari Navy Ibis
  5. CrazyKinux’s Musings
  6. Derekest’s Blog
  7. EVE Newb
  8. EVE-Pirate.com
  9. Flashfresh – A Pirate
  10. Lady in Space
  11. Morphisat’s Blog
  12. Nuyan’s Hangout
  13. Ombeve
  14. Postings from the Edge
  15. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  16. The Littlest Drone
  17. Votrian’s EVE Blog
  18. Warp Drive Active
  19. Winterblink

That list there is a chunk of EVE Online history I suppose. Most of the sites on that list are missing or dormant. Aside from my own site, I think only Morphisat’s Blog has seen a new post this year, with Warp Drive Active following behind with an update in 2017. I’ve left the links in for the sites that still exist in some form.

I am surprised as many still even exist.

(Also check out the playa hosting at Gax Online, another attempt to bring gamers together and do… well… I’m not sure.  But it shut down about a year later.)

There are some self-hosted sites on the list, and more often than not those disappear when the owner loses interest.  Why pay for hosting and a domain name if you’re not going to use them?

Of course, it is CrazyKinux himself whose site gone, the place with a lot of the information about the blog pack and its changes over time.  Fortunately we have the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, so I can link back to some key items.

My own time in the blog pack was limited. I disappeared from the list then re-appeared before being officially kicked. Removing me from the pack came about because my site wasn’t  (and still is not) dedicated solely to EVE Online.  Admittedly, I write what I damn well please and bristle at any suggestion that I do otherwise.   Also, the pack was limited to a strict number of blogs, eventually 30, to keep it a focused group.  So despite being a founding member, most of my time during the CrazyKinux era was spent as an outsider.

Somewhere down the line the Blog Banters started, a common topic put out about once a month to members of the Blog Pack to write about and cross link to each other. I think I was already out of the pack by the time Blog Banters started. You can tell when I was in the pack later on because I was pretty good about responding to each one and linking out to all participants.

CrazyKinux himself wasn’t in it for the long haul. So far as I can tell, his last update to the EVE Blog Pack came about in March of 2011. At least that is what the Internet Archive tells me.

After that the maintenance of the EVE Blog Pack and the monthly Blog Banters was moved on to other bloggers. I was on the outside seemingly for good at that point so wasn’t paying much attention.

After the departure of CrazyKinux it seems Seismic Stan stepped up to run the Blog Banters, then handed them off to Kirth Kodachi.  He held the helm for Blog Banters for a stretch before handing it over to Drackam at Sand, Cider, and Spaceships.  I guess there is a summary at that link, which would have been really handy at the start of this paragraph I suppose.  There they faded a little over a year back with the 80th running of the blogs.

I believe the blog pack itself was held by Rixx Javix for a stretch, who also provided the logo if I recall correctly, then it ended up with Marc Scaurus who was also running the EVE Bloggers site. It was Marc who put me back in the pack, towards the end of his tenure, and the timing was about right. That was around 2013 and my blog was at peak popularity and I was writing more about EVE Online than anything else.  Posts about New Eden top all other categories here.

When Marc wanted to step down from running EVE Bloggers and the EVE Blog Pack there was a battle over who the heir apparent would be, with Cyberin getting the domain and the blog pack and planning to keep the status quo.

Cyberin’s evebloggers.com

Then there was Alexia the usurper who, when denied the old domain, rolled up evebloggers.net where the plan was to get bloggers to post directly to that site and not their own blogs.

And in this corner, Alexia’s evebloggers.net

As it happened, neither of those sites lasted very long. But Fuzzysteve, Steve Ronuken of Fuzzworks and CSM fame, stepped in and setup a prototype site for EVE Bloggers, making it a thing once again.  And somewhere in there is the feed for the EVE Blog Pack.  I’m not sure what the URL for it is, it might have simply become the EVE Bloggers feed, but it feeds into Total EVE still, so my posts end up there.

That was in November of 2013 and not much has changed since then.

And so it goes.  But the blog pack carries on in its own way, as do blogs in general.

None of the above should be read in any sort of grumpy tone.  I appreciate all the work that CrazyKinux, Kirthi Kodachi, Seismic Stan, Rixx Javix, Drackam, Fuzzysteve, Marc Scaurus, and everybody else who had a hand in keeping this alive and going so I could, a decade down the road, write a summary filled with half-remember facts and links out to the Internet Archive.

So if I missed anything, or got anything wrong, feel free to correct me.