Category Archives: EVE Online

Postcards from Burn Amarr

Burn Amarr is over and the accounting is in.  You can find final tallies and conclusions at TMC and EN24.  As happens in all such events, everybody picks their point of view and spins the data to prove somebody won and somebody lost.  Everybody claimed they won during the first Burn Jita, why should this be any different?

I think the main difference is that the shock of the first event has passed.  The first Burn Jita was covered by the international press.  It was new and different.  My video from the undock on the first night has more than 140,000 views, putting it about 138,500 views ahead of my next most popular video.

But now, in the wake of three Burn Jita events, Burn Amarr wasn’t anything new.  There was the roleplay aspect of it, which got CVA up out of Providence to participate in the defense of the Empress Jamyl Sarum.

But taking the circus of destruction out of the big city and letting it play out in a second tier trade hub… Amarr at its peak is about the same as Jita on a very slow day… on top of it being the fourth year running, made for a less spectacular event.  Only 360 billion… or 440 billion… ISK in freighters and industrial command ships were destroyed in and around Amarr.  That is less than any of the Burn Jita events, which all exceeded 500 billion ISK.

Still, exchanging 32 billion is losses (over 11,000 individual ships, mostly in the form of the Gallente Catalyst destroyer, the backbone of the gank fleets) for even 360 billion ISK in kills is hard to paint as a “complete failure” as some have claimed.

Many Catalysts died to bring you this event

Many Catalysts died to bring you this event

So content was created, forces on both sides of the even had their moments, but there won’t be any headlines in the mainstream press about the alleged real world value of this virtual spaceship destruction.

My own participation was pretty small.  I decided that this year I was going to fly in the gank fleet a few times to see what it was like.  My security status dropped, I got on a few kills, but I saw some pretty amazing sites.  And I got a few screen shots to share.

 

Travel Advisory – Conflict in Amarr

No Burn Jita this year.  Instead the Party is in Amarr.  We will overthrow the irredeemably tainted Empress Jamyl Sarum by interdicting her capital and all that.  Hail the True Emperor of Amarr, Maximilian Singularity VI!  (Blame The Nosy Gamer.)

The Legend Returns

The Legend Returns

After a short duration joke claiming that it had been cancelled, things picked up at the end of downtime this morning.

This year I decided to sit in and see how it was done.  I managed to get on and into the fleet just in time to be part of a 6 billion ISK jump freighter gank.

Concord popping Catalysts after the kill

Concord popping Catalysts after the kill

Pretty amazing to see a mass of Catalysts undocking and warping off for a kill.

The only downside so far, which I gather from coms, is that Amarr just doesn’t have as much traffic as Jita, so targets are harder to come by.

Then I Splurged on Space Cosmetics

We had a special “home from the wars” Reavers fleet op last Saturday night.  Having enjoyed our time in Ravens down in Querious, Asher opted for another battleship doctrine, letting us vote on what we wanted to fly.  The Rokh won the straw poll and so that was what we were to bring to the fleet on Saturday after Asher got done being a guest on The Meta Show.

Of course, things started slowly and ended badly, because this is EVE Online.

We hung around in YA0-XJ getting everybody formed up and trying to get everybody a ship, but the guy who imported some Rokhs for the event was held up in real life.  So we flew around the undock attempting for form a conga line and occasionally shooting at Jay Amazingness.

Trying for a Rokh conga line...

Trying for a Rokh conga line…

We finally got things together, collected some money to cover Arrendis bringing a carrier for logistics, then flew off and died horribly in Fountain. (Horribly enough to get mentioned in that day’s null sec round up.)  At least we killed that bait cyno Rattlesnake that was sitting on the Dickstar POS in YZ-LQL.  And we didn’t have to slow boat back to Deklein.

One of the things that was kind of interesting… to me at least… was how many people grabbed SKINS for their Rokhs.  It wasn’t universal, but I would say a good quarter of the fleet was wearing either the Wiyrkomi or Nugoeihuvi skin on their ship. (You can see both skins in the conga line screen shot.)  I had used my last bit of Aurum to buy the Wiyrkomi skin before I undocked for the great “hanging about and waiting” and was gratified to see that I was not alone.

After we were done with our adventure, I jumped to my Jita clone to do some shopping, look at the market, and soak up the latest scams in local. (For the last, I see that the “first one to send me X ISK gets a Y” is now popular.)

While there I looked up the permanent Rokh Wiyrkomi SKIN and found it listed on the market for what I felt was an extremely reasonable 40 million ISK.  I wouldn’t have spent my Aurum on it if I had known I could get it for that price.

So I started looking at other skins and their prices.

  • Rokh Nugoeihuvi SKIN (Permanent) 68,000,000 ISK

More expensive, but also more distinctive.  I like the olive drab with white highlights Wiyrkomi pattern, especially on the Raven.  It feels more “military” for whatever definition, but it doesn’t show up as well as the Nugoeihuvi stripes.  So I bought that.  I have another Rokh hull around here somewhere, so I might use it some day.

  • Merlin Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent) 48,000,000 ISK

Sure, why not.  I might fly a Merlin again some day.

I then looked at the Kador skin for the Archon, but that was over a billion ISK at the moment.  I like it, the Kador skin blue looks pretty good and stands out, but I don’t like it a billion ISK worth.  But other Kador skins…

  • Punisher Kador SKIN (Permanent) 21,999,998.98 ISK

Hah!  I have a Punisher sitting in Amarr space that I go run level 2 missions with when I am bored.  Now it will be Kador blue.

Kador Punisher

Kador Punisher

What other blue ships could I get?

  • Abaddon Kador SKIN (Permanent) 44,999,987.56 ISK

I actually wanted the Apocalypse or Armageddon Kador skins, but those were pricey.  The Abaddon skin, on the other hand, was relatively cheap.  Yeah, I don’t own and Abaddon.  In fact, I have never owned one.  But now if I do, it will be blue.

  • Maelstrom Nefantar SKIN (Permanent) 52,989,999.85 ISK

Well, at least I own a Maelstrom still.

  • Heron Sukuuvestaa SKIN (Permanent) 2,800,000 ISK

For that price, I bought it on the off chance I might fly a Heron again some day.

  • Comet Police Pursuit SKIN (Permanent) 19,999,999.98 ISK

This was cheap because so many people wanted the Police Pursuit Comet under the old customization scheme, and each of those ships translated into a permanent skin.  Might as well own that too.  At this point I began to suspect I was just buy stuff to collect rather than use.  I decided to take a breath and calm down a bit.  And then I saw…

  • Dominix Quafe SKIN (Permanent) 883,748,000 ISK

Almost a billion ISK?  But it is a limited edition… can’t buy it with Aurum… and it is a current doctrine ship… and I already have the Megathron version… and it looks good.

A Quafe skinned Domi!

A Quafe skinned Domi stands out

It was spendy, but I decided I had to have it.  And, of course, once I had a couple of the Quafe skins, I figured I might as well complete the collection.

  • Tristan Quafe SKIN (Permanent) 67,925,000 ISK
  • Catalyst Quafe SKIN (Permanent) 290,000,000.07 ISK
  • Vexor Quafe SKIN (Permanent) 223,999,999.97 ISK

The Tristan wasn’t too bad, but I had to think a bit before I went with the Catalyst and Vexor versions.  The Vexor is a Reaver doctrine ship, so I will likely use it.

Asher hitting an SBU up close and personal in his Vexor

A Reaver Quafe Vexor in action

Meanwhile the Catalyst skin might be nice to have if, say, there was going to be some sort of Burn Amarr event this weekend.  And that gets me all the Quafe ships that I can fly.  The Obelisk, Thanatos, and Nyx Quafe skins wouldn’t do me much good. (Also, while they add a nice blue color to the ships, I think they should all have much larger versions of the Quafe logo on them.  If I were to fly a giant Quafe skinned ship, I would want to go for maximum billboard value!  But I think may only the Megathron version has the logo close to big enough for me… and it could still be bigger in my opinion!)

At that point I realized I had spent 1.7 billion ISK on cosmetic items and decided that was enough for the day.  Now I will have to go tally up my skins… I ended up getting a half dozen due to special ships when the Mosaic expansion hit… and see what options I really have.

Of course, what I really want is some skins for tech II logi ships, which tends to be my usual position in fleets these days.

Departures from Querious for Points North

With the fall of our foothold in Querious at ED-L9T, I was left in a bit of a bind.

When we lost the shield timer a couple days before that, I took a bit of time and moved out some of the excess items I had stored there, lest they end up locked in a hostile station. My plan was to be able to move everything left out with the chances I could create if we lost the station.

And, of course, we lost the station.  So it was time to assess how to move out.

If it hadn’t been past midnight after a long day at the office and a full Saturday of outdoor activity waiting in the morning, I would have used the brief window we had left after the fight on Friday night to make a couple of round trips and I would have been done.  But I opted for bed and not being completely wiped out the next day.

The bind was that, as I left things, I had to take care of the trapped asset problem before I could really do anything else in EVE Online.  My alt was okay, docked in the station in ED-L9T with only a single ship.  He could jump clone out and come back later.  But my main, also docked up in the station after the fight, had two ships to move.

Well, three actually, but one was a disposable, cheap-fit Vexor that was destined to die as an AFK structure shoot ship anyway.  I could forget about that one.

Cheap Laser Vexor

Cheap Laser Vexor

But with a jump clone installed and there in the station, I had two outbound runs available and two ships to move out.  I couldn’t jump clone off and do something else without leaving behind a ship.  So I was determined to get both ships out, stuck until I got one out, and impatient.

Saturday evening, past the usual European prime time, I logged in my main and my alt to just see how things look.  I saw a dozen people in local, but ten were docked up with me in the station.  Feeling like the moment might be right, I decided to go for it with my alt.  I just had to go a couple of jumps and I would be safe.  It was just a question of which route to take.  There happened to be three possibilities.

The first was the straight route.

ED9LTAreaDirectRouteJust take a gate to 3-FKCZ and then on to Efa and the bubble-free joy that is low sec.

Of course, that was also the most likely route to be camped.  People are lazy or think they can just slip through, so why not just go for it?  I have been tripped up by that thinking many times myself.

At the opposite end of the spectrum was the long way to safety.

ED9LTAreaBadRouteHead to LS-V29, then to I1Y-IU, then into 3-FKCZ, and finally into Efa.  That would certainly be the least expected route.  However it also meant going through the staging system the hostiles were using, I1Y-IU and would maximize the amount of time exposed to risk or bumping into the wrong people.

In the middle was the middle route.

ED9LTAreaIndirectRouteGoing via 9SBB-9 would avoid the direct route and the most likely gate camp or drag bubbles that would no doubt be on the direct route.  That was clearly the one to choose.

(And yes, these little diagrams seemed like a good idea at the time.)

So I undocked my alt in his Ishtar.  I found myself in a mobile warp bubble anchored just off the undock.  However, nobody was minding the store.  I aligned to the 9SBB-9 gate, lit the MWD, and motored out of the bubble.  Then it was a quick warp to the gate, which proved to be clear, then a warp across 9SBB-9, which proved to be clear, then that one last cross-system warp to the Efa gate, which proved to be unobstructed.  My alt was in Efa and moved on the Badivefi without any further worry.

That was easy!

I decided not to push my luck immediately though.  I logged off my alt, lest anybody who might have been cloaked or otherwise keeping an eye on this notice that there was a breakout attempt going on, but left my main logged in.  Let them get used to just seeing me idle in local… nothing going on, no undock planned… while I watched some TV.

I came back a couple hours later and compared local with those docked up.  There were half a dozen hostiles out in the system.  That did not bode well.  I left myself logged in… let them camp me while I am AFK… and went off to get ready for bed.

A while later I was wandering up the hall after having given my daughter a push in the direction of bed when I decided to peek in on the game.  There were only three hostiles in space in ED-L9T.  It might be time.

But which ship to take?

The Basilisk was faster, but was fit to work in a group of like ships chaining capacitor between them.  Alone it would run out of cap just leaving the MWD on.  Then there was the Raven; large, awkward, and slow, but cap stable and fitted with a Microjump Drive.  That is still a new module to me, but seemed like it might come in hand for this sort of venture.  So I decided that the Raven would be the one to try to sneak out.

I left the station and found the undock still bubbled, but otherwise clear.  I aligned to the 9SBB-9 gate and triggered the MJD.  It spun up and then launched me 100km ahead, well clear of the bubble.  From there I warped directly to the gate.

And found myself in trouble.

There was a Malediction sitting on the gate.  This little Amarr interceptor immediately locked me up and pointed me.  I wouldn’t get away in system.  As that was happening, another ship landed on the gate, a Stratios.  The Stratios locked me up but did not engage me, knowing that to do so would put him on a one minute aggression timer.  He wouldn’t be able to jump through the gate with me if that happened and I would likely get away.

So there we sat, the Stratios waiting, the Malediction keeping me from warping off and plinking away at me.  I regretted using the MJD to get out of the bubble, though they might have scanned me down and warped to me if I had tried to slow boat out of it.  The re-use timer on the MJD seemed very long as I sat there.  But as it wound down I decided to jump through.

On the other side of the gate the Stratios appeared.  I held my cloak until it faded on its own then, even as I was aligning towards the 3-FKCZ gate, he locked my up and pointed me.  I wouldn’t be warping off, but I remembered that MJDs are immune to warp disruption and the cool down timer was just about up.

As I started to activate the MJD a Loki came through the gate and uncloaked along with the Malediction.  Now I had some real trouble on hand.  I could tank the Stratios and the Malediction for a long time, but the Loki could likely burn me down faster than the MJD would recycle again.

Then the MJD went off and I was 100km away.  A second or two later the warp disruption effect faded and I was able to warp off to the far gate.  I landed at zero and sat there.  The Stratios locked me up again and this time he began banging away at my shields, thus triggering his aggression timer.  The Malediction just sat there, as did the Loki, waiting for me to jump through.  My shields were slowly being eroded, but I had time.  I waited for the MJD to get close to the end of its cool down.  I jumped through into 3-FKCZ and immediately aligned for the Efa gate.  The Malediction was through the gate as well and on me with its warp disruption module.  Then I triggered the MJD and jumped that 100km and was able to enter warp before the Malediction was able to cover 30km in its attempt to catch me on grid.

The Malediction followed me to the Efa gate, but the Loki and the Stratios apparently gave up the chase.   They must have decided they didn’t have enough to force my hand on either side of a gate.  So I was into Efa and then on to Badivefi.

The Raven runs free

The Raven runs free

I was particularly proud of not dying, even if my escape ruse wasn’t all that clever.  And, once again, I proved that I am much more likely to survive any hostile encounter if I don’t bother shooting at anybody.

And now the pressure was off.  I still had my Basilisk to retrieve, but I could do that at some distant date if I so desired.  I logged off and went to bed.

The next afternoon I was online but tinkering with other things when a ping came in on Jabber announcing a Reavers fleet.  I suspected it might be a break-out fleet so, when the appointed time came, I logged in and got on coms to see what the plan might be.

It was indeed going to be a break-out fleet.  However, the break-out was going to take a while as we all logged in and got into the station in ED-L9T.  There was much discussion of who had space to carry what out and what was worth carrying.  I had already made my plan and only had some cheap ammo, some tech I armor and hull repair drones, and that throw away Vexor I mentioned.  I put the cheap stuff up on the market and put the Vexor up on contract for 11 million ISK, which is what I paid for it, and waited for things to get sorted out.

Of course, a bunch of us all showing up in local and docked up in the station was a bit of a give away.  Hostiles started showing up and by the time we were ready to go our cloaked eyes on the station said that they had formed a merry little kitchen sink camp.

For reasons that escape me we decided to push Ohno no Borrox out of the station first in his Arazu on the theory that once everybody started locking him up the logi could undock and save him.  That didn’t quite work out.  By the time we got undocked and started locking him up, he was already in his pod.

But then everybody in a combat ship undocked, the logi anchored up and got the cap chain running, and we killed or drove off the hostiles on the undock and then blew up their mobile warp disruption bubble.  I even managed to drop a combat drone and got on one of the kills.

The station grid clear, the haulers undocked to join us and we all aligned for 3-FKCZ to take the most direct route out of Dodge.

As we were aligning out and about to warp, a Vexor undocked and took some shots at us and was promptly blown up for his effort.  At least I assume it was. The kill mail never made it to the kill board, but Asher commented that the fit looked like the AFK Vexor fit we had been using at one point during the war.

When he said that I immediately checked my contracts window and found that one of the pilots that was camping the undock, and who lost his ship, had docked up and bought the Vexor in order to take another run at us.

Contract complete

Contract complete!

That was my money back on that ship.  And then we were off to Badivefi.

A ragtag fleet heads for home

A ragtag fleet heads for home

Once back in high sec there was a short side task to take care of, after which everybody formed up to take a wormhole back north to the home regions of The Imperium.  I skipped that trip home.  It was time for dinner and I wasn’t in any hurry to move my ships back north.  The last time I put in the effort to get all my ships home from a Reaver deployment to Querious, we were right back in the same spot just a month or two later.

So that was that. the end of our deployment to Querious.  We started heading down south with the main fleet back in the middle of March and now we’ve returned home long after the main fleet has retired.  And on our departure I cannot help but have a specific mental image of what we have left behind after our deployment.

Darkness basking in their victory

Darkness basking in their victory

We had no real business taking that system, but we certainly made the locals pay to get it back.

Now for some quiet time after an exciting campaign while we wait for Fozzie Sov to hit.

Addendum: Arrendis has a post summarizing our time in the south over at TMC if you want a wider view that I can provide, and includes an interview with Sort Dragon of Darkness.

There is also a summary of the war up on EN24 as well.

Dominion Sovereignty Quirks and the Bloody Defense of ED-9LT

We knew they would be coming for us in force.  After the fight two days before, where we failed to hold them back and they put the station into the armor timer, the last timer, a fight was pretty much guaranteed when the clock ran down.

The timer counts down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

The timer counts down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

I was a bit late for the fight.  I logged in after the timer had already expired.  Furthermore I was off in Badivefi, a few jumps from ED-L9T and without a ship.  Supplies had run out, again after that last fight, and so I was sitting in my pod without a doctrine ship handy.  Fortunately, our supply team had been busy as the timer ticked down and there was a Basilisk up on contract for me.

I hopped in the Basi, insured it, undocked, joined the fleet, and headed for the fight.  I warped to the first gate in a flash, hit the next system, zipped across that, made it into Efa, the low sec link to null and landed on the 3-FKCZ gate.  I clicked the button to jump and suddenly my world slowed way way down.  I was clearly crossing nodes into the time dilation zone.

I was already on the logi channel for the fleet and had alerted them that I was coming to join the fight, but I had to revise my arrival estimate.  It was going to take a while to move across one system, take another gate, and get to the fleet.

With that bit of slow travel under way I logged in my alt to see where he might be.  He was actually in the station in ED-L9T and in an Ishtar, the doctrine of the day, and ready to go.  I joined the fleet and undocked him… and found myself in the middle of the fight.

A busy undock

A busy undock

There were several capital ships right on the undock.  Ours.  There was a pile of hostile capital ships off to one side, maybe 40km away, in the middle of some warp disruption bubbles.  There was a hostile subcap fleet ball, made up of the usual tech III selection that Darkness favors, rather close at hand.  And then there was our Ishtars about 80km off the undock.

That left me in the rather awkward position of being the Ishtar closest to the enemy, and I could see the yellow boxes, indicating that they were attempting to target me, begin to bloom on my overview.  I dropped my first batch of sentry drones… they were well placed to hit the enemy from there… lit the microwarp drive, and began to burn towards the fleet with an eye to anchoring up on Asher Elias.  I also requested shield reps knowing that the pain would be coming soon and hoped that our logi wasn’t too busy elsewhere.

Fortunately logi was not all that busy and were able to hit me with reps in time to stave off my destruction as they yellow boxes turned red and incoming fire began to hit.  I never got below 50% shield, and after the first volley stayed mostly fully topped off until the hostiles sought another target.

I got myself anchored up, assigned my drones to one of the fleet drone triggers… drone assist is still alive, if in abbreviated form, so you can assign drones to another person and whatever they shoot your drones will shoot as well… and settled into my orbit so I could go back and get Wilhelm on grid.

By that point the Basilisk had landed in system.  Time dilation was running around 15%, which means 15% of real time, which means very slow.  This final station fight had brought a lot of people out to play.  There were over 1,200 in local when I got there.  In addition to us defending the station, Lazarus Telraven had brought some Tengus down from Deklein, Pandemic Legion had some units in the system helping us, as did Pizza, and I thought I saw Brave pilots on grid as well.  On the hostile end of things Darkness had support from Northern Coalition, Gentleman’s Club, and Black Legion.  Hell, even TEST was in the fight.  It seemed the place to be that Friday night.

With a fair amount of warning I was able to get on grid, join up with my fellow Basi pilots, get in the cap chain, and… well… not so much else.

Logistics cap chain burning through the sky

Logistics cap chain burning through the sky

The fight was… for lack of a better term… at odd angles from the usual brawl.  Down in Querious, where the fights had been relatively small (and tidi free) for much of the campaign, there has usually been just a couple fleets in action and the main point has generally been to get on grid in an advantageous position and let the other guy have it.  This time around we had at least ten fleets operating independently and each pursing its own objectives.  The enemy capital ships were intent on knocking down the station, their tier 3 fleet was defending them, another was hunting down off-grid boosters, a pack of electronic warfare ships was damping whoever got close or seemed like a threat, Pandemic Legion was on and off grid, while another group was chasing them around, a couple groups of bombers were hitting one side or the other now and again, and we were sort of flying around shooting targets of opportunity, but were never really anybody’s primary target.

Well, except for that hostile Celestis fleet.  They seemed determined to damp us all evening.

But for the most part we cruised around as Asher called targets and generally shot the hell out of things while not taking much fire ourselves.  There were relatively few calls for logi, except when a bomb hit and everybody panicked and suddenly 20 people were calling for reps.  My alt ended up getting on quite a few kills without a lot of effort, though he missed getting on the Elo Knight kill mail when our squad leader accidentally warped us off grid.  By the time I was able to get back on grid and reconnected to my drones he was gone.  I was not alone in my disappointment.

All of which was well and good… everybody likes some kill mails… but it wasn’t winning us the fight.  The hostile dreads were hitting the station hard and while we gleefully knocked a few of them down, they were going to finish off the station long before we killed the last one.

A dreadnaught can be a tough target, though none was tougher that Mtak and his mighty Phoenix.  The Phoenix might be the fourth choice out of the four dreadnaughts, but it has a mighty tank, and Mtak sat on grid for what seemed like ages absorbing fire while launching salvo after salvo at enemy caps, watching three hostile carriers burn before finally being brought down.

The Phoenix lights up another Archon

The Phoenix lights up another Archon… or is that a Naglfar on its side?

We were too far away to rep him, though close enough to lock him up and hope that we would pass close enough to give him a boost.  But it was not to be, and I watched him fall into structure and then slowly drop away until the inevitable explosion, leaving a wrecked hulk on grid.

The demise of the Phoenix

The demise of the Phoenix

Meanwhile, the station itself was well into structure and it was clear that our little reps… for we had been told to rep the station if we had not other duties… were not going to hold back the tide of incoming fire.  There was one last hope however, as the station came to its last few hit points, we joined in firing on it as well.

Station down to 1% structure

Station down to 1% structure

Among the many odd bits of the Dominion sovereignty mechanics, there is the bit where the alliance of the pilot who gets the killing blow on a station gets control of the whole thing.  If we could get in that final blow, the station would be ours again and the hostiles would have to shoot it again.  In fact, if things went exactly right, we might end up with another two day timer.

We got lucky, but not that lucky.

A pilot from SpaceMonkey’s Alliance got the final blow and took possession of the station.  However, since the station’s alliance ownership changed, the territorial control unit became vulnerable.  The fight then moved from the station grid to the TCU where, once again, we managed to get some more kills… more hostile dreadnaught wrecks on the field, but were unable to keep the TCU from eventually being destroyed.  The system rolled into an unowned state.

The clock counting down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

The doom of the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station foretold

At that point we headed back to the station grid to pick off a couple more targets that were still in bubbles.  By then it was past midnight and, after a long day, it was time for me to go to bed.  I docked up in the station, since we still owned it.  There was talk of getting ships and supplies out of the station while we still held it, but I had already set myself up for the most part after we lost the shield timer fight.  I had a clone for every ship I wanted to get out.  I logged out.

The fight itself went very much our way, at least when measured by ISK destroyed.  The battle report indicates that of the ~200 billion ISK lost, 80% of that could be assigned to our foes, who fly under the name Guardians of the Galaxy at the moment.

The balance of the ISK war

The balance of the ISK war

The war, the strategic objective, on the other hand, clearly went to Darkness and their allies.  The battle report by Arrendis over at TMC indicates that after I went to bed there was a further fight to drop SBUs and TCUs in a Dominion sovereignty mechanics wrestling match to control the system.

Darkness prevailed in the end and the system rolled to their control about eleven hours after we lost control of the system.  The battle for that corner of Querious… an odd battle that saw the Reavers go from hit and fade tactics to stand up fights and taking sovereignty and ended up drawing in friend and foe alike until we ended up in full on tidi lagged battles…  was over.

We hit the top of the chart

We hit the top of the chart for ships killed in null sec

There is some cleaning up to do, and we still have some friends in the area, like Pizza, who we will no doubt work with some more.  But that could be the last Dominion sovereignty battle I see in New Eden.  Next month will be Fozzie Sov, and with it will come a new set of special quirks I am sure.

But it was a hell of a fight and a good time when otherwise not much else exciting has been going on in The Imperium.

And, of course, I have some additional screen shots from the fight.

 

 

Farewell to Home in Deklein

There was a bitter sweet change on the sovereignty map with Tuesday’s update, as my own alliance gave up most of their systems in Deklein as part of the realignment of systems required by the changes to the sovereignty mechanics this summer.

20150602SovChangesTactical Narcotics Team, or TNT, handed over a system I have considered home for most of my time in null sec.  While TNT’s main base was CU9-TD, and the coalition staging systems have been VFK-IV and YA0-XJ, I have always considered 0P-F3K as home, the place where I hung my hat, stored all my excess junk, ratted, and always had a jump clone.

Under new management... mostly

Under new management… mostly

For the moment TNT still holds 4U90-Z and K5F-Z2, the latter being the current champion for a system continuously held by a single alliance, having been acquired by TNT back on December 2, 2009.  Five and a half years is a long, long time in New Eden.  That was before Goonswarm had come north, when they still lived down in Delve and Querious… on purpose and not because they recently invaded it yet again… and Pandemic Legion held sovereignty for themselves and Atlas Alliance owned the southeast.

When I moved into null sec at the end of 2011, and at the start of the war with White Noise and Raiden, the then-CFC was packed into less space.

CFC Land, December 2011

CFC Land, December 2011

The CFC then stretched out, at one time running all the way from Period Basis in the far southwest to Tenal in the extreme northeast, in an arc that covered about half of the area of sovereign null sec, if not half of the actual systems.  During that time TNT expanded its holdings, picking up systems in Pure Blind and Tribute to tend for the coalition.

Then came the announcement of Fozzie Sov.  With the Phoebe expansion, and the coming of jump fatigue, Period Basis, Querious, and Delve were sold off.  And, as the next round of changes loomed, Fountain was abandoned as well, leaving the newly minted Imperium focused back in the north… with a couple of groups still operating in other regions.

Regions of The Imperium - June 2015

Regions of The Imperium – June 2015

Contrary to what I previously wrote, we do not appear to be letting go of Cloud Ring.  Fweddit, or J4LP, or I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth, or whatever they should be called, appears to be taking up residence in the region, which is not all that large but which has a couple of important connections to other regions.  Fweddit has been part of the coalition for a while now… I think.  I just don’t hear much about them, they disappeared of the sov map for a while, and their logo doesn’t appear in official Imperium propaganda videos.

The Imperium Alliances... sans the Fweddit space chicken I guess...

The Imperium Alliances… sans the Fweddit space chicken I guess…

But there they are holding space in Cloud Ring along side Goonswarm, so they must still be on the team, and they’ll be our bulwark against Black Legion.

That all means we are holding eight regions, which annoys me for purely aesthetic reasons.  I thought “The Seven Regions” was close enough to “The Seven Kingdoms” from Game of Thrones to be amusing.  I guess I won’t be able to beat that joke into the ground.  The lands of The Imperium have condensed though.

Imperium Space - June 2015

Imperium Space – June 2015

So amidst all of that, TNT is focusing on Tribute as our new home, a region we will be sharing with Circle of Two.  That puts us on the doorstep of Venal, and NPC controlled null sec region, and just a few jumps away from our friends in Mordus Legion.  It also, oddly enough, puts me potentially a couple jumps away from the first system I was blown up in (such a tale too, go click on that link) playing EVE Online, M-OEE8.

The move also puts me close to my original home in Caldari space.  It is just five gates from M-OEE8 to Hageken, the system where I first set up shop after finishing up my initial missions in Jita.  I remember feeling like I had gone WAY off the grid back then.  It was the wild west, with people looting jet cans and getting feisty over asteroids and such.  I lost a very badly fit Caracal to a jet can thief.  That 0.6 security status was off the hook!

Now I look at the map and see I made it all of six jumps from Jita on my first venture.  Well, it seemed daring back then!  I still have a pile of stuff, including a Moa cruiser, in the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant station in Hageken.

So that is where I will be headed, at least once I get back north.  I’ve moved most of my stuff down there already, leaving some strategic doctrine ships, and a jump clone, up in the coalition staging system at YA0-XJ.  But the bulk junk is down in Tribute.  We shall see how the new location plays out.

(As usual, sovereignty maps swiped from the usual source, with regional maps coming from DOTLAN.)

Entosis Link Modules in Action in Querious

The first night out after the Carnyx expansion and we already using the new Entosis Link module to assail station services down in Querious.  There was a shield timer coming up on our besieged station in ED-L9T, our last little foothold in the region, and we were piling in early in anticipation of a fight.

Foothold in Querious

Foothold in Querious

As we often do, we assembled and flew two systems over, to I1Y-IU, and sat on their station in our Ravens in hopes of being able to pester them as they formed up.  And, as it turned out, somebody remembered to bring along an Entosis Link module.

Nobody mentioned it in coms that I heard, so for the first indication that something was happening was a strange beam… like the Cicadian Seekers scanning beam… emanating from one of the Ravens in the fleet.  Mtak had a tech II version of the module mounted and was hitting their services.

Entonsis Link beam

Entonsis Link beam

That go me looking at the station and the station services.

The station services, as noted in one of the update posts for Carnyx, have been moved around the station model so they aren’t all just piled up in a bunch around the undock.  Targeting them I could see the new status indicators.

Station services being hit

Station services being hit… also, new icons to confuse everybody for the next few weeks

You can see in the picture above that Mtak had already taken out one of the station service (fitting went first, if I recall right), which is indicated by the red circle.  He was just finishing up the second target on his list (repair maybe?) and you can see how the circle compares to the third service (clones) where, as the link runs, progress is indicated by progress of the marker (and the coloration) around the status circle.  The second set of services is almost out of action.

The whole thing worked as advertised… imaging that… with the first cycle of the link being just a warm up cycle, followed by actual progress on bringing down the service.  While the link was active attempts to apply reps or otherwise assist Mtak were greeted by error messages indicating that such things could not be done with the link running.  As a reminder, the restrictions are:

  • While the module is active, your ship is unable to cloak, warp, dock, jump or receive remote assistance. There is no way to get rid of the module penalties early except for losing your ship

And so we knocked out those three services on their station.  It was reported on coms that the absence of cloning services cause a couple of their pilots to get re-rerouted to their original home systems when they tried to suicide/death clone to get to I1Y-IU, but I couldn’t tell you whether that was true or not.  We certainly tried to pod anybody who lost a ship during the subsequent fight on the idea that doing so would keep them from simply docking up and reshipping.

As the timer on our station ran down to about the 30 minute mark, we pulled the Ravens off their station and headed back for ED-L9T to reship to Ishtars.  In the mean time we had been joined by some reinforcements from Deklein which included long time Imperium fleet commanders Reagalan and Lazarus Telraven in one of his alts.  As we landed back on the station grid in I1Y-IU, Pandemic Legion also showed up with some Tengus in order to get in on the fight.  In the short time we were away the hostiles had already started to run their own Entosis Link module in order to restore services in their station.

On the opposing side Darkness undocked their usual T3 fleet, supplemented by fleets from Northern Coalition and Gentleman’s Club, leading to numbers on the field sufficient to trigger time dilation throughout the fight, hitting pretty significant levels when fleets were taking gates between systems.

The fight itself went our way for quite a stretch.  I was dual-boxing, with my alt in an Ishtar and drones assigned to a trigger so I could set him to anchor up and pay attention to repping in my Basilisk.  Logistics was fairly strong, with more than a dozen Basilisks on grid for most of the fight.  I was able to keep up with both accounts for quite a while.  Then NCDot landed on the logi and the fight became a desperate scramble to keep ourselves alive.  We managed to survive mostly intact through that assault, but I knew I had to focus on logi completely at that point, so warped my alt off and sent him back to the station in ED-L9T for the balance of the fight.

After that the chaos of battle was pretty intense, with a lot of locking, repping, and unlocking for the next target.  NCDot managed to land on us again and ripped through the ranks of our Basilisks quite thoroughly this time.  My final act of defiance, my reps already engaged, my armor drones long gone, having already seen the yellow boxes meant for me, and having called for reps that I knew would never come, was to launch the one combat drone I had kept in my drone bay and set it on the nearest Loki in hopes of whoring on at least one kill mail.  Mission accomplished.

The logi having been all but wiped out, Asher wrangled the fleet and pulled it off the field, jumping into LS-V29 where there was one final exchange of fire before they disengaged and headed home to dock up.

The battle report, which was part of Arrendis’ article about the battle over at TMC (he was, as usual, the logi anchor during the fight), showed that we won the ISK war.  However, in being driven off the field we lost the strategic objective and were unable to rep the station in ED-L9T sufficiently to stop Darkness and friends from putting the station into the armor timer.  We are now pretty close to being evicted from our foothold in Querious.

The battle report also showed how much these fights have heated up over time, having gone from maybe 150 pilots total on grid on a good night to in excess of 400 pilots for this fight.  Also, the proximity of home stations meant a lot of people were able to re-ship and re-enter the fight, with ship kills standing at 523.  I died late enough in the fight that, by the time I got back to our supply base, the remaining Basilisks had been snapped up, so I was done for the night.  I filed for reimbursement (which got paid before my alarm clock went off this morning) and then waited for the PAP link before signing off.  (Oddly, neither of my characters, nor my alliance, show up on that battle report.  So it is at least two pilots and one kill shy of accurate.)

Now there is at least one big fight left in ED-L9T, over a station shoot that has to be done the old fashioned way, since the Entosis Link module is only for services with Carnyx.  We will see how many show up for that.