Category Archives: EVE Online

Four Weeks of World War Bee

Or about a month.  We’re two days shy of the one month mark.  But the was continues on.

Somebody put together a battle report in an attempt to cover all of the war through to August 1st.  The losses of both sides combined on that report tally up to around 10 trillion ISK, split about evenly between the two sides.

There are a few different data views you can look at for this report.  I favor the losses by ship/structure classes as I think it gives a better flavor as to what has been in play.

Losses by Ship/Structure Class – First Month

Overall the attackers have lost more ships, but the Imperium is losing more expensive things, with structures likely weighing against that balance.  It sits at about 93 million ISK per loss for the attackers versus about 110 million ISK per loss for the Imperium.

Heavy assault cruisers are bearing the brunt of the fighting.  For the attackers, a majority of those losses are Munnins.  The Imperium HAC losses are split between Sacrileges, Munnins, Ishtars, and Zealots, the latter two being doctrines exclusive to The Initiative and their fights in Fountain.

Munnins and Ishtars together in EI-O0O

Meanwhile, both sides are burning through quite a few interceptors, with almost seven thousand destroyed in the war so far between both sides.  Those and the HACs are a lot of tech II ships to replace.  A lot of ships and structures overall.

But so far I haven’t had a problem buying a doctrine ship off contract in Delve or refitting a hull I happened to have on hand.  The MER for July should be interesting though.  August too, if things carry on.

As for the war.

Northern Front

PandaFam continues to roll up systems in Fountain.  That have taken ihubs (and TCUs) in most of the northern half of the region, including the key transit point systems of J5A-IX and C-4NOD.  Their ihub count in the region jumped from 27 to 57 over the last week, giving them over half of the 108 conquerable systems in the region.  This is now easier to see over at DOTLAN as Wollari added in an option to the regional view to show the ihub owners. (Change covered over at The Nosy Gamer.)

Fountain ihubs – Aug 2, 2020

They have also begun to reduce the structures left behind in those systems, though so far they have not gone after a Keepstar, and there are a few of them sitting in the space they have taken.

Meanwhile, the capital fleets of The Initiative and The Bastion have begun pulling back into Delve, an operation not without mishap.

So Fountain, while not lost yet, does look like it will be almost completely in PandaFam hands in another week.  Any fighting over sovereignty is likely to take place in the southern end of the region around the crossroads system of KVN-36.  PandaFam has a foothold in I-CUVX that they can use to stage from.

South Fountain Area

We have yet to see how the Keepstars will be dealt with, so that is still in question.  The one bright side however is that, in falling back to Delve our ability to deploy forces becomes much easier.  Most of Delve is within a capital jump or titan bridge of 1DQ1-A, our primary staging.

Southern Front

After sweeping into Eastern Querious back on the 26th of July, TEST and their Legacy Coalition allies have not made much ground.  They continue to be rebuffed in Period Basis and have found themselves having to defend some of the ihubs they took in Querious as they are in easy range for us to entosis and their vulnarability windows are large due to low ADMs.  So the map shows a lot of them reinforced.

Querious ihubs – Aug 2, 2020

A lot of their stuff is reinforced while not much of ours is.

Unlike PandaFam, they have not pushed as hard on further systems to keep the focus away from the ihubs they have already taken.  They don’t seem keen to put up the same numbers they did when they took the initial systems they hold, though they have managed to take more of the United Earth Directorate ihubs, which can only be defended by the 114 character alliance that was holding them.  That has allowed them to up their ihub count to 41.  Systems with CONDI or INIT ihubs have been defended so far.

My Participation

I did get in on a few good operations, with the prime one being the dreadnought hunting operation with DBRB.

A Naglfar blows up

My PAP link numbers were down some… and it is hard to count them now as we have rolled over into a new month, and the display options are “this month” and “the last 30 days” a window which is quickly going to start dropping some of my participation.  But I am sure nobody is going to kick me for lack of effort, even if I spent a bunch of time doing stuff off the books.  I still get in fleets, though the war itself seems canted more towards EUTZ, when PandaFam operates.  USTZ has been much quieter.

My losses so far in the war are now:

  • Ares interceptor – 8
  • Atron entosis frigate – 4
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1

I moved my freelance entosis operations to the east end of Querious where, I have to say, Evictus is a lot more active and aggressive than Brave was in their own space.  But being on the front lines and with lots of entosis operations landing in that space, they are specifically armed to respond, though one of my Drake losses was to a third party not even involved the war.  They just hang out and hunt at that end of Querious, and have for years.  I was unlucky there.

Overall

Last week I was wondering about the popularity of the war given that it had not exactly set the player count on fire.  We will see if that changes as the war approaches the gates of Delve… at least the northern gates, where PandaFam is pushing.  But this past week’s Sunday peak was 35,479 players in the game at once, which is about on par with the Sunday before, which rang in at 35,583.

Structure warfare remains an important part of the war, though it seems to be revolving mostly around smaller structures.  I have been interested to see how the FLEX navigation structures, the Anisiblex jump gate, the Pharolux cyno beacon, and the Tenebrex cyno jammer, which came in with the Onslaught expansion almost two years ago, have been focal points of the campaign.

They are all extremely important to the Imperium and its defense operations.  Anisiblexes let us move fleets around rapidly, Pharoluxes let titans bridge fleets to systems without worrying about a cyno ship, and Tenebrexes, which not yet critical, have been used to keep hostile capitals at bay on a couple of occasions.

So the attackers have naturally targeted them.  They are relatively easy to reinforce, which puts them offline.

Covering an Ansiblex while it repairs

I have been on a couple of fleets where we have ended up at an out of service Ansiblex and had to gate somewhere the long way.  But once destroyed, they are easily replaced.  Their vulnerability has led to a change in how we have been placing them.  Some of them are starting to be located near an armed POS which, unlike Upwell structures, can be anchored within range of them.

A POS visible behind the Ansiblex

That is not going to stop a determined fleet, but it will make attacks a bit more annoying.

And, of course, because these structures are as vulnerable to reinforcement as they are, that means we can slip into TEST space and return the favor as well.

So it goes.

Addendum:

July in Review

The Site

Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

This is the most common spam message over the last couple of months.  I believe it translates to “Thank you. How do I log in?” and it shows up dozens to hundreds of times a day in my spam folder because Akismet isn’t sure if it is spam or not.  Welcome to the problems of programmatic moderation, where the algorithm cannot pick up on a single repeated phrase because the IP address that they spoof or the user name or the email address change every time so it cannot say for sure if this time this person is really asking a legitimate question.

see what we’re working with here?

A false positive is seen as much worse than just piping thousands of messages into the spam folder for me to review.

Life in tech.

Meanwhile, I noticed that, for not particular reason, I have posted every single day for four months straight.

March wasn’t quite there

April, which was Blapril, which was Blaugust come early, is explainable.  After that, I guess I was just on a roll.  (That one last empty square in July is covered by this post.)

One Year Ago

There was a Steam Summer Sale to write about, with its odd contest.

Daybreak was fiddling around and registering studio names with the USPTO.

Pokemon Go hit its third birthday. StarCraft got cartooned.

And it looked like Blizz was going to give people a mount every six months so long as they subscribed to the six month renewal plan.

CCP, after saying they would change the 1 million skill point starter pack, just kept on selling it so long as there was sufficient demand.  But at least it was limited to one per account.

Out in null sec space, it was all about the Drifters as the month opened up.  They changed up a bit, but the war we had in progress was already ruined.  We tallied up the damage and headed home.  We had chased PanFam out of Tribute and Vale of the Silent.

But the Drifters were just the start of what would be dubbed the Chaos Era.  CCP announced that local would soon be blacked out in null sec.  We got warnings it was coming.  And then it hit and CCP said it would remain in place indefinitely. (Which some people took to mean permanently.)  The idea came from Hilmar, though many people were going on about null sec being risk averse.

The big VNI nerf hit in there as well.  And a tax increase!  Good thing devs don’t need to run for re-election.

Meanwhile, CCP was trying to keep people in the game during the blackout with skill point handoutsSo many skill points.  And they had to clarify what they meant even.  But the online player count suffered all the same.

And I was on CCP about maybe building their own killboard or at least making SKINs for all the things.

Still, I did get some play time in New Eden.  We did a Triglavian roam with DBRB.  I went on a blackout roam. I moved a dreadnought around to a new deployment on my own, then lost it.  It was a suicide dread.

I tried out DOTA Underlords.

I had been fiddling around with tracking my game play time for six months.

And, finally, we were getting ready for Blaugust once again.

Five Years Ago

I was feeling a bit of the summertime MMO ennui blues.

Windows 10 launched, bringing with it the Microsoft Solitaire Collection.  This wasn’t your Win 3.1 Solitaire or Freecell, and more is the pity.

Project: Gorgon was off with another Kickstarter campaign.  Would the third time be a charm? (Spoiler: yes.)

Need for Speed: World shut down, so I said farewell to Palmont.

Derek Smart began what would become is crusade against Star Citizen, detailing why he felt we would never see the game that was promised.  It could have ended there, but RSI responded in a way guaranteed to turn it into a fight and took away his Rear Admiralty.   Game on!

In Minecraft I was learning about not falling off of thingsbringing light to dark places, and accumulating materials.  Also, sheep stole my mine cart.

I was mucking around in War Thunder for a bit.  It is a pain to return to the game because there is always a huge update required.

Over at Daybreak, there was a vote up for the EverQuest progression server Ragefire about speeding up the unlock of Ruins of Kunark, as well as talk about raids and such.

On the EverQuest II side of the house, there was a beta for its first nostalgia servers.  I avoided the beta but was there when the servers went live… for the big surprise, the return of the Isle of Refuge, adding to the nostalgia experience.

And while that was going on, it appeared to be the end of Smed at Daybreak.

In New Eden my alliance, TNT, handed over its last system in Deklein. We then lived in Tribute.

The Aegis expansion hit… but there was a delay between that and other bits of what we now call Fozzie sov to be deployed.  But entosis link modules were finally able to take sov as the month rolled along.  So we started to learn by doing.

There was a plan in the Imperium to bring in care bears to mine and rat in order to raise ADMs so that our now much reduced space holdings would remain secure.

At one point Mordus Angels managed to claim some sovereignty in Pure Blind!  Can you imagine?  Crazy times!

Meanwhile, in the cash shop… erm… New Eden store, more skins were being rolled out.  Or, rather, the same skin on more ships.  The blog banter of the month was on about attributes, and I was bitching about never having enough jump clones.

On the Azeroth front, Blizzard said they would be announcing the next World of Warcraft expansion… right after the Q2 quarterly report was released, which raised some suspicions in me.  What would the subscription numbers look like if they felt they needed a big announcement to distract from them?

And I finally got my copy of Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls from the Kickstarter… only two years late.

Ten Years Ago

The late Paul the octopus created the largest page view day ever in the history of the blog, later to be surpassed by Cats playing Patty Cake and Alamo.

I was told I write like Cory Doctorow… or maybe Ian Flemming.

My daughter was Banned from Club Penguin.  Tears were shed, lessons were learned.

EverQuest II Extended, the free to play EverQuest IIwas announced.  I wondered whether trying to play it without paying at all would be a challenge in and of itself.  Meanwhile, there was some evidence that EQII accounts had value.  That stunning news no doubt got them going on the authenticator they announced at Fan Faire this year.

I completed 100 levels in The Agency: Covert Ops.  I was unemployed, what can I say?

StarCraft II launched.  I never bought a copy and the base edition eventually went free.

Need for Speed World, an MMO version of the Need for Speed series, launched.  I ended up playing it for a bit.  But, being an EA MMO, it was doomed to be shut down.

In EVE Online Hulkageddon III ended, and it even had a video wrap-up.  And then PLEX was made transportable in space.  I wonder if they waited for Hulkageddon to be over for that?

In another Summer hiatus season, the instance group started another run at LOTRO.  This time it was Bung who was out, having the dual issues of moving and having a new baby to care for.  Those of us in Middle-earth hung out with old friends.  That put off deciding who my main character was, by letting me roll another one!

Blizzard gave up on some of their RealID plans thanks to much public kvetching.  Shortly there after, the ESRB came out against Real ID as being bad for consumer security while proving they too were bad for consumer security.

Blizzard revamped Parental Controls again.  As much as I have griped about them, they are better than any comparable controls I have seen, even in games that offer that as a feature.

World of Warcraft Magazine issue #2 showed up.  Issue #4 would arrive 9 months later, which is kind of a long time for an alleged quarterly publication.  Once issue #5 was finally out, the whole thing was shut down.

And somebody was trying to make yet another flying car that failed to live up to our expectations.  Have none of these scientists ever seen The Jetsons?

Fifteen Years Ago

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas gets rated adults only (AO 18+) and the company faces sanctions when the hot coffee mod unlocks a hidden mini-game that existed in the product which allow the protagonist to have sex with his girlfriends.  Unlike some other infamous graphic mods, this one was not fan created content, but something the company put into the game.

Most Viewed Posts in July

  1. SuperData and Wavering WoW Subscriptions
  2. CCP is Just Going to Keep Selling Skill Points for Cash
  3. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  4. Day One of World War Bee
  5. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  6. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  7. Lurking in Catch
  8. Leveling up Your Crafting Without Actually Crafting
  9. EverQuest II at Fifteen and the Memories of What Could Have Been
  10. Opening Moves in the War
  11. Two Weeks of World War Bee
  12. Theaters of Operation

Search Terms of the Month

is lotro fun
[When it is running it can be]

bloodmyst isle tedious
[Yes]

classic wow peoplle arent doing shadowfang keep
[It is kind of low level, most people are past it I bet]

minecraft burning forest
[guilty]

nfs diggy donuts
[Hell of a file system]

story of babylon in swahili
[Let me get back to you]

Game Time from ManicTime

EVE Online pretty solidly dominated my play time in July.  Diablo II was probably the surprise entry.  I wasn’t planning to play it, but then I wrote something about the 20 year anniversary and decided I ought to take a look.

  • EVE Online – 72.36%
  • WoW Classic – 15.83%
  • Minecraft – 6.53%
  • Diablo II – 4.43%
  • EverQuest – 0.74%
  • World of Warcraft – 0.11%

Diablo II

With the 20th anniversary I downloaded the game again and spent some time playing.  I never did find a mod solution for screen resolution, but the game is still very playable in 800 x 600 and you get used to the graphics pretty quickly.  It still holds up pretty well.  I doubt I’ll do a full play through, but I did get through Act I, so we’ll see how far I go.

EVE Online

The war in null sec, World War Bee (or World War Bee II, depending on your narrative), has been raging and, as the ManicTime numbers indicate, that is where I spent most of my gaming time.  There are quite a few posts this month about the war, something I expect will carry on for a while.

EverQuest

My time with the Overseer option slackened quite a bit.  I had been logging in a couple of times a day to keep that going, but with the war in New Eden and other things vying for my attention, something had to fall off the list, and that was the Overseer. (Along with Swarm Simulator, which I forgot to backup before I purged my browser cache, which reset me to the beginning.)

Minecraft

There was the Nether Update, which I wanted to explore.  I did manage to find one of the new nether biomes.  The whole thing makes the Nether more interesting… and even more dangerous.

Pokemon Go

I did not pay the $15 for Pokemon Go Fest.  That seemed like a lot for something I didn’t quite understand.  But the side effects of the event were still beneficial, including some returning legendary raids.  Thanks to that and remote raid passes, my wife and I picked up Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina.

Level: 39 (51% of the way to level 40)
Pokedex status: 556 (+11) caught, 589 (+12) seen
Pokemon I want: Some more good legendaries from raids
Current buddy: Fraxure

World of Warcraft

As usual I have been wasting the double experience opportunity in retail WoW, which I am sure I will regret at some later date.  But not today.  So all I did again this month was log in and do Darkmoon Faire on my main to get those five points of trade skill experience.  And, at this point, I am not sure that is even worth the effort.  Will it matter when the big squish hits that I got close to 150 points in BFA engineering?

WoW Classic

This remains my Azeroth focus.  The instance group got out and finished up Maraudon and we are going to get ourselves ready for Sunken Temple and our class quests next.  We are all past level 50 now, but there is still a ways to go before we are done.  I remain surprised at how well we have done as a group of four.  I suppose it just indicates how bad we were back in the day as a group of five.

Coming Up

August means school is starting and our daughter will be off to college.  My wife and I will be without a common foe.  Not sure what this will mean for our home life.  It will be different.

The month usually hosts the Blaugust event as well.  But, since we had Blaugust in April… Blapril… Belghast came up with a different event, Promptapalooza.  Instead of everybody posting as much as possible, we will be putting up a chain of posts from a prompt list starting tomorrow.

We should be getting the Activision Blizzard Q2 results.  We will see how much the pandemic helped their bottom line and hurt their shipping schedule.

WoW Classic will celebrate a year since launch.  I still don’t have a character at level 60, and I likely won’t by then.  I do have two in their 50s though.  Not too far off.

The war will carry on in EVE Online, and the front lines are moving closer to home as we try to fight off most of null sec.  They want to stomp us out, we just need to survive.

Chasing Dreadnoughts with DBRB

Monday afternoon a ping went out asking people to be around for ops around 01:00 EVE Online time.  Something big was going down, but what it was all about was well above my need to know.

Still, I like to show up when something is going to happen, so I was online when the first ping went out.  However, I had just stepped away for a moment when the ping landed and a lot of people were online and ready to go, so I missed the Asher Sacrilege fleet that I was aiming to go on.  Additional fleets were promised.

They were not, however, immediately forthcoming.

After about a half an hour, a ping went out for a bomber fleet on Dabigredboat, or DBRB, and the question was whether to go on that or wait for the next opportunity.  When DBRB is on his game, his fleets are exciting and he has a knack for finding capitals to kill.  It was on one of his ventures that I got on my first super carrier kills. (He was also there for my first big battle fleet op in null sec.)  But he has a reputation.  His fleets can be manic chaos at times and there is a long standing rule to wait a couple of beats before you do anything his says.  He has been known to shout, “Warp to X!” only to countermand that seconds later and declare that those who warped might end up dead.

Still, the kills can be worth the effort, so I got in a Purifier and went along for the ride.

Chaos started right away as we traveled out to our destination.  DBRB was a few different channels and his orders were not always clear and he himself found that part way into the trip he had grabbed a bomber without a covert ops cloak and somebody had to find him one on the route to our destination.

Still, we got there, one of those Drifter wormholes.

Landing in the vicinity

We motored over to it… the beacon you land on puts you 100km off the hole… and waited for DBRB to tell us to jump through.

Bombers around the wormhole

DBRB got his black ops battleship, the blops, to us, found his covert ops cloak, and soon we were all gathered there.  Then the order was given to jump through, though he said to jump through to Jove Observatory, which confused many people, as there was a Jove Observatory in the system with us, but that was a few AU off of us.  But, as I suspected, he meant the wormhole.  Eventually that got clarified and we all jumped through.

Once in we were told to spread out and cloak up.  Standard stealth bomber practice.

While we were sitting there I say that the Sisters of EVE Flotilla was in the hole with us.

The Flotilla Spotted

The flotilla is one of those EVE Online points of interest, like the EVE Gate and the Wreck of Steve, and one of the ones I had not seen.  I had only read about it over at EVE Travel.

We were sitting and waiting for DBRB to get set up and I wasn’t sure I would have the time to zip off and take a look… but things were quiet for a bit, so I decided to chance it.  I managed to warp in and get a screen shot of the flotilla moving along through space.

Nestor Formation

Of course, after some minutes of quiet, as soon as I warped off DBRB started talking to us again, though in his usual fashion.  Somehow I managed to interpret him correctly and warped to him at the out hole, though I would wager half the fleet didn’t get that and there was a repeat later that got everybody there.

Once assembled, DBRB gave us the outline of what was going on.  GSOL had spammed a bunch of Athanors around TEST space… no doubt we had some extras sitting down after the moon mining changes made some moons not worth the effort… all set to finish anchoring and go into their repair cycle around the same time.  The number was later reported in the war update thread as “dozens.”  The expectation was that, to cover as many of these as possible, TEST would send out individual dreadnoughts to kill them.  A single dread can manage that when in siege mode.  We were going to go after any solo dreads we could find.

And it wasn’t long before DBRB had a target for us.  He had a covert cyno close to the target, so we all went through the wormhole into normal space, got on the blops, and were bridged on to the dreadnought.  On landing there was a Revelation there waiting for us.  We started shooting.  Those of us who brought focused void bombs set up and launched them to drain his capacitor.  I am no expert bomber, but even I can line up and launch a bomb on a target if I am just motoring around without anybody shooting me.

And we got him, a 4 billion ISK kill.

Help arrived to support him, in the form of a Jackdaw fleet, but we were already off and cloaked up.  The only loss was the Athanor.

DBRB already had another target for us and we were quickly back on the blops and being bridged to another system where we found another Revelation waiting for us, in siege and shooting another Athanor.

Revelation and an Athanor

There we once again managed another dread kill… along with a cyno Falcon… before help could show up to save him.  A Munnin fleet arrived and managed to catch a couple people who were slow to cloak up and get off grid… though, honestly, we lost more people to the guy who launched a scorch bomb at the Revelation and managed to catch a few blues in the blast.  Still, a very much ISK positive strike, even with the Athanor getting popped.

After that the locals seemed to be alerted to our presence and we had to hide for a while as DBRB looked for targets.  We were bridged to a trio of capitals and came very close to killing a Nidhoggur before a cyno let help arrive to save it.

The locals forming up large against us

We could have gotten it, but some of the fleet warped off as the capitals began to land.  DBRB expressed his disappointment in this, as losing a bomber… which will get an SPR payment… was worth killing a hostile carrier.  We warped off having only killed an Arazu cyno ship.

So we went back into hiding.  A couple of more false starts came and went before he had a fresh target for us.  There were three dreads on an Athanor and we were going to try and get one of them.  By this point the blops was out of fuel and we had to gate to the target.  We had a subcap fleet trying to catch us and those who were slow had to cloak and motor out of bubbles before warping off.

We met up on the final gate and jumped through.  DBRB warped us on grid where we found Revelation, a Phoenix, and a Naglfar waiting for us.  DBRB picked the Naglfar and we opened up on it.  It was a near run thing.  At least one of the dreads on grid was HAW configured, which means it was setup to shoot subcaps like us.  We started losing some bombers.  DBRB, who got popped, called for us to overheat our launchers, which speeds up the missile cycle time at the cost over damage accruing.  The Nag went into structure, but got a rep up on its shields.  A cyno went up and some additional caps started jumping in.  We stayed on grid, shooting at the Nag as it was beat back into structure and slowly got to the end… then finally exploded.  Another dreadnought kill.

The Naglfar blows up

After that it was time to safe up again.

DBRB had us on the move again, once somebody donated a ship to him, but easy targets were not so readily available.  We managed to pop a Sabre that was trying to slow us down, but we were also down some ships.  A ping went out for a reinforcement fleet, so it looked like we would be waiting a bit, so I decided to call it a night.  It was getting late for me and I was happy enough to go home on a last win.

Getting home meant going through the TCAG-3 gate in G-M4GK (which people refer to as “Gee Magic” on coms).  That is the border between TEST and the Imperium and the gate is often heavily camped and, with us in action in their region, that night was no exception.  I arrived at a perch under the gate to find a half a dozen large warp disruption bubbles deployed and a small fleet hanging around waiting for some solo pilot to wander into their midst.

I sat on my perch and went to go do the dishes.

When I got back, I found that the fleet had pulled back to one of their structures and there was just a single hostile on the gate happily looting and salvaging any wrecks in the vicinity.

This helped me out a bit.  The locals had also dropped an array of jet cans around the gate to as to decloak anybody like me trying to sneak to the gate unnoticed.  But Mr. Salvage was clearing a nice little whole in the litter for me.  So I warped to the gate, getting stopped at the nearest bubble, and began to thread my way through the debris.

Threading through the field

This was like any submarine movie with the sub trying to make its way past mines and nets to get to its destination.  I had to corkscrew to the gate, and war worried for a moment when the happy salvager seemed to be coming my way.  But then he moved off in the other direction and I carried on.

I made it to the gate and jumped through.  Our side was not camped.  Activity seemed to be focused on TEST space, so I was able to warp to our Fortizar and let it repair my overheat damage.  I had enough nanite repair paste to keep my missile launchers and cloak in good shape, but the bomb launcher needed a lot more paste than I had on me, so that got fixed up.

From there it was a few jumps back to 1DQ1-A and home.  I put my main alt on the gate into the system to make sure it was not camped, but it was all clear, so I arrived safe.  Somebody on the fleet had been recording some of our handiwork, so there is a short video up showing our dread kills.

Later on the war update thread laid out the bigger picture.  The Athanors in TEST space had been dropped and timed to coincide with the removal of a Keepstar we had in 3-FKCZ out in the eastern end of Querious.  TEST and its allies had to decide whether or not to let a bunch of Athanors successfully anchor in their space… and many did… or try to grab/kill the Keepstar.

The cover fleet, which included a lot of titans, was probably more than enough to discourage them, though they did have a Charon freighter logged off to attempt to scoop the structure when it was unanchored.  The Charon was  quickly blown up after logging in, and we successfully retrieved the Keepstar.

Another day in the war goes by.

EVE Online Command Ships Get a Small Update

CCP announced today that they had deployed the Combat Command update, part of the Zenith Quadrant plan, to give a bit of a buff to command ships.

Command ship love

The changes, listed out in an update to the patch notes, are as follows:

Attack Command Ships (Absolution, Astarte, Nighthawk, Sleipnir):

  • 3% bonus to command burst strength changed to 4% bonus to command burst strength
  • 100% bonus to command burst range removed

Absolution:

  • Mass decreased from 13,300,000 to 12,300,000
  • Max velocity increased from 150 to 158
  • CPU increased from 400 to 420
  • PG from increased 1500 to 1550
  • Scan resolution increased from 210 to 252

Astarte:

  • Max velocity increased from 155 to 165
  • CPU increased from 440 to 450
  • Scan resolution increased from 200 to 240

Claymore:

  • 5% bonus to missile explosion velocity increased to 10% bonus to missile velocity
  • 7.5% bonus to shield boost amount changed to 4% per level bonus to shield resistances
  • max targeting range increased from 65km to 75km
  • Scan resolution increased from 220 to 264

Damnation:

  • Scan resolution increased from 210 to 252

Eos:

  • Command Ships bonuses (per skill level):
    • 7.5% bonus to Drone Tracking speed
    • 10% bonus to Drone Optimal range
    • 3% bonus to Armored Command and Skirmish Command burst strength and duration
  • Gallente Battlecruiser bonuses (per skill level):
    • 10% bonus to Drone hitpoints and damage
    • 4% bonus to Armor resistances
  • Max targeting range increased from 65km to 75km
  • Max velocity increased from 145 to 150
  • Mass decreased from 13,000,000 to 12,500,000
  • Drone bay increased from 250m3 to 300m3
  • High slots decreased from 6 to 5
  • Low slots increased from 6 to 7
  • Scan resolution increased from 200 to 240

Nighthawk:

  • 7.5% bonus to missile rate of fire increased to 10% bonus to missile rate of fire
  • max velocity increased from 140 to 150
  • mass decreased from 14,810,000 to 13,200,000
  • mid slots increased from 5 to 6
  • low slots decreased from 5 to 4
  • Scan resolution increased from 195 to 234

Sleipnir:

  • Scan resolution increased from 220 to 264

Vulture:

  • Command ship skill bonus to hybrid optimal range changed to 10% shield hp per level
  • Scan resolution increased from 195 to 234

After a few bad experiences I stay away from boosting and command ships, so can’t really say if these changes will make much of a difference.  The Eos looks like it got the most changes.  We will see if the state of the Nighthawk gets any better.  The next time I see one in space will likely be the first time.

The update also marked the end of the 2v2 cruiser brawl proving ground event.  A destroyer event will be starting on Friday.

Three Weeks of World War Bee

Here we are again, another Monday, another summary of what I saw.

I was actually feeling like I might be over-indulging in EVE Online a bit, so took a couple days off to play other things.  No need to get burned out.  Sunday has become the instance group day for WoW Classic, so when we can get together that tends to be the focus. (Sunday evening is when I write this weekly update as well.)  Still, I found quite a bit of time to play.

Northern Front

The Fountain front has been cracked open and the first three constellations have been taken, but we haven’t collapsed back to the Delve boarder yet. The attackers have taken a total of 27 ihubs at this point and PandaFam has moved forward from Hophib to stage some of their forces out of PNQY-Y.

The Northern Theater of Operations

The move forward has put their capitals in range of the northern end of the C-4NOD to KVN-36 backbone route, leading to a fight over a Tartara that escalated which ended up as a major loss for the Imperium.  Both ends of that route remain in Imperium hands.

PandaFam also started clearing out some of the structures left behind in the space they have taken.  Their current push is into space held by The Bastion and a large number of ihubs have been reinforced in their space.

Southern Front

In the south things remained largely focused on Legacy trying to break into Period Basis for most of the week.  We took back the one key ihub in XZ-SKZ that we had lost and have spent time bashing POS towers that TEST keeps dropping, though we did get some pre-emptively.

This remains a thing in 2020

Also, Madcows of the recently returned Elitist Ops managed to steal a Leviathan titan from a TEST POS that they forgot to fuel.  Too busy with towers in our space I guess.

There were a number of clashes in TCAG-3, and the Ansiblex there was destroyed and replaced a couple of times, but the situation remains fairly stagnant.

Sov trolling remained the standard in Querious up until the weekend, when Legacy decided to take some ihubs from United Earth Directorate on the eastern end of the region.

Querious systems where Legacy now has an ihub

I covered our evening of fun making that operation difficult in yesterday’s post.

My Participation

My PAP link status seems to be a marker for how much time I spend with the war.  Last week my total stood at 46, this week it is at 61, so I was counted 15 more times by the coalition.  PAPs remain an imperfect reflection of time spent as I think I earned half of those on Saturday, but spent time during the week doing things for the coalition that was “off the books” so far as PAPs were concerned.  Still, it is a number, and I like numbers.

My ship losses increased as I lost three Ares interceptors in Querious over the course of the week as well as a Hurricane in a dumb loss in Delve.  Caught on a gate by a small gang, I made it back and jumped through, but they had friends on the other side.  My was losses so far are:

  • Ares interceptor – 8
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Atron entosis frigate – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1

I did keep up my entosis hit and runs in Catch, generating an entertaining number of responses from the locals.  They are often keen to tell me about how they can guard an ihub all day long, which is rather the point of my doing this as it keeps them there and not doing other things.

I have taken to letting the locals get close enough to think they’ll catch me before cloaking up or warping off, just to keep them on grid longer.  I got a little too cocky with that, decloaking just to taunt some chasers, and ended up tackled and being shot.  However, it was just a point, so I was able to turn on my MWD and burn out of range then warp off.  I got away, but have a bit of armor damage “flavor” on my Atron now.

My Atron has some scars

Having been at both ends of this, the most effective method of dealing with people like me is to have a rail fit Tengu loaded with spike and a probe launcher to scan the attacker down, warp to them, then hit them as they burn away.  I have been probed a couple of times as I ran, but only by a Hecate, which lacked the range to get in more than a couple of hits before I was too far off.

A 7,000 m/s fit Jaguar isn’t a bad second option, but you have to get there before the attacker can cloak.

The closest pass of the week was by UnOriginalName 28.

So close, but space is so big

I have seen him and some alts both in Catch and in Querious.  I managed to get on his killmail a couple of times in our space, so I am up on him.

As for big battles, I did managed to get into the scrap that happened up in EI-O0O that saw things fall in our favor. (Trying a new battle report tool.)

EI-O0O BR header – Click on it to see full size

I also managed to get in a couple of the TCAG-3 fights, the biggest of which saw more than 1,600 capsuleers on field and 70 billion ISK in losses.

TCAG BR header – Click on it to see full size

However, a lot of the bigger fights seem to be happening in EUTZ, so I am sitting at home working and I see the pings, but I cannot log in unless I have a bit of free time to take a lunch break.  By the point that prime USTZ hours roll around the bigger fights tend to be over.  There are still ops and skirmishes to be found and always things to do, but the Euros are at the tip of the spear right now.

A Popular War?

There are a lot of parties involved in the war, and we regularly see fights pushing towards or exceeding 1,000 pilots, so it feels like the war is creating content that gets people to log in and play.  And you can point to people who have subscribed again just to get involved, which is some anecdotal evidence that the war is good for the game.

But, looking at EVE Offline, the peak concurrent user numbers are not all that huge.  The peak of every week tends be on Sunday between 18:00 and 20:00 when both EUTZ and USTZ players are active.  This past weekend the number hit 35,583 at a little past 19:00, while the top day of the war so far was July 5th, where the count hit 38,838.

Those are not bad numbers these days.  They are certainly better than what the game was showing a year ago, when Hilmar’s Chaos Era plan seemed bent on driving the user count down in null sec, though they remain a shadow on even some more recent years, and far behind the 2013 high of 65,303.

PCU for 2016 through 2019 – Chaos Era in red

That July 5th number is higher than the 2019 peak.  But back in April we had a couple of weekends where the peak was past 40K.  April was when the pandemic was fresh and video games were seeing huge surge all over.  Now a lot of people have settled into new routines and are not binging as much.  Plus, in some places outside of the US the pandemic has been brought under some measure of control, so people can go out again.

Still, hitting 35K on a Sunday was about normal for the few weeks before the war started, so you can wonder how much of a positive impact it is having.  Of course, there is the argument that the user levels tend to sag some during the summer as people travel or at least take to outdoor activities.  Something to ponder.  We will see if the numbers go up when battles over Keepstars start of when titans begin appearing on the field in numbers.

If we get to that.  There is speculation that this war will remain conservative, that subcaps and capitals will be the limit that the attackers will be willing to risk.  It has already been asserted that null sec powers are risk averse by necessity, so we shall see.  We have another week of war ahead of us to test that idea.

Addendum:

 

Legacy Sweeps into Eastern Querious

After nearly three weeks of trying to gain ground in Period Basis, which saw their early gains reversed while their POS tower dropping campaign did little to change he balance, TEST alliance and its Legacy Coalition allies decided to focus on a much softer target.

Perhaps they felt they needed a tangible win for morale reasons.  Or maybe they wanted to show PandaFam, which battered its way into Fountain earlier in the week in the face of stiff resistance, that they were carrying their weight in the war.  Either way, their target was Querious.

Not that Legacy had not been operating in Querious up to this point.  But, with rare exceptions, their efforts were largely harassment level efforts, doing entosis runs to ping warnings on GSF alerts and even setting some timers now and then, but with very little in the way of follow up.  But last night and this morning some something of an actual coordinated effort.

The targets were in eastern Querious, systems owned by the United Earth Directorate, a 114 character alliance which was set up, as I understand it, by P.L.A to claim the space that was abandoned when the Querious Fight Club was disbanded on the eve of the war.

That meant that the systems had low ADMs, which meant their vulnerability windows were large and the time needed to reinforce them was relatively short.  Plus, as an added bonus, notifications when sovereignty structures were being hacked only went out to UED, which meant they usually got little or no response.  So they managed to setup a set of events by reinforcing ihubs that would allow them to destroy a large batch of them in on big operation.

On the Imperium side it was seen as a foregone conclusion that we were going to lose these ihubs.  The way Fozzie Sov works, any alliance can attack during an enotisis contest, but only the alliance that owns the ihub can defend, and there seemed scant chance that we could find enough pilots in UED to make any difference.

Losing the ihubs being the accepted outcome, we instead chose to simply make the effort as difficult as possible.  Asher Elias formed up an interceptor fleet well after midnight his time on the east coast (the ping for the fleet hit just before 11pm my time… the vulnerabilities were set for Chinese/Austrailian hours) and set out to see just how annoying he could be.

Interceptors are fast align, warp, and move in general and are interdiction nullified, which means that they pass through warp disruption bubbles unaffected.  While their individual firepower is not great, a large enough group of them can focus fire and take down a hard subcap target.

Ares gang on the move

Though the fleet peaked in size at just over 100 while I was around, there were rarely ever that many of us on grid at any one time.  Of the kill mails I was on over the course of the night, the high water mark was an entosis Drake, a hard target, which got 92 pilots on the kill mail, including both my main and my alt.

(I was dual boxing for a while, as were some others, though that was too much for me after a while and I parked my alt nearby until I lost my main, then the alt caught up and carried on.)

But we also brought down a Prophecy hacker, which was capable of killing interceptors if we got within web range, which just 33 of us on the kill mail.

Prophecy under attack

It was a lot of run and gun, jumping into a system ahead of the fleets that were hunting us, getting around other groups that were defending the hackers, and trying to quickly blot out the entosis ships before warping off.

As Ratknight1 said on the fleet, it did help that we had the home field advantage.  There are a lot of citadels scattered about the area, including not a few faction Fortizars commemorating the stations that were once in those systems.

Tethered on up a faction Fortizar

This allowed us to tether up safely… a Legacy interceptor fleet landed on us just as we tethered at one point, so they couldn’t do much save warp off and try and catch us elsewhere… as well as repair the constant thermal damage from overheating guns and prop mods that came as part of our attempts to catch and kill entosis ships that are often equipped with MJDs or prop modes that let them hit the maximum 4K meters per second allowed with an entosis module fit.

Our efforts took what might have been an hour long operation for Legacy if unhindered, into at least a four hour effort while we were around.  And it might have gone longer.  Asher called it a night as the sun was rising for him, but another fleet was forming up to take out place.  It was on its way to 3am for me when I finally logged off.

I ended up lowing two interceptors… both on my main.  My alt seemed to have better luck.  SRP will cover that, plus I got the final blow on one of the entosis ships, which adds another 50 million ISK in bounties, or basically another interceptor fit for these sort of ops.

In the end though, Legacy won the objective.  They have now managed to blow up and replace 25 ihubs in Quetrious.

Querious systems where Legacy now has an ihub

Holding the ihub gives the owner effective control of the system, though I did learn this week that the TCU is not as useless as I thought.  It you hold the TCU you do get notifications if somebody drops a structure in the system, which is how we have been so quick to track down the POS towers that Legacy has been trying to drop in our space.

However, those systems are not completely lost to us.  As I noted, many of them have citadels of ours anchored in them, safe spots where we can land and repair.  Legacy still has some work to do if they plan to reduce all of those.

But they can point out to their allies in Fountain that they now hold 25 ihubs in Querious compared to the 20 that PandaFam hold in Fountain as of this writing.  Morale victory achieved.

We shall see if they can work their way up to taking and holding ihubs in systems we can actually contest.

And you can say I am being snarky about Legacy in this post, but on /r/eve TEST and Brave are hailing this as a great victory, proof that they have the Imperium beat, while trying to discredit any assertion that maybe this wasn’t the triumph they are suggesting it was, so they feel deserving of some prodding.  Easy wins should be taken, but let’s not pretend that they were more than that.

I am sure I will be hearing about this in local, in between the usual “we can guard this ihub all day” threats, as I continue my own annoyance hacking in Legacy space.

The June MER Sees Mineral Prices Sag as High Sec Takes Over Mining

We got the EVE Online monthly economic report for June late last week, and it is an interesting one for a few reasons.

EVE Online nerds harder

First, June was a month of relative peace in null sec, the last few weeks before the start of World War Bee.  Since the war kicked off on July 5th, June will be a nice baseline to see how much of an impact the war has.

Second, June shows a bit of a change in the trend since CCP’s mineral starvation plan kicked off.  For the last few months, as the company has choked off the mineral flow the price, so far as the measurement they use in the MER is concerned, has been going up.  But that ended in June. Mineral prices went down… a bit.

June 2020 – Economic Indices

The price isn’t down a lot, just to about where it was in April when prices were nearing the end of their long rise, but that is still a change.  All three indices, the PPPI, the SPPI, the CPI, and the MPI were down in June.

Third on the list is where mining has been happening.  High sec regions have always been part of the mix on this list, usually the three closest to the markets in Jita and Amarr, but null sec regions have dominated the list since I started writing posts about it.  Last month that had changed up and 6 of the top 10 regions were high sec.  This month the top 10 has only 1 null sec regions.  The list for June:

  1. The Forge – 1.38 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Domain – 1.16 trillion (High Sec)
  3. Sinq Laison – 1.08 trillion (High Sec)
  4. Metropolis – 1.07 trillion (High Sec)
  5. Lonetrek – 1.04 trillion (High Sec)
  6. Everyshore – 780 billion (High Sec)
  7. The Citadel – 742 billion (High Sec)
  8. Tash-Murkon – 720 billion (High Sec)
  9. Heimatar – 666 billion (High Sec)
  10. Fountain – 635 billion (Imperium)

Fountain is in 10th place.  Delve, which rang in 1.78 trillion in mining in May to top the list didn’t even make the cut in June, landing in 11th place with 607 billion ISK. Oasa, which was in 6th position in May with 1.35 trillion landed in 19th spot in June with just 502 billion ISK mined.

The drying up of anomalies and minerals available from moon mining operations appears to have hit hard.  I know that some of the mining platforms in Delve, which sit on nearly every moon in the region, have remained idle as running a frack wasn’t deemed worth the effort.

High sec regions totals are down, but only a bit, maybe in the range of what might be explained by the drop in prices.  But null sec mining is way down, far beyond the ability of a small price drop to explain.  You can see how the regions stack up these days, with high sec regions on top now.

June 2020 – Mining Values by Region – Bar Graph

The total value mined for June was 24 trillion, down from 29.54 trillion mined in May, a drop that one can only attribute to null sec mining much less.

Then, the last item on the interest front, there are NPC bounties, long a staple of null sec income.  Things are still going strong there, even increasing some.

June 2020 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

They changed the long standing colors for the different lines on that chart and I was confused momentarily as my brain knew that NPC Bounties should be the orange line.  Now it is the blue line.  And the blue line went up in June.  That happens when there is some breathing room in null sec, a bit of peace.  A total of 54.2 trillion ISK in NPC bounties were paid out in June, up from 47 trillion ISK paid in May, which says that there was simply more ratting going on.

And who did the most ratting?  Here are the top ten regions:

  1. Oasa – 4.81 trillion (PandaFam)
  2. Delve – 4.10 trillion (Imperium)
  3. Cobalt Edge – 3.74 trillion (PandaFam)
  4. Branch – 3.09 trillion (PandaFam)
  5. Fountain – 2.86 trillion (Imperium)
  6. Perrigen Falls – 2.60 trillion (PandaFam)
  7. The Kalevala Expanse – 2.03 trillion (PandaFam)
  8. Esoteria – 1.86 trillion (Legacy)
  9. Malpais – 1.78 trillion (PandaFam)
  10. Insmother – 1.72 trillion (Legacy)

PandaFam appears to have taken over as the biggest group of crabs in null sec, though the expansion of that coalition to include Fraternity and a few other alliances living in the northeast no doubt help boost those numbers.  But that is a lot of ISK coming in, though in the regions where they are doing their ratting there are not many close by systems with NPC stations, so super carrier ratting, now much less common in Delve, has likely not had to slacken as much for PandaFam.

So there it is.

Now, the question is, what will July look like?

Mineral prices dropped even as mineral supply dropped, which seems to suggest that demand, driven by manufacturing, had fallen off.  Now there is a war going on in null sec.  There have been runs on the market for some ships.  At one point there were barely two dozen Muninn hulls in Jita.  Will mineral prices resume their climb with the increased demand?

With forces deployed to staging systems, will mining and ratting in null sec taper off as well?  Or will the fact that so many combat pilots are now down in the southeast of null sec mean that those in more distant regions… looking at PandaFam here… mine and rat even more?

And will the ADM fleets being run by the Imperium boost the numbers in Delve?

As a bonus question, what will the total destruction number in New Eden be for July?  In June it was 45.67 trillion ISK destroyed, with the top ten regions being:

  1. The Forge – 3.06 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Lonetrek – 2.40 trillion (High Sec)
  3. The Citadel – 2.19 trillion (High Sec)
  4. Sinq Laison – 2.17 trillion (High Sec)
  5. Black Rise – 2.15 trillion (Low Sec)
  6. Domain – 2.02 trillion (High Sec)
  7. Delve – 2.02 trillion (Imperium)
  8. Metropolis – 1.60 trillion (High Sec)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 1.15 trillion (mixed small groups)
  10. Fountain – 1.09 trillion (Imperium)

If the war is really a big deal, we should see a rise in destruction in the regions being attacked (Delve, Fountain, Period Basis, and Querious) as well as adjacent regions where the attackers are staging (Aridia, Catch, and Paragon Soul).

We will have to wait until next month to get the July numbers and find out.

But if you want to look at the June numbers and see all the data behind them, you can download the whole package as from CCP.

A New Monument in Molea

Out in the Khanid region, in the Amdimmah constellation, is the system of Molea.

On the route from Amarr to the null sec regions of Catch and Querious, many capsuleers no doubt pass through the system every day, warping from gate to gate on their journey.

But in the system, at the second planets only moon, there is a POS tower anchored.  Around it are many small secure containers within the sphere of where the force field would be, if the tower was fueled.

You might have to use the right overview setting to see them, but they are there.

Containers revealed

That is the Molea Cemetary.

Each container has an inscription, the name of a fallen capsuleer.

Some inscriptions

Some have fallen in game, others in real life.  If you wish to read them, it is probably easiest just to get on grid with the tower by warping to planet II, moon 1 and doing a minimum range directional scan.

Easier to read in the dscan window

Started by capsuleer Azia Burgi more than a decade back, it is another example of a player initiative that gained a life of its own.  The POS tower became necessary when a game update made it possible for the dead to despawn.  Being within the POS force field radius prevents that, a solution that served for many years.

And then came the Onslaught expansion in November of 2018, which moved the final remaining functions from POS modules to Upwell structures.  The days of the POS, the Player Owned Startbase, seemed numbered and there was talk of giving the troublesome code base a viking funeral.

A concern that came up, back when talk of the end of the POS was being discussed, was what would happen with Molea.  Without the POS tower in place all the markers would eventually disappear.  CCP promised to look into that.  Since then, we had not heard much, though the venerable POS remains in the game, even becoming an aspect of the current war in the southwest of null sec.

Then, earlier this week, CCP unveiled their plan.

After downtime on Tuesday a monument appeared in Molea, the Fallen Capsuleer Memorial.

Anchored below the POS tower, it features three bassalt wings centered on what appears to be a golden cyno beacon.

The new memorial in Molea

A light shines up from the beacon towards the POS tower, illuminating a capsule which features two capsuleers, freed from its embrace, yet still attached, able to gaze out upon the stars with their own eyes.

Atop the memorial

The new memorial has the effect of keeping anything within 200km of it from despawning, so even if the POS tower goes away the containers and their messages will remain floating in space so long as the servers remain up.

Related coverage:

Losses in Fountain but a Win in Period Basis

Yesterday during EUTZ PandaFam continued its attacks into the Fountain region where a series of ihubs were set to be contested.  At the end of the cycle, they had added ten more ihubs to their total, bringing the number held as of this moment to 17, taking over the entirety of Taurus and Wyvern constellations, including the key gateway system of D4KU-5.

Taurus and Wyvern constellations

Without ihubs, no further Ansiblex jump gates can be deployed by The Initiative in those areas, hampering the ability to move forces there quickly.  This will also allow PandaFam to quickly deploy Fortizars into those area should they wish to move their staging out of Hophib and into the region, or at least set up Ansiblex jump gates of their own to facilitate the advance into the region.

That leaves the Fountain situation looking like this at the moment.

Fountain – July 21, 2020

PandaFam now holds most of the systems in the area circled in red.  The critical transportation backbone for the Imperium runs between J5A-IX at the border of the Cloud Ring region and Y-2ANO, which is the gateway to Delve.  PandaFam’s position puts J5A-IX and C-4NOD at risk of attack.  Both systems have multiple structures, including Keepstars, but they are likely too distant to hope for Imperium titans and supers to save them.  These systems may be the first Keepstar fights of the war if PandaFam pushes that way.

If C-4NOD falls the region isn’t lost, but mobility in the north will be hindered and the long gate connection to KVN-36 will become the front line of the fight.  The fall back from there is Y-2ANO and Delve.  The connection from Fountain lands in ZXB-VC, which will be a tough nut to crack as that falls within a single jump of Imperium titans and supers.

We’re still a ways from that however.  But the first line of defense in Fountain has been well and truly cracked.

Less contentious was the ihub event down in Period Basis last night.  I wrote previously about how we had lost the ihub in XZ-SKZ to TEST, which gave them a potential foothold down in Period Basis.

Where the ihub was

It is on the boarder with Stain, an NPC null sec region with a bunch of Russians who enjoy nothing more than shooting TEST. (Including, it seems, a TEST Fortizar.)  Perhaps not the ideal invasion route, as their jump bridge network connects up to the Paragon Soul boarder and the combined Legacy and PandaFam titan and super fleets are said to be in the two Keepstars in FAT-6P, which is in the Catch region on the boarder with Querious.

We have failed to take the ihub back from TEST a few times, but Legacy hasn’t really done much to exploit the system either.  Their plan still seems to be to drop POS towers somewhere in our space to exploit.  So yesterday a Baltec fleet went up on Lazarus Telraven, famed FC of the Lazamo and the decision to go all-in at B-R5RB, just as I was finally done with work for the day.  I had a Megathron handy so logged in to go along.  We were once again headed for that ihub, which was about ready to be contested yet again.

ihub event in 22 minutes

We set up on the heavily bubbled CJF-1P to try and catch anybody slipping in from Stain to try and defend the ihub.

Parked at the CJF-1P gate

Lighter response fleets were also deployed and enotsis ships to take the nodes as they appeared.

However, Legacy declined to contest the event.  Aside from one Scimitar that had the bad luck to jump through the gate and into a hungry pack of Megathrons, they did not show.  (I am surprised I was quick enough to get on the kill and even applied some damage.)

The event went our way and we had little to do aside from sit around, help Grath Telkin figure out the GSF SRP system (making sure he put in his favorite ice cream flavor), and watch sumo wrestling on Twitch.  I understand that Asher is responsible for the current sumo obsession in the coalition.  It can be interesting to watch, though everything is in Japanese, so I am sure I am missing the subtleties.  (Though the commercials are anything but subtle. A window into a different culture in that I suppose.)

After the ihub was successfully destroyed and replaced, we headed for home.  We were back to the pre-war state in Period Basis for the most part.

Addendum: The New Eden Post has coverage of the changes in Fountain.

Two Weeks of World War Bee

I think my biggest disappointment so far in the war is the lack of coverage it is getting.  Huge forces are arrayed against each other, clashes of hundreds happen regularly, and thousands have collided several times.  And yet there hasn’t been much written about what is going on.

Last week CCP released a video with the title TOTAL WAR RAGES IN NEW EDEN and I thought surely that this was the coverage I had been waiting for, official acknowledgement by the company.  But, no.  The video was solely focused on the Triglavian Invasion event which currently, if I followed the video, involves about 4 systems total in the game.

I don’t want to begrudge anybody their PvE fleets or attention to the Triglavian events.  The game supports all sorts of different play styles.  But when 100+ alliances are lined up to evict us and four full regions are in play, my sense of what constitutes “total war” in all caps seems to be measured on a different scale.

Basically, Alton Haveri and The Scope seem to be indulging in a bit of sensationalism.  Damn click-bait journalism. *shakes fist*

In looking for coverage I am sure somebody will want to point at a couple of streamers, or Reddit, or a five hour long episode of Talking in Stations where somebody spoke about how they felt about the war, but I don’t have the time or patience for any of that.

I long for the coherent written word (which leaves /r/eve out of the running 99% of the time), and on that front the usual suspects, INN and EN24, haven’t said much. (And New Eden Report seems to be dead again, though every time I say that an article gets posted, followed by another long silence.)  I will give credit to January Valentine for trying to do a series of summary updates on Reddit for a bit, but that fell by the wayside after about a week.

In the past I have generally depended on other sources to get a sense of what is really going on in a war.  I remember a time of ongoing written updates and opinion pieces about such conflicts.  As a line member in a coalition I am probably less well informed than any decent spy.  All I have as a baseline source is a war update thread in the GSF forums which tracks big fights and battles over objectives.  Otherwise, I just write about the bits and pieces of the war I see in person.

Of course we are not really into the interesting bit of the war either.  As I noted last week, we’re not yet to the part where we’re fighting over Keepstars or where titans are clashing, the things that generate headlines, at least when the ISK to real world money calculation is high enough.

But the war so far has kept me engaged, providing that sense of purpose that gets me to log in regularly.  And there are fleets forming and going out pretty much all hours of the day, so there is opportunity to join in as well.

Since I mentioned my PAP link status last week, I’ll keep going with that as a metric.  I was a 33 for the month last week.  That number has risen to 46 as of this writing.  I wouldn’t use that number as a literal representation of my investment… none of that time spent lurking in Catch is counted, for example… but it does show I am logging in.

Another metric I can add in is ship losses.  So far in, in war related activity, I have lost the following ships:

  • Ares interceptor – 5
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Atron entosis frigate – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1

Nothing bigger than a frigate really so far, though that Purifier loss was on a rough op.  A returning FC brought us out for what turned out to be a work up cruise to get him back into running bombers and they bit off more than they should of in TEST space.  But that is what SRP is for.

For the wider war, the northern front in Fountain saw a lot of action.

The northern theater of operations

PandaFam has been attacking aggressively from their base of operations in Hophib.  The constellations on the Fountain side of the regional gate have had their ihubs reinforced multiple times, so the map there often looks like this:

The Hophib adjacent constellations

As of this writing on Sunday afternoon, according to the structure list on DOTLAN for the region, PandaFam has managed to capture 7 ihubs in the region, along with 2 TCUs, which represents quite a bit of work.

They still have not captured ihubs in any of the critical systems that would break the Ansiblex travel infrastructure which allows us to move fleets from Delve to support The Initiative, though there was an attack on the Ansiblex in KVN-36, on the critical backbone of the Fountain bridge network, that destroyed the structure.  But an Ansiblex is easy to replace.  Attackers need to take the ihub in the system to prevent us from putting up a new one to have anything more than a short term impact.

On the southern front things have been less active.  In Period Basis TEST and their Legacy Coalition allies have managed to keep us from taking back the ihub in XZ-SKZ.  There have been several skirmishes over it, and the ihub remains reinforced, but they still hold it.

Where the ihub fights have been

Otherwise, while there have been fights in the south, the attacks have been nowhere as aggressive and what PandaFam has been doing in Fountain.  Legacy seems content to defend their one foothold in Period Basis, troll entosis in Querious, and scatter POS towers around in hopes of securing an advantage.

Even in Delve, which is closer to Legacy than PandaFam, it is PandaFam that gets out and organizes gate camps and such.

We clash with Legacy often.  There are lots of short, sharp fights with 5-20 billion ISK in losses between the two sides.  So I wouldn’t say they aren’t out fighting, but their allies up on the Fountain front, who had to move across New Eden for this operation, as opposed to just living next door, seem to be putting in a lot more effort.

So it it looks to me two weeks in.

Addendum: Somebody at INN is writing weekly updates on Sunday night as well it seems.  You can try to line that up with what I wrote, if you are so inclined.  That post has more details.

Addendum 2: The New Eden Post has some coverage of the war, so I will have to keep an eye on them as well.