Category Archives: Null Sec

Structure Cleanup in Vale of the Silent

The way it works out a lot of the time, at least for me, is that you go out on ops to shoot structures in order to set timers and you don’t always end up being around for the follow on timers or the kill mail.  But once in a while you get to see the end result.

Yesterday I joined up with a fleet flying bombers, which meant we were off to shoot structures again.  Bombers are fast, can move far on a black ops bridge, can cloak up if trouble arrives, and if stuffed with ammo can deliver a considerable amount of damage over time.

Of course, you never know where you are headed on fleets, but I got on the black ops battleship and took the bridge off to where ever we were headed.

Bridge up on the Redeemer

The bridge got us part of the way, but we had to burn on to our first target, which was a Sotiyo in B-588R in the Vale of the Silent.  There was already a fleet there shooting it, but we showed up to get on the kill mail.

Rorqual warping in to loot and salvage

That didn’t take long, but it was a hearty kill mail.  They didn’t get to pull the rigs before it was first reinforced, so it totaled up to 50 billion ISK on ZKill.

The other fleets moved on… I heard on coms that an NCDot Eagle fleet landed right on some of the titans and was decimated by a Boson doomsday, so expect Eagle prices to rise in Jita… but we stayed in the system and spread out for some additional smaller targets.  B-588R was the same system I mentioned on Monday where we were hitting Athanors and watching their moon chunks explode as they were put into their final timer.

Moon chunk goes boom!

For once I was back in the right place and in the right fleet to help finish off a timer I set earlier.  Athanors do not need a lot of DPS to take down, so the bombers were divided up amongst the targets, but I was able to see a couple of the Athanors (one and two) I had previously shot get their final blow and explode.

Athanor goes the way of its moon chunk

Athanors are not nearly as expensive as a rigged Sotiyo, but every little bit of destruction helps.

Done shooting targets there, we moved on to IFJ-EL where a Tatara, the big brother to the Athanor moon mining platform, waited for us to finish it off.  Another satisfying explosion.

Tatara goes up as I fly past

From there we ran up to N-5QPW, where another Sotiyo was waiting for us.  We were first told to free burn that way, and I was off and going.  But then our bridger decided to give us a lift.  However, I was already far enough along, and past a small gate camp consisting of a Sabre and a Gnosis trying to pick off anybody they could catch, so I kept on burning.  But the Sotiyo would wait.  I arrived safely and was able to start shooting when I landed.

Torpedoes away!

An Eagle fleet came out from our staging to join in on the kill.  A Sotiyo is a big enough target that people are keen to whore on it.  That meant we had more than enough damage on the target to put it down in the minimum time the damage cap allows.  And while the locals had managed to pull the rigs from it to try and reduce its value (it no doubt had rigs before, a Sotiyo being not very useful without them), the kill mail still rang in at 20 billion ISK.

And after that we went home.  Black ops being handy for moving around, we were able to get a bridge back to central Tribute, wait for the red timer to run down, and get a second bridge… except for the person who had enough fatigue that they had a 30 minute red timer… right back to KQK1-2 where we stood down the fleet.

But there are still lots of structures left to shoot.  I am sure I will be out for more such fleets.

Keepstar Down in P3EN-E

In the wee hours of the morning… 1:30am here on the Pacific coast, 4:30am on the east coast… the final timer for the Keepstar in P3EN-E in the Vale of the Silent ended.  An Imperium fleet had been gathered for that moment and proceeded to destroy the structure.

Keepstar kill mail

I choose to keep on sleeping rather than spend a couple of hours forming up with a fleet, traveling, shooting, then schlepping back home, a choice many of the people who engaged in last week’s double Keepstar kill appear to have taken as well.  There were 859 pilots on the kill this time around, down from over 1,500 on each kill last week.  I guess one Keepstar isn’t worth missing a few hours sleep in the middle of the night.

The kill mail shows the usual giant blob of titans, supers, and smaller capital ships, though this time around it looks like the supers did the bulk of the damage with fighters and then everybody else was jumped in to get on the kill.

The grinding of PanFam space continues.  There are more structures left to kill, including a Keepstar in SH1-6P, where the ihub is already under assault.

Operations in Eastern Tribute and the Vale of the Silent

Our operations have slowly been taking us further east.  The range of systems covered directly by capitals based in our staging system have been denuded of structures and ihubs.

Systems our capitals can reach in one jump from our staging

DOTLAN doesn’t show the “shape” of space, it being a representational layout attempting to group systems in a region together onto a single useful map rather than worrying about the actual distances between systems.  So, for example, SH1-6P looks to be much closer on the map than other systems we can reach.  But that isn’t the reality… whatever that means when we’re talking about a video game… of the actual layout of the stars which, among other things, are not a nice flat array but are in fact a three dimensional matrix of systems connected by star gates.  The in-game map tries to show you everything in 3D, and even if you use the “flatten” option, shows the stars in space with their actual distances (on one plane at least), which is why it is both so pretty and so useless to the average player.

Also, we haven’t spent much time worrying about the Territorial Control Units, the TCUs in each system, since aside from setting ownership on the map, they do not have any impact on the system.  The Infrastructure Hubs, the ihubs, are the key and they have all been blown where we can reach.  A few enterprising groups have been going out to flip the TCUs to get themselves on the map, but even where the systems still show NC. or -10.0 the ihubs and structures therein have been purged.

Anyway, we have been moving farther afield.  Sub cap operations have been starting with a titan bridge to PNDN-V, putting us on the path to operations in the far side of Tribute and into the Vale of the Silent.

Saturday I went with an Eagle fleet to the vicinity of the PanFam staging system in SH1-6P.  Word was that PanFam was evacuating the staging to pull back deeper into their territory.  A glance at Zkillboard for their staging system showed that somebody was insurance frauding a pile of Megathrons.

Some of the Blue on Blue kills in SH1-6P

Those seem to have been all empty hulls (I clicked a few but not all of them), so I gather they were not worth moving or sending to asset safety, but the modules were.

We passed through the system unmolested and moved to O-0ERG where an Ansiblex jump gate was waiting for us.  We landed on it in a ball and began to shoot.  As usual, I had plenty of T1 bash ammo in my cargo.  Life in Reavers, and then Liberty Squad, has kept me prepared to shoot structures at all times.

A Stork booster in our fleet with the Caldari Union Day SKIN

Being one jump away from a hostile staging system meant keeping alert, even if they were evac’ing.  While we were not the only fleet out shooting structures, at 100 ships we were a viable target if the locals decided to form and get a fight.

Our FC, whose name I’ve forgotten, seemed a bit on edge about the possibility of us getting dropped, but he was in the command channel where all sorts of information the line members don’t hear about things the enemy is up to is passed along.  We blew up the jump gate but were immediately aligned out to move.

On our way as the Ansiblex blows

We jumped into SH1-6P and passed through into D7-ZAC, where the FC had us start shooting a Pandemic Legion cyno jammer

Following the FC as we shoot

That did not last too long however, and he soon gave us an align point and told us that NCDot had formed a fleet and they would be coming for us shortly.  Vince Draken, long time NCDot lead FC, was bringing about 150 Eagles to fight us and we would be setting up for them.  The FC’s voice even sounded a bit stressed as he said we would be outnumbered and it would be a tough fight, so we needed to be on our game.

The enemy came through the gate and we started trying to hit their logi.  We failed to break the first couple and the FC switched over to targeting Eagles, which we were able to break and started to kill.  Things seemed to be going remarkably well considering we the odds were 3:2 against us and we were facing an veteran FC.  We were popping targets and almost nobody was broadcasting for reps. (Since I fly logi mostly I often forget and leave those broadcasts on in my fleet window.)

That was when I noticed that a full Baltec fleet of Megathron battleships had joined the fight on our side, weighing the odds heavily in our favor.  We were able to get some kills before the enemy fled, Vince Draken being one of the targets of the battleships who popped his Monitor FC ship.  The battle report shows that it ended up a very much one-sided fight.

Battle Report Header from the quick fight

That’s what happens when you’re out numbered.  I have screen shots of NC/PL dropping titans on us when we undocked Hurricanes back in Saranen during the Casino War, so I know what it is like.

Our Eagles were soon soaring alone on the field.

Eagle fleet spread out and chasing the FC

That was enough for us and we headed home.

Sunday several fleets were called up.  This time I went back to logi and joined the Baltec fleet under Pittsburgh2989.  This time we gated out to PNDN-V where a titan bridged us into the Vale of the Silent.  There we took up station and started shooting structures.

We did get one kill early on, an Azbel in 97-M96.

Baltecs already aligned out as the Azbel blows

But most of the time was spent reinforcing various structures in the vicinity.  A fleet had gone through and done the shield timer on a whole range of structures previously, so we were there to hit the armor timers as they came up.  This included a series of Athanor mining platforms that were mid-way through pulling moon chunks into position in order to be broken up and mined.

Moon chunk being pulled

That was kind of a neat visual, and on this sort of fleet you have to be interested in the visuals or watching Netflix on another screen or something.  I spent some time in WoW running world quests on an alt during the fleet.  But I also watched the ships and the targets.  We had a group from Black Ops that were out in the Triglavian battleship, the Leshak, hitting the structures with us.

A Leshak with the Metamateria Exotica SKIN

They can be kind of mesmerizing to watch, with their one red beam hitting the target continuously.

I just make a “bzzzzzzz” sound in my head when I see that

Seeing them makes me want to try out some of the Triglavian hulls at some point, though that will likely have to be something in a SIG.  They are too expensive and not abundant enough to be a main line doctrine.

We had a couple of the Triglavian tech 2 logi with us as well, the Zarmazd, which hit the game back in December, though I did not get a good screen shot of one of those.

What I did get to see is what happens when a mining platform gets its hull timer reinforced when it has a moon rock on the hook.  I have actually seen that before, but one of the Athanors had one very close to hand, ready for the mining action, so when it exploded it was right there on top of us.

Moon chunk goes boom!

And once it blows it leaves behind an oily black cloud that slowly dissipates.

The cloud as the explosion fades

It was a long fleets… past the three hour mark… but we reinforced a lot of structures and setup a lot of kills for a future fleet.  In a few days another fleet will be running around that area blowing up one structure after another.  We’ll see if I manage a return.

Tonight, or tomorrow morning EVE Online time, is another big structure kill.  The Keepstar in P3EN-E in the Vale of the Silent is set to come out of its final timer.  As with the two Keepstars last week, the fleets won’t even be forming up for the kill until almost midnight local time for me.  Kind of late on a weeknight.  Not something I can manage over and over.  But I am sure there will still be lots of people forming up to get on the kill mail.

Symphony of Lance

As I was hoping, somebody was filming the Keepstar shoot in M-OEE8 about which I wrote earlier in the week.  So you can see a video of the mass of titans jumping into the system and unleashing their doomsday weapons on the target.


I was somewhere off to the left of the screen on a citadel watching this, though I was able to put my camera on the citadel and watched the whole show from the other side of the structure.

Doomsday beams of many colors

As I understand it, the blue glow comes from the phenomena generators that were fit on the titans specifically to make the whole scene that much more interesting.

Line Member Blues

When it comes to life in EVE Online I am a tourist.  I have given up most of the ambitions I ever had about being good at anything in game or having some influence or impact.  I just log in to experience ops and see things get blown up and following the ongoing narrative that flows through the game.

There are ops that are exciting, and that goes for winning as well as losing.  A hard fight where you’re side comes off the worse but still inflicted some damage can feel like a victory.  You lost a ship?  So what.  You’ll lose more if you hang around.

There are ops when you get to blow up big stuff and run away before the locals respond.  I can see the allure of whaling and whenever Black Ops calls out for people to join them on a drop I log in if I can.

There are ops that don’t happen.  You log in, get in fleet, hang out for a bit, then get told to stand down.  Whatever was going to happen didn’t happen.  But you get a low effort PAP out of it, so you get something for your time.  It is better if you stand down quickly.  But I’ve sat on a titan or a black ops for an hour or more, tabbed out and doing something else, waiting for the FC to sing out that it was time to go and not felt mis-used when we have stood down without going.  It is the nature of the game.  If you want a guarantee of something to shoot at you can always go play World of Tanks.

And then there are ops that make you miserable.  I went on one of those earlier this week.

With the destruction of the Keepstars on Tuesday morning, most of the ihubs in Tribute being killed, and Dead Coalition having pretty much wiped out Tenal, focus for the Imperium has started to drift over into the Vale of the Silent, another region held by PanFam.

There was a ping for a very important op at 00:30 EVE time and, given that I was home alone, I figured I would go along.  The call was for Eagles, now called Salt Fleet because part of the gimmick to get people into Eagles was the coalition offering up a free Ghostbird SKIN for Eagles and Basilisks, which are both good looking SKINs and which led to the fleet name.   I jumped into game, got in my Eagle, and was ready to go.

However we were short of things.  Some of them were the usual roles, we needed more boosters and more logi and a couple other roles filled.  But there was also a call for people to fly entosis ships.  We got the “we’re not going anywhere until we have enough entosis ships” talk, and when they offered to hand out ships for entosis pilots to use, I figured I would step up.

I even double stepped up.  I logged my alt in and got him into fleet as well, and got two enotsis fit Drakes to fly.  I just had to hand them back at the end of the fleet if they lived.

I hadn’t done entosis in ages, and I couldn’t recall it being very exciting.  But I do try to fill roles that the fleet needs, which is why I fly logi most of the time.  If I help the fleet undock then all of us get to go out for what might be an adventure.

And we soon undocked, got on the titan, and bridged out to M-OEE8.  From there we slipped into low sec, then back into null sec via P3EN-E, which put us into the Vale of the Silent region.  There is also a Keepstar in that system, which is clearly on our list of targets.

In the entosis channel we were getting ourselves sorted.  I opened up the Google doc with the shared spreadsheet for tracking entosis nodes and put my name in the right column. (Legit spreadsheets in space.)  We flew in a few more systems then the FC told the entosis pilots to spread out to the various systems in the constellation.  As we grabbed systems and got setup one of the other pilots was called out and told not to entosis.  He was not in Goonswarm and this was a defending hack, which means that only those in GSF could participate.

Of course, that meant I couldn’t play either.

Denied this level of excitement

Being line members, we are told little to nothing about where we are headed or what the plan is.  There are enough spies around that I can see the sense of that.  However, if you’re setting up an entosis operation and you know that only people from a specific group can participate, it seems like something you should mention, or at least look into.  I mean, I had to trade with the person running the entosis opt.  We were all in a channel together and there were not that many of us.  A double check to make sure the right people are in the right roles doesn’t seem like a stretch.

Anyway, there would be no entosis lasering for me.  I flew both ships to a Fortizar we had dropped in the constellation and tethered up with the other guy to wait for the op to finish.

Things went quickly.  Nobody showed up to contest us, so after relatively few nodes the defenders had won and we were done.

Well, we were done with the entosis bit.  Since the area was quiet our FC took the Eagles around and began reinforcing various cyno jammers, jump gates, and other structures.   Meanwhile, the rest of the entosis ships, a dozen of us all together, tethered up on the Fortizar and sat around waiting.

As I mentioned above, waiting is nothing new.  But this was a particularly frustrating wait.  I had flown out with the fleet, both main and alt, for a role that I was not able to perform.  Once the entosis part of the operation was done our little band was essentially ignored while the rest of the fleet flew around shooting targets and… well… actually doing things.  And the number of things to be done was very open ended, so there was no ETA or such, just having to hear over coms that the were warping to another structure for another 20 minute reinforcement shoot.

And so we sat for over two hours.  If somebody had said, “Be back in two hours” I would have been good.  But no, we had to stay alert and listening to coms to figure out what was going on.  This was not helped at my end by it being the hottest day of the year so far (it hit 107, and was still in the high 90s as the sun set), my office being the hottest corner of the house, or the fact that one of the cats ate something they shouldn’t have and started throwing up all over the house.  Oh, and the paper towel roll in the kitchen had exactly three sheets left on it and it was the last one we had.  Also, nobody else would join up for a Drake conga line while we waited.

Two Drakes do not a conga line make

So I was salty and boiling, and not necessarily metaphorically, and my patience for being ignored and left to wait for an unspecified time frame was very much non-existent.  And I was not necessarily alone in that feeling.  The mood in the entosis channel was grim and a couple of people said that they had learned their lesson about volunteering for that.  Some people couldn’t stick around and just left.

I considered leaving as well.  If the two Drakes had been my ships I might have just blazed a trail for home despite intel reporting a couple of gangs roaming the route back.  Two high EHP entosis Drakes with RLMLs and ECM drones would make for some comedy moments if nothing else.  Plus they each had a cyno fit, so I could have called in a drop.  I knew there was a group on standby just for that.

But these were not my ships.  These ships were on loan.  And while I could afford to reimburse the person handing them out, that wasn’t the point.  On a deployment getting supplied can be a task in and of itself, so handing somebody the ISK doesn’t solve the full replacement problem.  Plus you just don’t go throw away ships people lend you.  I felt like I had to make a good faith attempt to get them home safely.  So I waited, listened to coms, and fumed.

This was the dark time of the op.  I couldn’t really stray far from my computer, I couldn’t watch a movie because there was still talking on coms, and a lot of it was from the command channel so being in the no chatter channel wasn’t helping, I was hot, I was bored, and I just wanted to get this whole thing done.

This is where you start questioning why you went on this op, why you are on this deployment, why you stay in your alliance, why you play this objectively unfun game at all.  I started planning to head back to Delve, haul the remains of my stuff to low sec… a process I started back in late 2017 when I was bored with the game… and just quit.  Fuck this game.

I tabbed out and played some RimWorld while I listened to the ongoing chatter as the rest of thee fleet moved from target to target, reinforcing various NC/PL structures so they couldn’t unanchor them and carry them off.  There were several fleets out doing this, including Zungen’s roaming fleet of Leshak battleships.

Eventually the FC called out that there were only three more targets before the fleet would head home, then two, then one, then, at last, the entosis crew was told to wake up and given a destination at which to meet up with the fleet.

Having something to do made me feel a bit better right away.  I was still surly, but could feel it ebbing away with activity.  We met up with the fleet on a gate and carried on with it.  The FC said we had a ride home waiting for us, that we just had to get through a couple of systems and a titan would be waiting to send us home.

My annoyance was peaked just a bit as we moved towards our ride.  We had to pass through one bubbled gate, and as we landed 80km off the of it the FC chided us to hurry, to turn on prop mods and get to the gate.

A defensively bubbled gate

Of course the entosis Drakes, the slowest ships in the fleet, had no prob mods fit.  We were going to sail leisurely through the bubbles no matter what the FC said, though at least somebody reminded him that we were not lagging behind on purpose.

The titan was in the next system.  We were bridged back onto the Keepstar where we started.  I docked up, contracted both Drakes back to the person who lent them out, and logged off.  Then I went to the store to buy more paper towels.

I was back by the next day though.  There are still more things to blow up in Tribute.

Watching a Raitaru explode the next day

And there are targets in the Vale of the Silent now as well.  That defensive entosis effort was to keep the ihub in P3EN-E in GSF hands.  There is a Keepstar in that system, and without an ihub in their possession the locals cannot put up a cyno jammer to keep our capitals out.  I imagine that we will be blowing that up some day soon.

And so it goes.  I got through my black moment and carried on, still keen enough to see things through another chapter in the ongoing story that is EVE Online.  Even bad moments make for tales once they are in the past.

But I am still going to sit on my hands and remain silent the next time they need volunteers for entosis operations.  Fuck that noise.

Keepstar Nocturnal Mission

I was up because it was hot.  It had peaked over 100 degrees in the afternoon in Silicon Valley, and even as midnight approached the temperature hung in the mid-80s.  It was too warm to get to sleep easily, so why not just stay up and see a couple of Keepstars blown up?

Given how long they have been around, there haven’t been that many Keepstar kills.  The list of losses over at Zkillboard isn’t that long, even if you add in the couple that didn’t register correctly.  I’ve been around for a few of the kills… including multiple Circle of Two Keepstars… but it is still something of a special event to see one explode.

And that was my initial plan.  Very low commitment.  I was just going to slip into M-OEE8 with an alt in a stealth bomber and watch the fireworks there.  We had a couple of citadels parked around the target, so I could tether up and watch.  So nearly an hour ahead of time I was setup and watching.

The M-OEE8 Keepstar awaits

There were actually multiple targets on grid, but only one really mattered, and the timer was counting down.

Other targets on grid, with blues on their own citadel

That would let me watch one Keepstar, but there was a second one in 0-YMBJ that was set to come out about 30 minutes after the first.  For that one I logged in with my main.  The target was just one jump over from our staging, so I would just stealth bomber over to watch that one as well.

And then the calls for fleets started going up.  There were nearly 2,000 pilots logged into our staging system, and I decided to go with one of the Baltec fleets.  I already had a Megathron.  That would get me on a kill mail or two.

But then they needed logi… somebody always needs more logi… so I bought an Oneiros, put on the Emergency Response SKIN, stuffed a Bouncer and four Warrior IIs in the drone bay and undocked.

Oneiros ready to go

Sothrasil was our FC, and he warped us off to the Athanor off the undock, then back onto the titan that was going to bridge us.  However, everybody was so anxious to go that there were dozens of titans crowded in and it was tough just to click on the correct one.  The call had to go out for titans to dock back up because they were bumping the bridging titans.  We got to hear about that because it was another operation with all fleets on the same voice coms.  But things did clear up for us and we were bridged into M-OEE8.

And from there we gated one system over to E-OGL4 to shoot a Fortizar that was already out.  We landed in close enough that I was able to put a Warrior II on it before we anchored up and motored well out of drone range.

You can almost see the Fortizar

That went placidly as nobody bothered to gun the Fortizar until it was almost dead.  When somebody did show up they turned on the PDS and killed my drone, but the structure was down to 5% at that point, so I was on the kill when it exploded.

The Fortizar explodes as we align out

Meanwhile, back in M-OEE8, more ships were piling in.  Super carriers were putting fighters on the Keepstar the warping to tether up while a range of third party fleets from TEST and Dead Coalition… and even a couple of NC/PL ships… were hanging about watching the structure get chipped away, waiting for their moment to get in range to take a few shots so as to get on to the kill.

Supers strewn about the field

Sothrasil brought us onto the Fortizar on grid with the Keepstar where we tethered up and waited our turn to take a shot at the big target.  One person in our fleet, alleged to be a non-English speaker, warped off to the Keepstar to get his shots in on his own and was blown up for going off on his own.  About the same time a carrier pilot in an Archon trying to control their fighters ended up warping to the Keepstar and was likewise blown up.

Archon sacrificed at the altar of the Keepstar

Somebody ran out in a blockade runner to try and look the wreck, but I don’t think they made it out safely.

Caught grabbing the loot

My alt in his stealth bomber decloaked and put some torps into the Keepstar, then warped back to tether up and watch the outcome.

Sothrasil then had us align and we warped in to take out shots.  I dropped the Bouncer II I had brought along and set it to firing a few rounds before scooping it up.  We then aligned back just as the call for the titans to jump in came over coms.

Our little fleet visible as the titans land in front of the Keepstar

Asher was directing the titans.  The plan was for them all to land and then use their doomsday weapons in order to send off the Keepstar in style.  It didn’t quite go to plan… people shot their

weapons early… but it still looked pretty neat.  I put my camera on the Keepstar and got some pretty shots through the uprights.

Doomsday beams of many colors

A bunch of screen shots were posted in chat, so I’ll link to some of those if you want to see more of that moment.

The Keepstar blew up, most everybody got on the kill mail (more than 1,500 people recorded), the titans got their money shot, the operation was a success.

Keepstar blows up

Now there was just the matter of the other Keepstar, now out of its timer and repairing, eight jumps away.  When the M-OEE8 Keepstar blew I immediately sent my alt in his bomber off towards the gate to get to the next target.  For the first couple of gates it was like swimming through molasses due to time dilation, but it soon cleared up and he was moving quickly.  Fortunately there were no gate camps.

Over in 0-YMBJ a fleet of carriers had been sent to put fighters on the Keepstar to stop the repair timer and chip it down to get it ready for the kill.  However, the fighters had been doing a very effective job and there wasn’t much left to shoot when my alt arrived, and he was there ahead of the whole fleet sitting in M-OEE8.

Calls were made to pull some, then all fighters as the fleets began jumping in.  People were getting antsy about getting on that second kill so, despite being told to take a shot and stop firing, people blazed away with all they had.  As titans landed, more doomsdays were set off, without much regard to who might be in the way.

Somebody blowing up in the pack

I put my alt in range and set torpedoes flying, but my main was still in M-OEE8, sitting on a titan waiting for the bridge to go up.  Meanwhile people were calling the percentage left on the Keepstar, getting everybody worked up.  The call was 8% left when our bridge finally went up.  But there was traffic control and many of us stayed in the jump tunnel for a long time.

When I finally landed, there was only 2% left on the structure.  I immediately dropped my Bouncer II and set it on the Keepstar.  I was just in time, but others in our fleet landed too late.  The Keepstar quickly exploded.

The second Keepstar blows

Still, more than 1,500 people were on that kill mail as well.  I managed to get on there with both accounts.

After that it was just a matter of getting everybody home.  On the bright side, we were all just one gate from our staging.  On the downside, it was now 1:30am local time for me… and much later/earlier some others… so people were sluggish about getting going and the subcaps had to sit around and make sure that all the big stuff got out safely.

The Mittani got on coms… it must have been 3:30am for him, though he is younger than I… and congratulated us on the kills and said that we needed to work out how to move this many people around between kills, since some people didn’t get on both as promised.

We were later informed that, with these two Keepstars, the total value of structures and ihubs destroyed in Tribute now exceeded 1.7 trillion ISK.  Somebody is going to have to go kill a lot more Rorquals back in Delve if they want to claim that equal damage is being done back there.

Slowly but surely the capitals drained out of 0-YMBJ and we were able to go home ourselves.  We docked up, I logged out, and then headed off to bed.  It was still hot in the house, but it was a little less so than earlier and I was now tired enough to drop off to sleep.

CSM14 Elections Start Today

The day has arrived and the polls have opened, you may now go forth and vote for your favorite candidates for CSM14.  If you’re in a rush, I believe the official candidates page is also the voting site as well, once you log in.  Voting closes on the 17th, so don’t let the time slip by.

A new CSM gets a New Logo

My long held opinion on electing player representatives, that it is a bit silly and more for show than anything else, remains unchanged.  However, if this is the system we have it isn’t going to get any better by not participating.  I vigorously oppose anything like a “none of the above” option on the ballot.  Voter turnout, such that it is, and who gets elected, ought to be enough to send the message.

There are 44 candidates on the ballot and Nosy Gamer has done a good job of listing them out in a post on his blog because, if nothing else, it doesn’t change order every time you go look at it.  I understand why CCP does that on their ballot page, but that doesn’t make reading the list any easier.

Anyway, go look through that post for candidate summaries as well as links to their pages on the CSM Wire site, which in turn links to their various campaign posts and interviews.

As with last year, there are seven incumbents from CSM13 running to be on the CSM again.  Suitonia, Jin’taan, and Brisc Rubal all declined to run for another term, so the returning candidates are:

  • Aryth – Goonswarm Federation
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Killah Bee – Northern Coalition
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Sort Dragon – Darkness
  • Steve Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  • The Judge – Goonswarm Federation

Most of them seem well placed to return.  The Judge might be an outlier for null sec, unless he appears on multiple bloc ballots or is able to buy votes from the injector farmers again.

Steve Ronuken could also be at risk if other non-null bloc candidates erode his long time base.  There are some other well known players running for that position.

As of my writing this I have not seen the Imperium ballot yet, nor have I seen any leaks from other null sec coalitions, but I expect that null sec bloc candidates will take at least six and possibly as many as eight seats on the council.  This is due, in large part, to their ability to organize and get out the vote. (I’ll append the ballots to the end of this post when they get leaked.)

If they succeed in getting the vote out in a big way and take eight seats, I expect it will be the top two from the Imperium ballot, the top two from the Legacy Coalition ballot, two from NCDot/PanFam, and possibly one each from Dead Coalition and Fraternity.

That leaves between two and four seats open to non-bloc candidates, and those who have built up an independent constituency, or who have ingratiated themselves with the null sec groups, seem most likely to get in.  My guesses on who might fill those seats include:

  • Steve Ronuken – Incumbent, represents industry and 3rd party interfaces
  • Mike Azariah – Runs the Magic School Bus to help new players
  • Manic Velocity – Popular EVE Online streamer
  • Matterall – Talking in Stations show
  • Olmeca Gold – Popular anti-null sec conspiracy theorist

I might not have included Olmeca Gold, except that it is rumored that he might get on some null sec ballots, which could give him enough trickle down to win.  Likewise, Matterall has been out horse trading endorsements to get on null sec ballots, which may make you then question his Independence.  If you fly in null sec and are on null sec bloc ballots, can you then be independent of that?   We shall see how that works out.

There has been a conspiracy theory about, alleged to have started with Doomchinchilla on Twitter, that the Imperium attack on Tribute was planned so that the Imperium would have the maximum number of subscribed accounts… because people come back to play when there is a war… when the election hit.

The Mittani, responding to this on the weekly coalition fireside, said that was a great idea and he wished he had thought of it.  So now I suspect there will be a late spring war every year to coincide with the election.

There is also another side conspiracy theory that CCP is trying to get more people to vote by literally giving away Omega time.  There is currently a Twitch Prime offer that does just that.

Free stuff, or stuff you’ve already paid for so might as well claim

If you have Amazon Prime, you link that to your Twitch account to get Twitch Prime (Amazon owns Twitch), then you claim the offer and link it to an EVE Online Alpha Clone account and, boom, you have 15 days of Omega Clone time and get to vote.  I know I get one more vote this year because of this.

There were 29,417 votes cast for CSM13, and 31,274 cast for CSM12.  There have never been fewer than 20K votes cast (early CSM votes were low, and CSM11 has just 22K votes cast) and the peak amount of votes cast was for CSM7, when nearly 60K accounts voted.

Number of Votes Cast – CSM 1 through CSM 12

We will see if either of those things end up in a rise in voter participation in this election.  Noizy has a poll up on Twitter if you want to take a guess at voter turn out.  I suspect it will be up this year, but that will translate into more null sec votes.

Anyway, the vote is on.  If you need to read up on the candidates, I will point you once again at the CSM Wire.  When you are ready to vote, the official candidate page can be found here.

Addendum – Ballots I have seen so far.  If you see any others let me know:

Imperium Ballot

  1. Aryth
  2. Merkelchen
  3. Innominate
  4. The Judge
  5. Vily
  6. Dunk Dinkle
  7. Sortdragon
  8. Killah Bee
  9. Steve Ronuken
  10. Xenuria

TEST Ballot

  1. Vily
  2. Cornak Firefist
  3. Dunk Dinkle
  4. Innominate
  5. Killah Bee
  6. Matterall
  7. Gobbins
  8. Steve Ronuken

Pandemic Horde Ballot

  1. Gobbins
  2. Killah Bee
  3. Arrowspeeed Bounty
  4. Dunk Dinkle
  5. Olmeca Gold
  6. Matterall
  7. Vily