Category Archives: Null Sec

MER – Now with Fewer Charts

CCP was rolling a little later than usual with the Monthly Economic Report for May 2018.  Then again, they had a lot going on with the Into the Abyss expansion at the end of may, the great outpost conversion at the start of June, and the CSM13 election which concluded on Monday.

I also think the departure of CCP Quant means that we won’t be seeing the MER show up on the second or third of the month now.  I also suspect that CCP Larrikin, who took over the MER when CCP Quant left, has other tasks on his plate.

I figure that is why we got fewer charts this month.

I mean, the raw data is all still there so I can make all those extra bar charts myself should I so desire.  I won’t, because I am lazy, but I could, and that is the point… I think.

Anyway, on to the usual first metric, mining.

May 2018 – Mining Value by Region

Delve remains the reigning champ for mining output, with all other regions in its mighty shadow.  That now missing bar chart of regions would illustrate this nicely if I had it.

Even so, Delve’s numbers are down a bit, coming in 451 billion ISK less than the April number, a gap about equal to the total mining output of Immensea or Deklein. Are the people of Delve tiring of mining?  Have outsiders been shooting our excavator drones?  Or has the price of ore continued to fall.

Well, there is nothing to say that it isn’t the first two in some way, but the third can be seen in the economic indices chart.

May 2018 – Economic Indices

The value of minerals continues it slide, so the value of what was mined would have gone down, even had the actual cubic meters ore been the same.

And lest you panic, while the three year chart seems grim for mineral values, we’ve seen worse.

May 2018 – Economic Indices Long Term

I remember the situation back in 2010.  That was where we hit the “shuttle floor” pricing for minerals, the point at which you could buy a shuttle (which used to be sold at a fixed price by NPCs), reprocess it, and then sell the resulting minerals for as much as you paid for the shuttle.

Other regions are a bit down as well.  With Deklein it could just be the price change.  Fade and Pure Blind however, which continued to see upheaval as Imperium groups hounded MOA out of the area.  But now Circle of Two has been installed in Fade and the Imperium is on a break from the north, so we’ll probably see those numbers rebound a bit in June.

NPC bounties, on the other hand, are absolute.  The more NPCs that die, the more bounties are paid out.

May 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

On this chart Delve not only remains at the top of the heap, but is actually up about one and a half trillion ISK over April.  That is a lot of 130 million ISK ticks.  Whatever is having an impact on mining shows no sign of harming bounty payments.  It is almost hard to account for the variations month to month in other regions where it is just a few billion ISK up or down.

One region that will probably see a rebound is Providence.  Wracked by the Pandemic Legion invasion and then the reconquista, just 89 billion ISK in bounties were paid out for the region.  If you look back six months the region was pulling in over 1.5 trillion ISK in bounties.  But now the war of the outposts is over and things will likely settle down.  We’ll have to see what TEST does with all those outposts though.

The sec status bounty split remained about the same.

May 2018 – NPC Bounties by Sec Status

Null sec remains dominant, holding 92% of the payouts.  That is still down ever so slightly, the balance seeming to have gone to High sec, which is up from 7.2% to 7.4% of the total.

Bounty payouts rose some in May.

May 2018 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

While the number is trending up, it is still below previous peaks.

Meanwhile there is a curious bump in insurance payouts on the chart.  My instinct was to put that off to Abyssal pockets, but it looks to be mid-month.  I suspect that is related to the various wars that were going strong about then.  Still, I will be interested to see the June report to see if insurance starts to trend up a bit due to Abyssal pockets.  We shall see.

On the trade front The Forge, home to Jita, remains the undisputed leader in sheer volume.

May 2018 – Trade Value by Region

Trade value in The Forge was up by more than 11 trillion ISK.  Again, I want to know is Abyssal pocket losses are going to stoke trade, both with more ship purchases as well as increasing prices for some of the more desirable faction and heavy assault cruisers.

On the bar chart without The Forge the Domain region, home of Amarr, holds second place.

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

Delve comes in third place, behind the two major high sec trade hubs, but ahead of the three secondary hubs.

May 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Chart

On contract value however, Delve remains a strong second.  I imagine this is largely due to how the purchase of fleet doctrine ships and capital ships are handled in the region.

An interesting chart this month shows how much of the fees and such goes to NPCs in stations versus to players who run citadels.

May 2018 – NPC versus Player Service Fee Payments

As we can see, despite predictions of doom, broker fees continue to be mostly an NPC thing, draining ISK out of the economy.  Also, repair bills remain almost completely an NPC thing… though who pays to repair in a citadel when you can just tether and get repaired for free?

Industry and reprocessing has moved largely to Upwell structures.  Jump clone fees though, remain mostly an NPC thing.  I think the latter is because most corps and alliances don’t want to tax their players through jump clone fees, while NPCs are happy to stick you with a 900K ISK fee every time.

Then there is production.

May 2018 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

Delve remains the top region for production.  All those titans and Rorquals add up.  But the trio of The Forge, The Citadel, and Lonetrek, all of which feed the Jita market, still add up to a 16 trillion ISK more than Delve.  Jita is a voracious market and it needs a lot of production and NPC drops to feed it.

Finally, the usual end chart, the regional comparison that shows how key regions stack up.

May 2018 – Regional Stats

I was thinking that perhaps the total value destroyed chart might be interesting this month.  Again, I wonder how Abyssal pockets will affect things.  But the chart didn’t change month over April, save for where there were wars or a least large battles (Wicked Creek saw a big uptick), which leads me to wonder where Abyssal pockets are.  Do your losses count towards the system, constellation, or region in which you enter a pocket, or does that all get counted in another column that isn’t currently part of the chart?

Again, I am waiting for a dev blog on Abyssal pockets and how things have gone.

Anyway, you can find the May monthly economic report in the usual location, which has a bunch of charts I did not cover as well as all the raw data you could want to make your own.

Introducing Your CSM13 Representatives

The voting ended on Monday, the ballot boxes were as stuffed as they were going to get, and, with no real venue or event going on to carry the announcement, CCP went to Twitch to broadcast the winners of the election.

Space elections are serious business…

Those on CSM13 fall into two groups.  First there are the incumbents.  Basically, anybody who was on CSM12 and who ran again made the cut.  Seven incumbents ran and they were:

  • Aryth – Goonswarm Federation
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Sort Dragon – Darkness
  • The Judge – Goonswarm Federation
  • Jin’taan – Red Noise (formerly of CVA and TEST)
  • Suitonia – The Felines of the Egg of the Lisa
  • Steve Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises

Aryth, at the top of the Imperium ballot, was also the biggest vote getter.  Sort Dragon, who was substituted in when Vince Draken was removed last year, managed to make the cut on his own this time.  Meanwhile, proving that betrayal is no barrier to success, The Judge managed to make it back on the council as well.

That leaves the three new people on the CSM, who were:

  • Killah Bee – Northern Coalition
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative

That gives you all ten members of CSM13.

The CSM 13 Winners

As you can see, null sec dominated the vote even more than usual, with only two players outside of 0.0 making the cut.

For those keeping track, 7 out of 10 people on the Imperium ballot (which I posted here with the full candidate list) made it onto the CSM this year, with only Mawderator, Sullen Decimus, and Commander Aze left out.  However, some of the people on the Imperium ballot had or built constituencies outside of the Imperium.  Still, the top four players on the Imperium ballot made it, which was one more than I really thought would. (I do wonder how many people outside of the Imperium voted for The Judge.)

On the stream CCP Guard said that there was a total of 29,417 votes, down a bit from the 31,274 that were cast for CSM12.  He attributed this in part in that no direct mailing went out during the election as none were slated the one week time frame of the election.  You can see where the CSM13 number stacks up historically.

Number of Votes Cast – CSM 1 through CSM 12

CCP Guard said that there will be a full dev blog about the election published, most likely tomorrow, with all of the voting data so you can check for yourself how things played out.  I will add a link to this post when that goes up.

CCP Guard on the stream

CCP Guard did say that Tikktokk Tokkzikk of Pandemic Legion appeared to be in 11th place, so if somebody needs to be replaced during the term, that will likely be who steps in.

In the mean time CCP is still working on getting the server back up.  The game has been down for a while now today.

Addendum: The server is now back up.  It seems that those faction Fortizars were a problem.

Addendum 2: The dev blog with the full voting details has been posted.

A Venture to HED-GP

Ranger Gama was back again with another frigate race for Reavers.  You may (but most likely do not) recall the race I wrote about back in December that had us racing Daredevils about the north.  That was enough fun that Ranger has made it a semi-regular thing in Reavers.  There was a second race a few months back that I missed, but I was around this weekend for the third one.

As has been the case in the past, Ranger Gama wouldn’t tell us where we would be headed in advance, nor what we would be flying, aside from the fact that he figured some of us might need to train up the skill.

That prompted me to see if there was any frigate that I could not fly.  Aside from the new Triglavian frigate, the Damavik, I seemed to be covered.  But if I had had to guess, I would have said the Venture was a likely candidate, being a mining frigate.  And, sure enough, when the time came Ranger Gama had some specially fit Ventures for us.

A Venture waiting to race

Ranger only had a few to hand out, so only the first 9 people who joined fleet were going to get one, which led to me hitting refresh on the fleet finder until his fleet advert popped up, at which point I joined (followed shortly by a couple other people) before the ping for the fleet was even sent out.  The fleet had to be disbanded until the ping, at which point people piled back in.

There were more people than frigates, but the fit was simple and cheap, so a couple people were allowed to buy their own in order to join.  As you can see from my eventual kill mail (we’ll get to that) it just fit a pair of mining lasers, a festival launcher, an MWD, an AB, a survey scanner, and a Nanofiber in the low slot.  We did get rigs to let us warp faster, so at least we had some speed.

There were questions about what we were allowed to do.  Not allowed was changing the fit.  Everybody had to race with the fit provided, though a couple of people felt that meant they could add some drones.  But otherwise people were allowed to run with implants if they so desired and take any route or mode or transportation they wished, so long as they stayed in their Venture.  We were then given the route and were sent on our way.

The race route

We started in 1DQ1-A, the capital of the Imperium, and our first waypoint was HY-RWO in Catch.  Most people headed straight down the most direct path, but four of us, myself included, got out GARPA to check the local jump bridge network, and turned the other direction to catch a jump bridge that shaved nearly a dozen gates off the route.  That put the four of us, Sicarius Bile, Grodd Gandar, Zarakik, and myself, way out in front of the pack.  In that group of four I was the second through the jump bridge.

The gate route, all 52 jumps

Part of the idea of the race is that hostiles along the way will cause trouble for the leaders who may (or may not) choose to share intel on what is happening.  However, Saturday night in Catch seemed to be pretty quiet.  TEST and their allies in the Legacy Coalition were not out roaming their space along our route, so the four of use made it to U-QVWD without incident.

Sicarius Bile got there first, and I jumped into the system just after.  I waited until he said he was on the TEST Keepstar in the system before warping to him and then moving off to pull distance while staying on grid.  Since grids… what is essentially the local bit of space where you can see other players and structures… are pretty huge now thanks to citadels, there is a lot of room to work with.

Nobody came out to molest us however.  I did see that there were a couple of player corpses on the undock of the Keepstar, which I suggested ought to fetch a prize bonus if collected (which somebody then did, because of course they would) but otherwise not much happened.

On grid with the Keepstar in my Venture

As we were winding down our five minutes on the Keepstar those who did not take the jump bridge began to arrive.  Asher seemed to be at the back of the pack, but unperturbed, with a calm in his voice, which made people suspect that he had a plan.

Then the early four headed out for the loop around TEST space.  During that run the lineup of the first four changed as Zarakik passed me.  I suspect that he might have opted for the warp speed implants.  But later he said that he was physically close to the London data center where the EVE Online servers are, giving him a consistent 7ms ping, which basically allowed him to load system faster than I could, eight time zones away from London, allowing him a small but tangible head start through each gate.

We started arriving back at the Keepstar for our second five minute stay on grid just as the last of the second group was leaving after their first.  Somebody in the second group tried to use the drones they packed to thin out the pack, but that did not work out.

I made a bookmark on the first stay so was able to warp straight in and start my five minute timer.  Again, there was little to remark on during our stay.  An interceptor undocked, but didn’t seem to have any use for us.  We speculated what they might be saying on their intel channel about a small gang of mining frigates hanging out around their Keepstar, but whatever it was, nobody came to get us.

So after our five minutes elapsed, we headed out for the final waypoint, Sicarius Bile in the lead, Zarakik next, and myself and Grodd Gandar close behind, smug with the distance of our lead.

And then we all died in SV5-8N, just one gate shy of the finish line.  Brave had a gate camp with drag bubbles up on the HED-GP gate.  Sicarius Bile died first and told us about the gate camp.  Then we proceeded to pile on and die, one by one, until eight of us were down.

Who is missing a jacket?

We didn’t all just bumble in with a direct warp.  I, like most of the later group, tried to find a bounce point which might bring me in behind the camp and let me get to the gate without getting caught.  But they had four drag bubbles up arrayed about the gate so that there was no joy on that front.

That left Asher Elias, Locke Erasmus, Elisha Okaski, and Boris Agnon (who got away in his pod) still in the race.  Back in 1DQ1-A I asked if I refit a Venture if I could just race to HED-GP, but the ruling came back that I would need run the whole route again for it to count.  Given that the alternate route to HED-GP was another 34 gates, I didn’t think it was worth the effort.

It got quiet on coms as those left considered their options.  A long diversion from the easy path seemed to be the choice.  And then Asher called out that he had made it, long before he could have run the full way around.

He told us that he looked at the killmails that we had linked and started convo’ing the FC of the gate camp to bribe him to be let through.  As it turned out the FC just wanted Asher to bring a fight, and since Saturday Night Swarm was starting in HED-GP in just a bit… that was why it was the end point of the race… he was able to offer that up.  So they let him through and he won.

We asked what other plans he might of had, since he seemed to linger behind as the race started, so there was speculation that he might have been looking for an opportune wormhole to get an edge.  However, it came out that he convo’d TEST (and former GSF) FC Vily to ask him to set Asher blue to TEST so he could use TEST jump bridges.  Vily told him he couldn’t do that himself, but would try to find somebody who could.  It looked like Vily was good to his word and actually did get Asher set blue, but nobody got back to Asher so he ended up not using the jump bridge network.

Then after a time, Locke and Elisha made it to HED-GP via the long route and we had out winner.  The prize pool of 1.5 billion ISK was divided up, with 50% slated for the winner, 30% for second place, 15% for third, and 5% set aside for the first person to arrive in a pod.  Those finishing the race were:

  1. Asher Elias
  2. Locke Erasmus
  3. Elisha Okaski

Boris Agnon opted not to take the long way around in his pod, so the 5% for that was rolled over into the prize pool for the next race, along with Elisha’s prize money at his insistence.

And so the third Reavers frigate race ended, with most of us dying quickly at the gate camp in SV5-8N.  Brave popped me so fast I did not have a chance to launch fireworks at them.  Somebody had enough time to grab a direction scan of the camp, but that was about it.

What was waiting on the gate?

Despite not getting a prize I ended up 103,545.20 ISK ahead for the evening, that being the payout for losing an uninsured Venture.  I went with a clean pod, so losing that cost me nothing.

There was some talk as to what else we could have done with the race.  Since we were in mining frigates it was suggested that filling our ore holds ought to be a requirement… something Locke said he did anyway… but as not everybody had mining skills (the advent of skill extractors meant a lot of combat pilots ripped out the mining skills they trained as newbies back in the day) that was set aside.

Ranger Gama has promised to hold another race in the future.  We will have to see how that plays out and what surprises he comes up with.

Flying with Main Fleet While on Break from the Pure Blind Front

After a successful op last week… which I missed… Asher declared we were going to take a break from the north for a while.  We were to leave everything in place in our station, but we free to run off an rat or run abyssal pockets or whatever we wanted for a while.

Of course, I not only missed that op, I somehow missed the move op from our temporary foray into Venal back to our NPC staging station, so first had to work on getting my ships back to where I would need them when we returned.

Fortunately we have somebody who does shipping for us and who took care of those of us who got left behind.  I had to repackage some ships, which meant I lost the rigs and will have to import a fresh set to use those ships later, but at least they were back where I wanted them.

Then I had to think about what I was going to do while we were on a break.  Pretty much all I have done for most of the last 6-8 months has been Reavers ops, with the occasional diversion into an event now and again.

First on the list was to get a participation credit.  We took a break at the start of the month and I had to get in some PAP links in so my corp would know I was still alive and not kick me.  I swear that is all I do for them most months, add to the corp PAP total.

I usually aim to get a few right away at the start of the month, as you never know what is going to come up. (The earlier ops I mentioned that I missed were due to ill health.)  Without Reavers though, it looked like I was going to have to go on some main fleet ops.

I used to enjoy main fleet and the chaos and silliness and the lack of responsibility and such.  I did almost nothing but main fleet ops for years, from my landing in null sec through the Fountain War.  I saw many great battles and had good times.  But it started to wear on me after a time.  And then Reavers was formed and I managed to get in when they were taking anybody who signed up, and it changed my experience in null sec.

I will train any skill, fly an doctrine, and go on any op with Asher leading.  His fleets, for lack of a better term, are a quality experience and I enjoy them quite a bit.  They keep me playing EVE Online long after I otherwise might have taken a break.  I almost feel like I am part of the team.

So to go from that to a main fleet op I knew I was in for a let down.  But it was even worse than I expected.  We had an FC from a GSF corp who had all his pals in the fleet and it became a very in-group thing.  I’m already somebody who usually feels like the outsider, and with an in-group running the fleet… and all in the command channel so I couldn’t even escape it in the “no chatter” channel… it was more painful than I had expected.

It wouldn’t have actually been that bad, except that I also forgot how slowly main fleet ops move.  They have to ping for a form up an hour before we need to undock because it takes that long to get everything sorted out.  I wasn’t even going to go because I saw the first ping 15 minutes late, which usually means “too late” in Reavers.  But then more pings came out looking for logi and then boosters, so I logged in and clone jumped back to Delve to join in.

It was a Batlec fleet, so I bought an Oneiros off contract to join in as logi and added a couple of combat drones so I could get on the kill mail promised in the ping. (That promise meant it would be a structure shoot.)  I had to buy a ship because last September I wasn’t feeling it for the game and packed up all my stuff and moved it to low sec thinking I might take a break.  Then in October Asher took us on the current deployment and I’ve been happy doing that since.

Eventually everything got together and we undocked and burned off for our first waypoint.

Baltec Fleet on the move at last

We rallied up at a citadel then moved into Fountain.  From a Keepstar there we were bridged to the destination.

Baltec Fleet Bridging Out

There we found the expected structure, a Gang Bang Team tower, waited as I expected.

Tower Shoot Begins

I only brought a couple of light drones, which cannot hit a tower in a POS shield.  But I knew from long experience that all I had to do was hit one of the modules outside of the shield to get on the kill mails of everything we blew up, and we were there to blow everything up.  Capitals dropped in to help us with the shoot.

An Erebus titan with the 15th Anniversary SKIN

I realize I was bitching about the FC and his friends having fun together, and you shouldn’t take that too seriously.  I appreciate the FCs in the coalition.  They have a difficult job and I try to do everything I can to make their job as easy as possible, which usually means following instructions.

This is where my fellow line member F1 monkeys can make such fleets a pain.  I mean, I screw up all the time, so I can’t point fingers for being bad.  Just a week or so back in tabbing between windows I managed to decloak myself while we were all waiting on a black ops for a drop and I apologized and logged off in shame I felt so bad.  But I listen and try to do what the FC asks.  Our poor FC was trying to get people to follow simple instructions and failing, as tends to happen on main fleet.  For example, he wanted the main DPS arm of the fleet to orbit him, something he kept repeating.  Yet, as the tower went down there was still a ball of ships stuck to him.

Those Megathrons should not be there… and a Cerb?

Anyway, we blew up the tower and I got my kill mails.  In addition to PAPs I like to get on zKillboard at least once a month to prove I am alive.

An Amarr tower going up

I was okay with that.  I go on POS shoots now wondering which one will be my last, since they are slated to be removed from the game at some future date.

Then we turned around and headed for home, escorting the caps to their destination first.

An Avatar in Red

Caps warp slow, so it was a while getting home.  Eventually we arrived home, nearly three hours after I logged in.  And all we did was go 15 gates, shoot a thing, and come back.  As I said, the logistics of main fleet and the need to shepherd people of all levels of skill and listening ability.

I may bitch about main fleet, but it is a necessity.  Things have to get done in space.  But it just isn’t something I enjoy as much as I once did back in the day.  I look forward to the Reavers deployment resuming ops.

The Great Outpost Conversion Commences

Then end of captureable stations is upon us.

We have been waiting for this since at least EVE Fanfest 2017, when it was discussed in detail, and possibly since the last game update in YC118 (December 2016), when the last outpost was deployed in null sec, or even since EVE Vegas 2014, when CCP Seagull spoke in the keynote about the roadmap of changes coming to EVE Online.

Time to drag this old slide out again… Are we at stargate construction yet?

CCP has planned for this change, written dev blogs to prepare people, and tried it out a couple of times on the test server.  But today it is happening for real.  All of the capturable stations… or outposts… or whatever they’re supposed to be called… will be converted to faction Fortizar type citadels.  Gone will be the stations that I and many others have grown accustomed to as a way of life in null sec space.

VFK-IV Station goes missing today

There are 1,217 outposts in player owned null sec… including the 8 in Jove space owned by CCP alliances… and CCP started a 3 hour downtime to covert them all into the new faction Fortizars.  That meant processing the contents of the stations, which according to the last dev blog included:

  • More than 53,300,000 inventory items.
  • More than 75,800 market orders.
  • More than 33,000 contracts.
  • More than 240,000 bookmarks.

Each item needs to be processed and placed into the correct corresponding new citadel.  Easy enough, as it is all just information in tables in a database.  But there is a lot of information and it has to be processed in a timely fashion and correctly, because mistakes will make players scream.

The new Fortizars will be special.  Some will have the look of old station models and are named after stations of note from the history of New Eden.  Players will be able to pack them up, move them, sell them, whatever.  And, of course, they can now be destroyed as well.  But each comes pre-configured with special rigs that make them more valuable if left in place, as packing them up will destroy these rigs and there will be no replacements.

The main beneficiaries of these new faction Fortizars contain some names you probably expect.  The final tally over at DOTLAN was:

Alliances sorted by Outpost Ownership

TEST alliance is at the top of the chart, with 102, having reaped the rewards of throwing Pandemic Legion out of Providence last month.  ProviBloc got the sovereignty, but TEST got the stations.

Goonswarm is second with 80 outposts, mostly in Delve, Querious, and adjacent regions.

The skill urself alliance was the beneficiary of the collapse of xXDeathXx in the east, gobbling up stations as they fell back to find a spot to crash on the couch of Legacy Coalition.

Brothers of Tangra is a renter alliance owned by NCDot, which itself is also on the top ten.  Combined the two add up to 106, so they win the crown for most outposts total I guess.  From there on down the rest of the top ten looks like the usual suspects.

There is a post up on Reddit that includes a spreadsheet listing the final ownership of all 1,217 stations if you are interested. (And yes, I will continue to use the words “station” and “outpost” interchangeably for as long as I continue to write.)  That indicates that TEST actually has 104, as certain older outposts don’t get counted on DOTLAN.  However, that still wasn’t enough to beat NCDot.

This all, for residents of null sec, is a big change.  We have mostly adapted to Upwell structures.  Delve is positively littered with them, to the point that I had to remove moon mining structures from my travel overview when I was last back as they were blotting out everything else displayed.  But the stations remained and were still used now and again.  The disposition of all of these special Fortizars will no doubt be a topic of interest for some time as ones in famous locations get packed up or destroyed.

And, of course, there are still stations in NPC null sec.  Station undock games will continue to be a thing.

But one big side effect of this change will be the unlocking of a lot of ships and items that had been stored in stations.  Everything left over in a hostile station which a player could not access will wind up in asset safety and be delivered a low sec NPC station where the owner can recover it for a fee.

This raises some questions.  How much of this will end up on the market and will it have any impact?  Will people come back to the game now that they can get their stuff back?  Will people setup and sell in place or haul stuff back to Jita?  And, since the NPC stations where these assets will end up are not a secret, will there be any effort to interdict some of this recovered wealth?

I suspect the impact will of this will be minimal… unlikely to outweigh all the assets being lost in Abyssal pockets over the last week… we need a dev blog on that… but I will be interested to see the Monthly Economic Report next month just to see.

Personally, I did not have much in the way of assets trapped in hostile stations.  As noted in blog posts over two years in age, I was able to pack up and haul most of my stuff out of Tribute just ahead of the invasion during the Casino War.  Likewise, the attacking forces obliged us by leaving Deklein mostly unwatched for weeks after we had pulled back to Saranen, so I was able to ship out nearly everything from there as well, leaving jump clones behind to fly out a couple of ships I did not want to repackage.

I have a few ships trapped in stations in Pure Blind, but that is about it.  Not much of a haul.

Anyway, we shall see.  According to the forum thread tracking the conversion, things we successfully and the server was back online and accepting connections at 13:56 UTC.  There was also an update blog post which included a link to the patch notes, as there were a few changes to Into the Abyss content that went in today as well, including a loot balance pass for abyssal pockets.  So there we go.

Of course, the job seeming done and it actually being done can be two different things.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that an emergency downtime or two were needed today.

It will be odd, being tethered on something that looks like one of the old outposts.  And Alliance logos on them as well?

But it will soon be seen as the norm as we move on.

Next on the chopping block; player owned outposts, the POSes of old.  Right now all they really to is hold cyno beacons and jump bridge modules as well as giving bridging titans a place to hide in hostile space.  The writing is on the wall for the good old POS.

Election Time! Get out the Vote for CSM 13

The annual stuffing of virtual ballot boxes kicked off today at 12:00 UTC

The time to vote is now

CCP has a post up with instructions and links as to how to vote.  If you want to go straight to voting you can go here and login.  Or if you want to see the candidates, the official list is here, but I would recommend a visit to CSM Wire for a more detailed look.

As for who to vote for, that is always the question.  We got our first look at the candidates back at EVE Fanfest almost two month back.  Since then they have had time to campaign.

The CSM13 candidate list

The ballot will present you with 47 candidates in a random sort order.  But who should you vote for?  That is always the question.

Greasy pole political metaphor in stair form

I thought this year I would list out the candidates by where they call home, just to see who represents what.  Even with a reduction in the number of candidates this year, I still don’t recognize most of them, even some in my coalition.

These lists are based on what organization the candidate calls home for the most part.  They can say whatever they want on their platform, but this is where they are from.  Those with an asterisk are CSM12 incumbents.

Null Sec – 31 Candidates

  • Afropty – Darkness
  • Aryth* – Goonswarm Federation
  • aspecialpinecone – Iron Armada
  • bastet 666 – Legion of xXDEATHXx
  • Bei ArtJay – Unspoken Alliance
  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative
  • Cacique Yuhasz – TEST
  • Carbon Alabel – CVA
  • Commander Aze – The Bastion
  • Creecher Virpio – TEST [Removed by CCP June 8, 2018]
  • Cwittofur Cesaille – Da Imbalance
  • Damian Blackie – Fraternity
  • Innominate* – Goonswarm Federation
  • Jin’taan* – TEST
  • Kali Omega – Chaos Theory
  • Killah Bee – NCDot
  • Malakai Asamov – NCDot
  • Mawderator – Snuffed Out
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Otto Bismarck – Tactical Supremacy
  • Parobro – Chaos Theory
  • Raphendyr Nardieu – Suddenly Content
  • Solar Taranogas – The Watchmen
  • Sort Dragon* – Darkness
  • Sullen Decimus – The Bastion
  • The Judge* – Goonswarm Federation
  • The Ludocrat – Goonswarm Federation
  • Tikktokk Tokkzikk – Pandemic Legion
  • Winter duFallen – Pandemic Horde
  • Xenuria – Goonswarm Federation
  • ZepWunderbar – Tactical Narcotics Team

While there may be 17 fewer candidates than there were last year, the numbers from 0.0 space seem as strong as ever.  Clearly null sec still believes that the CSM is important.  Or maybe it is that people who go to play our there enjoy diplomacy, deals, and sandbox politics.  But if you used you’re votes at random you would be more likely than not to vote for somebody who calls null sec their home.

Wormhole – 5 Candidates

  • Arielle en Distel – Signal Cartel
  • Claevyan – Surrounded by Wormholes
  • ExookiZ – Scary Wormhole People
  • Razorblade92 – Stranger Danger
  • Tifida – Outlaws

Not so many from wormhole space, but at least Signal Cartel is on the list.

Low Sec – 5 Candidates

  • Chainsaw Plankton – FaDoyToy
  • Kalen Tsero – Kalen Tsero
  • Saint Michaels Soul – Villore Accords
  • Silver Suspiria – Federation Uprising
  • Suitonia* – The Felines of the Egg of the Lisa

Low sec is always a strange beast, being in empire space and having factional warfare.  But it still gets a few candidates every year wanting to step up to represent it.

High Sec – 4 Candidates

  • Eurzadahn – Ikusaro
  • Lorelei Ierendi – Lorelei for C S M
  • Steve Ronuken* – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  • Syncopee Farnsworth – The Architects

High sec remains an outpost of the solo player, where it is hard to build a power base for an election.  While I haven’t done a head to head comparison, it feels like this is where the candidate list fell off a bit when compared to last year.

Other – 2 Candidates

  • Jaha Preynar – EVE University
  • Vincent Eneticum – Deep Core Mining Inc

I was not sure where to put these two since their organization didn’t really match or had changed since their candidacy was announced.

Anyway, that is my attempt to break out the candidate list in some meaningful way.  Again, if you wish to research the candidates in detail and read/hear their own words, the CSM Wire site has candidates information, statements, and links to interviews.

My own personal view is to beware the single issue candidate.  In watching from afar and talking to a few CSM members at EVE Vegas, a candidate going in with very narrow goals thinking they are going to change the game are likely to be ineffective.  As has been discussed before, the CSM lacks agency.  They cannot DO anything and CCP is free to ignore them, which they have demonstrated their willingness to do in the past.  CCP has referred to the CSM as a “governing body” previously (see the EVE Online timeline), but that is nonsense.  On a good day the CSM is a focus group with enough experience with the game to point out issues with CCP’s plans.  But I’ve been a critic of the idea of players electing the CSM since the idea was announced a decade back.

And so it goes.

Meanwhile, over in the Imperium we have been given our marching orders, with the recommended ballot posted yesterday.

  1. Aryth
  2. Merkelchen
  3. Innominate
  4. The Judge
  5. Brisc Rubal
  6. Mawderator
  7. Sullen Decimus
  8. Commander Aze
  9. Jin’Taan
  10. Steve Ronuken

I will be voting that in the name of self-interest, which is the same reason anybody votes.

The Imperium has enough voting power that the first two are pretty much a given to be elected unless something goes seriously wrong.  Innominate has a decent chance of returning to the CSM as well.  After that, however, candidates had best have a support base outside of the coalition in order to keep them in the running.  Jin’Taan and Steve Ronuken are very likely to make the cut as well, having their own support base elsewhere, which leaves six seats in question.

Anyway, the election ends on June 11 at 12:00 UTC.  You must vote by then or you won’t get to vote at all.  All Omega accounts can vote, so it you have multiple accounts subscribed you can log in each one and cast a ballot.

Finally, one last plug for the CSM Wire site if you want to do some candidate research.

Being a Distraction from Venal

We formed up again in Venal last night to put pressure on the locals.  There were several citadel timers in play around Deklein, so we formed up in Venal to be a force for which GotG would at least have to account.  If the fought us that would draw them away from the timers, which other groups were planning to contest.  If they let us be then we could get up to mischief of our own.

Ishtars were the doctrine for the night and we were given a bridge after we undocked to get us to the locals.

I wonder how many bridges I’ve take over the years…

That got us to WLF-D3, the gateway system to Deklein via DKUK-G and the GotG staging system to counter out move to Venal.

We moved around the system, visited next door, came back and decided that the locals were going to stay away to deal with the timers deeper in Deklein, so we went looking for targets of our own.  The first on the list was an Athanor that was mid frack, a giant hunk of moon being drawn slowly towards it.

The moon chunk looming large

We were not going to be able to stop the frack, which would require us getting it down to the structure timer, but the Athanor was in the process of being unanchored.  All we had to do was get the first timer set and the unanchoring process would be halted and would need to be resumed again after the timer passed.  So we pulled up to shoot it.

Ishtars strung out and shooting

A gunner got going on the Athanor and began lobbing bombs at us, so the small stuff had to warp off and logi had to wake up for a bit and cover anybody who caught the brunt of a couple of bombs, but otherwise we carried on.  The wind up for a bomb was such that when the Ishtars were stopped and had sentry drones deployed they could pull the drones, take the blast, then drop them again to carry on shooting.  We succeeding in putting the Athanor into its first timer, scuttling the unachoring.

We then spent some time shooting at a POS, deactivating a few modules.  Shooting a well armed POS is a bit different as the weaponry will start shooting even is nobody is gunning the POS.  As we did that the news came down the line that the GotG had successfully defended its timers and it seemed like we might be headed home at that point.  We started moving back towards our staging.

However Asher stopped us a few systems into the trip then turned us around and back to DKUK-G.  We were going to see if GotG would take a fight when they returned home.  In DKUK-G it seemed like we were being setup for a capital drop.  Asher said they were trying to draw us in, bubble us, and drop carriers on us.  We bounced around the system a bit, then went through to WLF-D3 again where we ended up facing off against GotG’s Eagle fleet on the far side of the gate.  Things went well for us there, the Ishtars chewing up their logi and then burning down Eagles until they started moving off.  Logi had some work to do, but we kept most everybody alive.

The Oneiros I was in during the fight

NCDot had some Jackdaws around as well and we managed to pick off a couple of those including the ship of LadyScarlet, the CEO of Destructive Influence, a corp whose alliance history shows it being in Band of Brothers, KenZoku, and IT Alliance, all past foes of the Goons, so every time she is on grid she is the first target called and there is a cheer when he ship goes up.  Blasting an old foe is always a morale booster.

We also blew up another of Hendrink Collie’s Monitor FC ships.  Expensive ships are always fun to blow up, though they are getting cheaper as production of them ramps up.

We ended up in control of the grid around the gate, in sight of their Keepstar, not too far off from where Sort Dragon lost his titan on Saturday. (See this Reddit post for a screen shot.)

Trailing our coats in sight of the enemy Keepstar

Overall GotG won their objective, but we managed to extract a cost and give them a few minor headaches.  The battle report from both fronts showed the ISK war well in our favor.

Overall Battle Report for the Evening

Things were tilted more in our favor if we exclude the other front and just look at the battle report for the Venal end of the engagements.

The Venal end of the night

That was the sort of fight we’ll take every night if we can get it.

Afterwards we went back to our staging and stood down.  There was an AUTZ timer coming up in a couple of hours, but staying up until 07:00 EVE Online time on a weeknight is well beyond my capability.  And so it goes, we continue plinking away at GotG.