Category Archives: Null Sec

Never Enough Jump Clones

This past weekend I finished up Advanced Infomorph Psychology, a good 20 day skill that got me my 10th jump clone in EVE Online.

I love me some jump clones, that is for sure.

That means I can be flying around in space in one clone and then, upon docking up, “jump” to and occupy any of those 10 clones I have sitting around in other stations.  It is a handy way to get around New Eden.

Yes, there is that 19 hour wait between jumps. (Of course I trained up that skill as well!  A 24 hour wait was too much, but 19, or even 20 hours, is just about right.)  But that means I can jump at the end of the evening and have the timer set for another jump by the start of the next.

And what do I do with all of those jump clones?

Well, I keep one at the coalition staging system so I can jump there to join fleets.

I keep another one at our alliance staging system in case I want to join a TNT fleet operation.  That would require me to log into TNT Jabber, something I have been very lax about lately, but I could if I wanted.  I just tend to be deployed out with Reavers, so what goes on at the alliance level is generally pretty far away.

I have a clone in the system I now rat in down in Tribute, about a dozen jumps from the alliance staging system.

There is one in Jita, so I can jump there, buy things, and have them shipped out to null sec, or partake in the many great opportunities being tastefully advertised in local.

I have another one tucked up in Amarr space in one of the university stations that sells skills, in case I need to buy yet another skill. (Current count: 307)  That clone also has a set of +4 attribute implants, since attributes are still a thing for the moment.  So even if I don’t need a new skill, I often just jump to that clone if I won’t be on for a couple days to boost skill training speed.

I have another one in the Amarr Navy Logistics station one jump from Amarr, which happens to be a station where I can install jump clones, having worked my way up to an 8+ standing with both the Amarr and Caldari Navies back in the day.

Then there is one down in Delve, with a ship, that was pre-positioned back during a Reaver deployment in case we got called upon to go assist Pizza with something.  Not sure I need that one any more.  Pizza still holds NOL-M9 down there, where the clone is, but not a lot else.

I have a clone in Fountain, in 4-EP12, along with a Caracal and a pile of ammunition.  I’d fly the Caracal out on a whim, but there is too much stuff in the station for it to carry.  So I keep the clone there to keep the ammo listed on the market.  Anybody need 200K rounds of Antimatter Charge L (from the Baltec fleet era) or 184K rounds of Scourge torpedoes (same era, but siege bomber fleet doctrine)?

And, finally, I have a jump clone in B-R5RB that has been sitting in that station, along with Dominix I was flying, since the great battle down there about a year and a half back.

N3 titans scattered about

I was one of those little dots chasing that Avatar titan

I keep that one for sentimental reasons.  I nearly collected the ship back when The Initiative held the system and we deployed down there to help them back in January, but never quite got around to it.  Now the system is in hostile hands and it seems unlikely that we’ll ever own that station again.  But stranger things have happened.

So those were my nine clones, sitting around in stations all over New Eden, plus the clone I am currently using.

Now I have one more clone I can place.  Of course, I don’t HAVE to go put it anywhere, I could hold it aside for a rainy day or some sudden need.  But there happens to be a window of opportunity with the alignment of a couple of events.

The first is that the Reavers happen to be down in Curse to play Entosis Link games with the locals just to see what we can get away with.  The other is an “accidental” change to how jump clones work, announced by CCP yesterday.

Apparently they broke the standings requirement for jump clones.  Previously, in order to install a jump clone in an NPC controlled station, you had to have a standing of 8.0 or greater with that corporation.  As I mentioned above, I worked for quite a while on Amarr and Caldari Navy missions way back in the day in order to be able to install jump clones at need in high sec.

Now though, according to CCP:

Before the release, minimum standings of +8.0 were required with an NPC corporation in order for a pilot to be able to install a jump clone in their stations. This is no longer the case, and capsuleers can freely create jump clones in whichever NPC station they choose to do so.

So jump clones installation for everybody.  Go use it quick before CCP makes up its collective mind about whether or not to “fix” this.  They seem to content to let it stand, but it is also summer and the vacation mindset might be influencing their view.  They might sober up or the cold might set in again and put them in a more stern state of mind.

I might have been angry about having ground all those missions if I had just finished them last week, but I did that seven years ago and can barely remember how long it took.  It does seem to put paid to organizations that were allowing people to make jump clones, and there is the remaining question about what use are standings now.

Anyway, that means I ought to be able to install that tenth clone down in Curse in one of the NPC stations with cloning services.  And then, at some future date, late on a week night, I can fly out, one by one, the ships I left behind from that deployment to Curse we had nearly two years ago.  Not that there is anything of great value there.  Just a couple of Harpies, a Burst, and a Ferox along with some ammo and fittings.

I think I will do the same with that jump clone down in Delve.  I’ve always been the good soldier and pre-deployed ships and clones where told.  The problem is that I appear to be in the minority on that front, and so every operation needs to start out of the coalition staging system in Deklein.  And since the destination is always a secret when we set out, we end up flying for an hour and wind up five jumps from my jump clone and doctrine ship, which continue to gather dust.

Mordus Angels Sovereignty in Pure Blind

Last night we were out and about in the south attacking a few constellations and getting a few kills against TEST and friends in the process.

Maybe Senpai will notice me

I hope Senpai will notice me

The nice thing about flying in a smaller fleet is that you get the kill mail a lot more frequently than you do when you are out with 250 of your close friends.

Anyway, while we were out it was announced on coms that Mordus Angels had finally wrested some sovereignty from The Imperium after diligently attacking various points in Pure Blind since the day Fozzie sov went live.  They took ION-FG from FCON.

The loss...

The loss…

This was FCON’s, or Fidelas Constans’ (Latin for “Reliably Bad”), only holding in Pure Blind, a lone system without a station, some distance from their main territory up in the Branch region, but just eight jumps from the Mordus Angels staging system 5ZXX-K.

Still, a victory for Mordus Angels.  They are now, if not actually on the sov map, at least listed on the changes with the other big alliances.

Top of the list no less!

Top of the list no less!

Now of course the question is, what happens next?  Mordus Angels has a grip on a system without a station in a region where The Imperium has been hunting them for the last two weeks.  Their own hold on the system was attacked once somebody woke up and saw that the system had fallen.  And it is a pretty safe bet that a large Imperium fleet will drop on that constellation when the timer runs down and the system becomes vulnerable.  The count down is already up on Timer Board.

So, Fozzie sov working as designed or not?

A smaller alliance (~1200 pilots) was able to take sovereignty from a larger alliance (~4x their size) and a giant coalition (~40K pilots).  They system is working!  We ran out and did the same thing to Darkness a little while back, way down in Querious, and we’re doing the same thing in another region down south as well.

On the flip side, there is no chance they will be able to hold that system.  Sneaking in and taking a system is very different than holding it.  Holding a system requires you to stand up to the attacker.  We lost our gain down in Querious and I don’t suspect we will hold anything else down south.  We just don’t live there.  But we can make the people who do live there run around chasing us.

Sovereignty that is easier take… remains easier to take, and has the potential to turn into a new sort of sov grind where, instead of ongoing fights over the old structures with huge fleets until one side is exhausted, it will be ongoing defense fleets to drive off interlopers until one side is exhausted.  It is just easier for a smaller force to tire out a larger one now.  But the smaller one still can’t hold a system until the other side gives up.

I suspected that when Fozzie sov hit, we would be a while hitting the new equilibrium in null sec, the inevitable stable state that is generally reached some point after a change to the game.  The changes are only two weeks old at this point, so nearly 280 systems in play is probably to be expected.  But what will it look like in a month or two when exhaustion does set in?

Addendum:  And the story ended about as expected.

MOAloses

A Call for Space Carebears

At one time in the distant past, the CFC eschewed the idea of renting and those who set themselves up as landlords were derided.

And then, as null sec politics evolved and we ended up with essentially three power blocs, two of which were heavily financed by rental space, the tune of the CFC changed.  The Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere was born about two years ago.  The CFC became landlords, pragmatism winning out over exclusion and any spurious  feelings of ideological purity.

That this venture remained a distant third behind the other two main rental empires was no surprise.  The surprise, to my mind, was that it got any renters all.  After years of rental and recruitment scams, who would actually rent from Goons?

As it turned out, quite a few people would, and that rental ISK helped filled the coalition coffers.

And then came the looming threat of what became known as Fozzie Sov.  With the Phoebe expansion, the ability to range across New Eden was throttled and the CFC let go of some of its southern holdings.  As the details of the Summer of Sovereignty changes came out, plans for further consolidation were drawn up.  Fountain and most of Cloud Ring would have to go as well and the coalition, now renamed The Imperium, who fortify itself in the north. (SMA holds that bit in Cloud Ring, J4LP having been reset some time back.)

Regions of The Imperium - June 2015

Regions of The Imperium – June 2015

Now the changes has hit.  Null Sec is choatic as various factions explore the dynamics of the Entosis Link module.  The Timer Board site shows a lot of systems in play.

Up in the north though, things have been relatively quiet for The Imperium.  We have lived there for so long because the systems are decent for ratting and mining.  There are a few lemon systems, but the active defense multiplier… the measure of how much a system gets used, which influences how hard it will be to take… for a lot of the north was pretty high straight out of the gate on the 14th.  Where we live is defended.  However, some places where we have not traditionally lived are pretty weak, with low ADM numbers.  This is particularly true in Pure Blind where, in the past, many of the systems haven’t been worth ratting or mining.

However, with the PvE upgrades that were announced just before the sovereignty changes hit, the systems in Pure Blind are suddenly viable.  The Imperium just needs somebody to live there.  We have been encouraged to rat there and strategic mining fleets have been running out that way.  I think I have personally raised the ADM of one system in the region.

Doing the Ishtar thing in Pure Blind

Doing the Ishtar thing in Pure Blind

But all of that is a temporary measure.  Not many people live in the vicinity.

So a new plan has been announced.  GSF is going to allow corps to join if they want to live in, rat, and mine, in Pure Blind.  There will be a fee to sign up and a tax on ratting and a charge for system upgrades, but otherwise corporations will be able to carebear to their heart’s content as there will be no fleet participation requirements.

In addition there will be a corp in GSF for individuals who want to sign up for that plan.  Ratting will have a 25% tax, but mining will be free.

GSF already has a way for anybody is keen to join to get on board through Karmafleet, which has greater access, so is the more likely conduit for spies and awoxers.

So we’ll see if there are any takers who want to live and rat and mine in Pure Blind.  It is close to Lonetrek, so getting things back to high sec in general, and Jita specifically will be easier than most places.  Is greater population density the answer to Fozzie Sov?

 

Learning to do the Fozzie Sov Shuffle

After the false start of Wednesday, when downtime was extended well into the Icelandic evening and jokes about Fozzie Sov killing EVE Online were starting to feel uncomfortably close to real, it looks like people really dove into the whole new sovereignty mechanic with a vengeance.

If you look at the Timer Board web site that somebody put together to use the updated API’s ability to tell you what systems are in play, you will see… as of when I am writing this… more than 200 things are being assaulted.  Obviously, not all of them are going to get taken.  A lot of timers look to be past their mark.  But clearly Entosis Link trolling is a thing, if nothing else.

Meanwhile Wollari over at DOTLAN EVE Maps has integrated some of the new data available into the map options on the site.  In addition to the usual sovereignty view of a region, you can also now choose views that show systems that are vulnerable, which systems have which of the three key structures (TCU, ihub, station), and what the active defense multiplier is for systems.

That last one is important for both attackers and defenders.  For attackers it determines how long the Entosis Link module has to run to capture something, a range of 10 to 60 minutes depending on the multiplier.  And for defenders, it essentially lets you know what your response time has to be for given systems and where you might want to focus some effort in order to boot that number.  (I am waiting for somebody to put that ADM data together into a chart to show how many sovereign null sec systems people actually use regularly.  If the ADM is 5 or greater, people live there.  3-4 shows some life.  But if it is less than that, not so much.)

This has lead to some changes of behavior, at least in The Imperium.  Before now, the carebears amongst us were, at a minimum, kidded about spending their days ratting, mining, building, or otherwise whiling away the hours in space not shooting people.

Now though, with their behavior influencing the ADM, the call goes out for shock workers to perform hero ratting in low multiplier systems.  Strategic mining ops are called and participation links given out for burning rocks.  Industrialists are now hailed as heroes of the coalition.  I am not making this up.  Well, maybe I made up that last one, but the first two are real.

It is a good time to be a carebear in The Imperium.  And it isn’t a bad time for combat operations as well.  Mordus Angels and Pandemic Horde have been making runs at systems in Pure Blind and Fade in small, easily destroyed fleets.  I managed to get into a homeland defense fleet that caught MASSADEATH himself and a small Cerberus fleet trying to finish off a vulnerable node in Pure Blind.  We got some kills, drove them off, and made the save.

Making the save

Saving the ihub

The theory seems to be that if they get in quick with a small fleet, they can get away with it.  But small gangs and squishy Entosis Link ships just feed the Feroxes of the Homeland Defense fleets.

Feroxes for Freedom

Feroxes for Freedom

The Timer Board site only shows a few systems of The Imperium under attack out of that list of 200+, and mostly on the periphery where hostiles have easy access.  It is a little early to make much of a claim, but it feels like having the coalition contract into a smaller perimeter that consisted of space that was mostly occupied and in use on a regular basis was a good plan.  Attacks are only really getting any traction where we are thin on the ground.

And the ihub upgrades for rats seem to be having an effect.  A system I ratted in pre-Aegis used to generate a single Guristas Forsaken Hub, the best generally available ISK/effort anomaly.  After that system got the upgrade, it was generating three Guristas Forsaken Hubs and a Haven.

I also had an opportunity to go out and be part of the offensive side of the Fozzie Sov equation.  Last night Asher Elias and the patron saint of welps, Dabigredboat, ran a joint Reavers/Bomberwaffe operation down to the Reavers’ home away from home, Querious.

A test run, we went down in Caracals and interceptors via a convenient (if more rare) null-to-null wormhole to  see if Darkness would defend some of their space.  Ideally it would have happened in ED-9LT, the former Reaver outpost in the region.  That was not an option.  Instead we were headed to UYU-VV in the 8BO-IH constellation.  (This is going to mean learning system AND constellations now, isn’t it?)

We faced no opposition on the first Entosis Link attack and pushed the event into the “scatter round” when additional command nodes appear throughout the constellation… in this case six systems… forcing us to break up into smaller groups.

The group that stayed in UYU-VV actually faced a bit of opposition.  The group I was in, sent off to W6V-VM, was not bothered.  We flew off to the Territorial Claim Unit Command Node that spawned in the system.

TCU Command Node

TCU Command Node

That appears to be the overview marker for the actual target, the Structure Command Node.

Timer on the command node

Timer on the structure command node

Of course, in the grand CCP tradition, the option in the overview to actually SEE these nodes is unchecked by default, harkening back to the battle cruiser split when one of them… attack battle cruisers I think… didn’t show up on overviews by default.

You need to check the right box...

You need to check the right box…

Upon finishing off the node inW6V-VM , two more nodes spawned.  Our Entosis Link fit interceptor went after one while we flew cover and, upon finishing that one, we were called back to UYU-VV.  Enough other modules were running that we did not need the additional one in our system.  And while Darkness appeared in small numbers, they did not seem interested in hitting any of the Structure Command Nodes to contest or operation.

The results bar tipping heavily in our direction

The results bar tipping heavily in our direction

And so the system was rolled.  Later, Plaid Rabbit ran out, grabbed a TCU, and planted it in UYU-VV, thus taking sovereignty for Reavers in Querious yet again.

Our constellation

Our constellation

It would have been nicer if it had a station, but I am not sure we’re going to spend ISK upgrading a system we grabbed on a whim at the other end of New Eden.

After that we had the option of starting the process on another system or going 20 jumps on the off chance we might get into the middle of a fight.  The killers won the poll, clearly betraying out Reaver philosophy, and off we went.

We did catch a blockade runner along the way just idle near a gate.  I am going to guess the pilot went AFK cloaked and then got decloaked by somebody passing too close.  That was a quick kill.  And while I understand that eventually some of us got on a dreadnought kill or two, I ended up getting popped when we crossed paths with a Northern Coalition fleet headed for the same fight, and so missed out.  Life in a combat zone.

So that has been my experience with Fozzie Sov and the Entosis Link module dynamics so far.

CCP has put out a video detailing how the mechanics of the new system work.

How the new system will actually play out over time though, that is a horse of a different color.

So Many Wiyrkomi Skins

One of the more natural complaints about the ship SKINS program… and I will capitalize it just this once to acknowledge the force fed lore acronym, Super Kerr-Induced Nanocoatings… was that at its introduction, there were not a lot of skin choices.

Basically, why doesn’t MY favorite ship have a special skin?

There seemed to be a huge gap in the range of skins available.  There were skins for capital ships, no doubt because if you’re going to invest billions into a hull… and live in that hull forever in the case of super caps… you are probably likely to want a new paint job for it.

Then there were skins for a range of tech I ships, so new players could spruce up their look.

And in between, in the land of tech II hulls… there wasn’t much happening.

This pain was made more acute by the temporary bug in the skin system that allowed players to apply any skin to any ship if they knew how.  It was agony seeing every ship done up in the Police Pursuit Comet skin, knowing that it was a fleeting moment of awesome.

Police Pursuit all the things!

Police Pursuit all the things!

Some of the skins looks awful when applied to the wrong ship, but enough looked good enough… or even damn good… that there no doubt lived within many of us a faint hope that CCP would not fix the bug.  You can see some other examples at EN24, from whom I borrowed the above image.

Still, even with the tech II skin gap, I managed to find some skins to spend my ISK on.  And I actually got to use a couple of the skins I picked up in Jita.  We ran Ravens for a bit during the Reaver Querious campaign.

My Raven with the Wiyrkomi skin applied

My Raven with the Wiyrkomi skin applied

And I also got to use the Rokh skin for a one-way suicide venture to Fountain at one point.

Both of those used the Wiyrkomi corporation skin, which is a decent olive drab finish with some white highlights at key points.  It isn’t very showy as far as skins go, but it has a martial air to it.  This is a color you would paint a combat ship.  The Kaalakiota or Nugoeihuvi colors, with their red chevrons or red tiger stripes, may feel more savage, but Wiyrkomi is pretty good.

And CCP had its explanation for why it wasn’t rushing out skins for the tech II ships as part of one of its skins updates.

Another concern of allowing any SKIN on any ship is making Tech 1 ships resemble Tech 2 ships which would have visual gameplay implications. While deciding what SKINs to offer in the release of this feature we carefully selected SKINs for ships by making sure that if we offered a SKIN for that ship the same look was not used by its Tech 2 counterpart. This is the reason why for example there is no Sarum SKIN for the Apocalypse, as it would too closely resemble the Paladin.

Okay, I get that.  If you make a Merlin skin… which the had, including one done up in the flat olive of the Wiyrkomi corporation colors… it wouldn’t be much fun to then to have the very same skin on the Harpy of the Hawk, the tech II variations on the Merlin hull.

And then with the Aegis expansion and the Fozzie Sov patch we got a lot more skins, including a bunch for those neglected tech II ships.  The situation for me literally went from “no skins for any ship I fly regularly” to “skins for damn near every ship I fly regularly.”  And if they had done something for the Tengu… and with the subsystem configurations that change how the hull looks I get that such a skin will be a pain to make for any of the tech III strategic cruisers… I would have been pretty much setup.  Just look at the list for Caldari ships alone in those two drops:

  • Harpy Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Hawk Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Buzzard Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Manticore Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Kitsune Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Crow Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Raptor Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Caldari Navy Hookbill Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Flycatcher Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Cerberus Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Eagle Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Onyx Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Basilisk Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Falcon Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Rook Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Caracal Navy Issue Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Osprey Navy Issue Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Crane Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Bustard Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)

That is 19 new skins, and I know just off hand that I have eight of those ships sitting in a hangar in either YA0-XJ or UMI-KK, which means I might even fly them once in a while.

You can open up that New Eden store and be treated to a veritable sea of olive drab ship skins.

My olive drab cup runneth over...

My olive drab cup runneth over…

The thing is, CCP seems to have changed its mind on the whole “making sure that if we offered a SKIN for that ship the same look was not used by its Tech 2 counterpart” aspect of their skin program.  While I haven’t bought the skins and compared them side by side, the Wiyrkomi skin for the tech I Merlin looks exactly the same as the Wiyrkomi skins for the tech II Harpy and Hawk.  Likewise you can compare the Osprey, Osprey Navy Issue, and the tech II Basilisk in the store and not see an iota of difference.  (If you can see such a difference, your eyes are better than mine!)

And there are similar skin matches between tech I and tech II in the Gallente, Amarr, and Minmatar line ups.  That Ishtar Intaki Syndicate skin looks a lot like the Vexor Intaki Syndicate skin and so on.

Which leaves me with a somewhat split opinion.

On the one hand, I appreciate CCP getting some new skins out there for all of these ships, and I know that cranking out this many skins… and they have promised us new skins every Tuesday this month… means that they cannot all be special snowflakes of uniqueness.

On the other hand, that is a lot of olive drab paint splashed over those Caldari hulls.  In that dev blog about skins coming this summer, the whole custom mask issue was explained, but there were also a lot of color options shown.  I feel like the tech II ships might have been treated to at least something a little different.

But with two more Tuesdays left in July, maybe CCP will show us something different.

Strategic cruiser skins maybe?

Well, once they get the game running again.  Fozzie Sov post-patch issues.

The Age of the Entosis Link Module is Upon Us

It feels like it has been a long time coming, but this morning CCP announced the successful deployment of the final step in their null sec sovereignty revamp.  Back in November 2014, the Phoebe expansion gave us jump fatigue and reduced structure hit points as the lead-in features to the journey to alter the face of null sec.

Jump Fatigue timer counting down...

Jump Fatigue timer counting down…

That put a leash on the free ranging super capital fleets while managing to make capital fleets more viable for local defense.  Pandemic Legion could not longer drop a pile of supers on people anywhere in New Eden with half an hour of notice.  Instead we got the Bizarro world vision of supers taking gates across space.

Caps landing on the J5A gate

Caps landing on the J5A gate, just a thing these days

That change also gave rise to the whole Reavers concept, where during a war a small group could go deep into enemy territory, shoot structure, drop SBUs, set timers, siphon moons, kill ratters, and otherwise cause enough pain that the hostiles would have to choose between fighting on the main front or pulling back to secure their home turf.

There was then a second round of proposed sovereignty changes centered around the Entosis Link Module and the idea that, as somebody summed it up, constellations are to be the new regions.

Entonsis Link beam

Entonsis Link beam hitting a station

This has all been summed up… if that is the right term… in a series of dev blogs and updates that have come out since March of this year:

But for all of those posts, the final patch notes for this between releases drop are surprisingly concise:

  • Territorial Claim Units, Infrastructure Hubs, and Outposts are no longer subject to regular weapons damage. Instead an Entosis Link module is required to capture and control them.
  • Ownership of Territorial Claim Units, Infrastructure Hubs, and Outposts has now been decoupled from one-another. Each different structure in a solar system can be deployed, owned, attacked and destroyed by different alliances at the same time.
  • Territorial Claim Units no longer require an upkeep bill. Instead, the running costs have been moved over to bills on Infrastructure Hubs.
  • Each alliance can set a Default Vulnerability Time for their sovereignty structures. This is a daily interval where structures will become vulnerable to Entosis Links. The length of this interval is based on the Activity Defense Multiplier. The ADM in turn is based on the Strategic, Military and Industrial levels of the solar system. Changes to the Default Vulnerability Time will take 48 hours to come in to effect.
  • Each alliance can set a single Capital System on one solar system where they control a Territorial Claim Unit. Structures controlled by an alliance in their Capital System receive a bonus to their ADM, making them easier to defend. Changes to the Capital System will take 7 days to come in to effect.
  • Destroying/capturing another alliance’s sovereignty structures requires attackers to use Entosis Links on the structure during its daily vulnerability window. If this action succeeds, the structure will become invulnerable. At some some point between 24 and 72 hours later, Command Nodes will begin spawning around the constellation. Attackers and defenders must capture these nodes using Entosis Links in a tug-of-war battle in order to destroy/secure the structure.
  • Sovereignty Blockade Units are now obsolete. Any SBUs in space will automatically self-destruct, whilst SBUs in hangars can be sold back to NPC buy orders.

Yes, there is a lot of assumed information in those notes.  You have to go through the dev posts to get the full picture.  But that is the essence distilled down to its basic form.  And apparently capsuleers in New Eden are off to the races right away.

One of the new aspects of this, freeport stations, where anybody can dock up, friend or foe, have started showing up.

You can see this over on DOTLAN as well.  Somebody will have to come up with a freeport feed.

So today is one of those before/after points.  The sovereignty system brought in with the Dominion expansion is finally gone.  Fozzie-Sov, brought in over a number of small expansions, is now was sovereign null sec functions.  We should take a look at today’s sovereignty map for comparison with what it will look like three or six months down the road.  Will this lead to a big shake up in who holds space in null sec? (From the usual source.)

Sovereignty Map - July 14, 2015 - Happy Bastille Day

Sovereignty Map – July 14, 2015 – Happy Bastille Day

That is null sec space as it stands now.  The Imperium is tucked up in the north.  Black Legion is sitting on most of Fountain since Brave left under with the philosophy of “…we will certainly come out on top again if we succeed in being defeated!”

A lot of other areas have been carved up into smaller domains, though a lot of the long time players still remain.  Against All Authorities in particular just keeps popping back up in that same spot on the map.  And then there is that huge chunk or renter space in the Northeast, with Shadow of xXDEATHXx and Brothers of Tangra still providing opportunities for those who wish to sublet in null.

Are we headed for a new realignment in null, or will the status quo, having condensed in some cases and started recruiting new players en masse in a couple others, hold on to their current domains?

And, of course, who is going to lose sov because they forgot to pay the bill since that changed as part of the patch as well.

Life in Tribute

I suppose the real end of TNT in Deklein was when we finally handed over sovereignty in K5F-Z2 a couple of weeks back.

K5f-Z2HandoverThat was the end of an era, as the alliance had held that system since early December 2009, making for a five and a half year run of continuous occupancy.  I was told on a number of occasions that TNT dominion over K5F was the longest running sovereignty still current, and I could find nothing to dispute that claim.  Now that title will have to pass to another system and another alliance.  I am not sure who wins that prize, though I suspect that it might fall to Goonswarm and their holdings in the region.  Deklein has been a rock of stability for a long stretch.

But now we are coalescing down in Tribute, which has its ups and downs.

Tribute Region - July 2015

Tribute Region – July 2015

After several years of traveling to and fro in Deklein, I have found that I actually know the neighborhood fairly well.  It turns out that the seemingly random alphanumeric designations of systems in null sec isn’t any harder to get used to than the odd, and sometimes seemingly unpronounceable, system names of high and low sec.  (I’m looking at you, Uosusuokko.)  And the standard voice coms practice of designating a system by its first three letters ends up working and makes routes easy to remember over time. (Though there are any number of systems where I am not sure if they include the letter O or a zero in their designation, since everybody just says, “Oh” on coms.)

Now I have a new neighborhood to learn.  My knowledge currently stops at UMI-KK, which was the staging system for a war a some time back.  And we have new neighbors in the form of the Circle of Two alliance.  They have apparently taken a hard line with us, objecting if we stray into their systems in pursuit of hostiles.  After having free run of Deklein with Goonswarm, that is something of a change.  Then again, Circle of Two seems to be known for making friends.  If we’re out on ops and working with Pandemic Legion, they are fine cooperating with most of us, but will go out of their way to shoot anybody from Circle of Two.  So they have that going for them.

It also puts me an awkward distance away from the coalition staging system in YA0-XJ.  That used to be a few gates distant, but now it is a ways off.  I can get there via a jump bridge and some gates, but for a form-up it will most likely have to be a jump clone move to get there and not have any jump fatigue hanging over me.

I have been glad of having a carrier finally.  During the move down to Tribute and then setting myself up in a constellation in which to rat on the occasional off day when I am up for it, I have ended up doing more jumps in my Archon in the last month than I had done in the first 18 months after I bought it.

Archon... landing too far from the station...

Archon… landing too far from the station…

I have found myself a system with a station off the beaten path where a pile of Euro TZ miners seem to hang out… and they start logging off about the time I start logging in, so that I have gotten the system to myself later in the evening a few times.  I have even used that ratting fit Ishtar I built quite a while ago but only just undocked last week.  I at least got a couple of anomalies done with it before the Aegis expansion Ishtar nerf.  I’ll probably got back to my heavy missile Tengu again after that, since missiles are getting a boost.  We’ll see.

It is also somewhat strange to look at the map of Tribute and see low sec systems I recognize from my early days in EVE Online.

I started out as Caldari back in 2006 when the initial tutorial ended up sending you to Jita, which wasn’t quite the big city back then, but still felt a bit crowded.  So I packed up and moved to what I felt was a distant location… Hageken, all of six jumps from Jita… and spent quite a bit of time there before deciding to move to Amarr space.

But names I remember from way back then, like Navula, where I was blown up a couple of times, are suddenly quite close.  Hell, even Jita suddenly seems quite close.  Deklein felt like it was deep into null sec, but Tribute is a border region.  Even our staging system is a single jump freighter hop to the low sec systems favored by coalition shipping operations.  Not that the proximity seems to lower the price any.  Those that actually deliver to UMI-KK charge the same 300 ISK per m3 as a delivery to YA0-XJ, despite that requiring an extra jump.  I suspect that we are a low-volume market compared to the heart of Goonswarm, so we’re probably lucky that somebody stops by on demand.

And then there is what will come with Fozzie Sov on the 14th.  I have just been logged into the Goonswarm Jabber for updates for quite a while now, since that is where Reaver messages pop up.  But I will have to get back into TNT coms more thoroughly as well, as local defense against people testing out Entosis Links on the frontier.  We shall see how lively things get in the region once that hits, but for now it is actually fairly quiet when I have been on since the move.