Category Archives: Null Sec

The Battle at SH1-6P and Null Sec Ongoing

I wasn’t sure I was going to do a post about the fight at SH1-6P, seeing as I wasn’t there for it and I try to keep the blog to things I’ve seen and done.  That is the major premise of the whole effort here at TAGN.

On the flip side, over time one of the minor but valuable sub-notes in the disharmonious chord that is this blog has been the noting of events and milestones, such as game launches (and closures), expansion releases, and major events of note… like battles in EVE Online where titans get blown up.

A picture CCP used, maybe even from the battle...

A picture CCP used, maybe even from the battle…

So, there was a battle at SH1-6P, a system where CO2 had a POS with a capital ship assembly array, which PL and NCDot had previously put into a reinforced state.  When the reinforcement timer ended, the battle erupted between CO2 and its allies battled PL/NCDot and their allies.  Capitals, and then super capitals were dropped into the time dilated maelstrom around the POS.

Included in the battle were a large number of third parties (battle report), including a fleet from GSF that flew across New Eden for a chance to kick CO2 in the nuts.

CO2 escalated the battle to a super cap conflict and came out the worse for the effort, with it and its allied losing around 1.2 trillion ISK, including six CO2 titans down, while inflicting less than 200 billion in damage on its foes.  That is a one trillion ISK damage deficit.

There are battle reports up at the usual competing sources.

I think TMC wins out on details and insight.

In addition, The Asher Hour podcast episode 23 followed up the battle with a show featuring Asher talking with Ron Mexxico, Killah Bee, and Doomchinchilla to get sense of how things went from the PL side of the battle.

The event itself now takes second place on the list of battles that involved titans being blown up.  The list, so far as I recall it:

  • B-R5RB, January 2014 – 75 titans destroyed
  • SH1-6P, August 2016 – 6 titans destroyed
  • Okagaiken, July 2016 – 4 titans destroyed
  • Asakai, January 2014 – 3 titans destroyed

As things settle down the usual post-fight posturing is taking place.  You can catch that in the comment threads of both articles linked above.

And then a blog post, styled as An Open Letter to CCP, by the pilot Capri Sun Kraftfoods (yes, that is his in-game name) started its own waves as it took CCP to task for generally going down a path away from such large scale fights with Fozzie sov.  This led to a threadnought on Reddit with over a thousand comments, a surprising amount of which were not complete shit, along with a post over at Crossing Zebras trying to sum things up.

Unfortunately, none of what came up was really new.  I couldn’t begin to count how many times people who have actually had to go out and take or defend sovereignty have called out the entosis mechanic as a bad idea.  The fact that citadels didn’t go with entosis seems to indicate that even CCP isn’t sold on the idea.  Better to just shoot things, give kill mails, produce explosions, and have some sort of damage cap to extend events if you want to keep things from being blapped too quickly.

Likewise, jump fatigue has been moaned about for ages.  We’re coming up on Phoebe’s second anniversary and some people are still angry about it.

ADMs seem to be the only widely approved of mechanic from Fozzie Sov, as they reward groups that live in their space.  Of course, “living” in null sec means mining and ratting, which the PvP purists tend to despise, but at least it gives them some targets I suppose.

Being, as I noted recently, something of a fatalist when it comes to game mechanics, I take what I am given and try to work with them.  And I do not see any indication that CCP is going to change any of the current sovereignty mechanics.  Despite complaints about CCP being focused on null sec, Fozzie Sov seems to be clearly in the rear view mirror when it comes to development.  Maybe we’ll get another pass in a few years.

But the whole thing, Fozzie Sov, citadels, big fights, and how CCP responds to things does seem worth note.  One certainly couldn’t look at the bigger picture and come away thinking CCP is unified in their vision for New Eden.

The duality of man. The Jungian thing.

The duality of man. The Jungian thing.

On the one hand there is Fozzie Sov which, among its stated goals, sought to disperse fights across a constellation.  This seems like an attempt to reduce the size of sovereignty battles.  There have been some big battles over Fozzie Sov objectives.

The war that started LONG before Easter...

Excuse me, that is the “Casino War” TYVM

But in my experience, sovereignty, when it is contested, tends to turn into a long slog with both sides chasing each other around in a constellation-wide game of competitive whack-a-mole.  Less big fights when you disperse targets.  Working as designed.

However, this contrasts with how readily CCP jumps on any big event to drive press coverage.  CCP loves big battles and grand events, from Burn Jita to B-R5RB to anything else that gets a huge number of players in close proximity and destroys a lot of ships.  CCP threw together (another) screen shot contest immediately after SH1-6P. (The first Keepstar citadel getting blown up drew little water from the company though.)

And well they might jump on such events, as they do get wider press coverage and represent some of the “exciting” bits of the game in a world where coverage of the game can often stray into how boring the game can seem to those on the outside.  Of course, the press coverage of the exciting bits also brings in new players, though with the state of the new player experience, that often seems like a wasted opportunity.  Even letting people have a go at New Eden for free on Steam generates a spike in new character creation, but no noticeable effect on PCU.

Basically, another day in New Eden, where the highs can be incredibly high, while the everyday operations can wear you down if you don’t see a payoff somewhere down the road.

Committed to Delve Now

When move ops were announced late last week and over the weekend I was a little confused.  Were people still back in Saranen?  Was the Rakapas Cartel getting anxious?  The pings were a little vague about the end points of these ops.

However, when I actually looked into what was going on, it turned out that this wasn’t about the move down from the north.  This was another move.  We were giving up our low sec staging base in Sakht and moving into Delve proper.  We were moving to D-W7F0, highlighted below on the map of the Delve region.

Delve - August 16, 2016

Delve – August 16, 2016

At a glance the system doesn’t look to be the worst spot on the map, but it seems like one might choose better when it comes to a staging system.  There isn’t even a station there.   However, this is one of those instances where Wollari’s wonderful maps do not really reflect the shape of space.  The region maps on DOTLAN are setup to show all the systems and the interconnection of gates between them.  These maps do not show the actual distance or relative position of systems in space.  For that you need to use the Range option under Navigation over at DOTLAN, which will show you a different map.

Where can I jump from D-W7F0

Where can I jump from D-W7F0

That map shows the relative positions of the systems in the game, and every one of them in red is within 5 light years of D-W7F0, which means a capital ship can get there in one jump.  There are 72 systems within jump range of D-W7F0 and, while eight of those systems are in Querious, that still covers a substantial number of the 97 systems in Delve.

As for there being no station in D-W7F0, we look to be living out of citadels now.  There are three Fortizars and a couple of Astrahuses setup in the system for us to dock up in.  One has been designated as our staging citadel and, thanks to last week’s update, which added contracts to citadels, pre-fit doctrine ships are available in addition to the market getting stocked.

Now all we lack is the ability to insure ships in a citadel, which seems like something that ought to have been added already, but who knows what the code looks like or what CCP’s reasoning behind its absence might be.

That is home now, which meant getting stuff out of Sakht.  For me that includes a carrier and a bunch of sub caps.  I took care of the carrier first, loading it up with all the ships I could cram into it, grabbing about fuel for a couple of trips, just in case, and undocking.

Carrier on grid!

Carrier on grid!

This was between the Astrahus busting fleets on Saturday night when Asher setup a move up for us.  It was supposed to be for subcaps only.  He has setup a bridging titan in 1-SMEB while RatKnight1 (of the Ratkingbois meme from our Wicked Creek deployment) kept a cyno going at the Fortizar.  But with lots of ships covering and a cyno in place, he said we could take our chances if we wanted to move a capital via the cyno in fleet.

This meant doing things with my carrier that I had not done before.  So far, I have only ever jumped station to station, with the exception of that jump to a citadel from Rakapas.  I actually had to warp the carrier.

And it warps slowly

And it warps slowly

At the end of the warp, I had to take the gate from Sakht to 1-SMEB.

How do supers fit through this thing?

How do supers fit through this thing?

I had to do this because the jump gates between Sakht and 1-SMEB are of the very long range region connecting variety, so the distance covered is well beyond the 5 light year range limit.  Again, the DOTLAN route planner illustrates the path you would have to take to bypass the gate.

So I took the gate and jumped to the cyno once I was clear.

On the Fortizar

On the Fortizar

Then it was time to move some subcaps.

I remember back around the Phoebe release CCP was expressing concern that we might simply all use death clones to move about to bypass jump fatigue, especially after they removed clone costs.  It was part of the justification for restricting how one could set their home station. (Which also happens to be in the same time frame when we left Delve back in 2014.)

But if you are moving a ships between two points, death clones make it easy.  After docking up my carrier, I got out of it, undocked, and set my pod to self-destruct.  Upon my destruction, my death clone was activated in Sakht, where I boarded a subcap, took the gate to 1-SMEB, then Asher’s titan bridge back to D-W7F0, where I docked up, got out of the ship, undocked, and kicked off the self-destruct yet again.

Rolling up to a titan for a bridge

Rolling up to a titan for a bridge

A few rounds on that with both my main and my alt… and a little jump fatigue… and I was pretty quickly out of Sakht.  Everything I moved south is now in a Fortizar in the middle of Delve.  Time to settle in, evict the current residents, and help put down the natives.  It is no longer the Guristas for ratting, but Blood Raiders instead.

Blood Raiders use lasers

Blood Raiders use lasers

I just have to remember to not to go AFK in an anomaly when the doorbell rings.  At least I had gotten a couple of runs out of that Myrmidon and remembered to insure it.

So I am fully committed to Delve.  All my stuff is there now.

And it seems as thought TEST might have some commitment to Delve as well.  According to their latest (and very short) state of the alliance recording, they are being paid to come down to Delve and shoot Goons.

Astrahus Busting in Aridia

Citadels are all over New Eden at this point, with the medium sized model, the Astrahus becoming a common site just about any place I fly.

Saturday gave us the opportunity to clean up a few of these citadels.

A fleet went up on Asher Saturday evening (at which point it was already Sunday in New Eden) with the objective to go shoot some things, which is usually a euphemism shooting structures.  It was an Augor Navy Issue fleet, which meant lasers, which are good for structure shoots as you generally don’t have to reload a laser unless a frequency crystal burns out over time.

I was actually in the middle of something and didn’t see the fleet was up until almost 45 minutes after it had been announced, generally a sign that it might be too late to catch up.  But it was Saturday evening, structures take a while to shoot, and we haven’t been going too far afield for these sorts of things, so I decided to log in all the same to see if I could join in.

Logged in and on coms, I was able to spot where they were using the map option that shows where fleet members are located and the destination was linked in fleet after I had set out, so I was able to take gates and link up with the fleet shortly after they had arrived at what sounded like was their second target for the night, an NCDot Astrahus that was coming online.

An Astrahus in Aridia

An Astrahus in Aridia

When a citadel finishes its deployment cycle, it then has to go online, a process which isn’t too long, but which can be interrupted by shooting at it.  This is the best time to kill a citadel, as it cannot defend itself during that time and you can kill it right then and there without any additional timers.

I appreciate that CCP decided not to carry on with the whole entosis link module thing when it came to citadels.  Everybody shooting something is at least a bit more interesting (and much prettier when you’re using lasers) than a fleet sitting around watching one person use their Fozzie laser on a structure or command node.  But to keep citadels from just being blapped quickly out of existence by a supercap fleet when coming online, there is a cap on the amount of damage that can be applied.

For an Astrahus, if you are applying damage at the cap, it takes 22 minutes to kill one when it is vulnerable.  So we were out there with our Fountain allies, LowSechnaya Sholupen, blazing away at the citadel named, if I recall right, Steak and Onions.

ANIs shooting the citadel

ANIs shooting the citadel

This was the second NCdot Astrahus on the list of targets for the night, another having been popped earlier in the evening.  NCDot apparently wanted to seed the route down to Delve with citadels to cover any potential move op, but didn’t use a neutral alt corp and subsequently didn’t show up to defend the citadels as they went online.

And so I got to see my first Astrahus explosion. (kill mail)

Citadel goes critical

Citadel goes critical

I will put the explosion sequence I caught in the gallery at the end of the post.

After that, our we diverted off to help LowSechnaya Sholupen with a tower belonging to The-Culture (formerly that part of Black Legion that wanted to live in null sec) that was coming out of reinforcement.  They even provided a titan to bridge us over to the fight.

An Avatar tethered on an Astrahus

An Avatar tethered on a different Astrahus

Given how careful we tend to be with our titans, it was kind of fun just to see one hanging out on a citadel waiting to bridge us.  We were bridged out but arrived a little too late to get a kill on the tower.  The shields were already up past 50%, so they could add more stront.  Along the way there Asher was looking for somebody with a cyno… and eventually somebody had to go buy one… during which time it came out that, while nobody had one, several of us came armed with festival launchers.  SynCaine was in fleet and called me out for being on that list, so I targeted him and sent some copper fireworks his way.

SynCaine's ANI

SynCaine’s ANI

The cyno was so we could bring in a few LowSechnaya Sholupen to join us in the fight that eventually developed around the tower, where we traded a few ANIs for a Minokawa fax machine and some Rattlesnakes, which won us the ISK war for sure.  On the down side, mine was one of the ANIs that went down.  Hopefully somebody looted that festival launcher.  Good thing I brought down an extra.

If you look at that kill mail, I clearly forgot to clear my cargo hold after moving the ship down to Delve.  Ah well.  I was at least reminded to empty out the cargo holds of a few other ships.

I was able to watch the battle from my pod as the hostiles couldn’t spare any attention to blow me up.  That put me on a couple more kill mails as a pod, including the one for the Malediction that had tackled me.  When the fight was over I had to warp over to the POS to get somebody to blow me up and send me home.

That was it for the moment.  The fleet headed back home and there were some administrative things to look into.  But a while later a Confessor fleet went up in order to bust the third Astrahus of the night, and the second for me.  Keeping to what seemed to be a food theme, this one was called Meatball Sub.

Your meatball sub is up

Your meatball sub will be up in about two and a half minutes

This citadel shoot also went uncontested.  We got ourselves anchored up and, once the timer finished its count down, opened fire on it.

Confessors firing on the Astrahus

Confessors firing on the Astrahus

LowSechnaya Sholupen and a couple of their allies joined in for this kill as well.  Even with a smaller fleet… no dreadnoughts helping out this time around… we seemed to be able to hit the damage cap fairly easily.  You can tell when you’re there as you will start registering zero damage hits every so often as the damage output exceeds the cap.

I tried to get a different camera angle on the second Astrahus when it exploded, but the underside view wasn’t dramatically different.  And it all leaves the same wreckage in the end.

Astrahus remains

Astrahus remains

Once done it was back home to Delve.  Not exactly a huge set of blows against NCDot.  Astrahuses are pretty expendable.  But it was nice to finally get to see a couple of them explode.  If you’re going to shoot structures, you ought to get a pretty payoff when they blow.  More explosion pictures in the gallery from the op below.

A Fortizar Goes Online in 1-SMEB

TODAY 23:00 MAX NUMBERS DIVORCE YOUR CHILDREN, SACRIFICE YOUR WIFE AT THE ALTAR STRAT OP, SUBS, CAPS, SUPERS, TITANS, RORQUALS. BE THERE.

~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to all at 2016-08-01 18:29:53.901185 EVE ~~~

Somebody was trying to impress upon us the importance of the 23:00 op.

As it happens, 23:00 is about the earliest time on a weekday when I can possibly make a fleet op, and I was home in time, online, and ready to pile into Asher’s fleet once the official ping went out and the fleet went up.  This was officially a Proteus fleet and I got into my Oneiros again.

The fleet filled up quickly enough and a second fleet went up on Apple Pear, one of our EU TZ FCs who was up late.  His fleet seemed to be… less discriminating.  There was a call to get people in fleet, alts included, in whatever ship was to hand.  So I logged on my combat alt, put him in a Crucifier, and had him join Apple Pear’s fleet.

Meanwhile, there was a capital fleet forming up… and all of us were using the same coms channel.  While confusing at times, this is generally a sign that we are doing some sort of coordinated op.

With one fleet full, another filling up, and the caps doing whatever it is they do as they assemble, we began to undock, with Asher’s fleet going first.

Once more out of the Genolution Biotech Production station

Once more out of the Genolution Biotech Production station

We undocked, headed to the 1-SMEB gate and jumped through.  The Apple Pear’s fleet undocked, warped to the gate, and then stood to there as the capitals began to hit the gate.  The landed there in two streams, one from the station and one from the safe POS, and jumped through.

Caps landing on the 1-SMEB gate in Sakht

Caps landing on the 1-SMEB gate in Sakht

On the 1-SMEB side, once most of the caps were through, Asher warped us to a spot on grid.  Had I been more aware of my surroundings, I would have seen it on the overview.  But, as I have grown used to citadels showing up there, another one didn’t strike me as something worth noting.  But as when we landed on it, I saw what was going on.

Fortizar going online

Fortizar going online

Yeah, I know, big deal, right?  There are lots of Frotizar’s in New Eden now.  We lived under the unblinking gaze of three of them in the Quafe Factory Warehouse back in Saranen.

You can see three Fortizars on grid now

You could see three Fortizars on one grid in Saranen

But this was ours.

The Imperium has put down dozens of Astrahus medium citadels.  They were in Saranen, all over Venal, in Pure Blind, and dotted the route south to Delve.  But for us to actually bother putting down a Fortizar, as common as they may be, is something of a statement I suppose.

And we were all there to make sure it went online without a hitch.  So all three fleets spread out around it and watched it count down through its final period of vulnerability, after which it could be gunned and would require the whole timer routine to kill.

Supers in a semi-circle around the Fortizar

Supers in a semi-circle around the Fortizar

One hostile landed on grid with us during the process, but warped off quickly.  Otherwise nobody showed up to try and keep our new citadel from going online.

When the counter finished and it was live, there was some cheering.  Asher and another titan pilot shot off their lance doomsday weapons.  And Jay Amazingness let us shoot his Chimera, a sacrifice to the welp gods in Delve no doubt.  We were also encouraged to troll Reddit by putting up pictures with 1-SMEB replaced with 93PI-4.  Somebody did one that looked pretty good.  My own attempt was a bit more… raw… in the grand MS Paint tradition.

And that was that.  We had a large citadel in Delve.  It isn’t a Keepstar, but we’ll get there I bet.

Then it was time to run the whole thing in reverse, with subcap fleets covering each side of the gate as the capitals went back home.  A participation link was generated, my first one for August, and I got to click on it with both my main and my alt. (Though, since they are both linked to my forum account, I am not sure if that really means anything.  But I did it anyway.  Never not click on pap links.)

Not a terribly exciting event, but one that was good for the team.  Once we were done shepherding the capitals back, the op was done.  We were encouraged to go mine and rat in 1-SMEB to build up the ADM.  I got out my Procurer to help out, but as it turns out 1-SMEB only had two asteroid belts (one of which was already mined out, and the other was almost gone) and wasn’t spawning any mining anoms, which put a damper on that plan.

So I decided to use the time to jump clone back to Jita to list all the items I shipped there from Saranen.  More assets converted to ISK.  I also stopped to look at the TNT Delve 2016 video.  See, we’re still a thing, we have a video!

The array of ships around the Fortizar as we babysat it was pretty neat, and a number of people put up good screen shots:

And I have my own screen shots from the Fortizar op:

Breaking into Delve

Not everybody in the Imperium spent last week wandering casually down to our staging station in Sakht.  Fleets had been active in Delve for several days, focusing on the constellation YX-LYK, and by Saturday we had already taken the system Q-HESZ.

But the first real test of the invasion wasn’t until yesterday, when the ihub, station, and TCU in the system 1-SMEB, previously reinforced, were contested.  1-SMEB was also the capital system for the League of Unaligned Master Pilots (ticker: LUMPY), which gave it a boost to its ADM, making it a tougher nut to crack.

There had been pings in advance asking people to show up and be ready for a fight.  The first ping for a subcap fleet, under Jay Amazingness, went out at 16:30 and it filled up quickly.  It was a Proteus fleet and I got out my Oneiros, which I had just run down from Saranen on Friday, and joined up with the logistics contingent.

Once that fleet filled another went up, and another subcap fleet after that.

We undocked after only a short wait.

Emerging from the Genolution Biotech Production station

Emerging from the Genolution Biotech Production station

We held on the gate to 1-SMEB and waited for a bit.  Then a fourth fleet showed up to pass through the gate.  It was a fleet of capital and supercapital ships, jumping into 1-SMEB for the event.

Once they were through, we jumped into 1-SMEB ourselves, then into 6Q-R50, and then into RCI-VL, where we set up around the MJXW-P gate, which seemed like sort of an odd, dead-endy location.

However, it turned out to be the right place, as the hostiles fell on us there, starting with the Pandemic Legion FC Killah Bee, who landed on grid prematurely and was immediately targeted.  I even managed to get an ECM drone on his, so as to get on the kill mail.  After that though, I let my drone take its own course as there were reps to be applied as the two sides closed and got stuck into each other.  NCDot and PL had a T3 fleet, which formed the bulk of the opposition, while the locals, led by LUMPY, were using Gilas.  On our side there was the Proteus fleet, a Confessor fleet, and Asher’s Cerberus fleet.  Bubbles were up to hold the foe in place.

The fight develops

The fight develops

In the middle of all of that, a cyno went up.  As I watched, a single Wyvern supercarrier landed on grid.

A wild super suddenly appears!

A wild super suddenly appears!

Time dilation was already hitting hard, so the capital fleet jumping in on top of the fight unfolded slowly.  Soon, however, I was in the middle of a lot of big ship.

My Oneiros in the midst of a lot of caps

My Oneiros in the midst of a lot of caps

With the presence of a capital fleet on grid, the fight went from a brawl to trying to knock off as many hostiles as we could before they could get away.  I even got to see one of the new doomsday effects as one of the titans  We even got an official observer when ISD Lunaire Elois showed up in a Polaris Inspector Frigate to watch the supers in action.

Somebody has come to watch us

Somebody has come to watch us

That was towards the end of the fight and, as usual, a couple of pilots lit out after the ISD ship, only to find its performance envelope was well beyond their ability to catch.

Meanwhile, our foes escaped as best they could and that was about it for big fights for the day.  All told, that was about 90 minutes of time from undock to the caps heading back towards 1-SMEB where they formed up on a gate to smart bomb the Pandemic Horde and Mordus Angels frigates and interceptors that were in the area.  The battle report for the fight unsurprisingly shows the ISK war going in our favor, though not that much ISK was expended given the values of the fleets on grid.   However, the totals and participants keep changing when I go back to look at that report, so I am not sure how far to trust it.

July 31, 2016 RCI-VL fight

July 31, 2016 RCI-VL fight

It did seem that the majority of the hostiles were not Delve locals.  They must miss us up north.

With the fun over, the work began.  It was time to play the Fozzie Sov game so, over the next few hours we spent time running entosis link modules over command nodes in order to take ihubs, stations, and TCUs.

A command node in "action"

A command node in “action”

There was a bit of see-saw on a couple of the objectives.  At one point LUMPY was at 95% for the 1-SMEB TCU.  However, they seemed to give up before they got that last 5%… though with us roving through the constellation in force, I guess I can understand why… and the actual command node objectives were left to us.

The only opposition was a gang of interceptors that were dropping on nodes to try and break lock on the nodes to slow things down.  This was aggravated by our decision to use force auxiliaries… fax machines… for entosis work.  If I understand correctly, we did this because they were supposed to be immune from ECM while sieged.  However, this turned out to be only true for directed ECM and not area affect ECM burst.

So we ended up with the worst of both worlds.  Fax pilots had to endure the capital entosis warm up cycle penalty both when they started in on a node AND whenever an ECM burst broke their lock.

Fax machines continued on, but there was also a call for subcap pilots to come out and run entosis links as well.  By that point our fleet was split up by wings and sitting on nodes in a system where no hostiles bothered to show up, so I got out my alt.  He happened to have a Rapier fit for solo entosis work, so I ran him out to our system and put him on whatever nodes were available.

With multiple objectives in play, coordination was… not very well coordinated.  If the goal of Fozzie Sov was to reinforce the officious “spreadsheets in space” aspect of EVE Online, then op success, because this sort of event pretty much requires some master spreadsheet coordinator to run with any efficiency.  Instead we had multiple fleets on multiple coms and people going here and there.  On a couple of nodes I was running a fax machine would show up, having been assigned the node.  I would convo with them and tell them to let me know when they had spun up through their initial cycle, after which I would fly off to another node.

But at least I was out doing something with my alt.  The majority of our fleet was just sitting around watching nodes get wanded.  As I have said before, this is not engaging game play.  You don’t see ISD ships flying out to watch people conquer sov.

Asher, on his latest podcast, had some idea for updating Fozzie Sov to make it more interesting, or at least force more fights.  But it seems like CCP, buoyed by the cheers of people who don’t actually engage in sov warfare and who, in some cases, seem to actively dislike sov null and its residents, will not be revisiting Fozzie Sov for the foreseeable future.

Life in sovereign null sec.  We’re told get too much attention paid to us one day, and then on another day we’re blamed for the PCU drop because we’re not warring hard enough to keep people’s attention.

On the bright side, hours of entosis work… I spent 3 hours on it myself after the initial fight before decided I wanted to do something else for the rest of the day… did get us some ihubs, and TCUs, as well as freeporting a couple stations in Delve.

The result of Sunday's work

The result of Sunday’s work

The Ministry of Truth even put out a song about the fall of LUMPY in Delve.

So the conquest of Delve seems to be off to a good start.  Now we just have to hold what we have taken while doing the Fozzie Sov shuffle in a about a dozen more constellations.

My screen shots from the day collected up into a gallery:

Last Moves Before the Big Move

After getting the word that the Imperium would be leaving Saranen for points unknown and being told to pack for a long stay elsewhere in New Eden, I started moving around to get things together.

The first thing I did, even as the fireside chat was winding down, was repackage a bunch of no longer in doctrine ships and modules and had them shipped to Jita.  I probably have to do another pass at that.  I still have too many ships in Saranen.  But at least the obvious stuff is off in Jita waiting for me to find time to jump clone over and list it all for sale.

It may be a bit before I get there.  I had other places to jump clone.  The first stop was UMI-KK, where I listed some stuff I had left behind.  Somebody got a good deal on an implant that I listed for cheap, and some mining stuff went at a discount, but other stuff I listed closer to Jita prices.  I think.  I tend to be haphazard and pricing on a good day.  If it sold already, I probably priced it too cheaply.  I also contracted a Heron to Orion Sa-Solo as a lark.  I am not sure if it was even fit, but it is his problem now.

Then it was off to my alt account.  I jumped him to D2-HOS in Pure Blind where he had one of the ratting Myrmidons that the coalition was selling back during one of our “retake Pure Blind” phases.  Designed to be able to survive and run away, I was able to test that out when I hit a bubble camp on the Mantenault gate in RQH-MY.

Nobody was there when I landed, so I started motoring to the gate.  Even with the afterburner lit my progress could be at best described as “stately.”  And then a couple of unaligned hostiles dropped on me while I was in the bubble, locked me up, and started blazing away.  I turned on the armor reppers and considered my options.  It looked like they would get through the armor before I got to the gate, so I spun up the micro-jump drive.  That sent me 100km from my attackers, who had followed me into the bubbles.  From there I was able to align and warp off to a safe.

After that, if I read local correctly, some Pandemic Horde guys showed up and, finding my attackers stuff, shot them up.  I was congratulated for being bait.  I don’t know how that ended up, but when I landed back on the gate a few minutes later, all was clear and I was able to motor to the gate and into low sec.  From there I flew the ponderous beast to Jita, where it and all its modules were repackaged and listed for sale.  I wasn’t bringing that on the move op.

Mymridon headed for recycling

Mymidon headed for recycling

Then it was time to wait for jump clone timers to tick down before the next moves could be made.

The next night I made another jump for another move.  Wilhelm went to YA0-XJ in Deklein, where I had a Harpy, a Crane blockade runner, and barely a quarter of a cargo load of excess junk.  I put the Harpy up on contract (I got an in-game mail later from a reader who said they would buy it at a reduced price, so I relisted it.  However, the contract remains unclaimed, so there is still an “as flown by Wilhelm” Harpy available!), loaded everything else into the Crane, and headed off on the longest of my planned flights.

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

YA0-XJ itself was pretty quiet, though Aryth, who is one of the Imperium reps on CSM 11, was hanging around in the system.  I don’t know what he was up to, and I didn’t hang around to find out.

The route out was pretty clear.  I did get somebody trying to grab me when I got impatient and uncloaked on the way to a bubbled gate to light my MWD.  However, by the time he targeted me I was already there and all he did was aggro himself, ensuring my escape.

Heading for the gate

Heading for the gate

I have very few bookmarks for bounces and safe spots in that part of Pure Blind, but I was able to use old corporate bookmarks for towers and jump bridges for that.  Those were available in plentiful supply, and the towers were often still there.

Another tower in Pure Blind

Another tower in Pure Blind

MOA, which holds/held/will hold that stretch of territory, didn’t bother to go through and shoot a bunch of the towers we left behind.  For the last month, every time I have bounced through the area, I kept landing on towers sitting there, unfueled, waiting for our return.  With the push into Pure Blind a bit back, GSOL looks to have gone out and fueled a bunch of them.  Of course, they are all GSF towers, so being in TNT, I can’t safe up in them unless I know the password, and the usual password isn’t always the right one.

Anyway, I managed to push through and made it to Saranen without incident.  Well, an NCDot scout tried to point me in Saranen when I decloaked, but I had warp core stabs fit, so I warped off for the station handily enough.  That Crane, which I have had for years now, will likely be hauling stuff to our next deployment.

Then it was my alt’s turn.  He had an entosis Rapier up in ROIR-Y, which isn’t that far from Saranen.  Still, I almost managed to get caught along the way.  I crashed through a camped gate, but the hostiles there jumped through with an interdictor and started bubbling to hold me there.  I did the uncloak, MWD, cloak, turn hard off previous course routine, but it looked like they might get me for a bit.  They had a decent sense of where I was and threw bubbles around that area while trying to close in and force me to decloak.  I watched one of them get within 6,000 meters of me as I twisted around to try to keep out of decloak range.  And then the range started to open up.  Soon they were well out of range and I was out of their bubbles and on my way again, arriving safely in Saranen.

And then another wait for jump clone timers.

The third night I had an easy run for my alt, but Wilhelm had a Harpy and a jump clone still stashed in QPO-WI in Deklein.  I thought about just selling it, but nothing else was going on, and it was only a Harpy.  I decided to YOLO it home or until it got blown up. (Orion Sa-Solo can confirm my prediction in advance that the ship was going to be destroyed.)

So off I went.  Deklein was, as usual, pretty quiet.

Harpy on the move

Harpy on the move

Likewise, Venal was empty, though there were plenty of GSF citadels strewn about the place.  I was able to stop at one of those to tinker with my fit.  This was an old Harpy and one of the guns was offline,   That done, it was into Tribute and then into Pure Blind for the run down the pipe where I hit another bubbled gate.  This time, however, there was no escape.  A Garmur pointed me as I was turning away from the bubbles to try and warp off.  I was too far from the gate to make that, so I targeted him back and started blazing away.

Go little Harpy, go!

Go little Harpy, go!

I did manage to strip away his shields, however he had friends arriving to help out, which only sped up what was already a foregone conclusion.  The Harpy went boom and that was that.  That Harpy was the last asset I had left to fetch from our former home.  I am sure I have bits and pieces of things strewn about Deklein, Tribute, Pure Blind, Fade, and Branch, but nothing important.  Certainly nothing worth bothering about.  So I am about ready for the move, along with what is left of the Imperium at this point.

The Imperium - July 21, 2016

The Imperium – July 21, 2016

For those who will miss Goons in the north, fear not.  It appears that DARIUS Johnson and his “True Goons Only” club is arriving even as we are leaving.

Another Goon brand

Another Goon brand

They got a few systems transferred to them from Pandemic Horde.  I suppose that is one way to get sovereignty.

Now living in Fade

Now living in Fade

Anyway, shooting Goons will still be a thing in the north.  They won’t be as plentiful, but it will still be an option.  Pandemic Horde has you covered.

Now I am waiting around for the destination to be announced and the move ops to begin.  There is always the new 7.0 patch in WoW to keep me busy, along with the occasional op.

Shooting another tower

Always something to shoot

Wait.  Shoot a tower.  Wait some more.

Defeat in the North and New Destinations

The war, for whatever name you chose… Casino War, World War Bee, The War of Sovless Aggression… will effectively be over by the end of the week.

The Mittani announced on the weekly fireside chat yesterday that The Imperium would be packing up and leaving Saranen. (Recording here, since it is already up on Reddit. The meat of the announcements are in the first 10 mins.)

I have previously had people tell me that the war was over already because The Imperium lost all of its sovereignty, or because they personally were done, or, most bizarrely, because Reddit wasn’t talking about it enough, as though Reddit defines reality.  But I have always maintained that wars aren’t over until the losing side admits defeat and goes away.

Well, here is that admission.  We lose.  End of war.  Fabian strategy failed.  The reconquista has been postponed indefinitely.  The MBC/CFC 2.0, rules the north.

So the fight, which has been going on for over six months for some of us, is over.  I know that there are ops going on this week, running into Pure Blind, but my heart isn’t in it now.  Of course, part of that is because we were told to pack all of our stuff and be ready to move this coming weekend.

I favor Vanilla Quafe myself

Good bye to the Quafe Factory Warehouse, Saranen V, moon 9

I was just enough ahead of the curve that I got nearly everything out of Deklein and Tribute before the MBC began to actively contest those regions.  There is still a Harpy in one station, a blockade runner in another packed with a final bit of stuff, and an Oneiros I put up on contract in UMI-KK.  But that is about it.

I sent a lot of it to Jita to be liquidated so as to have ISK for a protracted war, but a good chunk of useful stuff ended up in Saranen.  And my stockpile in Saranen grew as we swapped doctrines and I had to buy new ships time and again.

Now that all has to go… somewhere.

Even before the fireside chat was over I had repackaged a bunch of ships and modules and contracted them to be shipped to Jita.  That was the first pass, the easy picks, the ships no longer in doctrine and related items, 100,000 m3 of stuff.  It has already arrived safely.

But I am still left with a lot of stuff in Saranen, more stuff than I can easily move, including a carrier.  Since I am not part of CapSwarm, I am not sure how I will get that safely to wherever we might be headed.

Of course, that is the big question of the day, where are we headed?

If you look at the current null sec influence map, you will notice that there isn’t a big empty spot in sovereign null sec for us to simply move into.  So we will have to take some space.  But where?

Even leaving aside our old space, space occupied by groups with which we have agreements (various Russians), and space that is just shit (sorry Period Basis), there are a variety of possible destination regions on the map.

Where will The Imperium go?

Where will The Imperium go?

Delve is the classic Goon location and has NPC null stations to stage out of.  Querious has good access to empire space.  Fountain is old, familiar territory, though a bit close to the MBC.  Etherium Reach keeps some proximity to the big trade hub in Jita.  And the others… well… they are far away from the MBC.  Who is likely to follow us to Omist?

Everybody has a guess as to where we will be going, but the official announcement won’t come until the end of the week.

Wherever we are headed, we have been told we will be there for a long time, a year or more perhaps.  And that brings up the question of how this will change The Imperium.  Some people are tired of the war and want a place to settle into and in which they can rebuild.  Others are invested in Deklein and the north, either identifying with it strongly or having left a lot of their stuff behind.  This long march into exile may winnow down our numbers further.

As we head towards the new normal, whatever that may be, the winding down of the war and the summer downturn in PCU numbers has led to the usual “EVE is dying!” reaction, which is the topic of this month’s blog banter.

I won’t be joining in on that, I have too much to do in game.