Category Archives: Null Sec

November in Review

The Site

Another quiet month when it came to traffic.  There was a spike at the start, because writing about Blizzard and BlizzCon will get you some attention.  But then writing about EVE Online or Daybreak games… that is pure death for traffic.  But I write about what I am interested in and what I am playing.

It was apparently also “internet picture posting month” or “inpipomo” or some such.  People were posting screen shots and keep count and that sort of thing.  I thought about joining in, but every month is picture posting month around here.  I am well past 100 for the month I am sure, but I’ll post one more just for luck.

SIEGED!

I’ll leave you to figure out what that even means.

One Year Ago

It was the end of days for WildStar.

I commemorated TorilMUD for having survived for 25 years, and did a post about the Castle Drulak zone on Evermeet.

I was looking back at the decade old VirginWorlds podcast dedicated to the Star Wars: The Old Republic announcement.

BlizzCon was on its way and I was projecting what we might see.  What we actually got… well, Diablo Immortal didn’t play well with fans, but we heard a lot about WoW Classic.  I went over why I felt fan expectations for Blizz are hopeless, but nobody listens.

I had finally schlepped my way to level 120 in Battle for Azeroth and collected my WoW 14th anniversary gifts.

In EVE Online, there was the very pretty Crimson Harvest event.  I was also showing off the swag I got from EVE Vegas. There was also an op out to Geminate to tangle with Pandemic Horde.

But mostly there was the Onslaught expansion, which landed mid-month and reduced the once mighty POS to just so many bubbles in space, though they still haven’t pulled them from the game a year later.  There were also daily login rewards and the activity tracker.

Project Nova, shown at EVE Vegas, had been postponed.

Daybreak was announcing The Burning Lands expansion for EverQuest while the Chaos Descending expansion launched for EverQuest II on my anniversary with the game, though I bid the game farewell for a while.

But the month was really focused on Lord of the Rings Online and its Legendary Server.  I wondered what we might see on the eve of its launch.  The server itself was overwhelmed pretty quickly and there were problems with its login queue.  A second server was announced almost right away.

After fiddling around with ways to beat the queue I was able to get in and start a new character.  There were some quirks of the game to come to grips with, like the lack of tin.  But I made it to the Lone Lands before the month was out, working on the many deeds there.

Five Years Ago

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Launched.

There was BlizzCon, about which I made the usual predictions.  I found the event itself vaguely dissatisfying.  But those who were bitching about lack of focus on WoW at BlizzCon 2015, go back and look at how little attention it got in 2014!  Otherwise we were in Azeroth collecting achievements and waiting for the expansion to hit.

Oh, yeah, the expansion hit… Warlords of Draenor and server queues and all that.   Blizz was trying to fix that while I had to figure out who to play.  Blizz eventually gave everybody 5 days free for the problems.  But hey, they had 10 million subscribers on the hook again, up from the 7.4 million low point during the summer.  Remember when subscriber numbers were a thing?

In EVE Online the Phoebe expansion arrived, bringing with it Jump Fatigue and the 10 year/50 skill long training queue.  Then they were on about removing other annoyances with the upcoming Rhea expansion.

In game the Reavers had finished up in Feythabolis with a bang and were off into Omist next, hunting the unwary before returning home again.

Rixx Javix was drawing spaceships.  He’s still at it.

And there was the This is EVE video that became wildly popular.

I reflected on EverQuest II at its 10 year anniversary.  Veterans of the game even got their own island.  Over on the EverQuest side of the house, The Darkened Sea, the 21st expansion for the game, went live.

And, finally, the power supply on my computer blew out, taking the motherboard and drives with it.  I had to rebuild, but was up and running again in a couple of days.

Ten Years Ago

I was writing about how I had not changed the blog format since I started.  I have since changed it, though mostly due to the fact that WordPress.com broke the old theme.

Our Thanksgiving entertainment was Rock Band 2.  While I was really bad at it, it was a lot of fun.  The next year we played Super Mario Bros. Wii, which I was also really bad at, but which isn’t nearly as much fun.  However, the kids liked it.  I rode along in a bubble most of the time.

And while Tech Crunch was exposing the odious practices favored by Mark Pinkus to get FarmVille and Mafia Wars profitable, the New York Times was gushing over this wonderful new virtual goods market, which I summarized and provided links to here.

I managed to get some playtime in with the original Torchlight, though there were some problems.  It turns out that if you bought the game from the wrong vendor, you could be a while waiting for patches.

The first LEGO Harry Potter game was announced, which I had anticipated would come to pass almost two years before it was announced.

Warhammer Online announced that levels 1-10 were going to be free, making me wonder if they were just going to breed a mass of level 1 twinks.  I think that is what the end result was.  Well, there were twinks, but I don’t think the amounted to much of a “mass” in any way.

In EVE OnlinePLEX was off to a booming start.  The price of a PLEX has risen some since then (~300 million then, well over a billion ISK now in new PLEX).  Meanwhile, the first Hulkageddon was on and even I noticed something was amiss.  Eventually somebody pointed me in the right direction in the comments.

I wondered if fishing was really the secret ingredient for MMO success.

I got all nostalgic for Star Trek because of Star Trek Online’s impending release.

World of Warcraft and EverQuest II both hit their five year anniversaries.  Then I had the temerity to say that there were things that EQII didn’t do very well in my opinion.  Odd how some of those things from a decade back have changed… or how I have changed… or both.

On the WoW end of things, somebody was suing because they felt the game wasn’t easy enough.

Then there were Mr. T Mohawk grenades and a 24 slot Portable Hole, outrages both along with the $10 vanity pets.  And I was complaining about not getting the Headless Horseman’s mount during Hallow’s End.  Again, sound familiar?

I wrote a very short post about Pilgrim’s Bounty which went on to become the most viewed post on the site November of five years ago.

And the instance group started in with Ragefire ChasmWailing Caverns and Deadmines on the RP-PVP server.  Actual PVP occurred since we had to walk to the Deadmines.  We get called griefers for daring to engage in PVP on a PVP server.

Fifteen Years Ago

As may have been mentioned, World of Warcraft launched fifteen years ago this month.

Also celebrating a fifteenth birthday this month was EverQuest II.  It launched a few weeks earlier, but has ever remained in WoW‘s shadow.

EVE Online got its second free expansion, Exodus, which introduced player owned starbases… the POS of yore… one of the uses of which was to claim territory in untamed null sec space.  And thus the race to for empires began.

Twenty Years Ago

Asheron’s Call, the third of the big three break out MMORPGs of the late 90s, launched.  Never as big as its rivals (it peaked at 120K players to Ultima Online’s 250K and EverQuest’s 550K) it blazed its own trail in trying to define what an MMORPG ought to be.  Neglect, a mis-handled sequel, and a studio that made some dubious and costly moves, left the game without a home when Standing Stone Games was split off to support Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings OnlineAsheron’s Call was officially shut down in January 2017.

Most Viewed Posts in November

  1. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  2. How Many People Play EVE Online?
  3. The Apology
  4. CCP Falcon Leaves CCP
  5. Looking Back at BlizzCon 2019
  6. End of a Vision
  7. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  8. Visions of a Sunken Temple
  9. No. I’d Rather Kill Rats.
  10. Quote of the Day for WoW Classic Fans
  11. Gambling Returns to New Eden
  12. BlizzCon 2019 and The Big Four Announcements

Search Terms of the Month

how to like raspberries
[to my mind they can only be tolerated]

new everquest game
[Maybe some day]

meeting stones dont summon in classic
[no they do not]

mau wow
[poppa oom mau wow]

why did ccp change the cyno rules in eve online
[If I could answer that…]

Game Time from ManicTime

World of Warcraft gets dethroned from the top spot after three months in a row, as I spent some time in EverQuest II for the 15th anniversary.  I did play less WoW Classic than I did in October.  However, EQII got a big boost thanks to my being off from work most of Thanksgiving week, giving me the time to indulge in its long, side track questing.  It was well behind in time spent until this past week.

  1. EverQuest II – 49.47%
  2. World of Warcraft – 42.94%
  3. EVE Online – 5.53%
  4. EVE Aether Wars – 1.69%
  5. LOTRO – 0.37%

EVE Online

Not a lot happened in New Eden for me.  I went on a total of two ops.  I’m not terribly interested in a lot of the game at the moment and a good chunk of my time was simply spent moving all my junk from one Keepstar to another since our staging station changed.

EverQuest II

Went back for the 15th anniversary and managed to find a goal that seemed obtainable, getting my alleged main to the level cap of 110.  Getting to 108 was quick, but then there was a few days of distraction as I went off on what was something of a wild goose chase, at least when it came to the task at hand.  However, there were some other things unlocked that may do me well later.

Pokemon Go

Still lingering around level 37, though 38 is getting closer.  My wife asked me what we were going to do when we hit level 40.  I said we’d probably quit and go play the Harry Potter version of the game for a change.  That seemed to be okay, since she is much more of a fan of that than Pokemon.

Level: 37 (+0… but very close to 38)
Pokedex status: 470 (+7) caught, 495 (+7) seen
Pokemon I want: I need more Sinnoh stones…
Current buddy: Tepig

World of Warcraft

I logged in for Darkmoon Faire, which is what I do every month.  I will level up my trade skills that way eventually.  I also logged in for the 15th anniversary, though really only to get the achievement and whatever they were handing out directly.  I did not do any of the events nor the LFR for the mount.  I might regret that if mounts were rare, but when you have more than 400, it just isn’t that big of a deal I suppose.

WoW Classic

I slowed down a bit in WoW Classic in November.  I didn’t stop, but as you can see from the play time break down, I didn’t spent more than 90% of my time playing it to the exclusion of all else.  It isn’t a sprint but a marathon to get to level 60 and through all those instances.

Coming Up

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to some.  I like that the production servers at work will be locked down for most of the month so no worry about pushing updates or changes.  Just don’t let anything go wrong.

Game companies though… there will be expansion for EverQuest and EverQuest II and EVE Online next month.  We’ll also be getting battlegrounds in WoW Classic.  Then there will be holiday events and the Steam Winter Sale and all of that.

As for me, expect the usual end of the year nonsense I suppose.  There is of series of annual posts I have accumulated over the years that I will no doubt get to again.  Reviews of predictions, a look at what I played, highs and lows, maybe even something about books, all culminating in predictions for the new year.

Defending Distant Sovereignty

The ping was later in the evening on Saturday night.  It was a call for a Jackdaw fleet with Oxygen as the FC.  Jackdaws are usually quick to get places so I figured I might as well get my duty to the state validated yet again.  I logged in, got in a Scalpel I had to hand, and joined the fleet, settling into the logi channel.

When it was announced over comms that there was a need for a few entosis Drakes as part of the fleet I was tempted to just log off then.  Entosis ops are often quite dull.  At least I was smart enough not to volunteer for one of the Drakes again.  And I figured we couldn’t be going very far.  The requirement specified GSF pilots for the enotsis Drakes, which meant defending GSF sovereignty specifically, and that is pretty much limited to Delve, Period Basis, and a bit of Querious.  Somebody must have set a timer on us and now we had to go out and make sure nothing was turned.

So it still seemed like it might be a short op.  We hung about a bit as things got put together, but even with the entosis ships it was a small fleet, with about 30 of us rolling out when Oxygen finally called for us to undock and get on the titan.  At least we would be getting a ride to where we were going.

A grinning Avatar sends us on our way

We were sent off to ZXB-VC, which is the boarder system with Fountain.  We jumped into that region and took the Ansiblex jump gates to the boarder with Cloud Ring in J5A-IX.

Taking the Eye of Terror

From there it was into Cloud Ring and a couple systems over to get the Ansiblex that would take us to 6RCQ-V, the staging system for the past wars in the north.

But we were not done yet.  From there it was into Fade then Pure Blind, where it turns out GSF still holds the sovereignty in KQK1-2, the staging system setup for the “glassing of Tribute” campaign back in the Spring.  That is kind of a long way from home.  Sure, the Aniblex network, the “Eye of Terror Mk III,” makes the trip fairly quick.  But that is still a distant point to be holding relative to our home.

On the map from DOTLAN

And we were out there because somebody set the timer for the territorial control unit, or TCU, for the system.  In the age of Fozzie Sov, the TCU just marks ownership on the map but otherwise does not come with any benefits.  It is the infrastructure hub that is the important one.  But the rules of power are that if you let somebody get away with little things like taking your TCU then they will just be encouraged to move on to bigger things.

So the bulk of the fleet, such that it was, sat in the middle of the constellation where the entosis event was running while interceptors fanned out to scout and Drakes turned on their magic sov wands.  As we hung around the gate some Sleepers rolled up and scanned us.  We had the sense not to shoot at them and nobody had any corpses in their cargo to set them off.

It is just what Sleepers are into

If you go orbit them they will scan you.  I got a couple scanning me at one point.

Scanning my Scalpel

But even they got bored hanging around the gate and warped off to find something else to scan.  The NPCs of New Eden have their own lives.

We did managed to catch and kill one of a group of ships that passed by our little camp, a Tempest that was tackled and dispatched.

Not so fast Mr. Tempest

Of course, with a drone bay large enough for a single light drone on my Scalpel I chose to put a combat drone in it.  Sure, I could have gone with the doctrine specified armor repair drone, but then I wouldn’t have gotten on the kill mail, the proof of life assignment I have for myself every month.

Of course, I wasn’t the only Scalpel so armed.  Three of us each had a different drone too.  If only a fourth had shown up with a Hornet we would have had the light drones from each empire.

That kept us busy for a little bit, but we were soon back to orbiting the gate and waiting for things to wrap up.  Fortunately nobody showed up to contest things… a sizable fleet might have just brushed us away… and the whole thing was wrapped up with the minimum number of entosis operations.

Of course, after that we had the schlep all the way back home, which would have been quick in frigates, but we had those Drakes to carry along.  And then, back in Delve, I found out why we got a titan bridge on the way out.  It looks like GSOL was in the process of taking a bunch of Ansiblex jump gates offline to move them due to the changes that went in last week that require them to be at least 500km off the nearest Upwell structure.  So there were a few more gates to take, though it is still pretty quick to get from Cloud Ring to Delve.

And so it goes.  I have seen a few sovereignty defense fleets going on this month, so apparently we’ll saddle up and ride out every time somebody trolls us by hitting a TCU on the other side of New Eden.  It keeps us busy I suppose.

The October MER and the Return of NPC Bounties

CCP has the Monthly Economic Report for October out, so it is our chance to see if things have continued to rebound since the end of the Blackout.  For that I will open with the same chart I did in September.

October 2019 – Top Sinks and Faucets over time

With the September MER we saw bounties begin a sharp climb.  This climb continued through October, tapering off a bit, but putting the NPC bounty numbers very close to their June pre-Blackout plateau.  That continued increase in bounties was more than enough to allow them to reclaim their past position at the top of the sinks and faucets chart.

October 2019 – Sinks and Faucets

Last month NPC bounties sat at just over 20 trillion ISK, so it doubled for October, hitting 41.5 trillion ISK, easily surpassing commodities.  Oddly, commodities spiked up a bit as well, jumping from 21.6 trillion to 28.4 trillion ISK in value.  But that was not enough to fend off the return of NPC bounties.

The top ten regions for NPC bounties in October were:

  1. Delve – 4.7 trillion
  2. Deklein – 4.0 trillion
  3. Outer Passage – 3.7 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 2.7 trillion
  5. Branch – 2.6 trillion
  6. Cobalt Edge – 2.4 trillion
  7. Fountain – 2.2 trillion
  8. Tenerifis – 1.9 trillion
  9. Oasa – 1.5 trillion
  10. Omist – 1.5 trillion

That is up noticeably from the September list, combined the end of the blackout and the cyno changes that took supers out of ratting for a short time.

  1. Delve – 2.2 trillion
  2. Deklein – 1.5 trillion
  3. Cobalt Edge – 1 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 975 billion
  5. Fountain – 957 billion
  6. Branch – 699 billion
  7. Oasa – 686 billion
  8. Detorid – 528 billion
  9. Tenerifis – 496 billion
  10. Insmother – 454 billion

However, the August numbers, which were just blackout influenced, were actually not as far off in Delve as in some regions.  The perks of organization.

  1. Delve – 4.39 trillion
  2. Insmother – 1.30 trillion
  3. Detorid – 1.23 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 1.05 trillion
  5. Querious – 753 billion
  6. Cobalt Edge – 705 billion
  7. Metropolis – 543 billion
  8. Omist – 526 billion
  9. Fountain – 515 billion
  10. Malpais – 514 billion

Overall NPC bounties remain well down from their peak at the start of the year, even if they are moving back up again.  The monthly NPC bounty totals for 2019 so far:

  • January – 83.8 trillion
  • February – 69.8 trillion
  • March – 71.4 trillion
  • April – 57.2 trillion
  • May – 55.5 trillion
  • June – 48.2 trillion
  • July – 29.1 trillion
  • August – 21.1 trillion
  • September – 20.6 trillion
  • October – 41.5 trillion

For those interested in what happened during the blackout period, CCP Larrikin did a lessons learned segment of his Data & Botting presentation at EVE Vegas.  CCP has posted that presentation as a stand alone video, so you can watch the relevant section which starts at about the eight minute mark:

 

Then there is mining.  I heard on The Meta Show a statement that mining was lagging behind, but I am not sure the numbers support that.

October 2019 – Mining value by region

The top ten regions by value mine for October were:

  1. Delve – 3.7 trillion
  2. Esoteria – 2.2 trillion
  3. Querious – 1.19 trillion
  4. Domain – 1.19 trillion
  5. Fountain – 1.16
  6. The Forge – 1.1 trillion
  7. Malpais – 900 billion
  8. Lonetrek – 805 billion
  9. Cobalt Edge – 801 billion
  10. Metropolis – 795 billion

Compare that to the top ten for September:

  1. Delve – 3 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.3 trillion
  3. The Forge – 1.2 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 1.1 trillion
  5. Querious – 879 billion
  6. Lonetrek – 876 billion
  7. Sinq Laison – 848 billion
  8. Metropolis – 847 billion
  9. Fountain – 768 billion
  10. Genesis – 705 billion

The numbers are not up dramatically, but what did change is where the mining was being done.  During the blackout high sec regions around the major trade hubs climbed up the rankings as null sec mining was suppressed.  With October null sec regions began appearing higher on the list.

But what also happened was that mineral prices were down again in October, putting them near the recent all time low.

October 2019 – Economic Indices

Mining is measures in the ISK value of the ore mined, not by the physical volume, so if the amount of ore mined stayed the same but prices when down, the amount listed in the MER would be down as well.  If prices are down but the MER shows amounts up for regions like Delve and Esoteria, it seems likely that mining has already seen a resurgence and we are now seeing too many minerals chasing too few buy orders.

And so it goes.  It looks like people are back to the ISK generation routines in null sec.  But the things that go along with that to drive the economy like production (108 trillion to 119 trillion ISK value from September to October) and destruction (31 trillion to 32 trillion ISK value from September to October) are not up sufficiently to absorb the influx of minerals.  We shall see if that improves in November.

Beat Around the Boosh Arrives in New Eden

The next of the Team Talos updates mentioned at EVE Vegas landed in New Eden today. (Team Talos overview and details were in this presentation.)

Team Talos Presents…

This is another set of changes aimed at upsetting the current combat meta in order to make things more interesting.  The specific items changed by Team Talos are:

  • Micro Jump Field Generator reworked to move a maximum of 25 capsuleer ships. All fighters, drones, probes and bombs will always be moved
  • Bosonic Field Generator signature resolution increased to 10,000 (was 2000)
  • Dromi I and Standup Dromi I web amount reduced to 10% (was 15%)
  • Dromi II and Standup Dromi II web amount reduced to 15% (was 20%)
  • Ansiblex Jump Gate and Tenebrex Cyno Jammer must now be anchored at least 500km from other Upwell Structures

The first item on the list is a bit of a fix for the invulnerable booshing Raven fleet popularized by The Initiative that could essentially shoot a Keepstar without taking much damage.

The jump effect forming before a Raven fleet

The next three are attempts to make subcaps less vulnerable to supers and titans, while the final change basically keeps people from anchoring either of those structures effectively under the guns of a Keepstar.  CCP was going to grandfather currently situated structures, but rightly decided to apply it universally after some time elapsed.  It is a null sec alliance thing, and null sec alliances can afford to make the change.

So we get those changes today, but we also get a few more items.

Today is the launch of the Korean language version of the EVE Online client.  If you get bought by a Korean company you might as well use their resources.  This is alleged to be getting a pretty big marketing campaign to go with it, so there might be a few more players about during the often quiet time frame between when the US goes to bed and Europe gets home from work.

There are also some updates in the new user experience and the UI, which will no doubt help along the surge of new players the company no doubt expects.

And there are even a rash of fixes.  It sort of makes you wonder why they did such a small update last week.  You can go through the patch notes to see everything they felt worth mentioning.

Raitaru Fight in FDZ

Don’t care, had fun

-Cainun

I saw the ping for Cainun’s fleet about five minutes after it popped.  There was a sense of urgency in it that made me decide to give it a pass.  If they were in a hurry about something I was probably too late to make it.  But a couple minutes later a follow up ping came up; Cainun  needed more people in fleet.  So I logged in.

Once in I had to dig around to see if I had the right ship.  I mentioned that the Imperium was moving Keepstars for staging in 1DQ and at this point about half my stuff is still in the old Keep.  It was an Eagle fleet, and I did not have a Basilisk in my hangar.  I moved a bunch of stuff in my Fax and Dread… going against all warnings and warping them between Keeps… but didn’t pack much logi because they always have refits in the cargo.  No space priest role for me.  I did, however, have an Eagle in my hangar.  I wasn’t sure if it was the right fit, but it was probably close enough.  I got in fleet ready to just shoot things for once.

I am always optimistic about how quickly a fleet is going to get moving.  It always takes more time than I think it will, though this time we had the opposite of the usual problems, with too many boosters and too much support and too much tackle, so Cainun was trying to get people into Eagles and Basilisks.

Still, we got ourselves undock and going, warping first to another citadel to take a titan bridge, then off for a destination in Fountain.

Eagle up and away

The pace was quick, we were clearly headed off to a timer of some sort.  We entered Fountain and found an incursion waiting for us.  However there were no NPCs on the gates and we jumped into another system to find a wormhole waiting for us.

An incursion tinged wormhole

We were through that and off to another destination system.  That too had a wormhole waiting for us.

Another wormhole for us

Through the second wormhole… both were direct normal space connections… we found ourselves up in the northeast of New Eden null sec.  And when Cainun set our destination to FDZ4-A I knew what we were up to.

FDZ is the one system in Geminate with an NPC station.  I have a jump clone and some ships there because it is the place you base if you want to hit Pandemic Horde, which owns Geminate and neighboring TKE.  Space Violence and Black Ops both keep a presence there and I had seen updates just the day before about a Raitaru that had been planted up there being hit by PH.

I figured we were headed to the final timer for that, which Cainun confirmed as we got closer to the system.  He also told us that PH had dreads and carriers on the field, so that we were not going to be able to save the Raitaru.  We were there just to get a fight and see what we could kill and have some fun doing it.

Eagle fleets depend on speed.  We got into FDZ, took our drugs… if we remembered to bring them.  I actually had more drugs than required, but took all the performance enhancing items I had in my cargo as it seemed likely we might suffer significant losses.

Cainun warped us on grid with the structure and we anchored up and followed him into the danger zone.

Eagles curving around the battle

Around the Raitaru was the PH fleet.  They brought out more than they needed for the kill or even any likely opposition, but it is good to get the bigger toys out to play with, especially if you live within cyno range.

Pandemic Horde on the structure

We were there for the battleship fleet they brought, which formed around Apocalypses and Megathrons.  Moving fast and at the edge of our range with spike loaded, we took shots at targets as they were called.  Early ones got reps quickly enough, but others we were able to burn down before they could get logi support.

Apocalypse is primary

The carriers began sending fighters our way, so we pulled some range and set about kiting and killing those instead.  From then on it was back and forth between battleships and fighters, with the occasional other target hoving into range.

And we were getting kills.  However, we were also taking losses.  The Eagles remained mostly intact, allowing us to keep delivering enough damage to kill things.  But PH had been focused on our logi, so Basilisks and Ospreys had been getting blown up regularly, whittling away our ability to stay alive in the long term.  When we were down more than a dozen logi, it was time to head out.

Cainun turned us for the exit and we left, taking a dozen or so gates to the third wormhole of the night, which dropped us back in Delve.  From there it was just a few gates home.

Back in Delve

Overall, the operation could not be measured as a success.  We lost the objective as the Raitaru was destroyed.  The battle report shows us losing the ISK war.  We drew some blood, but easily lost two ISK for every one we killed.

Battle Report Header

But it was a fast and exciting op in a time of relative quiet and stagnation in null sec.  You take your fights when you can find them and Cainun’s current philosophy, as quoted at the top, is that some fun is worth the ISK expended.

Addendum: I was told there was a video take of the battle and only just found it.

This explains my “Danger Zone” mention.  Also, I was going to mention the constant reminder on coms to get on the anchor, but the video shows why that was a thing.  We were all over the place.

The Strange September MER

CCP was quick to get the Monthly Economic Report for September into our hands this month.  Due to a number of factors, I have been slower actually getting to it.

Still, there is something to gawk at this month and I am going to go straight to my favorite chart this time around, which is the sinks and faucets over time.

September 2019 – Top Sinks and Faucets over time

And the key item on this chart is the gold line that represents NPC bounty payouts.  As I have noted, and as the chart shows, bounty payouts had been tapering off since their peak at the start of the year as CCP nerfed various aspects of null sec anomalies.  Then came the blackout in null sec and they fell off a cliff.  However, the player count also took a hit, so in mid September the blackout ended.

However, just a week before that we got the September update which introduced the cyno changes.

So if you look at that chart closely, examining its behavior between September and October, you can see that NPC bounties fell off even further.  They pretty much dropped off another, smaller cliff as capital ship ratting was pulled up short and the various null sec coalitions developed strategies with which to cope with the change.

In the Imperium people were told not to rat in capitals or supers until the was figured out, and I have heard that other groups did the same.

Eventually though new fits were worked out and strategies setup to counter the problem of not being able to light a cyno on your capital or super (or Rorqual) to get rescued if trouble showed up. (Hint: having an alt in a force recon with a cyno cloaked up on grid and ready to go is a big part of the answer.)  After that was settled the crabs once again undocked and commenced their harvesting yet again and we can see the line going right back up at the end of the month.

So the question probably is whether or not that line has momentum, whether or not it will keep on climbing back into the untenable zone where CCP will feel it has to step in again in order to reign in what was once the biggest ISK faucet in the New Eden economy.

We’ll be back to this chart when the October numbers come out for sure.

As for who grabbed the most of those NPC bounties, the chart shows that the usual regions were at the top of the list.

September 2019 – NPC Bounties by Region

The top ten regions for September were:

  1. Delve – 2.2 trillion
  2. Deklein – 1.5 trillion
  3. Cobalt Edge – 1 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 975 billion
  5. Fountain – 957 billion
  6. Branch – 699 billion
  7. Oasa – 686 billion
  8. Detorid – 528 billion
  9. Tenerifis – 496 billion
  10. Insmother – 454 billion

If the Imperium is home then Delve is at the top.

A lot of those numbers are down from the August, full blackout but pre-cyno change top ten:

  1. Delve – 4.39 trillion
  2. Insmother – 1.30 trillion
  3. Detorid – 1.23 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 1.05 trillion
  5. Querious – 753 billion
  6. Cobalt Edge – 705 billion
  7. Metropolis – 543 billion
  8. Omist – 526 billion
  9. Fountain – 515 billion
  10. Malpais – 514 billion

Delve was down by half in September, and other regions fell off as well, but not all of them.  Cobalt Edge, was up in the northeast of New Eden was up by 250 billion.  So location, reaction time, and the proximity of a war no doubt played into it.

The big sinks and faucets chart shows NPC bounties were down overall compared to August.

September 2019 – Sinks and Faucets

The August chart had NPC bounties at just over 21 trillion ISK, while for September that number fell by nearly a trillion ISK, with NPC bounties pegged at just over 20 trillion ISK.

That kept commodities out in front as the largest faucet in New Eden, though those fell a bit as well, dropping from nearly 24 trillion in August to 21.6 trillion in September.  While that is down some, the peak back in January was 26 trillion, so there hasn’t been any huge shift there.  It is the top faucet because NPC bounties (which were over 83 trillion back in January) have been brought low.

You can also see from that chart that more ISK came out of the New Eden economy this month than went in.

Since the blackout and cyno changes also impact mining operations, at least in null sec, I should probably spend a moment looking at those numbers as well.

September 2019 – Mining value by region

Pulling numbers from the spreadsheet, the top ten regions for mining were:

  1. Delve – 3 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.3 trillion
  3. The Forge – 1.2 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 1.1 trillion
  5. Querious – 879 billion
  6. Lonetrek – 876 billion
  7. Sinq Laison – 848 billion
  8. Metropolis – 847 billion
  9. Fountain – 768 billion
  10. Genesis – 705 billion

Delve being on top should probably surprise nobody.  The Imperium is the top crabbing organization in the game, which also figured into Querious and Fountain being on the list.  And Esoteria should be renamed TESToteria.

But the rest of the list is high sec.

The numbers overall seem to be down from the August top ten:

  1. Delve – 3.62 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.59 trillion
  3. Esoteria – 1.46 trillion
  4. The Forge – 1.40 trillion
  5. Querious – 1.10 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 1.02 trillion
  7. Lonetrek – 972 billion
  8. Metropolis – 895 billion
  9. Everyshore – 777 billion
  10. Tash-Murkon – 773 billion

However, mineral prices, on which these numbers rest, were also down in September.

September 2019 – Economic Indices

With the prices down, the value is down.

Finally I want to grab the destruction numbers for New Eden.  The blackout, the cyno changes, and the Chaos Era in general were suppose to be at least in part in furtherance of destruction.  Hilmar wanted to see more things blow up.

September 2019 – Destruction value by region

For September the top regions for destruction were:

  1. The Forge – 2.4 trillion
  2. The Citadel – 1.7 trillion
  3. Delve – 1.7 trillion
  4. Detorid – 1.6 trillion
  5. Sinq Laison – 1.2 trillion
  6. Domain – 1.2 trillion
  7. Lonetrek – 1.1 trillion
  8. Esoteria – 906 billion
  9. Metropolis – 882 billion
  10. Deklein – 865 billion

We have high sec trade hubs, Delve, the war zone of Detorid, TESToteria, and Deklein, the last no doubt in relation to the increase in ratting that put Deklein in second place for NPC bounties.

Those numbers are a bit down from August, especially around Jita it seems.  The August top ten:

  1. The Forge 3.2 trillion
  2. The Citadel – 1.9 trillion
  3. Lonetrek – 1.8 trillion
  4. Detorid – 1.6 trillion
  5. Delve – 1.5 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 1.5 trillion
  7. Domain – 1.5 trillion
  8. Fade – 1.4 trillion
  9. Metropolis – 1.1 trillion
  10. Black Rise – 1.0 trillion

Overall the total destruction numbers according to the August and September regional stats spreadsheets were 39.7 trillion and 31.2 trillion respectively.  So destruction seems down, and not just in null sec where the crabs were docked up for a couple weeks out of the month.  The Forge being down by a quarter seems significant.

Did the 3 minute cap on being bumped before warping cut down ganks?

Anyway, that is the meat of things for me, and it gives me something to look at next month when perhaps things will have settled down enough to see a pattern.  Or maybe there will be chaos! Chaos!  CHAOS!

If you are interested in the data and charts, CCP provides them all here in a nice zip archive so you can dig into them and make your own lists and graphs.

Five Years of Reavers

Here we are on Reaver’s founding day.  I’ve always pegged the date as around the middle of October, but somebody said on an op that October 15th was the date and that is good enough for me.  So happy fifth birthday to the Reavers SIG.

Reavers forum bee

I have a special affinity for Reavers.  I happened to wander in and join right as it was formed from the remnants of Freedom Squad.  I flew ops with Freedom Squad, but never joined officially, so Reavers was the first Imperium (or CFC back then) group I became a member of.

Also, being there from the start I feel like I know a lot of the story of the SIG.  While I have not been on every op, I believe I have gone on every deployment.

Finally, being a member of Reavers has let me experience a lot of things that you don’t always get to do on main fleet or homeland defense or during big war operations.  There have been a few points where I have felt tired of New Eden, but a new Reavers deployment has refreshed my interest and kept me going.

So, as I do every year, I will try to summarize what the SIG has been up to over the last twelve months.  You can find past summaries here:

To go along with the now established tradition of these posts, I’ll start with a look at the null sec influence map, comparing the current state of null sec with what it looked like last year.

October 2018 and 2019 compared

Delve and surrounding regions stayed largely the same, with Red Alliance disappearing from Period Basis.  The region fell to the Imperium to hold, lest somebody else try to move in.  The north and east saw quite a bit more change.  Dead Coalition (formerly GotG) shook up its membership, with Slyce leaving, while Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition were driven out of the north due to the “Glass Tribute” campaign this past spring, sending them to reform in Malpais, which was their rental space.  Further south, new names have popped up around Fraternity, which remains at war with TEST and its Legacy Coalition.

As for Reavers operations, it was a fairly quiet year for a number of reasons.

To start with, the shape of war has changed.  Back in the day Reavers would go off behind enemy lines during a war to act as a distraction.  We did peace time operations as well, but those were more to keep us busy and annoy some of our traditional foes than part of any grand strategic plan.

Circumstances have flipped Imperium doctrine on its head.  SIGs and squads are now the harbingers of war, going out to camp in hostile space and stir up trouble until a war sees possible, at which point the fleets mass to come join us and our operations are folded into main fleet.  And all the more so with Reavers, as Asher is the war time sky marshal, running all the big strategic ops.  So, things like the “Glass Tribute” campaign Reavers end up in main fleet rather than having their own deployment.

And then there is Liberty Squad, new US time zone group that formed up about a year or so ago.  There is a lot of overlap between the Reavers and Liberty Squad rosters.  Being on a Liberty Squad op is almost like being on a Reavers op, as almost all the voices on coms are the same.

Because of this, Asher put off doing deployments for a while to let Liberty Squad come together.  So my posts for this year cover more Liberty ops than Reavers.

Still, it was not a year without operations.  So I will run down the list I have based on the last twelve months of posts.

In December we went to wormhole J115405, otherwise known a Rage, to help evict Hard Knocks.  This was setup by The Initiative, who deserves all the credit.

The Initiative logo in spaceships

However, they invited other groups to come participate, and Reavers went as a group.

After that there was a long dry spell for Reavers as Liberty Squad deployed out to harass Pandemic Horde in Geminate.

We did have a couple of Reavers races, set up by Ranger Gamma.

After that there was the war in Tribute, which ran up to the Drifter invasion of null sec and the launch of the Chaos Era.  Liberty Squad did a bit during that, and I spent some time on Zungen Ops, which I get pings for by being in Reavers, but there were no Reavers deployments until recently.  With things quiet elsewhere, Asher formed us up and we went out to Insmother, passing through Legacy Coalition space to join in against Winter Coalition, moving to Cache there after.

That was an old school Reavers deployment, with us living in space without a station or structure to base from.  Mobile depots for everybody.

Swapping out my cloak

However, that also put a bit of a crimp on the numbers.  People who missed the move op out had to find their way out into the middle of hostile space, some opting not to bother.  Numbers were low for ops at times and we ended up coming home this past weekend.

And that is where we stand currently at the the end of five years, back home from a venture out in the wilds of Cache, where we were living in space, shooting at structures, and looking for fights.

My posts do not cover all the Reavers ops.  I know I missed a few out in Cache, and some good ones too from what I hear.  But I believe that covers the deployments the SIG has done over the last year.