Category Archives: Null Sec

The Proposed Phase Two of Sovereignty Changes

There was a big, big dev post from CCP yesterday about their next phase of changes to null sec sovereignty.  The first phase came with Phoebe back in November, which introduced jump fatigue.  That expansion changed the null sec map… before it even arrived.  The big null sec blocs adjusted themselves and settled in.  There has been some fighting in the east where the Russians have been staging a comeback, but they were already players on the map for many years.  The much ballyhooed, mythical big blue donut remained pretty much intact.  The names on the map sometimes change, but there are very few new powers that have shown up in my time.

Null Sec Sov - Dec 2011 and March 2015 compared

Null Sec Sov – Dec 2011 and March 2015 compared

You may see Absolution Alliance on the right side, but that is just White Noise from the left hand map.  Brave Collective is new, but it has TEST hanging out with them.  Even Intrepid Crossing is still on the map as two tiny little green boxes in The Spire.  You need a score card to tell who is dancing with who these days, to torture a metaphor, but a lot of the same players are out on the floor.  So, yes, there might be some justification for tinkering with sovereignty.

Anyway, the second phase is based on a series of goals CCP is attempting to achieve.  They are:

1. As much as possible, ensure that the process of fighting over a star system is enjoyable and fascinating for all the players involved

Hard to argue with that one, though that might be more because it is pretty vague.  Fights are fights after all, and I have been involved in some really great fights under the current sov system because timers force the issue and make people come out and play, because otherwise they will lose their holdings.  I think the previous dev blog about nerfing Ishtars and Tengus would be as likely to accomplish the “enjoyable” goal in my book, but I’ll take it as “don’t make things worse.”  I can live with that.

2. Clarify the process of taking, holding and fighting over star systems

Okay, amen to this one.  I’ve been a soldier in the sov wars since December 2011 and I still can’t tell when we are really, truly fighting over the very last, final, there ain’t no more, we get the system now, timer unless the FC explicitly says so.  And I’ve been on ops where the FC has said that and has been wrong.  Of course, they went on to describe a new system that seems to be just as arcane in its own way, but at least they want to give it a UI that mere mortals can access and decipher.

A UI proposal

A UI proposal – Also, Atlas Alliance!

I don’t get access to Region Commander, so it would be nice for CCP to let the soldiers be able to tell what is going on.

3. Minimize the systemic pressure to bring more people or larger ships than would be required to simply defeat your enemies on the field of battle

Make it so when the defenders bring three fleets we don’t have to up the ante and arrive with four I guess.  After two reads through the whole thing, I am not sure how a bigger coalition is not going to be incentivized to roll out as many fleets as possible when an important system is in dispute.

4. Drastically reduce the time and effort required to conquer undefended space

Sounds good.  I’ve already been through undefended region grinds.

5. Provide significant strategic benefits from living in your space

I’ve seen this one getting some heat.  What it means is that the systems you use to rat and mine and produce in, those will get a defensive buff.  What it does not mean, and what some people seem to expect it should mean, is any sort of boost to the benefits of living in null sec.  Without that latter bit, there are a lot of raggedy ass, bad true sec systems out there that alliances tend to hold merely because they happen to be in the same neighborhood as the systems they actually use.  All of null is not equally valuable, so I wonder what becomes of the off brand stars that don’t spawn worthwhile anomalies or asteroids.

6. Spread the largest Sovereignty battles over multiple star systems to take advantage of New Eden’s varied geography and to better manage server load

This is one where I begin to wonder if CCP plays its own game.  Have they been in a sov war since time dilation was introduced?  Because outside of Jita, very few star systems appear to get their own dedicated resources.  The same set of CPUs seems to run a whole constellation, or even a whole region at times, because a big fight in one system will spread the time dilation love to adjoining systems so we all share the pain.  So this one seems moot unless there is some server infrastructure change that goes with it, as 4,000 people in one system and 4,000 people in one constellation seem to be about as likely to bring the servers to their knees based on my own past experience.

7. Any new Sovereignty system should be adaptable enough to be rapidly updated and to incorporate future changes to EVE

CCP actually attempting to plan for the future.  Will wonders never cease?  Next they will tell us that their programmers comment their code in a comprehensible and meaningful way… and then I will know they are full of shit.

Thoughts on This

So those are the seven goals which are alleged to inform all of the mass of text that follows them in the dev blog.

What does it all mean?  Damn if I know.  I just align where the FC tells me and shoot the targets indicated… or rep the targets indicated more likely… when I can be bothered to stop trying to get good screen shots.

Moving sovereignty fights so that they occur in multiple systems in a constellation sounds interesting, if not exactly logical.  In order to capture system A you need to blow something up in system b and c?  Sure, I’ll do it, and I guess it makes as much sense as timers do in the first place.  And the defense bonus structures will get means that bigger fleets will still be encouraged by the system.

Likewise, the whole Entosis link module sounds interesting.

And they come with a flow chart, so #winning

And they come with a flow chart, so #winning

Of course, I am sure that module will never be abused, there being absolutely no history of EVE players gaming the system or min/maxing or finding strange new uses for things. (Cue footage of hot Ishtar on Ishtar action and suicide gankers resupplying from Orcas.)  I know, stop laughing.  But if you are thinking that at least it will put power in the hands of smaller groups, you might want to remember that the coalitions have their own think tanks dedicated to optimizing that sort of thing.

But we might have to start using all those SBU’s that Wibla is purported to be holding for a rainy day, as they will be obsolete when the new system comes online, replaced by the Entosis link module.

Freeport mode sounds like it could be rich in comedy.  I fully endorse that.

Being able to set your prime time defense window favors defense.  While I have seen it said that this pretty much lets the pacific time zones out of playing to sov game, you know some group will recruit Australians just so they can set their timers to go off when Europe and North America can’t get numbers on grid.  This will be a strategic decision.

While there seems to be an unstated goal in the mix about making sovereignty accessible by a more diverse group rather than the same old players that are in the maps at the top of the post, I am not sure that the price will be paid by the big blocs.  There are a lot of corps out in null sec only because they can rent space.  They are the most likely group to be driven out of null, replaced by whichever new groups (or reconfigured old groups) that want to grab a piece of space real estate to call their own.  Is that a good thing?  If you’re thirsting for sov, probably yes.  If you’re a renter corp, maybe not so much.

Finally, while I have seen a couple of references to the end of the blue donut again with this dev blog, I do not see anything in the whole mess that would make me think for an instant that the big, well organized, and currently entrenched blocs will be at any sort of relative disadvantage when the change eventually comes.

But I wouldn’t expect to see such a thing unless CCP completely lost hold of their senses.  Alienating a large and fairly dedicated chunk of your player base never plays out well.  Nobody wants to be part of the next NGE fiasco, so CCP isn’t going to change things to allow a couple 100 person corps to throw Goonswarm out of VFK.  They want null to be more interesting, but not THAT interesting.

Anyway, the dev blog is all just a proposal at this time for something to hit come the summer, so there will be plenty of time for CCP to gauge reaction and adapt to the holes poked in their ideas.  Plus they will get a couple of new CSM members putting their two cents in soon enough, and one of them is likely to be Endie, which should make for a good time.

We shall see what the summer brings I suppose, but first we have to get through Fanfest and spring and a couple more of those every five week releases.

Others writing about this dev blog:

Quote of the Day – When You Know You Are Making a Difference

Subject: Reminder to Renters who like to PVP

we will knock up to 200 mil off rent for every hostile sbu kill with legit killmails posted on zboard

we will knock up to 500 mil off hostile pos kills

you need to use judgement and dont throw caps willy nilly around those wont be srped but you can form bombers and other ships use scouts and so on

some renters have erned free rent by being proactive who have a understanding of pvp and we want to encourge those who know what they are doing to feel free to step up if you feel its in your scope of things you can handle.

you need to keep records and at months end get with your rental poc to work out discounts.

this appys to those who rent under NC/Bff you can check your rental manager if your region is covered

Lady [Scarlet] – via EVE Skunk

The NCDot rental crew has decided that they need to incent their renters to go out and clean up hostiles in their space.

Meanwhile, in no doubt completely unrelated news, while the conflict in the east continues there are reports that the so-called Reaver squad has started operations in the southwest region of null sec.

An undisclosed location in the Southwest

An undisclosed location in the Southwest… also, Caroline’s Star

Making Friends and Influencing Capsuleers the Gevlon Goblin Way!

A couple years back Gevlon left the warm, themepark embrace of World of Warcraft to try his hand at the wild west that is EVE Online.  This was a match made in the heavens.  He tore into the game in his usual way… heaping scorn and derision on morons and slackers.

Not green in EVE

Not green in EVE

His start was a little rough… or at least a little rough to watch, as his lecturing tone pointed towards long known truths as though he were the first to discover them.  We all have those moments of discovery… just as a blogger you tend to announce them to an audience that is often a few pages ahead of you.

Some predicted from these early posts that he wouldn’t last long, but I always knew that he would be hooked on New Eden.  It is a Goblin’s delight, a game with no actual game except for what you define for yourself.

At some point, as is natural, Gevlon came into contact with Goons, which was one of those “Sparks, meet my friend kindling!” moments.  Gevlon’s demeanor is exact match, if you were looking for something to provoke Goon mockery.  A conflict was born, filled with ISK and stilted rhetoric.

Gevlon eventually decided to use the huge wealth has had amasses to fight the Goons.  During the Fountain War he threw in with TEST, paying them to let him join in.  Eventually he founded Grr Goonswarm in order to finance people willing to oppose the Goons.  Forever war it would be.  He has a summery up of the first year, and even mockingly offered Goonswarm an option to surrender. (The option and it’s reply is covered here.)

And you think, in a community where two of the main news sites can be loosely defined as “pro-Goon” and “anti-Goon” and the Goons already had plenty of enemies, that forming a coalition of the willing would be easy.  But that does not account for Gevlon.  It is reported that he can be trying to deal with.  He had problems with TEST back in Fountain.  He has had defections from his mercenary ranks for various reasons.  One of the ISBoxer stealth bomber pilots flipped sides, stopped camping YA0, and came along on a Reavers deployment because it seemed like more fun.

ISK is not everything.

And then something new came down the grapevine today which, if authentic, is a double punch of hilarity.  From Tora Bushido, head of the Marmite Coalition, it takes issue with Gevlon’s claims.  The killer here is that Marmite was already declaring war on null sec corporations in order to hunter their logistical operations.  Gevlon was paying them to keep CFC alliances on the list.  But he still managed to annoy them and now they want compensation.

I suppose we will hear about this from Gevlon if it turns out to be true.

—–

Gevlon : You’re Fired!
From: Tora Bushido
To: Gevlon Goblin, [and a few other interested parties]

Gevlon,

Of course we are doing these wars for free, as we make 0 isk on them. You are getting the service of killing your enemies for cost price. You know any businesses who would sell you anything for cost price? Exactly, none of them would. Not even the non-profit ones. For someone who is good with numbers, you can act pretty dumb. And we are doing this without any extra effort? Who do you think is paying for the ship losses we have every month because of these wars? Yes, we are, not you. So don’t give me this crap.

We have tolerated your blogs long enough, where you keep telling everyone how you are ‘destroying the CFC’. I call bullshit. You havent done shit. If anyone has done anything, it was Marmites doing the killing. It’s like buying a painting and telling everyone what a great artist you are. We knew this had zero impact on the CFC, but we were enjoying the killing, smacktalk, blogs, content. It’s time you get your wake up call.

Price just went up to 15B / week. You not willing to pay it, fine, we’ll go talk to the CFC and see if they want to support the wars against BL, Mordus, TRI, etc. and we will cancel your grrr….Goonies project. You can have it any way you want.

Go luck with finding people who work for free.

Tora

Ps. You are fired!

—–

Gevlon has his response to this posted.

The letter is being covered over at TMC, where I am sure the comments will be more… interesting.

Have Basilisk, Will Travel

And how I will travel.

As I mentioned in my “wait, where am I” new year’s post about EVE Online, I left things strewn about space after the last deployment.  And, with a new deployment promised for this week, I figured I had better get myself together.

Oddly, the new deployment, which was slated as a general admission operation, was going to use the same ships and fits as the Reavers, right down to mobile depots and cloaks and such.  But it was not going to be a Reaver op.

Still, that made things handy.  I had a couple of Reaver fit ships, I just had to get them to the jump off point for the operation.  The not-so-handy part was where they were.  The ship I wanted to fly, a Basilisk logistics cruiser, was way down in the southwest corner of Amarr space, not too far from a jump gate to HED-GP, while the staging point was back up in Deklein.  And I didn’t even have a jump clone in the system where the ship was, because we ended the deployment down there by flying Crucifiers back home as part of a potential DBRB trap that didn’t quite work out.

Also, I left a crucifier parked somewhere...

Also, I left a crucifier parked somewhere…

So I had some flying to do.

And, yes, I could have just bought a new ship.  But I am not exactly overflowing with ISK, being pretty lazy on the income front for the last year or so, and the Basilisk down in Amarr space was still insured.  Waste not, want not, and all that.  So the evening before the deployment I set out to get my Basilisk back home, because there is no minute like the last minute.

The first step was to get jump to the clone nearest the ship.  I was up in YAO and the nearest clone was one jump out of Amarr in Bhizheba.  I have sufficient standing with the Amarr Navy to install jump clones with them in stations that have medical facilities, and Bhizheba is the nearest such facility to the trade hub of Amarr itself.

I jumped there, bought the cheapest shuttle in the station, a Minmatar model, and flew down to Badivefi, where the Basilisk was docked, a quick 19 jump run.

Shuttle run... and Caroline's Star

Shuttle run… and Caroline’s Star

Once there I repackaged the shuttle and listed it on the market for more than I paid for it (and it sold in a couple of hours) and boarded the Basilisk, making sure it was fit for travel, which includes having a cloak, for the journey back to Deklein.  The most direct route back to YA0-XJ is 47 jumps, and pretty much avoids low sec, making the transition to null sec at EC-P8R.

Unfortunately, that is kind of a hot location.  Always a lot of camps, and then the route goes through NPC null in Pure Blind, where lots of not-blue strangers wander about.  That is a bad part of town and you are likely to get mugged.

I chose instead to use my old standby route and slip into Cloud Ring via Black Rise, a 33 jump journey that would get me into null sec, but leave me a long way from my destination.  However, it would put me on the jump bridge route between Deklein and Fountain.  I could take just two jump bridges and land just four jumps from YA0-XJ.  Granted, I would have to wait out the jump timer before I could use the second jump bridge, a 10 minute count down, but I had my cloak so I could just disappear for a bit and go do something else while that problem took care of itself.

The journey itself was uneventful.  The usual Marmite camp in Niarja was looking for fatter targets than I, and while low sec Black Rise is always full of people, they are usually off doing Factional Warfare stuff and have almost no interest in somebody just passing through.  Entering Cloud Ring I found myself pretty much alone.  It is kind of a “fly over” region in CFC space, or so it seems to me, so I used the first jump bridge, traveled to the second, cloaked up for a bit, then used it, landing back amongst the blue where I was able to dock up in YA0-XJ without incident.  I had a bit of jump fatigue, but that would wear off soon enough.

The next evening I got on a little bit before the form-up and took gates from YA0 to the start system, QPO-WI.  I joined the fleet, led by Lazarus Telraven, as soon as it went up.  I got in the logi channel and then the cap chain channel, where Arrendis was running the show, so we were in good hands on that front.  Our ball of Ishtars and Basilisks and assorted other support ships eventually undocked, and the first thing we did was fly back to YA0.

This has happened before.  Sometimes I wonder why I leave the system.

From there we headed west, following approximately the wagon trail to Fountain.  Our final destination had not been given for operational security reasons and every time somebody asked on coms, a new objective was named.  Fountain, Delve, Stain, Catch, Thera, and Providence were all mentioned at various times as we plodded through space, one full fleet of 255 plus a second fleet with another 30 or so traveling along.

Things were, of course, slow.  Travel ops are slow, pushing 280 people through jump gates causes time dilation to kick in, and the FC is hooked into the intel channel and talking to his scouts about the route ahead, so isn’t always sending us to the next system right away.  Plus Laz was also streaming and trying to get a covops past the Marmite camp in Amarr or some such.

Holding up on another gate

Holding up on another gate

We stumbled along for a while, going maybe 20 or so jumps before we were finally pulled up short and told to warp to an individual.  We had reached our wormhole.  This was how we were going to get across space, closer to our eventual destination.

Into the wormhole

Into the wormhole

There seemed to be a question as to whether all 280 of us would make it through the wormhole before it collapsed.  The logi went through first, so in we went.  And on the other side we found ourselves in Thera!

Not much to show for it...

Not much to show for it…

I was actually pretty excited about this.  Thera was the new special wormhole space that was added with the Rhea expansion.  Maybe Thera was our destination?  Maybe we were going to set up shop in here for a while a shoot things.  That seemed like something new and different.

And then we warped to the exit hole.  We were just passing through Thera on our way elsewhere.  But at least I had been there for a visit, even if I only saw the stations on my overview.

Things in Thera

Things in Thera

We passed through the exit wormhole, logi first again, and it went critical as the final ships passed through, and found ourselves in Wicked Creek.  There was a hostile, bubbles were deployed, not much happened.  Par for the course.

You don't get this stuff in low sec

You don’t get this stuff in low sec

From there we continued the slow gate crawl from one destination to another.  At one point Laz got some intel that the way ahead was camped so wanted us to stop a few jumps shy of the original destination he had broadcast.  However, there were two potential paths to where we were headed, and the in-game route finder changed its mind on which path we should take, so that those who set the destination to the new broadcast got one route while those who kept the original destination and just planned to stop at the broadcasted system were set to travel another route.  This meant stopping everything for a while as Laz tried to get us all back in the same location.

The fleet slowly moves forward

The fleet slowly moves forward

Meanwhile, the discussion on coms had turned to exactly what equipment a eunuch has left after he becomes a eunuch.  The no chatter channel, where you can only hear the fleet commander, was starting to sound like a good idea, but I stayed on the main coms because Baby Lemba was doing voices again, which I find funny, but which isn’t always conducive to coms discipline.  And then Laz lost another covops while trying to get us organized and I thought his head was going to fall off.  I had the stream up so I could see the look on his face.

Eventually this was sorted out and we were able to move forward.  We hit no camp and eventually arrived at our destination, which was XS-K1O.  We are bunking with The Initiative, which owns the system.  That is just three gates from B-R5RB, site of the giant titan battle almost a year ago and not too far from where we were based in Immensea last year at this time.  I still have a Dominix in B-R5RB and a couple more ships in AF0-V5, our old staging system.

I tried to put all my travels this week on the influence map, but the arrows got a bit confusing.  If I  haven’t been to the four corners of New Eden, I have certainly been beyond the four corners of empire space.  And I am not sure how I would even draw the two hour trip from Deklein to Immensea.  Two hours is about par for the course for such things, unless it turns into a trail of tears.

Estimated locations of key points in my move

Estimated locations of key points in my move

And that is where we are set up.  There is a write up over at Crossing Zebras about the situation in the area, which is both confused and very Russian.  There is also a write up over at The Mittani which includes our staging system, so I am not violating operation security by mentioning it.  And my Basilisk made it down there in one piece.

Cap chaining in Immensea... Caroline's Star visible

Cap chaining in Immensea… Caroline’s Star visible

We are down there to get fights or, if no fights come up, help tear down Northern Coalition’s rental empire.  So far, fights are not happening, so it is structure shoots.

Looking for trouble in Immensea

Looking for trouble in Immensea

We don’t want the space, we just don’t want NC to have it any more.  We will see what happens this weekend as we start setting timers.

Another infrastructure hub reinforced

Another infrastructure hub reinforced

Now should I nip over and pick up my long lost Dominix, or just leave it in B-R5RB where it had its big moment?  Meanwhile, I am still more than 20 jumps away from all those ships I left in Curse back in

Hung Over in New Eden

Not literally hung over, though there was a selection of “slosh ops” to run over the holidays.  Get a kill, take a drink!

No, this is more of a spiritual or motivational hang over.  And hangover might not even be the right word.  Four sentences in and I am already at odds with the title of this post.  A symptom of my state of mind, no doubt.

At the end of the last deployment I just dropped my ships where I docked them and didn’t do much.  The deployment ended and I wandered off and didn’t spend very much time at all in game.

I had plans.  Oh, I had many plans for the post-deployment time frame.

I was going to organize things.  I was going to move ships around… actually get my carrier out and move them.  I still have stuff in VFK, and that hasn’t been our staging system for months now.  I still have stuff in YA0, and THAT hasn’t been our staging system for many weeks now.  I have two ships in our current official staging system in the north, but that wouldn’t really help as we are forward deployed to still another system.  I don’t even have a jump clone there, though I do have a ship.  A Drake, which hasn’t been a fleet doctrine ship for 18 months.

And my problems just start there.  I have a couple dozen ships in VFK and YAO, most of which are now either not part of any of the current, active fleet doctrines (Drakes, Megathrons, and Apocalypses mostly), or are not fit for the current, active doctrines.  I have to go through all those Scimitars and Oneiroses and change them out.  I have done a couple.  They are all named “Fly This Ship’ now so I can pick them out of the list.

I also have this neuting and smart bombing Armageddon from somewhere...

I also have this neuting and smart bombing Armageddon from somewhere…

The CFC has become the green blob when it comes to doctrines, favoring Ishtars and Dominixes.  I have a couple of Ishtars… fit for Reavers, not for standard fleet ops… and a Dominix parked in B-R5RB.  I am thankful that Harpies are still a thing in the CFC.  I have a bunch of those sitting around ready to go at least.

There was something of a plan to get a couple of doctrine ships back home from high sec.  They are still sitting where I left them.

I was also going to earn some ISK.  I need to earn some ISK.  My general solution to not having the right ship is just to buy one off of an alliance contract.  The CFC is mighty good at keeping people supplied, though that is all done through independent means so I am going to guess that the suppliers get even more miffed about doctrinal changes than I do.

Anyway, I was going to run some anomalies and haul a bunch of stuff I collected… maybe even some of those now mothballed ships.. back to Jita to sell with my market alt.  And I very nearly did some of that.  I ran one anomaly at some point during the holidays.  I know this because it is in my wallet journal.  And I tried to run one a couple more times, but found all of the worthwhile ones occupied by people in ratting carriers.  Now that they can use jump gates I can’t go hide in a cyno blocked system to avoid them I guess.  So that netted me about 25 million ISK, which isn’t enough to buy me a new Harpy… not that I need a new Harpy.

And I certainly didn’t go on any ops.  I haven’t clicked on a participation link in a few weeks.

In fact, aside from checking my skill queue… which I didn’t really need to do, but I felt like fiddling with the order… and activating my free 20 days of second character skill queue… which you can still do through January 13th… was do a bit of hunting in high sec.

Yes, terrible me, I got out my specially fit Rifter and went searching for miners.

Rifter out looking for trouble

Rifter out looking for trouble

I went wandering around systems, warping from asteroid belt to asteroid belt until I found and unsuspecting mining ship.

An innocent miner in a Venture mining frigate

An innocent miner in a Venture mining frigate

Upon spotting my prey, I would light my microwarp drive, set myself to orbit the mining ship, lock them up and let loose with a barrage… of snowballs and fireworks.

Direct hit!

Direct hit!

That got a few cheers and “happy holidays” in reply, though I wonder how many of the miners were on edge at having me show up and target them and how many were oblivious to the whole thing until the first snowball hit.  I probably should have done this in Niarja for maximum effect.  Lots of bad stuff happens there.

In the end though, I didn’t spend a lot of time throwing snowballs either.  I think I hit five miners and a couple of haulers along the way.

I ended up not doing a lot in New Eden over the holidays, and now the new year is here and it is cold and wet and my ships and equipment and jump clones are scattered all over the place and there is some sort of deployment tomorrow and the Proteus expansion coming out next week and I mentally feel like I am lurching around, trying to find my bearing… which is where I suppose the hung over metaphor came up.

I just have to get myself to where ever we are headed, get a ship, and shoot something.  That will clear things up I hope.  And my alt is now capable of flying all of the tech II logistics ships, so I have that going for me.

Anyway, welcome to 2015, or YC 117 in the greater New Eden area.

Back from Operations in Querious

Another deployment behind enemy lines has wrapped up.  This was our fourth deployment.  Previously we have been down in Insmother, Feythabolis, and Omist, the heartland of N3’s rental empire.  This time we moved to the southwest, to Querious.

Deployments so far

Deployments so far

(Somewhat out of date map from the usual source.)

This deployment was different from the last three.  While successful, those were really practice  runs to validate the doctrine and get used to living rough in the field behind enemy lines.  This time we had a serious operational objective, which was to force NCDot and friends to divert resources from its “invasion” of Fountain.

This was back when the CFC was in trouble, being besieged from Delve and Venal.  We were not going to be able to fight a two front war.

Only we did.  And we opened up a third front along the way, as the Reavers went out to shoot up unguarded infrastructure.

This deployment was also different in that we did not live rough, setting up a POS in the middle of hostile territory.  Because of the the way space is laid out in the southwest, we were able to get a room at the Royal Khanid Inn and Suites in a corner of Amarr high sec space to use as our staging base.

Royal Khanid offers HBO in every room

Royal Khanid offers HBO in all Captain’s Quarters

This gave us a few of advantages.  This gave us a safe haven to work from, like the Taliban in Pakistan.  It made resupply very easy as Amarr, the second biggest trade hub in New Eden, was fairly close and the Marmite Collective’s camp of Amarr was asleep at the switch, letting us wander in to buy things repeatedly.  Ships could be put up on contract to replace losses.  And death clones could be set to the station, thus removing the “I died and am now on the other side of the galaxy” problem with previous deployments.

It also meant that getting out there was easy for me.  My computer was down when we initially deployed, but I had a jump clone handy in Amarr, so was able scoot on down on my own without any drama and buy a ship from contract.

Finally, it also meant that we could jump clone back to other fronts if we wanted to.  I switched up and split my time between Reaver ops and flying on some operations in south Fountain, including the final push that removed NCDot’s foothold in the region.

NCDot was trying to deal with us in Querious with minimal forces for a while.  We would shoot up their SBUs, drop our own, and go away.  They would then return and shoot our SBUs and drop their own back.  A few times we got into later timers, shooting infrastructure hubs and even station services, but the idea wasn’t to take systems, it was to make them pay attention to us, something they really started to do after we killed four super carriers, which had been involved in the regular SBU shooting ping pong match, one night.

NCDot had given up on Fountain by that point, but after that they started showing up in force to oppose us.  They moved their super capital fleet back to F2OY-X and started forming Tengu fleets against us, obliterating us a couple of times. (ouch, 9 logi were not going to cut it) With that our ability to cause them pain with little effort ended, but it also meant our job was done.  The enemy had given up on their offensive as we reduced them to chasing our Ishtars around their own territory.

Shiny post-Rhea Ishtar

Shiny post-Rhea Ishtar

There were a couple of other attempts at operations.  Asher Elias handed out Crucifier frigates to all of us, with a plan for us to zip out to B-R5RB so we could be there when The Initiative took it back.  Site of the great titan battle back in January, it was taken back from NCDot this past weekend.  I still have a jump clone and the Dominix I flew during the fight holed up there, maybe I can get them out safely now… or at least put the Domi up for sale.

B-R5RB ownership swaps in 2014

B-R5RB ownership swaps in 2014

In one of those moments where you realize that the same names have been around for a while, further down the list it shows that The Initiative owned B-R5RB July 2009 until January 2011.

Unfortunately, as we were burning across space to get to B-R5RB, we hit an Against All Authorities gate camp in Catch that killed enough of us to break up the fun.  I was one of those who got blown up and podded.  But, having happened after the Rhea expansion dropped, the whole thing was an ISK-free adventure.  Asher gave me the ship and clone upgrades are a thing of the past.  I should go die more often in frigates.

We tried another Crucifier op later that evening, reshipping in Amarr again.  We were going to be one prong in a great DBRB trap, however the prey sensed something was wrong and fled, leaving us flying around low sec looking for something to do.

Crucifiers faffing about waiting for a target

Crucifiers faffing about waiting for a target

And that was about it for the deployment.  I flew my Crucifier straight back to Deklein from our last operation, where it will likely sit in a hangar with the rest of my “no longer or never were a fleet doctrine” ships.  So many Maelstroms, Megathrons, Apocalypses, and Drakes… oh the Drakes.  I’m going to start bringing Drakes on ops, I swear.

Now we are in something of a down period.  NCDot has other troubles so Fountain is off their agenda, Black Legion decided more fun was to be had teaming up with Brave Newbies to joust with Pandemic Legion in the south, Triumvirate, if I heard this right, apparently got dunked so hard that they issued a DCMA request to pull down a video of the fight (though, to be fair, I only know what I saw on Twitter and The Meta Show), leaving us with nobody except Mordu’s Angels as a regular foe in the north, and there is a CFC group camping them in 5ZXX-K, which is just a few jumps from our staging system.

Time to go out and earn some ISK.  Once a lot of people are on a holiday break, things are likely to heat up again.

Picking the Right Fleet – NCDot Supers Down in Querious

ENEMY SUPERS TACKLED GET THE FUCK IN FLEET RIGHT NOW

Web Broadcast to [SIG] Reavers from Asher Elias

I wrote something yesterday about picking the right fleet.  This is the fleet you want to get into.  So I logged in and burned to LS-V29 to join in on the fun.  We ended up killing:

I managed to get a combat drone out and get on the kill mails for those ships with an asterisk.  Again, there were so many bubbles on grid at one point that the background in my screen shots turned white.

Signs I am a bad Logi pilot

Signs I am a bad Logi pilot

This was one of those “happens once in a while and makes all the slow fleets worthwhile” operations, like CCP was trying to illustrate in their This is EVE 2014 video.  People were excited, comms were buzzing, but it was far from clear exactly how many capital ships, if any, we would be able to kill.

When I got on grid our FC, Asher Elias, was pretty sure we would get the Aeon and maybe one of the Nyx.  They were trying to get to the safety of their POS shields, and it at least one Nyx was very close before he inexplicably turned around and started motoring away.  There was also the looming threat of reinforcements. The Nidhoggur and the Chimera were dropped onto the battle to try an repair the supers and were chewed up for the effort.  Eventually a couple of fleets of hostiles were on grid trying to drive us off and we started taking significant losses when the last Nyx got into structure.  We had enough left in us to take him out, then the call went out to scatter, safe up, cloak if possible, and “fofofofo” in local.

Let us "fofofo"

Let us “fofofo”

Then we escaped back to our staging system.

We got a bit of a briefing in the fleet about how this was all planned out, with tacklers logged off in the system waiting for the supers to log in, but the full story will probably come out in the morning. (Addendum: Here is the tale from the CFC end, and from the N3 end of things.)

Meanwhile, this other battle happened.  It will probably dominate the new cycle.  A titan was killed… killed by Brave Newbies no less, an alliance that prides itself on taking new players into combat.  A lot of younger pilots got their first taste of an epic battle with capital ships on grid.  Good for them, and good for EVE Online.  But our own kills cannot be made less sweet, and the battle report shows (ZKillboard version) we lost about 9 Billion ISK in ships while destroying 125 Billion ISK.