Category Archives: Null Sec

The December Update for EVE Online brings War Dec Changes, New Ships, and the Start of the Holiday Event

It is time for the December update for EVE Online.  One of the key things up front for this update are changes to the War Dec system.  CCP put out a dev blog on these initial changes, but the key is eligibility.  As was discussed previously, this change will not allow players to war dec a corporation unless it owns a structure.  The following structures count:

  • All Upwell Structures (including Upwell FLEX structures)
  • Starbase Control Towers
  • Player-owned Customs Offices
  • Sovereignty Structures (Infrastructure Hubs and Territorial Control Units)

If your corp does not own one of those structures then you should be immune to war declarations.

And, to close a glaring loophole, the second change is to add a setting to disallow structure transfers.  At least CCP could foresee that war dec corps would seek to bypass the structure rule by simply transferring a structure to their prospective victim and then declare war.  There is now a setting in the corporation details tab that allows automatic rejection of structure transfers, and the default setting for that will be true.

That is expected to be the first round of changed for war decs as CCP tries to figure out how to deal with this issue.

Also coming with the December update are two new Triglavian ships, the Rodiva and the Zarmazd.  These are the previously mentioned Triglavian logi cruisers.

Logi cruiser hull model

Unlike other Triglavian ships, this one comes as both tech I and tech II, aligning to the logi cruisers from the empires.  Only the blueprint for the Rodiva will drop and you must go through and do invention on the copy to get a Zarmazd blueprint.

There are also armor rep blueprints going in to match the two new ships, available as Abyssal drops.

The niche for these new logi ships is that their reps get stronger the longer they stay on their target.

Also coming to Abyssal space is a set period of invulnerability when transitioning through Abyssal gates.

The update also introduces the 2018 holiday even for EVE Online.

Thirteen Days Only

Called the Thirteen Days of EVE, you need to log your account in daily to claim prizes… like an advent calendar… but you have 17 days, so you could miss a couple days and still get all the presents.  The prizes include some new things EVE, including a standings booster, new Candy Chromatic SKINs, straight up skill points, and, for Omegas only, a booster with three uses that will allow the pilot to use skill injectors without the diminishing returns penalty.  That means people like me, with over 80 million SP on a character, could get the full 500K of skill points from an injector rather than the 150K one gets normally in that situation.

A sample of the rewards

That last item requires you to log in for the full thirteen days.  But that is easy enough and there is no reason not too.  Details are available at the event site.

The update also lays down the groundwork for the next in-game event, Operation Permafrost.

Coming soon

As usual, the event will come to you via The Agency and will require you to accumulate points for rewards.  At EVE Vegas is was mentioned that this event will bring your ship down into the atmosphere of a planet, giving the art team at CCP a chance to show off some more fancy new environments.  Details are currently up on the live event page.

Also on the graphics front, CCP has added atmospheric auroras to planets.  They only show up at random times though, so you have to be there at the right moment to catch them.

A Megathron spotting an aurora

Another possible background for screen shots.

A lot of the rest is just the usual tweaks and minor fixes that accompany any update for the game.  However, there is one innocuous one in the mix that I want to call out.  This one:

Adjustments have been made to the respawn rates of certain nullsec anomalies. These adjustments are part of a gradual ongoing process that will see further tweaks for this type of content.

As rumors have it, the “certain nullsec anomalies” are havens and that this is a direct poke at titan ratting.  Yes, titan ratting is a thing.  The alleged reason is that at the current respawn rate a titan can can use its boson doomsday, clear a haven, and another one will have spawned by the time the titan has recovered and is ready to keep rolling.  We will see if there is a corresponding dip in the NPC bounties with the coming of the December MER.

So that is it.  CCP has already announced that the update has been deployed successfully.  Information about it is available via the patch notes and the updates page.

Waiting for a Hole

We had been warned that something might be coming up.  We had been given hints about when it might be and had been asked to have doctrine ships ready to go in 1DQ1-A.

Doctrine ships were no problem for me.  I had left them all in the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A when we returned from the war up north in the big move op.  So I figured we were ready to go.

Finally, yesterday, the ping came.  Asher was going to take us out for some sort of deployment again.  People logged in, got in fleet, and waited.  I got into my Guardian, put on the Emergency Response SKIN, and sat on the undock ready to go.

Guardian waiting

And there I waited for a while.  Asher told us where we were going.  There was an operation afoot to kill the Hard Knocks Keepstar in wormhole space.  There info about that over on Reddit as well as an update this morning over at INN.  We were waiting for a wormhole that would get us there.  In the meantime we were advised to pack for a week’s stay without any resupply and likelihood of living in space the whole time.

I docked back up.

I had not stocked up on enough supplies for that sort of expedition.  So, as we waited, I grabbed a mobile depot, a cloak, enough drugs for four long battles, replacement drones, a couple of sentry drones in case we shot a POS so I could whore on the kill, the extra modules we are supposed to carry but which I tend to leave in the station because we never swap them out.

I also got out my alt with the perfect scanning skills and put him in his Astero.  I was going to drag him along to get myself out of the wormhole should I get left behind.  I loaded up the Astero with extra probes, a back up mobile depot, extra drones, extra drugs, and a few more items.  If there was room in the fleet he was coming with us.

There were discussions going on as to how much to bring with us and what else we might need.

But eventually we went back to waiting.  The hole that we had logged in for hadn’t been right, so we were waiting for the next one.  Comms quieted down.  Asher, with not much else going on, went to appear on the Meta Show.  I pulled up the iPad and watched U.S.S Callister episode of Black Mirror.  I also undocked my alt and zipped around the system for a bit to see the new jump gate.  I didn’t really have to go far to see that.

The jump gate right off the Keepstar

As I idled on tether at the Keepstar I noticed an orange glow on one of the uprights that could only be an explosion.  I looked up in time to see a Rorqual coming apart.  A neutral had jumped to the cyno beacon and had been bubbled and blapped.

I didn’t quite get the camera on the beacon in time for the excitement, but if you are sharp eyed you can see the Rorqual wreck at the top of this screen shot.

Cyno Beacons are always bait

Before the Meta Show ended, while Asher was still on, a whole became available.  He pinged us to be ready go and had us free burn into Fountain.  There we grouped up and took our first ride on one of the new jump gates.  My first ride at least.

Jump Gate Ready

I had already setup the auto-pay on Wilhelm, but my alt wasn’t set yet and I have to approve a payment for 2,900 ISK in fuel to jump his Astero through.

From there we had another burn, though we traveled as a group this time.  Well, some of us did.  The more eager took the destination as a free burn.  Those of us more familiar with Asher’s style knew that if he didn’t say to free burn we would be going together and everybody should just jump through every gate and then align to the next one in order to be fleet warped.

Landing on another gate

Eventually we arrived at our hole.  The fleet gathered together so we could go through as a group.

Waiting for the word to go

When we all seemed to have arrived, Asher sent us through.  We were in Thera.

Once there we took the long warp to another hole, only to find somebody had been left behind.  DBRB went back to be a warp in for him.  One the lost sheep was collected, it was through the hole.

Only it collapsed before everybody got through.  A chunk of the fleet had been left behind and had to eventually wind their way back to wait for another fleet.  Apparently the Initiative had just pushed a fleet through that hole, so it wasn’t as fresh as we had been led to believe when we set out.

Those of us in the new hole were scattered about the system, the effects of a hole collapse.  I seemed to be inside of the sun.  Asher warped some people to our next hole, but that only caught some of the fleet so we had to wait a bit to collect.  Then we were off again, through nearly half a dozen more holes until we arrived in J115405 and saw the Hard Knocks Keepstar.

The Hard Knocks Keepstar in J115405

The armor timer was already running, the shields having been hit already.  The armor timer was set for late USTZ, so it seemed likely that I would be able to get online to see the fights that developed.

And that was really only the first Keepstar.  They have two together on the same grid, along with an array of other smaller structures.

The second Keepstar across from the first with a Fortizar in the middle

The first Keepstar was named Fort Knocks, while the second was Unassailable Wealth.  We shall see about that.  But there is a lot of fighting to be done here.

In addition to the Hard Knocks structures, somebody on our side had gone in and dropped over two dozen Raitarus in the hole in order to get us some place to tether and dock up.  I am sure most of those will get destroyed, but only a couple need to survive to make our foothold more tenable.

On arriving there wasn’t much else to do.  We scattered about the system, made safe spots, cloaked up if we were going to hang around or safe logged if we were not.

The only thing we’ve done so far is help the Initiative guard a hole into the system to keep Hard Knocks from getting anything in.  That mostly meant anchoring on Zed Starshine for a while and orbiting the hole, with the occasional trademark Zed Crazy Ivan turn to scatter us about and let the slower ships catch up.

Following Zen

Anyway, it is good to have a deployment of some sort going on.  I had been fairly dormant in null sec since returning from the war.  We shall see if more Keepstar kills result.  You can keep an eye on the kill board for the hole over at zKill to see what is dying.  Some POS towers are already down.

MER – Charts for All My Needs

CCP was a bit quicker here in December in getting out the monthly economic report November.  However, in their haste it looked like they had omitted almost all of the charts I usually write about.  Frustrated by that, I decided to just grab the raw data this time around and make my own damn charts, only to find that all the charts I expected were included in that .zip archive.

So I have already learned something new this month.   I’ll check that off my list.

And, unlike last month, the Fade region actually made the cut for inclusions again.  The Cache region however remains unaccounted for.

As usual, I will start off with the mining to see how peace in the south and small scale conflicts in the north are doing.

November 2018 – Mining Value by Region

In a completely expected turn of events, Delve continues to be the region seeing the most mining activity.  The bar chart shows just how far ahead Delve is when compared to other regions.

November 2018 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

By this measure the mining output of Delve is greater than the next seven regions combined.  (The newly returned Fade region is at the bottom of that list as well as others, perhaps confirming the theory that it was missed last month due to not hitting some minimal activity threshold.)

And yet the Delve number is down.  In October the amount mined was measured in excess of 19 trillion ISK, but for November it is down to 15.5 trillion ISK.  Did people get tired of mining in Delve?

Maybe not.  As usual, there is another chart here to figure into things.

November 2018 – Economic Indices

As you can see, the price of minerals has continued its post-war slide, landing at a three year low in November.  Since the mining amount is measured by the value of the ore, falling prices can mean falling numbers even if the total cubic meters of ore mined remains the same.

November 2018 – Economic Indices over All Time

As for the price of minerals, while they are not at an all time low, they are headed there.  I think we are firmly in the zone where, if you have a researched Charon freighter blueprint, you can build the freighter, insure it, have somebody gank it, and still turn a profit.  That was a tale I was told at the bottom of the last mineral price dip and we’re now well below that.

So mineral prices seem like something CCP needs to address.  Maybe.  There is a production aspect to that.

November 2018 – Production Values by Region

In production, while The Forge region was up a bit (as was its feeder region The Citadel, while Lonetrek held steady), Delve continues to be the single region with the greatest production output.

November 2018 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

Production, of course, requires inputs, of which mined minerals are a significant portion.  Aryth said on a recent Meta Show that production in Delve enjoyed a certain advantage in that the ore and minerals were available at a discount when compared to the Jita market.

There is a not insignificant cost to ship compressed or and minerals all the way to Jita in order to sell.  That makes what I would call the effective parity price of minerals in Delve lower, and since Delve is producing all that ore for the engines of production to consume, Delve’s economic power might be causing a greater dip in the economic indices for minerals than one might see in Jita.

Anecdotally, tritanium seems to be cheaper in 1DQ1-A than in Jita, but I cannot tell how much weight to give that observation.

And since we’re here, I might as well through the sales charts up on the page.

November 2018 – Trade Value by Region

For all the pride of the Delve region, Jita and The Forge remain the economic center of New Eden.

November 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

That chart is so lopsided that CCP has to exclude The Forge in order to get some insight into other regions.

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

Domain, home of Amarr, remains in second place with Delve not too far behind.  But you have to get down to seventh spot, which is Esoteria, the home of TEST, before another null sec region shows up.

NPC bounties are more straightforward.

November 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

No we’re back to things Delve dominates and which do not depend on variations in market prices in order to measure.  NPC bounties are a direct faucet into the economy.  On that Delve was down by half a trillion ISK.

November 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

Following behind Delve are Esoteria (TEST), Detroid (Fraternity & Triumvirate), Querious (Imperium alliance training ground), Fountain (Imperium), and Period Basis (Red Alliance).

In the north of null sec, where infighting around Branch and Venal is keeping everyone busy while the Imperium’s Space Violence squad is active and the NGSA is trying to oppress the numbers in Geminate, Deklein is the highest earner for ratting, bringing in just over 2 trillion ISK in bounties.

Overall bounties continued to peak.

November 2018 – Top Sinks and Faucets

While mineral prices are at a recent low, NPC bounty payouts are now at an all time high.  The question remains as to what CCP will do, if anything, and if there is anything they can do that Malcanis won’t make a mockery of.

Overall, bounties are down slightly as a percentage of the income faucet total, ringing in at 63%.  The number was 65% in October.

November 2018 – Sinks and Faucets and the ISK supply

But that is because other faucets like incursion payouts and agent mission rewards and bonuses were also up for November.  The overall money supply was up another 37 trillion ISK for the month.

So there it is, another month and the economy of New Eden hasn’t fallen over yet.  Aspects of it look bad, but it keeps on chugging along.

Finally, the chart that I choose to end with most months, the overview and comparison of regions.

November 2018 – Regional Stats

And so it goes until next month.  You can find all of the raw data and charts over at the dev blog post for the November report.

Now Just So Many Bubbles in Space

Today is the day that player-owned starbases, the POSes of legend, lose their final utility function in New Eden.  With the Onslaught expansion two weeks back the new Upwell navigation structures, the FLEX structures, became available.

Onslaught killed the POS

Those new structures overlapped, with intent to replace, the POS functions of cyno jammer, cyno beacon, and jump bridge.

As CCP has been warning us for the last few days, the two week window when both options would co-exist has come to an end.  All of those POS based jump bridges, cyno jammers, and cyno beacons are now off-line.  Upwell structures are now in place for all of the old POS functions, from capital ship construction to moon mining to reaction farms to navigation.

A POS is now just a tower in space with a bubble around it.

You can still hole up in them, use their protective bubble as a place of safety.

Reavers in a POS in the middle of Insmother back in 2014

And the old POS still has the advantage of being quick to deploy as a forward outpost as well as being somewhat covert.  They don’t show up on everybody’s overview when you drop them, though there are a limited number of locations in any system where they could be placed.  If you didn’t have a prober handy you could always just warp to every moon to scout for them.

Gone too will be the automatic defenses.  A citadel just sits there when you shoot it, just warp scrambling you for a bit when you open up on it before lapsing into passivity unless actively gunned.

And, of course, some of us will miss that feeling of joy when, during a POS shoot, you discover that the defender failed to fuel the stront bay.  Rather than the shoot cutting off when the POS shields hit 25% you got to keep going for a kill on a single op.

My first op with the CFC back in late 2011 was a POS shoot, so the first kill mails I was on were POS towers and modules.  That was also the first time I saw a titan.

Shooting a White Noise tower with a CSAA back in 2011

Some of the aspects of POSes won’t be missed.  There were some arcane aspects to how things worked when it came to the POS, including when cyno jammers worked and when they did not and the whole password thing.  (As Google will confirm, the Goon POS password is always 420)

Others just spell out the POS password with modules

And then there was the POS code base, a source of legend and something brought up to scare young developers.  The POS code was reputed to be an unruly and undocumented monster whose influence was felt far and wide, breaking features with no apparent relation to it.

In the Imperium it was announced that, with today’s transition, GSOL would be heading out to take down all the POS towers and modules that were being used to support jump bridges and the like.  That will free up some corp bookmark space as the FLEX structures will show up on you overview… if you are on the access list and if you have gone in and updated your overview settings.  But if you have those two, they will pretty much act like jump gates… well, jump gates that you may have to pay to use.

Among the features of the new Ansiblex Jump Gate structures is the ability to charge those who use if for the fuel used for their jump.

The new Ansiblex Jump Gate is also a toll bridge of sorts

You can setup a FastPass auto-pay in your wallet, there is a new tab there for just that purpose, though remember that the price you set is the per-unit of fuel price and not the total price, so don’t set it too high lest you accidentally auto-approve payment at some outrageous price-gouging rate.

Much of that, however, is theoretical at the moment because the other joke on all of us is that two weeks was not nearly long enough to get these new structures built and deployed in order to replace the now non-functional POS modules.  Even the ever amazing GSOL says it will be weeks, if not months, before they have fully replaced every jump bridge and beacon.

But that is the way it goes in New Eden.  CCP cares not for your logistics.  In fact, they seem to delight in the suffering of capsuleers from time to time.

And once CCP figured out how to replace the forward deployment aspect of the POS, they will be removing them completely, bringing the eldritch horror of the POS code with it.  So you are on notice that the noble POS may be disappearing completely in 2019.  Go have one last look before they’re all gone.

And then there is the capsuleer cemetery in Molea, which depends on the POS shield to keep the graves from disappearing.  CCP is aware of that, but I haven’t seen any word on what they might do.

Addendum: The Starbase modules have been turned off, but may still look like they are active in the UI.

MER – The Disappearance of Fade

As I said in last week’s post about the late arriving September Monthly Economic Report, I was uncertain if I ought to bother with the October version.  The October report seemed rushed as it was missing a couple of the regular charts, had some out of date charts (August numbers), and was missing two whole regions, Cache and Fade.

But on the Meta Show this past weekend Aryth suggested that the process that generates the charts monthly might have omitted those two regions because they failed to meet the minimum threshold of activity to be included.  I do not know if that is a fact, but he seemed to understand that was how things worked, and it makes some sense.  CCP wouldn’t want Jove space showing up on the charts.

That persuaded me to carry on with the post as normal.  If the threshold value theory is true, then it is a statement as to what has happened in the wake of the Keepstar War.  And, if it is not, well, it leaves open some room for a couple of conspiracy theories.  Did CCP remove two regions from the game and not tell anybody?  Or did that brief period last month when SpaceMonkeys Alliance suddenly shambled back into life and tried to return to Fade, like a ghost trying to haunt its final location in life, cause some sort of positive feedback loop that became a singularity of suck which devoured both the alliance and the region?  And did that take Cache with it as well?

Anyway, I always feel that the history of New Eden is worth recording, so here we go.

As usual, I will start with the mining chart.

October 2018 – Mining Value by Region

As expected, Delve remains at the top of the list, up about 2.5 trillion ISK over September, proving that people are home from the war.  The bar chart makes clear just how far ahead the region remains.

October 2018 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

Not that the second highest region, dwarfed though it might be by Delve, is Querious, which is also mined by the Imperium, which passes through monthly in what is called “locust fleet” to harvest all of the moon mining operations in the region.  That is followed by Esoteria, where TEST mines, Detroid, which is home to Triumvirate and Fraternity, two high sec regions, and the Fountain, the third region mined by the Imperium. It isn’t until after the high sec region of Metropolis that the first region in the north shows up, Deklein.  Deklein ought to have seen a sharp uptick since it is covered by the September peace agreement between GotG and the Imperium.  However Pandemic Horde has been attacking GotG because they paid off the Imperium with faction Fortizars or something.  The north is busy suppressing its own economic output.

This is the point where I would normally try to give some context as to the value of those mining numbers, as they depend on the price of minerals on the market.  However, the chat that would help illustrated this is from August, when minerals prices were at their war time high.  We saw that pricing collapse in the September report and have no reason to believe it rebounded in any way.  If it did drop even further, as one might expect give the influx of minerals on the market, that 19 trillion ISK number for Delve might understate exactly how much mining was going on in the region.

On the NPC bounties front Delve remains well ahead of other regions.

October 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

Again, the peace dividend is in full force here, with Delve up from 8.4 trillion ISK in September to just over 13.4 trillion ISK in October.  The bar graph shows best how regions stack up.

October 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

After Delve the next five regions are Esoteria, Detroid, Querious, Fountain, and Branch, which owned by TEST, Tri/Fraternity, Imperium, Imperium, and GotG.  So you know who is getting rich.  Unlike mining, which adds no ISK to the game and which depends on the market price for valuation, bounties are a straight injection of ISK in to the game.

October 2018 – NPC Bounties by Sec Status

And the peacetime boom means that null sec is pulling in an even greater share of the bounty pie, grabbing 93.8% of the bounties, up from 93.2% in September.

On both the mining and NPC bounty fronts, the regions of Branch, Vale of the Silent, and The Kalevala Expanse are places to watch for the November report.  Pandemic Horde has been attacking GotG in Branch, while the Imperium’s economic suppression SIG, the NGSC, has been deployed to the other two regions.  This could suppress mining and ratting in these regions.

The faucets chart shows that, while ratting remains near its peak, it was down a bit over the course of the month.

October 2018 – Top Sinks and Faucets

But the fact that it was close to an all time high for the whole month meant a lot more ISK being injected into the economy.

October 2018 – Sinks and Faucets and the ISK supply

I don’t usually include that chart, mostly because I don’t want to pull every single chart from the report into these posts, but this one shows the net input of ISK from NPC bounties.  For October the number was 72.5 trillion ISK, up from 55.6 trillion in September.  Lots of krabbing going on, with bounties making up 65% of the overall faucets category.

On the trade value front, the main chart was one of those that went missing for October, though the bar graphs were still posted.

October 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

The Forge region, home to Jita, continues to be the dominate trade hub of New Eden.

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

Without The Forge, Domain, home to the Amarr trade hub, and Delve continue to hold significant leads ahead of the rest of space.  The lesser high sec trade hubs follow behind, then there is Esoteria, home of TEST.

October 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

For contracts, The Forge still holds its top spot, though it isn’t do far ahead of Delve and the Imperium as in overall sales.  The Esoteria, Geminate, and Detroid follow on to round out the top five, homes respectively of TEST, Pandemic Horde, and Tri/Fraternity.

And then there is production, where we see where things are getting built.

October 2018 – Production Values by Region

Delve saw a post-war production boom.  Output stood at 35 trillion ISK last month, but jumped to nearly 46 trillion ISK for October.  The Forge, in second place, saw a slight reduction in production for October.

October 2018 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

While Delve dominates as a single region, what I refer to as the “Jita production cluster,” The Forge, Lonetrek, and The Citadel, still tally up to more than Delve.  However, that number is only a little more than 51 trillion ISK, putting Delve close to passing the industries supporting the main trade hub of New Eden.

Following up Delve and the three sisters of Jita are Esoteria, which shows TEST is ramping up production, and Domain, supporting the Amarr trade hub.

Finally, there is the summary char with which I usually end these posts.

October 2018 – Regional Stats

So that was October.  The report was flawed, but still had sufficient data to be of interest.  You can find the whole October Monthly Economic Report here.  It includes more charts and all of the raw data from which the charts were derived.

We will see in November how the trends continue, which areas are being suppressed, and whether or not Fade and Cache return to the report.

A Short Visit to Geminate

Peace is dull.  I don’t mine nor do I rat any more.  I have accumulated enough ISK to tide me over for some time, helped along by alliance SRP payouts for losses.

SRP is the “ship replacement program,” where the alliance uses its wealth to compensate pilots for ship losses.  There is some nominal payout for peace time operations, but operations that are considered strategic get better returns for losses.

Also, strategic ops have that element of purpose, a sense of “doing something” that a separates them, in my mind at least, from the random roam or other attempt to fleet up just to find trouble.  That is probably my professional life bleeding over, as I am inevitably the person in sprint planning meetings pointing out that a sprint isn’t just a random three week period of time to do whatever.  If there is no goal or deliverable or whatever we might as well not bother diligently creating new sprints.

Anyway, I live for the Jabber ping that has a fleet flagged as “strategic,” and after going nearly half a month without seeing such a ping, one popped up yesterday.  Two, actually, though the first one was just a call to roll a wormhole and clean up some bombers that leaked through into Delve.

The second one though, that was a call for a Cerberus fleet to run out to get in on a fight that was brewing somewhere undisclosed.  And Thomas Lear, long a member of Reavers before he split off to form Liberty Squad, was going to be the FC.  That looked to be exactly my cup of tea.

I got into game, into fleet, and into a Cerberus, which I had to buy off contract because I appeared to have mislaid the one I thought I had hanging about.  After some cajoling about numbers… we had a lot of support and not enough Cerbs… things finally got under way and we undocked and got on a titan.

Three Avatars in a row

We were getting a titan bridge out because the new, fatigue free jump bridge network was still in the process of getting deployed.  In fact, CCP Fozzie announced the first connection between the new modules just this morning.

The old jump bridge network is still up and functioning, and I suppose we could have take that to get our first leg over, but a titan was handy so we used that instead.  The bridge went up and off we went.

Sent on our way

We were headed east.  As the story eventually came to me, TEST had reinforced a Pandemic Horde Sotiyo up in Geminate previously and were now set to contest the armor timer.  We were invited along to help them as they were expecting a fight.

So we gated our way into TEST space where they provided a titan to bridge us a bit further along.  Then it was up through Scalding Pass and  the Great Wildlands towards our destination, 04-LQM in Geminate, where the Sotiyo lay.

That gave us plenty of time to see the new gate graphics along the way.

A fiery Minmatar gate

We moved as a group through system after system in that familiar warp ball, our destination slowly moving closer, the 255 of us causing time dilation now and then as we transitioned.

Cerbs moving together

Unfortunately the dithering about getting the fleet composition right as well as having to gate most of the way (there was a wormhole, but it collapsed before we got to it) made us late to the party.

By the time we arrived in 04-LQM, the combined fleets of Pandemic Horde, NCDot, and Black Legion had destroyed much of the TEST battleship fleet and sent the rest packing.  There was only two minutes left on the repair timer when we arrived on grid as well as a lot of hostile ships already loaded and looking for fresh targets.  It was not our best timed arrival.

Still, we had come all that way, wrapping around half of null sec, driving from Delve to Geminate.  Thomas wasn’t going to go home empty handed.

Thomas brought us through the gate to LX-ZOJ and had our interdictors bubble it up in the hope that we could pin the enemy down and take some out at range with missile volleys.  The enemy followed through as expected, Elo Knight in his Monitor being one of the first ships to break cloak.

Looking at the bubbled gate from range

Cainun, who was shepherding logi and support, called targets for us, starting with the expected Munnins.  The plan was one volley per target in the hope that enough damage would land when the missiles arrived to alpha the ship.

Following the Muninns was a fleet of Nightmare battleships, which became the targets of choice.

Nightmares down in the bubbles

However, our volleys were falling short of our hopes.  I saw several Munnins and Nightmares knocked down into structure only to survive because the threat had passed as we moved to the next target.  A second volley might have pushed a few over, but I could see reps hitting many of those close calls so that follow on missiles would have to face full shields and reps.

Meanwhile we were losing our own ships as the hostiles started popping Cerbs.  Pilots who overheated their shield hardeners, remembered to trigger their assault damage control, and broadcasted for reps quickly, and in that order, likely survived.  But those who were slow or who slipped up went down quickly, long before any help could reach them.

With the death of Cerbs, our ability to alpha targets with a single volley stopped being a viable plan.  While we got in a few kills, we were losing more than we killed and things were tipping even more against us as time went on.  Thomas had us align out and we managed to escape, bubbling the gate behind us to slow pursuit.

Having already won the objective and the ISK war, the locals seemed content to wave bye-bye as we left.  They didn’t have anything left to prove.  The battle report tells the tale.

Battle report from the full fight

At least I got my strategic participation counted and got myself on a few kill mails, proving my existence in the game for yet another month.

Of course, we were still way the hell out in Geminate and a long way from home.  The route back to Delve was about 60 jumps.  While I like touring the new gate graphics, I wasn’t feeling the need to see that many gates.

As we were heading back the word came down that there might be a wormhole for us, running from Insmother, about a dozen jumps from our then current location, to Aridia, the low sec space adjacent to Delve.  That would cut a lot of gates out of our journey.  The problem was that the person with the wormhole information was getting it second hand and nobody actually had their eyes on the wormhole to know its state.  It could have been ready to collapse.

Eventually the person reporting it got there, saw it was up, and went through to verify that it did, indeed, poke through to Aridia.  Off we went, forming up at the wormhole.

Waiting on the wormhole

While some anxious people went through early, most of us waited until Thomas gave us the green light to enter the wormhole.  It stayed up for the whole fleet.  From there it was just a dozen gates or so to Delve.  Amarr gates, to compare with the Minmatar gates. (Both of which look better than the Caldari gates.)

An Amarr gate with the new doodads

We ran into a LowSechnaya Sholupen smart bombing battleship gate camp, which claimed an interceptor that was scouting ahead.  But they got out of the way when a nearly full Cerb fleet started landing on them.

From there it should have been simple.  However, there was an incursion going on in the constellation that includes 1-SMEB, the system that connects to Aridia.  So we grouped up there before going through, lest the incursion rats, known to camp gates and tackle passers by, take their toll for passage.

The gate into Delve, Fat Bee present, ships jumping through

As it was though, the incursion rats apparently had other business to which to attend, so everybody passed safely through to the jump bridge and through to home.

It was good to shake the rust off a bit and get something of a fight.  All this peace is too much to bear.

MER – The Peace Dividend in September

CCP has apparently caught up with all the extra work from doing both EVE Vegas and the Onslaught expansion in about a month’s time, so the team has returned to some of the smaller items on its usual list, like the Monthly Economic Report.

Actually, we got two.  I had been bitching about how they skipped September.  But when I saw the October report appear in my feed I went to the dev blog site and found the September one there as well, dated “October 3, 2018.”

That agitated me a bit, because I had been checking for the September report for ages.  How could I have possibly missed it?  But an update from CCP Falcon announcing that both reports had been released on the same day.

Somebody fiddled the dates on the Dev Blog site.  I wonder how much they were paid for that?  Damn those corrupt developers!

I was going to simply skip over the September MER because I am sure nobody is exactly pining for me to put up two MER posts in a single month.  But it turns out the October MER is currently messed up.  The charts are missing two regions, Fade and Cache, and there is at least one chart from August posted.

I’m still leafing through the Onslaught patch notes, in case I missed something about CCP removing two regions from the game, since I am not certain anybody would notice if either went missing.  But the chart from August is a key one I use each time, so I am going to postpone writing about October until that gets fixed, which might mean skipping October altogether.  We shall see.

Back to September, we’ll just jump right in where we usually do, which is with the mining numbers.

September 2018 – Mining Value by Region

In a turn likely to surprise nobody who has been paying attention, Delve both led the pack in September and was up by almost 5 trillion ISK in mining value.  Since peace broke out in null sec in the back half of the month, pilots returned to Delve and resumed their strip mining of space.

We also got the bar chart back for September, so you can see how the various regions ranked.

September 2018 – Mining Value by Region Bar Chart

The highest region in the north appears to be Branch, with the east of null sec more closely trailing Delve, though Querious, owned and mined by the Imperium, is in third place overall.

A 5 trillion ISK jump in mining in Delve doesn’t seem like a huge uptick given the coming of peace.  And, while peace came late in the month, so maybe October will show a greater increase, the September jump is also fighting a drop in mineral prices.

September 2018 – Economic Indices

Mineral prices dropped to a three year low in September, and since mining is measured by the value of the ore mined, if the price goes down then the ore value goes down even if exactly the same amount of ore is mined.

Mineral prices are not yet at an all time low, as the next chart shows.

September 2018 – Economic Indices over All Time

There was a long stretch between 2007 and 2012 when mineral prices were lower.  But since the rework of NPC drops in the Drone Regions… remember when drones dropped minerals… the price has been consistently higher.  Now, though…

Moving on to NPC bounties… well, what did you expect?

September 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

Delve led the pack yet again, though was “only” up by about 1.4 trillion ISK over August.  Again we have the bar graph back so we can see how the regions shook out.

September 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

Branch, where GotG retreated, saw a significant amount of bounty payouts as well.

Overall null sec bounties were a slightly smaller percentage of the overall pic.

September 2018 – NPC Bounties by Sec Status

Yes, null sec still totally dominates, but the percentage was 93.2%, down from 93.4%, with high sec seeming to pick up most of that.  It is a tiny change, but when you consider that the war was ending you might figure that number would go up for null sec.  And doubly so as we see NPC bounties reaching for an all time high again, as the next chart shows.

September 2018 – Top Sinks and Faucets

Bounties haven’t topped past records, but my guess is that the October version of this chart won’t show a downturn.

Then there is the trade front.

September 2018 – Trade Value by Region

As usual, the region containing the central trade hub of New Eden dominates the numbers.  Jita stands so tall that everybody else appears to be… I was going to say a dwarf, but maybe a dwarf embryo might better describe the ratio.

September 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

Removing The Forge from the graph better shows how the rest of the game universe compares.

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

With that we see Domain, home of Amarr, standing out with its second place numbers, followed by Delve, home of the Imperium, the economic empire of null sec.

Overall trade is down a lot, with The Forge seeing a drop of nearly 90 trillion ISK compared to August.  While there is still a lot of trade going on, the war boom seems to be over.  Additionally, looking at prices, the market also appears to have back filled demand for Abyssal Deadspace relates items, like Gilas, causing prices to ease up some on that front.

Cloud Ring, where the Imperium was based for the war, saw a full trillion knocked off of its trade value compared to August, bringing the number down below 1.6 trillion.  Expect that to fall off further come the October report.

The same goes for contracts, where Cloud Ring fell off in September for the same reason.

September 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Chart

Again, The Forge led the way with contracts, but Delve isn’t all that far behind.

And then there is Production.  The war saw some destruction, though not as much as one might have wished.  Still, there were ships to be replaced and everybody needs to build up for the next war.

September 2018 – Production Values by Region

While production for the main market in The Forge was down almost 2.5 trillion ISK in value, in Delve it was up by over 5 trillion ISK in value, pushing it past The Forge for total production.  The Mittani wants us all to own two titans now, so that has to be adding to the mix.  (I still own zero titans, a number unlikely to increase ever.)

September 2018 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

Still, what I would call the “Jita production cluster,” which includes The Forge, The Citadel, and Lonetrek, still add up to more than Delve.

And, as I usually do, I will wrap up with the regions overview chart.

September 2018 – Regional Stats

So that is September.  There was still a war going on, and Keepstars being destroyed, so it doesn’t show what peace really does to the economy, but it does show the start of the transition.  Once CCP fixes the October reports I’ll look into that… though, honestly, I suspect they won’t bother.  We’ll see if I’m in the mood to do another of these this month.

Anyway, you can find the whole September MER here, with more charts and all the data used to create it. (And the October is here if you want a peek.  It might be fixed by the time this goes live.)