Category Archives: Null Sec

And We’re Back in Null Sec… For The Moment

Is this a real war?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a fleet op
No escape from enotsising
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sovereignty
Because it’s easy come, easy go
index high, index low
Any place the FC goes, doesn’t really matter to me
to me

-Opening lyrics, Fozzie Sov Rhapsody

So this just happened, two jumps from Pandemic Legion’s main staging system, 93PI-4, in the cross over between EU and US prime time, which is basically the peak of activity on any give day in New Eden.

Goons own sov again

Goons own sov again

Somehow we took a system back.  Maybe PL was all off playing Overwatch today?

EC-P8R is actually kind of an important system, being a gate between null sec and low high sec.  I know our foes made a big deal out of capturing it from us the first time.  But it has changed hands a couple of times now.  Being such a gateway probably makes it harder to hold.

Who will own it tomorrow

Popular place

Of course, we’ll probably lose it tomorrow, or the next day, or this weekend, and will probably retake it again at some date after that.

I don’t want to diminish the achievements of the coalition that formed to chase us out of null sec, but this is a reminder that Fozzie Sov, and its changing from favoring defense to favoring offense, was one of their allies.

Also, we clearly haven’t given up yet.  The war goes on.

Hurricanes and Fax Machines at Saranen

directorbot@goonfleet.com:

saranen importers: better restock hurricanes
93pi importers: better restock caps

~~~ This was a broadcast from kcolor to all at 2016-05-17 01:33:38.817622 EVE~~~

It was actually a busy day on the front porch of the Quafe Company Warehouse at Saranen V, moon 9.  But then, it has been a month of busy days despite our foes continuing to harp on the empty propaganda about us never undocking.  Again, another week and the top alliance at zKillboard remains unchanged. (Charts from May 6 and April 24 previously posted, rankings explained here.)

zKillboard Top Alliances and Corporations - May 17, 2016

zKillboard Top Alliances and Corporations – May 17, 2016

Pandemic Legion has picked up the pace and climbed the rankings, but Pandemic Horde, almost 9,000 strong these days, has been sliding down at the same time, to the point that it is in danger of falling off the list, ending up behind even my own alliance of 1,200 pilots.

I actually managed to undock three times yesterday and get on a few kill mails each time.

The first time was around mid-afternoon when Asher called up a fleet to chase off some NCDot Phantasms that were camping the undock.  This is why a some Imperium pilots like myself are pretty upbeat on the current situation.  Our foes come hang out on our doorstep until we’re ready to come out and play.  No roaming for content, it gets delivered.

We undocked in Hurricanes, The Imperium flavor of the day as it turned out, and chased them off, killing a few.  I happened to be doing a large file transfer in the background during the fight, which probably didn’t help my already slow reflexes, so I only ended up on a single Phantasm kill mail.  I was probably shooting the secondary by mistake if I got in a hit.

It was a nice quick op that wrapped up with us flying cover for some jump freighters bringing in more materiel to keep the war going before we docked up and stood down.

Most days that is all I can ask for out of an op.

After that the day went on, we had dinner, cleaned up afterwards, and were settling in for the evening when I sat back down at my desk and saw a series of frantic pings to get logged into Saranen to kill fax machines, the unfortunate yet immediately applied nickname for the new force auxiliary capital ships that came in with the Citadel expansion.

Again, it was Hurricanes and, while I was late to the party, I still logged in, got into Pittsburgh2989’s fleet, and undocked… to find there were indeed capitals and super caps on the undock.

Undocking alone into the middle of fun...

Undocking alone into the middle of fun…

The fleet was more than 100km away, too close to warp to but too far to burn to with caps hanging around and likely armed with the new high angle weapons for blapping subcaps like myself.  I aligned out to a celestial to bounce and warp back from.  Even as I was aligning out, more capital ships were jumping into the system.  But I could hear Pittsburgh2989 calling targets and fax machines going down, so my timing didn’t seem too bad.

I did the bounce, landed with the fleet, and anchored up.  Tidi was up and that transition out of warp so I could lock up and shoot felt like it took forever, but eventually was was on a target and shooting.  During a brief flurry of activity I managed to get on five Apostle kills, the Amarrian flavor of fax machine, along with one of the Talwars from a Pandemic Horde support fleet that showed up, a Cormorant that happened to stray into range between targets, and BlueMajere’s Apocalypse that was pissing Pittsburgh off for having survived through the fight right in the middle of things.

As we were doing this, more and more capital ships were jumping into the system off the undock.  The critical mass of the fight soon favored them as their fax machine logi increased as our Hurricanes were steadily popped.  Our fleets aligned to warp off, then warped back to the station to dock up.  That is the general plan, according to The Mittani on Sunday’s fireside chat; when our foes drop overwhelming numbers of capitals ships, we dock up and let them stare at the Quafe logo.

The battle reports floating about at that point showed us losing a lot of Hurricanes, but winning the ISK war with about half as much in losses as our foes.  Op success.  Participation links were generated, fleets stood down, and that seemed to be that for the evening.  We would leave the enemy to stew on our doorstep with no more kills to be had.

I walked away from my desk again, sat down and watched a bit of the Warriors game on TV, then went back to my computer to look through the screen shots I got during the fight and started putting together this post.

As I was doing that, another set of pings started popping up.  The enemy had started leaving Saranen, but in bits and pieces so that their numbers became assailable yet again.  Hurricanes were called for once more and people logged back in and filled up the first fleet, so that I ended up in the second fleet under Cainun.  Again, tidi was hitting hard to the point that we didn’t undock in a ball but in a chain of individual ships like the station was spitting us out in a stream.

We aligned and warped off, then back onto a spot to join in on the developing brawl,  There was a T3 cruiser fleet and some carriers and a some Pandemic Horde Feroxes on the field and even a few more fax machines to hit.  There was a rush to get points on the capitals, the high value targets, to keep them from getting away.

Our fleet was popping away at the T3s for a bit, though their logi seemed to be on the ball so our targets were catching reps.  We still managed to knock off a few as we closed with the capitals.  From there it was shoot and neut, as we had refit to carry energy neutralizers in order to deplete their capacitors.

While we were out a call when out for a Grinder fleet, which is Megathrons and Apocalypses, in order to blap stuff off the field.  Even Fearless Leader, The Mittani, got in a ship and undocked to shoot people.

The Mittani's Apocalypse

The Mittani’s Apocalypse

If you look at his kills, it is mostly Pandemic Horde Feroxes, so I am probably not zoomed in close enough to see the “Free Candy” sign on the side of the white, windowless Amarrian space van that he used to lure them in.

Then we hit the point where people were trying to hold down the last few foes as they warped off before the field around the undock was ours.  Cainun got popped along the way, but we had Pittsburgh2989 along with us, so he took over and kept us going.  People looted the field, there were high fives all around, more participation links were generated, and we then docked back up again.

The combined battle report I saw for both engagements combined put the ISK war well in our favor.

Saranen May 17 Battle Report Summary

Saranen May 17 Battle Report Summary

We lost a lot more ships… Hurricanes were dropping like flies at some points… but our ships were cheap relative to our foes.  We lost so many Hurricanes though that there was some worry about resupply.  The supply in Jita was way down, so I guess your economic tip of the day is to get some Hurricane hulls on the market.  With Welpcaines back as a doctrine, demand will likely remain strong.

So that was Monday in space, a good brawl where we got to blow up nineteen hostile capital ships.  No supers though.  Maybe next time.

Here are some screen shots I took along the way.

 

There is no 85%

In which I had a simple point, then buried it somewhere in a wall of words.

Last week… or so… Neville Smit put up a post under the heading of Occupy New Eden wherein he made the claim that CCP was spending too much time focused on null sec.

The root of his claim is that only 15% of population of New Eden operates in null security space and that they are getting a lions share of features which are dedicated solely to their benefit. This is followed on by what feels to me like a rather spurious assessment as to what counts as a null sec feature.  Citadels are grudgingly admitted to affect more than null sec, though he attempts to shove them back in the “null only” in the same sentence along with capital ships, and industry and drilling structures.

Left off of his list is… well… everything of interest beyond null sec.  If you read his post, CCP has literally done nothing for anybody besides null sec in however long.  Yes, it would be too much to ask him to list out everything ever, but this sort of “we got nuttin'” approach is belied by the patch notes over the last year, when CCP was alleged to be focused solely on null sec.

He then goes on to conflate the CSM 11 election results with CCP neglecting the 85%, with an extra helping of “the sky is falling” because of all those null sec players on the galactic student council.  That manages, in a single blow, to sell CCP short, misinterpret the power (or lack there of) of the CSM, and misunderstand the election results.

For the first two, if you believe CCP’s course is somehow charted by the CSM, you might as well give up right now and start weaving conspiracy theories.  On the third, the election results are the ongoing reflection of who is most engaged with the game… engaged and concerned with their well being.  Null sec, as noted, just went through a whole series of changes, some of which are not universally loved by some of the residents, and some of which were not well thought through by CCP before being thrust upon us, despite the fact that the CSM and players in the forums pointed out, in advance, the very flaws that CCP had to go back and correct.  Null sec players are rightly concerned, and concern (plus organization) turns into votes.  Meanwhile, the rest of New Eden didn’t seem exactly worked up about the election.  What burning issue did the rest of New Eden have that stacked up again, “CCP has completely changed our part of the game?”

This all gets pulled together in the false dichotomy that is “I am the 85%!”

CCP can apparently only work on null sec or everything else.  They can make null sec happy, or they can make the 85% happy.  Null sec has had their turn, it is time to leave them alone for another five years and concentrate on what is important.

The whole thing has me a bit irked, an emotion that might have come through up to this point.

There is no 85%

Almost every facet of WoW is an activity that caters to a minority of the playerbase … [WoW] is not a narrow game, but rather one that can be enjoyed in numerous different ways, by people with hugely diverse playstyles … We are [listening] – just to many, many different voices. And it may be that a given change, feature, or reward is simply aimed at a different portion of the playerbase. Or we could be wrong and we haven’t realized it yet.

Ion Hazzikostas, WoW lead designer, in a Forum Post

The fallacy of the whole concept of there even being an 85% was the first thing that sprang to mind when I read Neville’s article, and I immediately put up a placeholder post with that as the title… and then let it sit for a week.

I think we might all agree that EVE Online, with its sandbox nature, is a more complex game than World of Warcraft.  Yet there is a WoW designer holding forth about how nearly every feature in Azeroth is for a minority of their player base.  So how do you think that translates into New Eden?

I could go on for ages about the various groups that make up the alleged 85% and how they can actually be divided up into their own little minorities factions.  Instead, I’ll just whip out this chart again.

What to do in EVE Online - A Chart

What to do in EVE Online – A Chart

Have you seen this chart?  I put it up as part of a post about four years ago, and the chart itself is about five years old at this point, so is probably incomplete.  And yet it conveys the complexity that is our New Eden sandbox.

Edit: There is actually a spiritual successor to that chart available if you are interested.

So go ahead and put an X through any of the boxes that are exclusively null sec features.  If you have knocked out more than five boxes on that chart I would be very much surprised.  Remember, if it is wormhole space AND 0.0, it doesn’t count.

That leaves a lot of boxes.

And you can jump straight to “Well, that’s the point, look at all those neglected features!” but you’re going to have to leave off any of those boxes that got some attention over the last year.  Did your favorite box get a new feature or two?  Does that box represent a small minority of players as well?  Because where this line of reasoning leads is down a path to exclude other small, and thus undeserving, groups.

You know who gets less regular players than null sec according to the year old chart used to prop up this argument?  Low sec.  How do you justify working on something that has less players than null?

And what about wormhole space?  That has less players than low sec!  How do you even justify working on such a small sub-section of the game?  How can you think about that when 75% of the game is in high sec?

Oh, right… Neville Smit is in Signal Cartel and lives in wormhole space.  Funny how that 3% of players got their agenda mixed in with the majority.  I’m going to guess if CCP spent many months dedicated to his part of space, which represents one fifth of the player base of null sec, we would not see a “We are the 97%” campaign spring up on his site.

EVE Online is large and complex and the various parts of the game are interconnected.  Making a demand that CCP focus on this alleged 85% is a hollow shell, because there is no such group as a single, unified entity.  CCP literally cannot focus on 85% of the player.

If we were going to go for truth in advertising on this campaign, it should simply be renamed “Screw Null Sec,” because it comes across as thinly disguised petulance about somebody else getting the attention.

There is Common Ground

There are a whole range of features that I would say crosses groups.  Particularly bothersome for me was Neville putting the new player experience on his list of demands for the 85%, as though null sec doesn’t care about new players.

And, to double down on my annoyance, CCP had just dedicated a chunk of the keynote at Fanfest to talking about how they want to improve the new player experience.  That seemed to me to be a pretty strong indicator that this is clearly marked with double underlines on the CCP development agenda.

But CCP didn’t have a solution, a new proposal, right then and there, so out come the pitchforks and demands.

We know the new player experience is bad.  CCP, which is on its fourth iteration since I showed up in New Eden, has given us depressing numbers to illustrate this.  A failure here is literally money out of their pockets and I am pretty sure if they had an answer as to HOW to introduce people to New Eden that made them stick with the game, that would have been front and center.  But they didn’t.  EVE Online is a busy yet subtle experience and they are still searching for the mix that will get the depth of the game across..

Null sec alliances are keenly aware of this.  For years Goonswarm has had their own introduction and training program to bring new players from Something Awful into the game.  I have seen day one Goons in fleets in null on many occasions.  Then along came Brave Newbies, which showed the power of harnessing new players, an idea which was stolen by the other groups.  So today somebody with no null sec experience can get into a corp like KarmaFleet and get the help they need to get going.

But that is all for naught if CCP consistently drives people away in the tutorial, or whatever passes for a tutorial these day.  This is a 100% issue, not an 85% issue.

Okay, that might have been an overly specific item.  But one of the magic things about EVE Online is its interconnectivity.  You cannot draw a circle around a group of players and say that they don’t matter to you.

Jita is probably the best example of the confluence between the various parts of New Eden.  For as long as I have been in a null sec alliance the one thing you could depend on was a jump freighter service that would deliver things to and from Jita.  We buy our stuff from the main high sec trade hub.  When we have a fleet doctrine and are losing ships, manufacturers benefit.  The economy is the web that binds us all together in New Eden, and when null sec is neglected and stagnates, it is reflected in the market, because we blow up more shit than anybody else and ships exploding drives the economy.

Maybe Null Sec IS a Bit Special

This isn’t my first time reading this sort of divisive demand on a developer in which a player claims that the devs are focusing on something that doesn’t represent the majority of their customer base.  I think I have seen that in literally every fantasy MMORPG ever that has had raiding or dedicated PvP or arena combat.

And EVE Online has all three!  Holy balls!  Incursions are raids, PvP is pretty much everywhere, and then there is the alliance cheating tournament for your arena fix.  And I haven’t even put null sec specifically in the picture yet.

These sorts of features, what I would call “aspirational content,” has been a pretty solid part of the MMORPG landscape in the 21st century, and I have long been on the other side of the fence.  No raider I.  And yet I have seen the point of having such features and have come to their defense on the very rare occasions when companies have decided to trim such features.

I think it is important that MMORPGs have options that may seem narrowly focused when viewed against the whole of the game’s population.  In the last 17 years of what I will call the “post-EverQuest age” of MMORPGs most of my time has been spent in solo or small group content, but I have generally not begrudged a disproportionate amount of resources going to such content, because it gives people something to aim for, a goal to achieve, and something special for those willing to put in the effort.

And this has especially been the case in EVE Online.  From 2006 through to the end of 2011 I spent my time in high sec pursuing various careers.  During that time titans, wormhole space, factional warfare, and Dominion sovereignty all showed up and were all hugely interesting to me despite them not really touching my play time directly.  But they were all there and made the game a more interesting and complex place.  Tales from other play styles are fun to read.

But null sec has a special place in that regard.  There have been some headline grabbing events in EVE Online that haven’t been about null sec… the great bank scam and tales of the Guiding Hand Social Club spring to mind… but for bringing attention to New Eden and driving people to try the game, nothing beats null sec alliances blowing each other up.  How many articles on gaming sites that don’t focus on just EVE Online (or even just MMOs, like Massively OP) has the game gotten this year?  And how many of those were about something other than null sec wars or a certain book written about a null sec war?

Like it or not, you have to admit that null sec grabs attention, making it a marketing engine for the game.  So to spin this whole thing on its head, the 15% is doing most of the work to get people to come try the game.  Maybe that has earned null sec a bit more developer attention.

So What?

Okay, I have probably been riding Neville a bit hard in this post.  He is a good person and an asset to the game and the community and probably doesn’t deserve as much push back as I have given.  And I get that part of his whole shtick is to get people to simply consider whether or not there is an issue here to be resolved by being provocative.  But when you go that route, you have to expect return fire in kind, as I have done above.  Consider this counter-provocation I suppose.

That said, I tend to agree with the actual list of things he has on his site.  CCP does have a large garden to tend in New Eden and barely enough resources to even keep the weeds in check.  I just don’t think we need to call for the company to ignore one part or another.

In the end, I think what primarily sticks in my craw… though I’ve been all over the map here, so I don’t blame you if you are confused at this point, because I certainly am… is this public and unnecessary divisiveness.  It is a call for the community to war with itself.

EVE Online already has a bad reputation.  Go read the comments on just about any related post over at Massively OP.  You will read about how it is a horrible game, maybe the most boring game ever, spreadsheets in space, populated by horrible people who do horrible things and you had better not bother playing because you will be scammed, ganked, and podded within five minutes of staring the practically non-existent tutorial.

We are already under siege.  And we, as a community, already fight amongst ourselves pretty viciously.  We hardly need a movement to encourage it.

So, in summary, I think we should give up the 85% idea and simply join together, link arms, and shout down anybody who suggests walking in stations as a feature, because I am not sure we can handle any more boxes on that “what to do” chart.

I look forward to your adoring agreement in the comments below.

Spaceships über alles!

Chasing Asher’s Phantasm

The same thing we do every night, Boat – try to take over Fade!

-Asher Elias, Asher and the Boat

Things happened to fall into place last night in just the right order so that I found myself sitting down at my desk with some free time in the evening just as Asher put up a ping for a Cerberus fleet.  I hate it when I get to my computer and there are pings for fleets, but they are all stale and the fleets have long since undocked.  And, having done the Clownshoe fleet earlier in the week, I was up for a combat fleet looking sail into harm’s way.

I even opted to join in my Cerberus rather than flying logi.  I wanted to shoot something… and I like to get a couple kills on the board every month just to prove to my corp that I am still alive.

We would, of course, be heading to Fade, the focus of the war for the last couple of weeks.  Despite the persistent Reddit propaganda about The Imperium not undocking, not fighting, and not contesting sovereignty, DOTLAN and zKillboard paint a different story.

zKillboard Top Alliances and Corps - May 6, 2016

zKillboard Top Alliances and Corps – May 6, 2016

(How the kills are counted and ranked is explained here.)

I think the biggest surprise there is finding my own alliance, TNT, on the list… that has to be ITAI, to corp CO2 wanted to kick and blacklist, doing some heavy lifting there… though I am bad and almost never fly specifically with my alliance, preferring to just take whatever fleet is leaving out of Saranen when I have the time.  Anyway, back to the fleet.

It had been a while since I had been in an Asher fleet… no Reavers ops of late, just the war… and was surprised when he noted my absence of late. [Insert “Senpai noticed me joke here.] It has actually been difficult to find time for a fleet during the week of late, and next week will continue that trend.

Several fleets were going up, but the Cerberus doctrine probably fits me best as I have almost all the related skills for it trained up to level 5.  Asher himself would be leading us in a new FC ship he was trying out which we were able to see once we got ourselves settled and undocked.

Phantastic Fantasm

Phantastic Fantasm

That is the Sansha’s Nation Phantasm, a pirate faction ship, wearing the Sansha Victory skin, making it a pretty rare site.  I took an excessive number of screen shots of it while we were lolling around in various places.  It is a pretty, and very pointy, ship.

Undocked, we headed to our ride north, stopping along the way just long enough to pop a MOA Drake that was acting as a bait for a gate camp and clearly wasn’t expecting a 100 ship Cerberus fleet to land on it.  At that point I was “Op success!” because I was on the kill boards for May and could go back to flying logi next time.

We moved to our bridging titan and got ourselves in range before it sent us on our way.

Cerbs waiting for the bridge

Cerbs waiting for the bridge

Once dropped into the north end of Pure Blind, we headed for the usual location in Fade, the system of O1Y-ED.  Along the way we got some instructions on how the fleet was going to work and what to do during certain circumstances.  Key items on the list were to keep anchored up with your prop mod running and to align immediately to broadcasts when told.

Once at the destination we warped to a point off the station and let the festivities commence.  As usual, numbers were against us, but the doctrine was designed to kite and keep foes at a distance until an opportunity presented itself.  This meant quite a bit of aligning, warping, aligning again, warping again, anchoring up, maybe shooting a target or two, then aligning once more for another warp.

The fleet was an illustration of a number of things Asher has spoken about before, both on coms and on his podcast, about the nature of fleet ops and, especially, having the critical mass of firepower and being able to apply it correctly to a target to break its tank and kill it before it can start receiving enough repair reps to save it.

That last bit was key to our fleet last night, and we didn’t do very well.

In one of the first encounters we got within range of PL’s logi and were given a primary and a secondary to target and shoot.  The idea is that you lock both, shoot the primary until it is dead, then shoot the secondary, which is then the primary.

We locked both up and as the missiles flew… it is always a bit unnerving with missile doctrines as you have to sit and wait until the missiles travel to the target and do their work before you can tell how things are going… it looked like we were going to drop the first logi.  It was down to under a quarter armor… and then reps caught and its armor stabilized and started pushing back up.

We almost had it… and would have had it, except that it was clear that somebody had decided to shoot the secondary.  So our damage, which looked to put kills within the realm of possibility, was split and neither target was destroyed.  There was enough damage on our side… for the moment.

In addition to splitting fire we were, as a fleet, having some problems aligning.

Aligning is easy enough.  It an align point is broadcast, you just right-click on the broadcast in the fleet window and select “Align to…” from the contextual menu.  It the align point is a station or a gate or something else that might be in your overview… I have something of a lazy, probably shows too much standard overview I rely on… you can right click there or, if I remember right, just highlight it on the overview or in space as press the “A” key.

Cerbs aligning for another warp

Cerbs aligning for another warp

But, in combat, with lots of things going on, people were not keeping up.  In a situation where you are kiting the enemy, being aligned can be a matter of survival.  If you are aligned when the FC warps the fleet, you are on your way pretty much instantly.  If you aren’t aligned you may find yourself hanging about in the face of a hostile fleet hungry for a kill after the rest of their prey just slipped off.

So it went, we would warp off as hostiles landed only to find that one or two people were not aligned, and the fleet would be a couple ships lighter.  There was some talk of Darwin in action and survival of the fittest on coms, but with less ships, the amount of damage we could put out decreased, making kills harder to get.  And so we kept bouncing around the system, or burning along at speed, kiting the enemy around while looking for an opening.

Running with our bubble coverage

Running with our bubble coverage

After a a stretch of this where we managed to knock off a couple of hostile Cerberuses that strayed away from their cover… but not enough to match our own losses… Asher took us to a gate and jumped us into K4YZ-Y to look for and advantage.

There we continued kiting, getting a few more kills… my favorite being the PH Noctis looking to scoop up loot… until the enemy managed to pop Asher’s pointy new FC ship.

That actually took me by surprise.  I usually keep a bounty on FCs I fly with regularly so that I immediately get a pop-up notification when they are blown up so I know that things might be going to hell shortly.

Fortunately we had a couple of alternate FCs along for the ride.  Thomas Lear took over and began bouncing us around to shake off the enemy until they got bored and left, though rumor had it that the enemy was convinced that Oxygen was driving the fleet now.

We eventually ended up in a POS in system… somebody said it isn’t really an Asher fleet unless we spend some time hiding in a POS… waiting for things to die down so we could find a way back to Saranen.  By this point, in addition to losing Asher, enough other ships had been peeled off that we lacked any hope of tank breaking critical mass when engaging the enemy fleet roaming the area.  It was time to head home.

There was a bit more waiting, and then some dodging about to get away, but Thomas Lear got us through and to low sec and then back home to Saranen.

Landing back at the Quafe Company Warehouse

Landing back at the Quafe Company Warehouse

Not our most glorious fleet op.  I couldn’t get a decent battle report for what we did, in part because other fleets were operating in the area, including a White Legion Muninn fleet.  But it was another day in the war where we formed up to oppose our enemies and show that we will continue to resist.

One of the more interesting aspects of this op was a look at the kills we got.  Less that two weeks ago, when I was out with Boat on that Cormorant fleet, we were really only seeing Pandemic Horde.  Nobody else was showing up in Fade.  Last night we saw fleets from Pandemic Legion and NCDot as well as a few other members of the Moneybadger Coalition.  Fade is where the fights are happening for now.

Industrial Revolution

Yesterday afternoon The Mittani held another of his fireside chats which, along with The Meta show on Saturday’s, is part of his weekly one-two propaganda punch.  Both are streamed live on Twitch and our foes log in to watch and rage in chat.  It seems to make them angry.

Among the announcements during the chat (which you can replay here) were some new doctrine fits for entosis work.  They were the Cysknife, the FiestaCat, the Clownshoe, and the Max Tank Maller… the latter seeming to indicate that somebody ran out of cute names.

Of those, the Clownshoe was going to go directly into service after the chat, with a limited number of free ships being handed out by Jay Amazingness for this first official fleet.

Free ships!  Who could say no to that?  And so I was literally the first person in after Jay had formed the fleet.  Not that I was going to get a very valuable ship for me effort.

The Clownshoe, named after a term used by Sapporo Jones, the leader of TEST, in an angry rant about Imperium doctrines (available somewhere on YouTube), is a tanked Nereus, the T1 Gallente hauler that used to be at the wee end of the Iteron line of ships; the former shortest sausage in the pack, if you will.

The tank itself isn’t exceptional, though the fact that the shield regenerates 800 hit points a second helps a lot.  That means anybody hitting one needs to be doing at least 800 DPS, plus the resists, to start breaking the tank.  And then the Nereus also has a drone bay, so can carry some ECM drones to launch and break lock on any attacker, giving it some survivability in the wild.  So it might get away, or at least survive until help can show up.  The fit also has a cloak, so the idea is to be able to hack, fight off any small stuff that might come get you, then run off and cloak up if you need.

So we got into fleet and Jay started handing them out to the first 50 people who joined the fleet.  I got mine and bought a skin for it with some Aurum I had sitting around, just because this seemed to be a comically special event.  Since it was a freebie fleet, there were people who joined up before checking if they had the skills, including one pilot who had to train Gallente industrial.

Then, once everybody had something to fly, we had to sit around and wait for the standing fleet to clear off the undock as CO2 has showed up with some Svipuls.  When we finally got the okay to undock, they were still on grid with us, though far out of range.  I do wonder what they must have thought seeing a pack of T1 industrials coming out of the station.

Confirmed! Goons evacuating Saranen!

Confirmed! Goons evacuating Saranen!

Jay warped us off to the Tartoken gate and the CO2 Svipuls followed us there, though didn’t come through with us.  It was announced on coms, “The first transport is away!”

Jay, however, was being a bad and told us all to jump while forgetting to do so himself, so got himself blown up, not once, but twice getting to us.  After lingering in Tatroken for a bit, he finally caught up to us and led us off to a waiting titan that was ready to bridge us into Fade.

Nerueus' in warp

Nerueus’ in warp

We got there and were bridged in.  Another benefit of going out in industrial ships is the 90% reduction in jump fatigue accrued.

Bridge up, industrials away!

Bridge up, industrials away!

Once into Fade we headed to the VNX-P0 constellation where a capture event was going on for the TCU in MPPA-A.

Along the way we came through a gate and found ourselves face with a 9 ship NCDot gang.  I expected that we were going to get mauled by the mix of Svipuls and Kirins.

A wild NCDot gang appears!

A wild NCDot gang appears!

They locked several of us up and pointed us.  I was on the list of those pointed.

I'm doomed!

I’m doomed!

So we launched our EC-3000 ECM drones, anchored up on Jay, and waited to see how things went.  The droned proceeded to break locks.  The Svipuls hit one Nereus for a bit and got it down to about 50% shield.  I took a few hits myself from one of the Svipuls, but my shield regen kept things happy for me. After about a minute of that, they gave up and warped off, deciding we were not worth the effort.  Industrial success!

From there we continued on to MPPA-A where we split up and succeeded in the capture event.

Hacking my node

Hacking my node

Somebody from my alliance ended up planting the new TCU, so TNT now holds one system for the moment.

Flag found in Fade

Flag found in Fade

We then carried on and reinforced whatever else we could find in the area.  As this was going on, Asher and Boat were taking on Pandemic Horde in O1Y-ED where, despite PH numbers, they managed to hack the station cloning services, which meant that anybody who got podded was sent back to their designated home system or their default system if O1Y-ED had been so set.

That kept PH busy so we kept on hacking whatever we could find.

A couple of us on an ihub

A couple of us on an ihub

After a while of that, PH finally convinced Pandemic Legion that they had to come out and save them, so a PL fleet showed up and we all cloaked up in safe spots and let them fly around trying to find a target.

Cloaked Nereus

Cloaked Nereus

After they wandered off, Jay took us up into Deklein.  Up until that point the Clownshoes has carried on without loss.  In Deklein we would be on our own without Boat and Asher keeping the locals busy.

Wandering into the space of The Blood Covenant, we began spreading out some to reinforce sovereignty objects and station services.

Entosis all the services

Entosis all the services

While that started off well enough, we did eventually provoke a reaction from the locals who can swarming out to chase us off.  Clownshoes began to get blown up.  Those of us who could cloaked up again in safe spots while a Sword fleet showed up to help us, only to get mauled in the process.

Safe and cloaked, the rest of us hung about waiting for things to cool down.  At that point it was getting towards dinner time at our house and, since we didn’t seem to be going anywhere soon, I told the fleet I needed to go AFK in order to fire up the BBQ and cook something for dinner.  Salmon patties for my daughter and some bockwurst for her friend, my wife, and myself.

That ended up taking longer than I thought, so by the time I got back the remains fleet had made its way back to Saranen and docked up.  Left out along in Deklein, I decided to try a bit of “solo yolo” hacking and picked a non-station system to try and hit.  With ADMs low, I only needed 10 minutes alone after the warm-up cycled to reinforce a TCU.

However, the locals were still stirred up and before my fist post-warm-up cycle had finished a small gang landed on me.  Unfortunately, they brought more DPS than my Clownshoe Nereus could tank, so it went pop.  Then I got podded and was back in Saranen.  Still, a free ship, a quick trip home, and a new adventure, I don’t have anything to complain about.

So that is our new thing for now, Clownshoes.  It might be a good time to ramp up a bit of Nereus production, because losses of this T1 industrial are probably going to go up dramatically for now.

Capitals at Okagaiken

HURRICANES – OP3 – THOMAS LEAR FLEET – STRATOP – STANDING FLEET GET IN THIS – EVERYONE – HOSTILES CAPITALS TACKLED GO GO GO GO

Jabber Ping, 2016-04-26 02:30:08 New Eden time

I happened to be sitting in front of my computer when that ping, my wife was out of the house and my daughter was otherwise occupied, so it was clearly time to log in and shoot something.

I got on, jumped in the Hurricane I had sitting in the back room of the Quafe Company Warehouse, joined the fleet, and connected up to voice coms.  It was go go go time.

We got ourselves sorted out fairly quickly and undocked.  FC Thomas Lear gave us a free burn destination, Okagaiken.  Just five gates to travel and the promise of hostile supers trapped at the far end.

We burned off as quick as we could and, as we approached our destination, Thomas Lear told us to hold our cloak when we jumped through into Okagaiken.  Sure enough, just there on the other side of the gate was a pile of Psychotic Tendencies capital ships in a ball between the gate and a blue water planet.

Psychotic Tendencies capitals spotted

Psychotic Tendencies capitals spotted

When we were through in force we anchored up and set out after the enemy.  We were told to start shooting fighters as the situation sorted itself.  We took shots at a couple of carriers before Aliventi in an Archon was spotted away from the pack.  We headed for him to bump him further from his support then shot him up fairly quickly.

Aliventi about to go down

Aliventi about to go down

Once he was down we turned back towards the main force and tried to take on a another carrier.  However, by then the enemy had reinforcements bridging into the system to help.

About them I saw the fighters on my overview begin targeting me.  I had clearly been called primary by someone.  I called for shield reps and our logi got on me before the fighters began to hit in force.  However, it was not enough and my Hurricane blew up leaving me in my pod.

Thomas was getting people to align and warped us all away, me following along in my pod.  Then we turned about and as I was setting the self-destruct we were warped off again before I could cancel in, aborting my attempt.  At the far end I got somebody to pod me and was back in Saranen.

However, by that point orders had come down waving off anybody else coming to Okagaiken.  The enemy had arrived in force and it was decided not to feed them kills.  The fleet docked up in the station at Okagaiken and waited for the enemy to clear off.

The exchange was a bit in our favor, with the battle report indicating we lost 66 ships worth 4.8 billion ISK while the enemy lost 33 ships worth 5.8 billion ISK.  A short, sharp encounter.  Here are a few more screen shots: