We are at week 24 of the war proper, having started officially back on July 5th, but it has been a full six months since the invaders were caught out in their plans and the two week count down to the start began, so I am celebrating six months of writing about World War Bee. Compare that to the Fountain War back in 2013, which covered just two months, or the Casino War, which started in earnest in February 2016, had us in Saranen by mid April, and in Delve come July. And we’re not done yet.
This week saw an address by Progodlegend to Legacy and TEST where he both said the war was pretty much a foregone conclusion and that we will all soon begin to abandon the Imperium. The Initiative attacking in Catch was held up as a prime example of the Imperium collapsing. Once the war is over Legacy will lay claim to both its old territory, such Esoteria, which they previously said they were abandoning for Delve, as well as Delve, Querious, Period Basis.
Basically, all they need to do is wrap up the Imperium pockets in 1DQ1-A and E3OI-U and they’re done, the war is over. Those will be the last big fights of the war. The timeline for that, however, is fairly vague. Progodlegend says the will come very soon at one point and maybe in a couple more months elsewhere. Goons being driven from the game is assumed in there somewhere.
Pandemic Horde had a town hall meeting last week as well, where they distanced themselves from the Vily message of driving Goons from the game. They are just in it to damage the Imperium economically. They seem less patient when it comes to assaulting 1DQ1-A and E3OI-U, suggesting if the current strategy wasn’t working in the first few weeks of December that they might try something different. Also, the second pass on Fountain has been seen to be something of a wasted effort which will likely not continue.
On the comedy front, there was this 5.3 billion ISK Vince Draken pod that got caught trying to slip through Delve in a covert ops frigate.
The Delve front saw quite a bit of action. Also, that metaliminal storm has found its way into NPC Delve, keeping people from cloaking in the systems marked around it.
Delve – Dec. 20, 2020
The Imperium strategy of retaking ihubs before the 35 timer runs down and allows PAPI to cyno jam the system has not been working out for us. We were not able to retake the ihub for NOL-M9 as they were able to put many more people on the field to defend it that we would manage. NOL-M9 now has a cyno jammer setup and the Keepstar there seems likely to be destroyed this week.
PAPI titans at the armor timer shoot
A similar fate seems likely for the Keepstar in D-W7F0, where PAPI also holds the ihub.
The strategy, or that aspect of it which I can see, appears to have moved to preventing enotsis ops on the ihubs that remain in our hands where Keepstars remain. This had led to a number of fierce skirmishes, like the ones that have happened around 5-CQDA.
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The other twist that has been coming up more recently is forcing PAPI to choose between objectives. PAPI can put enough pilots in Delve to force an objective there, but a simultaneous timer elsewhere, like Catch, will be lost because they had to make the choice.
This week I am elevating the Catch region to have its own category as it remains the most active theater outside of Delve and is the place where Legacy is being forced to make choices.
Legacy came back and reinforced the staging Fortizar of The Initiative, but were distracted by a Delve objective that allowed The Initiative to put down a backup Fortizar in their staging in 0SHT-A. The odd thing was that, when the final timer came up for the original Fortizar, Legacy started to commit to it, lost a bunch of ships to The Initiative, then stood down, losing both the objective and the ISK war.
That left The Initiative with two Fortizars in 0SHT-A after the fight.
Meanwhile, ihubs in Catch, and even next door in Immensea, have been falling. We took the DY-P7Q ihub and then blew up the no longer operational Ansiblex jump gate and Pharolux cyno beacon on the grid with the Keepstar anchored there.
The Ansiblex blowing up, taking over a billion ISK in fuel with it
The Initiative now holds the ihub and TCU for HED-GP, the gateway system into the region from high sec.
And, as Progodlegend said, Imperium SIGs have been active in Catch as well. Asher, accused of abandoning the war to hide in Catch, had gathered up the Reavers SIG to deploy out to 0SHT-A along with The Initiative, so I have been out there some myself. We have been shooting structures… like the two above… as well as doing some of our own entosis work. Not bad for a “30 man SIG.” (We have Dawn Rhea of Theta Thursdays with us as well, so add at least one woman to the total.)
Popping a node during an entosis event
Things do not look so bad for Legacy when you look at the map of Catch right now.
Catch – Dec. 20, 2020
They have taken back some ihubs, including the one at 4-07MU, which connects to Querious. But having lost them, they have to wait 35 days after restoring them before they can install Ansiblex jump gates to restore their easy travel routes. Instead they either have to gate, use titan bridges, or jump clone between Delve and Catch.
Furthermore, rumor has it that The Watchmen alliance, which holds a large section of Catch for Legacy, is about to fold up shop and disband. That would set quite a few systems back to the 35 day clock before they can be used for travel infrastructure.
Despite Progodlegend declaring the Esoteria efforts a failure, citing The Initiative’s move to Catch as evidence, the groups remaining down there, The Bastion, Ferrata Victrix, and the Stain Russians who hate TEST, have continued to make a nuisance of themselves. They have pushed back on The Army of Mango’s attempt to assert itself in the region and have expanded to hacking new systems.
NW Esoteria – Dec. 20, 2020
Then there is Querious, which is largely a dead zone as both sides have tired of planting new ihubs in the region.
Querious – Dec. 20, 2020
A range of systems remain empty while those still occupied by Brave continue to be assailed, meaning Brave has to deal with entosis events both here and in Catch.
And then in Fountain, as noted above, the PAPI invasion has pretty much ceased, with NCDot left holding a single ihub in LBGI-2 for now.
I was able to jump in on a few ops, including two fights in 5-CQDA, including the one mentioned above. I was also off on a few side missions over in Catch. I ended up losing a few ships, including two Malediction interceptors that were used for burst jamming in one fight (the hostiles love that), a Scimitar in another fight, an Atron entosis frigate, and a Drake.
Probably the most amusing fight was in Catch on Saturday night when we landed on a gate with a Maller gang fit with smart bombs who were looking for ESS banks to rob. We murdered them.
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The one ship of ours they got was a Griffin ECM frigate. Otherwise they were tackled and blown up. In that quick clash I somehow managed to get the final blow on five of them with my sentry drones, which gave me a nice little line of five kill marks on my Ishtar.
5 orange kill marks in the upper left on my Blaze SKIN Ishtar
I do not think I have ever had a hull last long enough to earn five kill marks.
Anyway, my losses for the war so far now are as follows:
- Ares interceptor – 12
- Crusader interceptor – 5
- Atron entosis frigate – 6
- Rokh battleship – 5
- Drake battle cruiser – 4
- Malediction interceptor – 4
- Ferox battle cruiser – 3
- Purifier stealth bomber – 2
- Guardian logi – 2
- Scalpel logi frigate – 2
- Scimitar logi – 2
- Raven battleship – 1
- Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
- Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
- Bifrost command destroyer – 1
- Cormorant destroyer – 1
- Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
- Sigil entosis industrial – 1
- Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1
CCP did a Fireside Chat on Twitch with CCP Burger and CCP Hellmar where they mentioned, among other things, that more than 1.9 million new players had logged into EVE Online in 2020, a number greater than the previous three years combined.
That seems like amazing news, though the fact that the online numbers peaked back in April and have been slowly sliding down as the year has begun to fade suggests that CCP has not solved the player retention problem they brought up at EVE North back in 2019.
The CSM 14 summit meeting minutes had a list of priorities that were:
- Stop the bleeding
- Fix the stupid
- Excite and teach
- Incentivize return
It feels like they haven’t really addressed the first point yet as 1.9 million people have poured into the game this year and apparently right back out again. This number of new players was so huge that I had to check to see if they were including EVE Echoes in their count, but EVE Echoes has claimed more than 2 million players on its own, so I couldn’t tell you where those 1.9 million went.
And that brings us to this week’s peak concurrent user number, which was down again.
- Day 1 – 38,838
- Week 1 – 37,034
- Week 2 – 34,799
- Week 3 – 34,692
- Week 4 – 35,583
- Week 5 – 35,479
- Week 6 – 34,974
- Week 7 – 38,299
- Week 8 – 35,650
- Week 9 – 35,075
- Week 10 – 35,812
- Week 11 – 35,165
- Week 12 – 36,671
- Week 13 – 35,618
- Week 14 – 39,681
- Week 15 – 40,359
- Week 16 – 36,642
- Week 17 – 37,695
- Week 18 – 36,632
- Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
- Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
- Week 21 – 34,888
- Week 22 – 33,264
- Week 23 – 33,149
- Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
That is now the low water mark for the war, with even the holiday events and the Luminaire snowball fight failing to entice people into the game.