Tag Archives: Asher Elias

Eight Years of Reavers

Every October I stop and note the anniversary of the founding of the Reavers SIG, a group within the Imperium in EVE Online.  I usually forget the actual founding date (October 15th) and have to go look it up, but a post always appears.

Reavers forum bee

It is, by reputation, the SIG that does not exist or talk in local… except when it does.  Or when we have Brisc Rubal along.  He talks in local and flaunts the dress code, but when you’re a space famous CSM member you can get away with that sort of thing.

Previous anniversary posts:

Unlike past years, I don’t have any posts here about the SIG to fall back on to help flesh out what happened over the last twelve months.

Then again, the last year or so hasn’t exactly seen EVE Online at its best.  I wrote about the year of disappointment, where CCP promised to make things better… and then under-delivered, made things worse, or have yet to deliver.  That is how you end up with charts like this one from Jester.

2019-2022 comparison

And I have a tough time seeing that trend being reversed with what CCP has promised, even if they deliver above and beyond.

Meanwhile, the Imperium has been off its game as well.  Two attempts to get stuck into something in the southeast led to us being over extended and needing to retreat.

And Asher, the leader of the SIG, has his own set of responsibilities.  He was sky marshal, leading the Imperium’s military through World War Bee, which kept him busy enough.  But after the downfall of The Mittani, he became the overall leader of the Imperium… at a time when the game was seeing a decline in players, putting a bit more pressure on him to “do something.”

It isn’t as though Reavers have been completely dormant.  There have been experiments and plans and we are even now deployed and looking for things to do.

Testing out… AOE ratting

The Imperium itself is in peacetime mode right now.  The main fleets are back in 1DQ and homeland defense is the majority of pings these days.  It is the time for the small groups, the SIGs and squads, to find their own missions.

So, while we haven’t been as active as back in the days when Asher only aspired to be the 23rd best FC in the Imperium, Reavers… like EVE Online… aren’t dead yet.  We will see what the next year brings.

Back Home in Delve Once More

As I mentioned last week, the Imperium has given up on its war in the southeast of null sec.  So the main effort since then has been to get people and their ships back to Delve safely.

FI.RE and PanFam has been dogging this retreat, camping the route, and trying to make move ops as annoying as possible.  By the time I had written that previous post I had already moved all of my assets out of Tenerifis to Catch.  And it is a good thing too, because our Tenerifis staging Keepstar was destroyed not too long after.

Only three Keepstars have been destroyed in 2022, and all of them belonged to the Imperium at the time of their destruction… though that one back in January hardly counts against us.  Army of Mango gave us that loot pinata, and we had fun blowing it up. (I’m on the kill mail for that Keepstar for sure.  Also, this whole war was due to the power vacuum left between us and FI.RE after Army of Mango self-destructed.)

I had also moved my more expensive ships home.  But I still had a few left in Catch and PanFam seemed intent on chasing us all the way home.  The allied Keepstar in GE-8JV had a PanFam Fortizar anchored on grid with it and had its armor timer set the last time I was there.  So it was both time to leave and not a good time to go alone.

My one valuable ship left behind was an Eagle heavy assault cruiser.  I would have asked somebody in a capital ship to carry it in their SMA hangar, but our Eagle doctrine requires a bunch of module refits in the cargo, and you can’t have those in the cargo hold if you want to put the ship in an SMA.  It was easier to just fly it than try to sort that out.

So a move op came up one evening last week and I happened to be online and ready to go.  I figured I could get it and my other ship, an Oneiros that I had YOLO’d across Catch to get to the deployment (then never used) back home and be done with it.

That was when I ran into some problems.

The first was solvable, but a bit embarrassing.  I could not find the move op fleet in the fleet finder.  I refreshed it, logged out and back in, and it would not show up.  I finally asked on voice coms if the advert for the fleet was up and eventually the FC asked me to X up in alliance chat to contact me directly.  It was then he asked if I had blocked him in-game.  I checked and… yeah, I had done that.  I seem to recall some fleet during World War Bee where I might have had enough of him spamming fleet chat.  Anyway, it is never a good move to have to tell the person who is leading you home that you have blocked them.

That solved, I ran into the second problem, which was that my second account had lapsed.  For the war I had taken advantage of CCP’s multi-account price offer to subscribe it.  However, when I did that, it was a non-recurring offer, so when the time ran out, the account went Alpha clone and I couldn’t log it in with my main online, or even fly the Oneiros even if I could.  And I wasn’t going to resubscribe for one move op.  So figured I would deal with the Oneiros later.

The move op itself was not particularly eventful.  It was slow, given that it is only ten gate and Ansiblex jumps back to 1DQ, but PanFam had a fleet out to mess with us and we had some stragglers and the occasional disconnect.  Still we got home safe and sound.

Eagle on the way home

That done, I looked an realized I had an alt on my main account parked in the GE-8JV Keepstar and he had just enough skills to fly the Oneiros.  So I swapped around logins to contract it to him from my lapsed second account, then got him in the ship.  Most of the modules were online.  He could get it home with the next move op.

Or… I could just YOLO that ship again and get home right then and there.  It was late, there were only 11K people logged in, and I had been lucky flying that particular hull in stupid circumstances previously, so why no just go for it?

This was a bad idea, especially with a PanFam fleet known to be out and about… but maybe they had stood down.  So I undocked and off I went.

The Oneiros flies again

And I made it, though not without some anxiety.  The game seemed to be in one of those moods where it didn’t want to flag blues in local as blue, so everybody had no status, so they could have all been hostile.  But nobody tackled me on a gate and I docked up safely in 1DQ.

Then I looked at his assets and realized that he had been out in the Keepstar in Catch because he had flown out there in a Vigil, and that Vigil was still out there.  I supposed I could have just left it there, but I contracted it to my main who still had his death clone set there, logged him back in, claimed the ship, death cloned back, and decided to make the run again.

This was a very bad idea.  I can occasionally get lucky and make a run through space and make it, but when I get cocky and decide to repeat it, I get nabbed by somebody who noticed the traffic and set up a gate camp about half the time.  It never pays to push your luck.

On the other hand, this was a T1 frigate that I was never going to bother retrieving from asset safety if it went there, so what the hell.  Better to lose it now than have something sitting in yet another station I was never going to visit again.  So off I went.

The Vigil on the move

The Vigil made it home safely as well.  I was done with my evac from the war and had everything back at home.

At the fireside yesterday Asher noted that we were now in peacetime mode in the Imperium.  We are not, as a full organization, engaged in operations outside of our space.  It will be back to SIGs and squads and small group actions or homeland defense fleets for those looking for a bit of action.

He did make it clear that we would be defending the Keepstars on the periphery of our empire with maximum efforts if it came to that. [Edit: Well, not that one I guess.]  But for now, the war is off and we’re back in Delve.

Asher Ascendant and the New Age of Risk for the Imperium

insure your supers

-Asher, just before Operation Enho

On Thursday we got a big announcement.  Asher Elias, long time bloc level fleet commander and the Imperium sky marshal during World War Bee, was stepping up to lead Goonswarm Federation, and by extension the Imperium, filling the leadership vacuum left by the departure of The Mittani.

Welcome to the new regime.

You think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark.

I can’t actually remember why I threw together that Asher/Bane mash up image last year… there was probably some running gag on one of his fleets… but it was the only image of his character I had readily to hand.  And a new leader has to project a fearsome image, right?

Long time readers of this blog might find the name familiar.  Including this post I have 105 posts tagged with “Asher Elias” going back to a rupture fleet he ran back in 2014 where we got bombed into oblivion.

He has more positive mentions as leader of the Reavers SIG within the Imperium, founded back in 2015, which I happened to stumble into just as it was being formed, something that changed the game for me.

Reavers forum bee

I blame Asher and Reavers for my continuing to play EVE Online for the last seven years or so because going from main fleet to a SIG that did special operations and its own doctrines kept null sec alive and interesting for me.  A couple of times over the last few years I have thought it might be time to take a break… and then a Reavers deployment comes up and I am back in the game again.

In addition to being sky marshal and running the Reavers SIG he has run the Goonswarm alliance tournament team and currently stands as the pilot on the most kill mails in all of the Goonswarm Federation alliance, standing at 26,691 kills as I write this.

The GSF top five pilots based on kill mails – GinFOX is catching up

Known for his meticulous planning and audacious schemes… which includes trying to boosh subcaps into optimum range of a HAW dread to helping put together Operation Ehno, the attempt to trap and kill PAPI supers at YZ9-F6… he play the null sec fleet operations game at the highest level.

If there was anybody more unlike The Mittani when it came to the game, it would be hard to find them.  Mittens bragged about never logging in and playing the meta game, using the weekly Meta Show to harangue our foes and call them names in order to enrage them and get them to come at us.

Asher, while he has his own Twitch channel, is probably better known there and on YouTube for his League of Legends videos.  He is mild of temper and not prone to throwing insults or creating bad feelings.

In a prepared speech he read today (which you can listen to here or read here or at the end of this post) after TheAdj announced he would be taking over the reigns of the alliance and coalition, he charted out a different path forward.  Rather than going on weekly shows to mock our foes in order to get them to hate us, he said we would be pursing an in-game strategy of actually attack them and taking their space in order to get them mad at us.

As part of this the Imperium will be taking more risks, because risks lead to the type of fights that make this game memorable, that make ongoing tales of null sec worth writing books about.

He said during his speech that the Imperium had previously been following a line of simply not losing.  As an example, he said that after the twin battles on the Keepstar at M2-XFE he said our foes were demoralized, their titans trapped, and were worried that we would take out their Keepstar in NPC Delve, cutting their safe route into Delve.  They were alleged to be surprised that we did not move against them, choosing instead to abandon our defense of the Helms Deep systems and any pretense of attack in order to sit and camp their titans until they revived the morale of their line members and resumed grinding down Delve, and freeing most of their trapped titans in order to resume the offensive.

Asher, sky marshal of the Imperium, whose job was to coordinate and plan the strategy of the war, was forbidden by Imperium leadership from attacking the PAPI Keepstar in Delve.

The war could have been won, decisively, with an explosive battle, rather than being dragged out for months and months until the enemy finally retreated in dismay, undefeated in battle, but worn down by the long siege of 1DQ1-A.

The reason for the decision to leave the Keepstar alone was that to attack it contained an element of risk.  It would have been a gamble, and nobody at the top wanted to roll the dice.  So the war went on.

So part of Asher’s comments were that we would, as an organization, be taking more risks and committing more heavily to war.  His speech was followed up by a call to deploy more forces to the front in the war against FI.RE in Tenerifis and Immensea.  Capitals and supers were being moved.  The war was going to be dialed up, with the possibility that this escalation might bring a response from other groups.  We shall see.

But it is a different message with a different tone.  We will let the weight of our forces do the talking.

The only downside to this is that the responsibilities of state will likely keep Asher from being able to lead Reavers ops.  But I can say that the leader of the Imperium knows who I am.  And if you tackle my jump freighter, you can be sure I’ll mention that I know Asher Elias.

We don’t know how long he will remain in charge, though he did say in an interview on Theta Thursday that he wasn’t going to stick around for a dozen year like The Mittani did.


Text of Asher’s speech after the cut:

Continue reading

Saturday Night Action in Delve

It has been a while since I have been in a fight in the was that was worth a post, but last night we had quite the time.  It was time to get Munnins out to shoot things.

Muninns out for a shoot

It started with an innocuous ping from Asher calling for a Muninn fleet.  It was only about 10:30pm local time for me, not too late to join in on something on a Saturday night.

Asher calls

There were about 100 people in fleet when I joined, which swelled up past 150 before we undocked.

When we did undock, we warped over to a titan that bridged us into NOL-M9 in Delve, a system with some history, both old and recent.  In fact, it had been the focus of a clash earlier in the day when PAPI forces tried and failed to kill an Imperium Astrahus in the system.  That structure, now safe, was where we landed.  Once assembled, we moved over to a PAPI Fortizar which we started shooting.  The plan was to try and reinforce and to see if we could draw a response.

Asher kept us appraised of PAPI’s ping status, the joke now being that they have to ping multiple times to get enough pilots into a fleet in order to come fight us.  On our side pings went out with links to The Count from Sesame Street to indicate how many pings they needed.

Six! Six fleet pings! Ah ah ah ah!

Eventually that number would far exceed how high The Count usually takes his numbers on the show.

They put a Falcon on the Fortizar, on tether but as far from us as they could, which seemed to indicate that they would be bridging in an opposing fleet soon.  As the likelihood of its arrival grew, Asher had us split out one gun from out stack to keep on the Fortizar while the rest would be for the battle.

A Ferox fleet joined us, along with some bombers, and PAPI eventually dropped Muninns of their own along with carriers and fax support.  It became a fairly even exchange between the Muninn fleets, but we still managed to set the armor timer for the Fortizar.

Muninns and Carriers around the Fort

And then, with the timer set and no need to split guns any further, Asher noticed that one of the faxes was off tether.  So we loaded up short range, high damage ammo and he brought us in very close, inside the PDS range of the structure, where we took a shot and one of the faxes… and managed a kill.

A fax kill

Then we managed to grab another.  Then another.  And finally a fourth.  Four faxes down.

Four Faxes Destroyed

That turned what was already a bit of smug… we managed to ref one of their structures while in combat when they had capitals on the field… into a very smug moment for us.  Asher warped us off the Fortizar and back to our Astrahus, the job done.

The battle report fell in our favor, helped along by those four faxes.  We got the objective and won the ISK war.

Battle Report Header from NOL-M9

Asher pointed us back towards home in 1DQ1-A and the Muninns and Feroxes started gating back.  But before we got too far, Asher asked us to respond in fleet whether we would like to just go home and stand down or if we wanted to try and reinforce another structure on the way.  We voted to reinforce.

Mind1, who was doing the Saturday night show, got in our fleet and joined in the fun, streaming our progress and laying down a motivational beat.  Did you know that the Imperium has its own official DJ?  It is a glorious thing.  You should check out his stream.

So we stopped one system short of home, in T5ZI-S, the home staging system in Delve for the PAPI coalition, the place where all of their members are supposed to be and where all their ships and supplies are stored.  We were going to hang out in the lion’s den and shoot a structure.  We would see how awake the lion really was.

Not very.

After a while shooting the Fortizar without a response, Asher moved the Muninn fleet over to their main Sotiyo engineering complex, pretentiously named “Forge of Heroes,” in order to see if that would provoke PAPI to action.

Shooting the Sotiyo

You can see in that screen shot, below the Sotiyo, their Keepstar in the system.  That is their main base.  We were that close to the heart of enemy and for a long stretch the only opposition we faced was the gunner in the structure shooting bombs at us.

I have trouble visualizing something like this happening one gate over in 1DQ1-A, our home, where the presence of bads tends to draw an eager response from people looking for combat.

The first response from PAPI was to get out carriers and HAW dreads to make sure we didn’t take out any of their cyno jammers.  Fighters were sent to cover those as that is all that stands between them and the looming menace of our titans and supers.  Progodlegend, the leader with Vily or TEST, got out on the Sotiyo to assess the situation, but didn’t do much otherwise.

The Fortizar was reffed by the Feroxes, who then came over to join us on the Sotiyo.  The hostiles eventually joined us as well.  Asher had us strip a single gun out of our stack yet again to keep on the Sotiyo and then we started going after the hostiles.   They brought a Ferox fleet of their own and it was on.

Time dilation hit 10% at points and there were nearly 1,200 people in the system, but the biggest frustration was that my guns would cycle fast enough so I ended up only getting on every second or third kill mail, the hostile Feroxes were blowing up so fast.

We stayed in range of the Sotiyo and kept one gun on it while blapping hostiles as quickly as our guns would cycle.  The Muninns went relatively unscathed as the hostiles were more focused on support ships and the easier to kill Feroxes.

Combat on the Sotiyo

The Sotiyo was reffed, the armor timer set, after which we saw ourselves out, warping to the gate to 1DQ1-A and jumping through.

Through the gate to home in 1DQ

The battle report was more even this time.  In the scale of the war, these losses were pretty minor.

T5ZI-S battle Report Header

Strategically this did not change anything about the war.  It was a Saturday night lark and the enemy is likely to get their act together and form up to defend the armor timers of the structures we reinforced.  There is little danger of any of them being blown up.

When it comes to demonstrating morale and responses however, this was another stark illustration as to how low things seem to have sunk for PAPI.  We did something on a whim in their main staging system that they haven’t been able to manage in our home next door in all the months since they set down that Keepstar in T5ZI back in November.

Even the Reddit thread about the whole thing was mild.

PAPI, as a coalition, theoretically out numbers us by a ratio of three to one.  But even in their home they could barely get together equal numbers after sending out nearly 50 pings to get people into fleets.  (The Imperium ping count for the same time was 23, at least half of which were images of The Count or The Mittani smugging and sending out battle reports.)

I am reminded of the tale of why the cheetah doesn’t catch the gazelle nearly as often as you might suspect.  The cheetah is just running for his lunch, the gazelle is running for its life.

The Imperium remains motivated despite the odds because we’re fighting for our survival.  I am not sure what PAPI is really fighting for at this point, but if it is for their lunch then they don’t seem to be very hungry.

The Imperium Retakes the NJU-QV Constellation in Delve

The likelihood of a another fight soon over the Keepstar in M2-XFE diminished greatly last night when the Imperium flipped the ihubs in the entire NJU-QV constellation which includes that system.  Shortly after the second fight that saw PAPI forces face a lopsided loss when the server was unable to handle their forces attempting to jump in after the Imperium had setup more than 4,000 ships on Keepstar to defend it, Imperium pilots went out and reinforced the ihubs in the constellation.  The timers came up last night.

The Delve NJU-QV constellation in green

The Imperium, motivated by PAPI’s misfortune, formed up four fleets and a large number of entosis ships to contest the timers.  PAPI was reported to have assembled a force capable of contesting the timers, but stood down rather than do so.  As the evening progressed, one ihub after another fell until the constellation was back in Imperium hands.

The Delve NJU-QV constellation restored to Imperium control

Much was made of the taking of the NJU-QV constellation previously, as it cut the Imperium off from the Fountain region and was to serve as the springboard of PandaFam’s re-invasion of that region.  The latter petered out, but there were still multiple Imperium Keepstars in the constellation that faced the threat of destruction once PAPI waited out the 35 timer and was able to deploy cyno jammers to keep the Imperium from jumping in when the Keepstars were contested.  However, that went astray when a newbie Imperium pilot reportedly kept shooting the cyno jammer.  Per Asher Elias:

You may not know this but the M2 ihub jammer was stopped by a couple month old :shobon: newbee shooting the jammer to pause it. This new player is directly responsible for nearly 300 dead enemy titans. Every ship counts.

That led to a bit of classic Goonswarm propaganda being updated yet again.

Every Ship Counts

That opened a hole that allowed the Imperium to kill their cyno jammers and deploy three of their own.  While the Imperium could not jam the system, the cyno jammer mechanic only allows three to be deployed in a single system, so we had a flash of the old “defensive SBU” tactic of the Dominion sovereignty days, which helped the Imperium to get setup on the Keepstar for the second fight.

Meanwhile, the Keepstar grid in M2-XFE remains bubbled and camped by Imperium forces eager to get in on another super or titan kill.  I lucked in on an Avatar kill when a FinFleet pilot decided to risk it and log in.  Chance was not with them.

The Keepstar camp gets another kill

Despite a persistent PAPI claim that all the supers and titans from the second fight either died or where ghost kills and restored to the T5ZI-S Keepstar, bubbles and dictors have been deployed above the Keepstar as well as below it.  And the upper bubbles have yielded some kills.  I watched a Nyx that managed to log out during the second fight get warped right back to its logout spot in the midst of all those bubbles, where it too was blown up.

The Nyx in its final moments

Some half-hearted attempts have been made to try and free the trapped capital ships left behind after both fights, but the promise of more kills has kept the camp strong so far and any form up by the hostiles has been met by a counter-form by the Imperium.

For the moment the Imperium has been able to check PAPI’s momentum in Delve.  But that does not preclude them being able to get their act together again and continue their onslaught.  The war isn’t over yet.

26 Weeks of World War Bee

Here we are on the first Monday of the new year.  A lot of us are back at work.

And the war?

The war is now at about the six month mark.  That is a long time for continuous operations.  The great war lasted for three years, but was a series of intense periods of fighting broken up by quiet periods where both sides rebuilt.  We’re still fighting and have reached levels of destruction never before seen in New Eden.

I was worried that the week between Christmas and New Years would be quiet, so had a couple of small items to hand to fill out this opening section of the weekly post, like the fact that Asher Elias, 23rd best FC in the Imperium, is now at the top of the kill mail list for Goonswarm Federation Alliance.

Asher in first position

He passed Bratok Srayona, a pilot nobody could really recall, and who was active between February 2012 and August 2017.  They apparently went on a lot of fleets and got on a lot of kill mails.  He was the epic line member of the alliance in his time.   I must have flown with him, looking at some of his kills, but never knew him.

Then there was the fact that the Imperium began issuing war bonds to support the fight.  This has been viewed by PAPI as a sign of weakness, a last desperate attempt to stay in the fight, a sign that we were on the brink.  But it raised more than a trillion ISK in the first hours of issue, so it will sustain us for a bit.  One billion ISK will buy you one bond with a return rate of 10% per year, with payments due on the first of the month.  That one bond will earn you about 8.33 million ISK every time the first rolls around. [edit: changed from 8.4 to 8.33 million ISK]

But all of that was eclipsed by the battles over the Keepstar in M2-XFE where, during the armor and hull timer fights, the two sides may have destroyed more than 300 titans. (~250 for the first fight and maybe as few as 50 or as many as 170 for the second.)  CCP is going to have to do a dev blog to give us an official count because, unlike the presidential election, there are actually some irregularities in play here.

No matter what though, trillions of ISK went up in flames as the Imperium and PAPI clashed in the battles that so many were hoping for.  It was an epic week in New Eden.  The Monthly Economic Reports for December and January are going to be interesting.

There was also a monthly loss report put together for December.

Most expensive losses

This includes the titans from the first M2-XFE fight, but not the second.  The balance of loss remains fairly close, with the Imperium losing 16.5 trillion ISK to PAPI’s 15.9 trillion.  For January though, PAPI might already be close to 10 trillion ISK in the hole.  And there are, as of this writing, still a significant number of PAPI capital ships logged off on the Keepstar grid in M2-XFE that are being camped around the clock by Imperium forces, so there may be some more losses when PAPI makes a serious break out attempt.

Delve Front

Titans exploded in huge numbers in M2-XFE, a system previously of no particular consequence that has now entered the realm of legends.  There are a number of articles specifically about that event and, rather than retelling the tale here, I will link to them specifically at the end of this post.

With much of the week spent focused on the Keepstar in M2-XFE, the map did not change dramatically.

Delve – Jan. 3, 2021

A few ihubs changed hands, the most important likely being the one in PUIG-F, where an Imperium Keepstar is anchored.  Taking that ihub back reset the 35 day clock on PAPI being able to install cyno jammers and reduce the structure without the Imperium being able to drop supers and titans to defend it.

And then there is the metaliminal storm, which has wandered into the Helms Deep defended systems.  This is actually a bonus for the Imperium as the storm disables the ability to cloak, so there won’t be any sneaking up on an anomaly to light a covert ops cyno for a hot drop.

Catch Front

At the beginning of last week I was pretty sure this was where the action would be.  The Initiative and Reavers and other Imperium groups were out and setting fire to the place.  The Watchmen Alliance was falling apart and its sovereignty was collapsing.  We were reinforcing the ihub in Brave’s capital system and getting fights over it.  Good times were being had.

Catch – Jan. 3, 2021

Even the two metaliminal storms seemed to be on the move in the region… and an incursion popped up in The Watchmen space, like they needed something else on their plate.  And then on Wednesday all eyes turned to Delve and M2-XFE and operations went mostly quiet in the region.

One interesting item did come up later in the week.  With all the focus on M2-XFE, The Initiative put the TEST Keepstar in 0SHT-A into the hull timer.  We could have another Keepstar fight this week… just in Catch.  We’ll see if anybody shows up for it tomorrow.

Other Theaters

Querious remained a secondary point of conflict, as ihubs were reinforced and occasionally changed hands.

Querious – Jan. 3, 2021

The biggest win for the Imperium was the GOP-GE ihub, as that system hosts another Keepstar of ours.

Over in Esoteria the insurgent forces continue their work against TEST, expanding their reach a bit further while eyes were on the big titan fights.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan. 3, 2021

My Participation

I somehow managed to stumble into the right place at the right time all week.  I was in the fights in Catch early in the week and then managed to show up just at the right moment in M2-XFE for the first fight, witnessing the opening titan salvo as I tethered up at the Keepstar.

Titans open fire with Doomsdays

And then I was back again for the second fight, where we were able to pick off PAPI titans as they loaded into system, leading to a lopsided slaughter.

The PAPI titan blob with faxes being whittled down

So I had a few more “I was there,” or at least “I can say I was there,” experiences in New Eden.

I also lost a few more ships, including two more Ares interceptors moving around Delve and a Scimitar at one of the fights in GE-8JV, which brings my total war losses so far to:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 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

Other Items

CCP gave us the option to make My Year in EVE Online videos, which had the option to include the most valuable kill mail you were on.  And then, two days later, M2-XFE happened and a lot of us had an even more valuable kill mail for the year that wasn’t in the clip.  Oh well.

That battle though, it managed to pop up the peak concurrent user number for the week, getting it close to the 40K mark.  CCP Explorer put the count across the three key systems as well past 13K, giving Delve 37% of all pilots logged in at the peak.

If the servers could have handled it, we would have almost doubled the world record set at FWST-8.  However, the servers were not up to that task, not by a long shot.

Remember that when somebody says null sec is a tiny fraction of the game that nobody cares about.  The fight itself made for the third highest concurrent peak of the war, reversing the downward trend we had been seeing over the last few weeks.

  • 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)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)



Titan Massacre at M2-XFE

We had been warned to be on hand for possible fleets yesterday.  The armor timers for three Imperium Keepstars under PAPI cyno jammers were set to come out and we were going to try to make them pay for the effort this time around.

I was busy during much of the day, but I could see the pings coming up announcing fleets.  It looked like the enemy was going to try for the Keepstar in M2-XFE.  The other two Keepstars were ignored and repaired while both sides focused on the remaining one.

When I finally had a chance to log in I flew out in an ECM burst Malediction just to take a look.  Both sides were grouped up, two masses of titans and supers facing each other, the Imperium fleet on the Keepstar and the PAPI fleet below it, shooting the structure.  The timer had been paused at just about the 10 minute mark.

My arrival

As I was scooting around, tethering up, and looking for some way to be annoying, the Imperium titans, which had been tethered, opened up with a doomsday barrage on the PAPI fleet.

Titans open fire with Doomsdays

That was the point that the battle became real.  There were over 5,000 names in local, a number that grew past the 5,500 mark as the battle carried on.

Exchange of fire

At that point I flew my Malediction into the midst of the hostiles and set off the ECM burst.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to commit to the fight.  But then my wife and daughter went out together and I decided to join one of the subcap fleets.  I parked my interceptor in one of our structures, destroyed my pod to revive back in 1DQ1-A, where I grabbed a Rokh to join Mister Vee’s fleet.

While M2-XFE had cyno jammers setup by the hostiles, they were bringing them down now and then to jump in reinforcements, which allowed us to jump in our own reinforcements.  Since the system was running at 10% tidi, the five minute up/down cycle of the cyno jammer lasted almost an hour for those of us jumping in from normal speed space.

I got in and joined the fun, shooting fighters and subcaps of opportunity.  Tidi worked in my favor as my ECM burst hit a titan that was blown up after I returned in the Rokh, so the game counted me on the kill mail.  It shows my ship as a Rokh, but my weapon as an ECM burst.  I fulfilled my goal of getting on at least one titan kill. (I also got on the 10 billion ISK MTU kill mail.)

But then there was a call for boosters for the titan and super fleets.  Asher pinged out to Reavers to get some boosters, so I went to answer the call, which took me out of the fight for almost two hours.  I went to dock up and leave my ship so as to self-destruct again to get back to 1DQ again.  However, by that point the server was under a lot more pressure, and docking took a long time and left me with a black screen that took a long time to clear.  The client went unresponsive and I have to exit and try to log back in.  That took ages, but eventually I was back in and in my pod.  Then it was time to self destruct.  That took a while as well.

I may have pressed the button a few times

Eventually though I ended up back in 1DQ where I had a Damnation command ship ready to go.  The cyno jammers were down again, so I was able to take the slow bridge back to M2-XFE, where I got in one of the capital fleets and started boosting.

My Damnation in the orange of another explosion

With that setup, I felt ambitious and got out my main alt and flew him over in another interceptor.  As he flew over I contracted the Rokh to him, and he was able to dock up, collect the Rokh, board it, join Mister Vee’s fleet.  That took about an hour to accomplish, but I managed it, after which I set him up on my little second monitor in UI-only mode and shot targets of opportunity as I heard them called.   Along the way I tagged some hostile titans with him, and now he his on more titan kill mails than my main.

The command ship had a target painter, so I was able to get on a few kills with my main, but all the big toys were out of range of that.

The hostiles won the objective, reinforcing the armor timer and setting the structure up for the final timer.  That will come out in about two days.  But the fight kept on going.

The exchange of kills was fairly even, favoring PAPI by a few kills for much of the fight, but as the evening drew on past midnight Pacific time and towards downtime, which hits at 3am where I live, the exchange of titans began to favor the Imperium, though ships from both sides kept blowing up until the server shut down.

Ships still exploding around the Keepstar

The tally for this fight will be huge.  I am writing this as the battle is winding down, so the final numbers have not settled, but for titan kills I last saw 10 Leviathan, 18 Avatar, 87 Ragnorak, and 126 Erebus titans destroyed.  That is almost 250 titans down and there will no doubt be more on the list once things settle down.

But this battle far exceeded B-R5RB back in 2014, the previous high water mark for the Tranquility server, when 75 titans were destroyed.  This fight went well beyond that, though the destruction was much less lopsided than the earlier battle.

Expect follow up posts about this fight.  Not only were many titans destroyed, but the total cost of the fight will easily exceed 20 trillion ISK according to early battle reports. (Edit: Now that things have settled down, adding the report header.)

Battle Report Header – Updated as new kills have shown up

To put that in perspective, the total destruction in Delve in October, which saw five huge fights in NPC Delve, only amounted to about 11 trillion ISK according to the October MER.  (11 trillion ISK was also the amount of destruction wrought at B-R5RB, so this fight eclipsed that in ISK as well as losses.)

And there will be some clean up to do after downtime, as many people just went to bed after that and they will need to have their capitals, supers, and titans extracted.

Another historic day in New Eden.  We shall see what the post battle repercussions lead to.  This should certainly inflate the December MER.

Addendum:  Now that I have had a bit of sleep and zKillboard has caught up, the titan loss totals look like this:

Imperium Titan Losses:

  • Erebus – 66
  • Ragnarok – 42
  • Leviathan – 10
  • Avatar – 5
  • Vanquisher – 1

PAPI Titan Losses:

  • Erebus – 63
  • Ragnarok – 50
  • Avatar – 14
  • Leviathan – 1

Total Imperium: 124
Total PAPI: 129
Total Titans Destroyed: 252

[Edit: This is getting updated as kill mails show up. ]

[Edit: CCP now has official loss numbers, 257 titans total]

You can tell which titans are considered the least tanky.  Both sides shot the Erebus and Ragnaroks first.  The first titan to die belonged to the appropriately named Titanic Death, while the last was Sandrin Stone, who blew up just before downtime kicked everybody out.

To expand on titan numbers, the count of them on the battlefield was:


  • Avatar – 317
  • Erebus – 137
  • Ragnarok – 135
  • Leviathan – 82
  • Vanquisher – 2
  • Molok – 2

Total 675


  • Avatar – 248
  • Ragnarok – 193
  • Erebus – 111
  • Leviathan – 90
  • Molok – 2
  • Vanquisher – 1
  • Komodo – 1

Total 646

Combined Titan total: 1,321

That is a lot of very expensive ships thrown in on a Keepstar armor timer.

For the battle report, the difference in the ISK totals pretty much comes down to that Vanquisher faction titan loss on the Imperium side.  Otherwise it was a pretty even exchange on the titan front.  Now we will no doubt see both sides going on about how the other cannot afford to replace their losses.


24 Weeks of World War Bee

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.

Delve Front

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.

Battle Report Header

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.

Catch Front

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.

Other Theaters

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.

My Participation

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.

Murder report header

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

Other Items

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:

  1. Stop the bleeding
  2. Fix the stupid
  3. Excite and teach
  4. 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.


PAPI Headshot Falls Flat in 1DQ

When I use the term “headshot,” I am merely borrowing from PAPI’s own words.

Boom Headshot!

The invaders got together in EUTZ yesterday to make their first real push against the Imperium capital from their staging on gate over in T5ZI-S.

As soon as PAPI started to move, pings went out on the Imperium side and forces were formed to defend the system.  Multiple fleets went up and EU players, and those of us in the US working from home who could take a break.  I got into Mister Vee’s Rokh fleet and we undocked with Fax support to get into the fight.

Rokhs and Minokawas on the way

PAPI’s plan seemed to be a two pronged attack, with them targeting both the main cyno jammer in system as well as the ihub.  Killing the cyno jammer would allow them to drop their capital fleet on us while getting the ihub would break the Ansiblex jump bridge connection to Helms Deep and the safe hold of Delve that it defends.

We headed to the ihub, which is on grid with multiple structures, including a Keepstar and a faction Fortizar that sat within range of our guns.

On the ihub grid

As we arrived we could see that PAPI had multiple entosis ships at work on the ihub, but they still had a long ways to go.

51 minutes to go

That the system was under heavy time dilation due to there being nearly 3K people in system was not helping their progress.

We got set up on the Fortizar, spread out a bit, and started shooting targets as they were called.  Things moved slowly in tidi, and we had a couple of fleets on grid with the hostiles, so there was some overlap in targeting… and some targets melted pretty quickly.

And then they seemed to give up on the ihub.  We had blown up all of their entosis ships… those went so fast I couldn’t finish locking them before they were gone… and the ihub began counting back down in our direction.

Back towards CONDI

Interdictors were out to try and hold them down… most escaped but we got a few more… and then the ihub was quiet again.  We kept an eye on it lest they return.  But the fight was still going on over the cyno jammer and there was now more than 3,800 people in system.

The faction Fortizar and other structures on grid

The cyno jammer fight went our way as well and soon after that began to tip towards us the hostiles began to collect themselves up and headed for the gate back to T5Z.  We warped over there to join in on trying to pop ships as they tried to get out.

Rokh ball waiting for targets by the gate

We managed to pluck a few stragglers out of the mix, but most got out.  When the smoke cleared and zKillboard caught up, the battle report showed that the fight over the ihub and cyno jammer fell in our favor.

Battle Report Header

With the participant numbers about even, it was going to be a steep hill for PAPI to be successful in their headshot attempt.  And, because 1DQ has its ADM up at 5.7, that means it will take an attacker 57 minutes to successfully entosis the ihub on any attempt and that there is less than a three and a half hour window when they can make the attempt daily.

Still, I am sure they will be back.  The Imperium won, but we have to keep winning that fight until they give up.  And PAPI, they have to take down at least the cyno jammers so they can drop their capitals in to support any attack on our Keepstars.  We’ll be back for another round I am sure.

After the fight, when we were back on the Keepstar, Mister Vee regrouped us all to him and had us all set off our MJDs to see us burst out in a group.  He seemed to enjoy the Rokh doctrine.

MJDs warming up

I ended up in the model of the Keepstar, which again tells you how big the Keepstar model is.  I jumped 100km and was inside still.

Later on Asher took 200 of us into T5ZI-S to show PAPI how entosis is done.

On the T5Z ihub with eight hackers

Despite being outnumbered in the system, the PAPI response to us was desultory at best, with individual ships showing up to try and ECM Burst the entosis ships to break their lock and stop the hack.  Not only were they not successful, Asher declared that we should make one of their pods a pet and not kill it, but just keep it pointed so it could not warp away.  And such became the fate of Brothuhbob.

Brothuhbob trying to motor out of range

It would have been Vily, who came out in a Griffin and got popped, but somebody wanted his corpse so his pod didn’t last.

We kept Brothuhbob around for quite a while.  Somebody put combat drones on him at one point and several of us in the logi wing rushed out and repped him to keep him safe.  Eventually he decided his only way out was to self-destruct.  Reps can’t stop that.

We successfully reinforced the T5Z ihub, though their ADM was much lower and we didn’t have tidi slowing down the timer, and headed back to 1DQ.

Nineteen Weeks of World War Bee

Almost to 20 weeks and I haven’t given up on this weekly post yet.  We’ll see who lasts longer, me or Ban Syrin at INN. (Not that my posts are as detailed as theirs, but I do mark up a lot more maps.)

A bit of news hit late in the week when a disgruntled director in Requiem Eternal decided to defect to the Imperium.  They brought with them a reported a trillion ISK in assets, including a Moreau faction Fortizar and all the ISK the alliance had in its wallet, then disbanded the alliance as they left.

Rest in Peace for sure

That destroyed all their ihubs, dropped their sovereignty, and left almost two thousand pilots without an alliance.

Top of the charts

TEST had to get into its backfield yet again and cover the open sovereignty in the Impass region.  It will now be 35 days before any of those systems can host an Ansiblex jump gate.  The corporations in the alliance are all still safe and there appears to be a move to create a new alliance, Eternal Requiem, but this was another disruption.

On the press coverage front, CCP sat down with Game Rant to discuss the game and the war currently in progress.

Delve Front

Delve has become a back and forth slog over ihubs in a number of constellations.  The map as I write looks like this.

Delve – Nov. 15, 2020

However, if you compare it with my map from last week, you will see various systems in the highlighted constellations have changed hands since then.  In fact, the ihubs in those contested constellations change hands daily, so by the time this post goes live the ihub map of Delve will no doubt have changed yet again.

That has made fights sporadic as both sides seem okay with letting individual systems get flipped, knowing they can just come back tomorrow and flip them back.

That is the way it has been going and likely will continue going until one side gets tired and either gives up or decides on a different tactic.

Meanwhile, the gate camp in E3OI-U continues.  That system, and the systems behind it, have all had cyno jammers turned on in order to protect them.

Other Theaters

There was the potential for a big fight in Querious as the final timers hit for the Imperium Keepstar that was left behind in 49-U6U.  There were plans to defend the armor timer and pings went out to that effect, but the defense operations never came to pass.

The defense was based on a plan Asher Elias had formulated and, when yet another storm came ashore near his home a tree fell and knocked out his power just before the op.  Or so the story goes.

Since it was his plan, nobody else was ready to take up the reigns.  In the end, the Keepstar was destroyed, with the gunner taking out a couple of attacking capital ships, giving the invaders their seventh Keepstar kill of the war.

Otherwise Querious remained a low intensity war zone as both sides set about reinforcing and destroying each other’s ihubs, with many systems left without ihubs.

Querious – Nov. 15, 2020

The Imperium did manage to take back “fake” Querious, the set of systems assigned to the region but which are an enclave within Delve.

Then there is Esoteria, where The Bastion and Ferrata Victrix have been waging a guerilla war against TEST to distract them from their main effort in Delve.  After weeks of holding on to their foothold and Fortizar, they have started making more progress against TEST, adding four more ihubs to the list that they have taken.

Essoteria – Nov. 15, 2020

Adding to TEST’s problems on that front, The Initiative announced that they are deploying to Esoteria to join the campaign.  I may have to start using the whole map of Esoteria rather than just the northwest corner when the force there really gets to work.  I may have to give Esoteria its own section soon.

My Participation

I stood by on a couple of strategic ops, but the enemy declined to show up and we either saved the structure or took the ihub and were done without firing a shot.  As such, my loss tally remained unchanged.

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The past week saw some distractions in New Eden.

First, there was the November update aimed at further nerfing null sec, with the Dynamic Bounty system, aimed at making null sec empires spread out (again), and the mandatory Encounter Surveillance System changes, which encourage null sec empires to consolidate, all in the name of making us fight more in the middle of a war that has already set two Guinness World Records.

That got people out robbing banks as part of the new ESS system.  I saw more action doing that than I did in the actual war last week.

Hello ESS Bank!

And then there was the EVE-NT Alliance Open.  CCP is still unable to run the alliance tournament themselves, so have let EVE-NT run one again this year.  That kicked off on Saturday and pitted 32 teams in a double elimination tournament. Both Goonswarm and The Initiative lost their first round matches, making it unlikely that the two alliances will come to blows, something the invaders have been having wet dreams about since the fighting in Fountain started, even in the tournament.

Two losses

Goonswarm actually lost their second match as well, so are out of the tournament, while The Initiative carries on into next week.

While I’m not a huge fan of the tournament, I did watch a bit of it.  Probably the oddest thing I saw was the Rote Kapelle vs Dock Workers match where both teams fielded identical fleet compositions, consisting of 3 Barghests, 2 Caracals, 2 Scalpels, a Stormbringer, a Hyena, and a Stork.  I know the point system and the meta tend to push teams in similar directions at times, but I cannot recall seeing a mirror image fight when it came to hulls.  That Rote Kapelle won handily indicates that fittings, tactics, and pilot skill were the more important factors.

All of that seemed to add up to a weekly PCU that was fair to middling for these times, and this week fell on Saturday rather than Sunday:

  • 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)