Tag Archives: B-R5RB

B-R5RB and the Death of Drone Assist

Or how I will end up  pressing F1 again.

Drone assist is going to be brought down to size by CCP in a somewhat blunt force sort of way.

But this is a good thing… at least in my opinion.

I have mentioned drone assist in passing before.  I even predicted the nerfing of drone assist in my 2014 predictions post, though that was an easy one. (Though I am still only partially correct at this point.)  But I figured it might be time to talk about what drone assist really is and why nerfing it might be a good thing, as well as why CCP waited until now to announce they were going to do it.

Drone assist first showed up on my radar back in the Fountain war as part of TEST’s “we can’t seem to stop being poor, so no more expensive ships” Prophecy fleet doctrine.  They tried to use it at G95F-H and had little success.  But it was clearly a coming doctrine.

So what is drone assist?  For the purpose of illustration, I will describe what I have experienced.

After the war in Fountain, when drone assist was making its self felt, CFC high command declared that the feature was over-powered and that we would prove it by abusing the feature until CCP fixed it.  We docked up our Baltec Fleet Megathrons and bought new ships for two new drone doctrines, Prophecy fleet and Dominix fleet.

As far as I can tell, my investing in a Prophecy was a waste of ISK.  I have never undocked it. (Same with the promised “non-ironic” Ferox I bought.  I suspect now that the Ferox doctrine was just a troll to unload some excess hulls.)  But Dominix fleets became quite the thing and I flew with the great green space potatoes on several occasions, tearing up a hostile fleet now and again.

Domis in a green sky on the way to battle

Dominix fleet ahoy

Here is how a Dominix fleet operation plays out.

We moved to our destination.  The FC warps us around until he finds a good spot for us.  When he is satisfied, he calls for the fleet to stop in space and deploy the drone indicated.  For Dominix fleet, this means either Bouncer II or Garde II sentry drones.  Everybody then assigns their drones to the designated person, usually the FC.  And then we all sit around while the FC kills stuff, getting on kill mails via our assigned drones.

The fleet generally sits idle, though the doctrine has energy neutralizers fitted on each Domi, so sometimes we fly into range to use those.  That was what we were doing at B-R5RB.  (In fact, that was all we were doing in B-R5RB.  Drones were veboten.) But usually we just sit.

We just sit because sentry drones are special.  They are long range sniping drones with negligible mobility.  They have enough motion to get back to your ship, but only if you haven’t strayed very far.  So unless we want to abandon the drones… which we do when the situation calls for it… we just sit on them while the FC does his thing.  No pressing F1.  No aligning.  No nothing.

Garde drones... maybe firing, maybe asleep...

A Domi and a pair of Garde sentry drones

What the FC does is target hostiles.

Every time the FC targets a hostile, all of the sentry drones assigned to him align and shoot at the target in mass volleys of firepower.  In a Dominix fleet with 150 Domis along and on station, which is a good but not great fleet turn out, that means a potential 750 drones acting on the FC’s command and putting out something like 250K hit points worth of damage with each volley.

That is enough damage to sweep battleships and battlecruisers off the field with a single volley, and sufficient to worry any capital ship pilot that doesn’t have logistic repair support.

This is, of course, any fleet commander’s ideal situation.  It is what we always try to achieve in any fleet doctrine, the focus of fire by the whole fleet on a single target in order to blow it out of the sky.

But with guns or missiles, human factors make this concentration of fire difficult.  People have to be in position, have to lock up the designated target, and have to fire all of their guns or launchers at that target when the FC says to.  But people won’t see the target, or will be out of range, or will have the wrong ammo loaded, or will split their guns and shoot multiple targets, or will just be slow in performing even if they do everything correctly.

So damage output from a standard gun or missile doctrine ships tends to look like a bell curve, with more and more guns getting on target over time until the maximum amount of damage is being put on the hostile ship.  This gives the hostile fair warning.  He will see a bunch of ships in his overview locking him up.  He will see damage start to build.  If he is on the ball and has decent logistics support, he will have to time to call for reps and will have a decent change of survival.

With drone assist, damage comes on like a wall with all drones firing as one for all practical purposes and, with only one person targeting, any warning of the incoming pain likely lost in the clutter of the overview.

This advantage made drone assist fleets the way to go.  The CFC did it, and our enemies in the south, N3 and Pandemic Legion did it as well.

In fact, our foes were using the feature much more effectively than we were.  Their slow-cat carrier fleets, with a spider-web of self supporting armor reps and remote capacitor boosting, and a mass of drones on drone assist, were pretty much unassailable by sub-caps.  Some changes to Domi fleet went through to try and counter this, as well as a push towards dreadnoughts, but the only way to break the slow-cat doctrine was with super captials, super carriers and titans.  And our foes held the advantage on that front.

So CCP had a problem.

First there was the effect drone assist had on combat, with the perfect FC alpha attacks by obedient drones while most of the players sat about waiting for orders.

And then there was the load problem.

For purposes of combat, each drone is a ship, and the server running the system where the battle is running has to keep track of each and every one.  And with drone proliferation, server load went up.

Each little "X" is a drone...

Each little “X” is a drone…

And so we ended up with fights like the one at HED-GP or at E-YJ8G, where there were a lot of pilots involved and where the number of drones being launched just compounded the server load issues.  We fought the node and the node won.

E-YBadMessage

I am sure CCP wanted to do something about drone assist because of the server load issue alone.  They put up a Dev Blog about HED-GP and the load caused by drones. It was clearly an issue, and the predictions seemed to favor more node crashes as the war went on.

But, for in-game political reasons, CCP could not tinker with drone assist.  While both sides were using drone assist, it was clearly working better for N3 and Pandemic Legion.  So to nerf it in the middle of the Halloween War would mean nerfing the prime effective doctrine of one faction.  That in turn would lead to very shrill cries of favoritism in the forums and elsewhere.  So CCP had to sit on their hands and hope that the nodes would hold.

Then came the titan bloodbath at B-R5RB.  (Now in infographic form.)

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

In the wake of that, Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition pulled out of the war, pretty much deciding the outcome.  There were battles left to be fought, but the course of events had achieved an inevitability.  The colors on the influence map would move, systems would change hands, and the war would splutter to an end.  Side agreements kept some areas untouched while the heavy weights extracted concessions from the lesser alliances.

CCP could safely announce that drone assist was being nerfed.  After the next Rubicon patch, a single pilot will be limited to having 50 drones assigned to him.  That isn’t the most elegant of solutions, being rather a “one size fits all” sort of thing that impacts carriers, which can launch more drones, than sub-caps.  But it will complicate the use of drone assist in large fleets and remove the “all drones on target” aspect of the feature.  The hope appears to be that we will all go back to other fleet doctrines.  I still have a couple Megathrons tucked away.  And there is that Ferox.

I think they could seal the deal on drone assist by changing things so that only the pilot assigned the drones gets on the kill mail.  That would cause a good deal of internal pressure in various alliances for dropping the doctrine… or at least people would stop assigning all their drones, holding some back to get on kill mails.  We do love our kill mails.

This seems like it might be enough for now.  I still fully expect to see a further run at this, with perhaps new skills that handle both the ability to assign drones and how many drones an individual pilot can can control through assignment.  Maybe we’ll see that in the fall expansion.

Of course, the fact that the war was in its denouement did not stop shrill complaints about favoritism.  This is EVE Online, where the forums will get shrill about most any issue… or non-issue.  But the comments were probably less shrill than they might have been.

So it looks like the writing might be on the wall for drone assist.  Unless/until somebody figures out a loophole to exploit.  This is EVE Online after all.

In the mean time, we will all have to pay attention in fleets once the change is in place.  Even having to stay engaged enough to target the right hostile and press F1 will be a step in the right direction for me.

Echoes and Repercussions from the Battle at B-R5RB

So the big battle at B-R5RB is a week in the rear view mirror at this point I thought I would try to tie together a bunch of things that came from the event into one post, with a lot of links out to people who probably know what they are talking about… at least relative to me.

So, in no real order, what came to mind…

New Players

I always go on about how much these sorts of events mean to CCP, that the press coverage of such battles really do more for the game than almost anything else that goes on inside New Eden.  And this time around we have some real, tangible proof of what the impact can be.

Players were already noting a boost in new characters being created post-battle.  But this weekend even CCP had to make some adjustments because of the influx.

Tidi in the new player zone is a problem CCP probably likes to see.  Now, how many of those free trials will turn into actual subscriptions once they find out what EVE Online is really like… that is the question.  It can be quite a gap from seeing huge titans duking it out in an epic battle to flying your Ibis through the tutorial.  And even out in null sec, there can be long waits between such battles.

Any post that claims to share everything you need to know inevitably barely scratches the surface.

Will this new influx amount to anything?  Is this the next generation of capsuleers entering New Eden?  Or will the game continue to eat its young?  Will the harsh realities of the game be too much?  Maybe that new New Player FAQ will help.

What the Press Likes to Cover

Another aspect of this whole thing is what gets the press to cover a big spaceship battle like B-R5RB.

Money.

Every headline I have seen in the mainstream press about the battle emphasizes the cost in real world money, usually US dollars.  And while I find the connection to be specious… you can buy PLEX and convert that into the in-game currency, but that doesn’t mean you can pretend that every unit of ISK in the game was so purchased… big numbers do grab attention.  But those numbers seemed to grow and morph.  Nosy Gamer has a post up looking at various permutations of the AP wire story that went out about the battle which ended up in many a local paper, including my own.  You should take a look, as the dollar range of headlines varied from $200K to $500K for dubious reasons.  And that doesn’t even include the since revised International Business Times story that pegged the cost of the battle at three quarters of a million dollars. (They ran another story that brought that number down to half a million.)

The best, and possibly most out of control, spin on this whole thing has to be the Taiwanese Animators video recreation of the event which indicates that sovereignty dropped in B-R5RB because a player’s credit card was rejected.

Because that is the way EVE Online works.  You have to setup a credit card terminal in your bedroom if you want to hold null sec sovereignty.  Maybe the most hilarious distortion of the game ever.  But that is a nice Avatar model they threw together on fly!

Meanwhile, the gaming press seemed much more subdued on the subject.  A big fight in EVE is worth a post, but not something to get worked up about.  Heck Massively, which purports to cover MMOs in general, and EVE Online in particular, didn’t even bother putting up a post until days after the battle.

On The Bandwagon

I found this ad to be amusing.  My browser is stuffed with cookies that flag me to get every EVE Online related banner ad at whatever site I visit, which is odd when you think about it.  Well, it is odd when you realized that it means that I end up getting ads for EVE Online just about everywhere.  Since I already play, that is unlikely to be worth anything to CCP.  But every once in a while somebody decides they want in on the EVE Online demographic.  Usually it is Wargaming.net, makers of World of Tanks.

And with all this talk about money in the press, another company saw an opportunity.

EntropiaUniverseAd_450

Entropia Universe would like you to come play their real money space game.

I know next to nothing about Entropia Universe outside of what Gary and Ryan mentioned about it on the Massively Online Gamer podcast when they tried it out several years back, but it does not exactly sound like the sort of game that would attract people who played EVE Online long enough to grow sick of it. (To me that means people who actually played for a while, not those who ended up hating right away.)

Oh, and the Entropia Universe people were involved in the Planet Michael idea.  I remember that as well.

Entropia Universe seems more akin to Second Life in purpose, though I am sure that fans of either would resent the comparison.  The focus is more on virtual world aspects with the ability to cash out real world money.  So you can see the correlation with current events at least.  All that talk of EVE Online in the press with real world dollar figures being tossed about is the obvious link.  I wonder how it will work out for them.

Now if Chris Roberts starts running “Sick of EVE Online?” ads, well, watch out.

The War

And what is going on with the war that spawned this battle?  Pandemic Legion is out of the war for now.  Nulli Secunda is pulling back to Detorid.  Insidious Empire is done with their side-show.  (Oh, and now NCDOT is out.) That isn’t the whole of the force opposing the Russians and the CFC, but they make up a big enough faction as to put the brakes on offensive operations by the N3 coalition for now.  There will be consolidation of sovereignty by the Russians as they expand into the region and N3 can make that annoying without much risk.

And then what?  Will the Russians be satisfied with another region of sovereignty, or will they want to drive into Insmother and the heart of the once mighty Russian drone region empire with its capital at the emotionally significant system, C-J6MT?  Red Alliance lost that to SOLAR Fleet almost two years back in another of those giant null sec battles.  It traded hands again before becoming a part of the current NCDOT renter holdings.

So there is potentially more drama left to come.

The Future of Null Sec Battles

Now that we have had the biggest super capital battle ever, what happens next?

Jester, ever fond of absolutes and military analogies, likens B-R5RB to the battle of the Philippine Sea, the largest naval carrier battle ever seen.  He draws the parallel between US dominance in aircraft carriers after that and CFC dominance in titans.  No more big super capital battles ever is Jester’s pronouncement.  This was the last war in null sec.  The CFC… which is to say the Goons… own it now.  We’re done there, pack it up and lets move on to more interesting things.

I have to wonder if there isn’t a bit of wishful thinking in his estimation.  EVE Online is a complex game and there are many things players can get immersed in.  But null sec politics commands the lion’s share of the attention outside of the game, which has built up no small amount of resentment.  I am sure there would be a lot of people happy to see null sec become a literal big blue doughnut, and thus garnering no further external attention, while at the same time decrying the lack of conflict in null sec.  We see something like that every time there is a lull in null.

And Jester’s analogy, like all analogies, falls apart when examined too closely.  To start with, there is a matter of details.

PL alone is clearly better off than the Imperial Japanese Navy was back in 1944.

It isn’t clear at all that the CFC has, or will ever have, the sort of dominance that the United States enjoys in aircraft carriers.  N3 has yet to be crushed and Pandemic Legion is off rebuilding a new force.  And then there are the lessons of the cold war and how a continental power like the Soviet Union planned to deal with the aircraft carriers of the United States, which has traditionally been a maritime power.

The Soviet response was a mass of smaller weapons, especially cruise missiles, to take out the very expensive and limited US carriers.  Soviet naval design favored ships that bristled with weapons that frequently had no reloads.  The idea was to get into range, fire the lot, and prepare to die, tactics that sound vaguely like those that the CFC used when they were entering null sec back in the day.  Doctrines change to suit the forces you have and what your foes are using… and what CCP has recently nerfed. (Woe is the poor Drake.)

So Jester could be correct in the long term, but at this juncture he is just guessing… or projecting wishes… or something.

My own theory is closer to my “joking, but not as much as you might guess” post comparing the three great null sec blocs to the state of the world in Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four, where conflict is eternal and each side knows that its own internal structure depends on perpetual war with the others.

Eternal War

Eternal War

Borders might be pushed this way and that.  Wars might erupt over resources, as happened in the Fountain War last year.  But each of the three blocs knows that to win outright contains the seeds of self-destruction.  In that world, the CFC will not press its victory and will allow the foes to rebuild so they remain a threat against which to rail.  Not only have we always been at war with Eastasia, we must always be at war with Eastasia… or we might just stop logging in.

Then there is the CCP factor.  As noted earlier in this post, the publicity from such battles is a clear win for the game and the company.  The mere idea that there might be no more such great battles must surely horrify everybody in Iceland from Hilmar on down.  So you can bet that they will turn knobs, twist dials, and otherwise try to shake things up as best they can should null sec settle into a peaceful renter economy, plagued only by occasional raids by the barbarians from empire space.

Who knows, maybe that whole countdown to Wednesday thing has some relation to all of this?

Or, you can take even that a step further, strap on the tinfoil hat, and run with the CCP interference idea as Abbath Egdald has in his great conspiracy post about the battle at B-R5RB.  Maybe CCP won’t need to change anything because they are already directing the battle anyway!

Plenty of food for thought on this.

Titanomachy

Finally, there is the monument to the most expensive battle in EVE Online history (so far), the Titanomachy.  Named for the 10 year struggle in Greek mythology, it sits out at the site of the battle now.

TitanomachyAlert

Stuck out in null sec, in B-R5RB, far from any sort of “safe” space in New Eden, and in a dead end system way off the main travel routes, it might not get as many visitors as it deserves.  But should you be able to get out there, it is something your should pull off the road to see.  Over at EVE Travel there is a nice guide to the site that you should take a minute to read.

Since I ended up marooned in the system after the battle, I was able to hang around for a few days until the memorial was put in place.  The plaque includes a listing of all 74 pilots who lost titans in the battle.

Start of the list...

Start of the list…

I also have some screen shots from the memorial after the cut, plus a whole pile of additional screen shots from the battle at B-R5RB over on my other blog.

Continue reading

B-R5RB by the Numbers – CCP Dev Blog Details the Fight

The big fight on Monday is over, but the analysis continues.  CCP, ever the heroes when it comes to providing details about EVE Online, has weighed in with a Dev Blog Post about the Bloodbath at B-R5RB.

You should read it.  It has charts, graphs, a narrative, talk about technical impacts and time dilation, and all sorts of fun stuff about the battle.  This is why we love CCP.

An Avatar doomsday strikes home

An Avatar doomsday strikes home

As a tease, and so I have the numbers to hand going forward, here are some of the details:

  • Around 21 hours of total fighting
  • 7,548 unique characters belonging to those two coalitions participated in the overall battle (i.e. landed on at least one killmail).  6,058 participated directly in the B-R5RB system with 2,670 in system at max
  • This wasn’t the largest single battle in terms of numbers of participants in system at once. That record still belongs to the battle for 6VDT-H, which reached 4,070 pilots in system.
  • 717 unique player Corporations
  • 55 unique player Alliances
  • Titans losses – 75 (74 in system, one on its way to the fight) N3/PL lost 59 titans and CFC/DTF lost 16 titans
  • Titan losses by type: Gallente Erebus – 37, Amarr Avatar – 25, Minmatar Ragnarok – 13, Caldari Leviathan – 0
  • Supercarrier Losses – 13 (12 in system, one as it tried to escape the system)
  • Dreadnought Losses– 370 (356 in system, 14 in connected skirmishes as both sides attempted to stop the other from bringing reinforcements)
  • Carrier Losses – 123 (109 in system, 14 in connected skirmishes as both sides attempted to stop the other from bringing reinforcements)
  • Approximately 775 doomsdays were fired, which is about 24% of all the doomsdays fired in the last two years inclusive. The Battle for HED-GP, which preceded this one in the Halloween War, had about 200 doomsdays.
  • Estimated economic impact: 11 TRILLION ISK.

That is just scratching the surface of what CCP has posted.  Meanwhile, a few other numbers have bubbled up.

So they still have a lot of capital ships to spend in the war… unless, of course, a lot of them in the station at B-R5RB, the loss of which is what set off the battle.

Something missing from all of this that I would love to read: The diplomatic conversation between Nulli Secunda, which dropped the ball on the sov bill and set off the fight, and PL/NC, who were the hardest hit by the fight, at least when ISK is used as a measurement.

Addendum: The Mittani has a good companion post up about the battle that goes into ship costs and sovereignty and other details with an aim to making them understandable.

Eastasia Routed at B-R5RB! 70+ Titans Down!

(Today’s title is a reference to a post about null sec I wrote last week, in case you’re going, ‘Huh?”)

What to say about the fight at B-R5RB?

It was a battle to eclipse Asakai, the capital ship engagement that took place exactly one year before.

It was one of those events that demonstrates the scale of the possible in EVE Online in terms of players involved and resources consumed as well as the time frames required.

The first notification that a fight might be going down was broadcast about 8am PST yesterday when it was reported over at The Mittani that sovereignty dropped on the system B-R5RB after down time.  Nulli Secunda forgot to pay their recurring sovereignty bill (you get a reminder and it pretty much adds up to pressing a button) and so they lost the system.

They set about restoring their sovereignty while Russian and CFC units started poking around to investigate what was going on in what Pandemic Legion and other N3 forces had been using as a staging system for operations in the war in the south east.

If what I heard on coms last night was correct, Lazrus Telraven took the command decision for the CFC to go “all in” on contesting the system.  The fight was on.

I’m going all in.  Get here.

-Lazrus Telraven, convo with Mister Vee

I was at work, done with my morning tea and busy poking away at test application.  These things always seem to start on Euro time while I am at the office.

I checked Twitter throughout the day as EVE-Kill, which tweets every expensive ship loss, and ever super capital makes that grade, called out the losses one by one.  If you want to know when something big is going down in New Eden, that is a Twitter account to follow.

Titan kills kept getting reported all day long as capital fleets piled into the system.  Several live streams were up.  When I finally got home, I checked into the Pandemic Legion stream to see what they were saying.

Pandemic Legion Live from B-R

Pandemic Legion Live from B-R

They were reporting 20 Russian/CFC titans down for 38 N3 titan losses with less than 2,000 people in system.  There was a call for a Dominix fleet about then, so I logged in and joined up.  However, we were left hanging in a POS for quite a while before being dismissed.  There was nobody available to bridge us anywhere, all the titans online were engaged in the fight.  I logged back off and went and had dinner with the family, then watched the Sherlock that got recorded Sunday night.  The wedding episode.  Fun stuff.

After that and a bit of cleaning up I headed back to my computer.  By this point the Pandemic Legion stream had stopped counting losses.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

When I shoved off earlier it sounded like the fight might be winding down.  There was loose talk about extracting our forces, some of whom had been on for nearly 12 hours at that point.  There was also a call for reinforcements for the Dominix fleet I had left earlier.  A titan had been found to move us around and the fleet had been sent out eventually.  I got back into my Domi and out with some other reinforcements (eluding the Dirt Nap Squad camp in our own staging system) only to be sent off to a system a few jumps from the main fight in order to shoot structures.

Joy.  A structure shoot during the biggest event in a long time.

We were there to try and draw off some of the capital ships that were assisting N3 in the big fight.  This had apparently worked a couple of times previously.  Carriers had been dropped on Domis, or so I was told.   But by the time I was out with the fleet N3 had lost interest in what we were doing.  Eventually Reagalan, our FC, decided that the venture was fruitless and arranged a bridge back to G-0 for us.  The fleet was standing down.

But that was only for a short break.  A new fleet went up on Lyris.  The Mittani himself got on coms to tell us we would be bridging into the fight in B-R5RB.  We were to refit out Domis to have four energy neutralizers in our high slots and get on the titan.  Our job was to drain the capacitors of hostile titans so that their repair modules would cease to function, making them easier to kill.  We were not to launch drones.  Nobody wanted to crash the system at this point… nobody on our side anyway… while there were still at least a dozen titans on the field to kill.

After a short wait, the bridge went up.

And then there was a much longer wait in the warp tunnel to B-R5RB.

Reports were that the system was responding much better than it had been earlier in the day.  Modules were responding to commands within a few seconds and things were generally working.  But time dilation was still at 10% and updates in the UI were sketchy at best.  So riding the bridge into system took quite a while.  I spent 15 minutes in limbo, from the point I selected the “jump through” option to when I was actually up and systems systems functioning in B-R5RB.  Somewhere along the way the system lost track of me and warped me off to a safe spot, so that when I finally loaded I had to endure what I would call a Zeno’s Paradox warp, where the distance to the final destination kept dropping in half, but never seemed to want to finish.  I think I was down to 122 meters until warp bubble collapse before the system finally decided I was there.

And then I was on grid amongst the battle of titans.  The field was a mass of warp disruption bubbles and giant ships.  There were titans strewn about, as the N3 ships were trying to move out of the bubbles to escape.  But each was pinned down.  Meanwhile, hundreds of super carriers, carriers, and dreadnoughts hung about the field, secondary targets when compared to the big fish.  My screen shots are in a gallery after the cut at the end of this post, but they do not do the fight justice.  It was like no other fight I have been in.

But it was time to get to business.  We moved to the first titan on our list, bushy2, and began to neut him down.  Things went slowly.  We drained him and then watched the capital ships burn him down.  We moved on to Chris baileyy.  My capacitor and velocity read-outs in the UI stopped functioning.  We applied neuts as the next target was called, Mandrake Seriya.  Then it was Ryan Coolness, then Needa3, and then Maggy Lycander.  Doomsdays flared from our titans, burning down the drained targets as dreadnoughts and super carriers kept up a constant stream of fire.

In all, from the time I dropped into system to the point of the 6th kill more than two and a half hours had gone by.  It was now midnight my time and 16 hours had passed since the fight started to develop.  It was well past my weeknight bed time.  But what to do?  There was no way I was getting back to G-0 at that point, and I wasn’t keen to stay up until at least downtime, three hours hence.  So I just left myself logged in and following the fleet, turned off the monitor and hit the sack.  What the hell, I got on some titan kills.

When I checked in the morning, I had been logged out for downtime, but there was no kill mail for me, so I appeared to have survived.  My Domi is sitting in B-R5RB waiting for me to log in again.  But there are lots of ships in that state.  Our forces managed to kill the final N3 titan about 90 minutes after I went to bed and then started in on the super carriers until downtime.  And, in looking at the coalition broadcasts, there will be camping and mop-up operations going on for some time to try and catch N3 capital ships as they log back in to try and escape.

You can see the ebb and flow of the fight in the report from DOTLAN.

DOTLAN kills for the last 24 hours

DOTLAN kills for the key 20 hours

There was the initial rush, the mid-period when the system was at its slowest, then as things started to thin and the Russian/CFC forces started to get the upper hand, the kills increased until downtime, which is the red bar.  And then kills resumed.

Or kills tried to resume.  Today is also the Rubicon 1.1 patch, which appears to have broken any number of things.  There are reports of friendly stations shooting people and CONCORD issues and all sorts of fun things… because CCP.  We shall see which side all of that favors, if any.

And what does all this mean?   This wasn’t the biggest fight in terms of people involved or total ships killed, I think 6VDT-H still wins there, but it surely must be the most expensive fight in the history of the game.  CCP put up a coy tweet about the total titan losses.

That is 75 titans down in one day, each one of which cost at least 100 billion ISK.  Some of them were more than double that, when fit with officer modules.  I think, over the last seven years, I might have had a total of maybe 10-12 billion ISK all combined, so for me that is a staggering amount of destruction.  Call it at least a 7.5 trillion ISK day as an opening estimate.  I am sure CCP will roll out the stats as soon as they can.  In the mean time, they are in there with an offer to help rebuild!  Expect prices in Jita to go up on speculation alone.

As CCP_Fozzie asked, "Too soon?"

As CCP_Fozzie asked, “Too soon?”

And now the post-battle has begun, as people try to figure out what really happened in that 20 hour stretch in New Eden.  There will be lots of reports in the gaming press and even the mainstream press I am sure.  There will be a crazy, nothing to do with reality, dollar amount attached to the losses in this battle.  Some links so far:

Massively remains oddly absent from the list of sites covering this.  If I got all my news from them, I’d think it was just another ho-hum week in space.  Even my local paper is ahead of them.

As for what it means to the three big null sec coalitions… I don’t know.  I imagine that NC and Pandemic Legion have enough reserves that this won’t hurt them too badly in the long term.  They will rebuild.  In the shorter term, their ability to project power and drop supers onto fights has been diminished.  We will see how that plays out.

And for me, well, I am on six titan kill mails and I saw another giant battle.  Good enough for me!

Screen shot gallery after the cut.

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