Tag Archives: Brave Collective

45 Weeks of World War Bee

Welcome to my week 45 summary.

Look, it was this or a wild west revolver

In just a few more weeks I will be able to add the inevitable “One Year Ago in WWB” section to these weekly posts.  Let’s just all hope I never need to fall back on an Olde English 800 image for the opening section.  Even 800 days might be too much.

The stalemate in Delve, the so-called the “Siege of 1DQ,” appears no closer to reaching and end.

The grind of war appears to be wearing on some of the attackers.  Kel Drosto, one of Brave’s FCs, sent this out to the alliance:

The other thing for us winning this war…

Our current clone deployments should be as follows:
Deathclones: T5ZI (Delve)
Jump Clones: P-ZMZV (Querious) GE-8JV (Catch)

You might think to yourselves “But Kel, Why? Im so bored of tidi slugfests”

Yes. So am I. I am bored stiffless of this war and want it to be over.

However. I have noticed a huge trend in our participation in main coalition fleets. I just led a fleet out of T5ZI… 160 in fleet. Guess who had the most? Test with 100+. Guess how many I had from Brave? 28. 28 people from Brave actually turned up to that fleet.

Now. Say we do indeed lose this war…. Who do you guys think, honestly, has the most to lose? Do you think it’s Frat? Do you think its Horde? Absolutely not. It is us.

If we, and those of you reading this, want to maintain the cushty little nullsec homes we have then it is ESSENTIAL to go on the main Delve fleets. Because, Horde, NC, Frat, they all have homes very far away from here to return to. We dont. This war, we are ALL IN.

We lose this war. Test is first, then the rest of Legacy is next. And you thought Catch was bad. Delve/Querious would be hella worse.

So. Yes, it is a slim chance that we lose this war, but it is still a chance.

You want to maintain where we live? You wanna keep having those fun standing fleet fights with kitey nano bulshit gangs? Then get into Delve. Get into this war.

You guys have all done so well so far. The resilience and perseverance demonstrated by you guys, everyone in this community is some of the best I have ever witnessed in my entire life. Thats not an exageration. This war is tiring. It’s dull. But there is an end. We just have to keep fighting it. The only people prolonging this war right now, is us, ourselves.

So, my challenge to you guys. I want to see a full fleet of Brave. 256 Brave people in a fleet in Delve. We’ve done it before and very recently. I have witness a full fleet of literally 99% Brave. Lets do that again. Lets smash goons into the ground and so we can get back to our Null Carebear Lifestyles.

Peace out

Brave, with close to 14K member currently, is the fifth largest alliance in the game, the fourth largest in PAPI, and the second largest in Legacy Coalition, so them not showing up in numbers relative to the base saps the strength of Legacy’s commitment to the war.  And this isn’t the first time it has been noted that Brave has been lagging.

It is leaks like that which strengthen the resolve of the Imperium line members, because we’re pretty sure we can hold out longer than they can.

Delve Front

As I said above, the stalemate continues,  so I get to re-use my map of the area of conflict in the region yet again.

O-EIMK Constellation – May 17, 2021

That nothing has changed on the map does not mean nothing has happened.

PAPI has continued to drop (and lose) Azbels now and then and attempt to reinforce structures, including POS towers, in the 3-DMQT system, which remains the focus of the siege.  A particularly bloody battle broke out not too long after downtime on Friday that saw a lopsided loss for PAPI as they faced both Imperium supers and bombers from The Initiative.  There is a write up here, but the battle report shows the numbers.

Battle Report Header

They reportedly did at least reinforce the POS tower.  But that means they need to come back for another run at it.  And even if they kill it, they then have to put their own tower down, defend it as it deploys, and keep on defending it from Imperium attack.  So we will see how that goes.

Undeterred by the by the morning losses, PAPI formed up again at close to 00:00 UTC for a surprise rush at various targets in the constellation, including the ihub in 3-DMQT.  They got on grid with that and put entosis ships into action, but with the ADM of the system at six, they needed to sit there and cycle for an hour to reinforce the hub.  That gave the Imperium plenty of time to spin up fleets and turn off the cyno jammer again to jump in carriers to defend.

And as tidi kicks in, the timer slows down

There is an Imperium Fortizar on grid with every ihub in the constellation, so carriers tethered up and sent waves of fighters at the attackers, wearing them down and eventually stopping them.

At that point, even though PAPI was clearly going to lose the objective, they were well ahead when it came to the ISK war so could have come away with able to claim victory on that front.  But then they did the same thing they tried to do earlier in the day and warped all their fleets back to the E-VKJV gate to jump everybody through all at once.  Stuck on the gate, choking the server as it struggled to handle the surge, The Initiative lined up another bombing run on them in exactly the same fashion as earlier and scored a huge hit.  I was logged off already, the whole thing came at an awkward time for me, but I still had the Mind1 stream up and got to see the PAPI fleets blowing up on the gate.

Watching PAPI burn on Twitch

There is a post up describing the fight.  The battle report before the bombing run had PAPI comfortably ahead in the ISK, afterwards the battle report showed they had lost more than 200 billion ISK to the Imperium’s 85 billion in losses.

Second Battle Report Header

There is a nice video of the bombs landing and ships blowing up in a building crescendo of light.

There is also a Fountain Frank version of the video if you prefer.

PAPI is salty about this bombing loss, blaming the servers again, despite having made the same tactical error twice in one day.  I have been on enough Imperium ops where we have staggered fleets and had to sit around off grid while other people jumped so as to avoid just that sort of issue.  But PAPI thought trying to jump 6,000 capitals into a system with 4,000 people already present was a good idea, in a game where the all time record for a battle was 6,142, and paid for it dearly.  You have to fight in the environment you have, not the environment you wish you had.  Ignoring the realities of the New Eden servers is not a wise strategy.

Vily has reportedly been telling PAPI to petition CCP for reimbursement, the way he did when he tried to have PAPI jump 6000 people into M2-XFE when there were already 4,000 Imperium pilots there.  CCP has already stated their policy on that sort of thing, but Vily has to blame somebody I guess.

Meanwhile The Mittani pretty much broke the smug meter on the Meta Show on Saturday, not that making the exact same mistake twice in one day didn’t deserve some mocking.

The Imperium capitol constellation holds out for another week.  PAPI’s stated plan to take the final Imperium systems with subcaps alone has not paid off so far.

Otherwise the week was mostly skirmishes and the occasional destruction of a PAPI Azbel in 3-DMQT.

I think that was Azbel kill #6

So it goes.

Overall the Delve regional campaign stats showed that the week ate up 14K ships and capsules for a total of 1 trillion ISK in losses, with the ISK was tilted in favor of the Imperium.

Week 45 Campaign in Delve

That is still fewer ships than two weeks back, when the number was past 16K and 1.5 trillion ISK lost, but it is still proof that the war remains hot in Delve.

Other Fronts

My view into other fronts has been mostly based on the maps over at DOTLAN for a while now, at least since Brave abandoned Catch, because I am not in any of the groups involved in those campaigns.

This week however I ended up hearing some chatter about PAPI jump cloning or flying out to the space that Legacy Coalition had otherwise abandoned to defend the remaining Keepstars, help with sov contests, and reinforce Imperium and allied structures in those regions.  This included a Fortizar I had ships in, which I ended up gating one system over to park in an NPC station just in case.

The most noticeable effort is in Esoteria, which The Bastion has been assailing since we lost Fountain months back, where PAPI has been helping out Army of Mango to push back on that incursion.

Esoteria – May 16, 2021

The Bastion and its allies are back into just northwest Esoteria and lost another four ihubs since week 44.

In Feythabolis the struggles continues, though there Army of Mango lost an ihub over the past week.

Feythabolis – May 16, 2021

Elsewhere, The Initiative continues to try and gain a foothold in their target region of Etherium Reach.  While they have not been successful, they have gotten PanFam and its associates in the northeast of null sec to jump clone back home to form up against them.  Being a threat to which PanFam must respond makes them a nuisance.

My Participation

I missed both of the big fights on Friday as one came very early in the morning my time and the other landed just about when we were talking about dinner and what to do on a Friday night.  I did jump into the second fight in an interceptor to nose around and see some of the action.  I missed the big bombing run finale, as noted above, but I did get in and tackle Pittsburgh2989 because he is so perpetually salty about the Imperium that it is hard not to take an opportunity to annoy him. (Like Vily, he has a completely made up, “Goons done me wrong” tale to tell.)

Grabbed him for a bit

He painted me and I had to warp off as I got down to about half armor, but I had fun.

I did get out on some of the skirmish fleets over the course of the week.  I got to use my Drake for a short bit, and got a kill mark on my Bhaalgorn, but mostly flew in the ever forming cormorant fleets that have been clashing.  This is the level of commitment both sides can afford I guess.

Cormorants in 3-DMQT

Corms are fun, light, and easy.  I still miss the old hull model though.  But at least I have some fun SKINs for it.

I ended up losing not one but two corms during these skirmishes… actually, in the same skirmish… but that is the way things go.  I also lost an Ares trying to get to the new battle monument in M2-XFE.  I’ll have to go scope that out later.  I will just add those to my loss list for the war.

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Cormorant destroyer – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP announced their planned changes related to warp core stabilizers and interdiction nullification.

In Testing

The changes are up on the test server and they have update their proposal a couple of times, adding some new ship types, removing stealth bombers, and changing the default strength value of warp core stabilizers.  The forum thread is contentions, but not nearly as long as I might have expected.

The applications to run for CSM16 also closed this past week.  We should get the vetted candidate list soon.

And on the peak concurrent front, week 45 saw the top count stay on par with 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)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708
  • Week 42 – 33,521
  • Week 43 – 33,731
  • Week 44 – 33,742 (Saturday)
  • Week 45 – 33,758

Then again, a conspiracy theory emerged on Reddit claiming that CCP is falsifying those numbers because a single person could figure out where nearly 34K people were hiding in the 7,805 star systems in the game because there they felt they hadn’t seen enough people when traveling from Jita to Amarr, so who can trust anything anymore?

Related

 

32 Weeks of World War Bee

This past week saw drama in Brave Collective, the fifth largest alliance in the game currently and a member of Vily’s Legacy Coalition.  On Wednesday morning US time they had an alliance meeting where it was announced that they would be moving into Querious.  The fact that this was going to be fun was repeated frequently.  Other groups were reported to want to come live nearby and be close to Brave.  They were going to total take out Siberian Squads, who announced last week that, after having left Legacy Coalition, they were joining the Imperium and going to stage in Querious.  And taking and holding Querious was going to be in addition to maintaining their presence in Catch and Immensea, along with whatever commitments they might have to the war in Delve.  Nothing was being abandoned, there was no evacuation planned.

This seemed like a late point to make this sort of commitment.  As late as Week 24 of the war Brave held significant numbers of ihubs in the region.  They have since lost all of those ihubs, but now they were going to move in and start all over.

A while later a leak showed up on Reddit dumping internal leadership discussions about the state of the alliance and the move to Querious that was very much at odds with the happy, upbeat tone of the alliance meeting.  The outlook there was bleak and the ability to hold their old space while moving into Querious seemed unlikely, while the cost of all of this was going to be prohibitive.

This led to another alliance meeting that evening where Dunk Dinkle admitted up front that the leaked discussion was real.  He said it was embarrassing, but then commenced to hedge and try to paint a rosy picture once again.  Everything will be fine.  The M2-XFE hell camp is dragging the Imperium down.  Goons will collapse soon.  Victory is close at hand.

That prompted further leaks which reinforced the idea that Brave’s finances might be at the breaking point, along with some memes.

Meme’d… nice use of @dril for it too

One of the strange bits was the need to pay 12 billion ISK to TEST to be able to receive Imperium ping relays for intel.  But then Vily said on Discord that TEST pays that too and that it is just some guy in TEST that runs the service.

Sure thing

Looking over from the Imperium, that seems like a pretty ad hoc way to run a coalition.  Whatever.

Despite financial problems and too many commitments, Dunk echoed Kerensky in 1917 in saying that he has to keep Brave in the war.  But the fact that somebody in leadership is leaking these discussions indicates that there is discord within the ranks.

And then it sounded like there was discontent over in Federation Uprising, another Legacy Coalition alliance.

Admittedly this war is different than past wars.  Seven months of continuous fighting at this scale is unprecedented in New Eden and the obvious assumption on the PAPI side was that this would be the Casino War all over again with the Imperium falling back to low sec in a few weeks.  But Vily declared repeatedly that this was a war of extermination to drive Goons from the game because they are all bad people, and few things will make Goons dig in and hang on than making things personal.  Welcome to Delve.

Delve Front

PAPI continued to field large fleets and push on Imperium space in Delve, successfully taking ihubs in the SG-CTQ constellation.

Delve – Feb 14, 2021

PAPI also managed to destroy more than 20 large structures like Fortizars, Tataras, and Sotiyos in the region.

The hellcamp in M2-XFE carried on.  No serious efforts were made to try and break out the remaining ~130 titans and myriad smaller capitals trapped in bubbles around the Imperium Keepstar.  There was an uptick in capitals logging and getting destroyed as some players apparently were getting tired of waiting (some have been trapped in there since Dec 31, 2020) for the rescue that does not seem to be coming.  The big break out two weeks back apparently got enough leadership titans out that the rest of the trapped ships do not seem to be a priority.

Then there is the metaliminal storm, which has wandered down and has removed cloaking as an option in the staging systems for both sides in the war.  That is likely going to make things interesting, and all the more so if it keeps on moving down the path to 1DQ.  It does, in some ways, help the defender, as cloaky camping eyes cannot remain hidden.

Other Theaters

In Querious Brave started laying down ihubs as part of their move-in plan.

Querious – Feb 14, 2021

Since there were no ihubs in place, there was no contest over deploying them.  They just had to spend the 500 million ISK per ihub… if the Jita price is any indication… and carry them out there.  That is more ISK they are spending.  And, as you can see, they ended up getting reinforced.

Siberian Squads (SB-SQ), which joined the Imperium last week and which Dunk Dinkle was saying they would simply brush aside, took ihubs from PAPI during the week as well.  Brave did take the GOP-GE ihub, which is an Imperium Keepstar system, but they failed to take the Imperium Staging system in Querious, W6V-VM.  That also has a Keepstar and is where Siberian Squads is now based.

Back in Catch and Immensea The Initiative and their friends continued to make life difficult for Brave, Warped Intentions, and Federation Uprising.

Catch – Feb 14, 2021

Immensea – Feb 14, 2021

Out there structures and ihubs continued to be reinforced regularly and lost fairly frequently.

And then down in Esoteria The Bastion has kept on pushing against TEST, so that this week I not only have to put up a new map, but I have to change over to the whole region rather than just the northwest corner.

Esoteria – Feb 14, 2021

The Imperium continues to try and make Legacy Coalition regret their plan to move into new space in Delve and Querious while holding their old space.  Again, hearing the heart ache this is causing Brave, the second largest member of TEST’s Legacy Coalition, will only make the Imperium increase its efforts to disrupt their backfield.

My Participation

I will admit that I used most of my available game time to play Valheim last week.  That meant EVE Online (and World of Warcraft) didn’t get a lot of attention.  I did go on a couple of fleets and did some time on the M2 Hellcamp… missed a carrier kill when I  was in the bathroom… but wasn’t all that invested.

Well within range of my Rokh

So my losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • 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

The Mittani announced the Silver Ticket program last week.  The Golden Ticket program was an offer to any alliance with capitals trapped in M2-XFE to negotiate a price for their release.  Only one Golden Ticket was available and TEST was the only alliance barred from the plan.  This seemed largely a troll and nobody has taken up the offer that I have heard about.

The Silver Ticket program is an offer to individuals still trapped in M2-XFE to contact Imperium diplomats in order to sell their trapped capitals to the Imperium at a modest discount so that they could get out of the bubble camp with some ISK in hand.  This offer has netted the Imperium a Leviathan already.  (A ghost titan too, one from the second fight that showed up as an unfitted kill.) The pilot, who had gone over to Brave from GSF to play with a friend was apparently treated badly by Brave due to his corp history, which certainly motivated him to sell.  You can argue that he is the exception due to his background, but that is one more titan in the ranks of the Imperium.  But Brave has been having some troubles keeping up with its “Stay Classy” motto of late.

CCP also announced the Reign Quadrant this past week with the first February update which, as I mentioned, seemed to be dedicated to the Tactical Supremacy alliance, which has been one of the groups attacking Catch.  Another blow to Legacy Coalition there.

Tactical Supremacy is Victory, CCP says so

We also got the annual Guardians Gala event along with a login campaign.  Reports are that the sites pay off fairly well, but that they are more difficult than last year.

The war and the holiday event were not enough to boost the weekly peak user count, though it did not sag by much compared to the previous week and it is still up some from the holiday doldrums:

  • 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)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259

Related

28 Weeks of World War Bee

It was a week of continuing to come to grips with the post-M2-XFE situation for Legacy, as other alliances in the coalition had meetings, including Brave and Warped Intentions.  The Brave meeting was notable for Dunk Dinkle, whose usual mellow countenance was replaced by an angrier, expletive spouting Dunk.  Since he is one of the titan pilots still logged out in M2-XFE (I saw his Leviathan during the fight) he has some reason to be on edge.  And then there is the situation in Catch and Brave’s need to neglect Delve and any break out attempt in order to defend their own space from “knuckleheads.”

We also might be coming up on an infrastructure hub crisis.  The war has seen ihubs destroyed in unprecedented numbers.  Every time a system swaps hands, a new ihub had to be hauled out and deployed.  We’ve already seen in some less hotly contested areas like Querious a lack of desire by both sides to expend ihubs on systems not deemed strategic.  But it sounds like stocks of Planetary Interaction materials, from which ihubs are built, might be running low.  It might be a good time to start on PI.

The Delve Front

The situation in Delve has largely revolved around PAPI trying to come to grips with their situation and regain momentum in the war.  They need to keep pressure on us in Delve and, of course, they need to do something about their trapped titans, supers, and other capital ships.

On the former, the week did heat up some as PAPI tried to re-assert control over ihubs in the region after we used the post-M2 calm to snatch many key systems back.  That has led to a bunch of fights over timers, though the number of systems actually changing hands has not been that big.

Delve – Jan. 17, 2021

The hell camp in M2-XFE continues, to the exclusion of other strategic camps for the Imperium.  The Helms Deep camp has been abandoned for now, so I have removed it from the map for now.  Those systems do not seem to be in play at the moment however.

PAPI has pressed on the M2-XFE camp several times in attempts to clear bubbles.  They have also been trying to drop Azbel’s in the system to get themselves a defensible foothold from which to work.  But so far, after two weeks, the camp is holding fairly strong.

Meanwhile, the situation in M2-XFE looks like this.

The M2-XFE Keepstar grid

The hostiles have been logging in some ships every day just before downtime (11:00 UTC) in order to try and cap them up so that, when the breakout comes, they will be able to jump out.  However, Imperium forces have been countering that for neuts and focused void bombs and the like every day so this could be a long process.  We shall see who has the patience to sit this out the longest.

The Catch Front

Catch picked up in activity over the last week as The Initiative found some more friends to come in and help assail Brave and Warped Intentions.  Brave has held onto their territory so far, but has had to clash repeatedly to do so, often coming up on the short side of the fight when the numbers are counted.  This has kept Brave focused on Catch rather than Delve.

Meanwhile, space that once belonged to The Watchmen has started to get picked up by Dreadbomb, expanding out of Providence.

Catch – Jan. 17, 2021

While Catch has shed one metaliminal storm, which moved on into Querious as expected, the other one is hanging out in the middle of Brave space.  It might move on towards Querious and Delve as well.

Other Theaters

In Queirous the Imperium has popped Legacy Coalition ihubs in a dozen systems, the bulk of them having been held by Brave.  Neither side has been keen to drop a fresh ihub in many systems in the region though, so that made for a fresh batch of unclaimed locations.  Meanwhile, that metaliminal storm that looked to be heading out of Catch made its way into Querious and might keep moving into Delve.

Querious – Jan. 17, 2021

Over in Esoteria The Bastion and its Stain Russian allies haven’t expanded their ihub holdings this week, so I can re-run last week’s map.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan. 17, 2021

They have, however, been shooting structures, including planetary customs offices and the like in order to be a nuisance and prevent TEST members from picking up their PI materials. (Which, as noted above, can be used to make ihubs… or structure fuel blocks… or a number of other essential items.)

A fruitful evening of POCO kills

The Bation’s main FC Qicia was on The Meta Show this past weekend to talk about what has been going on in the region, which included TEST flying a Munnin fleet out from Delve to defend structures in Esoteria.

My Participation

I have been on the M2-XFE hell camp for a while every day, helping out to cover the USTZ hours.  As I have said before, PAPI keeps logging in just enough targets to keep everybody happy and hopeful.  I have also made it out on a few for some of the ihub skirmishes.

Out in Eagles with Mister Vee

The week saw no ship losses for me, so my count for the war stands as follows:

  • 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

As I mentioned over the course of the week, we hit the date where structures need Quantum Cores in order to provide station services like repairs and tethering.  Also, new structures that are deployed now need a core to come online, otherwise they will never enter that state and will remain immediately killable.

This is the big money moment for many alliances.  As I mentioned previously, TEST was pulling down structures in their space, likely to avoid having to core them.  The Imperium started issuing war bonds in order to cover that bill.  While I have yet to receive my shares in the corporation that is being used for the war bonds, they did boost up the number of shares available from the default 1,000 to 21,000.  At a price of 1 billion ISK per share, that is potentially a lot of liquid cash.

Share count

That does not necessarily mean that they raised 21 trillion ISK from the offer, but they did get enough to drop cores into our critical structures.

And the peak concurrent users for the week remained about on par with the previous week:

  • 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)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713

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Catch On Fire

…The Imperium has thrown their pets in Initiative to the wolves…

Shattered Armer, ping to Brave Collective

What we have here is a dramatic misunderstanding as to who the “wolves” are in this situation.

PAPI has long been playing the concern troll card in an attempt to split The Initiative from the Imperium as part of Vily and Legacy Coalition’s oft repeated goal of driving Goons from the game because we are all bad people. (Pro tip: Calling The Initiative “pets” isn’t helping with that plan. That is a term you use to insult an alliance, not woo it.)  But this attempt takes the cake.

The Initiative likes do to its own thing and has that freedom within the Imperium.  They had previously joined The Bastion and Ferrata Victrix in Esoteria to harass TEST home space, taking ihubs, blowing up structures, snapping jump bridge networks, and dropping on the locals when they are careless.

They decided to change that up and moved to Curse, an NPC null sec region that is next door to Catch, home to several Legacy Coalition alliances, including Brace Collective.

Since arriving The Initiative has gone into Catch and carried on as they had been in Esoteria taking ihubs, blowing up structures, bringing down the jump bridge network, dropping on the locals, and even reinforcing a Keepstar.  They have been behaving as wolves do when the farm has been left unattended.

Another Ansiblex out of service

This has caused Brave to announce an about face in the war as they have sent out the call to return to Catch to defend their homeland, presumably pulling them out of the front line in the war.  They have a wolf problem to deal with.

But I think you can legitimately ask if they have ever really committed to the war.

One of the Imperium attempts to form a schism between our foes has been to point out that, for all the talking Vily does, he and Legacy Coalition have not been holding up their part in the war and that the PandaFam coalition (Pandemic Horde, Fraternity, NCDot, and Pandemic Legion) has been doing most of the heavy lifting.  The thing with this claim is that we have the receipts, the battle reports, to prove it.  PandaFam has put in the yeoman’s effort and the numbers bear out that claim.

A typical battle report from a large engagement since Fountain fell… because Legacy was largely absent from that campaign… tends to show Pandemic Horde with the most members on the field, usually by a large margin, followed by TEST, NCDot, and Fraternity.  Then there is a generally a sizeable number gap after which, fighting over fifth place, are usually Pandemic Legion and Brave, followed by all the other alliances.  Here is an example from one of the big fights in 319-3D:

Battle Report Header

Here is another from the fight at YZ9-F6.

Battle Report Header

So numbers in fights tend to rank like this:

  1. Pandemic Horde
  2. TEST
  3. NCDot
  4. Fraternity
  5. Brave
  6. Pandemic Legion

But if you look at the actual membership count of these alliances, they stack up like this:

  1. Pandemic Horde – 23,418
  2. TEST – 16,208
  3. Fraternity – 15,237
  4. Brave Collective – 12,383
  5. NCDot – 3,737
  6. Pandemic Legion – 2,238

Brave, the second largest alliance in the Legacy Coalition after TEST, is consistently and significantly out matched in participation by NCDot, an alliance that is less than a third their size, and they vie with Pandemic Legion for numbers, which is less than one fifth its size.

Brave lives in Catch, which is not a long drive from Delve, unlike Pandemic Horde, NCDot, and Pandemic Legion, who are staged far from their homes on the other side of null sec, and has most of its members in EU or US time zones, unlike the primarily Chinese Fraternity.

So where is Brave?  The ping I pulled that quote about wolves from also references the apocryphal Yamamoto quote about waking the sleeping giant.  That certainly implies that Brave hasn’t been pulling its weight if they cast themselves as being asleep.  After all, we’re coming up on six months of World War Bee.

Will they actually wake up now and show up to fight?  And if they pull back to Catch will they be able to handle The Initiative?  Facing an alliance almost half their size might be a challenge for Brave given their showing so far.  They might need help, which will pull more people from Delve.  Their allies certainly seem to think they won’t be able to manage it on their own, as Progodlegend seems to be announcing a Legacy-wide advance to the rear to fight The Initiative in Catch.  The move op to support that plan should give The Initiative a week or so to keep setting fires in peace.

And PandaFam will once again be left to do the heavy lifting on the main front.

Another region to report on in my weekly summary.

Lurking in Catch

Over the the last two days I have posted about a serious entosis effort, but much of the entosis work in the war so far has not been serious.  As I mentioned in the past, trolling via entosis can be a low effort way to annoy your foes.

The host of Alliances arrayed against us have been doing this sort of trolling.  It has largely been confined to Querious and it seems that Brave Collective has been the primary factor in these pin pricks.

Having hunted them for a bit I decided to return the favor and set out for Catch where much of their sovereignty lies.

It seemed like a simple enough task.  I had done a bit of entosis work back in the Casino War.  Things had changed a bit since then and the whole high speed cloaky Rapier option seemed to no longer be a thing.  So I looked around and grabbed an Atron entosis fit from one of the kills I was on, copied it to the clipboard, then imported it on one of my alts sitting around in Jita.

I bought the pieces, fitted it up, and flew my alt down to HED-GP, the high sec link to the Catch region and Legacy space.  I wasn’t dead set on Brave as a target, but TEST was further along and a chunk of their space is right there.  I was a little nervous jumping in to HED, it being traditionally a heavily camped gate, but nobody was home when I passed through.  I was able to fly off, warp gate to gate, until I was into their space a bit.  I found an empty system, warped to the ihub, locked it up and clicked the button.

I received an error.  You need to be in an alliance to do sovereignty things and my alt was just a high sec character I skilled up to run abyssal sites a while back.  What to do?

I logged in my main, put him in a travel Ares which I knew my alt could fly and them sitting cloaked up while I flew through Delve and Querious, through the big camps guarding either side of the 49-U6U and 4-07MU gate, through the hostile staging in FAT-6P, and into Catch and Brave’s section of that.

I formed a fleet with my alt and, after burning a couple of safe spots and gate perches in an empty system, I warped to my alt and had both characters eject and swap ships.  Now I could entosis.

I had decided to copy not only Brave’s fit, but also their later tactics.  Early on I was catching people on ihubs regularly, but after a bit they changed over to doing the warm up cycle and then, at the first sign of anybody in the system, would align away and turn on their MWD so to be far off the ihub before anybody landed.

That Arton fit can go the full 4,000 m/s allowed with an entosis link fit, so it moves away rapidly and you need something fast to catch it.

With that plan I warped to the ihub, set myself to orbit at 15km to keep myself within the 20km maximum range, locked it up, and started the entosis module.

I then sat there orbiting for the five minute cycle of the module as it warms up.  At that point you are committed.  You cannot warp off, cloak up, jump to another system, or dock.  You just get to stay on grid.  But during the warm up no alert goes out to the owners either so nobody is likely to bother you.

Out hitting an ihub

And then the first five minutes go by and the real attack cycle begins.  It looks just like the warm up, your entosis beam on the ihub, but once it starts the alert goes out to people in the owning alliance that it is being captured.  Then the fun begins.

I waited until somebody arrived in system then aligned away and turned on the MWD to get myself up to speed.  I was quickly out of entosis range, so my attack stopped, but I still had to wait the full entosis cycle before I could get away clean.

Meanwhile, the locals began to show up.  My empty system went up to 17 people and most of them came to visit the ihub at  some point.

Around the ihub

A couple of them chased me.  You can see that Atron on the overview was about halfway between me and the ihub.  I kept ahead and once the entosis cycled down I waited for my MWD to start a fresh cycle, activated my cloak, and turned off 90 degrees to keep anybody who was traveling straight towards me from decloaking me when the passed.  I was safe.

The locals, however, were not best pleased.  They abused me in local, all the more so when I cloaked, told me my attempt was pointless and didn’t bother them anyway.  But I followed one of the strict rules from Reavers, which is to never talk in local.  That seems to annoy people more than anything I could possible say, and they kept trying to goad me as if to prove my point.

Meanwhile I had my neutral alt out in Catch in a ship I wanted back in Delve.  So I flew them back down the path I had come, through the staging, through the two gate camps (tossing a dscan in local on the Imperium side of the gate to give them a peek at what lay beyond), and into NPC Delve where I docked up and contracted the ship back to my main to pick up later.

I sat around cloaked up with my main in the background, coming back in a couple hours to spin up another entosis cycle, which drew another crowd.

But I realized I had a problem.  Not thinking things through, I had flown out in my “do all the things in subcaps” main, who I would want to use on fleet ops.  But now he was stuck in Catch in an entosis Atron and was unlikely to get past the camps back to Delve.

I know my main alt could take over, but I had him setup to fly caps if a big fight broke out, so didn’t want to get him stuck out in Catch either.  So I went to see if another alt I had in KarmaFleet could help.  As it turned out, I had trained him up just enough to fly out to me in a Malediction, swap ships, and take over the entosis gig.  I had to use some of my unused skill points, but that was what they were around for.  So Claude Ring flew out through all that stuff, swapped ships, with Wilhelm, and Wil flew back.

Now Claude sits out in Catch and flips on the enotsis module a few times a day while I am working.  I setup in a system, wait for nobody to be home, then warp to the ihub and get up to my mischief.  I start the entosis up, set a four and a half minute timer on my phone, and get back to work.  When the timer goes off I tab back and get ready.  When the second cycle starts and the alarm goes out, I wait for somebody to arrive in system, align out, light off the MWD, and wait for the fun to arrive.

The fun is in the chase.  I run away and then the locals land and come after me.  At 4K m/s not just anything is going to catch my Atron, but there have been some game attempts.

I had a Jaguar closing on me quickly enough that I was worried, despite a 300km head start, that it was going to catch me before the entosis module cycled down.  But for whatever reason, he gave up, then stopped, then came after me again.  By that point I was able to cloak up, veer off, and watch him sail by.

He got close, but not close enough

I realize that I could just warp off.  I have safe spots in the systems where I now ply my trade, and that would let me get away, but cloaking up to play submarine while the locals try to decloak me is more fun.  It also keeps them looking for me, and they clearly need something to keep them busy.

One smart person landed at the ihub in a Hecate with a probe launcher and probed me down to warp to me as I was burning away.  That was probably the second closest I have come to getting caught, though with my speed by the time they got a fix on me and warped I was well out of range and was able to cloak up before they got another fix on me.

So I keep at it and take screen shots when somebody gets close.  This Caracal got in the neighborhood.

RunsBeforeWalks walks on by

I have the tactical overlay on so you can see which direction both of us are headed.

Mostly they do not get that close.  One person, Shaarak, asked me in local how close he had come.  It was hard to keep to my no talking in local rule, since they are a regular who chases me often, but I did.  Still, if they somehow come across this post, this was their closest pass so far.

Sharaak at 16km passing by

Probably the most terrifying moment was when my account expired.  I was on grid and a couple of people were flying around looking for me and I suddenly got the big “GO OMEGA TODAY!” pop up and realized that I had purchased game time, but had not made it recurring.  So I scrambled to quickly re-subscribe… though apparently when you go Alpha while cloaked it doesn’t de-cloak you right away, so I survived.

My alt is still sitting out there.  I wasn’t sure how long he would last, but my worry now is that he is going to run out of strontium clathrates, the fuel needed for the entosis module, before he gets blown up.

Anyway, all of this summed up in meme form.

All things go brrrr

So it goes.

Update:   Oops, got caught trying to get out of Catch since I wrote this. (It was supposed to post yesterday, but then I had a battle to write about.)  You will note that there was no stront left in the cargo bay.  I should have just run more out in an interceptor.  Next time.  But I have already slipped another Atron past the gate camp in V-3YG7, so I can start again soon.

Day One of World War Bee

Sunday morning found many alerts in my inbox when I logged into EVE Online.  It seemed that our foes were set to strike back after we reinforced most of the Paragon Soul ihubs last night.

Entosis alerts

This is something I never saw much of in TNT because Goonswarm Federation holds all the ihubs in our space, the ihub being the important bit in an capturable null sec system. (The EVE University wiki has more on this if you are interested.)  Every time somebody starts to hit one with an entosis wand we all get a notification.

So there were pings for fleets as soon as Jabber came up, so I jumped in a Jackdaw fleet being led by Havish Montak that filled up quickly then sped off to defend our space.  Other fleets were out for various things, and our first task was to push NullSechnaya Sholupen out of 1-SMEB again, where they were shooting the jump bridge and being pests.

After chasing them off, killing more than a few along the way, we turned around and headed towards Querious, where Legacy had been hitting ihubs.  Another fleet was out to go after the entosis ships while we went after the Brave Collective cover fleet.  We caught up with them in OGY-6D and, outnumbering them heavily, sent them running after blowing up more than fifty of their fleet (plus capsules), including their two battlecruiser boosters.  We then chased the remainder half way across the region as they tried to get away.

Out in the bubbles in my Scalpel

When the chase was over we went back and covered and ADM fleet before returning to base.  More fleets went out almost immediately, one warping off just as we were arriving back.

They’re warping off as we land

I helped with another quick op to clear out some local gates.  It is a bad time to travel alone in Delve.  The hostiles have been setting up gate camps all along key routes, sometimes right on the gates in 1DQ1-A.  It is also kind of a crazy time to travel as GSOL has been re-working the jump bridge map to facilitate movement to the various battle fronts, often setting up parallel routes.  That is good for moving us into battle, but maybe not so good if you haven’t updated the jump bridge list in GARPA in the last couple of hours.  Things have been changing a lot.

After that I took a break and went about the day.  By the time I got back things were pretty quiet.  I think that, perhaps, starting a war on Sunday might have been a bad plan.  While I know Imperium people who basically stayed up all night long from the start of the war, the game tends to peak around 19:00 UTC and then drops off as the Euro folks who have to go to work in the morning head off for the night.  So on my return we were back to a slower pace, with ADM fleets going out and not many pings.

A few things went on while I was away.  Up in the north The Initiative managed to pop three anchoring Pandemic Horde Raitarus as well as a POS in the PandaFam staging system of Hophib, with only minor losses for the effort. (Somebody lost a Claw.)  On the down side and TEST Muninn fleet and an Evictus Eagle fleet savaged an Imperium Baltec fleet and managed to reinforce the Ansiblex jump gate in TCAG-3 down in Period Basis, where we skirmished a bit with them last night.

Meanwhile, Progodlegend gave the TEST SOTA at 19:00 UTC, quotes from which, as well as a link to the whole thing, are available here. (I’d have linked something other than INN, but nobody else seemed to have covered the SOTA.) I find even listening to our own propaganda to be trying, but this was eye rollingly bad from where I sat.

Good propaganda should always have a simple theme.  The Mittani focused on TEST in his SOTG on Saturday.  TEST is our new main enemy, and as long as they exist we’ll be targeting them.  Our long time desire to burn down NCDot, where many of the original corps for Band of Brothers still reside, is now a thing of the past.  TEST is the focus.

Progodlegend spent quite a while telling people that Goons were bad at EVE, never leave Delve, never take fights, and never deploy anywhere without TEST holding their hand.  With that build up, we ought to be a push over.  But we’re also dangerous.  A mysterious new Goonswarm has shown up and actually fights.  I am not sure where they came from given most of the speech.  Did we hire somebody?  But New Eden is coming together to crush us… because the other coalitions have been forced by us to just sit in their space until now?  I was there back in 2016 when we fled to Delve and it sure seemed like they could have put in the effort back then.

It struck me as trying to have it both ways, that Goons are a foe that can’t fight, yet has somehow oppressed the rest of null sec to the point that they have had to band together 102 alliances to come and get us.

I know, it would be unlike Progodlegend to over-hype something.

Anyway, these sorts of speeches rarely have any sort of impact on the outcome of wars.  I learned that early on in my null sec career when the first foes I faced declared that Goons would be driven from Deklein.  Didn’t work out that way.  Both sides talk themselves up, yet one side inevitably loses.  Somebody will end up being proven to be wrong.

On the plus side for TEST, their Keepstar in FAT-6P anchored successfully, though it remains a point of amusement for propaganda purposes.

Visit today!

A second Keepstar was put down in FAT-6P as well, then transferred to NCDot, which was spotted moving capitals down south as part of a PandaFam fleet.  They’re allied with TEST, but won’t be sharing a Keepstar with them.  Trust seems to be an issue.

So it goes.  There were a few skirmishes in the evening, and quick response fleets zipped around dousing the occasional spark (and doing ADM work when idle), but nothing much changed.  And for all the entosis effort that the enemy seemed to be putting in early on, the net result appeared to be just three ihubs reinforced in Querious.

But it was just day one and not everybody was even deployed yet.  There will be more to follow I am sure.

Also, as a side note, there was a CSM15 statement posted to the forums asking CCP to pretty please not do something to inadvertently mess up the war.  They did that last year when they dropped Drifters on Delve, with their annoying behavior, while we were off fighting in Tribute and Vale of the Silent.  The forum post got the usual angry, twisted reactions that most any forum post gets.  There is no winning.