Tag Archives: Catch

37 Weeks of World War Bee

When the headline topic for the Meta Show is the red dot (which I mentioned last week) and the New Eden Post up and disappears itself, it might be a sign that the war has become less than exciting, at least on the main front in Delve.

There the Imperium is still holed up in 1DQ1-A with the bulk of its forces and a dizzying array of citadels on the main grid, while PAPI scrupulously avoids any direct confrontation in that entire constellation, busying itself with destroying Imperium structures with its supers and titans in cyno jammed systems.  They blew up the D-W7F0 Keepstar and started attacking the F2OY-X by gating their supers in so as to avoid any possibility of having to face another titan battle after M2-XFE.

I went out to watch at F2OY-X

That doesn’t bode well for any hope that there will be a battle over 1DQ1-A, where even a cyno jammer won’t prevent Imperium titans from showing up, as they are in system already.

The Imperium plan is to out last the invaders while simultaneously burning down as much as their backfield as they can.  Vily’s plan of driving Goons from the game seems less likely now than it did back in September when that was his main talking point.  Likewise, the stated plan to take Delve, Fountain, Querious, and Period Basis while keeping all of their old territory seems to have fallen apart since Progodlegend laid it out three months back.

So I am left wondering what the end of the war will look like.  The Imperium isn’t leaving 1DQ1-A without a fight.  Vily and Progodlegend have invested their reputations in an unattainable victory.  PanFam and Fraternity, the least invested in the war, and the group still able to mine and rat in their own space, seem the likely overall winners in the long term.

Delve Front

The invaders retook the PS-94K ihub in the SG-CTQ constellation and, as noted above, blew up the Keepstar in D-W7F0.  Smaller structures died as well, but those were the two major events.

Delve – Mar 21, 2021

Otherwise it is skirmishes and structure bashes and attempts to annoy the invaders by making them defend the ihubs they have taken.

Other Theaters

In Querious Brave went on something of an ihub spree.  They took two ihubs away from the Imperium and planted 17 more in systems that were otherwise empty, so the map of the region looks solidly Brave and Severance.

Querious – Mar 21, 2021

Meanwhile, in Catch, the former Brave capital system fell.  The Brave SOTA last week as much as said they were simply over extended and were going to lose their backfield, so they are focused on Querious while their old territory burns.

Catch – Mar 21, 2021

Likewise, Immensea (and Impass) are both being taken apart by the Imperium and their co-belligerents in those regions.

Immensea – Mar 21, 2021

In Esoteria, Army of Mango alliance and Evictus are stepping in to take the remains of TEST space.

Esoteria – Mar 21, 2021

That has led to fighting between The Bastion and allied forces and AOM, giving whatever TEST has left in the region.

There isn’t much left in those regions to be burned at this point.  Whatever you think of Legacy Coalition’s plan to live in Delve, Querious, Fountain, and Period Basis, they are now committed to it.  And, speaking of Fountain, that appears to be where Federation Uprising has been promised space and now that they have been burned out of Immensea, they are starting to take ihubs there.

Fountain – Mar 21, 2021

The Initiative retook a bunch of ihubs in the region once the invasion moved on to Querious, and not much has happened since.  PanFam announced a re-invasion of Fountain back during week 20 or so, but by week 23 it had petered out.  Now it looks like somebody is finally going after the region again.  The Initiative is also done with their work in Legacy’s backfield, we’ll see if they come back to Fountain to push back in Fed Up.

My Participation

Once again I did get out and go on a few ops.  They most exciting was probably the spectacular Tom Flood Muninn welp in GY6A-L.  I was out with the logi wing and we were getting chopped to bits after Tom brought us into a fight with the odds stacked against us. (The HAW dreads were a nice touch.)

I actually thought I was going to get away.  I did, initially, finally getting out of bubbles and eluding the Malediction that had me tackled, getting into warp with 53% of my hull remaining.

That feeling when you’ve escaped the trap

Unfortunately, it was out of the frying pan and into the fire as I landed in a bubble on more hostiles.  I nearly got away again.  I was out of the bubble and aligned and almost in warp… and then my ship exploded.  Actually, due to tidi, my capsule was ejected and I got to sit and watch my ship explode.

Watching my ship brew up from my pod

The battle report shows what happens when you throw a fleet in to face odds 2 to 1 against.

Battle Report Header

At least I got my SRP by the next day.

I also managed to lose two Ares interceptors doing other operations, which brings my loss totals for the war up to:

  • Ares interceptor – 17
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar logi – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • 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

CCP announced a Quality of Life patch coming this week that will have an impact on null sec.  They key item is the ability to have multiple clones in a single citadel.  For people who have clones with implants for specific doctrines or roles, it has been a pain in the ass to have to undock and warp to another citadel to swap clones every time you were doing something different.  I have clones in 4 different citadels in 1DQ1-A and I barely do anything special at all.

In addition, there will be some nerfs, because there are always nerfs.  This time around ECM burst interceptors will be taking a hit.  I gather few people like those… but I am one of those few.  That is the way it goes though.  Everybody gets their turn in the barrel.

Also on tap is Friendship week.  Not really in sync with a war, but there it is.

As for peak concurrent users for the week, that fell before 35K, supplying further proof I suppose that the war in Delve isn’t exactly lighting a fire under anybody at the moment.

  • 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

Related

35 Weeks of World War Bee

As last week passed I was starting to wonder what would be the headline item for this post.  A lot of stuff is on fire in various regions, but there didn’t seem to be any big news.

And then at the Saturday fireside The Mittani announced that the Imperium was giving up the M2 Hellcamp.  After two months holding the pigeon, as the metaphor went, we were going to finally let go.  Move ops to get people out of M2-XFE happened immediately after the fireside.  I was out during the meeting and missed the move ops, but was able to get a bridge out later that evening on my own.

One bubble left on the M2-XFE Keepstar Grid

There has been a lot of follow up hurf and blurf about this, but the primary reason behind dropping the camp is that TEST holds the ihub and we have been unable to wrest it from them.  The ADM is up to 6 as they have made it a capital system, so any entosis contest is a steep hill to climb even if we can get even odds as we have to entosis each node for an hour while they only need six minutes.

And they have held the ihub for long enough that they will soon be able to put up a cyno jammer on the system.  The hellcamp has long depended on our ability to bridge/jump in reinforcements in response to any breakout attempt.  With the cyno jammer, that will no longer be an option, so it is time to let go.  The Imperium Keepstar in M2-XFE is now bereft of its many bubble companions, looking lonely there in space.  And soon enough the remaining PAPI capital ships will log in and jump back to their staging, free at last.

Now the Imperium’s posture in Delve is defending 1DQ1-A and harassing the invaders by setting timers.

Delve Front

With the M2 hellcamp over, the Imperium is left with just the O-EIMK constellation unconquered in Delve.

While there have been any number of revisionist “we don’t need to take 1DQ1-A” war goals thrown out there, both TEST and PanFam have had that on their list from early in the war.  Vily and TEST need it to make any sort of claim to their extermination goals and PanFam had set its sights on the faction Fortizars in 1DQ1-A as their target.  PAPI can claim they won the war at this point, but the Imperium will feel rightly validated in their resistance if, after having most of null sec arrayed against us, they couldn’t throw us out of our capital system.  “1DQ stood!” will be on the lips of every Goon forever going forward any time the war comes up.

Delve – Mar 7, 2021

So the final Imperium constellation, now circled in blue on my weekly map, must be the focus of PAPI in the region unless they just want to go home.  Otherwise they’ll just burn down the remaining structures outside of O-EIMK and wait.  PanFam can always walk away, having destroyed enough of our stuff to satisfy honor or whatever.  But Legacy, and TEST specifically, wants to live in Delve and have given up defending their old territory in order to move in.  A bee’s nest of angry Goons in 1DQ1-A is not something they can safely ignore if PanFam leaves.

Meanwhile, in the weather news, the electrical metaliminal storm that had made its way through much of the region has finally pushed off into Fountain.  Only the two systems adjacent to that region, ZXB-VC and 5-CQDA, are still feeling its effects.  And the gamma storm seems to be headed towards Period Basis possibly, after having traveled through Catch, Querious, and Delve.

Other Theaters

Over in Querious Brave managed to take all the ihubs that Siberian Squads had grabbed and continues to hold onto other systems, including GOP-GE and W6V-VM, which both have Imperium Keepstars.

Querious – Mar 7, 2021

That effort has come with a price however, as we look over at Catch.  There the core systems that made up Brave’s home previously continue to fall.

Catch – Mar 7, 2021

Red Alliance, The Initiative, French ConneXion, and even Against ALL Authorities… a name from the past… have taken some of their ihubs.

Likewise, Legacy alliances are also under pressure in Immensea, where ihubs continue to fall.

Immensea – Mar 7, 2021

And then, down in Esoteria, The Bastion and its allies have begun to spread, killing more ihubs.

Esoteria – Mar 7, 2021

Going through zKillboard for the region shows that there is action daily there, so TEST hasn’t given up in full, but they are finding it more difficult to keep in control.  Ansiblex jump gates seem to be a favorite target of The Bastion.

My Participation

I didn’t do shit this past week.  Work, home, Valheim, and a lack of action in my time zone conspired to keep me from doing much in the war besides spending a couple hours on the hellcamp and then getting my Rokh back to 1DQ1-A.  As such, my losses remain as before.

  • 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

CCP Rattati, the EVE Online Director of Product, gave a long interview at the Oz_EVE Twitch channel in which he went over his views of the New Eden economy, the economic starvation plan, titan proliferation, and the new Expert Systems “rent-a-skill” plan.  The whole interview is available on YouTube and there is a transcript of it over at INN.

During the interview, which took place on Monday, CCP Rattati was quite adamant that CCP did not want to sell skill points.  Then, on Wednesday, CCP sent out an offer to many players to sell them skill points.  So if CCP is wondering why their player base can be such cynics about what they say, I might have a good example for them.

Meanwhile, the peak concurrent players for the week held above 35K again this week, but it is cresting slightly lower every week, with Saturday falling below the 35K mark this time:

  • 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

Related

34 Weeks of World War Bee

This past week saw Snuffed Out carry on with their prodding of the Tranquility Trading Consortium, the null sec coalition that runs the Tranquility Trading Tower in Perimeter, among other things.  Having destroyed the TTC keepstar in Ignoitton last week, the group declared war on the TTC, leading people to wonder if they were going to actually assail the high sec trading hub.

This led to the push/shove scenario and answered the question as to whether the owners of the TTC… which includes both sides of World War Bee.. would cooperate to defend their lucrative market situation.

The answer was “yes” as both TEST and The Imperium joined the war to defend the TTC, leading to a set of instructions going out to Imperium pilots about how to setup their overviews so they could be allied with TEST in high sec yet still see them as hostile targets in Delve.

In order to declare a war in high sec a group has to designated a war headquarters.  In this case, Snuff’s HQ was an unfit (and perhaps unfueled) Raitaru in Ichinumi, which the TTC forces promptly destroyed.  That meant that the TTC “won” the war and kept Snuff from declaring war again for two weeks.  This quick resolution led some to believe that Snuff was just in it for the memes.

Meanwhile, in his weekly fireside chat on Saturday, The Mittani announced the F2 program, a call for members of the Imperium to step up and be more than just F1 monkeys in fleets.  The idea is to take an organization that, since the levee en masse inception of KarmaFleet, has often been seen to simply be about simply getting more people into fleets and pulling the few who show some talent into positions of responsibility, and get more people to step up into support roles in addition to going on fleet ops.  Scouts and spies were mentioned specifically, but were not the sole possible paths.  Mittens banged the drum for this through his whole speech and, though he vowed there would be no shaming of people who did not step up, wandered perilously close to that position a few times himself.

In the traditional Imperium way, having long adapted to the daunting complexity of life in New Eden and the running of a space empire, there was a promise of guides to help line members find that second role… the F2 button on the space career… to help support the coalition.

Delve Front

As we enter the eighth month of the war, Delve has now been in play for almost half of that time.  PAPI put down a Keepstar successfully in NPC Delve on their fifth attempt back in October.  That means that the invasion of Delve, the alleged final stage of the war, has now gone on longer than many past wars have taken all told.  I know everybody loves the “not winning fast enough” meme, but public promises as to when 1DQ1-A would fall have all proven to be pipe dreams so far.  The system, and the constellation behind it, remain in Imperium hands and largely unscathed.  But for PAPI to take Delve, they must evict the Imperium from 1DQ1-A.

That said, there isn’t a lot left of Delve in Imperium hands.  PAPI came in and took the 1-A81R constellation, home to The Bastion and Get Off My Lawn.  Aside from a few outlying systems near Querious, the 1DQ1-A constellation is all PAPI has left to take.

Delve – Feb 28, 2021

The hellcamp in M2-XFE carries on.  There were some operations by PAPI against the bubbles over the week, but no real break out attempts have come.  And the two metaliminal storms continue to wander the region, though the electrical storm looks like it might be out the door and into Fountain if it carries on in its current direction.

Other Theaters

In Querious Brave has managed to hold on to the systems they have been trying to claim.

Querious – Feb 28, 2021

That said, Siberian Squads hasn’t gone away either and remains in their own constellation as well as staging out of the Keepstar in W6V-VM.

In Catch however, Brave’s holdings are under siege as The Initiative and other groups have laid siege to and started taking what one might consider Brave’s core home systems in the region.

Catch – Feb 28, 2021

Brave is committed to Querious now because their backfield is on fire behind them.  Likewise, Immensea remains under pressure, and Federation Uprising is down to two ihubs and Warped Intentions has lost all of theirs.

Immensea – Feb 28, 2021

And down in Esoteria The Bastion has kept the pressure on TEST, though an incursion popping up in the region probably hasn’t made their life any easier.

Esoteria – Feb 28, 2021

There is word that Impass and Feythabolis may also start getting the torch soon, once some of the above regions are wrapped up.

My Participation

I was a slacker yet again this week, though I have to say that a lot of the ops I saw pinged were in EUTZ, which I cannot really go on unless I know they are going to be short.  I can’t go missing in the middle of the work day for long.  I did jump in when PAPI made a run at the bubbles at the M2-XFE camp, which put me on some fighter squadron kills.  I also got the final blow on a TEST Scimitar, so my Rokh has a kill mark on it now.

The M2 Keepstar abides

Other than that I ran around Delve and collected my PI.  PAPI hasn’t been after the customs office in the region, or at least not in the systems where I work, so that trickle of income has remained steady.  Oh, and I was on the Theta Thursday show on INN last week, proving that they are getting low on available guests.

With that 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

This past week saw the Bastions of War update from CCP which introduced improvements to marauder class battleships.  Buffing 2 billion ISK hulls in the middle of their economic crunch seemed a bit comical to me, but the left hand rarely seems to know what the right hand is doing at CCP.  We will see if that changes anything in the game meta.

The update also nerfed heavy assault cruiser survivability, which will no doubt change the null sec war meta, which has largely been “HACs online” for most of the conflict.  It seems that Muninns and Eagles might fall by the wayside, though the speedy Cerberus might still be viable.  What will replace those as ships of the line remains to be seen.

CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson gave an odd interview about the EVE Online economy which was published over at The Gamer in which he went on about the New Eden economy in attempt to play up some bizarre connection to the GameStop short selling event earlier in the month, by describing things that don’t or can’t really happen in the game.  Has anybody, as an example, really been banned for margin trading?  It was really every bad interview I have ever witnessed where the CEO proves he doesn’t know his product and nobody is there to stop him.

And then CCP posted their Expert Systems dev blog, which in classic CCP fashion, uses words that sound cool but which do not mean what they seem to think they do. (see “logistics” meaning “repair” for another example.)  While lacking in details, this came off as a “rent a skill” program to get new players to pay money for temporary access to skills to try them out.  It seems like a complete non-starter to me, but I’ll have more words about that later.

And the peak concurrent users for the week rang in about where it did last week, with Sunday being just slightly ahead of Saturday this time around:

  • 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

Related

30 Weeks of World War Bee

After a couple weeks of what one might describe as malaise on the part of PAPI, they finally came back strong this past week, taking advantage once again of their overwhelming numbers.

The big news for the week was probably the M2-XFE titan breakout.  After several feints and aborted attempts, PAPI finally committed to freeing their titans and went all in on it just after downtime on the 27th.  It was a costly operation for PAPI, which sacrificed more than 2 trillion ISK in losses… an amount made up largely of 400+ destroyed dreadnoughts… as the battle report shows.

Battle Report Header

But they managed to extract ~170 of their trapped titans, losing only 6 along the way, leaving 130 or so still in M2-XFE.  That can only count as a significant morale win for PAPI as they now have that many more titans to bring to bear if the situation calls for it.  The remaining titans are estimated to belong to the following groups:

  • Test Alliance Please Ignore – 47
  • Pandemic Horde – 39
  • Northern Coalition – 29
  • Brave Collective – 9
  • The Army of Mango Alliance – 8
  • Evictus – 2
  • Already Replaced – 2
  • Eternal Requiem – 1
  • Sev3rance – 1
  • VENI VIDI VICI – 1
  • Federation Uprising – 1
  • Fraternity – 1

PC Gamer’s Steven Messner wrote an article about the M2-XFE situation and the breakout which even mentions me briefly. (Wish he’d linked to the blog and not just the image, but whatever.)

The breakout coincided with a noticeable rise in participation on the part of PAPI pilots, demonstrating the morale boost the escape has given them.

Delve Front

Delve was far and away the most active area of the war, as one might expect.  After allowing the Imperium to push back some of their gains, the resurgent PAPI began successfully defending ihubs in the region.  One of those was in the system 1-SMEB, where PAPI was able to put up cyno jammers successfully and destroy the Keepstar there without opposition.

They also began to put in a lot of effort retake ihubs in Delve that the Imperium had snatched back.  They have been keen to get ihubs in systems with Keepstars and have been especially invested in reinforcing the ihub in M2-XFE, no doubt to keep their remaining trapped titans from having to extract from under a cyno jammer in another ten days.  After failing on the 28th, managed to secure the grid and reinforce the ihub on the 29th by dropping carriers to support entosis faxes on the ihub, finally claiming it after almost an hour over overtime in the contest.

Battle for the ihub in M2-XFE

That led to another battle yesterday over the ihub, one that ground on for hours because of Fozzie Sov and the fact that the RNG put multiple nodes in the M2-XFE system, which meant that a couple hours went by before even a single node was hacked by either side.  But, after the long tidi grind, PAPI numbers won the contest and now their trapped titans need no longer fear the looming cyno jammers in the system.  Looking at the battle report, compared to some other battles in this war, the cost seemed not so bad.  I supposed when you consider a quarter trillion ISK destroyed and nearly 1,500 kill mails “not so bad” you might be a bit jaded.

That leaves the ihub balance in the region looking like this.

Delve – Jan 31, 2021

PAPI has pushed back and taken ihubs in Keepstar systems.  If they can keep up their numbers advantage it seems likely that we will lose all of those Keepstars.

Also, we now have two metaliminal storms running through Delve, both of which found their way in through the same door.  Given the breadth of null sec, ending up with two such storms in the primary theater of operations… well, if I were a more suspicious person I might think CCP was pushing the RNG just to see what would happen.  They created the feature, no doubt somebody there wants to see how it might affect the war.

Other Theaters

I am demoting Catch to the “other theaters” category, not because of a lack of action there but because it most of the focus is on Delve while Catch is now in there with Esoteria and Immensea and other PAPI backfield regions that are under attack from specific Imperium groups.

In Catch The Initiative has been setting up in U-QVWD, dropping its own structures and sieging  the Legacy Coalition structures located there.

Catch – Jan 31, 2021

Near the connection to Querious Imperium and allied forces have continued to attack ihubs in order to force Legacy to respond.  Operations in Catch have spilled over to the neighboring region of Immensea, where ihubs have started to fall as well.

Immensea – Jan 31, 2021

Meanwhile, the metaliminal storm that had been hanging around in the region took the exit to Stain and is now meandering there.

Over in Querious the dead lands in the east remain unoccupied as neither side has any interest in dropping any further ihubs there it seems.

Querious – Jan 31, 2021

The metaliminal storm that came in from Catch has now moved on into Delve, as noted above.  An incursion has also shown up in one of the eastern constellations.  We shall see if anybody can be bothered to try and fight it.

And, finally, I am going to re-run the same Estoteria map again.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan 31, 2021

The ihub ownership has not changed despit some action over structures in the region.

And up in the north, a small unaligned group operating under the name Freemen of the North has been using the war as an opportunity to assail Fraternity, which has a large number of players back in the home space ratting and mining according to the MER.

My Participation

I did not get into many of the big fights over the past week as a lot of the action was happening in EUTZ.  Downtime is at 11:00 UT, 5am my time, which pretty much guarantees I am asleep when it passes.  But that is when a lot of the action around M2 occurs.  I did get into the big siege of the M2 ihub on Friday with two characters at different times.  At the end, during the “overtime” period, I flew in some ECM burst interceptors to try and help break the locks that hackers had on the ihub.  That ended up costing me three Maledictions, so my losses for the war are now:

  • 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 Imperium finished issuing shares related to the war bond sales.  The UI for handling shares has been unsurprisingly described as “clunky.”  I now have my five shares.  The first dividend payment is due today.

Visible in my wallet

CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson participated in the Venture Beat’s Into the Metaverse summit, speaking about EVE Online.  He tried to jump on the GameStop frenzy by claiming that New Eden faces market manipulation as well, though he apparently couldn’t sight any examples. (pssst: the ice interdiction or Hulkageddon would have done)  He also said that EVE Online added 1.3 million players in 2020, for specific definitions of “added” no doubt.  The online user count certainly doesn’t seem to reflect much in the way of a dramatic influx of users.  But he also didn’t mention how many of them logged in once and never returned, which is the usual problem with the game.

Still, while we’re nowhere close to the record peak users of 2013, this past week did see numbers rise on Sunday at the prime time when both EUTZ and USTZ overlap.

  • 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

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

Related

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)

Related

 

25 Weeks of World War Bee

As expected, the Imperium Keepstar in NOL-M9 was destroyed by PAPI supers as we were unable to take back the ihub to prevent the system from being cyno jammed.  This will likely be the same fate that the Keepstars in D-W7F0 and 1-SMEB will face.

The highlight of the war last week was likely the Christmas Truce, where each group asked its members not to set timers that would come out on December 24th or 25th.  The truce seemed to be mostly respected, though not everybody got the word and the usual suspects on r/eve and elsewhere tried whine their way to a propaganda victory over things few cared about.  Nobody in an actual leadership position called out the other side.

There was even a game of “Griffinball” in T5ZI-S that both sides in the war participated in.  I saw the ping for it, though I didn’t have the time to join in myself.

Of course, the truce only covered structures and sov timers, so there was still plenty of shooting going on.  A big battle broke out on the T5ZI gate in 1DQ and there was an attempt to dread bomb a PAPI Erebus on the Keepstar in T5ZI that went wrong.  Christmas Day saw more than 150 billion ISK in ships blown up across the 1DQ-T5ZI front, most of it being Imperium losses.

And once Christmas Day was past, things returned to the usual grind, though PAPI seemed eager to give us a few last minute presents as they fed first one, then another Marshal blackops battleship for a combined loss of over 18 billion ISK for two subcaps.

Finally, there was a leak from a Fraternity alliance meeting that they were urging their members to get ready for a “big push” in Delve in January, so perhaps PAPI will make another move on 1DQ or Helm’s Deep.

Delve Front

There were not many big changes on the Delve front over the past week.  Timers came and went, but we haven’t been able to wrest any of the Keepstar ihubs back from PAPI.  Their doom awaits.

Delve – Dec. 27, 2020

The electrical metaliminal storm has kept on moving into the region.  Right now it is at a crossroads, where it might head up into the YX-LYK constellation or it could roam right into Helms Deep and its protected areas.  The storm in Helm’s Deep would actually help the Imperium as the only real threat there right now is covert ops bridges into the area to shoot at those still bothering to rat or mine.  Keeping them from cloaking would be a boon.  But even now, with it on E3OI-U it is keeping covert ops ships from slipping past the gate camp.

Catch Front

The Catch region remains in play with Brave and its Legacy Coalition allies having to spend time defending timers and structures.  Early in the week Brave had to defend its ihub, which The Initiative had reinforced.  They managed to form up enough to keep it from being take in the entosis event, but when their propaganda team compared it to the Imperium defending 1DQ I snorted audibly.  High on my list of objections to that comparison is the fact that PAPI hasn’t actually managed to reinforce the 1DQ ihub yet.

Catch – Dec 27, 2020

We keep pecking away at their infrastructure.  The Watchmen, which I mentioned last week because they appeared to be folding up shop, has lost a bunch of members and its sov will be up for grabs.  Legacy seems to have given up for now on killing our staging Fortizar in 0SHT-A, falling back to a defensive posture.  Brave has been keeping up a small gate camp on the gate between GE-8JV, their capital, and V-3YG7, the direction in which we lay.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Gamma storm that has been wandering the region for a few weeks now, the Plasma storm in Providence has started moving closer to the war zone.

Other Theaters

Querious continues to be a low intensity tug of war over some key ihubs in the region.

Querious – Dec. 27, 2020

Meanwhile, The Bastion and friends down in Esoteria are still holding on to a set of systems in the region.

NW Esoteria – Dec. 27, 2020

The Army of Mango Alliance appears to have all but given up fighting in the region.

And, if you have been watching Rorqual losses on zKillboard, you might have noticed that The Initiative has been busy dropping on Legacy’s backfield where they have been mining.

Dec 27 Rorqual kills

That should keep some crabs on their toes.

My Participation

My week in New Eden started with some fights and ended with some fights, but in the middle I wasn’t on all that much.  I formed up a few times for fleets in Delve where not much happened, but out in Catch with Reavers we have had some fun.

Waiting with Asher

I was involved with the fight over the GE-8JV ihub.  While we lost the entosis event, a significant brawl developed where we at least won the ISK war.  I had a close call on the way out.

Cutting things a bit close

But my Ishtar made it into warp and lived to fight another day.  It also has seven kill marks on it now, which is my new all time high.

Headed home for repairs

After the Christmas truce ended we were back at it in Catch on Saturday, reinforcing ihubs and shooting Ansiblex jump bridges.  Brave eventually formed up for us, but not before one pilot threw their Nidhoggur at us to try and stop an ihub hack.

Nidhoggur tackled

I gather he felt that his smart bombs would defang our Ishtars, but we pulled some range, dropped sentry drones, and took him down from a safe distance.  Not too long after we ran into a Jackdaw and Munnin fleet sent to see us off.  We were seriously outnumbered and had to safe up and log off for a bit.  But after that we were able to get out and home.  Through all of that I managed to not lose a ship.

I did lose another Ares, this time by forgetting it was on an alt sitting on a gate in hostile space because I was focused on my main for too long.  So it goes.  My loss count for the war is now:

  • Ares interceptor – 13
  • 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 released the Monthly Economic Report for November 2020 which showed the impact of the latest round of nerfs to the economy.  I wrote a post covering that, but the big news is pretty well summed up in this chart.

Nov 2020 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

Mineral prices are at an all time high, destruction remains high due to the war, and the ISK faucet of NPC bounties has been cut back down to nearly the low point of the Chaos Era null sec Blackout of 2019.

The MER was followed up yesterday with a self congratulatory Dev Blog from CCP about how well they have done fixing the economy.  They promise things won’t remain as grim as they are now, so long as you can do without self-sufficiency, predictability, or wealth.  You can call my outlook cynical and I’ll agree, but I think history warrants it.  I’ll probably do a blog post about the dev blog later this week if I find the time and energy.

Meanwhile, the peak concurrent user count for the week fell on Sunday.  The holiday week was slow and Saturday did not crack the 30K mark, but Sunday it managed to break through to 31K.  The time when it his it peak corresponded to a form up by both sides in the war over a Sotiyo timer.  No fight ensued, so we all just bridged in and glared at each other.

  • 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

Still, that is the low point of the war so far and, while it might be explained away by the holiday, the count does seem to be trending down.  As I mentioned last week, CCP was patting itself on the back for managing to get 1.9 million new accounts in 2020, more than the previous three years combined, but it doesn’t seem to be reflected very well in the PCU.

Related

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.

Related

23 Weeks of World War Bee

We lost another Keepstar while trying to unanchor it.  This time we managed to unanchor the structure ourselves, so PAPI didn’t steal it, but the jump freighter that was sent to scoop it got popped and the Keepstar was destroyed with the ship.  Some day we’ll get one unachored successfully

Then we lost a second one down in Period Basis and the one in NOL-M9 looks to be in danger.   It was not a good week on the Keepstar front for us.

This has added up to a lot of low effort trolling in /r/eve about why Goons won’t admit they have lost the war.  That makes we want to pull out the quote from early in the war, which Vily has reiterated over and over with the full support of his alliance and coalition:

When we started this war, we knew that we were fighting this to the end,” Vily told Polygon. “For us, this is a war of extermination. This is a war to the death. We are aiming for the removal of Mittani and The Imperium from Eve Online. […] We are here to purge them.

-Vily, in an interview with Polygon about the war

Leaving aside the fact that so long as we are still in the game we haven’t lost according to Vily’s stated victory condition, there really isn’t another exit from the war for us.  If Mittens said we’ve lost, that wouldn’t stop the invasion.  If you don’t leave somebody an out then they have nothing to lose if they keep fighting.

You might think that some moderation may have entered the picture since that Polygon article, which ran back in September.  But you would be wrong.

IGN published an article about the war this past week which offers a good summary of what is going on.  But within it you will find Vily bringing up the same end goal.  The war of extermination is still on.  Vily has set the parameters of the war and we have no place better to be.  1DQ1-A is where most of our stuff is now, so that is where we’ll stay.

CCP has also turned its eye back to the war.  With the Triglavian event over they found time to write up a post about the battle at FWST-8, which renewed two Guinness World Records for the company back in early October.  Lots of charts and graphs.

On another front, Massively OP named World War Bee as the Best MMO Event of 2020.

And then there is the ongoing forgotten rigs meme, which hit Vily again this past week.  Madcows of Elitist Ops was nice enough to contract them back.

Available for pickup

We’ll see if he picks them up from our Keepstar in D-W7F0. (Which you can do, it would just be risky.)

Delve Front

The week opened with a bang.  Pretty much as my Week 22 summary post went live PAPI tried to break down the door to 1DQ1-A with their headshot plan to take out the cyno jammers and reinforce the ihub.  We managed to thwart their attempt, but it looked like it was finally going to be Game On.  They were finally going to come and get us.

On the ihub grid

This was what we were waiting for and people on our side were itching for a return bout.

And then everything went back to the slow skirmishes over ihubs and small structures and whatever in Delve.  Not much happened.  Some ihubs changed hands, we botched the Keepstar scoop, and Vily forgot to fit his rigs again.

Delve – Dec. 13, 2020

One environmental change occurred however.  That metaliminal storm I mentioned in Querious last week got on its bike and rode into Delve, landing in SVM-3K.  It is an electrical type storm, which is the one that disables the ability to cloak.  If that keeps moving into the region it could mean some fun times.

Other Theaters

The re-invasion of Fountain announced which I mentioned last week seems to have fallen flat, likely due to lack of interest.

Fountain – Dec. 13, 2020

NCDot had a dozen ihubs there last week, now they have three.  The Initiative, the alleged target, has deployed elsewhere, but somebody seems to be pushing back in their space time.

Also, the metaliminal storm in Fountain, unlike the one now in Delve, seemed content to just meander about its pocket.

Querious remains an entosis skirmish zone.  Systems sit with no ihubs installed as both sides seem tired of them changing hands.

Querious – Dec. 13, 2020

The metaliminal storm in Delve is still on the border with Querious, so its effects still spill into the region despite the distance that regional gate spans.  New Eden storm logic I guess.

In northwest Esoteria, while The Initiative has moved on The Bastion, Ferrata Victrix, and the Stain Russians continue to keep the region from being a safe spot in the Legacy backfield.

Northwest Esoteria – Dec. 13, 2020

And this week we have a new entry in the secondary fronts, which is Catch.  I mentioned this in a post on Saturday and indicated that it too would now have to be included on this list.

The Initiative has set up shop in the system of 0SHT-A (universally referred to as “Oh Shit!”) in the NPC null sec region of Curse, which puts them a single gate from the center of Catch and very close to Brave’s home, route to the war, and supply route from high sec.

Action in Catch

They have used this position to reinforce and kill structures, reinforce and take ihubs, gank the locals, and disrupt life for them behind the lines.

Catch – Dec. 13, 2020

While derided as another pin prick, Legacy Coalition is moving assets and setting jump clones to Catch in order to counter this new fire in their rear area.  This will degrade their efforts in Delve and generally make the war more effort for them to prosecute.

And, just to make things interesting, there is also a storm in Catch, a Gamma storm, which has a penalty to remote reps.  There is also a Winter Nexus event ice storm, but that has no penalties.

Keep up to date on storm locations… at least the non-event ones… over at EVE Scout.

My Participation

I got into a few more fleets over the week than I had in the past couple.  I was lucky enough to get into the PAPI headshot fight in 1DQ1-A, so saw some actually fleet combat.  Otherwise I was mostly along for fleets out covering entosis or shooting people trying to entosis our stuff, though I may have spent some time in Catch.  But none of my ships exploded, so my losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 12
  • 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

CCP introduced some changes with the December patch last Tuesday, among the biggest was the change to PvE drone aggression.  Feedback… and the fact that it broke PvP drone functionality… got CCP to roll back the change.  We’ll see if they try this again once they have their code figured out.

They also un-fixed the fix that stopped people from setting their home stations in NPC stations without cloning services.  This bug was around so long that it became a feature.  The real question for me was why NPC stations don’t all have clone services at this point?

Unannounced in the patch notes, or anywhere else, was a new character generation process.  This only affects newly created accounts and there is already a forum thread complaining about it.  To me it feels like an attempt to simplify the character creation process to get people actually into the game without getting bogged down in avatar creation.  We’ll see how that plays out.

They also kicked off the holiday event, the Winter Nexus.

And this week CCP faced another foe; the launch of Cyberpunk 2077.  Given how many people are talking about this game… it shattered Blizzard’s claim that Shadowlands was the fastest selling PC game ever, moving 8 million pre-orders, including 4.7 million on PC… the PCU dipped only slightly on 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)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149

Of course, Legacy was supposed to be conducting that big move op in order to defend Catch, so that and the holiday event might have been enough to keep the numbers from tipping too far.  We’ll see how it goes next week.

Related

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.