Tag Archives: Catch

Back Home in Delve Once More

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was when I ran into some problems.

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

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

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

Eagle on the way home

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

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

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

The Oneiros flies again

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

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

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

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

The Vigil on the move

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

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

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

The Collapse of the Eastern Front

We are in retreat.

It has been an orderly retreat, with plenty of organized move ops, jumping by stages to fall back positions, but it is a retreat none the less.

Waiting for a bridge out of Tenerifis

It was announced at the beginning of August that we would be pursuing the war in the southeast of null sec against FI.RE more aggressively.  Asher Elias, the new leader of the Imperium, wanted us to act more aggressively, to put more at risk, in order to get better fights and more fun.  So we moved capitals and supers and reinforcements to our outpost in Tenerifis.

This was a renewal of the campaign already in progress, where we had already taken a chunk of Tenerifis and had even grabbed a foothold in Immensea.

And that campaign was a renewal of the GEF campaign that started back in March, after FI.RE and its allies had been attacking friends on our eastern flank in Impass and Esoteria.  That ended in Tenerifis, after which we went back home… only to return again.

So we have been moving back and fourth and fighting off and on in the southeast against FI.RE for close to six month now.  I’ve been on my fair share of move ops over that time.  Too many, really.

So more move ops were not on my wish list… and yet here we are.

The problem was that FI.RE finally got reinforcements from their PAPI allies in PanFam and Fraternity.

FI.RE had been getting the occasional fleet flying down to help them, but PanFam finally decided to commit fully to the war, bringing with them enough numbers that we went from being able have an advantage to not being able to gain local superiority sufficient to defend the ihubs we had taken so far.

I knew things were turning against us, that our gains in Immensea were falling, but I was still a bit surprised to hear that we were heading home.  I missed the Saturday fireside, but saw move ops being announced.  I thought maybe they were reinforcements until I listened to the recording of the fireside and heard we were heading home.

Move ops can be no big deal at times.  Moving some subcaps, even gating them, can be quick.  But we had made a point of deploying lots of caps and supers out to our staging at ZMV9-A in Tenerifis.  They all had to come home.

Titans in their undock spots on the Keepstar

Coordinating capitals and subcaps slows things down.  There needs to be some subcaps to cover the capitals as they are prime targets to be tackled.  So the pace of movement drops significantly as we wait timers to run down.

And it gets all the more difficult when the enemy decides to hound you all the way home.  You cannot travel through a reinforced Ansiblex.

No fast travel that way

A few dedicated pilots can slow a move op down to a crawl, bubbling gates and grabbing the stragglers.  Even if they don’t blow anybody up, having to turn around and jump back through a gate to save people can wear on the whole operation.

Another bubble on another gate

But the only thing worse than being stuck in a slow move op is trying to run the gauntlet solo and getting blown up because the hostiles are camping the route home expecting people to do just that.

So you get in the fleet and take a bridge and then some gates and then sit at a waypoint waiting for the capitals to be able to jump in.

A resting point on the way home

The move ops over the last week have gone in two phased.  We went from Tenerifis to Catch on the first leg, then from Catch home to Delve on the second.  There was some time pressure on us to get through the first leg, and it is expected that we’ll lose the Keepstar that was our staging base in ZMV9-A will end up being destroyed.  The price of our adventures in the east.

But last night saw the first move ops landing in Delve.  Three out of the five ships I needed to get back are secure again in 1DQ1-A.

Now the question is what will happen on our eastern boarder?  We began this venture back in March because PAPI was attacking there.  We drove them back, returned home, had to drive them back again, and now they have shown up in force to drive us back.  Will they carry on into our space?

It might be nice to have some content delivered to us.  Deployments are work to maintain.  Armies in the field can fall apart without ever facing the enemy in force if supply lines are waylaid and morale sags.  Now we’re back at home.

Moving into Tenerifis for the War

The Asher Elias era of the Imperium has arrived.  We are going to go all-in on our war in the south.  And that means moving forward into enemy space.

That means moving to Tenerifis.  We have already extended ourselves out of easy reach from the Keepstart in GE-8JV.  To get to the front line quickly it requires a few gates and a couple of bridges.

A Ragnarok sending us on our way

Looking at Tenerifis now you can see we have been knocking over ihubs again.

Tenerifis – Aug 1, 2022

However, as I said, we’re getting beyond easy range for attacks and reinforcement.  So The Initiative dropped a Keepstar in Tenerifis to allow us easier access to the region as well as putting us near a regional gate to Immensea, likely the next region on the list for us to burn down.

Capitals landing on the new Keepstar

Move ops to the new staging Keepstar began as soon as Asher was done with speech on Thursday.  This made me a little anxious because move ops tend to kick off with a vengeance right away, then fall off as suddenly.  As such I always try to get in the first couple of move ops to get myself sorted.

However, Asher’s speech ended in the middle of the work day for me, so I didn’t get on an op Thursday… nor Friday.  They seemed to be mostly in EUTZ.  Saturday there was the promise of an op in the morning, but that turned out to be a capital only move op and I was out in GE-8JV with only a few subcaps.

Sunday morning it was finally my day.  I was up early and a morning move op was announced.  I got my main and my alt logged in and into my two largest ships, then found somebody in a capital ship that could carry my Flycatcher in their SMA hold.

The capitals undocked first and did a jump, then settled in to wait out their jump timers, after which the subcaps were sent off.

A collection of hulls, with a freighter catching up

With support it was a very quick op.  A few gates to catch up to the capitals, then on to a titan that bridged us to the new Keepstar.  Piece of cake.

It was so quick that I started looking around for something else I could move.  The train from GE-8JV was going to keep running for a while.  You could just shuttle back and fly your next subcap to the titan and get another bridge.

But I had no more ships at our old staging, and I didn’t want to yolo all the way from 1DQ1-A on a weekend as we approached the peak overlap between EU and US time zones.  If the route wasn’t camped it would be a minor miracle.

So I started looking around at where I had jump clones and found, on my alt, I still had a ship… an Oneiros, which is still part of our battleship doctrine… sitting in a station in an Angel Cartel NPC station in D87E-A over in Curse, left over from back around week 24 or week 25 of World War Bee, when The Initiative had set up a Fortizar in 0SHT-A to use to harass Legacy Coalition in Catch.

It might even be that Oneiros in the picture

Eventually that Fortizar got popped, but before it did we moved our stuff to an NPC station.  At some point there were a couple of move ops back, but once again I had more ships than I could move, so left that one behind with a jump clone.

And, frankly, D87E-A to GE-8JV seemed like a viable run.  Plus I had lived without that ship for something like 18 months, making it seem pretty expendable. (Plus, grabbing it would free up another clone.  I am always about three clones shy of the number I need.)  So I jump cloned over and undocked.  And I made it.

Seriously.  No drama, no hostiles, nothing.  I just gated on over, got on the titan, and took the bridge to the Keepstar.  Another ship to hand.

The promise has been that the war will be escalating, that we will be going a lot harder than we had been so far.  Titans and super carriers were moving into position, so the big toys will be available to use.  I have some ships I want to use myself, including a shiny new battleship for the Tech Fleet doctrine, which replaced the venerable Baltecs.  I still have too many Megathrons sitting around from that doctrine.

Tempest Fleet Issue awaiting its time

There is also word that Pandemic Horde might come south in force to face us.  And with Asher running the show, there are no doubt some experimental doctrines or unconventional tactics waiting to be tried.

The promise of action is before us in Tenerifis.  I hope it will come to pass and that I’ll be able to join in.  I don’t want to fly all those ships back home unused.

The Imperium Rebuffed at UALX-3

Apparently we ran out of Eagles.  Or that was the word by the time I was able to get logged in and join one of the reinforcement fleets.  I had an Eagle.  It was the ship I brought out on the first move op.

Heading eastward through an Ansiblex

But it was too late by then.  By the time I was in a fleet and up on voice coms we were being told to stand down, that we had been thwarted in our first major battle of the brewing war.

All of this was around the ihub in the system UALX-3… another system with some history, where another big fight took place… located in Tenerifis, where we were just a few weeks back.  The Imperium had reinforced the ihub and the timer came out yesterday afternoon my time.  PAPI decided to contest this and a tug of war over control of the system broke out, running for several hours.  The joys of Fozzie Sov.

Northwest Tenerifis – June 24, 2022

The system is not too far in from Catch, where we are staged currently, and would make a good forward base if we could grab it and hold it.  However, we failed to do that.  The battle report, which covers all of the systems in the constellation, because that is how the sovereignty contest system works, with nodes appearing constellation wide to fight over, showed very even numbers

Anyway, the header from the battle report:

Battle Report Header

1,400 pilots counted in the tally, divided between the two sides,  though those who don’t get on a kill mail somehow, which often means logi, don’t end up on the main report.  Still, a significant number of ships on the field, with 1,604 ships destroyed, which means there was significant numbers re-shipping and returning to the fight after they were blown up.

All told, just shy of 209 billion ISK was destroyed in the fight.  We’re not into World War Bee top ten battles territory yet… not even close… but for the opening of a conflict it is not insignificant.

The Imperium lost both the objective and the ISK was and had to pull its forces back to its staging system to regroup.  This failure means a reassessment of the plan of attack no doubt, along with a call for more supplies and more pilots to move to the staging Keepstar in Catch.  Move ops are carrying on and contracts are going up on the market to supply the war effort.

We will see how the next strike fares.

The Imperium Deploys East for War

The Initiative and the Goon Expeditionary Force just spent two months burning down FI.RE’s territory, sweeping clear the flood plains before their home, arriving at the gates of the main staging system in Tenerifis.  We returned from that operation at the end of the first week of the month.

Capital ships taking a gate on the way home

That expedition came about because FI.RE and their PAPI allies were poking at our eastern border.

The lesson did not stick though.  Soon after we withdrew FI.RE and PAPI… not that there is much of a distinction between the two at this moment… returned to our eastern border and began attacking structures, culminating in the destruction of a Dracarys Keepstar in 68FT-6.

If that system sounds familiar, it might be because that was where Judgement Day occurred, when The Judge sold out Circle of Two, handing their Keepstar over to the Imperium, leading CO2 to implode after their leader was banned for threatening to cut off The Judge’s hands.

Good times

But I digress.

Instead of a weekly fireside update, yesterday was scheduled as a State of the Goonion address, at which The Mittani would deliver a short address after which forces would be mustered and move ops would begin.

The full text of the State of the Goonion has been posted over at INN.  But, in summary, this was all BS and we weren’t going to stand for it any more.  The full weight of the Imperium’s war machine would hove eastward to deal with this menace.  Impass is something of a fringe zone, not really in our space but we have assets there.  The hard line is at the Catch border, so we will be going there.

Some new doctrines will be in use, which meant I had to come up with some new ships (at which I failed, the market was bare by the time I got there) and older ones would be left behind. (I still have too many Megathrons sitting around, bought in anticipation of the final climactic battle in 1DQ that never came.)  At least I had a couple of Eagles on hand, as that was one of the doctrines going to the front.

And the movement of forces eastward began.

I was actually busy at home and missed the first round of move ops, which was probably fine.  The first op was a combined capital and sub-caps op, which always moves very slowly.  I did several of those on on the GEF deployment and they can be trying.  And, by the time I was ready to move there was a sub-cap only move op going, which took all of ten minutes to run from undock in 1DQ1-A to arrival in our staging Keepstar.

Heading eastward through an Ansiblex

There were ops starting not long after I arrived.  But, as usual, I brought the wrong ship first and couldn’t go along.  But I got out on the first day of deployment, which is usually a good thing.  I will wait for the supply train to catch up and buy whatever else I need out there.

And the propaganda war has begun.  The meme engines are revving up.  Soon I predict the most popular thing to complain about on r/eve will be people posting about the war.

Just two years ago World War Bee kicked off.  Are we on to another big war again?

Related:

A Keepstar Dies in Catch

The war is over and most groups are back in their homes… old or new… and working on building up for the next struggle.  Out in Delve we have Ansiblex jump gates again and an industrial infrastructure in progress and ADMs on the rise.

But there are still some details to take care of.  While most of the PAPI structures have been cleared out, a Keepstar was still hanging on in Catch, in U-QVWD.  That might have been the most reinforced structure of the war.  The Initiative went after it many times, but it was a key waypoint on the capital highway to the east, so PAPI forces kept showing up to defend it even when they were not doing much in Delve proper.

They even gave it a name to taunt Dark Shines of INIT

But Monday night late USTZ the final timer was coming up for it.  The question was whether or not TEST or PAPI would put any effort into defending it one more time.  It was far from Outer Passage, but not impossible to get to.

The Imperium was not going to take any chances.  Capitals moved out the day before and as tht timer counted down subcap fleets were formed up and sent to Catch.  After all, who doesn’t want to get on a Keepstar kill?

Titans waiting their turn

There was even some chatter about Pandemic Horde doing a flash form and maybe coming our way.  But nothing came of it.  The joke went around that they accidentally jumped to the bait beacon in UQ-PWD like so many of their comrades before.

I had a jump clone and a couple of ships over in Curse in an NPC station just a couple of jumps away, so I grabbed an Ishtar I had sitting around and joined in to watch the fun.

Ishtar watching the Keepstar

I have been a bit under the weather and wasn’t feeling up to being in main fleet, so I did this on my own.  I waited until the Keepstar was down to about 15% then warped in range and took a few distant pot shots at it.  I scored no hits, but you get credit for trying.

The Keep exploded soon there after.

Another one bites the dust

I made it on the kill mail with about 800 of my fellow Imperium pilots.

GSOL, well practiced at this now, swooped in and grabbed the core then salvaged the wreck.

GSOL doing its thing

There is another TEST Keepstar in 0SHT-A, one gate over in Curse.  I am sure that will be next on the list.

 

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