The repulse of the attack on Fountain and the subsequent punitive invasion of Delve have been going well for the CFC. I joke about Goons invading Delve out of sheer habit at this point, but the joke has its basis in fact; this is my fourth year in the CFC and at least my fourth time into Delve.
In the near corner of Delve, N3 continues to lose systems, with 15 now having been taken from them, a jump of 8 since Thursday.
As that was going on I missed what might have been one of the most glorious moments so far in Reaver history. Sure, we’ve caught and killed some supers in the past, but this was even better. The Reavers managed to break NCdots hold on one of their systems in Querious, so that they lost sovereignty for a short stretch of time.
In ED-L9T the Reavers, with some help for the final fight, managed to temporarily wrest sovereignty away from NCdot.
N3 lost more in that fight than we did, including a big fat Moros dreadnought, and had to pull allies back who should have been defending Delve (in addition to offering ship replacement coverage to their renters) in order to retake and hold the system while their TCU came online. The system now has to go through the slow process of regaining “levels,” something that just happens over time as you hold a system, in order to restore full capabilities to the system and station.
This is exactly what the Reavers are supposed to do, keep prodding behind enemy lines until the hostiles have to respond in force, at which point we fade away. Asher gave us a day off from operations to celebrate this coup so we could satisfy any need we might feel to join the main fleet and help burn a bit of Delve.
All of which is a lot of fun, but which also ignores the longer term question as to what the CFC plans to do when the sovereignty changes come this June. We gave up Delve, Querious, and Period Basis, selling them to N3, before the Phoebe changes back in November, and nothing has changed to make me think that we will suddenly be able to hang on to Delve in the longer term.
Then, over the weekend, the other metaphorical shoe dropped and it was announced that the CFC will be pulling out of Fountain before the June Fozzie-Sov hits. This came as a statement directly from The Mittani and via the LAWN state of the alliance update.
That means that at some point in the near future, the CFC is going to hold, the relinquish, possession of Fountain and Delve (circled in red below) before moving back to the north, outlined in blue. (Map from the usual source.)
The CFC will back at the top of the map, alliances packed into closer proximity so as to better defend our space during the chaos of change. Because there is still a question as to what Fozzie Sov will bring.
I doubt it will bring down any of the established null sec organizations. That would require a system where the best organized groups were put at a disadvantage, which would seem like a pretty counter-productive long-term goal for CCP. Punishing the people who are likely the most invested in your game would be a bad plan. But the goals laid out in early March made it clear that CCP wants to make sovereignty easier to take, which should still favor the organized. And, as a counter to that ease of conquest idea, there is the plan that sovereign space that gets used for things like mining or ratting should receive a defense bonus.
What I have yet to hear… and I haven’t dredged through the 200 page long threadnought regarding the Fozzie Sov changes, so maybe it has been fully addressed… is whether or not null sec space is going to get any sort of boost to make it worth keeping. Because, right now, there are systems in null sec, in the space I live in, that are held merely because they are adjacent. They don’t spawn anomalies worth doing (and spawn very few at that) nor do they have belts worth mining. Add in systems on heavily traveled paths through null sec, so nobody wants to rat or mine there as potential hostiles are always passing through, and you will find a not insignificant number of systems in null that nobody will want to invest time in. I will be interested to see if there is a plan for those, or if they will simply become the weak parts in any sov holding entity’s armor by design.
Meanwhile, it looks like a good time to get into null sec if you are a new player.
Back when I started, getting into null meant establishing a reputation and knowing somebody already in an alliance to vouch for you. Recruitment of newbies wasn’t all that common aside from certain groups that could pull from their external source, like the Goons from Something Awful or TEST from Reddit. I got into null because I knew Gaff, and he got in because he knew somebody through another game, and how he got into null I am not sure, but it was probably through yet another recommendation. There was something of a wall between new players and null, enough to cause some rage to be directed at me when I highlighted one day old character tackling in a fleet op because those results were not typical or available to everybody all the time. How dare I pretend null sec entities want new players by telling an anecdote about a fleet op!
And then Brave Newbies, a group that specializing taking on new players, got into null sec, and the flood gates were open. (Not that it was tough to get into TEST, but it required a little effort. BNI removed even that minor effort.)
The success of Brave Newbies and their ability to field large numbers apparently had some impact. Goonswarm opened up Karma Fleet, which allowed just about anybody to join up and get into the fight in null sec.
Since then, Pandemic Legion has announced their own new player friendly enterprise, the Pandemic Horde, which already has more than 600 pilots, not all of which can be spies.
I would suspect that other null sec entities would want to get in on that influx of new players in order to bolster their own numbers, lest they find themselves at an even greater disadvantage, and to provide a pool of potential candidates to promote into their core organizations… if they can get over their elite PvP bias. I suppose you could view renting as an ingress, but it really isn’t the same thing. There is a distance between the renters and the landlords.
So Fozzie Sov, when it arrives, will at least start with the CFC in a smaller space and probably with a scramble for the soon-to-be-abandoned Delve and Fountain sovereignty. I wonder who our new neighbors will be?
Addendum: And judging from how Jabber is humming today, there should be an epic GSF Alliance Update out in the next day that will be full of smug.