Tag Archives: Citadel

Null Sec Outpost Conversions and the Great Asset Recovery

One of the presentations at EVE Fanfest this past weekend that attracted my attention was the structures talk. (INN has a summary of the presentation, or you can watch the recording which is at about the 5 hour  27 minute mark on the Fanfest Day 2 video on Twitch.  Addendum: Summarized by CCP in this forum post as well.)

Fanfest 2017

Upwell structures, which first showed up with the Citadel expansion last April have blossomed in New Eden, with citadels and engineering complexes being deployed in large numbers.

The presentation went over some of the statistics about such structures, repeating some of what was in the keynote presentation and the going into some additional detail.  There was also some further information about the coming refineries that will, among other things, replace player owned starbases in the moon mining role.

But for me, one of the most interesting bits of the presentation was regarding the removal of outposts from null sec.  Outposts are the conquerable stations in null sec space that have, over the years, change the shape of space and have been the focal point of conflicts.

CCP removed the ability to anchor new outposts in null sec space with the last update in YC118.  The final outpost was anchored just before the deadline by Fraternity, and event covered by EN24 which includes a retrospective about outposts including links to Dev Blogs about them going back to 2005.

The final five outposts

With this presentation CCP gave us a look at their plan for removing outposts.  The plan is for them to become “faction” citadels to be put in place of the current 68 null sec outpost structures.  The current sovereignty owner will get a special Fortizar sized citadel which they can leave in place or move elsewhere.

Faction Citadels

Interestingly, these will be very much limited edition citadels that nobody will be able to build.  This will no doubt both inflate their value as unique items in New Eden and make them more desirable targets for destruction.

While packing them up and selling them might be the plan for some, there will be an incentive to leave them in place.  At the time of the transition each outpost-come-citadel will get a special rig that will approximate all of the outpost upgrades in a single rig slot (leaving room for additions), making these citadels very powerful indeed.

Faction Rigs

As with the citadel itself, these will be one-off rigs, never to be seen again in New Eden.  And just to make the choice of what to do with the citadel “interesting,” the rig will be destroyed if you fold up the citadel to move it or sell it, creating a strong incentive to leave it where it is.

The actual date for this transition was stated as “Winter” which, given that we’ve just entered Spring, means there is a while to go before we see this transition.  I suspect that this is something that will easily fall into 2018/YC120.

When it does, however, there will be one interesting side effect.  When you leave something in an outpost and you no longer have access to that outpost, your asset is pretty much stuck unless you left a jump clone behind.

Citadels are different.  They have asset recovery.  So once all of the outposts have been converted to citadels, any assets in the outposts will also be moved.

On Outpost Transition Day

And with that, all of the assets that have been locked away in lost outposts will suddenly become recoverable.  There is a price, 10% of the assessed value, but paying that will put the items in a low sec station where the capsuleer can recover it.

Suddenly everything from bits of veldspar to capital ships left behind by people after various wars will suddenly be accessible.  While I have been pretty good about not leaving stuff behind in null sec (low and high sec if a very different story), I still have items left behind in a few outposts. (Mostly in Fade)

I wonder what sort of impact that will have on the game and the economy.  I wonder how much wealth in assets has been locked away, sometimes for years, in inaccessible outposts.

A Few Slides from the Fanfest EVE Online Keynote

EVE Fanfest kicked off in Iceland yesterday and included the EVE Online keynote.

Fanfest 2017

Some of the keynote was spent reviewing what happened over the last year… or year and a bit in one case… with some statistics.  And I love statistics so, since I happened to be home and able to watch the keynote, I grabbed screen shots of some of the slides with numbers to share and have to hand to compare against any future updates.

Citadels

Citadel stats as of Fanfest 2017

Citadel stats are something where I have a previous count from EVE Vegas 2016, which happened at the end of October last year, so we can see how that has progressed:

Deployed:

  • Astrahus 14,322, up 7,632 since Vegas
  • Fortizar 1,772, up 1,025 since Vegas
  • Keepstar 38 , up 24 since Vegas

So the count for all citadel types have doubled since the end of October 2016.

Destroyed:

  • Astrahus 2,353
  • Fortizar 270
  • Keepstar 4

Engineering Complexes

Engineering Complex stats as of Fanfest 2017

Engineering complexes came in with the Ascension expansion on November 15 of last year, taking over production abilities from the old school Player Owned Starbase, or POS.  In the less than five months since then they have sprung up all over.

Deployed:

  • Raitaru 5,522
  • Azbel 875
  • Sotiyo 123

Destroyed:

  • Raitaru 471
  • Azbel 72
  • Sotiyo 4

Alpha Clones

Alpha clone stats as of Fanfest 2017

Alpha clones, the limited “free” option for EVE Online, was the big feature that came in with the Ascension expansion last November, and they have popped up all over.

Alpha Clone Stats:

  • Ships Lost 1,217,366
  • Final Blows Landed 40,941
  • Ships Destroyed by Alpha Fleets 32,065
  • Ship Manufacturing Jobs 228,342
  • Module Manufacturing Jobs 580,657
  • Market Transactions 33,377,966

Those numbers would be more interesting if we knew what percentage of the total of New Eden they represented.  But Alpha clones are out there.

Fighters

Fighter stats as of Fanfest 2017

The coming of the Citadel expansion in late April of 2016 not only brought new structures to New Eden, but also force auxiliary capital ships and changes to carriers and super carriers.  Rather than drones and old-style fighters, they would use a new type of fighter.

Produced:

  • Heavy 5,686,882
  • Light 4,104,542
  • Support 355,939

Destroyed:

  • Heavy 10,419
  • Light 205,112
  • Support 11,286

Of course, I wonder how many fighters have been lost ratting as opposed to PvP.

Skill Trading

Skill trading stats as of Fanfest 2017

Skill trading, skill injectors, and skill extractors came along in February of last year as part of what I called the Mardi Gras release, since it fell on fat Tuesday.

  • Skill Extractors Used 2,227,528
  • Skill Injectors Used 2,198,120
  • Skill Points Extracted 1,113,764,000,000
  • Skill Points Injected 832,396,750,000
  • Most Extracted Skill – Mining Barge
  • Most Injected Skill – Drone Interfacing

So there are/were 29,408 skill injectors on the loose or on the market representing 14,704,000,000 extracted skill points.  Of course, the one stat I really want is how many skill points disappeared because somebody took a 500K SP injector and only got a 150K SP boost.

Battles

CCP also highlighted three large battles that took place over the last year.  Last Fanfest took place during the Casino War, but any large scale battles from that had already occurred and we were in the midst of the three months of skirmishes before the Imperium moved south to Delve.  However, all three of those battles can be seen as fallout from the Casino War and all involved Circle of Two and citadels.

Conflict with Neighbors

The Battle at Oijanen in November of last year was over a Project Mayhem Astrahus and saw the Drone Region Federation lined up against alliances from the north including CO2 and TEST.

Death of a Keepstar

The final battle around the CO2 Keepstar in M-OEE8 in December was the culmination of the invasion of Tribute by Northern Coalition and Pandemic Legion.  Once the Keepstar was destroyed, CO2 and their ally TEST evacuated the north to look for greener pastures.  I was there for this battle.

Two Fortizars coming online

The battle at F4R2-Q in January was the other side of the coin from the battle at M-OEE8, as it represented CO2 and TEST attempting to grab new territory in null sec from the Stainwagon coalition.  The battle itself was sparked by two Fortizars coming online, one for CO2 and one for TEST, that would give them a foothold in the Catch region.  While they lost both Fortizars, Stainwagon resistance crumbled and the alliances have taken over much of their old space.

I was also there for this battle which will be remembered as the one where we managed to get Asher to give us 10 participation links, something he has vowed never to do again.

Anyway, those were the review slides that held statistical or historical interest for me.

The Coming of Refineries in New Eden

Upwell structures continue to take over New Eden.  CCP put up a dev blog about the current state of citadels and engineering complexes with some informational tidbits such as:

  • Over 7800 different player corporations have at least one Upwell Structure in space right now.
  • Four player alliances have active home citadels with more traffic and trade volume than any NPC stations except for the big four trade hubs and the newbie systems. The busiest of them has also surpassed Rens in trade volume.
  • The top 100 most active industry facilities in EVE (measured by industry job output value) so far in 2017 consist of 13 NPC stations, one Outpost, one Starbase array, one Citadel and 84 Engineering Complexes.

The new structures have definitely been embraced by a swathe of the community.

Keepstars are the new centerpiece of player empires

As a follow up to this, CCP also posted a dev blog about the next Upwell branded structures they expect to release, Refineries. (There is also a survey to gauge how you feel about these structures.)

Refineries will replace player owned starbases in the role of moon mining, and the act of moon mining will go from passive act (or passive aggressive according to Kirith Kodachi) to a much more active process, where chunks of the moon will be displaced into space to be collected manually.

Everybody’s current favorite moon chunk picture

According to the follow up questions and answer post, this will mean the end of siphons.  Since harvesting from moons will be a more active process, stealing the moon bounty will also become something you have to get out there in a ship and do directly.

There is still no time frame for when Refineries will be coming to the game.  I suspect that we will hear a lot more about this at Fan Fest, which is coming up in less than two weeks now.  Over at INN there is word that CCP Fozzie will be appearing on the Talking in Stations podcast with Matterall to discuss what has been announced.

This means one less activity for player owned starbases, the familiar old POS that has dotted New Eden for many years now.  With moon mining operations gone, the purpose of the POS will be as a place for jump bridges, cyno beacons, and cyno jammers.

When the POS finally disappears, it will be the end of an era.  I have spent a lot of time in game “shooting the stick” and forming up in the protective force field that surrounds the central tower of a POS.  My first ever fleet op in null sec involved shooting a POS.

Modules blowing up back in 2011

In the new world of structures, with their vulnerability timers that let you control when you have to fight, I have no doubt there will be some nostalgia for the old POS once it finally disappears.  You could go and shoot one to reinforce it whenever you wanted.

Why yes, I will shoot this POS

And nothing will replace the giddy feeling when the shield hit points drop below 25% on a tower you expected to just reinforce.  A boring old POS shoot suddenly becomes a kill mail.  Those days will soon be behind us.

A Fortizar Goes Online in 1-SMEB

TODAY 23:00 MAX NUMBERS DIVORCE YOUR CHILDREN, SACRIFICE YOUR WIFE AT THE ALTAR STRAT OP, SUBS, CAPS, SUPERS, TITANS, RORQUALS. BE THERE.

~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to all at 2016-08-01 18:29:53.901185 EVE ~~~

Somebody was trying to impress upon us the importance of the 23:00 op.

As it happens, 23:00 is about the earliest time on a weekday when I can possibly make a fleet op, and I was home in time, online, and ready to pile into Asher’s fleet once the official ping went out and the fleet went up.  This was officially a Proteus fleet and I got into my Oneiros again.

The fleet filled up quickly enough and a second fleet went up on Apple Pear, one of our EU TZ FCs who was up late.  His fleet seemed to be… less discriminating.  There was a call to get people in fleet, alts included, in whatever ship was to hand.  So I logged on my combat alt, put him in a Crucifier, and had him join Apple Pear’s fleet.

Meanwhile, there was a capital fleet forming up… and all of us were using the same coms channel.  While confusing at times, this is generally a sign that we are doing some sort of coordinated op.

With one fleet full, another filling up, and the caps doing whatever it is they do as they assemble, we began to undock, with Asher’s fleet going first.

Once more out of the Genolution Biotech Production station

Once more out of the Genolution Biotech Production station

We undocked, headed to the 1-SMEB gate and jumped through.  The Apple Pear’s fleet undocked, warped to the gate, and then stood to there as the capitals began to hit the gate.  The landed there in two streams, one from the station and one from the safe POS, and jumped through.

Caps landing on the 1-SMEB gate in Sakht

Caps landing on the 1-SMEB gate in Sakht

On the 1-SMEB side, once most of the caps were through, Asher warped us to a spot on grid.  Had I been more aware of my surroundings, I would have seen it on the overview.  But, as I have grown used to citadels showing up there, another one didn’t strike me as something worth noting.  But as when we landed on it, I saw what was going on.

Fortizar going online

Fortizar going online

Yeah, I know, big deal, right?  There are lots of Frotizar’s in New Eden now.  We lived under the unblinking gaze of three of them in the Quafe Factory Warehouse back in Saranen.

You can see three Fortizars on grid now

You could see three Fortizars on one grid in Saranen

But this was ours.

The Imperium has put down dozens of Astrahus medium citadels.  They were in Saranen, all over Venal, in Pure Blind, and dotted the route south to Delve.  But for us to actually bother putting down a Fortizar, as common as they may be, is something of a statement I suppose.

And we were all there to make sure it went online without a hitch.  So all three fleets spread out around it and watched it count down through its final period of vulnerability, after which it could be gunned and would require the whole timer routine to kill.

Supers in a semi-circle around the Fortizar

Supers in a semi-circle around the Fortizar

One hostile landed on grid with us during the process, but warped off quickly.  Otherwise nobody showed up to try and keep our new citadel from going online.

When the counter finished and it was live, there was some cheering.  Asher and another titan pilot shot off their lance doomsday weapons.  And Jay Amazingness let us shoot his Chimera, a sacrifice to the welp gods in Delve no doubt.  We were also encouraged to troll Reddit by putting up pictures with 1-SMEB replaced with 93PI-4.  Somebody did one that looked pretty good.  My own attempt was a bit more… raw… in the grand MS Paint tradition.

And that was that.  We had a large citadel in Delve.  It isn’t a Keepstar, but we’ll get there I bet.

Then it was time to run the whole thing in reverse, with subcap fleets covering each side of the gate as the capitals went back home.  A participation link was generated, my first one for August, and I got to click on it with both my main and my alt. (Though, since they are both linked to my forum account, I am not sure if that really means anything.  But I did it anyway.  Never not click on pap links.)

Not a terribly exciting event, but one that was good for the team.  Once we were done shepherding the capitals back, the op was done.  We were encouraged to go mine and rat in 1-SMEB to build up the ADM.  I got out my Procurer to help out, but as it turns out 1-SMEB only had two asteroid belts (one of which was already mined out, and the other was almost gone) and wasn’t spawning any mining anoms, which put a damper on that plan.

So I decided to use the time to jump clone back to Jita to list all the items I shipped there from Saranen.  More assets converted to ISK.  I also stopped to look at the TNT Delve 2016 video.  See, we’re still a thing, we have a video!

The array of ships around the Fortizar as we babysat it was pretty neat, and a number of people put up good screen shots:

And I have my own screen shots from the Fortizar op:

Citadels in Saranen

Last week The Imperium changed its sovereignty timers to run in EUTZ.  Previously they had been running in AUS TZ, where we had had considerable success on defense for a while.  The changes to EUTZ was billed as a way to catch hostiles running entosis links during a time when we could put more pilots on the field.

I supposed this worked to a certain extent.  The primary bit of evidence is the kill boards, and Pandemic Legion’s stats in particular, whose killboard ISK efficiency is lower this month than even January 2014, when the battle at B-R5RB took place. (They were at 68% efficiency for that month, though the amount destroyed, as measured in ISK, was much, much larger.)

Efficiency down for May

Efficiency down for May

The flip side of this is that our foes are also strong in EUTZ and still out number us.  So this strategy lasted for about a week after which we were fresh out of sovereignty to attract targets.  Last night the few remaining systems in the constellation around D2-HOS fell and that was that.

The last corner of Pure Blind falls

The last corner of Pure Blind falls

We have now reached one of those possible victory conditions I mentioned previously.  The Imperium holds no sovereignty, so we’ve lost.  Right?

GSF sovereignty now officially zero

GSF sovereignty now officially zero

Reddit, the official forum of the MBC, is certainly celebrating victory right now.

But are we defeated?

Judging from pings and ops going out and systems being reinforced and numbers showing up for fleets, it certainly does not look like it.  We are currently dug into Saranen and even managed to drop a citadel on grid with our station the other night.

In response to this PL dropped a large citadel, a Fortizar, on the same grid as our home station in Saranen.

The Fortizar looms

The Fortizar looms

We are in a state where the game as a whole is still figuring out what to do with citadels.  At first glance, and this is my guess as to motivation, this gives PL a station that overlooks our undock.  PL even declared war on all of the remaining Imperium alliances, so that NPC station and gate guns in low sec space wouldn’t fire on them any more when they shot at us.

However, this turned into one of those “tracers work in both directions” sort of things, where the fact that they could sit and watch our undock meant that we could also sit and watch them, either by undocking or by sitting on our of medium citadel, safely tethered and waiting for something to happen.

Hurricanes tethered

Hurricanes tethered

Meanwhile, our response to actually getting a citadel anchored and running was to immediately drop another citadel on the station grid in hopes of drawing more hostile fax machines into the system to kill with Hurricanes.

SACCitadel3

Another medium citadel freshly dropped and spinning up

The Hurricane has become the backbone of our defense and any time hostiles show up in force in capitals or T3s or other expensive ships, we undocked in them in order to trade cheap, well insured T1 battlecruisers for whatever they choose to bring.

Saturday, when that second citadel was coming online we formed up in Hurricanes again to see if there would be another brawl like the ones we saw last week.  As the citadel finishes building there is a period of vulnerability during which it has no defenses of its own, so anybody can show up and pop it if you do not defend it.

Citadel vulnerability as it deploys

Citadel vulnerability as it deploys… it kept getting renamed

We were again up in Hurricanes and trolling around the station grid as the time counted down to the vulnerability window.  However, aside from some hostiles playing station undock games with us… which included a PL Nidhoggur that managed to aggro and get caught by us, which was a surprise as we expected him to dock up pretty much right until he exploded… all was pretty much quiet.

Hurricanes cruising the station grid

Hurricanes cruising the station grid

Our foes decided to try something different.  They had some carriers sitting off their citadel. When the vulnerability window hit, those carriers launched fighter squadrons to attack the citadel.

PL Thanatos tethered on the Fortizar

PL Thanatos tethered on the Fortizar

The big grid meant that we could see the carriers launch and the fighters on their way.  (Also, the new camera nicely lets you look at anything on grid now, the 100km limit having been removed.)

We warped over to the citadel and destroyed most of the fighter squadrons as they arrived.  Out of about 30 squadrons sent against the citadel, 26 were destroyed completely… something that, unlike drones, generates a kill mail, which might be helping to weigh down PL’s efficiency this month… with the remaining ones withdrawing before the citadel finished its cycle.  That was the extent of the operation.  We won another minor economic victory.

The response to getting a second citadel anchored and running on the station grid was to… deploy a third one.  I suppose we will have a set of safe spots on grid now, because as long are you aren’t aggro’d you can get within range of these citadels and be safe as well as getting repaired while you wait.

Then on Sunday there was a ping for a fast form as PL had destroyed an allied POS that was on the station grid and then dropped their own tower there to replace it.  However, they did not hang around to defend the stick as it went online, so we ended up forming more than 400 people in two Hurricane fleets to shoot that.

Shooting the PL tower

Shooting the PL tower

Nobody showed up to get in the way of that and so the tower went boom.

A tower kill

A tower kill

Then GSF dropped their own tower back in the location of the original tower and we hung about making sure that it anchored, went online, and got fully fueled.

Tower onlining

Tower Anchoring

Meanwhile, that third citadel kept on moving through its deployment cycle.  The model fills in as the timer gets closer to the end of its count down.

Citadel 3 in Saranen

Citadel three in Saranen

I wasn’t around when that third citadel went live.  However, in scrolling back through Jabber, I do not see a defense fleet being called for it and there were no citadel kills reported in Saranen, so I am going to take a guess that it went online and is now on grid with its two siblings. [Edit: Or maybe not.]

I suppose the question is now “Where does the war go from here?”  We’ve been removed from sov null, but still form up to harass our foes nightly and to fight when the odds aren’t stacked against us.  Meanwhile, PL and NCDot, who have been sovless for quite a while, now hold sovereignty within easy reach of our staging station.  A modest role swap there.  Who will tire of this state of affairs first?

Dread Goonristas Hiding Point

More than a thousand hostiles in Saranen with us… local was up to 2,600… and somehow the citadel survived and went online.  Unlike the previous night, no capitals were to be seen.

Now available in Saranen

Now available in Saranen

Yes, we lost the ISK war, including some other citadels set to go, but we got our new toy online.  Among the benefits is the ability to swap jump clones… if you want to move between implants… without a timer.

I arrived on scene just in time to experience the 10% time dilation and watch a bit of the fighting before we docked up.

Crucifier on the scene

Crucifier on the scene

Now when it hits its next vulnerability window the citadel will have guns on it to help with the defense.