Tag Archives: Delve 2016

Breaking into Delve

Not everybody in the Imperium spent last week wandering casually down to our staging station in Sakht.  Fleets had been active in Delve for several days, focusing on the constellation YX-LYK, and by Saturday we had already taken the system Q-HESZ.

But the first real test of the invasion wasn’t until yesterday, when the ihub, station, and TCU in the system 1-SMEB, previously reinforced, were contested.  1-SMEB was also the capital system for the League of Unaligned Master Pilots (ticker: LUMPY), which gave it a boost to its ADM, making it a tougher nut to crack.

There had been pings in advance asking people to show up and be ready for a fight.  The first ping for a subcap fleet, under Jay Amazingness, went out at 16:30 and it filled up quickly.  It was a Proteus fleet and I got out my Oneiros, which I had just run down from Saranen on Friday, and joined up with the logistics contingent.

Once that fleet filled another went up, and another subcap fleet after that.

We undocked after only a short wait.

Emerging from the Genolution Biotech Production station

Emerging from the Genolution Biotech Production station

We held on the gate to 1-SMEB and waited for a bit.  Then a fourth fleet showed up to pass through the gate.  It was a fleet of capital and supercapital ships, jumping into 1-SMEB for the event.

Once they were through, we jumped into 1-SMEB ourselves, then into 6Q-R50, and then into RCI-VL, where we set up around the MJXW-P gate, which seemed like sort of an odd, dead-endy location.

However, it turned out to be the right place, as the hostiles fell on us there, starting with the Pandemic Legion FC Killah Bee, who landed on grid prematurely and was immediately targeted.  I even managed to get an ECM drone on his, so as to get on the kill mail.  After that though, I let my drone take its own course as there were reps to be applied as the two sides closed and got stuck into each other.  NCDot and PL had a T3 fleet, which formed the bulk of the opposition, while the locals, led by LUMPY, were using Gilas.  On our side there was the Proteus fleet, a Confessor fleet, and Asher’s Cerberus fleet.  Bubbles were up to hold the foe in place.

The fight develops

The fight develops

In the middle of all of that, a cyno went up.  As I watched, a single Wyvern supercarrier landed on grid.

A wild super suddenly appears!

A wild super suddenly appears!

Time dilation was already hitting hard, so the capital fleet jumping in on top of the fight unfolded slowly.  Soon, however, I was in the middle of a lot of big ship.

My Oneiros in the midst of a lot of caps

My Oneiros in the midst of a lot of caps

With the presence of a capital fleet on grid, the fight went from a brawl to trying to knock off as many hostiles as we could before they could get away.  I even got to see one of the new doomsday effects as one of the titans  We even got an official observer when ISD Lunaire Elois showed up in a Polaris Inspector Frigate to watch the supers in action.

Somebody has come to watch us

Somebody has come to watch us

That was towards the end of the fight and, as usual, a couple of pilots lit out after the ISD ship, only to find its performance envelope was well beyond their ability to catch.

Meanwhile, our foes escaped as best they could and that was about it for big fights for the day.  All told, that was about 90 minutes of time from undock to the caps heading back towards 1-SMEB where they formed up on a gate to smart bomb the Pandemic Horde and Mordus Angels frigates and interceptors that were in the area.  The battle report for the fight unsurprisingly shows the ISK war going in our favor, though not that much ISK was expended given the values of the fleets on grid.   However, the totals and participants keep changing when I go back to look at that report, so I am not sure how far to trust it.

July 31, 2016 RCI-VL fight

July 31, 2016 RCI-VL fight

It did seem that the majority of the hostiles were not Delve locals.  They must miss us up north.

With the fun over, the work began.  It was time to play the Fozzie Sov game so, over the next few hours we spent time running entosis link modules over command nodes in order to take ihubs, stations, and TCUs.

A command node in "action"

A command node in “action”

There was a bit of see-saw on a couple of the objectives.  At one point LUMPY was at 95% for the 1-SMEB TCU.  However, they seemed to give up before they got that last 5%… though with us roving through the constellation in force, I guess I can understand why… and the actual command node objectives were left to us.

The only opposition was a gang of interceptors that were dropping on nodes to try and break lock on the nodes to slow things down.  This was aggravated by our decision to use force auxiliaries… fax machines… for entosis work.  If I understand correctly, we did this because they were supposed to be immune from ECM while sieged.  However, this turned out to be only true for directed ECM and not area affect ECM burst.

So we ended up with the worst of both worlds.  Fax pilots had to endure the capital entosis warm up cycle penalty both when they started in on a node AND whenever an ECM burst broke their lock.

Fax machines continued on, but there was also a call for subcap pilots to come out and run entosis links as well.  By that point our fleet was split up by wings and sitting on nodes in a system where no hostiles bothered to show up, so I got out my alt.  He happened to have a Rapier fit for solo entosis work, so I ran him out to our system and put him on whatever nodes were available.

With multiple objectives in play, coordination was… not very well coordinated.  If the goal of Fozzie Sov was to reinforce the officious “spreadsheets in space” aspect of EVE Online, then op success, because this sort of event pretty much requires some master spreadsheet coordinator to run with any efficiency.  Instead we had multiple fleets on multiple coms and people going here and there.  On a couple of nodes I was running a fax machine would show up, having been assigned the node.  I would convo with them and tell them to let me know when they had spun up through their initial cycle, after which I would fly off to another node.

But at least I was out doing something with my alt.  The majority of our fleet was just sitting around watching nodes get wanded.  As I have said before, this is not engaging game play.  You don’t see ISD ships flying out to watch people conquer sov.

Asher, on his latest podcast, had some idea for updating Fozzie Sov to make it more interesting, or at least force more fights.  But it seems like CCP, buoyed by the cheers of people who don’t actually engage in sov warfare and who, in some cases, seem to actively dislike sov null and its residents, will not be revisiting Fozzie Sov for the foreseeable future.

Life in sovereign null sec.  We’re told get too much attention paid to us one day, and then on another day we’re blamed for the PCU drop because we’re not warring hard enough to keep people’s attention.

On the bright side, hours of entosis work… I spent 3 hours on it myself after the initial fight before decided I wanted to do something else for the rest of the day… did get us some ihubs, and TCUs, as well as freeporting a couple stations in Delve.

The result of Sunday's work

The result of Sunday’s work

The Ministry of Truth even put out a song about the fall of LUMPY in Delve.

So the conquest of Delve seems to be off to a good start.  Now we just have to hold what we have taken while doing the Fozzie Sov shuffle in a about a dozen more constellations.

My screen shots from the day collected up into a gallery:

Seven Cynos to Sakht

There is no reward under the opportunity system for “achieved maximum jump fatigue” in EVE Online.  I know, because if there was one, I would have gotten it last night.

Just four seconds late on the screen shot

Just four seconds late on the screen shot

Five days is the hard cap on jump fatigue, a change that came in with the Parallax expansion last November. (Did you know that Parallax was the last named expansion in Syndicate?)  Before then, from the launch of the Phoebe expansion until Parallax a little over a year later, you could ruin a character for jumping for long stretches.  Now you can max jump fatigue out on Sunday and be fresh and ready to go the following weekend.

Just don’t plan to do any jumps over the days in between.  The wait between jumps gets a bit harsh.  Here is where I stood after maximum fatigue hit.

That is almost as long as a whole DBRB fleet

That is almost as long as a DBRB fleet feels

So how did I end up with all that jump fatigue… or, more to the point, why?

Opportunity!

The night before, after making my jumps, I did managed to get my cyno alts inserted into the next two destinations.  So when I got home from work, I  jump cloned back to my carrier from Sakht and did those jumps almost immediately, thinking that I might have to spend the rest of the evening getting the next jumps into position.

Another jump in the Archon

Another jump in the Archon

As it turned out, these two locations represented the most difficult spots into which to get a cyno alt, since they involved flying through NPC null sec in the form of the Syndicate region.  All the cyno spots after that involved runs through relatively safe, and mostly deserted low sec space, with a quick jaunt through one of those high sec enclave in the middle of low sec that makes you wonder what sort of job CONCORD is doing.

And… well.. with cynos alts in position, why not take the jump?

If I had known that back end of the route would be that easy to get into position, I would have structured my jumps differently.  I would have let the ~50 minute fatigue from the first jump wear down to below the 10 minute mark before making the next jump, keeping my fatigue from building to over an hour.  Maybe, I might have not bothered with the timer on the last couple, but by that point quick jumps would have left me with jump fatigue that would have been gone over night.

Instead, not knowing which jump might be the last one for the night, I took them about as soon as I could, and the jump fatigue started to build; an hour, four hours, ten hours, twenty three hours, three days and change.

Exotic stations under strange stars

Exotic stations under strange stars

After five jumps I was sitting on a lot of jump fatigue already, and had a 90 minute count down until I could make the next jump, but by that point I figured “What the hell!”  I had an alt ready and waiting, so I lit the cyno.

Burning the beacon at the last station for the night

Burning the beacon at the last station for the night

And then it was time to jump.

Somewhere in Aridia

Somewhere in Aridia

That was it for the night.  Jump fatigue was at maximum and the next possible jump window was over eight hours away.

And I still wasn’t in Sakht yet.  Sakht was seven jumps from where I started and I blew my load in six.  As I said above, if I had known I was going to get this far, I would have done it differently.  But now my carrier, with a pile of ships in the hangar, is just one jump from our staging station in Sakht.

I sent my in-alliance alt ahead, and he made it all the way there.

Destination gate in sight

Destination gate in sight

The smart bombing battleships were taking a night off from gate camping, so it was an easy set of jumps.  And now I have my main alt, my combat alt, in our staging system.  He even made the trip there entirely via gates in an frigate with only a cyno module fit and 250 units of liquid ozone in the cargo bay.

My carrier road trip is almost at an end.  I just have to not screw up on that last jump.  Given my ignorance or capital ship operations, I am surprised I got this far without any real incident.  I managed to place my cynos on stations in a fashion that wasn’t horrible.  I think worst landing I had put me 3km off the undock, distance quickly covered.  The rest were under 200m, with most showing 0m.  The tactical overlay option that shows the landing zone for your cyno when you mouse over the module gets the credit on that front.

The tactical overlay helps

So easy, even I understood it!

I also only lost one of my cyno ships.  I bought four Kestrels, named them Bait 1 through Bait 4, and only Bait 2 died, getting blown up on a gate in Syndicate.  I expected cyno ships to get popped sitting on the undock much more frequently.

Hell, I expected my NPC corp cyno alt to get popped by my own side at some point, being in a “Not Blue, Shoot It” coalition and all.  But he never got shot.  In fact, he got convo’d by a GSF pilot at one point asking about his name (a misspelled Jack London reference) during which I said I was just a lowly Imperium cyno alt, and which point I was told that I was holding up somebody’s jump as they were paranoid because a neutral was sitting there on the undock. (I forgot to dock up after the cyno went out… and still nobody shot me.)

Anyway, it was an adventure, getting my carrier from Saranen to Sakht, a 13 jump multiple day event.  EVE Online is one of those games where you have to focus on the journey most of the time, because the destination is usually just the starting point for the next trip.  But if you’re sick of my traveler’s tales in New Eden… and I admit that I haven’t gotten to see anything as cool as this jump… there are probably only two, maybe three posts left in the “Getting to Delve” series, I swear.

Now to let that jump fatigue wear off… wait, I still have one more jump to go.

Leaving Rakapas and Arriving in Sakht

Given my lack of luck with convoy ops over the last few days, I decided to try and move my carrier forward on my own.

The route had been posted in the CapSwarm forum, along with some instructions for one awkward, no-station jump… which, as it happens, is the jump from Rakapas.

But first I had to go get some cynos lined up and in position to guide me along the path south.  I got on my second account, on my “main alt” character, the one with 110 million skill points, clone jumped him out of his implants alt, and sent him off to Jita to buy a few cyno ships.

I opted for simple, buying 4 Kestrels and fitting each with a Cynosural Field Generator I and loaded with 250 units of liquid ozone, enough to power the module for one cycle. (I obsessed and trained the relevant skill to V, just in case I needed to light a covert cyno.  More on jump drive operation here, if you are interested.)  I got my alt into one, contracted another to a second character on that account that I had trained up to be a cyno alt, and headed off to get myself situated.

Kestrel on the way out

Kestrel on the way out

I had at first thought about starting from Amarr or maybe Saranen, but as it turned out, Jita was by far the closest common point to the target systems.  Getting through to them, both in low sec, did not present any real problems.  The only hiccup I had was, after getting my main alt to his location, I logged on the secondary cyno jockey and was in such a hurry to fly out that, after I clone jumped him to Jita, I forgot to accept the Kestrel contract… or even get in a ship… and just started flying to the destination in a pod.  Yeah, slow down there bro.

After a couple of jumps I was suddenly all, “Oh yeah… the ship… right…” and went back to get it.  Once that was squared away, I was able to get out to the destination system and docked up without issue.

I logged him out, got back on my main alt, and got myself setup in the first destination system.  Since it lacked a station, the instructions in the forum said to cyno your capital in to the Astrahus citadel, let it refill your ship’s capacitor (citadels are handy like that, refilling and repairing like a full service gas station of old), and then warp off to the safe POS to wait out your jump timer.

Unfortunately for me, it was a Goonswarm Federation POS, which meant I wasn’t welcome inside unless I had the password.  So I was going to have to skip that step.  That meant facing the dire warnings about people coming to bump your capital off the citadel to get it out of tether range, at which point it could be blown up.

My solution to this was to jump out as soon as I possibly could, spending as little time as I could manage tethered.  That meant logging in the next cyno with the secondary alt, which would require logging off the primary alt, which I could not do until the cyno module cycle ended, something that takes a full ten minutes.

I decided to just light the first cyno and let module run to almost the end of its cycle before jumping in.  That meant I might lose the cyno ship before I could jump, but that seemed like the least cost failure scenario.  So I undocked him from the citadel and lit the beacon.

Earlier there had been a bunch of traffic through the system, but I seemed to have picked a quiet 10 minute window and my cyno ship went unmolested.  As the timer reached the last minute or so of its cycle, I undocked the carrier in Rakapas and made the jump, ending up hanging tethered on the citadel.

Archon tethered, cyno still burning

Archon tethered, cyno still burning

After the jump, I had a little over two minutes to wait before I could jump again.

The timer counting down

The timer counting down

The cyno did not last that long, and I was able to swap characters and get in position well in advance of the jump reactivation timer.

As I sat there on the citadel, I noticed on the overview that the system had a gate to Rakapas.

Wait, I went how far?

Wait, I went how far?

I had waited all this time to jump what amounted to a single gate?  Well, sometimes that is how things work out.

At the station I faced two potential issues for the next jump.  One was where to place the cyno.  I do not do this enough to have a favored position for each station type, as some people do.  After watching other people, I try to get both a ways off the undock on both the horizontal and vertical axis so as to avoid bumping and such.  So I picked a spot a bit out and above the undock.

The tactical overlay helps

The tactical overlay helps

The other problem was that I was using a neutral alt in a system that was full of Imperium pilots.  While it was likely they would assume a neutral cyno was somebody’s alt, there was still a non-zero chance that somebody would shoot it just because.  So I got undocked, setup, and lit the cyno as quickly as I could, jumping the moment it was up.

Carrier on the undock

Carrier on the undock

I docked up, op success.  I was now two jumps further down the line towards Delve.

I docked up my secondary alt when his cyno went down and traded him some replacement fuel that I was carrying along in my carrier, and sent him off to the next destination.  I had about two hours of jump fatigue and was planning to let that burn off before I jumped again, but I figured I ought to get the next jumps queued up.

The secondary alt got to the next station easily enough, at which point I logged my primary alt back in, flew him to catch up with the carrier to refuel, and then sent him off to the destination after the next one, so as to have two jumps lined up once again.

However, getting to that target meant flying through null sec space in the Syndicate region.  So it was not unexpected that, with the jump from low sec to null, I immediately hit a gate camp that had an interdictor.  It threw up a bubble when I landed in system and there wasn’t anything I could really do.  I decloaked and headed back to the gate on the off chance they were completely incompetent, but without an prop mod, that was a tiny gesture of defiance at best.  They blew up the ship and podded me, sending me back home.

Kestrel going down

Kestrel going down

But I had planned for that, expecting to lose these ships.  I had set my home in Jita for this, and was able to pick up another of the Kestrels I fitted out and started heading back towards the destination system again.  I stopped in a station before I got to the null sec transition again, thinking I would wait until later in the evening for that.

As it happened, while I was waiting, Asher pinged about a move op.  He was going to take people from Sakht, our current staging point, back to Saranen to pick up ships, at which point people up north could join the fleet and fly back down.

That seemed like an opportunity.  I couldn’t bring my main alt along to drive a ship as his jump clone timer still had many hours to go, but Wilhelm didn’t have a jump clone timer problem and was just sitting around in a station.  So I joined the op, watching it move around the map via a couple of wormhole connections, until it started to close in on Saranen, at which point I clone jumped to the area, picking the Oneiros I left parked in Ashitsu on Saturday.  As it happened, I did the jump just as they were passing through the system and was able to follow them back to Saranen.

Once there it was time for a break, during which I decided to fly my Cerberus down to Sakht.  Once everybody was back, we undocked and headed to the first wormhole, which was just a few jumps away in Eha.  We went through the wormhole, however it collapsed before everybody got through.  Those of us who made it were in Heimatar, in Minmatar space, where we had another dozen gates to take before we got to the next wormhole.

Those left behind in Eha were told where we were if they wanted to burn to us to try and catch up, but we moved on to the next hole.  However, the route to the next hole took us through what so many fear, high security space, and a 1.0 sec system in particular. (How can those rebel Minmatar have so many high security systems?)

Yes, we we're in Heimatar!

Yes, we we’re in Heimatar!

Those with negative security status avoid high sec space with its NPC enforcement complications, and a full 1.0 system posed a threat to some along for the ride.  Never having had a negative security status rating during my time in New Eden, I never think about that as being an issue.  Even though I have bad standings with the Minmatar and Gallente factions (-4.72 and -5.74 respectively, the latter which should make me “shoot on sight”) after running so many Amarr/Caldari missions over the years, somewhere along the line I trained the social skill Diplomacy to level IV, which mitigates that sufficiently that I am merely loathed, but not actively shot at.

Some in the fleet hadn’t invested in that sort of stuff.  We were set to burn individually at best possible speed to get past the high sec terror and to the next wormhole.  Several people were locked up by the local faction police, and the occasional potshot was taken, but faction enforcers don’t warp scramble and in at least one case the webbing action of an NPC actually helped somebody get into warp faster.  Basically, comedy ensued, but nobody lost a ship.  We went to Hek and back mostly unscathed.

Once safely into low sec space again, we collected up again around the wormhole and jumped through.  Everybody got through safely and, it being a low sec to low sec connection, we were all in Aridia, just a few jumps from our destination.  We flew on, scattering the smart bombing battleships that were gate camping along the way, to arrive in our new home.

Get Sakht

Get Sakht

So now I have at least been to Sakht this year.  I haven’t been this close to Delve since April of last year.

Of course, there is still work to do.  I have that carrier to move and a couple more doctrine ships to convoy down.  But at least I have made it through once… and I am no longer stuck in Rakapas.

Another Night in Rakapas

Rakapas… Shit, I’m still only in Rakapas. Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the Delve. I’m here a four days now… waiting for a move op… getting softer. Every minute I stay in this station, I get weaker, and every minute hostiles camp the route, they gets stronger. Each time I look around the hangar walls move in a little tighter.

-Delve-pocalypse Now 2016 Move Log, Day 4 Entry

I had hopes last night of getting closer to Sakht, our destination.  However, the capital move ops that came up were all departing from destinations two or three jumps down the line.  My Archon stayed in place for another night.

The station does seem a bit more cramped...

The station does seem a bit more cramped…

It did seem for a bit that I might get another ship down to Delve.  There was a call for a subcap move op.  I figured I could clone jump back to Saranen, join that, and at least get a doctrine combat ship down to our staging.

However, that move op was also only for ships that had made it to the incursion that was blocking our way yesterday.

So, the tally at the end of day 4 was four ships down in our staging, two frigates and two stealth bombers that somebody else put in their carrier because they had extra space… so some people are making it down to Delve.  Everything else I want to move is still in Lonetrek or Black Rise… about where we started.

I am not doing well at the move op thing.  Apparently I should at least be in Aulbres by now.  Every time I log into Rakapas though, there are a bunch of blues sitting in the station with me, so I suppose I am not alone.

It isn’t that I cannot attempt the move on my own.  I am trying to follow the standing orders which say, in large, purple, Comic Sans letters, “DO NOT MOVE YOURSELVES” right there at the top of the forum post announcing them.  But I am starting to think I had better move my carrier a jump or three ahead if I want to make any ops in the near future.

That means getting my alt out onto the heavily camped route south to light a cyno for a jump, something that will likely require repeated attempts, as cyno ships are easy to pop and I expect I will lose at least one on every jump.  I just hope one doesn’t get popped mid-jump, as then my carrier will end up at the sun, an easy target.

As for the subcaps still up in Saranen, I will have to wait for a move op or just strip them and ship them to Jita.  I doubt I am going to get a T2 logistics cruiser all the way down to Delve alone without getting popped.

Another day has dawned, we shall see what it brings.

Held Over in Rakapas

i hate rakapas

-Jay Amazingness

I had some hope yesterday about moving onward towards Delve.  I have Jabber on my iPad and could see pings going out about move ops, and specifically ones from Rakapas, where I am currently docked up.

Jay Amazingness was leading ops out of Rakapas and further down the route to Delve while I toiled away.  Of course, it wasn’t as though he lacked prompting on that front.  He posted a sample of the coms traffic:

When are we leaving Rakapas?

guys when is the next rakapasop?

is this the rakapas move op

what is the route from rakapas?

will there be ops in rakapas later on tonight?

any eta on ops scheduled from rakapas?

are we leaving from Rakapas ?

Dread in  Rakapas , any cyno’s up for further down the route?

are we moving to the next location after rakapas?

can we still start now from rakapas ?

Which has reportedly given Jay a new appreciation of the particular star system in New Eden.

Meanwhile, those waiting on the word of Jay to lead us to the promised land had perhaps begun to elevate him in status.  Commandments were written and images created in furtherance of our deliverance.

Destoration's awesome contribution to the cult of Jay

Destoration’s awesome contribution to the cult of Jay

Unfortunately, by the time I got home last night an incursion had spawned a couple jumps down the line towards Delve, and all move ops were suspended until it was defeated.  And I couldn’t even join in on that as I left my doctrine combat ships back in Saranen, as instructed.

So I spent another night in Rakapas.  Not quite the trail of tears… mostly because we haven’t had to do this all in one sitting.

We await our savior, Jay Amazingness.  He will deliver us to Delve.

At least I am not one of those people who only have JDC4 trained.  They are truly in a world of hurt.

Pointed Towards Delve

Almost five years of deployments and move ops have instilled in me a need to get in on any move ops as early as possible.  In my experience, if you are not on a move op and at the destination in the first 48 hours, move ops quickly start to taper off and getting to the destination becomes increasingly problematic.

With that experience in mind I was up on Saturday morning and in the first fleet op I could find.

As I mentioned last week, we had been told that we would be moving out to a new home come the weekend.  That new home is Delve, a surprise to almost nobody.  Delve is where Goons go when they don’t know where they should go.  Of course, the last time we left Delve, during the great consolidation before Fozzie Sov, I was very diligent in extracting every asset from the region.  Another lesson learned; just leave stuff in Delve.  We’ll be back eventually.

Anyway, the destination was clear.  We would be leaving Saranen in Lonetrek for Delve.

The general direction

The general direction

Of course, this could not/would not remain a secret… it was announced on Reddit before we were told officially… and so the path to Delve was festooned with traps and those looking for stragglers and solo travelers for easy kills.  There was apparently a very successful batch of smart bombing battleships sitting on a gate in Aridia that knocked off a stream of Imperium pilots making the run south in interceptors.

Thus, being in a move op convoy was all the more important.  So I jumped into Asher’s subcap fleet that was forming up.  We undocked after a bit and headed out to a titan for a bridge.  We were on our way.

Approaching the titan

Approaching the titan

Except, of course, we were not on our way.  Subcap move ops to Delve had not yet… and as of this writing have not yet… begun.  We were formed up to cover the movement of supercaps as they started their way down south, a necessary if tedious duty.  I spent more than three hours in the fleet and the biggest event was when NCDot nearly caught a Leviathan off of a citadel.

We were rushed off the moment that seemed to be a possibility, but by the time we arrived the Leviathan was safely off and NCDot’s Macheariel strike force was sitting about getting hit by the citadel’s gunner.

Another bomb lands on an Apostle

Another bomb lands on an Apostle

As the morning wore on into afternoon, I had other things to do and dropped out of the fleet in a station a few jumps from Saranen.  However, given how well camped the area around Saranen has been, that ship is now effectively out of range of Saranen unless I can find a fleet to swing by and pick me up.

Later in the day things were still going on, but I remained stranded so eventually decided to clone jump back to Saranen.  Since move ops seemed to be picking up for capitals, I thought I might pack up my carrier and see if I could that moved down south.  That would be one major anxiety off my list.

I was able to stuff almost all of my remaining ships into it, leaving behind only a couple of combat ships for our current doctrines.  Those I figured could wait for subcap convoys and would remain available for any further cover operations we might have to run.  I also bought quite a bit of fuel for the run, just to be safe.  My carrier, packed up, was ready to move.

Hey, we have a video ad now too

Hey, we have a video ad now too

Sunday morning I was up in time to get into a capital move op led by Jay Amazingness.  The pace for that was… slow.  We had to wait for some people to jump their capitals into Saranen, and then wait for their jump fatigue to fully subside before we were able to undock and make our first jump.  But the time finally came and we were told to undock and jump to the cyno that had been lit for us.

It was at that point I had a problem.

I had never been in a fleet with other capital ships before.  I have had the carrier for almost three years now, and have jumped it to various locations in the past, but that was always in a two person fleet.  So I have always just right-clicked on my alt in the fleet window and selected “Jump To” from there.  But now I was in a fleet over 150 players strong and had no idea who had actually lit the cyno.

So I had to speak up on voice coms to ask how to jump to the cyno the fleet was going to, and immediately became “that guy” in fleet once again.  Jay, after asking a couple of questions to determine I was in the right ship in the correct location, told me to right-click on my capacitor and select “Jump To” from there.  With that bit of information, I jumped successfully to the first waypoint.  Jay was quick and efficient in his response, leaving the mockery for after.  Even a few hours later he was complaining about the sort of people who were in his fleet, citing the fact that he had a guy who didn’t even know how to jump to a cyno.

We jumped, docked up, and then we waited.  As it turned out, we were going to sit and wait for everybody’s jump fatigue, the blue timer, to run down after each jump.  That wasn’t made clear, at least not to me, for the first two jumps.  So the first time around I sat there patiently at my desk for the 54 minute timer and then while longer as people got back together and we were cleared for the next jump.

Making the next jump

Making the next jump

The second time around I asked if we were going to wait down the timer again, but got no response as I think Jay had already wandered off for the timer.  I didn’t sit there the whole time, but I kept an eye on things, lest I get left behind.  By the third jump I was fully aware of the process.  However, we hit a point where the move op was halted, just over a dozen gates from Saranen.  We were going to hold there while other move ops got people up to that point.  After that, further ops would move forward from our current location.

That left me committed to moving the carrier, with my jump clone timer still many hours from letting me shift again.  As the day moved on, more pings went out for fleets and move ops, but nothing from my location.  Then, during the evening, after a couple of pings for caps to form up in Saranen, I saw a ping in the evening that announced that caps from my location had successfully moved closer to Delve.  I clearly missed an opportunity to move on.

That is where the great move stands for me right now.  I am still in Black Rise, an awkward number of jumps from Delve.  We have gotten the word that these move ops will keep going, so I hope to get end up down south this week.  On the other hand, I don’t want to clone jump away from my carrier, sitting at an early waypoint station, lest I miss the ping that announces a move forward.  So I am sort of stuck where I am.

Defeat in the North and New Destinations

The war, for whatever name you chose… Casino War, World War Bee, The War of Sovless Aggression… will effectively be over by the end of the week.

The Mittani announced on the weekly fireside chat yesterday that The Imperium would be packing up and leaving Saranen. (Recording here, since it is already up on Reddit. The meat of the announcements are in the first 10 mins.)

I have previously had people tell me that the war was over already because The Imperium lost all of its sovereignty, or because they personally were done, or, most bizarrely, because Reddit wasn’t talking about it enough, as though Reddit defines reality.  But I have always maintained that wars aren’t over until the losing side admits defeat and goes away.

Well, here is that admission.  We lose.  End of war.  Fabian strategy failed.  The reconquista has been postponed indefinitely.  The MBC/CFC 2.0, rules the north.

So the fight, which has been going on for over six months for some of us, is over.  I know that there are ops going on this week, running into Pure Blind, but my heart isn’t in it now.  Of course, part of that is because we were told to pack all of our stuff and be ready to move this coming weekend.

I favor Vanilla Quafe myself

Good bye to the Quafe Factory Warehouse, Saranen V, moon 9

I was just enough ahead of the curve that I got nearly everything out of Deklein and Tribute before the MBC began to actively contest those regions.  There is still a Harpy in one station, a blockade runner in another packed with a final bit of stuff, and an Oneiros I put up on contract in UMI-KK.  But that is about it.

I sent a lot of it to Jita to be liquidated so as to have ISK for a protracted war, but a good chunk of useful stuff ended up in Saranen.  And my stockpile in Saranen grew as we swapped doctrines and I had to buy new ships time and again.

Now that all has to go… somewhere.

Even before the fireside chat was over I had repackaged a bunch of ships and modules and contracted them to be shipped to Jita.  That was the first pass, the easy picks, the ships no longer in doctrine and related items, 100,000 m3 of stuff.  It has already arrived safely.

But I am still left with a lot of stuff in Saranen, more stuff than I can easily move, including a carrier.  Since I am not part of CapSwarm, I am not sure how I will get that safely to wherever we might be headed.

Of course, that is the big question of the day, where are we headed?

If you look at the current null sec influence map, you will notice that there isn’t a big empty spot in sovereign null sec for us to simply move into.  So we will have to take some space.  But where?

Even leaving aside our old space, space occupied by groups with which we have agreements (various Russians), and space that is just shit (sorry Period Basis), there are a variety of possible destination regions on the map.

Where will The Imperium go?

Where will The Imperium go?

Delve is the classic Goon location and has NPC null stations to stage out of.  Querious has good access to empire space.  Fountain is old, familiar territory, though a bit close to the MBC.  Etherium Reach keeps some proximity to the big trade hub in Jita.  And the others… well… they are far away from the MBC.  Who is likely to follow us to Omist?

Everybody has a guess as to where we will be going, but the official announcement won’t come until the end of the week.

Wherever we are headed, we have been told we will be there for a long time, a year or more perhaps.  And that brings up the question of how this will change The Imperium.  Some people are tired of the war and want a place to settle into and in which they can rebuild.  Others are invested in Deklein and the north, either identifying with it strongly or having left a lot of their stuff behind.  This long march into exile may winnow down our numbers further.

As we head towards the new normal, whatever that may be, the winding down of the war and the summer downturn in PCU numbers has led to the usual “EVE is dying!” reaction, which is the topic of this month’s blog banter.

I won’t be joining in on that, I have too much to do in game.