Tag Archives: Esoteria

Sixteen Weeks of World War Bee

After two weeks of titanic battles with thousands of players on the field and trillions of ISK in losses, things settled down to a grind again.  On Friday Imperium FC John Hartley pinged out a battle report to all that featured a total loss value of just 5 billion ISK.  Things have returned to a smaller scale.

Meanwhile the invaders, having succeeded in anchoring a Keepstar in NPC Delve on the fifth try, have been going on in r/eve like the war has been won.  Bad historical analogies… which is pretty much all historical analogies when applied to EVE Online… and memes about the Imperium being broke or evacuating from Delve are rife.  But fighting carries on and they still haven’t been able to draw a convincing line from their stated plan to avoid attacking our Keepstars… there is still one sitting in 49-U6U in Querious in a system they have held for a month… and us losing.  Starve us out maybe?  Delve occupation duty might go on for a long time if that is the plan.

Delve Front

While there have been skirmishes in some key systems in Delve, most of the fighting last week was concentrated in the W-4U1E constellation, adjacent to NPC Delve and the invader’s Keepstar.  There, after several day of back and forth, they used their superior numbers to take the ihubs in the constellation.  They have started to work on the LSC-4P constellation since.

First constellation down

However, the invaders now have to hold that space while moving forward.  New Eden isn’t earth so making front line analogies fail when all of those systems are within bridge/jump range of our staging.  So we reinforce the ihubs they have taken and they have to form up to defend them.  You can see by the ihub ownership that they have tried to solve the “only the owner can defend while anybody can attack” issue by dividing up the systems between groups.

And, while they have broken some of the Ansiblex jump gate network, they have not been focused on structures in those systems, so we have safe harbors in there.

Other Locations

Over in Querious a low grade entosis war continues in the back field of the invaders.  We continue to reinforce ihubs there and have destroyed a few of theirs.  And, as noted above, we still have a Keepstar, as well as other structures, to work from in the space they have taken, plus all of “fake Querious.”

Meanwhile, over in Esoteria, deep in TEST space, The Bastion continues to hold out and force TEST to jump clone home to contest timers. The Fortizar they anchored previously survived another attack, though the battle report showed that TEST couldn’t must much of a force to contest it.

The Bastion still holding out in Esoteria

Again, neither of these pin pricks is going to win the war, but they do make the war more onerous for the attackers and, in New Eden, the side that wears out first loses.  So the grind continues.

The invaders however have pretty much overrun Period Basis.  Anything down there that isn’t a Keepstar is in jeopardy.

Period Basis Almost Completely Taken

This will give TEST a clear route into southern Delve.

My Participation

I did pretty much nothing in space this week.  I did not go on a single fleet op and did only a couple of side items on my own.  This was not by plan.  While two weeks of big battles were tiring, there were few ops that came up when I was at home, at my computer, and had the time to commit.  It just worked out that way.  As such, my losses for the war remained as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Other Items

We have a few things coming up from CCP that may or may not impact the war.  Tomorrow we get the Howling Interdictors update that will, among other things, introduce a statis web bubble for interdictors.  Then there is an update coming in early November that will change up super carriers.  And then there is the coming dynamic bounty system, designed to curb ratting income in null sec.

And then there is the PCU for the week.  No big battles means no big numbers, so the peak for the week sagged after two weeks of growth.

  • 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

Related:

Once again, only INN seems to post regularly about the war.

Fifteen Weeks of World War Bee

World War Bee has truly picked up over the last couple of weeks as the previous slow pace of things turned into a crescendo of destruction which has seen trillions of ISK in ships and structures destroyed.  As I wrote previously, the October MER is going to be interesting.

CCP has thrown their own monkey wrench into the machinery with war, as the update last Tuesday made deploying citadels more expensive and complicated as well as nerfing mining in a big way.  Expect prices to rise on everything if the war keeps up its burn rate and the null sec alliances have to secure supplies.

But we did get the UI-only option for the client, which made the big fights more manageable for people running multiple clients.  It isn’t a huge change, but it makes things incrementally better.

Delve Front

It was a rough week for the Imperium.  There were three large scale clashes in NPC Delve, two of which went badly and one was something of a Pyrrhic victory.

The losses… the failed trap at YZ9-F6 and the bubble wrapped Keepstar… tipped against the Imperium more due to server performance than any implementation of strategy or tactics by the enemy.  The first, executed with precision, failed when damage didn’t apply while the latter saw PAPI fill up the Keepstar grid with 149 warp disruption bubbles… a number deliberately chosen because CCP is alleged to view 150+ anchorables as an issue that they will step in and correct by removing them… along with a continuous stream of dictor bubbles in order to make any fight on the grid untenable.

So many bubbles on grid

So PAPI won both.  They got to kill 2.5 trillion ISK in ships, including 16 titans and 27 supers and they got their Keepstar in NPC Delve on the fifth try, and nothing can change that.  A bunch of people in the Imperium are angry about these two events, but experience says that is the way the game goes and you have to be prepared to deal with it or stop playing.  CCP isn’t going to step in and make things better, so we just have to carry on.

Meanwhile the big win, the destruction of the fourth Keepstar, cost the coalition more than 1.2 trillion ISK, including 2,000 battleships lost.

On the upside, while the invaders have managed to get their Keepstar in the region and knock out several Fortizars in NPC Delve and SVM-3K, they have yet to be able to turn any of the ihubs in the region, something they have made a prerequisite for any offensive action so far in the war.

Delve ihubs – Oct 19, 2020 with the PAPI Keepstar system highlighted

If I had to guess, once PAPI gets done with their inevitable move op to the new staging, there will be a push on ihubs in Delve systems near the NPC space and Querious as well as possibly in “fake” Querious, the section of the region that is an enclave within Delve and which remains in Imperium control.

Other Locations

There was a running joke that when we lost a fight we would go hit things in G-M4GK and when TEST lost they would hit TCAG-3.  While the Period Basis region had been mostly quiet since the invaders moved into Querious, as the fourth Keepstar battle raged TEST managed to use the time to with the entosis match for TCAG-3, taking the ihub there as well as in RJ3H-0 further into the region.

The Period Basis / Paragon Soul front

They have since lost the RJ3H-0 ihub and we will see if they contest the TCAG-3 ihub when the Imperium pushes back on that.

Last week I reported that Bastion had captured several TEST systems in Esoteria, which I expected TEST would take back shortly.  Busy in Delve… and Period Basis… TEST has yet to clean up that incursion.

Bastion systems in Esoteria

Furthermore, during the fighting in NPC Delve, Bastion managed to anchor a Fortizar in one of the systems, giving them a base of operations that allows them to continue being a thorn in TEST’s side.  Not something that will win the war, but a distraction none the less.

My Participation

I somehow found the time to get stuck in on the three big fights last week, which meant I spent a lot of hours in New Eden in slow motion.  I also lost some more ships during the fourth Keepstar fight, five Crusaders and a Raven.  I managed to get home safe with my original ships from the other two.

That makes my loss count for the war:

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Other Items

CCP put out a trailer regarding their fourth quarter plan, the Phoenix Quadrant.

The sound track syncs well with the feelings within the Imperium.

But the post that went with the trailer says that super carriers will be getting an overhaul as part of this quadrant, including giving them clone bays that allow capsuleers to respawn directly to them in battle, putting them in a ship stowed within the carrier.  That will introduce a new element to the war.

Much hay was made of the fact that The Initiative cut their SRP amounts from a 50% to a 25% of cost policy.  This led to a lot speculation about their finances and concern trolling about why Goonswarm isn’t financing them.  I was more surprised that they were only getting 50% as a matter of course before the cut.  In GSF it is close to 100%, and if you’re in KarmaFleet you get bonus SRP for logi ships, so you can end up making money on a ship loss.  So whether or not this policy change by INIT is significant or not remains to be seen.  They have always been a very independent ally and plot their own course.

And then there is the weekly peak concurrent user count.

  • 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

The war finally saw the Sunday prime time PCU pass the 40K mark, something it hasn’t done since back in April when the pandemic was new and everybody was stuck and home and trying to obey the rules and suggestions to help stop the spread.  It probably helped that the bubble wrap fight was slated to kick off right before the usual peak time, even if no real battle ensued.

Related Items:

Fourteen Weeks of World War Bee

hey guys just got back from my vacation did anything happen while i was out this week?

-Ping from The Mittani late Sunday afternoon

After things seemed to be moving slowly the week before, last week the war heated up as the invaders attempted to plant their flag in Delve by dropping two Keepstars in FWST-8.

Even CCP took notice of the fights this week and produced a new video about them for The Scope.

So I guess Delve is now in the front lines and on the front pages.

Delve Front

The focus of the war was on the NPC Delve system of FWST-8 for the first few days of the week.  PAPI member alliance Fraternity dropped a Keepstar in that system early on Monday in an attempt to give the invading forces a foothold from which they could jump capital ships into most of the systems in the region.

NPC Delve and vicinity

That led the Imperium to drop dreadnoughts and subcaps in a constant stream to destroy it, sacrificing almost a trillion ISK in ships to destroy the structure as it deployed.

Fraternity then dropped a second Keepstar a couple of hours later, which managed to deploy and get into its anchoring cycle, giving both sides a day to get ready for the next battle.  There the Imperium sacrificed over 1.5 trillion ISK in ships over about 15 hours in order to destroy the second Keepstar.

The next day saw multiple skirmishes in the system as both sides attempted to extract ships that had logged off during the fight.  There were two major clashes, with the Imperium doing better in one and TAPI taking the other one according to the ISK numbers.

FWST-8 was a busy system for a few days.

Ships destroyed over four days

The Imperium claimed victory because it achieved its objective, destroying both Keepstars, and preventing TAPI for securing a base within Delve.

TAPI is justifiably happy with destroying so many Imperium ships, winning the the ISK war by a huge margin.  That margin is inflated on battle reports by the fact that neither Keepstar, valued at ~187 billion ISK each, generated a kill mail.

Both sides got a victory condition and the war moved on.

Of course, arguing about who won and gratuitous moving of goal posts ensued over at /r/eve.  Unhappy with just an ISK war victory a few of the usual suspects proceeded to argue that the Imperium really lost the objective because they didn’t escalate to supers, because they didn’t kill any PAPI titans, or because they didn’t hell camp the battle site to kill any logged off PAPI pilots as they returned to try and extract.

I really like that last one.  PAPI out numbers the Imperium 3 to 1, but we’re supposed to be able to camp them.

And then there was TEST streamer and propagandist RonUSMC who, salty as usual, bitched on his stream that whatever Goons did to kill the Keepstar needs to be nerfed.  People complain about blobbing being an “I win” button until they try and fail at it I guess.

Ron waiting for the Imperium titans that never showed up

The Imperium was able to fall back on winning the objective, that we had to fight on their Keepstar, and how the battle demonstrated our determination to defend the region.  But I am sure we were feeling lucky that TAPI did not drop another Keepstar immediately because losing something like 8,000 ships in two days no doubt drained a lot of our supply chain.

In fact, TAPI not dropping another Keepstar immediately feels like a mistake, a missed opportunity to put the pressure on us, or at least force an escalation to the supers and titans clash they seemed to be longing for.  We were reeling a bit after having lost all those ships.  However, the other side might have been as exhausted as we were.  In war you sometimes see only the enemy’s strength and your own weakness.

Meanwhile, since people love dollar amounts, I did a back of the napkin calculation as to how much these battles “cost” in losses.

Losses were about 3 trillion ISK.  With PLEX running at about 3 million ISK per, that meant there was about 1 million PLEX in losses.  If you buy PLEX in the largest lot, 15,400 PLEX for $500, that totals up to $32,500.  Probably not enough for a headline in the mainstream gaming press.

While it wasn’t the “Million Dollar Battle,” the two together were at least the “Million PLEX Battles.”

Having been rebuffed in NPC Delve, focus seemed to go back to ihubs as they managed to reinforce their first ihub in Delve, in SVM-3K.  But when it came time for the rubber to meet the road, the passed on actually contesting the ihub.

Instead they dropped another Keepstar, this time in 319-3D.  It met the same fate as the previous two.

So three Keepstars have now died in Delve, but none of them belonged to the Imperium.

Other Areas

While the fights in FWST-8 were going on, both sides sent out side missions to try and hack ihubs.  The Bastion, one of the Imperium alliances, succeeded in taking multiple ihubs in TEST space.

The Bastion in Esoteria

TEST couldn’t let that stand and have since managed  to claw back two of the lost systems, but they had to spend time doing that when the could have been attacking Delve.

My Participation

I jumped into battle and lost many a ship last week, all in and around the Keepstar battles as FWST-8.  I was only an observer in the first battle, where I lost two ships, and an active participant in the second, where I lost six more.  For the battle in 319-3D, despite being on grid for three hours straight, I lost no ships.  It was a minor miracle.

It actually felt like I lost more ships that in the second battle at FWST-8, but that was probably due to how slowly everything was moving, so it took a long time to lose a ship and then get your pod popped so you could work on getting back into the fight.  I really want to thank the PAPI gate camp in PR-8CA for podding me quickly when I jumped in.  That sped up my return home every time.

Anyway, my loss count for the war is now:

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Other Items

CCP also mentioned on Twitter that they were notifying Guinness World Records about the recent fight as its totals exceeded the numbers that previously saw Guinness award CCP a record.  I certainly saw more that 6,142 people in local during the fight.

6,446 in local

On the other hand, the EVE Online chat system isn’t a reliable source so far as I have seen, so no doubt CCP has another method to validate exactly how many people were participating at the peak of the battle.  In the video they said the number was 6,557.  We shall see if the Guinness World Records staff will certify that.

And then there is the weekly PCU count:

  • 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

It looks like having a Keepstar battle on a Sunday during prime time might be a good thing.  Or maybe people were on poking at the Triglavian systems in order to see what was going on there.  Either way, we hit the highest PCU so far for the war.  Not quite to 40K again, but within spitting distance.

Other coverage:

Opening Moves in the War

It was a busy day in null sec yesterday.  A lot happened.  There were a massive number of ships in motion.  Yet almost nothing of real consequence came to pass.

So it goes.

The day started full of promise.  There was a fireworks event planned at the Imperium’s main Keepstar in 1DQ1-A, with more than 1,700 people in system and fireworks going off all over, which was enough to drag you frame rate down into the low teens.

The Keepstar lit by fireworks

The firework effects are relatively small compared to the size of the structure, but the cumulative effect of them going of lit up the whole tableau.

I had to peek in on that via an alt, as a couple hours before that kicked off there was a ping from Asher Elias to Reavers that was too hard to pass up.

SUPER IMPORTANT. TORP BOMBERS UNDER TOM FLOOD, NEED AT LEAST 25 REAVERS FOR THIS. IF IT SUCEEDS YOU’RE HEROES FOREVER. USE REAVERS SIG COMMS

Special operations can be a treat.  I love a big fight and, frankly, I am happy enough just shooting structures when it comes down to it, but something out of the ordinary is always welcome.

So a pack of Reavers flew off… and almost messed up the mission when our first black ops battleship warped with us straight into a gate camp in 1DQ1-A and got popped along with a couple of bombers.  The fuel truck got through the gate with 8% left in structure and had to tether up on the other side to repair.

A replacement blops was found, a Marshall, which is an 8 billion ISK ship.  But it looks good and, as fit, it aligned and warped off faster than the bombers as we moved to our destination.

Our hot rod blops

We moved carefully, eventually setting up shop in a dead end system in Stain that would allow us to drop onto a range of systems where Legacy Coalition was expected to drop a new Keepstar.

This Keepstar was to be the new staging base for their invasion of Delve.  But we had eyes all over and watched likely freighters come and go, bridge this way and that, because they knew they were being watched and no doubt feared that we would crash the party when they decided to anchor the structure.  And our hope was no less than to drop on the freighter and blow it up as it prepared to disgorge the Keepstar.

We even knew the timing that they wanted to align with, as they wanted the Keepstar live and deployed to in time for their own 19:00 UTC state of the alliance meeting to announce the start of the war.  Since it takes 24 hours to online a Keepstar in your own territory, the window of opportunity was pretty clear.

But being watched made them dither.  Meanwhile, as time went on, more and more Imperium luminaries slipped out of 1DQ to join our fleet.  Most of the major alliance FCs and one of our CSM reps were cloaked up on the blops with us before the decision point came.  Some poor Russian kept asking us in local to leave and go back to Delve so he could carry on farming LP for Nirvana implants, but we never answer back in local.

As we sat there, the Meta Show kicked off, where The Mittani, who had been on coms with us a few times, taunted Vily, the CSM member and leader of Legacy Coalition, that we knew what he was up to, that we were in his head.  If we couldn’t kill the Keepstar, we would at least mess with them.

The likely candidate systems were being watched, but we only had so many eyes, and in the end, after hours of hustling around and PM’ing our lurkers to see if anybody would answer, they dropped the Keepstar quickly in FAT-6P, a few systems over from our foothold in Catch at 4-07MU.

The Foothold in Catch

We got a covert ops cyno in position, but there was enough going on in the target system that tidi was up and it took a bit for the bridge to go up.

The Marshall is ready to send us

But the cyno ship got popped before more than a few of us could get through.  I ended up stuck with the blops.  But that was okay, as there were not many of us and the Keepstar was already anchoring.  In their haste to get things going, rather than giving it a meme name, as TEST tends to do, they named it “1111,” which we took as a sign than we has indeed made them nervous.  It also wasn’t very carefully positioned.  When you lay down a structure you try to face the undock in a useful direction.

Not one of their usual clever names

Asher, who had been through to see the Keepstar only to have his Purifier popped, took a moment to ping out this to the coalition.

Congrats to Test for starting the anchoring if their non-aligned keepstar panic-named “1111”. They meant to start anchoring it 3 hours ago so it came out with their 19:00 SOTA but a few brave bomber boys kept them flummoxed and confused for 3 hours while they cyno’d around Stain and Catch trying to lose us. A great start to the war for them! Looking forward to their pilots waiting for 3 hours after their SOTA before they can do anything!

With that ping “1111” became the new battle cry as people at the fireworks party in 1DQ began to repeat that in local.

GIF of 1DQ local

Expect “1111” to come up a lot.  At least you’ll know where it came from now.

This Keepstar was placed in the buffer zone between Legacy and the Imperium, which was yet another violation of the Non-invasion pact between the two powers, but with only a few hours to go before it ended, it was hardly going to change anything.

We made out way back home, disappointed that we hadn’t gotten to kill the Keepstar, but happy enough to have had an impact.  I actually had to leave part way through the vigil on the blops to go fire up the BBQ and cook some lunch for my family.  I had enough time to do that, eat, and get back on the blops again before anything happened.  Sometimes we just sit and wait.

It was about time for the State of the Goonion.  The Mittani read a prepared speech, the text of which has been posted on INN, in which he announced that our own war aim was to destroy TEST Alliance Please Ignore, that they were to be the Carthage to our Rome.  An list of 102 alliance might arrayed against us, but we would have one real target.

And once that was over, the form up for war began.  TEST seemed to have some plan to start the war well into July 5th, but so far as we were concerned, if the NIP between the Imperium and Legacy was to end on a date, we were going to get started at 00:01 EVE Online time, so declined to wait around for them to have their SOTA or for their Keepstar to anchor.

This led to a series of clashes across the map.  Up north PandaFam came out of their staging in Hophip and into Fountain where they fought several engagements with The Initiative, which was watching that way into our space.

Meanwhile, down south, TEST seemed to be ready to form up for battle on the Period Basis/Paragon Soul border, where the systems TCAG-3 and G-M4GK form the connection between our territories.  This led to… not much at all.  I flew on down with the spec ops group in an ECM frigate, ready to cause trouble.

ECM birds flying

However, while a fight threatened to develop, with TEST forming up fleets, they would inevitably stand them down or leave them idle.  They did poke into Querious and manage to reinforce the Ansiblex in 49-U6U, and there was a brief clash as they came through into TCAG-3, but no huge brawl developed.  They seemed to still be on their own timetable, set to have a meeting at 19:00, move into the new Keepstar once it anchored, and then get on with the war.

So the opportunity was taken to go in and reinforce a bunch of their infrastructure hubs in Paragon Soul and a few more in Esotaria.

Systems with an orange boarder have been reinforced

We seem to have stolen a march on the invaders, though these are more morale points than anything tangible.  The first day of counting coup was fun, but made no real change to the situation.  We are still greatly outnumbered by foes who plan to assail us from multiple directions.  They will get their act together and come for us, sooner rather than later.