Tag Archives: FWST-8

The Second Battle at FWST-8 Renews Two Guinness Records for EVE Online

It was a huge and costly battle, especially for the Imperium, as we clashed over the Keepstar being anchored in FWST-8.  And, even at the time, people were wondering if it would set a new record.

CCP had already been recognized by Guinness for the “Million Dollar Battle,” otherwise known as the “Siege of 9-4RP2,” which saw 6,142 players concurrently involved in the fighting.  So when the local count rose past that number it seemed like it might happen.  I caught a few screen shots with the count well into what might have been world record range.

6,446 in local

But there is what the UI shows… which during a heavily loaded time dilation fight can be problematic… and what gets officially registered at the server.   At 9-4RP2 people reported numbers in local much higher than the official count because people who were disconnected were part of the total.  Still, it seemed likely a record had been set.

So much stuff on grid!

Today that record was confirmed.  CCP published a press release announcing the award while Guinness posted the record officially on their site.

And it is actually two records.  The Guinness site says:

On this day, the space-based Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), EVE Online broke two Guinness World Records titles, the largest multiplayer videogame PvP battle and the most concurrent participants in a multiplayer videogame PvP battle.

The epic battle saw 8,825 players taking part overall and 6,557 playing concurrently at its peak.

EVE Online (developed by CCP Games, based in Reykjavík, Iceland) is renowned for its large-scale conflicts and the game has seen record-breaking encounters for largest battle and most concurrent players multiple times; they were previously set during 2014’s “Bloodbath of B-R5RB” and in 2018’s “Siege of 9-4RP2” respectively.

In this “Players” is distinct from in game characters, as CCP says there were 11,258 characters used in the fight.

Once again EVE Online shows it can still make the news.  Another epic event occurred, a world record was set, and I can claim I was there.

The focus of the battle

The war carries on and, while some denigrate as “fake” or unimportant in the scheme of things in New Eden, it also proves that Null Sec can pilots can have an impact.

CCP’s press release in full:

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS has shared additional information about this achievement in this feature: EVE Online’s Record-Breaking Fury at FWST-8

By the Numbers: A total of 8,825 players participated in Fury at FWST-8 with 11,258 characters from 114 different alliances in an engagement that lasted 14 hours, breaking the previous GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title of 7,548 players. The peak of Fury at FWST-8 saw 6,557 concurrent participants, breaking the previous GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title of 6,142 peak concurrent participants.

Both of these records were previously set by EVE Online during 2014’s “Bloodbath of B-R5RB” and in 2018’s “Siege of 9-4RP2” respectively.

EVE Online is no stranger to massive in-game conflicts. Every time a big battle breaks out or our community comes together for a cause, it’s always a sight to behold,” said Hilmar V. Pétursson, CCP Games’ CEO. “CCP may have created EVE Online, but it’s our community who built the universe of New Eden. Their ingenuity created the impressive logistics networks, both in-game and in the real-world, to field such a high volume of ships in one battle. Our players deserve all the credit that made these record-breaking achievements possible. Their support and dedication are what makes EVE Online the game that it is today.”

Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief for GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS added, “The limitless potential of EVE Online provides once again an epic, record-smashing battle that’s a test of both human and technological prowess. No game has the kind of passionate, invested, and empowered community that EVE Online enjoys, which is why it’s still, nearly 20 years on, reigning supreme as the ultimate MMO space game. Congratulations to all those involved – even those off licking their wounds will agree it was a battle to be remembered for a very long time.”

“We’ve been sitting on the edges of our seats this entire war. The player-run factions in our game often rival those of real-world governments, with some even adding US politicians into their ranks, so we knew it was only a matter of time before something big happened,” said Bergur Finnbogason, EVE Online’s Creative Director. “It still blows my mind that EVE’s players are able to break these records for massive player battles. Setting two world records for a single battle is humbling and just shows the amount of dedication EVE Online players have for our game.”

Since July of this year, a massive player-driven conflict between alliances has been unfolding in EVE Online. Dubbed “World War Bee 2”, upwards of 130,000 players have battled it out in a war for in-game territory and geopolitical dominance. World War Bee 2 is the third such universal war since the game’s release in 2003. Fury at FWST-8 is just one of many battles in the war as players continue the fight.

Fury at FWST-8 was the PAPI coalition’s attempt to establish a beachhead Keepstar citadel in the region known as Delve, which would have enabled PAPI to strike deeper into the Imperium coalition’s territory with their forces of supercapital-class spaceships. To prevent this, the Imperium fought long and hard to destroy the Keepstar and push PAPI back. As a result, 6,746 ships and the Keepstar structure were destroyed, with 362 capital-class ships lost on the battlefield. Assets worth a total of 1.443 trillion ISK (in-game currency) were lost in this battle, equating to $18,712 USD, of which 705 billion ISK worth was destroyed completely, equating to $9,148 USD.

Some EVE pilots who participated in Fury at FWST-8 shared their impressions of the battle: “The FWST battle was the latest example of the iconic EVE Online battles that everyone reads about, and being able to say ‘I was there’ is a great feather in the cap for everyone involved. Even more impressive to me was the camaraderie and teamwork leading up to the kill. When we’re still around playing this game in the years to come we may not remember all the minutiae of the battle, but we’ll absolutely remember that we were there fighting side by side and having fun with our space tribe.” – Klavas (USA) – Goonswarm Federation, Imperium

“The scale of the fighting, the numbers of players involved on both sides, and the extent of the losses in FWST-8 and the weeks that followed has been incredible. I have fought in nullsec for nearly 15 years, nothing I have done before even comes close. Every player involved has been tested to the limits of endurance, it’s the stuff nullsec players have dreamt of for years.” – Hedliner (UK) – Pandemic Legion, PAPI

“Fights like FWST-8 don’t happen very often but they are what makes EVE, EVE. I was impressed that the servers held up as well as they did. It’s the second time I’ve been involved in setting the record for most concurrent players. Hopefully, all good things come in threes?” – Killah Bee (Germany) – Northern Coalition, PAPI

“The battle in FWST is undoubtedly a historic event, not only for EVE Online and the MMORPG genre, but for video games themselves. Our alliance and coalition campaign commanders undertook a colossal amount of work and planning to make this happen, not only for this specific battle, but throughout the past two weeks.” – strbrr (Russia) – Northern Coalition, PAPI

“The battle of FWST-8 is among the few, incredible moments of EVE Online, those we hear of in the media, those we tell about to the new players with a proud ‘I was there’. Participating in the biggest battle of the history of video games along with thousands of players all across the world, and the feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself as everyone gave their best in the face of impossible odds is a memory I’ll never forget.” – Naice Rucima (France) – Goonswarm Federation, Imperium

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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:

A Costly Imperium Victory at FWST-8

The map in EVE Online at this moment on October 7th shows one big hot spot if you go to statistics and click the option to show ships destroyed in the last 24 hours.

That big orange ball in Delve

Over at DOTLAN it shows the most violent null sec system of the last 24 hours to be FWST-8, where more than 10K ships were destroyed.

Delve is a dangerous place

Yesterday I mentioned the destruction that happened when the Imperium killed the first Keepstar that the invaders dropped in FWST-8 in NPC Delve.  I also mentioned that they dropped a second Keepstar that could be attacked shortly after that post went live.

NPC Delve and vicinity

Yesterday was the return to battle in FWST-8 as the Imperium once more went all in to defend Delve from the invaders.  Shortly after 17:00 UTC the Keepstar finished its deployment and went into its anchoring phase, during which there was a 15 minute window in which it could be simply blown up in one pass with no future timers.

With a days notice to prepare, both sides were ready to contest this 15 minute window.

I took a little break from work and joined in for the first wave of the attack, going with the Rokh fleet.  We were bridged in early, as FWST-8 is a single titan bridge from 1DQ1-A, the Imperium’s main staging and capital, and waited for the timer to count down.  Mike Flood gave us instructions and warped us on grid when the time was ripe.

Of course, there were many people in system, so time dilation was down to 10%.  The past official record for one battle, the one certified by Guinness, was 6,142 players in the battle at 9-4RP2, the infamous million dollar battle.  There is no doubt a methodology required to assess exactly how many players are in a system and connected and active, but I did see local well exceed that number early on.

6,446 in local

I am not sure if that qualifies for a record, but it was a lot of people.

With all those people and things slowed down, Imperium forces did not arrive on grid and put enough damage on the Keepstar until almost seven minutes had run off the clock.  While everything else runs at 10% speed, the actual time runs in real time, so a slip up can cost a lot of time on the clock.

Warp disruption bubbles drawing as we arrive on grid

I was in full “potato mode” with graphics turned down to keep my client from bogging down trying to draw everything in sight in high detail.

We successfully stopped the clock at about 8 minutes and kept fire on the Keepstar.  As long as the structure was getting enough damage the clock would stay frozen, so we could not slacken our pace.

The first pause point

The enemy was out in force as well and clustered around the Keepstar to defend it.  Our job was to shoot the structure, their job was to shoot us.  When we were blown up and ended up back in 1DQ1-A, we had to re-ship and get back in the fight.  In this way the Imperium kept cycling ships, ranging from frigates to dreadnoughts, into the fight as losses mounted.

After I lost my first Rokh, I stopped and went back to work, but the battle kept going.  I peeked in on the INN live stream of the battle every once in a while and saw the Jabber pings keep rolling by as more and more people got into fleets to attack the Keepstar.

Later, when I was done with work, I jumped back in.  One of the fleets we were using was made up of ratting doctrine ships, Myrmidons and Gnosis, which were thrown on grid at range to send their drones in to attack the structure as they tried to burn out of ranged to avoid retribution.  I threw an alt in to try that.

Gnosis on grid

That Gnosis did not last too long.  I had better luck with the Rokh, which required you to use a bookmark that put you 200km off the Keepstar, within range of the fit with the sensor booster running a targeting range script.

You had to land, align back out, lock up the structure, shoot, then warp off once the hostiles started to lock you up, a process easier said that done.  Each step of that could take minutes and it the bads started shooting at you, their guns would keep cycling while you sat there waiting for the server to pick up your command to warp off.  I died a few times for want of attention from the server.

Just not going to make it

Also, I learned the hard way not to accidentally click on an overview tab that has brackets on.

So much stuff on grid!

That locked up my client for a minute as it worked that out.  It was a good thing I was on a distant perch and not in range.  I might have been blown up before it drew all those brackets.

I had my main and my prime alt alternating with Rokhs.  Progress was being made on the Keepstar, but it was slow going.

As the day wore into evening at my end, the enemy switched up and sent their subcaps to our staging Fortizar in the system to bubble it up.  That was where we were bridging in, so warp disruption bubbles there would keep us from getting to the Keepstar.

Bubble battle at our Fortizar

That came scarily close to working.  Our fire on the Keepstar slackened enough that the timer started up again and two more minutes ran down before we got enough fresh ships back on grid to stop it again.

Second Pause Point

The grind went on.  As the hours went by people in Europe dropped out for the night as more people from the US joined in.  The total players in system began to sag.  The high water mark was not held for long, but it carried on close to 6,000 for quite some time.  As the evening turned to night that number dropped to just below 5,000 as sightseers and the tired left.  But the battle carried on.

My biggest mistake was accidentally warping straight to the Keepstar.  The server didn’t pick up my abort, but I managed to load high damage, short range ammo and get in quite a few hits before I was blown up.  I don’t think they expected that.

My pod on the structure after my Rokh died

After losing half a dozen Rokhs, I switched over to bombers.  There was a dedicated group throwing bombs from stealth bombers, good for 6K of damage each launch, while trying to stay alive.  You can uncloak, bomb, warp off, and cloak up again if your good and if the server picks up your commands.

It was then that the big panic of the night happened.  The enemy had brought in titans to kill our dreadnoughts faster.

Enemy titans arriving

We slipped again and the timer started counting down once more.  All bombers were ordered on grid to shoot their bombs and then use their torpedo launchers to get enough damage on the structure to stop the clock.

We managed it, with losses, but the clock was now down to under two and a half minutes.  Another slip and the Keepstar would likely be save.

The third pause

This was especially agonizing not only because hours had been spent on the attack, but we were also about 80% done.  We just had to stick it out.

The target remains

I could not however.  After about six hours of constant runs on the Keepstar it was getting late and I had work in the morning.  I called it a night at about the 90% mark, even as pings were going out for more people to join in.  I was in a bomber in system, so I warped off to a safe and then found I couldn’t safe log because the 15 minute timer was still running down… at 10% speed.  So I just cloaked up and left myself in space.  I left Jabber up as well and I saw the ping in the morning announcing that the Keepstar had been destroyed about an hour or so after I went to bed.

But the cost. My loss tally will be up significantly come the next weekly war summary.

The battle reports are all muddled due to so many groups showing up to fight or just gawk.  But it looks like the Imperium lost over 1.5 trillion ISK worth of ships, with more than 5,500 ships destroyed in the fight according to one battle report.

Battle report header

It also shows that we did that even as we were outnumbered.  It wasn’t us swarming a smaller group, but us throwing ourselves repeatedly against a larger force.  And, as with the last battle, the kill mail for the Keepstar itself went missing, so you can add 187 billion ISK to the attackers.  They also lost 3 titans getting to the battle, including one right in their staging system.

The details from another battle report show the ships that were sacrificed in the fight.

The Imperium is Team 1 on this chart

One fleet running for a while was Asher handing out Vexors with drones for people to fly in and attack the Keepstar with.  You got your Vexor, insured it, got it into battle, got blown up, and collected some free insurance ISK.

Our foes are feeling pretty good about killing so many of our ships.  But that wasn’t the real point of the battle.  The point was to show how hard we will fight when then step into Delve.  A lot of hay has been made about “flood plains” and how we let Fountain and Querious go without throwing in for a big fight.

But now we’re in Delve and we are ready.  Some propaganda was immediately forthcoming.

Welcome to Delve

Now we are restocking our supplies and getting ourselves ready for the next round.  The invaders want to advance by dropping Keepstars rather than by attacking ours, no doubt thinking their superior numbers would make this a safe way to get into Delve.  Now they know they will have to commit to a huge fight with every step on that path.

I am sure both sides now are planning out next steps and digesting lessons learned.  A third Keepstar drop is expected.

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A Tale of Two Keepstars in FWST-8

I woke up yesterday and wandered over to my computer at the usual 6am-ish time, the price of working for a company with its HQ in central time and, as the usual channels and apps came up I saw on Jabber that Fraternity, one of the PandaFam alliances in the PAPI coalition, had dropped a Keepstar in NPC Delve and we were throwing things at it to kill it before it could finish deploying and start its anchoring cycle.

I didn’t have time or the attention span to get in a fleet op for real, but I undock an interceptor to roll out and see if I could lay eyes on this new event.  I wrote just yesterday that this was a possible scenario and one that The Mittani seemed to be relishing.

The problem was, I don’t think we were quite expecting it to happen at just that moment.  It came when the EUTZ people were still at work and some of us were still asleep here in the US.

And, of course, nobody was saying where the Keepstar was being deployed because op sec is opsec I guess, but NPC Delve isn’t that big, so I zipped out there to look around.  I went north first, wondering if they were coming in from Querious via that route.

That proved fruitless, so I went south and figured I was getting warmer when I blew through a gate camp in PR-8CA and knew I was in the right place when I was hit in the face with the 10% tidi slow down as I gated into FWST-8.

NPC Delve and vicinity

There I found about 3,500 people in local and a Keepstar on the overview… sort of.  My “show all hostiles” overview runneth over as they say, and I had to pull one up that just showed hostile titans and citadels before I could zero in on the structure.   I warped over to it in order to get a closer look.

Keepstar deploying in FWST-8

I flitted around, watching the hostiles supers and titans and as our side sent in waves of ships to kill the structure before it could start its anchoring cycle.  Foolishly, I decided to shoot the Keepstart, because never not whore on a Keepstar email if you have the chance.  That let the Keepstar hold me down just long enough to get me blown up.

My Ares on grid for the moment

I was podded shortly after, which sent me back to 1DQ1-A.  But that is just a few gates away, so I was quickly back in another Ares and on grid shortly thereafter.  The Keepstar was almost dead by that point.  I took a bit more care this time, got on grid with it, and took a few shots at it just before in went up.

The Keepstar Explodes

Of course, with the Keepstar gone there were still, at that point, almost 3,900 people hanging around in system, so the shooting carried on with both sides trying to get some more kills in.

Who is holding whom down here?

It looked like we might be able to down at least one hostile titan, as there was a Brave Ragnarok off on its own.  But that did not come to pass.  Instead the bad guys went about killing off as many of our dreadnoughts as they could.

Erebus doomsdays a dread

I got a bit sloppy again and managed to lose another Ares, but that was fine.  I got to see the spectacle and shot the Keepstar before it blew up.

The results of the battle were very much against us when it came to ISK.  The battle report was very lopsided.

Battle Report Header

We may have destroyed the Keepstar, but we did it by pouring dreadnoughts and heavy assault cruisers and bombers on grid in a constant stream to get chewed up by the hostiles.  Here are some of the loss counts.

Losses by ship type – Imperium is Team 1

Down in the details you can see that the hostiles commited 59 titans and 209 super carriers to the battle, while we sent in none.

Of course, the one kill mail that nobody can find it the one for the Keepstar.  The theory is that the hostiles shot the Keepstar in the end just to make their kill boards all the more green (completely consistent with past actions) and one of them got the final blow and won’t sync it with zKillboard just to annoy us.

So you can add 187 billion ISK to Team 2’s losses, as that was the value of a Keepstar lost in similar circumstances last week.  And that means that, effectively, I did not get on the kill mail.  Oh well.

That makes this another trillion plus ISK battle.  A serious fight, one that put FWST-8 and surrounding systems at the top of the list for ships killed yesterday.

Where the war is

And even as that was settling down a ping went out from Asher:

(8:45:17 AM) directorbot@goonfleet.com: Watch for enemy freighters jumping into systems, we believe they have 1 KS left

~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to all at 2020-10-05 15:45:17.848456 EVE ~~~

And, sure enough, they did have one more.  They managed to slip it in to FWST-8 and get it through its preparation, so it will finish its anchoring and go into its initial repair timer a little while after this post goes live.

So there will be another Keepstar fight today.  This time it will be deeper into EUTZ and early USTZ and we will have had 24 hours to prepare for it.  I hope somebody told CCP to reinforce the node.  We may need it.

This is reminiscent of the battles at UALX-3, where TEST lost a Keepstar to PanFam and threw down another while PanFam pilots tried to petition their way out of being stuck in the system after the server crashed.  That was back when we were helping them against PanFam.

Of course, the reason for throwing more Keepstars down this time around may be less about content and more about the fact that CCP’s Quantum Core patch is going to hit next Tuesday, after which a new Keepstar will require a 30 billion ISK core to be installed after it anchors, which will require a freighter to haul it out.

Addendum: The story of the second Keepstar here.

Other Coverage:

A Weekend in Delve and Other Bits

I was somewhat otherwise occupied this past weekend, and so did not get many chances to partake in the Thunderdome that is currently Delve.  Things were clearly going on, Jabber was lit up quite frequently with fleet requests, enough so that even on my limited time budget I found a couple of opportunities.

Shipping Shipping

One of the first things I did was get my alt out in Jita and buy up some things I thought I might need for the war.  The war is new and the supply of ships and consumables has not caught up with the demands of a few hundred pilots arriving wanting to fight and replace losses.  Wars depend on logistics in EVE as in the real world.  Some contracts for key ships were starting to show up, but I sent myself a few hulls, fittings, and a supply of ammunition and such from Jita via one of our coalition haulers just to make sure I things on hand while the supply chain was ramping up… and to ensure I didn’t have to pay some of the highway robbery prices that sometimes show up before the market stabilizes.

Shipping is actually a bit pricey because the shippers all work out of Jita by default, and F2O is a long way from Jita.  An Amarr to Delve run would cut off a couple of jumps, but it is off the trade route.  Jita owns it all in that regard.

Win Fleet

I didn’t just get pipe-bombed over the weekend.  I did manage to get into one fleet that had a good run.  There was a call up for a Harpy fleet to go catch some Northern Coalition Caracals that were roaming nearby.  We managed to catch them near the gate in FWST-8 where we tore them apart. [Link points in the right direction now.]  It took us a bit to start breaking their tanks as their logi seemed to be quite on the ball, but we hung on until they started to fall.  This was helped by the fact that their choice of weaponry, heavy assault missiles, was sub-optimal for damaging wee frigates, so our own logistics were able to keep up.  A fleet of Ruptures dropped in towards the end, which makes the odds look more heavily weighted in our favor than they were for most of the fight.  Only the last few kill mails show any Ruptures involved, and the Ishtars on the chart were doing something else in system, so we were not blobbing as much as that report might indicate.

I also saw my first Nugoeihuvi Edition Caracal during the fight.

NC Caracal Fleet

NC Caracal Fleet

So somebody is buying those custom ship skins.  I might do so as well if they were available for any ship I happened to fly regularly.

Anyway, that was a short, sharp fleet battle that at least put me on a few more kill mails.

Stood Down Fleets

I also managed to get online and into a few fleets that ended up being stood down.  You still get a participation link for such fleets… they also serve who only sit and wait on a titan… but we don’t log in just for participation links.  We log in to shoot stuff.

One fleet stood down as an opportunity passed.  Just the nature of fleets in motion.  We got on and undocked only to find that the foes had other business to attend to.

Another was stood down for lack of booster ships in the fleet.  I am still training the skills to be able to fill that role, but that goal is still a good 120 days off, so I will probably be good for the next war unless the summer in Delve lasts into winter.

And the final fleet I was in that stood down was over position.  Black Legion was in system with us and neither side would put themselves at a disadvantage just to get the fight started.  They wouldn’t come to us and we wouldn’t go to them.  So we hung around on the station undock for a while before calling it quits.  That is one of the problems with this not being a sovereignty war, your fleet can stand down without any loss.  There is no moment of truth where everybody has to either show up or lose their work.  Timers suck, but they do bring people to battle.

The Mittani Resurgent

Not actually Delve related, but something that seemed to come up this past weekend.  The Mittani (the person, not the site), who has been, outside of GSF CEO updates, rather neutral in tone of late… well, neutral in tone for him… on The Mittani (the site, not the person) has suddenly come alive.

There was the announcement of a new regular feature by him, followed up by a column on the new player experience and what CCP ought to consider doing.  That got a lot of reaction, in part because his ideas probably weren’t what you might expect.  That in turn was followed by a another promised regular feature called Mittens’ Mailbox where he answers question sent to him or that come up in comments on his posts.  The first one had all the dirt you could want, including how TEST’s own intel was compromised during the Fountain War last year, how often he logs into the game, and who the enemies of the CFC really are.  Even if you hate him and rage at all his says, it is good stuff, the sort of thing that keeps the meta game spinning.

Addendum: And he is on a roll, with the next topic on the null sec stagnation front.

Addendum 2: Just in case you haven’t gotten enough of The Mittani, there is also an interview with him about getting into EVE and starting TMC posted over at Pollen.