Sunday morning found many alerts in my inbox when I logged into EVE Online. It seemed that our foes were set to strike back after we reinforced most of the Paragon Soul ihubs last night.
This is something I never saw much of in TNT because Goonswarm Federation holds all the ihubs in our space, the ihub being the important bit in an capturable null sec system. (The EVE University wiki has more on this if you are interested.) Every time somebody starts to hit one with an entosis wand we all get a notification.
So there were pings for fleets as soon as Jabber came up, so I jumped in a Jackdaw fleet being led by Havish Montak that filled up quickly then sped off to defend our space. Other fleets were out for various things, and our first task was to push NullSechnaya Sholupen out of 1-SMEB again, where they were shooting the jump bridge and being pests.
After chasing them off, killing more than a few along the way, we turned around and headed towards Querious, where Legacy had been hitting ihubs. Another fleet was out to go after the entosis ships while we went after the Brave Collective cover fleet. We caught up with them in OGY-6D and, outnumbering them heavily, sent them running after blowing up more than fifty of their fleet (plus capsules), including their two battlecruiser boosters. We then chased the remainder half way across the region as they tried to get away.
When the chase was over we went back and covered and ADM fleet before returning to base. More fleets went out almost immediately, one warping off just as we were arriving back.
I helped with another quick op to clear out some local gates. It is a bad time to travel alone in Delve. The hostiles have been setting up gate camps all along key routes, sometimes right on the gates in 1DQ1-A. It is also kind of a crazy time to travel as GSOL has been re-working the jump bridge map to facilitate movement to the various battle fronts, often setting up parallel routes. That is good for moving us into battle, but maybe not so good if you haven’t updated the jump bridge list in GARPA in the last couple of hours. Things have been changing a lot.
After that I took a break and went about the day. By the time I got back things were pretty quiet. I think that, perhaps, starting a war on Sunday might have been a bad plan. While I know Imperium people who basically stayed up all night long from the start of the war, the game tends to peak around 19:00 UTC and then drops off as the Euro folks who have to go to work in the morning head off for the night. So on my return we were back to a slower pace, with ADM fleets going out and not many pings.
A few things went on while I was away. Up in the north The Initiative managed to pop three anchoring Pandemic Horde Raitarus as well as a POS in the PandaFam staging system of Hophib, with only minor losses for the effort. (Somebody lost a Claw.) On the down side and TEST Muninn fleet and an Evictus Eagle fleet savaged an Imperium Baltec fleet and managed to reinforce the Ansiblex jump gate in TCAG-3 down in Period Basis, where we skirmished a bit with them last night.
Meanwhile, Progodlegend gave the TEST SOTA at 19:00 UTC, quotes from which, as well as a link to the whole thing, are available here. (I’d have linked something other than INN, but nobody else seemed to have covered the SOTA.) I find even listening to our own propaganda to be trying, but this was eye rollingly bad from where I sat.
Good propaganda should always have a simple theme. The Mittani focused on TEST in his SOTG on Saturday. TEST is our new main enemy, and as long as they exist we’ll be targeting them. Our long time desire to burn down NCDot, where many of the original corps for Band of Brothers still reside, is now a thing of the past. TEST is the focus.
Progodlegend spent quite a while telling people that Goons were bad at EVE, never leave Delve, never take fights, and never deploy anywhere without TEST holding their hand. With that build up, we ought to be a push over. But we’re also dangerous. A mysterious new Goonswarm has shown up and actually fights. I am not sure where they came from given most of the speech. Did we hire somebody? But New Eden is coming together to crush us… because the other coalitions have been forced by us to just sit in their space until now? I was there back in 2016 when we fled to Delve and it sure seemed like they could have put in the effort back then.
It struck me as trying to have it both ways, that Goons are a foe that can’t fight, yet has somehow oppressed the rest of null sec to the point that they have had to band together 102 alliances to come and get us.
I know, it would be unlike Progodlegend to over-hype something.
Anyway, these sorts of speeches rarely have any sort of impact on the outcome of wars. I learned that early on in my null sec career when the first foes I faced declared that Goons would be driven from Deklein. Didn’t work out that way. Both sides talk themselves up, yet one side inevitably loses. Somebody will end up being proven to be wrong.
On the plus side for TEST, their Keepstar in FAT-6P anchored successfully, though it remains a point of amusement for propaganda purposes.
A second Keepstar was put down in FAT-6P as well, then transferred to NCDot, which was spotted moving capitals down south as part of a PandaFam fleet. They’re allied with TEST, but won’t be sharing a Keepstar with them. Trust seems to be an issue.
So it goes. There were a few skirmishes in the evening, and quick response fleets zipped around dousing the occasional spark (and doing ADM work when idle), but nothing much changed. And for all the entosis effort that the enemy seemed to be putting in early on, the net result appeared to be just three ihubs reinforced in Querious.
But it was just day one and not everybody was even deployed yet. There will be more to follow I am sure.
Also, as a side note, there was a CSM15 statement posted to the forums asking CCP to pretty please not do something to inadvertently mess up the war. They did that last year when they dropped Drifters on Delve, with their annoying behavior, while we were off fighting in Tribute and Vale of the Silent. The forum post got the usual angry, twisted reactions that most any forum post gets. There is no winning.