Tag Archives: Imperium

Ranger Regiment Joins the Imperium

Another item that came up while I was gone for a week was that the Ranger Regiment alliance had joined the Imperium.

Their DOTLAN status as of Feb 19, 2020

Ranger Regiment is one of what I think of as the Chinese diaspora groups that left the Serenity server in China after the Pan-Intergalactic Business Community essentially won EVE Online on that server, which drove people away. (Rooks & Kings did a video about the end of days on Serenity that is worth watching.)  So they and some other groups including Fraternity, The Army of Mango Alliance, and P.L.A came to the Tranquility server in order to play in a sandbox where one group didn’t own all the sand.

The rather brief post about Ranger Regiment making the move to the Imperium did not go very far into why they might have sought to join.  Not that I think there is much mystery as to why they were inclined to join.  The war in the north started with TEST attack Dead Coalition allegedly over something Sort Dragon, CSM member and head of the latter, said to which Vily, also a CSM member and military chief of the former, took grave offense or something.  Wars in New Eden have started over less.

This developed into a alliance between TEST and its coalition and Pandemic Horde and its coalition, against Dead Coalition, there being some bad blood there as well.  That balance saw the Imperium deploy a brand new SIG, about which I wrote previously, in support of Dead Coalition.

But Ranger Regiment has born the brunt of the attack.  Looking at their changes page on DOTLAN, the last month has seen them lose much of their holdings in Branch and Tenal, the once safe ratting and mining grounds of Dead Coalition.  The null sec influence maps paint the picture more graphically.

Ranger Regiment Northern Losses

A big block of those losses came after the announcement, so could be perhaps attributed to them packing up and leaving, but they have still been under pressure for more than a month and had been losing systems steadily over that time.  They still hold some systems in Branch and a chunk of Deklein, though I imagine they will let those go to somebody unless the Imperium wants to expand the arc of its holdings past the outpost systems in Cloud Ring and Fade that are at the far end of the Eye of Terror jump gate system.

I am not sure that we want to have to cover that much territory, and I am sure that wouldn’t make Sort Dragon particularly happy.  We’re allied for the moment, but it is a casual agreement that can change with the situation.  We shall see.

This also marks the first time in a while where an alliance size group has applied to join the Imperium.  There have been some other temporary alliances and agreements when we have worked with other groups, but most of my posts about the state of the coalition membership are from the Casino War era when come alliances were keen to exit.

The Imperium – August 10, 2016

If you look at the recent null sec influence maps, we are in an era where some areas between the coalitions have opened up to smaller, independent groups.  But there are still four key coalitions in null sec right now; Darkness and Dead Coalition in the north, Pandemic Horde and PanFam in the northeast, TEST and Legacy Coalition in the southeast, and Goonswarm and the Imperium in the west.  They have realigned to grind against each other multiple times now, which has caused them to consolidate and reorganize at points.  I suppose the question at the moment is whether or not Dead Coalition, which just lost an alliance, can hold up under the current onslaught.  The Imperium deployed a SIG to come help, but did not call the whole coalition out nor bring any super capitals north, so our commitment to their defense is less than all we could do.

Meanwhile, Dead Coalition is the one group that does not have an obvious and well known new player group that can funnel fresh recruits into the coalition.  They are already more of a regional power than the other three, and if they cannot bulk up they may end up as another small buffer state between them.

Fleets in Motion

It wasn’t a surprise that the coalition packed up and started deploying north on Saturday.  It had been hinted at… more than hinted at, there were pings that said we were going on the road somewhere after the weekly fireside and a Jabber channel had been created for the move to match up people with things to move with people with free space in their capitals… for the last week or so.

There was even a new SIG created to serve as the umbrella organization for those wishing to deploy.  Open to everybody in the coalition… no vouch required… the new group is called the Goon Expeditionary Force.  There is, or course, work on forum bees to represent the new group.

Two leading candidates

The acronym is GEF and it is pronounced “Jeff.”  That could indicate where Imperium leadership stands on the “GIF” pronunciation conflict.

You might ask what the purpose of a SIG is that pretty much has no barrier to entry.  I suspect it is really just an opt-in for pings related to deployments.  There is back end work already done to make SIG-only pings and there has long been a minor issue of “all all” pings going out and having people not deployed joining fleets from back in Delve.  That is my theory in any case.

There was, however, some worry about getting the whole thing off the ground.  There is a war going on  in the north, with PanFam lurching out from Malpais towards Darkness and Dead Coalition territory, which has meant fights in Venal and Deklein.   We just had to get there, but the game… the game has been having problems for a week now.

CCP was saying it was a DDoS attack early on, then switched to “network issues” as apparently you’re not supposed to give your attack the satisfaction of acknowledging an attack.  I’m not sure that works if you change stories mid-week.  Either way, a lot of people, especially those more distant from the London data center, have been getting this message when logging in.

Never a good sign

On the upside for some people, myself included, if you dismiss this error and click the “connect” button that is at the bottom of the client you end up in the game all the same.  CCP was even tweeting about that:

There was some talk on the fireside about using a VPN client to get around the problem.  People reported that with a VPN service that lets you set your connection to be as though you were in London (Express VPN was mentioned) seemed to make things better for some people.  Asher, who had been unable to connect before, was able to get in via VPN.

Of course, this being CCP, getting connected didn’t fix all problems.  Even if you could get into the game there seemed to be a 50/50 chance of chat working for you.

I saw this a lot

I had two clients running and one got connected to the chat server and the other consistently failed.  And, even when connected, things were not right.  You know something is up where local shows less people listed than you see in the station list with you. (Or when you log an alt into Jita and see just 75 people in local.)  I suppose you could estimate how many people were failing to get into the chat server by comparing the fleet chat number with the member count in the fleet window itself.

Anyway, the problems were annoying, but enough people were able to get in to make our own lurch northward a viable proposition.  So the move op commenced.

What can I say about a move op that I haven’t said already?  Lots of ships… multiple fleets, both capitals and sub caps (but no supers)… moving north along the Eye of Terror as we have done many times before.  I know the systems almost by heart.  So it is gates and jump bridges and time dilation and waiting around for other groups to catch up.

Also, alliance logos on structures not loading… put that on the list

The item of note for the operation was probably the fact that, in the name of speeding up the move, the capital fleet was shoved through Ansiblex jump gates just like the sub caps.

Dreads jumping through with the sub caps

GSOL said they could keep the Ansiblex jump gates fueled as we moved north, at least until we got to the edge of their domain.  So the capital ships were not delayed by jump timers or jump fatigue until we were into Cloud Ring.  GSOL seemed to be up to the job, though there were a couple of points where there was a bit of a wait for an Ansiblex refuel.

After that it was jumping as usual for the caps, though the sub caps were able  to use the Eye of Terror a bit further along.  Eventually though even we were gating our way deeper into the north, through old familiar systems from when we used to live in there.

Sub cap fleet landing at another gate

One amusing thing did come up unique to this move op.  I mentioned the Jabber channel that was created up at the top.  The name of the channel was “Geffrey.”  However, some PanFam spies apparently mis-understood the idea of the channel and thought the Imperium was using an in game channel with that name, so joined it… created it by joining it then joined it… and spent some time talking to each other about how we apparently can’t setup in game channels with the right permissions.

This got around so some people in our fleet joined the channel to troll and post memes.  I would have joined but the chat server was having none of it.  It seemed to think that because I had been allowed into the fleet channel and local that I had enough channels and could live with those.

Anyway, laughs were had.

And the move op concluded successfully without anything much to report.  We’re now working out of an NPC station in the north.

Our deployment home

We shall see if the game stays stable enough for us to do much up there.  Even when connected successfully I have seen quite a bit of lag when it comes to responding to commands.  A small op I went on yesterday afternoon was somewhat spoiled by the fact that people’s clients seemed to be working on their own timeline leading people to warp, bubble, shoot, or whatever in dribs and drabs rather than as a group.  CCP has some work to do here still.

Addendum: There is a forum thread tracking the three main issues the game is experiencing now (connections, chat, and lag) if you want to see the current status.  CCP is updating it as things evolve.

KarmaFleet

I joined KarmaFleet.

My new calling card I suppose

As I mentioned early in the month, our long time corp Black Sheep Down was folding up shop.  With just a few active players I gather there was some pressure to be absorbed into a larger corp in TNT.  I doubt I would have left Black Sheep Down otherwise, as it enabled me to do what I wanted to do in EVE Online, which mostly involves repairing space ships in fleets and blowing up structures.

But given the need to move I also now had the incentive to consider where I should land.

This is a lesson that all companies, real or virtual need to remember.  Customers will often stick with you simply because it is easier to deal with the known than consider the unknown.  But if you force somebody to consider it, they might decide they would be better off elsewhere.

And so I ended up in KarmaFleet, the then CFC response to the “levee en masse” idea that started to become a part of war in null sec.  Once it was difficult to get into null sec alliances.  Many considered themselves elite.  But the math of “N+1” is what ended up winning wars and now any coalition beyond a certain size has to have some form of easy entry, new player friendly organization to keep fleets full and fresh blood replacing attrition.

Why KarmaFleet?

Dear kindly social worker,
They say go earn a buck.
Like be a soda jerker,
Which means like be a schumck.
It’s not I’m anti-social,
I’m only anti-work.
Glory-osky! That’s why I’m a jerk!

-Gee, Officer Krupke, West Side Story

KarmaFleet has their own answer to that question and produces propaganda around that.

What KarmaFleet Offers

I’ve pointed a few people in the direction of KarmaFleet in the past as place to get access to the null sec aspect of EVE Online.  (Tellingly, I never suggested TNT or our old corp.  Being around me is not a lot of help in game really.)

Of course, they also produce propaganda that might be more on point.

The real progression

I may already be in that final state even as I join.

I certainly didn’t need free skill books or free ships, I had access to almost all the SIGs and squads when I was in TNT, and I am in a post-ISK state of denial, living off of the modest reserves I acquired in my more enthusiastic days.

Instead, the move to KarmaFleet was more of a simplification of my time.  Being in TNT gave me access to all of the GSF infrastructure.  In fact, it is a requirement to be integrated with their auth services, forums, coms, and what not in order to participate.

But TNT also has its own auth services, forums, coms, and SIGs, which are also required, such that to be in TNT means keeping up basically a dual set of services.  That wasn’t exactly a huge burden, largely because I mostly failed to keep them going.  I would update TeamSpeak for corp meetings when they happened, but I was mostly in a state of lapsed compliance.  Having, for example, a that second Jabber account TNT that would echo every Goonswarm all/all ping but wasn’t hooked into SIGs and squads wasn’t all that useful.

Now, in KarmaFleet, all the things I already had setup and maintained remain the same and the stuff I would occasionally have to get back into compliance with are no longer an issue.  That and a few other small items have streamlined things for me a bit.  I wasn’t going to leave our corp just for that, but since I had to leave anyway, I figured I might as well find what benefits I could.  So I indulged my laziness.

Getting In for Normal People

Of course, that is why I went.  How I went, that is a bit of a tale in its own.  As with many things, what you’re told and what actually happens do not always exactly align.

The application process is simple.  You go to the KarmaFleet site, click on the “Click Here to Apply” and follow instructions.  You create an account, add you API data for your characters, and fill out an short application that asks about your history with the game mostly.  The characters part is the sticking bit for most people.  I have seen it come up on their Discord multiple times and it was the only question directed at me; did you list ALL you characters in the game.

I foolishly said I thought so but that I had been playing since 2006.  So I had to answer the question in a couple more ways before I got an “alight” in response.  I’m pretty sure a spy would have just said yes, they were certain, but whatever.  Spying is still a bit of a mania.

After that you wait for a bit… I waited for almost three weeks… and then somebody will give you the yea/nay on your application.  If you’re accepted there will be a corp invite waiting for you in game… which was the only notification I got.  Accept that and you are in KarmaFleet.  An automated in-game email will show up full of all the things you need to do to register for and access the various alliance resources.

Getting In for the Encumbered

Of course, I was a bit different.  I was already in the coalition and already registered and on the various services and there is honestly not a lot out there about how to move forward from there.

I had dropped roles in Black Sheep Down a while back, so when the invite came I accepted it and was in KarmaFleet right then.  I knew from having heard in the past that I would have to re-apply to the various SIGs and groups to which I belonged.  But while I was in KarmaFleet nothing else had changed.  I still had access to all my old groups and various identifiers still showed me as belonging to TNT.

Here is what to do; be patient.

At some point the system will poll and notice that your current status does not match what it has stored for you, and it has only one response to change… to purge you as an inactive.  At that point you will get an email telling you this with a link the the authentication system and instructions to go log in and click the button to restore yourself.

Once you do that you will be set to go.  Your info will be correct and you will have access to all the default forum areas and such that you get as a corp member.  You have to reapply to all your old groups again, but that is pretty easy.  I was back in Reavers pretty quickly, for example.

I did not know the “be patient” part.  I last changed corps back in 2013 and almost everything in the API and authentication area has changed since then. So I asked in the general Jabber channel how long it would take for the data to refresh.  Somebody told me I needed to go push a button in the auth interface and everything would be fine.

But it wasn’t.  The system hadn’t gotten around to noticing something had changed yet.  It seems to poll about every couple of hours I would guess.  And until it notices you and takes action, there is no button to press that will move things along.

Somebody had indicated that there was something I could do and, having forgotten to calculate in the value of advice from random Goons in a general chat channel, I spent a futile hour or so poking various things in the hope of forcing an update.  Only then did I decide to be patient and went off to do other things.  Later, when the email arrived, I went and pressed the button and things were fine.

Now to wait for EVE Who and zKillboard to update while I reapply to my various SIGs and squads (and one new one that was just formed).  I actually might not reapply to all of the ones I was in previously.  I never was of much use in CapSwarm nor in the fleet booster SIG.

I just need to figure out how to get Pidgin to stop trying to log into their Jabber/XMPP conference channels every time I launch it.  I can’t find a UI element that controls that, but it knows to try and log me in every time, so there is probably a config file somewhere I can edit.  (Also, maybe I should upgrade my seven year old copy of Pidgin to the latest version.)

Quote of the Day – Being Risk Averse in Null Sec

The problem here is that being risk averse is the intelligent move. As stated above, null groups always have to be thinking about not just this fight, but the next one, the next ten, the next war. It’s coming. Whether you win or lose this one,  it’s coming. It’s coming whether you still have your space, your stuff, or even your pilots. If you’re in sov null, War Is Coming. And if you’re not getting ready for it, GET OUT. You have no business being there. Go to NPC null. Go to lowsec. Just get out of the way now, before the avalanche starts.

-Bill McDonough (Arrendis), Why the Null Sec Blackout Won’t Fix EVE

The blackout of local in null sec was met with much acclaim, followed by a variety of disappointments.  There is always something else needed to be done in order to “fix” null sec.

Arrendis has a piece up over at INN about why the blackout isn’t the fix for null sec or EVE Online.  In an epic length article he explores why null sec isn’t the blood bath of constant conflict that many feel it ought to be.  Leaving aside how much work a war can be for null sec leadership… the position of Sky Marshall has often been a one war job because it tends to burn people out quickly… Arrendis pins the blame for the risk averse behavior of null sec alliances and coalitions on one thing.  Can you guess what it is?  I’ll give you a hint.

Goonie Goons and their filthy titan blob

Titans.  Titans are the apex weapon in null sec.  To take and hold space over time, to be secure in your conquered domain, to be able to survive against hostile powers, you need titans.

But there is a catch.  A Catch-22, if you will.

In order to show up in null sec, take some space, and hold it over time, you need titans.  But you cannot get titans unless you hold null sec space.  You can build carriers and dreadnoughts in NPC stations in low sec, but for a titan or a super carrier you need to be able to deploy an ihub, install upgrades, drop a Sotiyo, and configure it correctly before you can start your first titan build.

So no null sec power will risk their titans, because to lose them is to cease to be a null sec power.  And once you’ve lost them and been evicted you’re out.  The best case scenario going forward is to have to depend on the titans of another power to cover you.

So how can CCP break this cycle?  Arrendis has some suggestions, which you should go and read.  I’ve stolen enough of his thunder here.  The article is long, but worth the effort.  Even the comments on the article are worth reading, save for the one that starts off with “Eh. Kinda too long to read.”

Anyway, you can find the article over at INN.

Stomping About in Pure Blind and Tribute

Suppose They Gave a War and Everyone Came?

When you bring the whole team out to play it can sometimes get crowded on the field.

The war against PanFam, the “glassing of Tribute” was promoted heavily in the Imperium and that promotion was responded to enthusiastically.  As I pointed out, over a thousand individuals were on coms for the first move ops north, almost two weeks back.

A giant armada, arriving in the north and keen to blow things up… leads to some problems now and then.  There is at time a :goonrush: to get into fleets, even fleets that are not promising kill mails or combat.  I have started seeing this dialog pop up quite often.

feel the :goonrush:

That is something I am used to seeing if there has be an op pre-pringed and hurfed about before hand.  Everybody wants to go to the big battle.  But over the weekend I was seeing that come up for ops pinged as “we need to chase some people away” or “we’re going to reinforce a structure.”

At one point yesterday there was a call to sweep away a 15 person gate camp that had the temerity/bad luck to setup on a gate in our staging system and, even though I was already logged in and tabbed over to join the fleet immediately on seeing the ping, I was too late.  The fleet was full.

The gate camp seemed quite put out, complaining in local about having a 256 person fleet dropped on their camp.  Somebody pointed out that they were happy enough getting kills at a 15:1 advantage, so getting dropped on by a fleet with a 17:1 advantage over them seemed appropriate.

So, when the command team can arrange it, they do set up opportunities for larger groups to shoot things.  There was a call to blow up a Fortizar one gate over in Pure Blind from our staging.  I went over with the Eagle fleet that was called up first.  And then another fleet joined.  A fleet of Leshaks added their firepower after a bit.  Then supers dropped in.  Then the titans landed.  Everybody got a chance to take a shot at the structure.

Fortizar in the face of overwhelming force

So an undefended Fortizar… as somebody pointed out, an alliance with the name Skeleton Crew could probably not be expected to have the staff to cover such events… that the dozen Leshaks could have easily killed on their own ended up with a kill mail that had over 500 people listed on it. (There is a 4K video of this shoot if you are interested.)

For one of these ops I actually got my alt out in an Ibis just to get that on the kill mail.

Ibis supremacy

The tale of the Ibis is mildly amusing and might become a post of its own if I run out of things to write about this week, which is feeling like a distinct possibility.  I need another big fleet fight or Daybreak to do something silly or I’ll end up writing about things like the CSM14 elections.

Anyway, moving on.

The other problem with having a thousand eager pilots on hand and ready to go at any given hour of the day is that the locals in Tribute are perhaps rightly not inclined to come out to play, seeing how eager we are to drop the hammer even on immobile, undefended targets.

We did get that fight last week and, even having lost the objective and had the ISK war turn against us at a ratio of 2:1, the appetite for fleets and ops seemed to have only gone up.  People on our side came out of that fight eager for more.  In the Eagle fleet it felt like a win despite knowing the result.

The next night the call went out to form up to cover some more entosis operations and, as before, fleets filled up.

Two full fleets sitting on titans ready to go

Our goal was just to keep the enotsis ships safe as they vied with the locals over the nodes in the constellation.

The humble Drake as enotosis ship

We ended up in PNDN-V while PanFam ended up forming and sitting on the other side of the gate in 15W-GC.  Ships from either side that went through that gate got melted pretty quickly.  The gate also split the constellation in two, with us holding two systems and the locals controlling three.  That meant that we were unlikely to win the entosis war.  However, the same also went for the locals as enough nodes were spawning in our two systems that they couldn’t finish the defense.

Sitting around with not much to do, a streamer who was covering the event was linked in fleet, so we got to watch their view.  They had two views, one from either side of the gate, so we could see them and they could see us.

The streamer in question, Lumpymayo, was clearly on the PanFam side of things and much of the chat seemed to be him and his supporters calling us cowards for not coming through the gate to fight them despite the fact that we out numbered them by at least a 5:4 ratio.

Every so often we would get called to type, “Hon hon hon” into the Twitch chat, that being the adopted meme/war cry of the deployment.  This came about after we anchored the Keepstar on the doorstep of Tribute and Asher came on coms to tell us “op success.”  He asked everybody on the coms, close to a thousand people again, to all key up at once and say, “Hon hon hon,” which was to be done with a heavy French accent.  The coms chaos, recorded here, was enough to crash my client.  But the Keepstar was renamed “Hon hon hon” and that is now our local spam of choice.

After an hour or so of that the FCs had us go to the gate and jump through, and we took on the locals and their camp.  I was again in the Eagle fleet and we quickly anchored up and started shooting targets as they were broadcast.

Anchored on the Monitor

This went much more our way.  While a small engagement compared to the previous night, it was satisfying to get to blow things up all the same.   I once again got to lock up and shoot at Dreyden Trovirr from the Open Comms show.

Locked up yet again

This time around their logi was unable to support itself so Dreyden blew up along with a lot of their logi.  The enemy was chased off grid after a short clash.  The battle report showed things tilted our way.

Battle Report Header

After that there was much “Hon hon hon” in Lumpymayo’s Twitch chat and even he had to concede we had won the field that time.

Lumpymayo signals the results

Not only did we get a nice little blood letting, but we won the objective.  However, the objective wasn’t the entosis struggle in Tribute.  Rather, we were there to pin down the locals while Dead Coalition (formerly GotG) reinforced systems in Tenal, leading to the renters up there handing over a pile of structures to them.  Tenal had been the happy crabbing grounds for PanFam.  Now, however,

Over the weekend we also spent time working on the ihubs and TCUs in the 1P-VL2 constellation, which includes the famed system M-OEE8, scene of a number of famous battles.

Ihub entosis work

This went largely uncontested and on the initial pass all of the ihubs and TCUs were reinforced.  Following up on this the focus was on M-OEE8, which is the gateway system to empire space and which houses a Keepstar.  The ihub was destroyed, the TCU was flipped, and the Keepstar was reinforced.

 

GSF on the map in Tribute

The Keepstar is now down to its final timer and the question is whether or not there will be a fight over it or if this will be akin to the Fortizar mentioned at the top of the post, where we pile in a bunch of ships just to get on the kill mail of an otherwise undefended structure.

It seems possible that the locals will pass on this fight.

The rumor is that PanFam is even now planning to withdraw into the drone lands in eastern null sec, to the Malpais region, which is the core of their rental empire.  Lacking any nearby NPC or empire space, that would likely put them out of reach of the Imperium and its ability to project sufficient power to do more than harass them.  There is also word that PanFam, after the fiasco in Tenal where renter groups handed over citadels to the attackers without a fight, that they will no longer allow renters to deploy their own structures.

We shall see how much more fighting goes on in Tenal and Tribute.

Supporting sources on this topic are, unfortunately, all from INN since other sources, including Reddit, seem somewhat subdued on the topic right now.  I’ll add more if/when they show up.

Push into Pure Blind

Last Saturday the Imperium began moving forces north, out of Delve, and into Cloud Ring, stopping at the Keepstar in 6RCQ-V that was the base of operations for the was last summer.

We were told this was a temporary location, that our final staging point would be announced later.  Certainly Cloud Ring was too far away from Tribute to be an effective spot from which to launch operations.  Not that we didn’t run some into Tribute all the same from there.  The Initiative owns some ihubs in Pure Blind so there are some Ansiblex jump gates to get subcaps around.  But for capital ships it just wasn’t an ideal spot.

I previously speculated about where we might end up basing for our assault on Tribute, thinking that Hakonen, where we based previously, might be an option.  It covers the south of the region and is easily resupplied from Jita.

However, that was not the plan.  Instead GSOL dropped a Keepstar for us in KQK1-2 in Pure Blind.  The Keepstar survived its initial vulnerability window.  We just had to be sure it successfully anchored and came online.

With that in mind, the call went out for another mass form up for capitals and subcaps alike.

As the pings went out and the form up began, there were three subcap fleets called, all of which filled up almost immediately.  I had my main and my alt in two different fleets in order to move the only two ships I had on the deployment on to our new home.  I felt that this was as much a move op as anything.  It seemed unlikely that the locals would rise up against this show of force… recall how this went when we deployed the 6RCQ-V Keepstar.

When the capital fleets were called… six of them… space began to open up in the subcap fleets as capital pilots swapped over and just put their subcaps in their ship hangars to carry along with them.

As with the move op on Saturday, everybody was in the same voice coms channel, meaning that some coms discipline had to be enforced.  And, as with the move op, the capitals jumped out first, then the subcaps.  The Eagle fleet, which I was in, moved out last, though it quickly caught up with then passed the slower Baltec battleship fleet, where my alt was.

Not that anybody was going fast.  Two full fleets moving through relatively lightly populated space, plus capital jump, meant we were dragging our own bubble of time dilation with us through every constellation, spiking it with every gate jump.

We met up with the capitals on a Fortizar in low sec where we had to pick out the titan that was going to bridge us from the ball of titans surrounding the structure.

Pick a titan, any titan

This started in the usual ass backwards way with somebody telling us to “Get on the titan!” on voice coms without actually telling us which titan.  Saying, “The only one in the fleet!” wasn’t all that helpful if you had brackets turned off, and with this many ships on grid you pretty much had to have brackets turned off to get anything more than slide show level performance out of your video display.

Eventually people got their acts together and had the respective titans x-up in fleet so people could watchlist them and keep at range.  Finding the right titan from the group within 2km of you is a much easier task.

This time the Eagles went first, and we were bridged to a Fortizar in Pure Blind where we were chivvied onto first one titan then another and told to be ready to bridge.

Landing on the second Fortizar

In hindsight we were being made ready to jump in to defend the Keepstar which, at that point, was already in its repair phase.  However, we were not called to jump in and so sat on our titan as we watched the rest of the force jump in around us.

Titans making a big splash as they arrive

This time the various fleets jumped in to cynos that were a bit more spread out, so we ended up being sorted out into visibly distinct groups.

Fleets around the fort

The titans were still a big blob, but you can see the fax fleet off on the far side along with the relatively tiny capitals and subcaps.

There we waited until Asher announced over coms that the Keepstar in KQK1-2 was now online.  Then, slowly, fleet by fleet, we jumped or bridged to our new home.  Again, the Eagle fleet went last, just behind the fax fleet.

Off we go at last

Once there we were able to stand down and dock up in the new Keepstar, the 47th Keepstar owned by the Imperium.  The fuel costs alone must be a pain.

Our base in Pure Blind

It is named the Taqostar, which I am told was a Sadus suggestion.

Move ops to the new base will likely continue through the weekend.

Of course, you might ask what was the advantage of staging in KQK1-2 in Pure Blind.

If you go to DOTLAN maps and use the jump range navigation feature, it nicely shows you how many systems in Tribute are within titan jump range of KQK1-2.

Where can titans land from KQK1-2?

That is a lot of the region, enough for us to set to work on as we blow up ihubs, destroy any structures not yet taken down, and basically reset the region back to its starting state.

In the great circle of time, I have actually hung around long enough that I was in the operations that took these systems from NCDot back in 2012 and then again when we lost them all in 2016.  And now, here we are again.

Other coverage:

 

Lurching North Towards Tribute

The word did come down via the State of the Goonion on Saturday that we would indeed be moving north for war and that Tribute would indeed be our target.  That seemed the most likely scenario even a week ago.

In anticipation of the move ops to come I had logged into the game an hour ahead of time to figure out what I wanted to bring north.  I didn’t know where we were headed yet, but I wanted to be ready.  I was not alone.  I found almost 2,000 people in local and when I undocked I found titans practically frolicking about the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A.

Conga lines and fireworks

Closer in my Megathron… I decided to take a battleship north… reflected the glow of the fireworks being set off.

The rocket’s red glare indeed

As the time for the SotG approached, the number in local climbed, peaking at just past 4,000 as The Mittani’s speech ended.

In Mumble as well people started filing into the SotG channel.  There the numbers climber, passing 2,600 during the speech.

SotG Numbers

That is a better representation of how many people were present since you get only one forum account and Mumble login no matter how many alts you have.

At the speech The Mittani confirmed what had be widely rumored, that we would be heading to Tribute to drive out Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition.  We were not going to take the region in order to hold it, but merely destroy all we could, reducing the infrastructure back to its lowest ebb.

Mittens gave us no dramatic raison de guerre.  He said he would not be waving a bloody shirt and calling for war.  The reasons for us going north to “glass” Tribute was simply to widen the gap between us and our traditional foes that we might deny them the ability to ever assail us again.  I am sure that the fact that those in Tribute remain among the organizations that sent us packing during the Casino War that haven’t been displaced or made to pay tribute fed into the decision as well.  Something, something, pays our debts.

The speech was short and our actual staging destination was left unstated.  We would have to go on move ops to find out.  But move ops were being pinged immediately.  Six fleets for capital ships went up and they began departing 1DQ1-A immediately.  The local count because to taper off some.

Those of us in subcaps had to wait about an hour before we were called.

This became one of those move ops where everybody was stuffed into the same coms channel.  All the capital fleets and all the subcap fleets would share coms, which meant we were told to keep quiet.

I was wondering how that would play out.  People often don’t know or care that there might be 2,000 other people on the line and start speaking up because they can’t find this or that in their hangar or asking where the fleet is or some bit of trivia about their day that really doesn’t play in front of a large audience.

But it did not work out too badly.  There were the inevitable people wandering in and chatting away like they were on a small gate camp as opposed to a 2,000 person move op, but they were hushed and things on coms remained mostly the command staff giving instructions to the various fleets about who should jump and who should hold.

When subcap fleets got called I piled into the Baltec fleet, which Cainun was running.  We hung around for a bit and it was explained that we would have to keep a close eye on the in-game fleet chat as that would be where most of our orders would appear.

CCP Please, let me pull the chat window out to another monitor.

I had been listening on voice coms and watching Jabber in another window while I played Minecraft.  But if instruction were going to be in fleet chat that mean keeping the EVE Online game window up where I could see it.  Oh well.  We eventually undocked and headed to the Eye of Terror jump gate chain to start our move north.

Aligned out for travel

Even in slow old battleships with TiDi hitting along most jumps, we were able to move along at a fairly brisk pace, jumping and aligning over and over.

Going through an Ansiblex jump gate

It wasn’t long before we had caught up with the capital ships.  They were jumping by groups and then waiting out their timers so as not to build up jump fatigue, so we caught up to the tail end of the big ships half way through Fountain.

Baltecs catching up with the stragglers

Some clever person in a dictor put up a bubble off the gate that stopped us short at one point and we had to burn through a mass of capital ships to get to the gate and jump.  That put us pretty much in the thick of the capital ships.

Capitals streaming to a gate

On entering Cloud Ring we ended up in a capital traffic jam.  The caps were supposed to jump in, warp to a structure, then warp to a gate.  However, time dilation was down to 10% from just us moving and jumping, people felt like they were falling behind and started trying to warp straight to the gate which meant they were bumping off the people still trying to warp to the structure.  And then a whole fleet of Apostles came through the gate.

When you really need traffic control

We orbited the gate… you can’t even see our tiny battleships in that blob… and waited for things to get sorted.  Eventually everybody got themselves pointed in the right direction and warped off.  We hung around to see off the final capitals before heading out ourselves.

From there it was just a couple of gates for us, then another ansiblex to the Kirkland Protein Star, the Keepstar we dropped back in July of last year to support the war against Circle of Two in Fade.

The Kirkland Protein Star

We moved out of there in October in a massive move op and I diligently carried all of my stuff home because I thought we were supposed to take down that Keepstar.  However, there it stood.  If I had just left my stuff there… which included the Megathron I had just moved up there… I would have been set already because that is where we stopped.  That is where the move op ended, well short of Tribute.

We were told that this was a preliminary staging point, that after we got more people up into Cloud Ring we would be moving forward to our final staging point for the assault in Tribute.  But for now we sit in Cloud Ring.

Others on this topic:

  • INN (includes link to the SotG recording)