Tag Archives: Keepstar

INN Shows Explore the 9-4RP2 Fight

Naturally, even after the big battle was over, there was still much to talk about.  If you want to immerse yourself in the gritty details of what was going on INN ran three shows over the weekend that could help fill you in what went on.  The links below are all to the replays on Twitch, though the recordings will eventually also be available on the INN YouTube channel and, in some cases, Sound Cloud.

The Open Comms Show – January 26, 2018

The Open Comms show can be a bit of acquired taste, at least when the Tito’s vodka is flowing, and it comes on at an awkward time for me, but I try to catch it whenever I can, and I feel lucky to have seen Friday’s show.

The Open Comms Show Advisory, Not Mentioned: Alcohol Consumption

The usual cast of the show, Dirk MacGirk, Dreydan, Rahne, Drunk Canadian, and Blastem2hell, were joined by Arrendis (Goonswarm), Elise Randolph (Pandemic Legion), Jin’taan (Provi Bloc and CSM member), and Progodlegend (TEST) to discuss the fight at 9-4RP2 and the hype beforehand.

Of course, the hype was due to the Reddit post by Progodlegend which went viral and ended up with him on Canadian television talking about internet spaceships.

To Canada, this is now the face of EVE Online

But the real meat of the show is the discussion of the battle itself, helped along by Elise Randolph who remains one of the best and most thoughtful speakers on the game.  One of his insights was that the Imperium essentially won by losing the battle at 9-4RP2 because who is going to attempt an assault on a defended Keepstar now, and Delve has more than 15 deployed already.

The whole show, which can be a sprawling venture over its two hours some weeks, stayed nicely on topic and was worth the time to listen through.

The Meta Show – January 27, 2018

If you are more interested in fight details than the null sec meta, this might be the show to skip I suppose.  With DBRB still in Australia The Mittani was hosting solo with guests Asher Elias (Goonswarm), Vily (TEST), and CCP_Falcon.

There are good details about the fight.  Having Asher along, who organized the effort for the Keepstar campaign, means another view on how things went down.  And getting to hear CCP Falcon speak about the day, including waking up to find that the “million dollar battle” Reddit post had gone viral, was interesting.

However a good chunk of the middle of the show devolved into exploring the relationship between the Imperium and TEST surrounding the fight, with some time aside to rail against CCP for both benefiting from such fights yet setting up a sovereignty system that avoids them, all of which was largely The Mittani speaking, with a few comments from Vily and nary a peep from Asher or Falcon, arguably the two most interesting guests, for long stretches.

It was also made clear that the Imperium would not be coming back for another fight at the Keepstar.  After the one fight all of the Imperium forces returned home.

Still, it is just an hour and if you’re dying to know if TEST and the Imperium can stay united against the coalition of the north, the answer is in there.

Talking in Stations – January 28, 2018

The ever thoughtful Matterall brought the trifecta of shows about the battle home with the Sunday morning Talking in Stations episode.  Joined by Dirk MacGirk (TNT), Avery Lewis (Pandemic Legion), Keskora Yaari (Ember Sands, WH space), KillahBee (NCDot), MacCloud, PlexedLive (Goonswarm), Qicia (Goonswarm), and Qicia (Goonswarm) along with special guest CCP Fozzie to discuss both the battle as well as the changes coming for Citadels in February, to which there was an update before the show.

Again, more good tales of the fight, with CCP Fozzie saying that over 6,200 people were in system and that, by CCP’s reckoning, more than 10,000 accounts were clearly logged in and either in the system or the various staging systems and ready to jump into the fight if called upon.

There was also discussion of the changes to the Upwell 2.0 plan for February, which hit the forums just before the show.  Among them is the removal of the Gravitational Transportation Field Oscillator (GTFO) defensive module and increasing the final, last ditch repair time from 15 to 30 minutes, something that might have made a difference in the big fight.  There is also a discussion of the citadel tethering mechanic and its abuse as well as what it enables. (On the latter, in the old days you couldn’t get 200 titans in a POS shield without a lot of them being bumped out into space, but you can stack 200 safely on a citadel without any issue at all.)

Anyway, if you feel the need to wallow in more after action reports about the big fight at 9-4RP2, there is almost five hours of audio to entertain you.

The Million Dollar Battle Hangover

Some things are better read about after the fact rather than experienced live.

Or watched live.

The timer has come and gone and the Pandemic Horde Keepstar in 9-4RP2 still stands.

I was hoping that CCP would do a Dev Blog about the fight.  They might still I suppose.  But so far all they have is a promotional video using the battle to sell the game.

What the video says is technically correct, but it really doesn’t express the nature of the fight.

One thing I would like to see out of CCP is an official number for people in local for the battle.  CCP has mentioned the number “6,000,” which has been picked up by the press, but the video description says “over 6,000” and CCP said “more than 6,000” on Twitter.

On the INN stream I heard them calling out the number of people in local, 6,700 being the number I thought I heard, since somebody expressed a desire to see it go past 7,000 at that point, so I don’t think I mis-heard “5,700” on the stream but I’m not willing to go listen to the stream again (which Matterall has posted to Sound Cloud).  And shortly after that the system dumped over a thousand people, so maybe local was wrong, messed up by the stress on the server.

Anyway, an official number would be nice.  We know it beat the 5,337 number for the M-OEE8 Keepstar fight a little over a year ago, but where is the bar set today?

The INN stream itself, which I listened to at various points throughout the battle, was interesting.  Or, it was interesting to somebody who knew the game and some of the various alliance personalities.  Watching the stream was… less interesting, and doubly so if you knew nothing about the game, as it was mostly just colored brackets on the screen.

Orange defenders waiting for the battle, blue attackers in the distance

With about 20 minutes left to go before the Keepstar timer ended, the group on the stream was ready to declare the citadel saved.  The Imperium had jumped in a Nyx fleet and launched fighters to attack the Keepstar, but they were so far away and moving so slowly in TiDi that they were not going to get there in time to hit the structure.  A command destroyer group that was supposed to use their AOE microjump drives to speed the fighters along failed, leaving the fighters swimming on their own towards the Keepstar.

And when the defenders launched space superiority fighter… anti-fighter fighters… to take on the coming blob, things seemed lost for the attackers.

But the Imperium dropped in sub caps, a Jackdaw fleet and a Machariel fleet, to start hitting the Keepstar, feeding in new ships as losses in those fleets mounted, allowing the fighters to arrive.

The Keepstar structure started to get whittled away, and by the time it was down to 70% the discussion on the stream had flipped and was now talking about when the defenders would have to start pulling out.  It was estimated that they would need to start withdrawing supers by the 40% mark to keep them from being massacred when the defending Keepstar blew up, removing the protective cover.

Then the Imperium attack began to run out of steam.  The fighter force had been removed as a threat and the sub cap fleets were losing ships faster than they would be replaced.  I was home by about that point and saw the calls for Jackdaws and Machariels to form up in Delve to be flown to our staging system and jumped in.  When the Imperium firepower waned the repair timer, which runs in real time and is not affect by time dilation, began to count down again.  Soon the battle was over, the Keepstar being saved.

Despite getting home about an hour before that point, I never got in system during the conflict.  The login server wasn’t having it and I just got errors every five minutes or so until the game finally reset me and made me try again.

I’ve been on hold for more than 30 minutes here…

Eventually I got on.  There were about 2,500 people in the system at that point and time dilation was still pretty heavy.

11% actually means the server is working

The TiDi was lifting though, and was gone before I logged off about 30 minutes later.  I undocked from one of our Fortizars and surveyed the scene.  I cloaked up and warped around looking for looters or MTUs to shoot.

MTU pulling wrecks with the Keepstar in the background

People were being paranoid… and rightfully so… so MTUs didn’t get left hanging about for very long.  I did get a shot at a Coercer once I saw he was fully armed with salvage beams.

Coercer salvaging

However once I decloaked my Purifier caught the eye of a couple of other hostiles and I had to warp off after a few salvos.  Maybe I should have let them shoot me.  It would have gotten me home more quickly.  Instead I docked back up and called it a night.

Looking at a battle report, the Imperium lost about 1,200 ships and fighters totaling up to nearly $300 billion ISK.  There were a lot of Machariels on that list.  Meanwhile the defenders lot about 800 ships, but they were mostly small ships and fighters, so they didn’t even pass the 40 billion ISK mark.

A clear win for the defenders.

Of course, as with any battle that doesn’t live up to the hype, a lot of people seem to be unhappy and there is no end of people those infused with the wisdom of hindsight willing to tell people what everybody should have done.

There is a group that is mad at CCP because their servers can’t handle that many players, though anybody paying attention knew that this was going to be an issue.  It always has been.

There are people mad because the fight did not entertain sufficiently.  Somebody is always mad when Goons refused to suicide their titans by jumping them into a fight.

And then there are the people who hate when null sec gets any attention.

Some of the press, who eagerly snatched up the whole “million dollar battle” theme that was the brainchild of one person on Reddit, followed up with sad trombone posts about how the game let them down by failing to live up to that promise.

I like that we can’t agree on the alleged cost of the battle.  Over at The Nosy Gamer there is a calculation as to how much a titan costs in real world money using the spurious Dollars to PLEX and back again method.  Nothing being simple, he has four answers.  My own back of the envelope math says that, pulling from those headlines above, $3,300 is bit low, $10,000 is probably too high, and half a million is clearly from some other dimension of reality.  But it doesn’t matter anyway since no matter what answer you get, it was all virtual goods in the end, which we know lack any real world value.

And then there is the review of the game mechanics involved.  There is an interesting thread on Reddit, written by one of the defender, exploring how the balance favors the defenders in such battles.  That should actually make the Imperium happy, what with our “a Keepstar in every system, a Fortizar on every gate” plan.

Over at INN Arrendis explored the mechanics of the battle compared to B-R5RB and speculated as to how things could be mad better.  Maybe CCP will look into that.  They seem to like the attention such big battles bring to the game, so it would be good if they were not hamstrung by the mechanics when players show up in huge numbers.

A few people gave props to the Imperium for actually leaving fortress Delve to try to take down the Keepstar.  But not many.  As ever, Goons are bullies when they attack anybody and cowards when they don’t.  CCP says in their video that the “war is not over,” but I suspect that was the last fight over that particular Keepstar unless somebody has a plan that won’t collapse when more than six thousand capsuleers show up.  Instead, convoys of Imperium pilots have been shuttling they ships home since the battle.  We’ll see if GSOL slips in and takes down the Fortizars.  That’ll be the sign we’re not coming back.

Anyway, we all seem to prefer the static state of null sec currently, where we hunt each others ratters and miners but not much else, a scenario that has never dislodged anybody from their sovereignty ever.  I guess that meets the twin goals of safety and fun in some way.

The Coming Battle in 9-4RP2

Not too long after this post goes live the first fleets will be forming up.  Fleets of ships, each as big as 255 pilots in size, will start to coalesce and begin their last minute preparations.  The final timer for a Pandemic Horde Keepstar in the system  9-4RP2 in Cloud Ring set to expire later today.

I logged in last night to take one last peek.  There were fewer than 40 people in system.  The Imperium citadels ringing the Keepstar sat in silent vigil, watching the timer tick down.

Less than a day to go at that point…

That was at about 04:00 New Eden time, which puts the the start of the Keepstar repair cycle at about 22:00.

In a bit of a quirk, a bunch of the citadels around the Keepstar hit their vulnerability window a few hours before the big fight, so there is the possibility of some early action, though Asher says that nobody defends on the shield timer, so it might just be some attackers and people gunning the citadels exchanging shots, but it will be a side show to the main event.

The PH 9-4RP2 Keepstar

As these things tend to go, the form up and the start of any fight will happen while I am still at the office.  The earliest I can possibly be home and logged in is about 23:00 New Eden time, which is a full hour after the timer.

That is still better than last week, as the times have crept later and later with each fight.  But, if nobody shows up to defend the Keepstar… or if nobody shows up to attack it… the whole thing will be over in 30 minutes and I won’t even be on the road home by then.

I’m pretty sure the attackers are going to show up.  Imperium Jabber has been full of pings about the coming battle over the last five days… which probably means half the coalition still doesn’t know about it.  There have been no end of move ops to get ships pre-positioned for the fight, while the capital ops have been opened up, and reimbursement offered, to people who can only qualify for CrapSwarm, to fill out as many capital fleets as possible.  We shall see if people will risk their ratting carriers.

Which leaves the defenders.

I suppose the easiest option for Pandemic Horde would be to play the “Didn’t want that Keepstar anyway, made you form!” card and just let the Keepstar die without forming.  That at least has a reliable result.  Other options involve more risk and may not save the Keepstar.  But if they go that route, the question then would be “What will they defend?”  The Imperium might just move forward and try their Keepstar at C4C-Z4 in Fade to see. (We were there recently.)

On grid with the PH Keepstar in C4C-Z4

Ideally for them, they and their allies would both save the Keepstar and destroy copious Imperium capitals and super caps.  Saving the Keepstar but losing a lot of supers would not bode well however.  I strongly suspect that the Imperium’s primary goal is to destroy as many super capitals belonging to the coalition of the north as possible, the Keepstar just being the bait to get them on the field.

The Imperium would happily trade titans with them all evening and consider themselves the winner based solely on their ability to replace losses.  You have seen the production numbers for Delve from the December Monthly Economic Report, right?

December 2017 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

I suspect that were not just building Rorquals and ratting carriers down there.

And, of course, there is the “good of EVE Online” aspect to this.  Big fights like this generate headlines in the wider gaming press and bring attention… and new players… to the game.  I wonder what is going on at CCP as the battle looms?

From my own selfish point of view, I hope for a big fight as well because then time dilation will kick in and the fight will drag out to the point that I can get home, get settled, and log in to see things unfold.

The view from the Fortizar where I am docked

Maybe I will even get on a few kill mails with my stealth bomber.  We shall see.

Anyway, the coming timer is the topic du jour over on Reddit, with plenty of speculation, advice, and memes to be had.  Elsewhere there are some reviews of what has happened so far and previews as to what may come.

Addendum:

The Keepstar lived, no titans were lost, no great super cap battle was had, but more than 6,700 people were in the fight at one point.

As the battle progressed, a couple of the mainstream gaming sites posted about the fight:

I am not sure where the whole “million dollar battle” came from, but sites were using that to get clicks, and the idea was enough to get the game on the news… or at least the Canadian news.

I cannot find a direct link to that video at the moment, so the Tweet will have to do.  If AdBlock eats the tweet for you, you can find it here.

Waiting for some final numbers on the fight before I do a follow up post.

Time and the TiDi Wait for No Man

So many pings.

Things have begun to stir in null sec here in the new year.  The Imperium has risen from its ratting and mining binge… krabbing is us… to focus on blowing something up.  It isn’t really a war.  We’re not off to conquer more territory.  Instead we are focusing on a Pandemic Horde Keepstar in the system 9-4RP2 in Cloud Ring.

And so the alerts have been going out to rally people to be ready to join the fight, even asking people to resubscribe their capital and super capital pilots.  This started in earnest after the first attack set a timer on the Keepstar, practically becoming the Jabber equivalent of the old “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! See “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Shirley “Cha-Cha” Muldowney…” radio ads as the directorate tried to get the troops rallied and eager.

I was eager myself, ever keen to be part of a big fight, even if it was only to be a timer fight rather than a possible kill.  The problem was the time.  Form up for the fight on Tuesday was slated for 18:00 and the timer itself would come up a bit past 20:30.  Those are New Eden times, which runs on UTC, which puts those event at about 10am and 12:30pm on a week day out here on the left coast of the United States.  Even though I tend to be early into the office, I am never so early as to be able to be home by lunch time.

Still, I had a hope of seeing some of the action.  If the fight developed into a big enough brawl, if the goal expanded beyond the timer and became a slug fest between super fleets looking for titan kills, time dilation could help me out.  I couldn’t get into the game until 23:00 UTC at the earliest, but if everybody was running at 10% tidi then a fight might still be under way.

To get myself setup for that possibility, I hopped into a stealth bomber, made sure I had a couple of bombs and a stack of torpedoes, and flew out to Cloud Ring so as to be pre-positioned for any fight.

The flight out went without incident, it being late US/early AU time when things can be quiet, but when I arrived in 9-4RP2 I realized I had to find the Keepstar still.  It doesn’t show up on the overview and I hadn’t bothered to find out even a general location for it.  But I saw we had some citadels in the system as well… more than a dozen, including a Fortizar.  I figured I could just hole up in one of those and find the fight when the time came, so I warped to one only to find they were all still in the process of deploying.

That meant no docking up for me as well as an interesting angle to the coming fight.  In addition to the armor timer for the Keepstar there would be a range of Imperium citadels coming online and vulnerable just to confuse the issue.  If the locals stuck to the Keepstar, we would have a bunch of bases in the system.  If they attacked the vulnerable citadels, they might lose the Keepstar timer.

Anyway, warping to a deploying citadel did help me out, as I found that they were all on grid with the Keepstar.

The Pandemic Horde 9-4RP2 Keepstar

The timer was running down, but the event was still about 15 hours away.

Distant Keepstar timer running

I looked around for a bit, then went off to make myself a safe spot.  I did not want to log back in on grid with the fight lest I find myself in the midst of hostiles.  Once I had a nice location bookmarked I uncloaked and did a safe logoff.

That long 30 second wait to be safe

The next day at the office I watched the pings come in on my phone.  There were early form ups, late form ups, supers and sub-caps, battleships and destroyers, and all the sundry in between forming up and heading towards Cloud Ring.

I saw a report of two hostile titans having been blown up, another that we lost the timer, and a third that because the Keepstar was again vulnerable that we were going to re-do the shield timer yet again to start the event again.  Taking a quick peek at the INN stream it appeared that we were doing the shield timer via a  mass of fighters that had somehow formed themselves ala Voltron into an Avatar class titan. (Source: INN stream and Joe the Barbarian)

A titan and the fighter formation compared

The overwhelming fighter super capital assault was enough to drive off the enemy.

There were more than 3,000 people in local at the peak of the fight, but by the time I got home, logged int, and warped onto grid that number had dropped closer to 30.  We had set the shield timer again, so success on that front.

The timer running again… cloaked Purifier in the foreground

We also seemed to do very well with our own citadel array as there was now a constellation of CONDI citadels around the target, including a Fortizar in which we could hide dreads and carriers.

The view from the Fortizar

In addition there was another Fortizar going online, just to add to the collection.

Another Fortizar deploying

That left the a growing Imperium citadel count in system.

Imperium Citadel Count in 9-4RP2

Even though I missed the fight, there was some upside for me.  Because the shield timer got set later in the day, there was a greater likelihood of my being able to get home and online to see the next day’s fight.

However, yesterday’s fight went even more quickly that the previous one.  By the time I got home the system had again emptied out.  We did win the armor timer fight.  That meant a six day wait for the final fight.

I was more than 2 hours late…

That will put the battle for the destruction of the Keepstar early Tuesday afternoon next week when, naturally, I will be at work.

But I have hope.  Timers are timers and not so serious, so people slack off.

This fight though, this could mean the destruction of a significant Pandemic Horde asset, so I suspect the defenders will be pulling out all the stops in order to get people in system and on grid to defend the Keepstar.

And on our side there are already ‘”fight coming” pings going out in multiple languages to make people aware of this fight.

Then there are the third parties who will show up looking for kills, and maybe even a Keepstar kill.

With all of that I have high hopes that it will be everybody to the limit and time dilation at 10% and the system still lagging for a long fight into the night, leaving me plenty of time to get home, get logged in, and get on grid to see how it plays out.

In the mean time the Keepstar waits.

Look, it is an unsubtle metaphor!  Imperium surrounding Pandemic Horde!

Of course, that is just my story.  I’m still sitting in system waiting for the big fight.  For what actually happened this week the following stories have been posted:

There are also a number of posts on Reddit with good pictures of the first two fights.

Now to see if Tuesday brings a B-R5RB level blood bath.

Covering another Keepstar Deployment

MAX DUDES RED CRAYON CTA RIGHT NOW

TITAN>SUPER>FAX>CARRIER>DREAD

WE NEED EVERY WARM BODY WITH A HULL

THIS WILL PROBABLY BE THE LARGEST SUPER FLEET FORMED SINCE B-R5 SO YOU PROBABLY WANT TO BE HERE FOR THE SCREEN SHOTS ALONE

-tiberizzle to allcaps

How could I say “no” to that ping?  Besides, it was Sunday morning, my wife and daughter were off to other things and I had no plans for the day.  So I clone jumped to the staging Keepstar, jumped into my Apostle, and got into the armor capital fleet.  The armor fleet passed 200 people, while the first shield fleet filled up and they had to roll out a second.  There didn’t seem to be any special fit required, aside from having a prop mod to speed up gate travel.

Once I got myself squared away I undocked and warped off to one of the citadels ringing the Keepstar so as not to be yet another massive object on the undock that people might bump into.  The force auxiliaries are not as big as a titan, but they are bigger than a super carrier and make carriers look like mere battleships in the fleet.

My Apostle in warp with Tiberizzle’s Wyvern super carrier

As the fleets settled down we were given a destination to gate to and off we went.  Traveling in a capital taking gates means jumping through a gate, clicking warp/jump for the next one, then running your prop mod as you align until your ship finally approaches the speed it needs to warp off.  Then you turn it off and, as it cycles down, you should warp… unless you bounce of of another capital, which has a habit of knocking your speed back down to below the warp threshold.

Then you just want to get through the gate at the far end without bouncing off of somebody as ships land in a streaming mass and ending up out of range to jump.

That gate has to be feeling the pressure…

On voice coms somebody was telling people to spam the jump button in order to avoid that fate.  I opted for the old auto pilot trick.  Since we had a destination, as I my Apostle headed to the gate I would turn on the auto pilot which would then jump me through the gate itself hands off.  You just have to remember to turn it off as you jump, as you could end up 15km off the next gate and slow boating for the next jump if you’re not careful.

Then you’re through the gate and everybody is spread out, uncloaking, and aligning for the next gate.

Capital fleet doing its align thing

We bunched up on a Fortizar as our first waypoint, then were given a new destination a few more jumps out.  There was sat on a Raitaru, bunching up in a giant mass of capital hulls.

Make room! Make room!

We sat there for a while, so I was pretty sure this was where we would be jumping from to get to our destination.  I still did not know what we were up to, if this would be my first capital op to involve a fleet action.  Things were quiet on coms and I wondered what was going on in the command channel.

Then the order came through to jump to cyno that had been lit.  The order was quickly amended to restrict faxes from jumping through, so everybody else jumped out leaving a convention of force auxiliaries on the Raitaru.

A meeting of faxes

There were complaints of tidi and bouncing and whatnot from those who had jumped.  After a few minutes that settled down and faxes were given the clearance to jump.

Entering the jump tunnel from the Raitaru

Once through I could see capitals strewn about the field, but that was all the client was drawing for me immediately.

Landing after the jump

This happens some times when you land on a grid with a lot of objects to draw.  Ships get drawn first.  After a bit though the client got around to filling out a Keepstar citadel where we were all hanging about tethered or bouncing.

There we are

You can see some titans a bit off that may have bounced a bit.

This was the point of the operation.  Whenever a Keepstar is set to go online a large capital fleet is assembled to protect it while it goes through its initial repair cycle, the point at which it is most vulnerable because a hostile force can blow it up without all that mucking about with timers, as happened with the Keepstar over in Auga about a month and a half back.

To prevent that a large force is mustered to sit on the Keepstar to dissuade any attack.  And so there we were.  No fight was likely given the forces we had on the field.

Sitting on the Keepstar waiting

This was the first Keepstar for our Imperium colleagues in The Initiative who, as it was going online, also won their match in the alliance tournament.

So there we sat.  Jay Amazingness said that once it was online we would sit out our jump fatigue before we headed home again.  That was going to be a while so, to entertain us Jay asked a pilot in a Phoenix dreadnought if the fleet could doomsday his ship if Jay bought him a new one later.  He agreed and warped off to another citadel before returning to be in range off us but at a distance.  On command all of the titans fired on him.

Doomsdays away

I did not have a very good angle setup when the doomsday fire went off, but Jay linked us a better screen shot in fleet, which I have borrowed.

Jay’s view of the doomsday fire

To stretch out the shoot the Phoenix pilot activated his Emergency Hull Energizer which boosts resists to 99%.  However, even with that the weight of damage being thrown at him was so much that he exploded fairly quickly.

Phoenix down

That left us some time to sit around and stare at the fresh wreck or take a break while our collective jump fatigue timers ran down.

Phoenix wreck lit by an explosion

As I was looking for a good screen shot of the Phoenix wreck, it was lit up by something that happened behind me.  While I missed it, The Initiative blew up an Archon on the undock to sanctify the Keepstar going online or just to join in on the fun.

After that we mostly sat about.  There wasn’t anything like a BBQ war in coms, which was probably a good thing.  With about 15 minutes left on jump fatigue we were roused out of our torpor and given a destination.  We set out to take some more gates to put us in range of home.

We had to wait a bit as there was a titan running behind.  Somebody needed a bathroom break, but only after we started out taking gates.  He eventually just jumped to us, leaving him within range of home and giving him the option to either double jump, and take a jump fatigue hit, or just wait it out and use the safe cyno later.

I don’t know what he chose, but the rest of us took the cyno once it was up and landed back at home.

Back at the staging Keepstar

Unlike the move op the other night, we were not cyno’d into the Twerk zone, there being some fear that a titan might bounce, escape the model, and end up flung hundreds of kilometers away.  I’ve seen that happen.  While the ship would likely not be in immediate danger, it is best not to take chances with expensive toys.  After all, PL keeps dreads on hand for such opportunities.

And that was it for the operation.  Another capital op for me, though I have yet to use my Apostle to rep a single ship.

John Hartley took some video of the fleet which includes us landing on the Keepstar, featuring some titan bounces, and the doomsday shoot of the Phoenix at the end.

 

Keepstar Down in Auga

I was done with work today just in time to get online and get over to see another Keepstar citadel get blown up.  This one belonged to the No Handlebars alliance and was being anchored in the low sec system of Auga in the Heimatar region.

My alt had a jump clone in Amarr, just 7 jumps away, so I popped him over there, grabbed a Purifier stealth bomber, and headed towards the sound of the guns.  The Imperium had a few fleets in system when I arrived, so I was able to join up and warp to people until I ended up on grid with the target.

Purifier uncloaked by the Keepstar

NCDot looked to be sponsoring the Keepstar as they showed up in force to defend it, with a super capital fleet tethered up on the citadel and a T3 cruiser fleet engaging attackers.

NC Dot supers hanging on the Keepstar

When I arrived I took a few shots at the Keepstar, but it looked like the defenders might carry the day.  The 15 minute repair timer had been stopped at 9 minutes, but the attackers were pretty consistently falling below the 7,500 DPS mark needed to keep the timer from advancing.  The timer kept starting up again, and once it reached zero, the Keepstar would be anchored and secure.

When there was still about 25% structure left to destroy, the timer fell to 1 minute.  It seemed unlikely that the attackers could do a quarter of the damage necessary.

Timer paused at 1 minute

However, more attackers had arrived including a fresh reinforcement fleet from Imperium space.  Fighters from the defending super carriers chased subcap fleets around, but one set of attackers would warp off only to have another set land and resume the attack from another position.

I had to run along and warp myself off a few times as I caught the attention of interceptors now and again.  I was a bit worried I might not get on the kill mail as my last couple of attempts to warp in and take a shot landed me very close to hostile fleets… attackers and defenders.  A lone stealth bomber is a soft target.  But then the last hit point was gone and the whole thing started to brew up.

Explosions starting to appear

And then there was the grand super bright explosion that always catches me by surprise.

The explosion starts to fade

The kill mail was up very quickly and my alt had damaged the structure recently enough to be counted among the almost 1,700 pilots who on the tally.  That is a lot of people, considering I only saw about 2,200 pilots in system at peak.

Local shows 2,202

There was some speculation as to what might happen with NCDot’s super capital fleet once the safety of the Keepstar tethering was removed.  There was a chunk of titans hanging around.

Titan when they could tether

However, nobody had anything on hand capable of giving those supers any sort of concern.  The left the scene, and I did shortly there after.

That is the fifth Keepstar to be destroyed in New Eden, though only four appear on zKillboard, as the first failed to generate a kill mail.  I’ve went to two of those kills, the one today and the Circle of Two Keepstar that died in M-OEE8.  It hasn’t gotten old yet.

A few more screen shots from the even below.

 

Addendum: INN, which reported the Keepstar coming online, has a video summarizing the event as well.

TNT Joins the Keepstar Club

TNT CEO Wibla announced yesterday that our Keepstar project, which had been collecting donations of ISK and materials since February or so, had finally come to fruition.

I kicked in a billion ISK, which isn’t all that much relative to the cost of the thing, but which represented about 10% of my ISK on hand at the moment.  So I had to go visit it.

The TNT Keepstar named “Wibla’s temple of SHOOTBLUES”

The Keepstar is the largest of the Upwell Consortium citadels. It is big enough to allow super captial ships to dock, something that was a big change when they were introduced a little more than a year ago.  And, since the YC119.5 update, there are alliance and corporation logos visible on them.

The TNT logo between the uprights

That logo is pretty big.  I tried getting a sense of its scale by flying my Ishtar, a cruiser hull, up to it.  You can just see the green tethering line ending in my ship. (It is easier to pick out if you click on the picture to see a larger version.)

Tiny Ishtar, big logo

All I can say is that it is very big, which makes the Keepstar itself huge.  There are a few other structures anchored in the vicinity from which the Keepstar is easily visible.

A human structure clearly visible from 3,000km away is big indeed.  You can see the other structures from the Keepstar… the Azbel at 3,000km is visible in the background of the giant logo screen shot… but they are much harder to pick out.

So we are in the Keepstar club now. one of nearly half a dozen such structures in Delve at this point. (Addendum: The count is actually seven)  I did see that we opted not to include the alliance leader display option on our Keepstar.  I am not sure how this setting works, but I do see the menacing visage of The Mittani on GSF citadels every so often.

Mittens is watching you

We might be better off without a capital ship sized Wibla on our Keepstar.