Tag Archives: Kun’mi

The Node Crash at KVN-36

After we lost the Keepstar in O-PNSN on Thursday, eyes turned to the next target, the Keepstar in KVN-36.  The armor timer was set to come out a day later, so both sides were ready to form up to contest that.

Again, the battle was going to overlap a bit with work, so I pre-positioned another ECM burst interceptor so that I could join in when time allowed.  I saw pings and people forming up long before I was able to get in.  But Kun’mi had another little ECM burst fleet going, so once I had the time I logged in and undocked to join in.  I caught a warp into the fray almost immediately, landed in some hostiles, and got tackled.  I set off my ECM burst, but couldn’t get away.  My Ares went boom on the first run.

The hostiles were good enough to pod me though, so I was quickly back in 1DQ1-A where I grabbed my back up ship, a Malediction, and headed back to the fight.  As always, since tidi was slowing the fight down, very little happened before I got back.

I made a perch off the Keepstar and rode the warps as Kun’mi launched us into the hostiles fleets.

Aligning out from a run

The hostiles were running the same basic plan as the day before.  They had an Astrahus on grid with the Keepstar where they had tethered up their carriers.  Those carriers disgorged a mass of fighters to attack the Keepstar.

The hostile Astrahus

Meanwhile, the subcap fleets from both sides set to shooting each other, while we zipped in and out trying to avoid getting tackled.  Being hit with the ECM burst is annoying, I know this from having been on the receiving end a few times, and the enemy put a lot of effort into tackling and blowing us up.  No doubt each kill gave them great joy.  But we were close enough to home that the few of us in the fleet would just re-ship and fly quickly back.

There was also a lot of smart bombing going on.  We had some success the day before the a Praxis fleet set up to smart bomb, and the hostiles picked that up as well, so there were smart bombs going off all over it seemed.

The Praxis fleet from the day before

Both sides seemed to using them with impunity.  You can dig though kills and find ships that have smart bomb damage from both sides.  And, of course, some doctrines, like the Feroxes, are not smart bombing platforms, but carry one fit.  So it was a hazard and I had to warp off to repair a few times after flying into smart bombs.

Things seemed to be going with the attackers.  They had quickly stopped the repair timer and had been steadily whittling away at the armor layer of the Keepstar.  We kept doing our runs and our fleets in general tried to slow things down.

Another run in my Malediction

However, the system seemed more laggy than the day before.  Commands were slow, especially when close in with the Keepstar, even though there were not as many people in system as we had seen in O-PNSN.  But both sides persisted.  It is just something you put up with and power through to win the objective.  Then things got really balky and unresponsive and, suddenly, boom!  We were all kicked out of the game.

Connection dropped at 21:31 EVE time

That happened to coincide with Dave Archer’s Jackdaw fleet getting smart bombed by NCDot, which seemed like it was going to wipe them all out.  Kun’mi happened to be describing this action to us and the likely fate of the Jackdaws, and that was the moment when the server died, and so became part of the lore of the battle.

Of course, we all tried to log back in, but the server wasn’t having us.

Access denied

CCP tweeted out a link to a forum thread about the server going down.  They were aware and working on the situation.  That was at about 21:33, so they jumped on that pretty quickly.  Meanwhile, both sides were anxious about what was going to be the state of affairs when the server came back up.

In the past, servers going down meant tough luck to one side and a saving grace to the other.  I lived through the null sec era of server killing battles.  I remember back in Fountain War at Z9PP-H when CCP remapped the node incorrectly and dumped everybody out, effectively saving the TEST capital fleet.  I have posts about other crashes, like the one at HED-GP and the one at KW-I6T.

But that was all quite a while back.  And the ability of servers to handle such loads have gotten better over time.  The X47 Keepstar battle kept going despite a ton of ECM burst ships and a DDoS attack in progress.  There were about 6,000 ships involved, with fighters flying all over and all the other usual stuff, during the so-called million dollar battle.

There was also a bit of the Imperium institutional paranoia about the situation, a worry that this time, when a crash would benefit Goons, that CCP might try to roll back the clock on the timer rather than let things ride as they had traditionally done.

We had about a half an hour to think about that.  CCP said the server had been stood back up at 21:55, but by the time I got in and made it back on grid with the Keepstar… everybody had been warped off grid… it was 22:01.  And there I saw the Keepstar timer had just a little over two minutes on the clock.

Just about two minutes left

Given that first screen shot at the top of the post, taken at 20:55, showed 13:37 (leet!) left on the timer, it looked like only 12 minuted had counted down during the approximate half hour that the node had kept us out, though the node was down and presumably not advancing the clock for part of that time.  The downtime didn’t save the Keepstar completely, but the time left was so small that it ran down before the attackers could bring firepower to bear on the structure.  Keepstar saved.

Timers reset

You see a repair timer there, but you’ll notice the damage indicators for the armor and shields were set back to their pristine state.  The objective had been won, with some help from CCP.

We drew the card this time

Of course, recriminations were flying long before the servers came back up.  Everybody was looking for somebody to blame.  In the forum thread about the server outage somebody was trying to pin the blame on those Goon ECM burst interceptors, which made me laugh.  If there were even a dozen operating at once I would have been surprised.  We had about eight going at our peak when I was participating, and that isn’t enough to cause much of a problem.  It certainly didn’t break the server during the last fight.

There were also fingers being pointed about who was running their smart bombs, though both sides had them deployed.  Memes were being thrown around and Cryo, the official Imperium propaganda artist these days, even threw together a special piece for the occasion.

The smug is palpable

Meanwhile some people on /r/eve are claiming that the server crash was deliberately caused by “hundreds” of Goon smart bombing ships or ECM bursts or a Goon DDoS attack (evidence?) or anything else that their vivid imaginations could churn up, because Grrr Goons.  Some things never change.

I personally don’t buy any of the finger pointing about the crash being an intended goal.  We had more load on the server in the fight the day before and it made it, though at times things were marginal.  (Note the problem I mentioned with my UI when I returned to the fight.)  Sometimes things just fail.  We should probably be surprised that this doesn’t happen more often given how much load we put on the servers.  And nobody is going to stop using smart bombs, or ECM bursts, or masses of fighters on either side, so it seems like it will happen again during the war.

Anyway, the battle wasn’t over yet.  Everybody was back on grid and there were people to shoot, so things kept exploding for quite some time.  Kun’mi had lost his probes, so we just warped in on wrecks when we could.

Another run into the mix

I did get a couple of bursts off, but eventually got tackled again.  They put everything on me they could.

A range of effects

From left to right I believe I was neuted, painted, nos’d, webbed, scrammed, tracking disrupted, and pointed.  I like the tracking disruptor.  Some zealous pilot in a Cruicifier hit me with one on a few runs. (So did somebody in an Eagle, though why they didn’t just shoot me…)  Pity it doesn’t do anything to an AOE weapon.  It will get you on the kill mail however, and that is the important part for all of us.  I got my ECM burst off before I blew up, and was then able to warp off in my pod before the parade of effects were able to land on me again.

After that I docked up and waited around for people to clear out.  I didn’t pad my kill board as gratuitously as I did the day before, but I got on my share and didn’t even get on any blue kills.  A rare thing with the indiscriminate ECM burst module.

This time around, with no structure loss weighing us down, the battle report fell in our favor.

Battle Report Header

Plus, we won the objective.  PandaFam has to start over again by setting the first timer again, which they did not bother with.  They will likely want to set it to fall in EUTZ where they are stronger.

So it goes.  They still have four Keepstar kills in the bag and two more left to kill in Fountain before the fun starts in Delve when supers and titans will start being part of the mix.  I think they only have a few dozen there to kill.  At a rate of about one or two a week, this could take some time.

Other coverage:

The O-PNSN Keepstar Blows Up

After the rebuff at the Y-2ANO Keepstar last weekend, PandaFam changed their tack and decided to go after the Keepstar in Fountain that was the furthest from Delve.  That was the Keepstar belonging to The Bastion in O-PNSN.

O-PNSN is a good dozen gates from Delve and, perhaps more importantly, to get there the Imperium would have to travel through I-CUVX, PandaFam’s forward staging system.  They would be closer to the target than us and could reinforce multiple gate camps against any fleets attempting to gate their way to the fight.

I had actually flown out to check on the Keepstars the other night and was surprised to find that the final timer was looming already.

Final fight in 21 hours or so

Seeing that the battle would be start towards the latter half of my work day, I flew out in an ECM burst interceptor the night before hoping to be able to join in, or at least peek in on, the battle.

I was in luck.  Kun’mi had an ECM burst interceptor fleet up so I was able to join up with them once they arrived in the system, then watch the count down to the start of the event.

30 seconds left on the clock

The fight itself looked like a return to form.  Again, using fighters elsewhere, as PandaFam did at Y-2ANO, did not turn out well for them, so they once again focused their fighters on attacking the Keepstar.  Their carriers sat on their Fortizar, bubbled up so they wouldn’t warp off in case of a disconnect, and sent the fighters out early so they would arrive in time for the final stage to begin.

The PandaFam Fortizar anchored on grid with the Keepstar

Our subcaps were set to try and extract a heavy price in fighters while their subcaps were out in force to suppress ours.  There were Ravens on the field again to help keep the timer paused, but this time PandaFam was using them and they managed not to get blotted out in a single bomb run.

Meanwhile, we were hanging on tether on the Tatara on grid waiting for Kun’mi to warp us off into the thick of things.  Our job was just to be annoying, to slow the enemy down, and to whore on a bunch of kill mails.

I’ve explained this before, but as a refresher, Kun’mi would probe down a hostile group and fleet warp everybody at them… everybody was all 8-10 of us depending on when in the battle we’re talking.

My Malediction amid some Feroxes

When we land, we immediately start to warp out again, hitting our overheated Burst ECM as we aligned.  The wave from that has a good chance to break the target lock on any ship within 26km, which can be annoying for DPS and deadly if logi loses lock on somebody they are repping.

You get a lot of target breaks when you get right in the thick of a hostile fleet.

A lot of Feroxes were out and about

And everybody you tag counts as though you attacked them, so if they end up getting blown up after your run, you get on the kill mail as a participant.  This can lead to some serious kill board padding.

The odds, however, were very much against us.  It was about four to one against us in the system, so winning the objective really depended on the enemy screwing up.  If they limited the number of mistakes they made, they would kill the Keepstar and win the objective.

There were a few crazy moments.  We did a run on a fleet and got out just before it got bombed and wiped out.  The Bastion had some dreads in the Keepstar that emerged to fight against the odds.

The Revelation explodes, soon they would all be wrecks

And the enemy did not make any critical mistakes.  I mean sure, Progodlegend, one of the TEST leaders, got his Damnation shot out from underneath him and the kill mail showed that he hadn’t bothered to fit the rigs that were in the cargo.  This was made more amusing when he was trying to return in another Damnation, got caught along the way, and was blown up again, and that kill mail showed he had yet again not bothered to fit his rigs.

We kept on doing our runs whenever Kun’mi could find us a target.

In on another fleet… just within range

However, I got distracted at my end for a bit and had to tab out.  I tabbed back to find we had been warped in and I had been tackled.  I set off the ECM burst, hoping to break enough locks to be able to warp off, but I was out of luck.  My Malediction was blown up.  A lot of Jackdaws on that kill mail, a lot of missiles in flight my way.

The battle was still going on and the enemy was kind enough to pod me, so I jumped into an ECM burst Ares and flew on back.  With tidi running strong and restricted to that system, the battle would wait for me.

However, the server itself was clearly having problems.  I had to disconnect coming into the system as I ended up in the eternal warp tunnel.  Once I got logged back in and was in the system, the UI wasn’t working for me.  I wasn’t able to rejoin Kun’mi’s fleet and none of the right click menus were working for me… oh, and my capacitor and all the UI around it was missing.  I could only warp to bookmarks in the bookmarks window I had up, so I ended up tethered on the Tatara again hoping the game would catch up and fix my problems.

But it was not to be.  So I just moved the camera about and watched as the Keepstar slowly headed towards destruction.  Fighting carried on, and I got a nice shot of the arcing votron projector hitting a Ferox fleet.

Zap baby!

I stuck around and watched the final moments and the Keepstar exploding.

Flames erupting from the structure

The fighting carried on for a while, but eventually things started settle down.  I saw almost 3,200 in local at one point, a big fight for a weekday.  By the time it dropped to about half that number the server finally caught up and deigned to draw my UI finally.  I could travel back home now.

The battle report shows things going heavily in favor of the attackers.  Pandemic Horde put more people on the field alone that all of the defenders combined… and they can’t all be spies.

Battle Report Header

We killed a lot of ships… but that Keepstar weighs heavily against us, ringing in at 200 billion ISK.  Without that, not a bad exchange… but without the Keepstar in play nobody would have put up with those losses.

There is some question as to how many fighters we killed.  They don’t always get recorded correctly on zKill and do not get counted at all unless a full squadron gets destroyed.  So if just one fighter gets back, no kill mail.  But, in the end, we lost the objective.  The Keepstar died.

As for my time, zKill put me on 227 kill mails.  That is four and a half pages of kill board padding right there.  Enough to put me in the top ten for KarmaFleet, a totally undeserved position.

Padded kill board

But my kill board also shows how delayed the server was.

Up until I was blown up, all my kills are credited to my Malediction.  After I was blown up and podded, there are a few where there is just a question mark.  You’re not supposed to get credit if you leave the system, but things were out of whack, so I am sure the process leaves some margin of error.

But after a while… and this covers a whole page worth of kill mails… the credit goes to the my Ares.  However, I was unable to join a fleet or warp to anybody to set of the ECM burst, I was just sitting in system.  But as the server caught up, it no doubt had me on the list of parties that had applied some sort of damage or effect, checked if I was still there, then credited whatever ship I happened to be in at the time.  Again, getting kills when you’re in your pod is pretty common.  But I was podded, got a new ship, flew the 15 gates to get back, and then didn’t do anything, yet got the credit for ships I had tagged before I was blown up.

The magic Ares

And that still leaves 30 where the server wasn’t sure what to do with me, so just put a question mark for my ship.  Quirks of the game.  We should probably be happy it works as well as it does.  There were times when we were up close to the Keepstar when commands seemed to take a lot longer to execute than even 10% tidi would explain.

On the Keepstar trying to warp off

So it goes.  The invaders have now killed four of the six Keepstars in Fountain.  The one in KVN-36 is next on their list.  The armor timer comes out a couple hours after this post goes live.  The armor timer is the tough one, the one that will take more time, so it will likely be an even longer fight.  We shall see if the Imperium has any tricks left, or if the attackers do us the favor of making a mistake, when we go to defend it.

Addendum:

I Burst to the Top of the Chart

I’ve barely been in KarmaFleet for a week and I’ve already made it to the top of their list on zKill.  What a success story!

Feb 4, 2020 – 04:30 UTC

How did that happen?  Did I suddenly get good at EVE Online?

No, of course not.  As with many things, I happened to be in the right place at the right time.

The deployment northward has taken us into Venal where we have begun to fight with PanFam and Fraternity who were previously pushing up against Dead Coalition in our old homeland.  Now both sides are busy shooting each other structures and fighting when timers hit, which is just how things are meant to go.

A fight was brewing over a Raitaru that we had dropped and pings had gone out for a fleet based around a new Sacrilege doctrine.  I didn’t have one of those to hand, having only brought along a Jackdaw on the move op, and I wasn’t too sure I wanted to invest in a half a billion ISK ship at the moment.  I suppose I could have logged in and checked contracts for the logi ships that go with the doctrine, which were no doubt cheaper, but I was on the fence about even logging in.

And then there was a ping from Kun’mi with a call for a few people for a special task… and ships would be handed out.  I’m always keen for an op where I can lose somebody else’s ship.  I logged in, got in his fleet, and opened up a trade to get one of the ships.

It was a Malediction interceptor fitted to be quick and agile with the sole purpose of landing in the middle of hostiles in order to set off an ECM burst to break all of their target locks.  Our job was to go out and sit on a perch away from the battle, aligned towards it, and have Kun’mi fleet warp us onto the hostiles when things looked ripe.  We would land on them, align ourselves to warp off, set off the ECM burst, and warp away.

Aligned towards the fight and ready to be warped

If this sound vaguely familiar, it was because I was in a similar fleet during the Hakonen deployment back in late 2017.  During those battles we were using cheaper Atron frigates with ECM bursts fitted.

My ECM burst Atron swoops down upon the foe

We were able to get away with the T1 ships there because those fights were in low sec, so there were no warp disruption bubbles present.  Now, up in Venal, we cannot just be fast and have warp stabs fit, we also have to get through the the thick of the fight with fleets locked down in interdictor bubbles, which means using fleet interceptors which are not constrained by those bubbles, or any bubbles, in null sec space.

Warp bubbles don’t scare me

So we got on our perch and Kun’mi flung us at the hostiles over and over and his am was often good and true.  I would land and set off my ECM burst to be rewarded with a long list of targets affected zipping by on my screen.

And, as it goes, I was then marked for everybody who I reached out and touched with those busts of ECM, so when any of them were blown up I got on the kill mail, as did any of the other interceptors that were on this op.  That got me on 91 kill mails over the course of about 30 minutes.

It seemed like less time than that, and we were under tidi for much of the time (as well as the additional lag from whatever is going on with the game still this week), so it wasn’t a huge number of runs for us.

Of course, not all of those 91 kill mails were hostiles.  The ECM burst knows no friends and its effects hit everybody within range when it goes off.  So my kill board for the evening looks… very blue in stretches, like this sample.

I got some hostiles on there!

That Legion of Zintage’s is my most valuable kill mail at the moment, followed by the Zarmazds I managed to hit.  Ooops.  But I did get on some good targets, though I think the Pandemic Horde players in rookie ships… like the Impairor and the Reaper… were my favorites.  They both ate several ECM bursts, then were killed by a bombing run by their own side.

Lots of blue on blue action that night.

The battle itself though, that did not go our way, as the battle report indicates.

Battle report header

We were, if nothing else, down in strength compared to the hostiles.  The core of our fleet were the Sacrileges, and we lost 48 our of 74 counted, while the PanFam core was  135 Muninns, and they only lost one of those, though we did rack up a decent count of their logi.  But that wasn’t enough.

So the battle ended as the Raitaru at its center was destroyed.  Our fleet wrapped up and I warped to one of the other structures we had in system to use the tether to repair some armor damage I had taken when we landed in the midst of somebody’s bombing run.  Then I docked up and returned the ship.  The little ECM burst fleet was otherwise unscathed, save for one that was blown up by NPCs.  As such it did not make it on the battle report.

A while after that we went and hit a hostile Astrahus when its armor timer came up.

An Astrahus goes that color when you reinforce it

Also, since I wrote this I have been passed on the KarmaFleet list on zKill.  At least the lead was taken by somebody who was in the Sacrilege fleet.