Tag Archives: M-OEE8

Symphony of Lance

As I was hoping, somebody was filming the Keepstar shoot in M-OEE8 about which I wrote earlier in the week.  So you can see a video of the mass of titans jumping into the system and unleashing their doomsday weapons on the target.

 

I was somewhere off to the left of the screen on a citadel watching this, though I was able to put my camera on the citadel and watched the whole show from the other side of the structure.

Doomsday beams of many colors

As I understand it, the blue glow comes from the phenomena generators that were fit on the titans specifically to make the whole scene that much more interesting.

Keepstar Nocturnal Mission

I was up because it was hot.  It had peaked over 100 degrees in the afternoon in Silicon Valley, and even as midnight approached the temperature hung in the mid-80s.  It was too warm to get to sleep easily, so why not just stay up and see a couple of Keepstars blown up?

Given how long they have been around, there haven’t been that many Keepstar kills.  The list of losses over at Zkillboard isn’t that long, even if you add in the couple that didn’t register correctly.  I’ve been around for a few of the kills… including multiple Circle of Two Keepstars… but it is still something of a special event to see one explode.

And that was my initial plan.  Very low commitment.  I was just going to slip into M-OEE8 with an alt in a stealth bomber and watch the fireworks there.  We had a couple of citadels parked around the target, so I could tether up and watch.  So nearly an hour ahead of time I was setup and watching.

The M-OEE8 Keepstar awaits

There were actually multiple targets on grid, but only one really mattered, and the timer was counting down.

Other targets on grid, with blues on their own citadel

That would let me watch one Keepstar, but there was a second one in 0-YMBJ that was set to come out about 30 minutes after the first.  For that one I logged in with my main.  The target was just one jump over from our staging, so I would just stealth bomber over to watch that one as well.

And then the calls for fleets started going up.  There were nearly 2,000 pilots logged into our staging system, and I decided to go with one of the Baltec fleets.  I already had a Megathron.  That would get me on a kill mail or two.

But then they needed logi… somebody always needs more logi… so I bought an Oneiros, put on the Emergency Response SKIN, stuffed a Bouncer and four Warrior IIs in the drone bay and undocked.

Oneiros ready to go

Sothrasil was our FC, and he warped us off to the Athanor off the undock, then back onto the titan that was going to bridge us.  However, everybody was so anxious to go that there were dozens of titans crowded in and it was tough just to click on the correct one.  The call had to go out for titans to dock back up because they were bumping the bridging titans.  We got to hear about that because it was another operation with all fleets on the same voice coms.  But things did clear up for us and we were bridged into M-OEE8.

And from there we gated one system over to E-OGL4 to shoot a Fortizar that was already out.  We landed in close enough that I was able to put a Warrior II on it before we anchored up and motored well out of drone range.

You can almost see the Fortizar

That went placidly as nobody bothered to gun the Fortizar until it was almost dead.  When somebody did show up they turned on the PDS and killed my drone, but the structure was down to 5% at that point, so I was on the kill when it exploded.

The Fortizar explodes as we align out

Meanwhile, back in M-OEE8, more ships were piling in.  Super carriers were putting fighters on the Keepstar the warping to tether up while a range of third party fleets from TEST and Dead Coalition… and even a couple of NC/PL ships… were hanging about watching the structure get chipped away, waiting for their moment to get in range to take a few shots so as to get on to the kill.

Supers strewn about the field

Sothrasil brought us onto the Fortizar on grid with the Keepstar where we tethered up and waited our turn to take a shot at the big target.  One person in our fleet, alleged to be a non-English speaker, warped off to the Keepstar to get his shots in on his own and was blown up for going off on his own.  About the same time a carrier pilot in an Archon trying to control their fighters ended up warping to the Keepstar and was likewise blown up.

Archon sacrificed at the altar of the Keepstar

Somebody ran out in a blockade runner to try and look the wreck, but I don’t think they made it out safely.

Caught grabbing the loot

My alt in his stealth bomber decloaked and put some torps into the Keepstar, then warped back to tether up and watch the outcome.

Sothrasil then had us align and we warped in to take out shots.  I dropped the Bouncer II I had brought along and set it to firing a few rounds before scooping it up.  We then aligned back just as the call for the titans to jump in came over coms.

Our little fleet visible as the titans land in front of the Keepstar

Asher was directing the titans.  The plan was for them all to land and then use their doomsday weapons in order to send off the Keepstar in style.  It didn’t quite go to plan… people shot their

weapons early… but it still looked pretty neat.  I put my camera on the Keepstar and got some pretty shots through the uprights.

Doomsday beams of many colors

A bunch of screen shots were posted in chat, so I’ll link to some of those if you want to see more of that moment.

The Keepstar blew up, most everybody got on the kill mail (more than 1,500 people recorded), the titans got their money shot, the operation was a success.

Keepstar blows up

Now there was just the matter of the other Keepstar, now out of its timer and repairing, eight jumps away.  When the M-OEE8 Keepstar blew I immediately sent my alt in his bomber off towards the gate to get to the next target.  For the first couple of gates it was like swimming through molasses due to time dilation, but it soon cleared up and he was moving quickly.  Fortunately there were no gate camps.

Over in 0-YMBJ a fleet of carriers had been sent to put fighters on the Keepstar to stop the repair timer and chip it down to get it ready for the kill.  However, the fighters had been doing a very effective job and there wasn’t much left to shoot when my alt arrived, and he was there ahead of the whole fleet sitting in M-OEE8.

Calls were made to pull some, then all fighters as the fleets began jumping in.  People were getting antsy about getting on that second kill so, despite being told to take a shot and stop firing, people blazed away with all they had.  As titans landed, more doomsdays were set off, without much regard to who might be in the way.

Somebody blowing up in the pack

I put my alt in range and set torpedoes flying, but my main was still in M-OEE8, sitting on a titan waiting for the bridge to go up.  Meanwhile people were calling the percentage left on the Keepstar, getting everybody worked up.  The call was 8% left when our bridge finally went up.  But there was traffic control and many of us stayed in the jump tunnel for a long time.

When I finally landed, there was only 2% left on the structure.  I immediately dropped my Bouncer II and set it on the Keepstar.  I was just in time, but others in our fleet landed too late.  The Keepstar quickly exploded.

The second Keepstar blows

Still, more than 1,500 people were on that kill mail as well.  I managed to get on there with both accounts.

After that it was just a matter of getting everybody home.  On the bright side, we were all just one gate from our staging.  On the downside, it was now 1:30am local time for me… and much later/earlier some others… so people were sluggish about getting going and the subcaps had to sit around and make sure that all the big stuff got out safely.

The Mittani got on coms… it must have been 3:30am for him, though he is younger than I… and congratulated us on the kills and said that we needed to work out how to move this many people around between kills, since some people didn’t get on both as promised.

We were later informed that, with these two Keepstars, the total value of structures and ihubs destroyed in Tribute now exceeded 1.7 trillion ISK.  Somebody is going to have to go kill a lot more Rorquals back in Delve if they want to claim that equal damage is being done back there.

Slowly but surely the capitals drained out of 0-YMBJ and we were able to go home ourselves.  We docked up, I logged out, and then headed off to bed.  It was still hot in the house, but it was a little less so than earlier and I was now tired enough to drop off to sleep.

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.

Smaller Operations in the North

Between the big battles, like we saw at X47L-Q last week, there are thousands of smaller ops that undock to take care of business and look for fun and targets of opportunity.  Saturday night saw Asher Elias, the sky marshal who has been running huge multi-fleet operations with hundreds of super carriers and titans following his orders, able to return to smaller fleet ops as Reavers formed up Ishtars and undocked.

Once again leaving the station

He has business for us to attend to and we headed to X47L-Q.

There the first thing we did on entering the system was warp to a cyno on the NCDot Keepstar and pop the ship running it.  Sitting exposed right on the hostile structure, we quickly turned about and warped off, then headed back to a point on grid with it again.

On grid with the Keepstar as it counted down

We had a couple of things on our plate.  One was a matter of expedience.  While we were there and able to fly cover, a call went out to cap pilots who might still be stuck logged off on grid after last week’s battle letting them know that they had an opportunity to log in and jump out of system.  A few pilots too advantage of the opportunity.

Keepstar further back

However, our main task was to cover a new structure being dropped in the system.

Fortizar deploying

A Fortizar named Tosche Station was dropped and we were there to watch it for the 15 minute deployment timer, during which it was vulnerable to attack.  This was part of the change to Upwell structures that went in last last year.  They are now vulnerable for 15 minutes when first dropped and then for 15 minutes at the end of their anchoring sequence.  During that time they are both easy to shoot, as they are unfitted and cannot shoot back, and can be destroyed in a single fight.

However, save for a single Pandemic Horde Cormorant, none of the locals sought to interfere with the structure during that vulnerable time.  The structure made it through and began to anchor.  It was good for three days, after which it would be vulnerable again before coming online.

The longer anchoring timer

We shall see if the locals care to form up to keep it from going online to keep us from having a structure on grid with their Keepstar before the final fight for that kicks off.

After that Asher had us head out for another destination in a hurry.  We flew into Tribute, home of NCDot and Pandemic Legion, and through systems I remember both from living there are from the battles in them over the years, to M-OEE8.

There tackle had run ahead and pinned down some targets for us.  Arriving on grid we found two dreadnoughts, a Phoenix and a Revelation, as well as two Rorquals.  We went after the Phoenix first.

Phoenix under attack while a Rorqual sits in its PANIC bubble

Even as we got there one of the Rorquals had already set off its defensive PANIC module, a protective bubble meant to keep the ship alive for a while in order to let help form up and rescue it, before we had had the opportunity to shoot it.

The Phoenix went down, and then the Revelation, before we were able to get started on the more expensive Rorquals.  By that point the PANIC module had run down on the first one while the second one put its up after we poked it a bit.

Foreground Rorqual dying while the other is in PANIC in the background

After that, we raced off to M-OEE8, a system of legend and PL’s capital, complete with Keepstar.

During this some hostile interceptors showed up with a mind to rescue the remaining trapped caps, but they did not fare too well.  On warping in we were able to divert drones to them, killing a few as the others warped off.  After a couple runs at that they kept their distance, waiting for a target of opportunity.

When the first Rorqual was dispatched we motored over to the second and setup around it waiting for its PANIC bubble to fade.  When it went down we started in, but then were told to pull drones.  Jay Amazingness Thomas Lear had a Baltec fleet in the area and Asher wanted to let them come over to join in on the kill.

Baltec fleet firing on the Rorqual

That additional firepower made short work of the Rorqual and it exploded in the dramatic fashion to which we have become accustomed.

Rorqual goes boom!

All four of the capitals were in Rate My Ticks (ticker: WERMT), which is Pandemic Legion’s rental alliance.  Both PL and NCDot still generate income by renting space as their other sources of passive income have dried up.

We then cleaned up the deployed warp disruption bubbles that they had laid about to keep people from warping directly to them from the gates and then started to head back towards home, past more structures.

Tribute is full of structures

As we and the Baltec fleet moved back towards Pure Blind we were shadowed by the hostile interceptor fleet, which was waiting for a straggler or somebody who didn’t align so they could pick them off, as well as flashes of time dilation.  Pushing a couple of fleets through an otherwise quiet region is enough to tax a server that otherwise hasn’t been reinforced.

On the way back we stopped again in X47L-Q in order to clear off some drag bubbles from a POS that was setup as a trap.  We were able to clear the bubbles, though the affair kept the logi wing busy as the tower shot at people, constantly switching targets.

Extricating ourselves from the tower was a task in and of itself, as the warp disruption batteries kept hitting people as we aligned to warp out.  Asher asked if anybody was pointed before he warped, the heard an affirmative only after he had warped us, so we turned around and headed back to try and rescue those caught.  We lost an Ishtar that way before we finally got off grid.

We also lost the fleet Impairor.  One person who logged on to go with the fleet didn’t have anything handy besides a rookie corvette, so brought that along for the fleet.  It made it through, getting on all the capital kill mails.  However, it got blown up at the POS tower, though the kill mail shows that the pilot took the effort to fit it up to be useful.  Tackle corvette!

After that we headed back to our staging and stood down.  Not a bad fleet at all.  It is nice to get back into the smaller ops that Reavers do.

Asher said on The Open Comms show last Friday that our whole SIGs and squads campaign in the north owes its origin to Bigbilltheboss who, after the Hakonen deployment didn’t want to bring all his dreadnoughts back home to Delve. (We came back from that about a year ago at this point.) So setup shop to drop on the locals ratting and mining and found the fields to be rich in targets.  Then we, and BlackOps, and TNT, and Space Violence all ended up in the north, where we have been deployed since at least November.  A long and fruitful deployment it has been too, with a lot of small fleet actions.

But more big ops are coming.  We will have the Fortizar to defend on Tuesday and then the final timer for the NCDot Keepstar on Wednesday.  Expect CCP’s servers to be heavily taxed once again as we see if more titans die.

A Few Slides from the Fanfest EVE Online Keynote

EVE Fanfest kicked off in Iceland yesterday and included the EVE Online keynote.

Fanfest 2017

Some of the keynote was spent reviewing what happened over the last year… or year and a bit in one case… with some statistics.  And I love statistics so, since I happened to be home and able to watch the keynote, I grabbed screen shots of some of the slides with numbers to share and have to hand to compare against any future updates.

Citadels

Citadel stats as of Fanfest 2017

Citadel stats are something where I have a previous count from EVE Vegas 2016, which happened at the end of October last year, so we can see how that has progressed:

Deployed:

  • Astrahus 14,322, up 7,632 since Vegas
  • Fortizar 1,772, up 1,025 since Vegas
  • Keepstar 38 , up 24 since Vegas

So the count for all citadel types have doubled since the end of October 2016.

Destroyed:

  • Astrahus 2,353
  • Fortizar 270
  • Keepstar 4

Engineering Complexes

Engineering Complex stats as of Fanfest 2017

Engineering complexes came in with the Ascension expansion on November 15 of last year, taking over production abilities from the old school Player Owned Starbase, or POS.  In the less than five months since then they have sprung up all over.

Deployed:

  • Raitaru 5,522
  • Azbel 875
  • Sotiyo 123

Destroyed:

  • Raitaru 471
  • Azbel 72
  • Sotiyo 4

Alpha Clones

Alpha clone stats as of Fanfest 2017

Alpha clones, the limited “free” option for EVE Online, was the big feature that came in with the Ascension expansion last November, and they have popped up all over.

Alpha Clone Stats:

  • Ships Lost 1,217,366
  • Final Blows Landed 40,941
  • Ships Destroyed by Alpha Fleets 32,065
  • Ship Manufacturing Jobs 228,342
  • Module Manufacturing Jobs 580,657
  • Market Transactions 33,377,966

Those numbers would be more interesting if we knew what percentage of the total of New Eden they represented.  But Alpha clones are out there.

Fighters

Fighter stats as of Fanfest 2017

The coming of the Citadel expansion in late April of 2016 not only brought new structures to New Eden, but also force auxiliary capital ships and changes to carriers and super carriers.  Rather than drones and old-style fighters, they would use a new type of fighter.

Produced:

  • Heavy 5,686,882
  • Light 4,104,542
  • Support 355,939

Destroyed:

  • Heavy 10,419
  • Light 205,112
  • Support 11,286

Of course, I wonder how many fighters have been lost ratting as opposed to PvP.

Skill Trading

Skill trading stats as of Fanfest 2017

Skill trading, skill injectors, and skill extractors came along in February of last year as part of what I called the Mardi Gras release, since it fell on fat Tuesday.

  • Skill Extractors Used 2,227,528
  • Skill Injectors Used 2,198,120
  • Skill Points Extracted 1,113,764,000,000
  • Skill Points Injected 832,396,750,000
  • Most Extracted Skill – Mining Barge
  • Most Injected Skill – Drone Interfacing

So there are/were 29,408 skill injectors on the loose or on the market representing 14,704,000,000 extracted skill points.  Of course, the one stat I really want is how many skill points disappeared because somebody took a 500K SP injector and only got a 150K SP boost.

Battles

CCP also highlighted three large battles that took place over the last year.  Last Fanfest took place during the Casino War, but any large scale battles from that had already occurred and we were in the midst of the three months of skirmishes before the Imperium moved south to Delve.  However, all three of those battles can be seen as fallout from the Casino War and all involved Circle of Two and citadels.

Conflict with Neighbors

The Battle at Oijanen in November of last year was over a Project Mayhem Astrahus and saw the Drone Region Federation lined up against alliances from the north including CO2 and TEST.

Death of a Keepstar

The final battle around the CO2 Keepstar in M-OEE8 in December was the culmination of the invasion of Tribute by Northern Coalition and Pandemic Legion.  Once the Keepstar was destroyed, CO2 and their ally TEST evacuated the north to look for greener pastures.  I was there for this battle.

Two Fortizars coming online

The battle at F4R2-Q in January was the other side of the coin from the battle at M-OEE8, as it represented CO2 and TEST attempting to grab new territory in null sec from the Stainwagon coalition.  The battle itself was sparked by two Fortizars coming online, one for CO2 and one for TEST, that would give them a foothold in the Catch region.  While they lost both Fortizars, Stainwagon resistance crumbled and the alliances have taken over much of their old space.

I was also there for this battle which will be remembered as the one where we managed to get Asher to give us 10 participation links, something he has vowed never to do again.

Anyway, those were the review slides that held statistical or historical interest for me.

Death of a Keepstar and Exits from Tribute

The previous weekend we headed up to Tribute to 3rd party on the battle in M-OEE8 to shoot targets of opportunity.  There was a giant six hour slow motion spaceship melee around Circle-of-Two’s Keepstar.  However, that was just the preliminary, the second act of a three act play.

This past Saturday was the real deal, the actual final engagement when the Keepstar would be saved or blow up dramatically.  Even CCP put up an official notice about the event.  I wanted to see that, but I wasn’t sure the Imperium was going to show up.  We were having our own little spaceship tournament (in which Asher led the Reavers to victory) so I decided to make my own plan.  Fortunately I had an option in place.

Back when I pulled out of Tribute, literally just a day before we officially abandoned our space there, I left behind some stuff in UMI-KK.  I gave some of it away and sold most of the rest at well above Jita prices.  But I also left a jump clone there along with a Manticore stealth bomber along with a cyno and some liquid ozone with an eye to being able to bring in trouble some day.

That day never came and as summer rolled around we moved to Delve, but I left that clone and ship in place.  This seemed to be the time to reactivate that asset.

So on Thursday night I clone jumped to UMI-KK, packed up what I had left in the station, and made my way carefully E-OGL4, on gate from M-OEE8 and then safed up and logged out as there was a lot of coming and going at the time and I did not want to get caught on the gate trying to slip in.

Getting safely offline

Getting safely offline

I came back a couple of times until I found a quiet stretch and warped from my perch below the gate and jumped to M-OEE8.

Once there I made my own safe spots then set about trying to find the Keepstar.  Even something so big isn’t all that big in the scale of a solar system.  It wasn’t open to me, so it didn’t show up on my overview.  I saw that my kills from the previous week were marked on zKillboard as being in the vicinity of planet VIII, but warping there didn’t show anything.  My last shot was the cynos that seemed to be in continuous use.  They would likely be on grid with the Keepstar, but they might be also be at one of the citadels that the attackers had anchored around the Keepstar.  Either option would do, so long as I stayed cloaked.  Either side would be happy enough to shoot me.

So I picked one and warped to it at 100km while cloaked.  At least I am pretty sure that is what I did.  What happened was that I landed right on the Keepstar and was decloaked.  You feel a bit exposed sitting there on a besiged station, hostiles coming and going all around.  One of those “oh shit!” moments in New Eden that raises your heart rate.

I immediately aligned back to my safe and warped off… but had the presence of mind at the last moment to bookmark the Keepstar.  I got away safely and was able to warp back to the bookmark at 100km, this time landing at range.  Then I pointed myself up (relative to the plane of the solar system) and motored to a spot 250km above the Keepstar.   Then I made a couple more bookmarks at about that distance as backups, went back to my safe and logged off.

The next day, almost an hour before the Keepstar timer was set to some out, I logged in and warped to my perch.

On grid with the Keepstar

On grid with the Keepstar

There were already about three thousand people in local and the number was climbing steadily.  20 minutes before the timer came out, that number passed four thousand and time dilation had already kicked in and was down to 20% at times.  With about a minute left on the count down, I tweeted a picture of local, which had already crossed the five thousand mark.  Tidi was already in full force.

New record set before the battle

New record set before the battle

That was already more people in system for the battle than had every piled into before.  The number eventually passed 5,300, at which point the server seemed to feel that was the maximum point of stability as it started dropping people until it got under 5,300 again.

I do not have a dramatic tale to tell as far as the fight goes.  I was there to see the sights and, most importantly, get on the Keepstar kill mail.  As I joked, I figured I could sit in my safe for three hours, warp to the Keepstar, take a shot, then warp back to my safe and be set.

Of course, nothing is ever that simple.

After about an hour I warped to one of my perches, and watched the fight a bit, thne warped to 50km off the Keepstar.  I seemed to be fairly far from most other ships, with only a few in the 30-60km range.  From there I aligned back to a safe, decloaked, locked up the citadel, and fired my torpedoes.  After a couple of salvos I saw an Crow locking me, so I warped off, cloaked up, and sat safe for a bit as I went off to make some lunch.  The Keepstar was at 79% structure.

I tabbed out, watched some of the Imperium tournament, listened to a podcast, wrote most of yesterday’s silly post, and generally ignored the fight.

When I checked back I founded that the EVE Online client had quit with an error.  I was no longer in the system and as like as not I would no longer get credit on the kill mail.  This needed to be addressed immediately.

I logged back in, which given the stress on the system was surprisingly smooth.  I suspect being off-grid in a safe all by myself helped on that front.  I again warped to my perch, then to within 50km of the Keepstar and took another shot at it.  At that point it was a 56% structure and local had actually dropped to about 3,900 people.  I wasn’t the only one getting kicked off it seemed.

Then it was back to my safe, then on grid at a perch to watch for a bit, then back to my safe to idle.  I let the client be again and went and played Pokemon Sun on the couch.  Of course, once I returned, the client had died again.  Time to log back in.

In successfully again, I once more warped to a perch, then into range of the Keepstar to take a shot.  I aligned, decloaked, and salvoed the torpedo launchers again.  I seemed to be pretty safe in my spot, so I also locked up an Mobile Tractor Unit that was close by to take a couple shots at that.  The Keepstar was down to 21% structure then and local was still below four thousand.

Keepstar target

Keepstar target

I took shots at the MTU until a Caracal wandered into range, locked me up, and hit me with a couple of volleys of missiles.  Fortunately, he did not tackle me… he may not have been equipped to tackle me, as he never got closer than 30km but I wasn’t going to stick around to find out… and I warped off to my safe yet again.  Then it was back onto grid with the Keepstar to watch the final bits.

At that point my wife reminded me that I had committed to go pick up a pizza for an early dinner, so I called that in, left myself at the perch over the Keepstar, and my wife and I drove off to pick up the pizza.

When I got back I was still there… and so was the Keepstar.  However, when I checked Twitter, somebody said it had already been killed… but then was still there taking damage.  Had I missed the final moments?  Was the Keepstar still really there or not?  I put the camera on the Vanquisher titan that was parked close by the Keepstar and moved is to I was focused on the citadel.  The Keepstar obliged me by starting to explode shortly thereafter. (You can’t put the camera on the object itself, as the system yanks it back to your ship the moment it starts to explode.)

The explosion begins

The explosion begins

The explosion seemed somewhat off… probably due to tidi.  It spent a lot of time brewing up points of fire as in the picture above, then there was a sudden orange flash, then the explosion, and then things settled down and it was done.

Now for the important question: Did I get on the kill mail.  The system was still going well enough that it generated pretty quickly for the person who got the final blow, an Legion of xXDEATHXx pilot named Vlulvik Hrapruk.

The kill mail begins

The kill mail begins – two pilots gain fame

However, the kill mail itself was so big with 4,078 people listed on it that trying to view it crashed my client.  I had to log in yet again.  But people were getting the hell out of the system at this point, tidi was relaxing a bit, and I was eventually able to find myself way down the list on the kill.  You can find me on the list over at zKillboard.  A warning though, even trying to list all pilots on that kill mail will put your browser into a “Not Responding” state for a minute or so.

Soon the system was responsive and tidi was minimal and only those trying to loot the field were left.  I did my part and shot up another MTU, getting top damage and the final blow.

Deployable dispatched!

Deplorable deployable dispatched!

I warped around a bit while cloaked, looking for other targets of opportunity, but it was still a bit hazardous for something as easy to kill as a stealth bomber.  I did see some CO2 guys clearing off any hostile MTUs, including Tyffanny, who was our first kill during the Keepstar armor timer battle the previous week.

Back again in M-OEE8

Back again in M-OEE8

And that was about it for me.  I sat for a bit in my safe until the system totals dropped some more, then went to my perch over the Taisy gate.  Seeing it was clear I warped and jumped to low sec and motored on into high sec and headed to a station closer to home in Delve before I logged off.  My Manticore which, judging from its name was left over from the Reavers deployment to Wicked Creek more than a year back (RATKINGBOIS!), was safe and its cargo full of such valuables as Ice Mining Upgrade I modules was secure.

That was my exit from Tribute.  I have no assets left in the region.

And it was also and exit for CO2 and TEST, despite any remaining citadels.

The CO2 Fort on the Taisy gate, inaptly named

The CO2 Fort on the Taisy gate, inaptly named

Checking on DOTLAN now you can see that they hold no more sovereignty in Tribute.

Tribute - December 12, 2016

Tribute – December 12, 2016

Now the question is whether or not the war continues.  The original causus belli for the war was to secure part of the region for Pandemic Horde, as I recorded back in early October. PH has since changed its mind on moving and no longer seems keen to occupy M-OEE8.

Meanwhile, TEST and CO2 still hold sovereignty in The Vale of the Silent region next door.  A couple of systems in CO2’s constellation in the region seem to be reinforced and there is an unlikely rumor on Reddit that TEST is evac’ing to low sec, but I am far enough removed from the conflict to be unable to weigh either item.  I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

The battle itself saw a lot of ships destroyed.  If I read zKillboard correctly, the Keepstar itself got on something like 600 kill mails, even whoring on my MTU kill.  Destruction came to many.  The map says almost four thousand.

Trouble in Tribute

Trouble in Tribute

DOTLAN puts the number higher, claiming over seven thousand ships and five thousand pods destroyed over the previous 24 hours.

Tribute Region rules the roost

Tribute Region rules the kill roost

So that is what happened on Saturday, another 6+ hour long tidi lag-fest where thousands of players tried to get in to see the first fully operation Keepstar get blown up.  The server did not melt down and CCP can rightly ask what other online game is getting that many people in close proximity.

Other sites have overage of the Keepstar Battle and the war:

And, of course, I have a selection of screen shots from the battle itself.

Will EVE Online Get a Bounce from M-OEE8?

In the history of EVE Online, when there is a giant battle in the game subscriptions go up as sure as one thing follows another.  The first Burn Jita, Asakai, 6VDT-H, and B-R5RB all got headlines in the gaming press and, in many cases, the general media.  Articles at the BBC have not been uncommon.

The fact that these giant battles happen on their own and aren’t staged by CCP (unlike certain record setting events) is part of the magic of the game, the draw that attracts news players and reinvigorates old ones.  It is one of those special aspects of New Eden.

CCP certainly got into the spirit of things as the big battle kicked off.

Old news, but The Scope reporters are hacks...

Old news, but The Scope reporters are hacks…

They had people on scene to watch the battle and the EVE:ISDIC Twitter account posted great pictures of the fight as it went on. (You should go look at them.)

And after the fight, CCP was at it again with the battle stats.

The war that started LONG before Easter...

The war that started LONG before Easter…

Granted, they might have jumped the gun on that last item.  B-R5RB.  According to CCPs post battle figures for that fight, there were 7,548 unique characters involved in the great titan massacre.  Though, to give credit, they did cop to that error when it was pointed out.

(Also, Easter War?  This war has been going on since January.  I know that CCP doesn’t want to use “Casino War” because that will inevitably shine a light on the shady RMT and gambling aspects allowed in the game, but Easter just seems wrong.  New Years War maybe?)

And they want you to have talking points ready, just in case somebody asks you about EVE Online.

So CCP is prepped.

And there are certainly rumblings within the community as old players who left for various reasons (Fozzie Sov and Jump Fatigue get mentioned a lot) consider coming back for a big war.  Having nearly every non-Russian null sec entity jumping on the “shoot Goons” bandwagon at last is certainly a draw.

But what about new players?  Will the M-OEE8 battle have the same halo effect as the other great battles before it?  I am starting to wonder.

CCP keeps linking to and quoting from a rather tepid article over at PC Gamer that pre-dates the battle.  During the battle the Polygon Twitter feed posted an EVE Online link, though it turned out to be to a 2014 story.  They wanted to ride on the EVE Online gravy train, not the other way around.

And… that has been about it.  Even Massively, which covers MMORPGs, only has their own tepid post, which amounts to “Somebody on Reddit said there was a war.”  And they haven’t even gotten around to something about the actual battle that happened.

In fact, nobody outside of the core EVE Online focused media and bloggers seems to have bothered.

If you Google “B-R5RB” you get results from PC Gamer and Wired and Polygon.

Do the same for “M-OEE8” and you get… DOTLAN, zKillboard, EN24, and me.  My post is the the 6th result.

So what happened here?  Was the battle not big enough?  Was the spectacle no grand enough to suit?  Did we not amuse sufficiently?  Was there insufficient internet spaceship drama?  Should CCP be calling the Guinness Records people?  Do we need to tally up the losses and convert them to dollar amounts to get some attention here?

Or are people just over internet spaceship battles?

Addendum:  The war is starting to get some traction now on gaming news sites now.  It just took a couple days.