Tag Archives: M2-XFE

35 Weeks of World War Bee

As last week passed I was starting to wonder what would be the headline item for this post.  A lot of stuff is on fire in various regions, but there didn’t seem to be any big news.

And then at the Saturday fireside The Mittani announced that the Imperium was giving up the M2 Hellcamp.  After two months holding the pigeon, as the metaphor went, we were going to finally let go.  Move ops to get people out of M2-XFE happened immediately after the fireside.  I was out during the meeting and missed the move ops, but was able to get a bridge out later that evening on my own.

One bubble left on the M2-XFE Keepstar Grid

There has been a lot of follow up hurf and blurf about this, but the primary reason behind dropping the camp is that TEST holds the ihub and we have been unable to wrest it from them.  The ADM is up to 6 as they have made it a capital system, so any entosis contest is a steep hill to climb even if we can get even odds as we have to entosis each node for an hour while they only need six minutes.

And they have held the ihub for long enough that they will soon be able to put up a cyno jammer on the system.  The hellcamp has long depended on our ability to bridge/jump in reinforcements in response to any breakout attempt.  With the cyno jammer, that will no longer be an option, so it is time to let go.  The Imperium Keepstar in M2-XFE is now bereft of its many bubble companions, looking lonely there in space.  And soon enough the remaining PAPI capital ships will log in and jump back to their staging, free at last.

Now the Imperium’s posture in Delve is defending 1DQ1-A and harassing the invaders by setting timers.

Delve Front

With the M2 hellcamp over, the Imperium is left with just the O-EIMK constellation unconquered in Delve.

While there have been any number of revisionist “we don’t need to take 1DQ1-A” war goals thrown out there, both TEST and PanFam have had that on their list from early in the war.  Vily and TEST need it to make any sort of claim to their extermination goals and PanFam had set its sights on the faction Fortizars in 1DQ1-A as their target.  PAPI can claim they won the war at this point, but the Imperium will feel rightly validated in their resistance if, after having most of null sec arrayed against us, they couldn’t throw us out of our capital system.  “1DQ stood!” will be on the lips of every Goon forever going forward any time the war comes up.

Delve – Mar 7, 2021

So the final Imperium constellation, now circled in blue on my weekly map, must be the focus of PAPI in the region unless they just want to go home.  Otherwise they’ll just burn down the remaining structures outside of O-EIMK and wait.  PanFam can always walk away, having destroyed enough of our stuff to satisfy honor or whatever.  But Legacy, and TEST specifically, wants to live in Delve and have given up defending their old territory in order to move in.  A bee’s nest of angry Goons in 1DQ1-A is not something they can safely ignore if PanFam leaves.

Meanwhile, in the weather news, the electrical metaliminal storm that had made its way through much of the region has finally pushed off into Fountain.  Only the two systems adjacent to that region, ZXB-VC and 5-CQDA, are still feeling its effects.  And the gamma storm seems to be headed towards Period Basis possibly, after having traveled through Catch, Querious, and Delve.

Other Theaters

Over in Querious Brave managed to take all the ihubs that Siberian Squads had grabbed and continues to hold onto other systems, including GOP-GE and W6V-VM, which both have Imperium Keepstars.

Querious – Mar 7, 2021

That effort has come with a price however, as we look over at Catch.  There the core systems that made up Brave’s home previously continue to fall.

Catch – Mar 7, 2021

Red Alliance, The Initiative, French ConneXion, and even Against ALL Authorities… a name from the past… have taken some of their ihubs.

Likewise, Legacy alliances are also under pressure in Immensea, where ihubs continue to fall.

Immensea – Mar 7, 2021

And then, down in Esoteria, The Bastion and its allies have begun to spread, killing more ihubs.

Esoteria – Mar 7, 2021

Going through zKillboard for the region shows that there is action daily there, so TEST hasn’t given up in full, but they are finding it more difficult to keep in control.  Ansiblex jump gates seem to be a favorite target of The Bastion.

My Participation

I didn’t do shit this past week.  Work, home, Valheim, and a lack of action in my time zone conspired to keep me from doing much in the war besides spending a couple hours on the hellcamp and then getting my Rokh back to 1DQ1-A.  As such, my losses remain as before.

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP Rattati, the EVE Online Director of Product, gave a long interview at the Oz_EVE Twitch channel in which he went over his views of the New Eden economy, the economic starvation plan, titan proliferation, and the new Expert Systems “rent-a-skill” plan.  The whole interview is available on YouTube and there is a transcript of it over at INN.

During the interview, which took place on Monday, CCP Rattati was quite adamant that CCP did not want to sell skill points.  Then, on Wednesday, CCP sent out an offer to many players to sell them skill points.  So if CCP is wondering why their player base can be such cynics about what they say, I might have a good example for them.

Meanwhile, the peak concurrent players for the week held above 35K again this week, but it is cresting slightly lower every week, with Saturday falling below the 35K mark this time:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379

Related

31 Weeks of World War Bee

We are now past the seven month mark for the war, which officially kicked off way back on July 5, 2020.

The headline news of the week was probably Siberian Squads opting to join the Imperium.

Siberian Squads

I mentioned back in the Week 29 post that Siberian Squads was leaving Legacy Coalition and possibly moving north to join in the shenanigans going on up there.  Unlike Red Alliance, which left PAPI to join in with their Stain Russian pals, Siberian Squads is joining the Imperium as a full member.  The will be taking up residence in Querious to keep that front active.  What will happen to there holdings in Tenerifis remains to be seen, but I assume that they used the two week interlude to move their stuff out of the region.  The FI.RE coalition seems salty about this.

This is something of a reversal of the Casino War where I announced several times that this alliance or that was leaving the Imperium. (Or in the case of Circle of Two, had betrayed the coalition and changed sides mid-battle.)  Since the war started the Imperium has actually grown while Vily’s Legacy Coalition is now missing some of its members.

Delve Theater

I mentioned back in the Week 28 post that the Imperium had given up the gate camp in E3OI-U that was protecting what was being called Helm’s Deep in order to maintain the hell camp on the logged out titans in M2-XFE. (See the Delve map in the Week 27 post for my last mention of Helm’s Deep on the map.)  PAPI finally noticed that the camp was gone and made a push to reinforce those constellations, culminating in day long series of entosis contests.

The Helm’s Deep constellations

PAPI was able to bring the numbers and were successful in taking two of the four constellations in play.

Delve – Feb 7, 2021

The back two constellations are significant as they represent the homes of The Bastion, Get Off My Lawn, and TNT alliances as well as hosting the KarmaFleet home system.

The TCU Sovereignty

GSF owns all the ihubs since they have the numbers and can bring the entosis forces, but those alliances get the territorial control units so they show up on the sovereignty map.

PAPI has pushed hard on ihubs over the last two weeks and now controls all but four constellations in the region.  They key to things for the Imperium is 1DQ1-A.  PAPI has not made a serious effort against that system and so long as it and its Keepstars and other structures survive, the Imperium will remain defiant.

Other Theaters

PAPI also expended some effort in Querious when it came to ihubs.

Querious – Feb 7, 2021

PAPI put 800 pilots up to attack the GOP-GE, W6V-VM, F2OY-X, and RF-CN3 ihubs, but only managed to secure the latter two.  That leaves a couple of footholds with structures in the region for Siberian Squads to base from and start harassing Severance (-7-) and Stellae Renascitur (S.R.) in the region.

Catch remains a battleground, with The Initiative continuing to press on Brave and Warped Intentions, with the latter losing several more ihubs over the course of the week.

Catch – Feb 7, 2021

Likewise, Immensea next door has become another bleeding sore for Legacy Coalition.

Immensea – Feb 7, 2021

There both Warped Intentions and Federation Uprising have been losing ihubs and the occasional structure to Imperium and Stain Russian forces.

Down in Esoteria, The Bastion and its allies continue to hold the northwest corner, so I’ll just roll the same map as before.

Northwest Esoteria – Feb 7, 2021

TEST has been telling their pilots to leave Esoteria and move to Delve, which seems like a trip with a fire at either end.  But they have been away enough that they lost another Fortizar.

My Participation

I did not spend a lot of time in New Eden over the past week.  The sovereignty battles tend to happen in EUTZ, which I can sometimes join in on as a break from work, but not always.  I did spend some time at the M2-XFE hell camp, which continues watch on the ~130 titans still logged out in space and was fortunate enough to be there when an Apostle decided to log in.  That put me on the kill board for February.

Apostle Explosion

Otherwise much of my space time was spent doing maintenance things like collecting PI output to sell.  I did get my corporate dividend payment for my 5 Imperium war bonds.

War Bond Dividend #1

The 1.25 ISK payment appeared to be a test run to see if the system would even work.  41 million ISK isn’t a ton, but right now my only other income is PI, insurance, and SRP and every little bit helps.  Fortunately I did not lose any ships this week so I didn’t need to collect insurance or SRP.  My losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

This past week CCP posted a dev blog about the first battle at M2-XFE.  The Dev blog lays out some details as to who lost how many ships, how the battle compares to other large battles in New Eden history, and plans for a monument to commemorate the battle.

Planned monument

CCP was also awarded two Guinness World Records for the battle, which was detailed in a separate press release.  The records seem a bit dubious compared to some of the past records, but are still a good PR moment for the company.

Meanwhile, the weekend saw the peak concurrent user number stay up above 38K for another week.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167

Related

CCP Details the Titan Massacre at M2-XFE along with Two New Guinness World Records

CCP has delivered the promised Dev Blog about the first battle at M2-XFE as well as a press release about the battle setting two new world records.

The Massacre at M2-XFE

They have posted what I expect we will all accept as the “final score” for the battle.  Overall, the fight saw

  • ISK Lost: 29,111,604,784,863
  • Titans Destroyed: 257
  • Total Ships Destroyed: 3,404
  • USD Value of Losses: $378,012

CCP is careful to caveat that last number with the following statement:

Based on the average sale value of PLEX. This number is simply given as a way to represent the effort-value of the destruction and not an actual amount of money spent by participants on this fight.

I am sure that won’t stop any gaming sites from leading with that dollar amount in their headlines or failing to clarify in their stories.

And the Guinness World Records annouced were:

The former seems semi-relevent, though as CCP points out, that does not represent any actual dollar amount directly spent by players, it is just an approximation based on the value of PLEX in real world dollars.

The latter looks pretty silly.  Can you set records for things that can only occur within your own game?  I might as well write to Guinness about records set within the perimeter of my home.  Most pizza slices consumed by a middle-age man in a single sitting in our living room seems about as applicable to the “world” portion of “word records.”

Anyway.

Of course, everybody who plays the game wants to know how many titans were blown up on which side of the battle.

M2-XFE – Titan losses by Alliance

That breaks out into 122 lost by the Imperium versus 130 lost by PAPI forces, a fairly even split for hulls, though no doubt the ISK was even tighter for titans with Imperium losing a Vanquisher faction titan, which is valued at about four titans in ISK.

CCP Goes on to compare the battle to past epic battles in EVE Online history.

Largest Battles by ISK Destroyed

By that count M2-XFE saw more ISK destroyed than the next four battles combined and adds up to almost triple the cost of B-R5RB.

Of course, there is the dollar amount chart as well.  The usual caveats apply.

Largest Battles measured in $USD

You can see, comparing the two charts, the issue with valuing things in dollars and ISK when the items in game change value on the market over time.  Back in 2014, when the battle of B-R5RB took place, titans were more expensive in game as were the resources needed to construct them.  They were also more rare.  Before that battle a single titan loss was a headline worthy New Eden news story.  We talked about Asakai for a year because that saw 3 titans and 5 supers destroyed.

Then there is a comparison of ships and titans lost in past battles.

Titan and subcaps lost in past expensive battles

The tall blue bars, 319-3D and FWST-8, are from this war as well, battles for the PAPI Keepstars in NPC Delve. (The latter set two Guinness world records.)  YZ9-F6 is also from this war. That battle was the failed boson trap.

And then there is players involvement.

Player counts at the Largest Battles

I think I was at seven of those battles, for at least part of the fights.  I know I passed on HED-GP and thus missed the server problems.  But I was at B-R5RB, the latter parts of both X47L-Q fights, some of UALX-3, and the four fights listed from WWB.

Oddly, the battle at 9-4RP2, the dreaded “Million Dollar Battle,” is missing from these charts.  I know the losses barely measured up, being approximately $340 billion, but it did set the previous world record for players in a fight with 6,142 players.  That would put it in second place still.  But if you didn’t get at least a trillion ISK in losses you don’t get to appear I guess.

So it goes.

CCP has some more charts and some silly metrics about the fight in the dev blog. (e.g. The length of all the dead titans, laid end to end, would be 20,538km.)  It also seems that, due to the server problems that occurred around the second battle of M2-XFE when PAPI tried to jump 6,000 players into a system where there were already more than 4,000 setup, there will be no similar dev blog of statistics for that fight.  Ghost titans apparently vex CCP as much as zKillboard.

There is also a preview of monument that CCP plans to put in place to commemorate the battle.

Planned monument

Hopefully they will put it somewhere a bit off to the side as we still have a Keepstar and several Fortizars on grid as we’re still camping the site for ~130 logged off titans.  We don’t want that shiny new structure in the way or any of the workers getting hurt.

30 Weeks of World War Bee

After a couple weeks of what one might describe as malaise on the part of PAPI, they finally came back strong this past week, taking advantage once again of their overwhelming numbers.

The big news for the week was probably the M2-XFE titan breakout.  After several feints and aborted attempts, PAPI finally committed to freeing their titans and went all in on it just after downtime on the 27th.  It was a costly operation for PAPI, which sacrificed more than 2 trillion ISK in losses… an amount made up largely of 400+ destroyed dreadnoughts… as the battle report shows.

Battle Report Header

But they managed to extract ~170 of their trapped titans, losing only 6 along the way, leaving 130 or so still in M2-XFE.  That can only count as a significant morale win for PAPI as they now have that many more titans to bring to bear if the situation calls for it.  The remaining titans are estimated to belong to the following groups:

  • Test Alliance Please Ignore – 47
  • Pandemic Horde – 39
  • Northern Coalition – 29
  • Brave Collective – 9
  • The Army of Mango Alliance – 8
  • Evictus – 2
  • Already Replaced – 2
  • Eternal Requiem – 1
  • Sev3rance – 1
  • VENI VIDI VICI – 1
  • Federation Uprising – 1
  • Fraternity – 1

PC Gamer’s Steven Messner wrote an article about the M2-XFE situation and the breakout which even mentions me briefly. (Wish he’d linked to the blog and not just the image, but whatever.)

The breakout coincided with a noticeable rise in participation on the part of PAPI pilots, demonstrating the morale boost the escape has given them.

Delve Front

Delve was far and away the most active area of the war, as one might expect.  After allowing the Imperium to push back some of their gains, the resurgent PAPI began successfully defending ihubs in the region.  One of those was in the system 1-SMEB, where PAPI was able to put up cyno jammers successfully and destroy the Keepstar there without opposition.

They also began to put in a lot of effort retake ihubs in Delve that the Imperium had snatched back.  They have been keen to get ihubs in systems with Keepstars and have been especially invested in reinforcing the ihub in M2-XFE, no doubt to keep their remaining trapped titans from having to extract from under a cyno jammer in another ten days.  After failing on the 28th, managed to secure the grid and reinforce the ihub on the 29th by dropping carriers to support entosis faxes on the ihub, finally claiming it after almost an hour over overtime in the contest.

Battle for the ihub in M2-XFE

That led to another battle yesterday over the ihub, one that ground on for hours because of Fozzie Sov and the fact that the RNG put multiple nodes in the M2-XFE system, which meant that a couple hours went by before even a single node was hacked by either side.  But, after the long tidi grind, PAPI numbers won the contest and now their trapped titans need no longer fear the looming cyno jammers in the system.  Looking at the battle report, compared to some other battles in this war, the cost seemed not so bad.  I supposed when you consider a quarter trillion ISK destroyed and nearly 1,500 kill mails “not so bad” you might be a bit jaded.

That leaves the ihub balance in the region looking like this.

Delve – Jan 31, 2021

PAPI has pushed back and taken ihubs in Keepstar systems.  If they can keep up their numbers advantage it seems likely that we will lose all of those Keepstars.

Also, we now have two metaliminal storms running through Delve, both of which found their way in through the same door.  Given the breadth of null sec, ending up with two such storms in the primary theater of operations… well, if I were a more suspicious person I might think CCP was pushing the RNG just to see what would happen.  They created the feature, no doubt somebody there wants to see how it might affect the war.

Other Theaters

I am demoting Catch to the “other theaters” category, not because of a lack of action there but because it most of the focus is on Delve while Catch is now in there with Esoteria and Immensea and other PAPI backfield regions that are under attack from specific Imperium groups.

In Catch The Initiative has been setting up in U-QVWD, dropping its own structures and sieging  the Legacy Coalition structures located there.

Catch – Jan 31, 2021

Near the connection to Querious Imperium and allied forces have continued to attack ihubs in order to force Legacy to respond.  Operations in Catch have spilled over to the neighboring region of Immensea, where ihubs have started to fall as well.

Immensea – Jan 31, 2021

Meanwhile, the metaliminal storm that had been hanging around in the region took the exit to Stain and is now meandering there.

Over in Querious the dead lands in the east remain unoccupied as neither side has any interest in dropping any further ihubs there it seems.

Querious – Jan 31, 2021

The metaliminal storm that came in from Catch has now moved on into Delve, as noted above.  An incursion has also shown up in one of the eastern constellations.  We shall see if anybody can be bothered to try and fight it.

And, finally, I am going to re-run the same Estoteria map again.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan 31, 2021

The ihub ownership has not changed despit some action over structures in the region.

And up in the north, a small unaligned group operating under the name Freemen of the North has been using the war as an opportunity to assail Fraternity, which has a large number of players back in the home space ratting and mining according to the MER.

My Participation

I did not get into many of the big fights over the past week as a lot of the action was happening in EUTZ.  Downtime is at 11:00 UT, 5am my time, which pretty much guarantees I am asleep when it passes.  But that is when a lot of the action around M2 occurs.  I did get into the big siege of the M2 ihub on Friday with two characters at different times.  At the end, during the “overtime” period, I flew in some ECM burst interceptors to try and help break the locks that hackers had on the ihub.  That ended up costing me three Maledictions, so my losses for the war are now:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The Imperium finished issuing shares related to the war bond sales.  The UI for handling shares has been unsurprisingly described as “clunky.”  I now have my five shares.  The first dividend payment is due today.

Visible in my wallet

CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson participated in the Venture Beat’s Into the Metaverse summit, speaking about EVE Online.  He tried to jump on the GameStop frenzy by claiming that New Eden faces market manipulation as well, though he apparently couldn’t sight any examples. (pssst: the ice interdiction or Hulkageddon would have done)  He also said that EVE Online added 1.3 million players in 2020, for specific definitions of “added” no doubt.  The online user count certainly doesn’t seem to reflect much in the way of a dramatic influx of users.  But he also didn’t mention how many of them logged in once and never returned, which is the usual problem with the game.

Still, while we’re nowhere close to the record peak users of 2013, this past week did see numbers rise on Sunday at the prime time when both EUTZ and USTZ overlap.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323

Related

CCP Offers Up Broken Monthly Economic Report for December

We got the EVE Online Monthly Economic Report for December last week and I waited a while to write about it because what they put out was simply and obviously wrong in places.  At least more so than usual, so I thought they might go back and fix the most egregious bit.  I am ever the optimist.

EVE Online nerds harder

But, since no update appears to be forthcoming, lets look at what they gave us and hope for better next time.

Destruction

The flaw in the December MER is the destruction numbers.  If you pull out the regional data for destruction, the top ten regions are:

  1. Delve – 3.23 trillion
  2. The Forge – 2.1 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 1.77 trillion
  4. Lonetrek – 1.68 trillion
  5. Catch – 1.47 trillion
  6. Metropolis – 1.38 trillion
  7. Sinq Laison – 1.26 trillion
  8. Domain – 1.04 trillion
  9. Genesis – 832 billion
  10. Black Rise – 753 billion

The total destruction according to the regional data was 35 trillion ISK.  That put Delve down by more than a trillion from November, with overall destruction down by trillion.

The problem is that the number for Delve… and thus the total number for all regions… was very far from the actual mark.

With the war on and the huge battle at M2-XFE that started on December 30th and ran until downtime at 11:00 UTC on December 31st, many of us were expecting to see a huge jump in the destruction numbers for the Delve regional data.  The battle report showed more than 20 trillion ISK destroyed in that first fight.

Battle Report Header

That seems like a big miss.

I sometimes get a bit pissy about CCP and the MER because the numbers from one chart and data set do not line up with numbers from another chart and data set.  It seems like a summer intern project to write a little unit test to validate the data being pulled.  And this month is no different, but at least this time around another data set shows that the regional data is bad, at least for Delve.  So I will bring up the Produced, Destroyed, Mined chart.

Dec 2020 – Produced vs Destroyed vs Mined

This tracks the daily data game wide, with the thick line being the 30 day moving average and the light lines being the actual daily totals.  You can see there, at the end of December, the daily number jumps up off the chart, which has a top range of 6 trillion ISK.  Likewise, the 30 day average for destruction is pulled up, exceeding production.

CCP provides the raw data for that chart in a .csv file, so anybody can see what the actual amounts are.  The total destruction in the data for December is 74.83 trillion ISK, and the value for just December 31st, which covers the primary portion of the battle before downtime, is 23.26 trillion ISK.  (The second battle is in the data already, as it leaks out into the current date when they pull the report, and that totals up to 15, 4 trillion ISK destroyed on January 3rd.)

Of course, the data for that chart isn’t wholly accurate as well as there are three days missing, December 3, 4, and 26.  Still, they reflect the reality of the situation more than the alternative.

So the regional stats are off by a good 40 trillion ISK total, and at least the amount of that battle report for just Delve.  So a more likely ranking is:

  1. Delve – 26 trillion (estimated)
  2. The Forge – 2.1 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 1.77 trillion
  4. Lonetrek – 1.68 trillion
  5. Catch – 1.47 trillion
  6. Metropolis – 1.38 trillion
  7. Sinq Laison – 1.26 trillion
  8. Domain – 1.04 trillion
  9. Genesis – 832 billion
  10. Black Rise – 753 billion

Anyway, here is to hoping they’ll set things right next month.

NPC Bounties

Moving on to NPC bounties, which were the big story last month, we see they are still way down.

Dec – and Faucets Over Time

The numbers began to crash when the ESS and the Dynamic Bounty System were introduced to the game in November.

Total bounties collect in November were 39.3 trillion, which was down from 55.9 trillion in October, the last full month without the new systems.  December, the first full month with the ESS and DBS changes saw that number tumble to 22.8 trillion ISK.

Even with the ESS payments, which amounted to 6.5 trillion ISK, that leaves the total at a little more than half of the value paid out in October.  This is a big hit to income.  The top regions for December were:

  1. Oasa – 1.62 trillion (PandaFam)
  2. Vale of the Silent – 1.19 trillion (mixed small groups)
  3. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.02 trillion (PandaFam)
  4. Perrigen Falls – 996 billion (PandaFam)
  5. Insmother – 918 billion (Legacy)
  6. Cobalt Edge – 753 billion (PandaFam)
  7. Tenal – 739 billion (PandaFam)
  8. Metropolis – 737 billion (High Sec)
  9. Branch – 711 billion (PandaFam)
  10. Fountain – 699 billion (Imperium)

Of note is that a high sec region has entered the top ten, meaning that NPC bounties collected by mission runners are now likely a significant portion of the remaining bounty total.  There are no Forsaken Hubs in Metropolis.

Outside of NPC bounties, the sinks and faucets for December looked like this:

Dec 2020 – Sinks and Faucets

Commodities, which are drops from NPCs in wormhole space, Abyssal Deadspace, and the December holiday event (and maybe the bonds from robbing an ESS in null sec) and sold back to NPCs, continue be the largest ISK faucet into the game, ringing in at 40.59 trillion ISK.

After that there is NPC bounties, which are now in close competition with incursion payouts.  And then there is insurance, which if you look at the first sinks and faucets chart, saw a spike at the end of December, no doubt related to the battle at M2-XFE.

Production

Turning to production, the regional data shows the following regions as the top of the list:

  1. The Forge – 21 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Delve – 7 trillion (Imperium)
  3. Lonetrek – 6.94 trillion (High Sec)
  4. Sinq Laison – 6.25 trillion (High Sec)
  5. The Citadel – 5.73 trillion (High Sec)
  6. Domain – 4.51 trillion (High Sec)
  7. Tribute – 4.22 trillion (mixed small groups)
  8. Esoteria – 3.73 trillion (Legacy)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 3.64 trillion (mixed small groups)
  10. Heimatar – 3.07 trillion (High Sec)

The Forge, and the high sec regions around it, which support the Jita market, remain strong.  Delve, home of the Imperium, led the production outside of high sec.  The war has kept production going.  Legacy production remained ongoing in Esoteria despite claims that they were set to abandon the region.  Oddly, two regions of small holders, Tribute and Vale of the Silent, made the top ten, but PandaFam in Oasa fell to 11th and off the list.

The total for production in the regional data was 107.84 trillion ISK, though since I’m double checking things this month, the production/destruction data only shows it at 74.83 trillion ISK.  However, that is missing three days.  I am not sure those three days would make up the gap, so it shows once again that the data can be questioned.

Trade

Then there is trade value, where the top regions were:

  1. The Forge – 429 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 51 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Sinq Laison – 20.6 trillion (Dodixie)
  4. Lonetrek – 16.25 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  5. Delve – 16.21 trillion (War Zone)
  6. Metropolis – 10.9 trillion (Hek)
  7. Heimatar – 10.1 trillion (Rens)
  8. Essence – 5.55 trillion (Gallente High Sec))
  9. The Citadel – 5.34 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  10. Tash-Murkon – 3.65 trillion (Amarr High Sec)

Everything was about in the same zone as November, save for Delve, which was down about 6 trillion ISK.  That is odd because with both sides now based in Delve there ought to be more buying rather than less.

Mining

Finally, there is mining.  After seeming to plateau in November, mineral prices continued their climb skyward as CCP’s keeps the starvation economy plan in place.

Dec 2020 – Economic Indices

The October peak was an all time high point for mineral prices and now the spike continues.

Mining remained largely a high sec occupation, though Oasa in PandaFam territory climbed to the top of the list in December.

  1. Oasa – 1.27 trillion
  2. The Forge – 1.17 trillion
  3. Metropolis – 1.04 trillion
  4. Domain – 990 billion
  5. Sinq Laison – 824 billion
  6. Lonetrek – 751 billion
  7. The Citadel – 617 billion
  8. Tash-Murkon – 575 billion
  9. Perrigen Falls – 568 billion
  10. Everyshore – 559 billion

Aside from Oasa, which is up slightly, numbers are down in every region on that list.  Since the value of ore mined depends on the price, that appears to mean that a lot less mining went on in December, even in Oasa.  The total mined from the region data was 19.9 trillion in value, down from 23.7 trillion in November.

Since we’re skeptical of the regional data this month, I double checked it against the Produced/Destroyed/Mined data which, despite missing the three days indicated above, shows 19.8 trillion ISK value mined, down from 24.9 in November.  That is within the usual margin of error between the different data collection methods.

So it goes.

As always, you can find all the standard charts and the raw data used to create them… such that it is… in the MER dev blog.

Related:

28 Weeks of World War Bee

It was a week of continuing to come to grips with the post-M2-XFE situation for Legacy, as other alliances in the coalition had meetings, including Brave and Warped Intentions.  The Brave meeting was notable for Dunk Dinkle, whose usual mellow countenance was replaced by an angrier, expletive spouting Dunk.  Since he is one of the titan pilots still logged out in M2-XFE (I saw his Leviathan during the fight) he has some reason to be on edge.  And then there is the situation in Catch and Brave’s need to neglect Delve and any break out attempt in order to defend their own space from “knuckleheads.”

We also might be coming up on an infrastructure hub crisis.  The war has seen ihubs destroyed in unprecedented numbers.  Every time a system swaps hands, a new ihub had to be hauled out and deployed.  We’ve already seen in some less hotly contested areas like Querious a lack of desire by both sides to expend ihubs on systems not deemed strategic.  But it sounds like stocks of Planetary Interaction materials, from which ihubs are built, might be running low.  It might be a good time to start on PI.

The Delve Front

The situation in Delve has largely revolved around PAPI trying to come to grips with their situation and regain momentum in the war.  They need to keep pressure on us in Delve and, of course, they need to do something about their trapped titans, supers, and other capital ships.

On the former, the week did heat up some as PAPI tried to re-assert control over ihubs in the region after we used the post-M2 calm to snatch many key systems back.  That has led to a bunch of fights over timers, though the number of systems actually changing hands has not been that big.

Delve – Jan. 17, 2021

The hell camp in M2-XFE continues, to the exclusion of other strategic camps for the Imperium.  The Helms Deep camp has been abandoned for now, so I have removed it from the map for now.  Those systems do not seem to be in play at the moment however.

PAPI has pressed on the M2-XFE camp several times in attempts to clear bubbles.  They have also been trying to drop Azbel’s in the system to get themselves a defensible foothold from which to work.  But so far, after two weeks, the camp is holding fairly strong.

Meanwhile, the situation in M2-XFE looks like this.

The M2-XFE Keepstar grid

The hostiles have been logging in some ships every day just before downtime (11:00 UTC) in order to try and cap them up so that, when the breakout comes, they will be able to jump out.  However, Imperium forces have been countering that for neuts and focused void bombs and the like every day so this could be a long process.  We shall see who has the patience to sit this out the longest.

The Catch Front

Catch picked up in activity over the last week as The Initiative found some more friends to come in and help assail Brave and Warped Intentions.  Brave has held onto their territory so far, but has had to clash repeatedly to do so, often coming up on the short side of the fight when the numbers are counted.  This has kept Brave focused on Catch rather than Delve.

Meanwhile, space that once belonged to The Watchmen has started to get picked up by Dreadbomb, expanding out of Providence.

Catch – Jan. 17, 2021

While Catch has shed one metaliminal storm, which moved on into Querious as expected, the other one is hanging out in the middle of Brave space.  It might move on towards Querious and Delve as well.

Other Theaters

In Queirous the Imperium has popped Legacy Coalition ihubs in a dozen systems, the bulk of them having been held by Brave.  Neither side has been keen to drop a fresh ihub in many systems in the region though, so that made for a fresh batch of unclaimed locations.  Meanwhile, that metaliminal storm that looked to be heading out of Catch made its way into Querious and might keep moving into Delve.

Querious – Jan. 17, 2021

Over in Esoteria The Bastion and its Stain Russian allies haven’t expanded their ihub holdings this week, so I can re-run last week’s map.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan. 17, 2021

They have, however, been shooting structures, including planetary customs offices and the like in order to be a nuisance and prevent TEST members from picking up their PI materials. (Which, as noted above, can be used to make ihubs… or structure fuel blocks… or a number of other essential items.)

A fruitful evening of POCO kills

The Bation’s main FC Qicia was on The Meta Show this past weekend to talk about what has been going on in the region, which included TEST flying a Munnin fleet out from Delve to defend structures in Esoteria.

My Participation

I have been on the M2-XFE hell camp for a while every day, helping out to cover the USTZ hours.  As I have said before, PAPI keeps logging in just enough targets to keep everybody happy and hopeful.  I have also made it out on a few for some of the ihub skirmishes.

Out in Eagles with Mister Vee

The week saw no ship losses for me, so my count for the war stands as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

As I mentioned over the course of the week, we hit the date where structures need Quantum Cores in order to provide station services like repairs and tethering.  Also, new structures that are deployed now need a core to come online, otherwise they will never enter that state and will remain immediately killable.

This is the big money moment for many alliances.  As I mentioned previously, TEST was pulling down structures in their space, likely to avoid having to core them.  The Imperium started issuing war bonds in order to cover that bill.  While I have yet to receive my shares in the corporation that is being used for the war bonds, they did boost up the number of shares available from the default 1,000 to 21,000.  At a price of 1 billion ISK per share, that is potentially a lot of liquid cash.

Share count

That does not necessarily mean that they raised 21 trillion ISK from the offer, but they did get enough to drop cores into our critical structures.

And the peak concurrent users for the week remained about on par with the previous week:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713

Related

Life on the M2 Hell Camp

Feed us PAPs and hostile caps and we’ll keep logging in!

-Motto of the M2 hell camp

I’ve spent quite a bit of time of late in the hell camp in M2-XFE, sitting in my Rokh, waiting for a target to appear.

My Permaband Rokh on tether in the bubbles

“Camping” is a pretty common term in MMORPGs.  I was camping spawns back in TorilMUD before EverQuest was even a twinkle in John Smedley’s eye.  You sit and you wait for a mob to spawn or otherwise show up, and then you kill it.  And then you do it again… and again.. and again… until you get your fill or your rare drop or whatever.  It has its variations.  In PvP you can camp the respawn point in a battleground or the objective the enemy is trying to reach.

A “Hell Camp” on the other hand might be a special EVE Online term.  I haven’t run into it anywhere else.

A “Hell Camp” is an operation when you have an enemy or a hostile fleet or the like trapped, in a station or logged out in space, in a known location and you set up to camp them from down time to down time, every day, for as long as it takes, until they either try to break out or they offer terms you can accept to let them go.

Many a hell camp has been called, but sustaining them is difficult.  You really have to have the hostiles pinned down for it to be effective and you must field a force capable of sustaining the camp.  Attempts to hell camp the Imperium into the Quafe Factory Warehouse station in Saranen during the Casino War were largely ineffective.  We had enough people that we came and went when we wanted.  And, in the end, packed up and left for Delve without much hindrance.

Likewise, at one point Guardians of the Galaxy declared they were going to hell camp Reavers into a station in ROIR-Y during a deployment.  That lasted less than a week before they wandered off and let us be.  Such a camp isn’t a lot of fun over an extended period of time.

Which leads us to the camp in M2-XFE, where 337 334 titans sit trapped, along with scores of smaller capital ships, the remains for the fights over the Keepstar armor and hull timers.

That is a lot of titans.  Progodlegend said that PAPI was bringing one thousand titans to attack Delve, so that is about a third of what they promised.  Add in about 200 more destroyed in both battles and afterwards and we’ve trimmed their titan fleet by half… if we can keep a hold on the 334 that are logged out.

The Mittani has said that this camp is the most important thing for us in the war right now.  We’ve given up the Helm’s Deep camp and moved carriers and supercarriers to the M2-XFE Keepstar to sit with fighters out, ready to grab anybody who logs in.  We also cleared out hostile structures and deployed multiple additional Fortizars around the camp grid.

Bubbles on the M2 Keepstar Grid – Now featuring more Fortizars

How long will this last?

We’ve been at it for two weeks now and the camp shows no sign of slackening.  There is always a full fleet worth of ships on when I join, and an overflow fleet with 50-150 more hanging about, putting a sizable force on call around the clock.

It is helpful that being on the camp doesn’t demand much attention.  On my big monitor I have EVE Online open, full screen, in the background and then something else I am working on… like this blog post… in the foreground with just the overview and fleet history from the game displayed on the right side of the monitor.

That is enough.

My overview tab is set to show nothing save hostiles, so somebody logging in or showing up attracts the eye immediately.  I haven’t missed anything that has shown up in range of my guns, save for the interceptors that occasionally show up to try and pop bubbles.

A Nagalfar provides a momentary target for us

You can sit on coms and chat.  There is a channel just for the camp.  I prefer to do other things and wait for the overview to alert me to action.

It is nice that we get PAP links, marking our participation.  (I covered PAP links in another post a while back.)  But even those reach a level of absurdity when you get one every three hours for being logged on in the camp.

The fact that PAPI forces keep logging on trapped ships is probably the biggest thing keeping people active in the camp.  At this point I am sure PAPI knows the situation and has communicated it as far and wide as they are able, but people make mistakes.  Somebody logged their titan in too soon before downtime… they have been logging in just before downtime to recharge capacitor… and ended up getting blow up.  And there have been a few where I suspect that they clicked on the wrong character by mistake at the login screen… I’ve done that a few times… and then their stuck riding the warp back into the bubbles and sure destruction.

Every kill revitalizes those in the camp.

But there is also, as part of the Goon identity, the idea that we’ll do something like this for as long as it take, far longer than any other group in the game would, just out of sheer stubbornness and desire to prove that we can.  So the camp goes on.

Which doesn’t mean the war has stopped elsewhere.  The week has seen a bunch of subcap battles over ihubs and timers both in Delve and in Catch.  The fighting surges back and forth and billions in ships are still being blown up.  I’ve been on some of those this week.

But the camp remains, uninterrupted, waiting for the hostiles to attempt a break out.

27 Weeks of World War Bee

The past week saw both sides adjusting to the new reality after the battles over the Keepstar in M2-XFE.  The Imperium has used their momentary advantage in morale to take back ihubs.

On the PAPI side, Progodlegend issued what has been called the “Dunkirk” update in which includes a mea culpa about knowing that jumping into the second fight at M2-XFE was a bad idea but that nobody wanted to be the person who called it off.  Also in the update:

  • Shifting to a “much simpler and much more fun game plan”
  • Breakout plan for trapped capitals under way
  • Titans lost at the fight will be reimbursed; may need to go to third parties for hulls
  • May issue war bonds to cover mounting costs

It has been reported that TEST is unanchoring some structures to avoid having to pay for quantum cores, the theory being that they can pay for SRP or pay for cores, but not both.  Critiques of the prosecution of the war have been rife, with Vily even being compare to George McClellan.  Certainly this past week did give PAPI a taste of the Seven Days Battles of the Peninsula campaign.

On the Imperium side, the M2-XFE system has been camped from downtime to downtime since the first fight and there are usually two fleets running because one is inevitably full.  Camping that space has become a priority as there are said to be 337 titans logged off in the bubbles under the Imperium Keepstar.  Some Imperium members have been offering to buy trapped ships, which led to at least one Wyvern logging and getting blown up.

On the weekly fireside chat Saturday The Mittani urged us all to man the M2-XFE camp as it is our key threat to PAPI assets at the moment.  When asked about negotiations, he did say that he would offer a golden ticket out of the trap to any single alliance that offered the best terms.  While he did not expect anybody would take the offer, he did explicitly exclude TEST from it as they are the ones who sowed the seeds of war and who thus must reap the whirlwind.  TEST is estimated to have more than 90 titans trapped in M2-XFE.

And then, on the finance front, the first series of Imperium war bonds has been sold out.

Delve Front

While Delve has been the primary focus of the war for week, these past ten days have pulled most everybody away from the secondary fronts.  The Imperium has setup a downtime to downtime camp, complete with bubbles, around the M2-XFE Keepstar.

In furtherance of this, the Imperium blew up the Fortizar PAPI had setup on the Keepstar grid to act as a staging point for attacks.

The PAPI Keepstar begins to explode

In its place the Imperium dropped its own Fortizar just in case any supers or titans managed to log off on tether.  PAPI defense of the Fortizar was limited to a small group of interceptors there to harass the attackers.

Bubbles on the M2 Keepstar Grid

Those bubbles groups are:

Bubbles on the M2 Keepstar Grid – Annotated

The primary trap is where the titans from the first battle have (mostly) remained logged off since downtime on Dec. 31, 2020.  The secondary trap is the point where PAPI titans, supers, and other capitals jumped in for the second battle, the location of some “ghost” titans.

Maintaining that camp has been declared the coalition’s highest priority due to the estimated 337 titans trapped in the system.  Jay Amazingness has been named the Bubble Czar to make sure that we have correct coverage of the areas where hostile ships are logged off.

The camp itself continues to feed people kills, which helps keep it going.  I have been on enough to have caught a titan and a few faxes.  Every so often somebody will log on… either by accident or in futile hope… and they get blown up.  There have even been some ghost titan kills, which means that not all the empty fit titans that were blown up during the second fight were moved back to their starting point.

You only die twice

PAPI sends interceptors and other small ships out to attack the anchored bubbles now and then, which also feeds the camp and keeps it engaged.  Give us PAPs and some kills and apparently we’ll sit logged in all day every day.

PAPI was in a funk early in the week and the Imperium used that time to work on some of its own problems in Delve.

Delve – Jan. 10, 2021

The Imperium started by taking back all of the ihubs in the NJU-QV constellation, which includes M2-XFE and is the route into the Fountain region.  The ihub blitz carried on and flipped more than a dozen ihubs, about half of which were systems containing Keepstars.  The systems hit were:

  • KEE-N6
  • M2-XFE
  • 5-CQDA
  • I-E3TG
  • ZXB-VC
  • S-6HHN
  • 4X0-8B
  • 23G-XC
  • D-W7F0
  • SVM-3K
  • 6Q-R50
  • UEXO-Z
  • 9O-8W1
  • 1-2J4P

Towards the end of the week PAPI started putting up a stiff resistance, and the struggle over the D-W7F0 ihub was a long fight. By the weekend the invaders were able to field enough pilots to keep the Imperium from flipping the 1-SMEB and M5-CGW ihubs.

Catch Front

The aftermath of the fights in Delve relegated the Catch front to a distant second over the last week, which was probably fine with Brave.

Catch – Jan. 10, 2021

The Watchmen space continues to remain empty and the two metaliminal storms in the region both seem to be making their way towards Delve as if they want to join up with the storm already there.

The one bit of influence the region has was when The Initiative reinforced a TEST Keepstar down to the final timer, which required Legacy to show up and make sure it did not get blown up, something that coincided with an ihub contest in Delve.  There was also a fight over the ihub in FAT-6P, a system on the Legacy Ansiblex jump gate network that went to the Imperium, disrupting their travel infrastructure, though Legacy regained the ihub to restart the time until they can use the system again.

Other Theaters

Even more so that Catch, Querious was very much a backwater after the events of the last week or so.  Some small changes, but not a hot spot.

Querious – Jan. 10, 2021

While the Imperium has been focused on Delve, northwest Esoteria remains a camp in the middle of Legacy space and a spot from which to launch attacks.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan. 10, 2021

And over in Fountain The French ConneXion has picked up a couple of ihubs that were sitting empty.  I do not know if this is the start of something, but the two systems the grabbed would make for a nice Ansiblex jump gate conneXion.

My Participation

While the ihub struggles tend to be in EUTZ I managed to get into fleets that help turn the NJU-QV constellation and was there for the see-saw struggle over the D-W7F0 ihub.  I was also around for the destruction of the PAPI Fortizar in M2-XFE.  And then there has been the camp in M2-XFE, which is something I can log into and put in the background so that just my overview and the fleet window are poking out behind whatever I am working on.  If a target pops up I can click over and shoot.

That was all fairly low key and I did not end up losing any ships over the course of the week, so my loss count remains:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

Just a bit of New Eden war trivia, but I was out on an op and saw a vaguely familiar name pop up in fleet chat.

Haargoth Agamar returns to the game

Haargoth Agamar was the player who, close to 12 years ago now, disbanded Band of Brothers back during the Great War, one of the great moments in EVE Online.  World War Bee has brought back a lot of old names and we can add one more to the list.

Meanwhile, CCP has been doing their usual bang up job when it comes to presenting a coherent message to the user base.  While they’ve spent the last year nerfing the ability to earn ISK in game, they still want to push wealth as an objective in the New Eden.

Get Wealthy!

As you can imagine, this has irked a few people.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)

And, finally, the requirement to have quantum cores in all structures hits this coming week.  Quantum cores were introduced with the September update and, since October, new structures have required them.  January 12th is the date that all structures will need them or ship fitting, tethering, and ship/module repair services will be disabled.  Without a core structures will also be vulnerable to immediate destruction.  No timers or return trips will be required.  I expect this will be another “happy time” for Upwell destruction.

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The Imperium Retakes the NJU-QV Constellation in Delve

The likelihood of a another fight soon over the Keepstar in M2-XFE diminished greatly last night when the Imperium flipped the ihubs in the entire NJU-QV constellation which includes that system.  Shortly after the second fight that saw PAPI forces face a lopsided loss when the server was unable to handle their forces attempting to jump in after the Imperium had setup more than 4,000 ships on Keepstar to defend it, Imperium pilots went out and reinforced the ihubs in the constellation.  The timers came up last night.

The Delve NJU-QV constellation in green

The Imperium, motivated by PAPI’s misfortune, formed up four fleets and a large number of entosis ships to contest the timers.  PAPI was reported to have assembled a force capable of contesting the timers, but stood down rather than do so.  As the evening progressed, one ihub after another fell until the constellation was back in Imperium hands.

The Delve NJU-QV constellation restored to Imperium control

Much was made of the taking of the NJU-QV constellation previously, as it cut the Imperium off from the Fountain region and was to serve as the springboard of PandaFam’s re-invasion of that region.  The latter petered out, but there were still multiple Imperium Keepstars in the constellation that faced the threat of destruction once PAPI waited out the 35 timer and was able to deploy cyno jammers to keep the Imperium from jumping in when the Keepstars were contested.  However, that went astray when a newbie Imperium pilot reportedly kept shooting the cyno jammer.  Per Asher Elias:

You may not know this but the M2 ihub jammer was stopped by a couple month old :shobon: newbee shooting the jammer to pause it. This new player is directly responsible for nearly 300 dead enemy titans. Every ship counts.

That led to a bit of classic Goonswarm propaganda being updated yet again.

Every Ship Counts

That opened a hole that allowed the Imperium to kill their cyno jammers and deploy three of their own.  While the Imperium could not jam the system, the cyno jammer mechanic only allows three to be deployed in a single system, so we had a flash of the old “defensive SBU” tactic of the Dominion sovereignty days, which helped the Imperium to get setup on the Keepstar for the second fight.

Meanwhile, the Keepstar grid in M2-XFE remains bubbled and camped by Imperium forces eager to get in on another super or titan kill.  I lucked in on an Avatar kill when a FinFleet pilot decided to risk it and log in.  Chance was not with them.

The Keepstar camp gets another kill

Despite a persistent PAPI claim that all the supers and titans from the second fight either died or where ghost kills and restored to the T5ZI-S Keepstar, bubbles and dictors have been deployed above the Keepstar as well as below it.  And the upper bubbles have yielded some kills.  I watched a Nyx that managed to log out during the second fight get warped right back to its logout spot in the midst of all those bubbles, where it too was blown up.

The Nyx in its final moments

Some half-hearted attempts have been made to try and free the trapped capital ships left behind after both fights, but the promise of more kills has kept the camp strong so far and any form up by the hostiles has been met by a counter-form by the Imperium.

For the moment the Imperium has been able to check PAPI’s momentum in Delve.  But that does not preclude them being able to get their act together again and continue their onslaught.  The war isn’t over yet.

26 Weeks of World War Bee

Here we are on the first Monday of the new year.  A lot of us are back at work.

And the war?

The war is now at about the six month mark.  That is a long time for continuous operations.  The great war lasted for three years, but was a series of intense periods of fighting broken up by quiet periods where both sides rebuilt.  We’re still fighting and have reached levels of destruction never before seen in New Eden.

I was worried that the week between Christmas and New Years would be quiet, so had a couple of small items to hand to fill out this opening section of the weekly post, like the fact that Asher Elias, 23rd best FC in the Imperium, is now at the top of the kill mail list for Goonswarm Federation Alliance.

Asher in first position

He passed Bratok Srayona, a pilot nobody could really recall, and who was active between February 2012 and August 2017.  They apparently went on a lot of fleets and got on a lot of kill mails.  He was the epic line member of the alliance in his time.   I must have flown with him, looking at some of his kills, but never knew him.

Then there was the fact that the Imperium began issuing war bonds to support the fight.  This has been viewed by PAPI as a sign of weakness, a last desperate attempt to stay in the fight, a sign that we were on the brink.  But it raised more than a trillion ISK in the first hours of issue, so it will sustain us for a bit.  One billion ISK will buy you one bond with a return rate of 10% per year, with payments due on the first of the month.  That one bond will earn you about 8.33 million ISK every time the first rolls around. [edit: changed from 8.4 to 8.33 million ISK]

But all of that was eclipsed by the battles over the Keepstar in M2-XFE where, during the armor and hull timer fights, the two sides may have destroyed more than 300 titans. (~250 for the first fight and maybe as few as 50 or as many as 170 for the second.)  CCP is going to have to do a dev blog to give us an official count because, unlike the presidential election, there are actually some irregularities in play here.

No matter what though, trillions of ISK went up in flames as the Imperium and PAPI clashed in the battles that so many were hoping for.  It was an epic week in New Eden.  The Monthly Economic Reports for December and January are going to be interesting.

There was also a monthly loss report put together for December.

Most expensive losses

This includes the titans from the first M2-XFE fight, but not the second.  The balance of loss remains fairly close, with the Imperium losing 16.5 trillion ISK to PAPI’s 15.9 trillion.  For January though, PAPI might already be close to 10 trillion ISK in the hole.  And there are, as of this writing, still a significant number of PAPI capital ships logged off on the Keepstar grid in M2-XFE that are being camped around the clock by Imperium forces, so there may be some more losses when PAPI makes a serious break out attempt.

Delve Front

Titans exploded in huge numbers in M2-XFE, a system previously of no particular consequence that has now entered the realm of legends.  There are a number of articles specifically about that event and, rather than retelling the tale here, I will link to them specifically at the end of this post.

With much of the week spent focused on the Keepstar in M2-XFE, the map did not change dramatically.

Delve – Jan. 3, 2021

A few ihubs changed hands, the most important likely being the one in PUIG-F, where an Imperium Keepstar is anchored.  Taking that ihub back reset the 35 day clock on PAPI being able to install cyno jammers and reduce the structure without the Imperium being able to drop supers and titans to defend it.

And then there is the metaliminal storm, which has wandered into the Helms Deep defended systems.  This is actually a bonus for the Imperium as the storm disables the ability to cloak, so there won’t be any sneaking up on an anomaly to light a covert ops cyno for a hot drop.

Catch Front

At the beginning of last week I was pretty sure this was where the action would be.  The Initiative and Reavers and other Imperium groups were out and setting fire to the place.  The Watchmen Alliance was falling apart and its sovereignty was collapsing.  We were reinforcing the ihub in Brave’s capital system and getting fights over it.  Good times were being had.

Catch – Jan. 3, 2021

Even the two metaliminal storms seemed to be on the move in the region… and an incursion popped up in The Watchmen space, like they needed something else on their plate.  And then on Wednesday all eyes turned to Delve and M2-XFE and operations went mostly quiet in the region.

One interesting item did come up later in the week.  With all the focus on M2-XFE, The Initiative put the TEST Keepstar in 0SHT-A into the hull timer.  We could have another Keepstar fight this week… just in Catch.  We’ll see if anybody shows up for it tomorrow.

Other Theaters

Querious remained a secondary point of conflict, as ihubs were reinforced and occasionally changed hands.

Querious – Jan. 3, 2021

The biggest win for the Imperium was the GOP-GE ihub, as that system hosts another Keepstar of ours.

Over in Esoteria the insurgent forces continue their work against TEST, expanding their reach a bit further while eyes were on the big titan fights.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan. 3, 2021

My Participation

I somehow managed to stumble into the right place at the right time all week.  I was in the fights in Catch early in the week and then managed to show up just at the right moment in M2-XFE for the first fight, witnessing the opening titan salvo as I tethered up at the Keepstar.

Titans open fire with Doomsdays

And then I was back again for the second fight, where we were able to pick off PAPI titans as they loaded into system, leading to a lopsided slaughter.

The PAPI titan blob with faxes being whittled down

So I had a few more “I was there,” or at least “I can say I was there,” experiences in New Eden.

I also lost a few more ships, including two more Ares interceptors moving around Delve and a Scimitar at one of the fights in GE-8JV, which brings my total war losses so far to:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP gave us the option to make My Year in EVE Online videos, which had the option to include the most valuable kill mail you were on.  And then, two days later, M2-XFE happened and a lot of us had an even more valuable kill mail for the year that wasn’t in the clip.  Oh well.

That battle though, it managed to pop up the peak concurrent user number for the week, getting it close to the 40K mark.  CCP Explorer put the count across the three key systems as well past 13K, giving Delve 37% of all pilots logged in at the peak.

If the servers could have handled it, we would have almost doubled the world record set at FWST-8.  However, the servers were not up to that task, not by a long shot.

Remember that when somebody says null sec is a tiny fraction of the game that nobody cares about.  The fight itself made for the third highest concurrent peak of the war, reversing the downward trend we had been seeing over the last few weeks.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)

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