Tag Archives: O-PNSN

Seven Weeks of World War Bee

This past week saw CCP take some official notice of the war.  We didn’t get a dev blog or a news item.  Instead CCP sent out a press email to some gaming sites announcing that $112,000 worth of ships and structures and what not have been destroyed so far in the war which has involved maybe 130,000 players/accounts/capsuleers.  Some examples of sites running with that:

And then there are sites who couldn’t even copy the email successfully, like MMOs.com that attributed that destruction amount to the Triglavian invasion of high sec.  Or maybe they got it right and the others were wrong.  I haven’t actually seen the email that CCP sent out.

I do wonder what the distribution list looked like, as I haven’t seen PC Gamer, where Steven Messner has done a bunch of in-depth coverage of the game over the years, mention this.  The email must not have had enough to build a story of much substance around.

I am disappointed that CCP didn’t publish a Dev Blog or a news item on their site, but you can figure out what it said based on what got repeated over the multiple stories.  I am curious as to how they came up with that 130,000 number.  Hell, I am curious as to how they came up with the $112,000 amount.  Back at the end of week four it was estimated that ten trillion ISK worth of ships, structures, and modules had been blown up, an amount that, with even the most generous PLEX package they sell (who spends $500 on PLEX?), comes up to nearly that $112K figure.  Maybe that count at four weeks was wrong, but that just makes me want to know how CCP counted all the more so.

And then there is the World War Bee site which is trying to log all the losses, and it tallies up to more than that as well.

I am also a bit surprised they went for the ISK to real world dollar measurement, which generally hasn’t been their thing.  But I guess it does get headlines.

We also saw some action in high sec as Legacy Coalition went into Niarja to defend its supply lines from the Triglavian invasion.  The Imperium pushed back and now Niarja is a free fire zone with no CONCORD there.

EDECOM gives up at this point

Haulers will want to bypass that system, which means taking a lot more gates between Caldari and Amarr space.

Northern Front

PandaFam has turned their attention to Imperium structures in the Fountain region.  They had killed a number of smaller structures, but the attention has mostly been on the Keepstars  The successfully reinforced then destroyed the Keepstar in O-PNSN and had the Keepstar in KVN-36 in their sights.  However, a server crash interrupted things during the fight for the armor timer.  The clock reset and they now have to start the process all over again.  That moved the fighting to social media, forums, and Reddit, as people tried to blame one side or the other for the crash.  It is all about the smart bombs people say.

PandaFam is momentarily stalled them on the road to Delve.  But they still have four Keepstars in the bag already.

The Fountain kills

The Keepstars in KVN-36 and Y-2ANO remain standing, waiting to for the coming assault.

Southern Front

It is difficult to sum up what TEST and their Legacy allies have been up to for the last week.  I mean, sure, they showed up at the Keepstar fights in some force and managed not to get bombed off the field, though their leader seemed to have problems fitting the rigs on his ship, as I mentioned in my post about the O-PNSN Keepstar fight.

They were, of course, part of the fight at Niarja, where Brave and TEST both declared they were going to help EDENCOM defend the system.  And Brave actually showed up.  But I mentioned that at the top of the post.

And then there is Queirous, where one can describe efforts as dissolute at best.  In order to prove that nobody really wants to hold that space, a bunch of systems now sit with no ihub installed.  Neither side wants to defend ihubs in eastern Querious, but neither can they abide the other side holding an ihub.

Querious ihub map – Aug 22, 2020

So the Legacy ihub count is down to 18, but it is clear they are not really trying any more, so the count is more an indication of that.

There have been the usual range of skirmishes at the gates between Legacy and the Imperium, but the war is happening in Fountain right now and the south is just a side show at best.

My Participation

I managed to get in on a couple of big ops, including the two Keepstar battles, but otherwise it has been a quiet week for me.  A massive heatwave out here, plus the state catching on fire (smoke from two of those fires are visible from our house), work, and getting ready for our daughter to head off to college has kept me from doing much gaming at all over the last week.  And this week will likely see me even less focused on gaming.

I did manage to lose at least one ship on every fleet I went on however.  My ship loss count for the war so far now stands at:

  • Ares interceptor – 9
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 2
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Overall

As I mentioned at the top of the post, CCP half-halfheartedly tried to drum up some press interest in the war with an email that got a few takers from second tier gaming sites.  I guess our fights are not big enough to be worth a dev blog yet.  But they at least put a little effort into some publicity.

But, after last week, I guess CCP doesn’t want to go bragging about a server crash.

Of course, CCP has been all about EVE Echoes since it launched the week before, putting out some odd adds.  But they are justifiably proud of the millions of players who have signed up for the game.  Now they just have to buy some stuff.

And then there was the fight over Niarja, which pulled null sec into the Triglavian invasion event.  I’m not sure everybody is happy that we showed up.

Anyway, another week of war has gone by and a victory for the attackers, or an accord between the belligerents seems a distant hope.

If the word is right, the invaders are moving their titans and supers from FAT-6P, where they have been sitting since the war, idle behind the 49-U6U4-07MU gate connection, to come around and approach Querious from a low sec direction to get them into the fight.  Apparently we’re too formidable for them to gate through directly into the region, so they have put down a chain of Keepstars to avoid that gate.

Maybe that is what drove the peak concurrent users up to 38,299, up from 34,974 last week.  Still not up to the first week peak of 38,838, but close.

We shall see how the move op turns out and what the invaders plan to do with their 1,000 titans.

Addendum:

The O-PNSN Keepstar Blows Up

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

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

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

Final fight in 21 hours or so

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

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

30 seconds left on the clock

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

The PandaFam Fortizar anchored on grid with the Keepstar

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

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

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

My Malediction amid some Feroxes

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

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

A lot of Feroxes were out and about

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

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

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

The Revelation explodes, soon they would all be wrecks

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

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

In on another fleet… just within range

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

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

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

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

Zap baby!

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

Flames erupting from the structure

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

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

Battle Report Header

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

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

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

Padded kill board

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

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

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

The magic Ares

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

On the Keepstar trying to warp off

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

Addendum:

Six Weeks of World War Bee

The war carries on in the game, on Reddit, and in other media.

I mentioned Fountain Frank last week.  Well, there was more news on the Fountain Frank front as Brisc Rubal managed to track him down and interview him on the Meta Show.

At last you can get the real word on the war situation.

The Northern Front

In Fountain PandaFam has completed taking all of the ihubs in the region.  They own all the space now.

The Fountain ihubs all in PandaFam hands

Some hay has been made on Reddit about this being accomplished in under six weeks while it took the CFC of old eight weeks to evict TEST back in the Fountain War of 2013. (A timeline post here of that war.)  The missing bit is that after eight weeks TEST had to evac to low sec while we still have our main line of defense still in Delve.  Oh, and there is the whole Keepstars in Fountain thing.

Attention has now become focused on Upwell Structures in Fountain. There are still a string of structures that belong to the Imperium in the region.  That includes some Keepstars.  PandaFam has blown up three Keepstars in the region so far.

Three Keepstars Down

The remaining three Keepstars, located in O-PNSN, KVN-36, and Y-2ANO, are the next big targets.  My post yesterday was about the successful defense of the Keepstar in Y-2ANO when PandaFam failed the armor timer and had to start their attack over again.  More than 4K people were involved, with the balance well in the attacker’s favor.

Local during the fight

Now they have to do it all again.

With their supers and titan still sitting idle down in FAT-6P in Catch, the attackers have been depending on fighters from carriers to do the heavy lifting when attacking structures.  The Imperium response has been to configure fleets to kill fighters in order to make any structure fight as slow and painful and costly as possible.  Fighters are not only pricey, but I am told they are logistically awkward to bring forward to a staging system far from home… and all the more so when the supply lines get interdicted.

PandaFam started to show some reluctance to lose fighters.  A couple of Fortizars were saved when they just pulled back their fighters rather than let the Imperium take its toll.  Saturday’s Keepstar fight saw the attackers completely avoid sending fighters to the structure until it became clear that their plan to keep the timer paused with a fleet of Ravens wasn’t going to work.  Those Ravens were wiped out in two bomb runs.  Only then did they send fighters, though it was too little too late.

Both sides will no doubt draw lessons from the fight at Y-2ANO and we will see how things turn next time.  PandaFam seems back on board with using fighters and absorbing the cost as they set the first timer on the O-PNSN Keepstar yesterday.  That is the furthest one from Delve, so is more difficult for us to get to and defend.  They also managed to kill one of the Imperium Fortizars in Y-2ANO, but did not set the timer for the Keepstar.  The ISK war went their way though, and they blew up a lot of Feroxes.  They have not let the loss on one Keepstar timer phase them.

The Southern Front

I was looking at the Querious map and was surprised to see how well Legacy had done over the last week… and then realized I was looking at TCUs and not ihubs.  Once I switched to the ihub view I was reconfirmed in my belief that TEST and Legacy are not doing much at all.

I have, in the past, implied, sometimes strongly, that TEST seems willing to let PandaFam in the north do the heavy lifting.   But given the past week I am just going to say that is pretty close to being an established fact.  They do distract us, keep us busy at times, and win their share of skirmishes, but they aren’t really bringing it to us the way PandaFam has been so far.  They are more “annoying neighbor” than “hostile invader” most days.

The situation brings to mind a bit of propaganda from the 2013 Fountain War.

Independence

The same allies are keeping them in play seven years later.  Time is a flat circle, or something like that.

Back to the ihub map of Querious, it shows that Legacy continues to struggle with the systems in eastern Querious they were so proud to have taken previously.

The Querious flood plain – Aug 16, 2020

Their ihub count is 21 as of this writing, down a few from last week, representing about a quarter of the 95 systems in the region.  Legacy did use the distraction of the battle in Y-2ANO to reinforce a bunch of ihubs, and some are in play even now.  But they have some work to do to even get back to their high water mark of 41 ihubs they held back at the end of week four.

They also continue to thrash about trying to grasp some sort of foothold in the west of Querious or Period Basis.  Delve seems pretty safe from them so far.

Meanwhile, when the Imperium forms up and when Legacy won’t fight, we go into their space to cause problems.

The high point of the week in that regard was when GSOL flew into Esoteria, TEST space, and dropped around 70 Athanors in the A-CJGE system, covering most of the 82 moons there.  When Legacy drops structures in Period Basis or Querious, we’re very aggressive at hunting them down and blowing them up as they anchor, and we anticipated they would do the same.

We formed up a bomber fleet and some Slippery Petes to be ready when TEST formed up to shoot the structures as they anchored, their most vulnerable time, as you can simply kill them without having to go through multiple timers.  We thought maybe some dreadnoughts would show up as happened previously.

However, TEST and its allies were only able to form a small bomber fleet which killed only two of the anchoring Athanors before retiring.  There ended up being about 68 live, fueled structures in their space which they now have to take down in three separate operations per structure.

They have killed a few more since, but when I visited on Friday there were plenty alive and active with no timer set.

The list of Athanors in the system

We could set them to pull moon chunks and have a mining op I suppose.

This is not the way successful invasions generally work.

My Participation

I managed more than a fleet a day last week.  Not all of them were combat operations.  I did a couple where we were just ferrying various ships here and there to prepare defenses.  I am 22 PAPs up on the month so far.

Being out and about meant some more losses.  Only two, a Ferox in the big fight and a Sigil during an entosis op.  I am surprised I didn’t lose my Sabre during the shield fight at the Y-2ANO Keepstar, but somehow it lived to return home.

My ship loss count for the war so far now stands at:

  • Ares interceptor – 8
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 1

Overall

The Keepstar armor timer fight did see quite a turn out, with more than 4,000 capsuleers counted on the battle report… you only get counted if you’re attached to a kill mail somehow… plus all of those on standby or doing peripheral tasks.

It helped that the timer was set for a Saturday at a time when both US and EU players were likely to log in.

The peak online user count for the day hit at 16:38 UTC, during the fight, when 34,544 accounts were logged in. Not a bad count for a Saturday.  But 30K of that number were involved in other space business.

And Sunday was still the high water mark for the weekend, with a peak of 34,974, even though there was no huge battle going on.  That was about where it was last week, when it hit 34,855, but still down from the start of the war when it hit 38,838.

So it goes.

I am now waiting for the July MER to be released.  CCP used to manage that early in the month, but they have been running late on it this year.  I want to see what the impact is on the markets, total destruction, and ratting and mining.  With the war focused on the southwest of null sec, those living elsewhere are likely free to mine and rat without bother.  I expect to see PandaFam regions doing very well.

Addendum: