Tag Archives: Pure Blind

Welcome to the New North

Which is pretty much same as the old north.  At least the north as I last wrote about it, and it has been a while.  I mean, sure, some of the names and colors have changed.

The North around Pure Blind – July 5, 2018

Mordus Angels folded up and most of its corporations moved to other alliances in the area, many of them to Circle of Two.

MOA Dropping Off

Circle of Two, having suffered a stinging defeat when The Judge defected to GoonSwarm, stealing a huge amount of assets on his way out last September, lost Impass and had to spend some time on a couch in Vale of the Silent to rebuild under the protective umbrella of Pandemic Legion.

Good times… good times…

However, Circle of Two is back now, sent from the safe couch to fill in part of the hole in the front lines left by MOA’s departure, taking over Fade and part of Pure Blind.  Their leader is The gigX, who is rumored to actually be gigX, whose account was banned after threatening The Judge.  I am not sure if this is true, but even if it is not, it is somebody flaunting their defiance to CCP.

Meanwhile the Imperium SIGs and squads took a break for the first half of June, which no doubt helped CO2 get settled in.

But that has since ended, as has my own vacation time during the back half of June, and now we are back to our usual business of trying to draw out the locals to get them to fight.  The three usual methods are back in play.

The first is shooting their structures, setting timers, in the hope of getting them to come out and defend.

Shooting up an Astrahus just last night

The second involves planting our own structures around their space.  If the locals come out we get the fight we’re looking for, and if they do not then we get a safe spot to tether up and repair in their space.

Another Raitaru anchored and repairing

And third there is the ongoing hunt for their ratters and miners.

A CO2 Rorqual under attack

I was back from vacation just in time to get on that kill.

This is a priority, hunting down miners and ratters in order to suppress the income of the locals.  The Imperium, as reported over at the New Eden Register, has stepped this campaign up a notch by creating the National Goons Surveillance Agency.  Under this plan people will get participation links for cloaky camping hostile systems in the north, systems being doled out to get maximum coverage, as well as bounty payouts if they call in a hot drop that ends up in a kill.

The response to this from our foes was naturally dismissive.  They questioned the economic sense of it… to which one can only ask if they read the Monthly Economic Report… and claim to have setup an always on-call coalition-wide defense fleet of capital ships ready to counter-drop any Imperium activity.

The latter could be a thing.  We do, after all, operate under what should be their capital umbrella.  However, though I haven’t been out on a ton of ops this month, I have yet to see evidence that this counter force is in place.  It certainly didn’t show up to help that Rorqual, and we had to wait out its PANIC module.  Plus, it had a cyno and fuel.  So what happened?

Yes, they did counter drop a couple days later and made a save.  That proves that they don’t really have to deply a lot in order to counter-drop.  But Rorquals still seem to be shy in the north.

Anyway, the usual tempo of operations… we’ve been at this since at least November with a few breaks… continues.  We’ll be out on the evenings USTZ to play the structures game and the cloaky campers will be on the look out for targets on which to drop, all the while waiting to see what the north does in response.

Vacation in Venal

Asher pinged to warn us that we would be moving.

The question was where.  Where would we be heading after Pure Blind?

We have been in Pure Blind for a while.  There have been a couple of short breaks, but we have been deployed up there since November at least.  However, once Pandemic Horde moved on from Fade to Geminate and people started sensing blood in the water when it came to Guardians of the Galaxy, things have started to get a bit more crowded.  Adding to us and the TNT deployment near another corner of Pure Blind, The Initiative has become a lot more active coming in from Fountain through Cloud Ring, with FedUp joining them, and Space Violence, anther Imperium group, chose to deploy into the middle of Pure Blind as well.

All those Imperium pilots roaming around the area has attracted the attention of GotG’s neighbors.  NCDot had deployed to Gehi to threaten Querios in the hope that it would make us pull back our groups in the north, but the Imperium has proven to be big enough to have mainfleet ops running to defend Queious without needing to call anybody back.  So NCDot has also been drawn into supporting GotG direction in the north.

And then there is Pandemic Legion.  They had been occupied since February attacking Providence.  Having pushed back ProviBloc and ground down their sovereignty slowly week after week, PL up and withdrew when TEST declared they were deploying to the area specifically to fight them.  ProviBloc quickly regained their territory.

Providence changed over the course of a week

That meant PL was back in the north looking for something to do as well.  With all those forces mixed about us, our small fleets seemed less likely to be effective.  Or so I gathered from Asher’s ping.

We did not know where we would be headed, or most of us did not.  The best way to broadcast intel to your enemies is to make it widely known among your friends, some of whom are no doubt spies.  All most of us knew was that all of us would be going and we would be hauling along all doctrines.  That meant capitals going as well, which helped some as the caps could carry extra ships for people in their ship maintenance bays. (CCP adding those to dreadnoughts a while back boosted deployment hauling potential significantly.)

After handing over a few ships to cap pilots to haul, I got my main in an Oneiros for the trip and my alt in a stealth bomber to haul that along as well.  When things finally came together we undocked to begin our journey, which was estimated to take us about an hour.

Combined fleet undocking for the move

Bombers went to hang out on a black ops battleship on a citadel, the rest of the sub caps loitered on the undock as the capitals were undocked and jumped to their first mid-point.  It was without a station, so they had to land, warp off to make safes, then cloak up to wait out their timer.  Meanwhile, the main subcap fleet aligned out to catch up with the capitals in order to cover them for their next jump, leaving the bombers behind.  But we ran into trouble almost right away.  The locals had heard about our move op and dropped supers and subcaps on us as we jumped through the first gate.

A local welcoming committee

We got away from that with only two ships lost, but it was an indication that our move might be eventful.  We bounced around to get away and when the drop cleared out we ended up back where we started.  We actually stood down for a while to let the hostiles clear out.  The caps were safe down the road, but people were trying to scan them down.

Eventually that cooled down and the subcaps were able to move out and catch up to the capitals, then move ahead to the next mid point, which had a station for them to dock up.   The bombers were sent along as well.  The caps were able to jump again and the subcaps ran along to our final destination, which turned out to be deep in Venal.

I hadn’t been to Venal since early in the Casino War.  It is an NPC held section of null sec, owned by the Guristas pirate faction, and follows the design philosophy of an past era.  It is a region consisting of 95 systems, but it only has five NPC stations in it, so there are not a lot of truly safe locations there.  But it is also in the center of the north.  If you like EVE Online donut metaphors, if the north is a donut (blue or otherwise) then venal is the hole in the middle.

Venal in the North

While none of the stations in Venal are particularly handy, if you don’t mind a few gates between yourself and the locals the region gives you access to quite a bit of the north.  Black Legion used to use Venal for this back when we lived in the north.  For us the likely target seemed to be Branch, where GotG has been able to rat and mine in relative peace for while we have been active in Fade, Pure Blind, and Tribute.  And so we settled in to our new home.

A Guristas Station in Venal

Well, we settled in once we got the bombers caught up.  Somehow they got left behind without a black ops battleship so one had to be cyno’d back in to jump us to our destination.

But once that was done we were able to settle in and start operating from our new location.

Undocking from the new station, Guristas logo visible

From there ops started rolling for targets of opportunity.  While waiting around for opportunities there were a few things locally to shoot.  There are towers and citadels hanging about for us to hit.

Following Asher around on a shoot

So we quickly got on the board with a couple of easy kills.

A POS module goes up, just because I like the picture

But juicer targets await.

GotG, learning of our change of location, packed up and deployed to counter our threat.  Never mind that of the groups deployed in and around Pure Blind represented much larger numbers, we were apparently the threat.  Or maybe we seemed like a manageable target.  Or perhaps they really were worried about their as yet unmolested ratting and mining space.

My Oneiros, lit by the destruction of a POS

This led to a particularly dramatic fight, which I totally missed.  It was on Saturday night and I was at home and not doing anything in particular.  But I wasn’t at my computer and so I did not see the pings for it until The Mittani was smug pinging about it.

We managed to catch and drop on Sort Dragon as he was moving his titan to the GotG staging in WLF-D3.  Sort is the leader of GotG, so this was a particularly satisfying kill.  The clash also saw another titan killed with the ISK war leaning well in our favor.

Battle Report Header

I am extremely bummed that I missed this fight, all the more so as I was home and could have easily joined in.  Ah well, I can’t be there for everything.  But this certainly did make for an auspicious start to our time in Venal.

More information on that battle:

Other posts related to the situation in the north:

Exchanging Citadel Kills in the North

In the north the Guardians of the Galaxy and their allies and their newly hired mercenaries Black Legion…, and no, that isn’t an ellipses, their name on DOTLAN actually has three dots after it because they lost the old alliance after it broke up some time back.  A dot after an alliance or corp name is supposed to indicate a PvP focused organization, so three dots says they are really, really a PvP organization… or that they lost their old name.  I’ll just refer to them as Black Legion however so I can end a sentence with their name without causing confusion.

Also I’m still not sure what to make of this after action report that starts with everybody there to shoot one of our citadels in DO6H-Q and ends up with Black Legion shooting GotG after which PL dropped supers on them.

The upshot of all of this is that the locals and their mercenaries are starting to show up for timers in force again.

We found this out last night when they showed up with nearly 200 pilots to take out an Astrahus of ours in ROIR-Y.

Astrahus getting hit

GotG showed up in ROIR in with their Eagle fleet doctrine, a Monitor FC ship leading the parade again.

Monitor out front

We, on the other hand, had about 50 people to hand so were not going to be able to defend the Astrahus in a straight up fight.  Asher had us form up bombers instead to see if we could wear them down or at least make them pay a price for showing up.

Bomber lurking cloaked, waiting for a warp in

Unfortunately as we were forming up on a perch before the fight one of the pilots warped directly to the the cloaked up bombers while trying to cloak up themselves in warp and managed to uncloak the whole fleet as one of their scouts was on grid with us, pretty much declaring aloud our plan of action.

That meant when the Eagle fleet showed up they had their interdictors start bubbling up the fleet as they shot the citadel.  That would catch bombers on their runs, allowing them to pop any bomber that decloaked to bomb.  Still, Asher had us give it a try, throwing us into range a few times to see what we could kill.

It did not go as well as planned.  I managed to launch my bomb on the first run but was inside a bubble for subsequent runs until I ended up getting decloaked in a bubble and blown up.  That fate befell many of us, but in the end the battle report said we didn’t do too bad.

Battle Report Header

We lost more ships, plus the objective, but extracted a bit more in ISK from them than we lost, Astrahus included.

While that was going on another group was out shooting citadels the locals has sitting around, popping a couple of those while they were away.  And after they were done and stood down we formed up again and went to kill yet another Astrahus of theirs.

Astrahus right on a planet

I had not seen a citadel quite so close to a planet before.  The picture doesn’t do justice to the enormity of the planet relative to our tiny ships and the equally tiny citadel.

Seeing the planet’s atmospheric layer

Then again, we might have been a bit too close to the planet as the texture on it was pretty rough at that distance.  Not quite 1999 EverQuest quality, but it did look awkward.

Astrahus going up

We blew the Astrahus.  It was Pandemic Horde owned, but it was a spot where they could have tethered and repaired or docked up.  Now it is gone.

On the way out we also sent an Athanor into reinforcement, setting up a follow up later.

The Athanor was setting up a frack

None of this was interrupted in any way by the locals.  And so it goes.

Meanwhile the TNT deployment has started doing some entosis work on Pure Blind and has captured a few systems.  We’re not going to hold them I am sure, we’re just here to blow stuff up and make life rough.  But given that the final details for the faction citadel conversion has been announced, taking and holding some stations until that is done might very well be part of the plan.

Notes from the Pure Blind Front

We’ve been out on this deployment to the north for a while.  I do not think my main has been back to Delve since some point in November of last year.  Back at the start we were running around in VNIs shooting ratters with the same ships they were using.

VNIs leaving the station

I haven’t written that much about the deployment as this sort of guerilla warfare doesn’t always make for interesting tales.  We go shoot structures and drop on miners and ratters.  There are a few posts if you click on the Reavers tag and scroll down the posts, but that does not represent our level of activity.

However, recently a few things have happened, not all of which I was there to see first hand, so I thought I would sum up a bit of the situation.  A year from now we’ll see how all this played out, but for the moment this is what has come up.

Changes Over The Last Month

As I noted previously, Pandemic Horde moving to Geminate left something of a hole in the north that the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition was looking to fill.  They started off right after the whole million dollar battle thing by clearing all of our structures and aggressively camping our staging station, keeping it bubbled and watched.

This is a bubble camp

They seemed to tire of that after a few days and we were soon able to undock to clear the bubbles and kill some of their forces.  Eventually they gave up on that, but would aggressively defend the structures they had planted all over the system and attack any that we dropped.  Then they lost some titans and seemed to give up on activity in our staging system.  We have since been able to drop structures and chip away at theirs in system.

The New Normal

Recently we have had to go into GotG space to get them to form up, since they mostly leave our staging system alone.  We have been into the Darkness capital system to drop structures, or to reinforce their structures, on grid with their Keepstar, acts that don’t always get a response.

Shooting one of their structures, Keepstar visible

We’ve been into Deklein drop structures and reinforce their stuff to see if we can get a rise out of them.  We don’t always form up to defend what we drop or reinforce.

Deploying a Raitaru, visible between the Keepstar uprights

There was a Sotiyo engineering structure we hit, setting a timer.  A Sotiyo is where you build capitals and super capitals.   That they formed up to defend, but when the timer hit we were nowhere to be seen.  Depending on who is telling the tale, one of the titan pilots that formed up either blew up his own titan by playing the self-destruct dare game because they were bored or self-destructed and rage quit the game because they were assured we would show and we didn’t.  They self-destructed a super carrier as well.

Either way, reinforcing that Sotiyo ended up costing them a titan.  So we went back and reinforced it again, along with other structures.  And when we’re not doing that people are still out hunting miners and ratters.

A Rorqual we got after reinforcing that Sotiyo again

The Strange Tale of Bad Juice

At one point in a prod at GotG Reavers chief Asher Elias went to Reddit and posted a link to an enthusiastic video showing the locals shooting a small, undefended Imperium tower.  It was very much in the usual spirit of what happens in /r/eve, a bit of a laugh about them posting that but not fighting us.  Golf clap level stuff.  The video itself got some extra views and a few wry comments and the person who made the video, who we saw in space later that day, seemed chill about it.  More views are better, right?

Then the video maker freaked out, posted another video accusing Asher of cyber bullying for posting the link which ended up bringing legions of haters to his video and declaring that Asher could be facing up to 10 years in prison (according to Texas law).  And then there was the declaration that he wanted to face Asher in an MMA style cage match, a post which he took down because he said CCP Scorpion threatened him with a ban if he did not.  CCP Falcon showed up in that thread to say there was no CCP Scorpion and that he didn’t know anything about any of that.

The drama seemed to be too much for all concerned and the pilot ended up the week looking for a new home.

A MOA Defection

Mordus Angels, who long waged a low key guerilla war against the CFC then the Imperium when we lived in the north.  While their solo war was never more than a nuisance, once the Casino War opened up they found themselves with many allies as we were swept from our space and, in the aftermath, found themselves holding sovereignty.  They soon became part of the GotG coalition, “blue-trals” to their neighbors, and open to ratters and miners and getting fat on the bounty of null sec space.

Now it is us sitting in an NPC station waging a guerilla war against them and their allies.  Despite the occasional hysterical cry that we’re there to invade, we’ve just reversed things.  We just happen to have the economic power behind us to drop suicide dreads.

As the Monthly Economic Report earlier this week indicated, ratting and mining is down and not so very lucrative in Fade, Deklein, and Pure Blind where a lot of GotG lives.  Up in Branch however, some of the coalition are working away relatively unmolested being out of easy bridge range.

That MOA was suffering while others were making bank seemed to set off one of the MOA corps who defected to The Imperium, bringing with them some assets and snapping the local MOA owned jump bridge network.

Anyway, having been in our coalition for almost six years at this point it is bizarro world strange to have a MOA corp defecting to us.  But then, the MOA that lives in Pure Blind now is hardly the MOA that used to live in 5ZXX-K for all those years. (And a couple more corps, FWCEF and FWS, left MOA after A.N.D defected.)

Space Violence Arrives

While a couple of Imperium SIGs have been wandering the north for a while looking to harass and interdict the locals, it has often been a low key affair.  And then the Space Violence SIG announced that they had arrived with ~400 dreadnoughts and were looking for trouble.

The thing with low key is that, while the locals know you’re around and can guess pretty accurately what you can muster (and what it will take to counter), but the rest of New Eden is pretty oblivious unless something big happens, and then they only know after the fact.  That is too late for third parties.

Will a big splashy announcement about Space Violence’s arrival in the north shake things up?  NCDot has come over from Tribute to support GotG on occasion, but they know the drill, that we’ll just fade away if they bring enough supers.

Response by the Locals

Confirming what I mentioned up a way, the GotG response to our presence has gone from aggressively going after us to not forming to fight, this coming from a leak from GotG leadership.  The expectation is that they can time zone tank their structures and we’ll get bored and go away. As Asher notes, not fighting is a legit tactic, and one we have to use ourselves up in the north where we can easily find ourselves outnumbered if the locals form up.  But given our past, I think it will take a while before we tire of shooting structures and dropping our own.

Anyway, unless a war involving us breaks out somewhere in New Eden, I think we’ll be the north for a while longer.

Delve – Now With Contract Values

The Monthly Economic Report for March dropped on Friday and contains all the usual fun data to peruse.  This is the first MER since CCP Quant left the company, so we get to blame any errors on the new minder of the report, CCP Larrikin. (We’ll get to that.)

Going down the usual path I want to look at mining first.

March 2018 – Mining Value by Region

Mining value was up in Delve by almost a trillion ISK.  This came in the face of sagging mineral prices in the market overall.

March 2018 – Economic Indices

That means that there was just more mining going on in Delve, likely related to the ever expanding moon mining operations in the region, all of which left Delve at the top of the stack again.

March 2018 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

Of note are the rather static month over month value of Querious.  I was wondering if that might go up due to Locust Fleet, the attempt to mine out all of the moon mining operations in a single day.  Perhaps that did not go as well as planned.  I heard it was of to a rough start, but did well enough to carry on again this month, running yesterday.  We’ll look back again next month to see if that raises Querious.

Also of note are the falling mining output numbers for Fade, Pure Blind, and Deklein, regions in the north that have been hunted by several Imperium SIGs.  They are all down noticeably over last month, more so than the dip in prices would explain. With the departure of Pandemic Horde for Geminate, the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition has pretty much ceded the staging systems being used against them and has adopted a defensive posture, allowing the Imperium to do its fighting on their home turf, inhibiting mining and ratting operations in those regions.

And since we’re on about that, I might as well move to NPC bounty payouts where, as expected, Delve remains at the top.

March 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

The change is moderate, up about a trillion ISK for Delve… what a world when that much ISK is a moderate change… so holds its place in the stack ranking.

March 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

As noted above, the regions in the north being stalked by Imperium forces saw some impact.  Deklein, once number three on the list, fell back to fifth, having shed nearly a trillion ISK from its 3.6 trillion ISK February number.  In this case a trillion ISK represents more than a 25% drop.  Likewise, Fade saw a significant drop, while Pure Blind wasn’t hurt too bad, but its February number wasn’t that hot to begin with.

As usual, null sec remained the prime recipient of NPC bounties, with its percentage dropping a bit, from 93.3% last month to 93.1% this month.

March 2018 – Bounties by Space Sec Rating

Overall however bounties saw a noticeable dip on the sinks and faucets chart during March, though it recovered somewhat by the end of the month.

March 2018 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

I am not sure what was going on during that part of the month, but overall NPC bounties are down some.

On the production front Delve saw a huge surge in March, jumping from 29 trillion ISK in value in February to just past 40 trillion ISK last month.

March 2018 – Production Values by Region

This surge managed to push Delve past The Forge, the region that is home to Jita, in total production value.

March 2018 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

That is quite an accomplishment but, as I have noted in the past, Jita sits at the intersection of three regions, The Forge, Lonetrek, and The Citadel, so production centered on the marked hub of New Eden still exceeds Delve overall.  Still, the Imperium is building a lot of stuff as The Mittani encourages people to train into titans.

On the trade value front The Forge remains dominate.  There is a reason manufacturing is clustered around there, it is the place to sell things.

March 2018 – Trade Value by Region

The dominance of The Forge and its Jita market nexus is made starkly clear by the bar graph.

March 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

The next two contenders, Domain, home to Amarr, and Delve, fade in comparison to such an extent that CCP provides the same graph without The Forge every month, just so you can see how the rest of New Eden compares.

March 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph, Forge Excluded

There you can see how the other regions compare to each other when the shadow of The Forge is removed.

This month we got an additional insight into trade when CCP Larrikin added charts about the value of contract transactions per region.  Unfortunately, the main chart appears to have problems.  It is not labelled correctly (it just says trade value by regions) and the number for The Forge is clearly wrong. (Blame assigned.)  However, the accompanying bar chart appears to be correct both in labeling and data, so I will toss that in.

March 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Chart

Here The Forge is still on top, but Delve is not too far behind.  This is likely due to the fact that doctrine ships are generally purchased by line members assembled and loaded via contract and because capital and super capital purchases are also often done by contract.

Finally, I will end on the usual chart, the comparison of various stats across key regions.

March 2018 – Regional Summary Stats

Things to look for next month:

  • Will Fade, Pure Blind, and Deklein remain down?
  • Will the Space Violence SIG showing up in the north push them down further?
  • Will the “Bee Control” attacks on Delve suppress its numbers?
  • Will the Locust Fleet boost Querious mining?
  • Will Delve production remain this high?
  • Am I going to have to bring up Fountain at some point?

Anyway, that is my look at the New Eden Monthly Economic Report.  The report itself has many more charts and the raw data on which they were based, so if numbers are your thing you should go take a look.  Over at INN they have taken the raw data and rolled a few of their own graphs, if you want to see some of the data presented in a different way.

A Tower Without Stront

The ongoing skirmishes in the north continue in and around Pure Blind.  Some times they are big.  More often they are more modest in size.  With the departure of Pandemic Horde from the area, the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition has had to pick up the slack.  That started off aggressively.   During the time of the failed million dollar battle, when our attention was elsewhere, GotG and PH cleared out all of our citadels and towers and dropped their own, towering up all the moons in the system.   On our return to Pure Blind they started bubbling our station in an attempt to camp us in.

The situation upon our return

Their resolve in this seemed to waver as we showed up regularly to break their camp and clear out the bubbles.  Their aggressive stance slackened and responses to our activity dropped off, allowing us some nice kills now and then.

Meanwhile Pandemic Horde left behind a bunch of POS towers that slowly but surely ran out of fuel and became regular targets for us to shoot.

Drones tickling an unfueled tower

We also began the slow process of rebuilding our structure base, dropping citadels and engineering complexes.  Those were contested regularly… until they weren’t, and slowly we’ve added more structures to the mix.

There was a gap in the back half of March that I missed, which included that fight where GotG lost five titans, but I’ve been back and on ops since the weekend and the pace of things has changed.  Getting capitals and super caps dropped on us was a regular event before, now we seem to be able to roam in numbers often without that.  Also, NCDot has starting getting involved, looking for some fights close to home no doubt.

They were the ones who showed up to shoot a Raitaru we had dropped, a fight that would have happened had Comcast not dropped Asher just as we were forming, leaving us without an FC.

The next night though we were back again, with another structure coming online and nobody around to oppose us.  Formed up to cover that, Asher took us to one of the towers that NCDot had dropped so we could shoot it to see if anybody would show up.

Shooting a tower with lots of hardeners

At a glance this fresh tower in our midst looked formidable, with many hardeners to up its damage resistance, portending a long and dull shoot to put it into reinforced state.  However, the person who put up the tower had placed the hardeners but hadn’t gotten around to putting them online.  So they were merely decorative.

As nobody seemed to be forming to fight us, Asher called out a bit of heavy support to speed things along.

Nags add their weight to the shoot

They came in for a siege cycle then docked back up as the shield quickly approached the 25% level, at which point the tower would be reinforced and become a target for another day.

And then the tower dropped to 24% and we realized that, in addition to the hardeners, the tower also lacked any strontium clathrates, the ice mining derivative that fuels a towers reinforcement mode.  Without that we could just sit there and burn the tower down and kill it.

That’s right Pee-wee, the secret word is “Unstronted!”

And, in a moment of things just not rolling NCDot’s way, seemingly just seconds after the shields dropped below 25% an NCDot pilot warped into the POS shields, no doubt carrying some stront with which to fuel the tower.  However, once the shields are below 50% you can neither add nor remove any stront, so he was already way too late, but it seemed especially galling that he should arrive just when the tower’s fate was sealed. (The amount of stront determines how long the tower will remain reinforced, so defenders will tinker with the amount in a tower being attacked to get a favorable time period for the next round.)

We kept on shooting, all the more enthusiastic now that a kill mail was on the menu.

My alt in a laser Vexor adding to the firepower

Once we were past the shields, where the bulk of the Caldari tower’s defenses lay, things went much more quickly and we were rewarded with that tower kill mail along with kill mails for all of those hardeners.

The hardeners being popped

The day when POS towers will be removed from the game is still coming.  In a way I will miss their quirks compared to the citadel defense mechanics.  And few things can brighten up a structure shoot than learning that the tower you’re shooting won’t require a second visit because the defenders forgot to fuel up with stront.

And so the game goes on in the north.  We shoot their stuff and drop our own structures.  If they don’t come to defend, then we move outward to shoot stuff closer to their home.  If they do defend then we get a fight.

A Hole in the North

I heard Monday on comms that Pandemic Horde was packing up to move.  This was confirmed later via an article over at INN.  PH were going to leave their home in Fade, Pure Blind, and a bit of Cloud Ring, and move east to pick up space in Geminate.  That space was being vacated by the Russians who were going to consolidate deeper into null sec after Triumvirate gave up in Insmother.

The North Feb 15, 2018

That will actually put Pandemic Horde up tight against the rest of PanFam who sprawl across Tribute, Tenal, and Vale of the Silent, the latter sharing a border with Geminate.  That is probably a good move for them as it makes for a tighter center of mass for PanFam.

Move ops should be fun as people line up to try and catch them exposed on the path to their new home.

But it raises the question of who will move into the vacated space once PH finishes relocating?

Certainly the Guardians of the Galaxy Coalition, led by Darkness, seems a likely candidate.  One of their members, Mordus Legion, already holds some space in Pure Blind.  But do they want to shepherd that much space?

One of the oft commented upon/complained about aspects of the current situation in null sec is that you do not need to control nearly as much space to have sufficient access to mining and ratting to keep your members happy.  The Imperium, for the most part, is fine just in Delve, as the monthly economic report indicates.  Farms and fields.

The Initiative went and took much of Fountain when the previous situation there fell apart, not so much out of need as the fact that the space was there to be taken.  That put the reach of The Imperium up to the border with Cloud Ring and not so far from Fade and Pure Blind.  There went the neighborhood.  So PH’s move puts them a bit further from that mess.

Guardians of the Galaxy will no doubt scoop up the remains of Fade, which is small and in which they had maintained a foothold already.  The western half of Pure Blind however seems like a lot of space for them to keep an eye on.

And Cloud Ring seems right out.  Cloud Ring is already a bit of the Wild West with even some Gallente Faction Warfare pilots, off on a lark, grabbing the Assilot constellation in the region back in September, space that they still hold today.

I guess Cloud Ring could just roll along on its own, but western Pure Blind… GotG either have to take it to cover themselves or get somebody they can deal with to move in.  Maybe Tri is looking for a new home?

Then again, Pure Blind isn’t anybody’s favorite region… unless you like to hole up in the NPC in the middle and hot drop on the things.  So it will be interesting to see who ends up there and if they will live there or just hold it to keep somebody else from living there.

On the one hand, it is probably good that null sec is now all largely livable space without the useless systems that made people spread out.  On the other, if you told me five years ago that there would be chunks of prime, livable null sec that people wouldn’t want to bother with I might have laughed.

Anyway, we will have to see what develops in the hole in the north left by Pandemic Horde’s move.