Tag Archives: Querious

World War Bee Six Month Review

Time to sum up the story so far, if only to organize what I have written.

Munnins and Ishtars together in EI-O0O

The war officially started on July 5th with the end of the non-invasion pact between the Imperium and Legacy Coalition.  But nothing like that just happens on a single day.  The roots of the war go back much further and various points have been pointed to as where things began to head towards the state of affairs today.

I am not going to go down that rabbit hole.  Instead, I am picking as the start of things, the date when it became public that Vily and Legacy Coalition had been working PandaFam to attack the Imperium.  That extends the timeline by a couple weeks, but that was when things started moving… and when I started writing about the war and tagging it as such

Below is my post journey through the war so far in headline form.  This includes some events outside the war zone that involved the involved parties.  Each link goes out to the post named naturally, and often the headline is sufficient to tell you what to expect.  But somehow… and this was entirely unplanned… I ended up writing a weekly summary post.  For those posts I have added a few sub bullets to hit on the topics mentioned beyond just the state of the fighting.

And that is where we sit some six or so months into the war, with 71 posts documenting the path I’ve taken.  The battles over the M2-XFE Keepstar has given the Imperium some breathing room to push back on the invaders, but the war is still in Delve and PAPI still has a Keepstar one gate over from our capital.  There is much left to do.

Related:

24 Weeks of World War Bee

We are at week 24 of the war proper, having started officially back on July 5th, but it has been a full six months since the invaders were caught out in their plans and the two week count down to the start began, so I am celebrating six months of writing about World War Bee.  Compare that to the Fountain War back in 2013, which covered just two months, or the Casino War, which started in earnest in February 2016, had us in Saranen by mid April, and in Delve come July.  And we’re not done yet.

This week saw an address by Progodlegend to Legacy and TEST where he both said the war was pretty much a foregone conclusion and that we will all soon begin to abandon the Imperium.  The Initiative attacking in Catch was held up as a prime example of the Imperium collapsing.  Once the war is over Legacy will lay claim to both its old territory, such Esoteria, which they previously said they were abandoning for Delve, as well as Delve, Querious, Period Basis.

Basically, all they need to do is wrap up the Imperium pockets in 1DQ1-A and E3OI-U and they’re done, the war is over.  Those will be the last big fights of the war.  The timeline for that, however, is fairly vague.  Progodlegend says the will come very soon at one point and maybe in  a couple more months elsewhere.  Goons being driven from the game is assumed in there somewhere.

Pandemic Horde had a town hall meeting last week as well, where they distanced themselves from the Vily message of driving Goons from the game.  They are just in it to damage the Imperium economically.  They seem less patient when it comes to assaulting 1DQ1-A and E3OI-U, suggesting if the current strategy wasn’t working in the first few weeks of December that they might try something different.  Also, the second pass on Fountain has been seen to be something of a wasted effort which will likely not continue.

On the comedy front, there was this 5.3 billion ISK Vince Draken pod that got caught trying to slip through Delve in a covert ops frigate.

Delve Front

The Delve front saw quite a bit of action.  Also, that metaliminal storm has found its way into NPC Delve, keeping people from cloaking in the systems marked around it.

Delve – Dec. 20, 2020

The Imperium strategy of retaking ihubs before the 35 timer runs down and allows PAPI to cyno jam the system has not been working out for us.  We were not able to retake the ihub for NOL-M9 as they were able to put many more people on the field to defend it that we would manage.  NOL-M9 now has a cyno jammer setup and the Keepstar there seems likely to be destroyed this week.

PAPI titans at the armor timer shoot

A similar fate seems likely for the Keepstar in D-W7F0, where PAPI also holds the ihub.

The strategy, or that aspect of it which I can see, appears to have moved to preventing enotsis ops on the ihubs that remain in our hands where Keepstars remain.  This had led to a number of fierce skirmishes, like the ones that have happened around 5-CQDA.

Battle Report Header

The other twist that has been coming up more recently is forcing PAPI to choose between objectives.  PAPI can put enough pilots in Delve to force an objective there, but a simultaneous timer elsewhere, like Catch, will be lost because they had to make the choice.

Catch Front

This week I am elevating the Catch region to have its own category as it remains the most active theater outside of Delve and is the place where Legacy is being forced to make choices.

Legacy came back and reinforced the staging Fortizar of The Initiative, but were distracted by a Delve objective that allowed The Initiative to put down a backup Fortizar in their staging in 0SHT-A.  The odd thing was that, when the final timer came up for the original Fortizar, Legacy started to commit to it, lost a bunch of ships to The Initiative, then stood down, losing both the objective and the ISK war.

That left The Initiative with two Fortizars in 0SHT-A after the fight.

Meanwhile, ihubs in Catch, and even next door in Immensea, have been falling.  We took the DY-P7Q ihub and then blew up the no longer operational Ansiblex jump gate and Pharolux cyno beacon on the grid with the Keepstar anchored there.

The Ansiblex blowing up, taking over a billion ISK in fuel with it

The Initiative now holds the ihub and TCU for HED-GP, the gateway system into the region from high sec.

And, as Progodlegend said, Imperium SIGs have been active in Catch as well.  Asher, accused of abandoning the war to hide in Catch, had gathered up the Reavers SIG to deploy out to 0SHT-A along with The Initiative, so I have been out there some myself.  We have been shooting structures… like the two above… as well as doing some of our own entosis work.  Not bad for a “30 man SIG.”  (We have Dawn Rhea of Theta Thursdays with us as well, so add at least one woman to the total.)

Popping a node during an entosis event

Things do not look so bad for Legacy when you look at the map of Catch right now.

Catch – Dec. 20, 2020

They have taken back some ihubs, including the one at 4-07MU, which connects to Querious.  But having lost them, they have to wait 35 days after restoring them before they can install Ansiblex jump gates to restore their easy travel routes.  Instead they either have to gate, use titan bridges, or jump clone between Delve and Catch.

Furthermore, rumor has it that The Watchmen alliance, which holds a large section of Catch for Legacy, is about to fold up shop and disband.  That would set quite a few systems back to the 35 day clock before they can be used for travel infrastructure.

Other Theaters

Despite Progodlegend declaring the Esoteria efforts a failure, citing The Initiative’s move to Catch as evidence, the groups remaining down there, The Bastion, Ferrata Victrix, and the Stain Russians who hate TEST, have continued to make a nuisance of themselves.  They have pushed back on The Army of Mango’s attempt to assert itself in the region and have expanded to hacking new systems.

NW Esoteria – Dec. 20, 2020

Then there is Querious, which is largely a dead zone as both sides have tired of planting new ihubs in the region.

Querious – Dec. 20, 2020

A range of systems remain empty while those still occupied by Brave continue to be assailed, meaning Brave has to deal with entosis events both here and in Catch.

And then in Fountain, as noted above, the PAPI invasion has pretty much ceased, with NCDot left holding a single ihub in LBGI-2 for now.

My Participation

I was able to jump in on a few ops, including two fights in 5-CQDA, including the one mentioned above.  I was also off on a few side missions over in Catch.  I ended up losing a few ships, including two Malediction interceptors that were used for burst jamming in one fight (the hostiles love that), a Scimitar in another fight, an Atron entosis frigate, and a Drake.

Probably the most amusing fight was in Catch on Saturday night when we landed on a gate with a Maller gang fit with smart bombs who were looking for ESS banks to rob.  We murdered them.

Murder report header

The one ship of ours they got was a Griffin ECM frigate.  Otherwise they were tackled and blown up.  In that quick clash I somehow managed to get the final blow on five of them with my sentry drones, which gave me a nice little line of five kill marks on my Ishtar.

5 orange kill marks in the upper left on my Blaze SKIN Ishtar

I do not think I have ever had a hull last long enough to earn five kill marks.

Anyway, my losses for the war so far now are as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 12
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Scimitar logi – 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 did a Fireside Chat on Twitch with CCP Burger and CCP Hellmar where they mentioned, among other things, that more than 1.9 million new players had logged into EVE Online in 2020, a number greater than the previous three years combined.

That seems like amazing news, though the fact that the online numbers peaked back in April and have been slowly sliding down as the year has begun to fade suggests that CCP has not solved the player retention problem they brought up at EVE North back in 2019.

The CSM 14 summit meeting minutes had a list of priorities that were:

  1. Stop the bleeding
  2. Fix the stupid
  3. Excite and teach
  4. Incentivize return

It feels like they haven’t really addressed the first point yet as 1.9 million people have poured into the game this year and apparently right back out again.  This number of new players was so huge that I had to check to see if they were including EVE Echoes in their count, but EVE Echoes has claimed more than 2 million players on its own, so I couldn’t tell you where those 1.9 million went.

And that brings us to this week’s peak concurrent user number, which was down again.

  • 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)

That is now the low water mark for the war, with even the holiday events and the Luminaire snowball fight failing to entice people into the game.

Related

23 Weeks of World War Bee

We lost another Keepstar while trying to unanchor it.  This time we managed to unanchor the structure ourselves, so PAPI didn’t steal it, but the jump freighter that was sent to scoop it got popped and the Keepstar was destroyed with the ship.  Some day we’ll get one unachored successfully

Then we lost a second one down in Period Basis and the one in NOL-M9 looks to be in danger.   It was not a good week on the Keepstar front for us.

This has added up to a lot of low effort trolling in /r/eve about why Goons won’t admit they have lost the war.  That makes we want to pull out the quote from early in the war, which Vily has reiterated over and over with the full support of his alliance and coalition:

When we started this war, we knew that we were fighting this to the end,” Vily told Polygon. “For us, this is a war of extermination. This is a war to the death. We are aiming for the removal of Mittani and The Imperium from Eve Online. […] We are here to purge them.

-Vily, in an interview with Polygon about the war

Leaving aside the fact that so long as we are still in the game we haven’t lost according to Vily’s stated victory condition, there really isn’t another exit from the war for us.  If Mittens said we’ve lost, that wouldn’t stop the invasion.  If you don’t leave somebody an out then they have nothing to lose if they keep fighting.

You might think that some moderation may have entered the picture since that Polygon article, which ran back in September.  But you would be wrong.

IGN published an article about the war this past week which offers a good summary of what is going on.  But within it you will find Vily bringing up the same end goal.  The war of extermination is still on.  Vily has set the parameters of the war and we have no place better to be.  1DQ1-A is where most of our stuff is now, so that is where we’ll stay.

CCP has also turned its eye back to the war.  With the Triglavian event over they found time to write up a post about the battle at FWST-8, which renewed two Guinness World Records for the company back in early October.  Lots of charts and graphs.

On another front, Massively OP named World War Bee as the Best MMO Event of 2020.

And then there is the ongoing forgotten rigs meme, which hit Vily again this past week.  Madcows of Elitist Ops was nice enough to contract them back.

Available for pickup

We’ll see if he picks them up from our Keepstar in D-W7F0. (Which you can do, it would just be risky.)

Delve Front

The week opened with a bang.  Pretty much as my Week 22 summary post went live PAPI tried to break down the door to 1DQ1-A with their headshot plan to take out the cyno jammers and reinforce the ihub.  We managed to thwart their attempt, but it looked like it was finally going to be Game On.  They were finally going to come and get us.

On the ihub grid

This was what we were waiting for and people on our side were itching for a return bout.

And then everything went back to the slow skirmishes over ihubs and small structures and whatever in Delve.  Not much happened.  Some ihubs changed hands, we botched the Keepstar scoop, and Vily forgot to fit his rigs again.

Delve – Dec. 13, 2020

One environmental change occurred however.  That metaliminal storm I mentioned in Querious last week got on its bike and rode into Delve, landing in SVM-3K.  It is an electrical type storm, which is the one that disables the ability to cloak.  If that keeps moving into the region it could mean some fun times.

Other Theaters

The re-invasion of Fountain announced which I mentioned last week seems to have fallen flat, likely due to lack of interest.

Fountain – Dec. 13, 2020

NCDot had a dozen ihubs there last week, now they have three.  The Initiative, the alleged target, has deployed elsewhere, but somebody seems to be pushing back in their space time.

Also, the metaliminal storm in Fountain, unlike the one now in Delve, seemed content to just meander about its pocket.

Querious remains an entosis skirmish zone.  Systems sit with no ihubs installed as both sides seem tired of them changing hands.

Querious – Dec. 13, 2020

The metaliminal storm in Delve is still on the border with Querious, so its effects still spill into the region despite the distance that regional gate spans.  New Eden storm logic I guess.

In northwest Esoteria, while The Initiative has moved on The Bastion, Ferrata Victrix, and the Stain Russians continue to keep the region from being a safe spot in the Legacy backfield.

Northwest Esoteria – Dec. 13, 2020

And this week we have a new entry in the secondary fronts, which is Catch.  I mentioned this in a post on Saturday and indicated that it too would now have to be included on this list.

The Initiative has set up shop in the system of 0SHT-A (universally referred to as “Oh Shit!”) in the NPC null sec region of Curse, which puts them a single gate from the center of Catch and very close to Brave’s home, route to the war, and supply route from high sec.

Action in Catch

They have used this position to reinforce and kill structures, reinforce and take ihubs, gank the locals, and disrupt life for them behind the lines.

Catch – Dec. 13, 2020

While derided as another pin prick, Legacy Coalition is moving assets and setting jump clones to Catch in order to counter this new fire in their rear area.  This will degrade their efforts in Delve and generally make the war more effort for them to prosecute.

And, just to make things interesting, there is also a storm in Catch, a Gamma storm, which has a penalty to remote reps.  There is also a Winter Nexus event ice storm, but that has no penalties.

Keep up to date on storm locations… at least the non-event ones… over at EVE Scout.

My Participation

I got into a few more fleets over the week than I had in the past couple.  I was lucky enough to get into the PAPI headshot fight in 1DQ1-A, so saw some actually fleet combat.  Otherwise I was mostly along for fleets out covering entosis or shooting people trying to entosis our stuff, though I may have spent some time in Catch.  But none of my ships exploded, so my losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 12
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP introduced some changes with the December patch last Tuesday, among the biggest was the change to PvE drone aggression.  Feedback… and the fact that it broke PvP drone functionality… got CCP to roll back the change.  We’ll see if they try this again once they have their code figured out.

They also un-fixed the fix that stopped people from setting their home stations in NPC stations without cloning services.  This bug was around so long that it became a feature.  The real question for me was why NPC stations don’t all have clone services at this point?

Unannounced in the patch notes, or anywhere else, was a new character generation process.  This only affects newly created accounts and there is already a forum thread complaining about it.  To me it feels like an attempt to simplify the character creation process to get people actually into the game without getting bogged down in avatar creation.  We’ll see how that plays out.

They also kicked off the holiday event, the Winter Nexus.

And this week CCP faced another foe; the launch of Cyberpunk 2077.  Given how many people are talking about this game… it shattered Blizzard’s claim that Shadowlands was the fastest selling PC game ever, moving 8 million pre-orders, including 4.7 million on PC… the PCU dipped only slightly on Sunday.

  • 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

Of course, Legacy was supposed to be conducting that big move op in order to defend Catch, so that and the holiday event might have been enough to keep the numbers from tipping too far.  We’ll see how it goes next week.

Related

22 Weeks of World War Bee

One of our Keepstars has gone missing.

The Imperium Keepstar in K-6K16, one of the systems on the Doomclock, was allowed to unanchor at an unplanned time and NCDot swooped in and scooped it up. By the time anybody noticed what was going on it was too late to do much besides try to shoot the freighter carrying it off, which failed.  PAPI gets some pay back for losing a titan and a super on their own Keepstar in T5ZI-S last week I guess.

Still, that didn’t stop the PAPI team from losing more expensive stuff.  They managed to get another titan blown up, a Ragnarok that for some reason though it was a good idea to jump the gate into 1DQ1-A.  At least they can claim they were attacking something.

Then there was the more than 20 billion ISK TEST Legion that got caught.  Gating BPOs into hostile territory is probably not the brightest of plans.

Also in the news was PandaFam member Fraternity who, after CCP came in with the botting patrol to ban players and take back ill gotten gains, found their executor corporation 1 trillion ISK in the negative for the corp wallet.  They didn’t just lose a trillion ISK, the balance was negative 1 trillion ISK.

Delve Front

Delve is still where most of the action is.

The view from 1DQ1-A

The back and forth continues across the T5Z-1DQ gap.  Small fights and ganks of opportunity occur pretty much from the start of EU prime time to well into the Australian time zone.  That means there is always an opportunity to shoot something if you’re game.   However, you might be hard pressed to find any meaningful big objectives, if that is what you want out of a war.  No Guinness World Records are going to fall in this situation.

Delve – Dec. 6, 2020

And, of course, I took a moment to mark where an incursion was taking place, then it was finished before this post went live.

Other Theaters

Querious remains what it is, the main side show, but still a side show.  The Imperium managed to take the ihub in P-ZMZV which snapped the jump bridge network supporting PAPI’s supply lines into Delve.  They’ll work around it quickly enough, but it was an annoyance.

According to the EVE Scout Storm Tracker there is a metaliminal storm in ES-Q0W down in the southern part of the zone.  It is an electrical storm, which according to the info I posted back when they were introduced, is the type that prohibits cloaking.

Querious – Dec. 6, 2020

That will probably suppress any activity around there, but it would be amusing if it rolled into Delve.

Proof that there isn’t enough going on in Delve?  I think the fact PandaFam decided to actually start their promised re-invasion of Fountain is a convincing argument in favor of that.

There is also a metaliminal storm wandering Fountain… it has been there for weeks, but since something is happening there I might as well put it on the map.

Fountain – Dec. 6, 2020

The storm is of the exotic variety that boosts scanning and warp speed while debuffing reps and kinetic resists.  It has a long way to go to reach Delve, but it started back in Cloud Ring, so it could get there.

And then there is Esoteria, where the Army of Mango Alliance has been pushing back on the Imperium and Stain Russian forces that have been attacking the area.

NW Esoteria – Dec. 6, 2020

AOM has been working at it, but systems keep changing hands and the core defense of the interlopers remains strong.  The Imperium and the Stain Russians also managed to knock off three supers, a jump freighter, and a Rorqual that Siberian Squads had nearby in Catch.

My Participation

After my Thanksgiving holiday gaming binge I had to get back to focusing on work.  That meant less play time on all fronts, but I still managed to get a couple of ops in and got on a few more kill mails to prove I still exist.  I also managed to jump through the T5Z-1DQ gate just as PAPI was massing for a quick jab and managed to lose my Ares, so I will add that to my loss tally for the way.

It was only then that I realized that I was in a pod with implants, but I managed to warp off and jump out the other gate and get to a station that would let me put on an Ibis.  I sacrificed that to get to Helm’s Deep and the Ansiblex home, but I am not counting rookie ships.

So my loss total now stands at:

  • Ares interceptor – 12
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP made a few tweaks to the Dynamic Bounty System and mandatory ESS changes introduced last month.  They are:

Dynamic Bounties System (DBS) parameters adjustments:

  • Equilibrium value increased from 115% to 135%
  • The maximum output of the DBS increased from 150% to 180%
  • The recover to equilibrium rate for states below the equilibrium value has been increased, making it easier for systems to recover.

Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) parameters adjustments:

  • The time required to hack the main bank increased from 5 minutes to 6 minutes and 30 seconds
  • The auto payment timer reduced from 3 to 2 hours
  • The radius from the ESS where Cloaking is restriced increased from 75 km to 150 km. All other effects remain at a 75 km radius.

Given the enthusiasm I have seen at our end for running off to rob banks, I can why they might want to work with that.  Six and a half minutes is more time, and can seem like forever when you’re sitting there, but to get a defense fleet together for anything bigger than randos passing through takes time as well.

CCP also announced they were going to go back to native support for MacOS.  Expected to arrive in 2021, CCP mentioned the Metal graphics system and the Big Sur operating system update as specifically being supported.  A likely incentive for this move was Apple’s move to their M1 processor on systems going forward.  Given even Linus Torvalds said that Linux support for the M1 was unlikely, CCP couldn’t just rely on Wine to keep MacOS players in the game.

This will probably also be a bit of a blow to those still running EVE Online on various Linux distros, an unsupported configuration still used by a small group of players, unless CCP continues to contribute to the Wine project after the new native MacOS client is released.

And then there was the weekly peak concurrent number, which was down again this 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

That’s the lowest number of the war so far.

Related

21 Weeks of World War Bee

We’re getting to the point where numbers have hyphens and such, but the AP Style Guide says I can just use numerals past 10, so I am swapping to that for titles now.  Also, this week’s update is a day late because I had my usual end of the month post queued up for yesterday.

Welcome to December I guess.

That at least gives us a chance to look at November as a whole as another overall loss report has been put together.  This covers losses all across New Eden and not just on the battle fronts and shows the losses by the two sides to be fairly close, with the Imperium losing 6.2 trillion ISK to PAPI’s 5.7 trillion ISK in losses.

Losses in November by alliance

While TEST has been mocked for leading the war and then letting PandaFam do the heavy lifting, they at least can claim they topped the loss chart for PAPI.

November losses by ship/structure class

When sorted out by what was lost by value for each side, you can see the Imperium losing structures dominating their top five while PAPI losing ships, including some supers and four titans, is what made up the top of their loss list.

While last week was a normal week in most of the world, it was Thanksgiving week here in the US, which meant you likely either had a lot more time to play video games or no time at all, depending on your circumstance.  There was even a hint that an agreement had been reached to not set timers to come out on Thanksgiving Day, though I couldn’t tell you if anybody paid it any mind.

The Mittani posted a war update that invoked Churchillian “finest hour” imagery as we fight to defend what remains of our space in Delve.

Our finest Imperium hour

I’m thinking Stalingrad memes might be more appropriate.  That seems to be what we’re shooting for, a grinding battle that wears the invaders out.  Or maybe Verdun.

He also brought attention to the DOOm Clock, which tracks the time left in PAPI held systems which contain an Imperium Keepstar until they can put up a cyno jammer.  The basic plan is to get everybody to put their assets in Keepstars and deny PAPI the favorable circumstances they demand before they will attack one.

PAPI continued to push their narratives.  We’re broke.  We’ve lost.  The war is essentially won.  (So Progod has time to go play PlanetSide 2.) It will all be over soon.  And, of course, the constant drum beat from Vily and Legacy coalition that we’re all horrible people with horrible leaders and need to be driven from the game.

One of their key articles of faith seems to be that if they constantly concern troll The Initiative about how they are suffering due association with the Imperium, they will split off and leave the fight.  That is just the way their leadership rolls.

Delve Front

Delve remains the focus of the war, with PAPI staging in T5ZI-S and the bulk of Imperium forces based next door in 1DQ1-A.  This has made combat a daily occurrence as both sides are too close to ignore or avoid each other.  The friction which this causes will keep losses up for both sides.

Delve – Nov. 29, 2020

While PAPI has continued to grind down smaller structures and a few Fortizars, the Imperium has continued to make them pay for being lax, including catching a Leviathan and a Revenant untethered on the Keepstar in their staging.  Given the exploding price of minerals we saw in the October MER, capital ships are going to start getting expensive to replace.

Other Theaters

With war on our doorstep The Imperium spent less time trying to push back Querious.  There are still quite a few systems with no ihub installed, but the flips were less frequent last week.  The main focus for the Imperium has been ihubs for systems that still contain one of our Keepstars, per the DOOm clock mentioned above.  W6V-VM, for example, got reset on Saturday when we blew up the ihub there.

Querious – Nov. 29, 2020

In Esoteria it appears that TEST has made a deal with Army of Mango Alliance (AoM).  You may remember that AoM decided to opt out of the war for the most part back in week seventeen, going home to crab.  TEST has convinced them to defend Esoteria, no doubt promising them the space if they can hold it, against the Imperium forces that have set up shop in the region.  That has led to some push back against The Initiative, The Bastion, and Ferrata Victrix.

Northwest Esoteria – Nov. 29, 2020

While both sides work on wresting ihubs from each other, the locals managed to lose a Nyx, a Hel, a few Rorquals, and some structures.  It isn’t a safe place to crab at the moment.

And then there is the promised PandaFam invasion of Fountain that was mentioned last week.  That hasn’t materialized so far, there not being much there to invade I suppose.  A few targets of opportunity have been hit, but nothing taken.  Maybe next week.

My Participation

Last week I probably had more time for video games overall, though it was broken up by family and holiday activities, so there were not so many large blocks of time, the usual requirement for fleet ops.  Also I played quite a bit of the new Shadowlands expansion in World of Warcraft and not so much EVE Online.

But, as always, I found a time for a few fleets.  The week started off with a Mister Vee fleet that ran into T5ZI-S and blew up an Athanor while about 1,200 PAPI pilots sat around trying to figure out what to do about it.

Athanor starting to brew up as we fly past

They eventually tried to block the way back to 1DQ1-A, but we got out the back door and were able to get a bridge home off the Keepstar in D-W7F0.

I was in a few other ops on the gate between the two forces, including another John Hartley “you’re all dumb” op where some people didn’t follow instructions and got blown up by a Chemo Proteus gang and he left the fleet.  While I understand his frustration, being among those who did follow instructions and being abandoned doesn’t make me want to log in when I see his ops pinged.  And those of us on the ball actually killed a Chemo Proteus.  Oh well.

I thought I might have a loss to report after an unfueled Raitaru was blown up in 1DQ1-A, which dumped its contents into space, there being no more asset safety for such structures.  I was in a fleet that chased off the attackers, then began going through the station containers to see what there was worth rescuing.  I grabbed some nocxium and ejected some ships into space, then dropped my own ship off at a nearby structure and warped back to jump in a couple of the ships to see if they were fit.  They were not, but my boarding them flagged them as mine, so when we blew them up, I got the insurance payout.  However, no kill mail was attributed to me, so no loss I guess.  I also carried off an empty Tristan, just because I could.

All of which left my loss count the same as last week.

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

Last week CCP also brought us the Explosive Velocity update which tweaked a few ships and is alleged to have fixed the server problem that ruined the Imperiums trap in YZ9-F6 back in October.  We shall see if anybody is willing to gamble some more titans based on that fix.

Meanwhile, the weekly peak concurrent user count dipped a bit, landing on Sunday below the 35K mark.

  • 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

No doubt the US holiday, the start of the shopping season, and/or the launch of the World of Warcraft Shadowlands expansion ate a bit into the user base.

Related

Nineteen Weeks of World War Bee

Almost to 20 weeks and I haven’t given up on this weekly post yet.  We’ll see who lasts longer, me or Ban Syrin at INN. (Not that my posts are as detailed as theirs, but I do mark up a lot more maps.)

A bit of news hit late in the week when a disgruntled director in Requiem Eternal decided to defect to the Imperium.  They brought with them a reported a trillion ISK in assets, including a Moreau faction Fortizar and all the ISK the alliance had in its wallet, then disbanded the alliance as they left.

Rest in Peace for sure

That destroyed all their ihubs, dropped their sovereignty, and left almost two thousand pilots without an alliance.

Top of the charts

TEST had to get into its backfield yet again and cover the open sovereignty in the Impass region.  It will now be 35 days before any of those systems can host an Ansiblex jump gate.  The corporations in the alliance are all still safe and there appears to be a move to create a new alliance, Eternal Requiem, but this was another disruption.

On the press coverage front, CCP sat down with Game Rant to discuss the game and the war currently in progress.

Delve Front

Delve has become a back and forth slog over ihubs in a number of constellations.  The map as I write looks like this.

Delve – Nov. 15, 2020

However, if you compare it with my map from last week, you will see various systems in the highlighted constellations have changed hands since then.  In fact, the ihubs in those contested constellations change hands daily, so by the time this post goes live the ihub map of Delve will no doubt have changed yet again.

That has made fights sporadic as both sides seem okay with letting individual systems get flipped, knowing they can just come back tomorrow and flip them back.

That is the way it has been going and likely will continue going until one side gets tired and either gives up or decides on a different tactic.

Meanwhile, the gate camp in E3OI-U continues.  That system, and the systems behind it, have all had cyno jammers turned on in order to protect them.

Other Theaters

There was the potential for a big fight in Querious as the final timers hit for the Imperium Keepstar that was left behind in 49-U6U.  There were plans to defend the armor timer and pings went out to that effect, but the defense operations never came to pass.

The defense was based on a plan Asher Elias had formulated and, when yet another storm came ashore near his home a tree fell and knocked out his power just before the op.  Or so the story goes.

Since it was his plan, nobody else was ready to take up the reigns.  In the end, the Keepstar was destroyed, with the gunner taking out a couple of attacking capital ships, giving the invaders their seventh Keepstar kill of the war.

Otherwise Querious remained a low intensity war zone as both sides set about reinforcing and destroying each other’s ihubs, with many systems left without ihubs.

Querious – Nov. 15, 2020

The Imperium did manage to take back “fake” Querious, the set of systems assigned to the region but which are an enclave within Delve.

Then there is Esoteria, where The Bastion and Ferrata Victrix have been waging a guerilla war against TEST to distract them from their main effort in Delve.  After weeks of holding on to their foothold and Fortizar, they have started making more progress against TEST, adding four more ihubs to the list that they have taken.

Essoteria – Nov. 15, 2020

Adding to TEST’s problems on that front, The Initiative announced that they are deploying to Esoteria to join the campaign.  I may have to start using the whole map of Esoteria rather than just the northwest corner when the force there really gets to work.  I may have to give Esoteria its own section soon.

My Participation

I stood by on a couple of strategic ops, but the enemy declined to show up and we either saved the structure or took the ihub and were done without firing a shot.  As such, my loss tally remained unchanged.

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The past week saw some distractions in New Eden.

First, there was the November update aimed at further nerfing null sec, with the Dynamic Bounty system, aimed at making null sec empires spread out (again), and the mandatory Encounter Surveillance System changes, which encourage null sec empires to consolidate, all in the name of making us fight more in the middle of a war that has already set two Guinness World Records.

That got people out robbing banks as part of the new ESS system.  I saw more action doing that than I did in the actual war last week.

Hello ESS Bank!

And then there was the EVE-NT Alliance Open.  CCP is still unable to run the alliance tournament themselves, so have let EVE-NT run one again this year.  That kicked off on Saturday and pitted 32 teams in a double elimination tournament. Both Goonswarm and The Initiative lost their first round matches, making it unlikely that the two alliances will come to blows, something the invaders have been having wet dreams about since the fighting in Fountain started, even in the tournament.

Two losses

Goonswarm actually lost their second match as well, so are out of the tournament, while The Initiative carries on into next week.

While I’m not a huge fan of the tournament, I did watch a bit of it.  Probably the oddest thing I saw was the Rote Kapelle vs Dock Workers match where both teams fielded identical fleet compositions, consisting of 3 Barghests, 2 Caracals, 2 Scalpels, a Stormbringer, a Hyena, and a Stork.  I know the point system and the meta tend to push teams in similar directions at times, but I cannot recall seeing a mirror image fight when it came to hulls.  That Rote Kapelle won handily indicates that fittings, tactics, and pilot skill were the more important factors.

All of that seemed to add up to a weekly PCU that was fair to middling for these times, and this week fell on Saturday rather than Sunday:

  • 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)

Related

Eighteen Weeks of World War Bee

We made it past the four month mark in this conflict and most everybody still seems to be around and fighting.

CCP acknowledges the war in another video from The Scope, where the first two minutes of the nine minute video review a bit of the war.

Then they moved on to the Triglavians and a lot of lore packing to try to make their shake up of high sec fit into the game.

Meanwhile, the war carried on, though still not at the same scale as the week of Keepstars we experienced in October.

Delve Front

This remains the primary theater of action in the war, with PAPI pushing to reinforce and take ihubs.  The week started off fairly well for the Imperium as we were able to push back on some of the constellations that PAPI had previously swept, retaking ihubs in the W-4U1E, OK-FEM, LSC-4P, and F-I56R constellations.

However, PAPI pushed ahead, reinforcing and taking two ihubs in the YX-LYK constellation taking all of the B4H-9W constellation, which holds a series of gates that leads right to the Imperium capital in 1DQ1-A.

On Saturday it was announced that the Imperium would be going with the “Helm’s Deep” plan, so we’re moving from historical and 40K references and back to Tolkien, which involved re-staging the Imperium capital and super capital fleet in the system of E3OI-U.

That leaves the Delve map looking like this as I write.

[Update: The entire B4H-9W constellation was taken back by the Imperium in AUTZ before this post went live.  The see-saw effort continues.]

Delve – Nov. 8, 2020

PAPI also was able to blow up two Sotiyos and a Tatara in QY6-RK.

Other Theaters

Querious remains an active point of skirmishes over ihubs and many have changed hands.  The Imperium forces PAPI to come back to defend ihubs in territory already taken, though cannot hold on to them.  PAPI knocked out most of the Imperium ihubs, but many systems remain empty, with no ihub installed now.

PAPI also finally made headway in “fake Querious,” the constellation that lays within Delve space, taking the ihub in E-VKJV.

Querious – Nov. 8, 2020

The Period Basis region, after some back and forth over a few systems, is now solidly in PAPI hands.  The Imperium has been reinforcing ihubs there, but that is more harassment than anything.

And over in Esoteria, the SIG from The Bastion held out another week deep in TEST space, holding on to their systems and structure and forcing TEST to come back and defend timers.  Their allies in Ferrata_Victrix even took another ihub from TEST, bringing the count of systems held up to nine.

Esoteria NW Corner – Nov. 8, 2020

My Participation

I went on a few fleets this week, and even saw some action, but they were all fairly light ops.  The biggest potential for a fight was when we were out with Mister Vee in 150 Cerbs and PAPI had 400 in system with us… and then chose not to engage with us.  We picked off a few hostiles, but they were not keen to fight.

One common thread with the ops I went on this week was that they were all in late EUTZ and led by FCs from Europe.  Once we got into USTZ, which is when most Imperium timers are set, action dropped off somewhat.  I gather than a lot of us in USTZ were engaged with the big new fad last week, learning the names of counties in the states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.  It was kind of a big deal in the moment.

I also moved my fax with the rest of CapSwarm during the jump to the new staging system.

Caps landing on the new Keepstar

That barely counts as an op though, as all I had to do was log in, get in a fleet, and jump to the cyno indicated.  I am glad I got fuel conservation trained to V though, as the mining nerf also reduces ice spawns, so fuel prices are going up.

As such, I ended up with no losses over the week, leaving my loss tally as:

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

Once big timer that was set this week was for the Imperium Keepstar in 49-U6U in Querious.  It has been sitting there for weeks untouched by PAPI.  Now they appear to be turning their gaze towards that.  Killing it would be a morale boost for them.  The system is now cyno jammed and well away from any Imperium staging system at this point.  The armor timer went uncontested as TEST did that shoot with some shield titans and a few supers.  The Keepstar managed to pick off a Minokawa during the fight, but that was the only major loss.

Otherwise the war remains a grind, a waiting game for who gets tired of showing up first.

The PCU for the week dipped a bit.  The end of Daylight Savings Time in most of the US probably skewed the peak time a bit, but there wasn’t a lot new or special to get more people logging in.

  • 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

This week will see CCP introducing a bunch changes with an eye towards having an impact on null sec space.  We shall see if they have any effect on the war.  Expect a sharp drop in NPC bounties.

Other Coverage:

Sixteen Weeks of World War Bee

After two weeks of titanic battles with thousands of players on the field and trillions of ISK in losses, things settled down to a grind again.  On Friday Imperium FC John Hartley pinged out a battle report to all that featured a total loss value of just 5 billion ISK.  Things have returned to a smaller scale.

Meanwhile the invaders, having succeeded in anchoring a Keepstar in NPC Delve on the fifth try, have been going on in r/eve like the war has been won.  Bad historical analogies… which is pretty much all historical analogies when applied to EVE Online… and memes about the Imperium being broke or evacuating from Delve are rife.  But fighting carries on and they still haven’t been able to draw a convincing line from their stated plan to avoid attacking our Keepstars… there is still one sitting in 49-U6U in Querious in a system they have held for a month… and us losing.  Starve us out maybe?  Delve occupation duty might go on for a long time if that is the plan.

Delve Front

While there have been skirmishes in some key systems in Delve, most of the fighting last week was concentrated in the W-4U1E constellation, adjacent to NPC Delve and the invader’s Keepstar.  There, after several day of back and forth, they used their superior numbers to take the ihubs in the constellation.  They have started to work on the LSC-4P constellation since.

First constellation down

However, the invaders now have to hold that space while moving forward.  New Eden isn’t earth so making front line analogies fail when all of those systems are within bridge/jump range of our staging.  So we reinforce the ihubs they have taken and they have to form up to defend them.  You can see by the ihub ownership that they have tried to solve the “only the owner can defend while anybody can attack” issue by dividing up the systems between groups.

And, while they have broken some of the Ansiblex jump gate network, they have not been focused on structures in those systems, so we have safe harbors in there.

Other Locations

Over in Querious a low grade entosis war continues in the back field of the invaders.  We continue to reinforce ihubs there and have destroyed a few of theirs.  And, as noted above, we still have a Keepstar, as well as other structures, to work from in the space they have taken, plus all of “fake Querious.”

Meanwhile, over in Esoteria, deep in TEST space, The Bastion continues to hold out and force TEST to jump clone home to contest timers. The Fortizar they anchored previously survived another attack, though the battle report showed that TEST couldn’t must much of a force to contest it.

The Bastion still holding out in Esoteria

Again, neither of these pin pricks is going to win the war, but they do make the war more onerous for the attackers and, in New Eden, the side that wears out first loses.  So the grind continues.

The invaders however have pretty much overrun Period Basis.  Anything down there that isn’t a Keepstar is in jeopardy.

Period Basis Almost Completely Taken

This will give TEST a clear route into southern Delve.

My Participation

I did pretty much nothing in space this week.  I did not go on a single fleet op and did only a couple of side items on my own.  This was not by plan.  While two weeks of big battles were tiring, there were few ops that came up when I was at home, at my computer, and had the time to commit.  It just worked out that way.  As such, my losses for the war remained as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Other Items

We have a few things coming up from CCP that may or may not impact the war.  Tomorrow we get the Howling Interdictors update that will, among other things, introduce a statis web bubble for interdictors.  Then there is an update coming in early November that will change up super carriers.  And then there is the coming dynamic bounty system, designed to curb ratting income in null sec.

And then there is the PCU for the week.  No big battles means no big numbers, so the peak for the week sagged after two weeks of growth.

  • 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

Related:

Once again, only INN seems to post regularly about the war.

Thirteen Weeks of World War Bee

Here we are again.  Today marks the third month of World War Bee, as it started back on July 5, 2020.  A lot has happened since then, though not so much with the war itself.

This past week saw CCP actually take some official notice of the war, mentioning the battle at 49-U6U in their latest EVE Pulse video.  The mention happens in the first 40 seconds of the video:

CCP Mirage calls out the Imperium losses (true enough) and then declares that the Fortizar was saved (not true at all).  The former is likely due to them using TEST streamer RonUSMC as their source, while the latter reflects the recent state of disdain the company has for null sec, viewing the region as more of a problem to be solved rather than a play style of value. (But they still love us more than faction warfare, so we have that going for us.)

PAPI, or “the snake people” as they are now called by some, also finally decided to step up and do something in Delve.  They didn’t actually invade the region yet, but they were alleged to be offering a bounty for killing ratters and miners in Delve.  PAPI players can earn 100 million for blowing up a ratting Myrmidon.  If anybody is interested, I’ll undock an insured Myrmidon and let you blow it up if you front me 30 ISK million in advance.  I won’t even file for SRP.

Of course, the deal as posted didn’t say the 100 million would be in paid in ISK.  It might be simply delivered in “value” like the Tranquility Trading Consortium profits.

The author of the post later deleted the details and now only the title of the post remains, so it could be that there was no bounty offer at all, making the whole thing yet another example of failure to take action in Delve.

We did, however, get the news that CCP had deployed a “UI only mode” for the game client to the test server.  That should make big battles better for many players. especially those running multiple game clients on their system.

In the end, if that is all I have for an opening, then it wasn’t much of a week.

Querious Front

This is pretty much where things seem set to happen.  The invaders have staged here, so this is where the action should be taking place.

I mentioned in last week’s post that the invaders had managed to drop a Fortizar in SVM-3K, which is actually in Delve.  The timer for that came out on Tuesday in the early AM my time and was promptly blown up by Imperium forces, with PAPI only fielding a token effort to try and pick off some kills.  I was hoping it might brew up into a long fight, but by the time I logged on in the morning the field had been looted and everybody had gone home.

The best bet for potential action last week seemed to be around the Keepstar that the hostiles dropped in 8QT-H4.  That is in Querious still, but on the boarder with Delve, just one gate over from the Fortizar they lost above.

Keepstar deploying

Again, it would begin anchoring very early in my time zone… like 4am… so I wasn’t going to make it to the start of whatever came to pass, but my hope was that a big fight would ensue and I might get in with some reinforcements later on in the day.

However, once I was up and online (6am my time) the fight was over and the Keepstar had anchored successfully.

Apparently Asher had a new tactic to try out involving a host of stealth  bombers and a series of strategic bookmarks  However, he shared the bookmarks alliance wide with full add/edit/delete capabilities and somebody deleted them.  It isn’t clear if this was the work of a spy or just commonplace stupidity on our part, but Asher’s plan failed and now the invaders have dropped their ~20th Keepstar in pursuits of their “Maginot Line offensive” where they place a structure then hope we’ll come and fight on it.

Otherwise the Querious front was remarkably quiet.  The invaders blew up some Fortizars we left behind in the region and we poked around some, but not much changed.

Other Theaters

The destruction of our Fortizars left behind in Querious was balanced out somewhat by The Initiative destroying Fortizars the invaders left behind in Foutain and Aridia.  The big kill though was in Aridia where LowSechnaya Sholupen, a member of the invaders that has actually stuck around in Fountain and contested a bit of space, got caught trying to deploy a Keepstar in Hier only to have it blown up by Siege Green.  Both sides in the war rushed out to whore on the kill.

Other than that, there were the usual range of skirmishes in roams into hostile space and attempts to hack ihubs all over.  Period Basis saw a bunch of hacking activity on our side, and we returned the favor in Esoteria, keep the low order conflict around the TCAG-3/G-M4GK gate simmering.

Edit: Of course, I wrote this Sunday morning when nothing seems likely to happen (though I guess the week should go Saturday to Sunday, but whatever) then, when I was out, a fight broke out in SNM-3K as PAPI made its first capital push into Delve to try and take the ihub in the system.  120 billion ISK total lost according to the battle report doesn’t make it a big fight, not after 49-U6U, but John Hartley got his titan on grid and got the kill on a TEST Rorqual because he likes to live dangerously.  The ihub was defended but PAPI won the ISK war and I missed the whole thing.

My Participation

I went on exactly one fleet last week.  Not much was going on during the USTZ time frame when I am able to dedicate time to fleet operations.  I went out on a fleet that chased around some TEST hackers down in Period Basis.  We blew up a few of them, they blew up a few of us, but we stopped their enotsis attacks and everybody went home.  I was not among the exploded, so my loss count for the war remains:

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

Other Items

Despite some early examples, this is becoming the war where nobody shoots Keepstars.  PAPI has not touched the Keepstar we have in 49-U6U and we’re not doing anything with the Keepstar the dropped in 8QT-H4.

The word is that the enemy hasn’t even moved into the 8QT-H4 Keepstar yet, that it is just bait to try and get us to commit titans.

On the Meta Show this past Saturday The Mittani speculated that the invaders may still try and drop a Keepstar in NPC Delve, though the fact that he seemed to salivate at the prospect may mean that is more wishful thinking than anything.

Delve remains relatively unmolested three month into the war.  Given that is where we live, Vily’s war aims of extermination and removal of the Imperium, articulated in the Polygon article I quoted two weeks back, remain essentially unfulfilled.  I am sure his recent attempts to walk those goals back are completely unrelated.

There was some mention of other groups taking advantage of the Drone lands residents being away for the war to mess with their space, with some ihubs getting taken in Geminate and some ratters and miners finding themselves hunted, but it is not clear if this is any sort of concerted effort of just a moment of opportunism.

The PCU count for each week of the war looks like this:

  • 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

Down a bit from last week, though still holding in the same range.  The fight late on Sunday came well after the peak.

Other coverage:

Twelve Weeks of World War Bee

The war made it through its twelfth week and shows no signs of abating.

At some point during the weekend before this past one the invaders, who had been calling themselves PAPI, an acronyms whose origin I hadn’t bothered to look up, decided to change their name to the Anaconda Coalition.  The name was announced on Talking in Stations, and the public response was not wholehearted in its support.  Even members of said coalition were mocking the name on Reddit.  The universal agreed upon symbol quickly became a variation of this internet meme based on the Gadsden Flag.

Anaconda, cha cha cha

The Anaconda Coalition name has since faded from use by our foes in most public forums, though the leadership still uses it in their safe space on Talking in Stations.

Querious Front

The action over the last week was largely concentrated in Querious, where the invaders have taken all of the ihubs in the region save for those in what is sometimes referred to a “fake Querious,” as those systems an an enclave within Delve, and that one ihub in NDII-Q, which somehow still belongs to United Earth Directorate.

Querious – Sept 27, 2020

Of course, action is a relative term.  The week did not start off with much action as the invaders stood down a few times, even when they outnumbered us.  That led to a new Fountain Frank video, featuring soundtrack made up of samples from their comms.

Things livened up a bit on Tuesday night when a battle over the armor timer for a Tatara in NDII-Q escalated into a dreadnought fight that found us outnumbered 2 to 1.  The objective went to the invaders as did the ISK war according to the battle report.

NDII-Q Battle Report Header

I actually missed that battle as the enemy had stood down over another objective shortly before there was a ping and a form up for the Tatara.

The next night came the battle over the armor timer of a Fortizar of ours in 49-U6U, about which I have written already.  This is where the war really began in earnest as the first big capital fight, with both sides escalating up to super carriers and over a trillion ISK destroyed.

On the Fortizar in 49-U6U

We were, once again, out numbered by a ratio of 2 to 1 and the losses lined up to that ratio.  The enemy also won the objective.

The fight ran just four hours, which isn’t bad for a tidi slug fest where capitals are dropped, but the servers, struggling to keep up even at 10% tidi, acted up, causing more problems for us than our foes.  The server issues led both sides to decline to drop titans and even the super carriers were pulled back when it was possible.

This sort of battle is going to become more and more common as the invaders move closer to Delve and within range of our capital fleet.

After the clash at 49-U6U things settled down a bit, with no further large scale fights for the rest of the week.

Other Fronts

When things were quiet early on in the week a group from the Imperium slipped into Detroid and reinforced then took out some TEST ihubs.

A little corner of Detroid made empty

They were replaced after not too long, but it was a nice harassment operation behind the front lines.

Later in the week the invaders managed to drop a Fortizar in SVM-3K, which is their first attempt at a big structure within the bounds of Delve, at least that I have seen.

Hostile Fortizar deploying

As a potential foothold, that system would put a lot of southern Delve in capital jump range while being just beyond the single jump radius of our own capital staging.  But it is withing range of 1DQ1-A, where we keep everything else.

Being in our space, it is taking some time for the Fortizar to anchor.  It should finish its cycle tomorrow, if I counted on my fingers successfully.  I imagine we will be looking to destroy it as it anchors, which could lead to another big fight. (Addendum: A small fight, with the Fortizar killed.)

My Participation

I went on a number of fleets over the course of the week, but about half of them ended up with no fight as the enemy stood down or ran off on our approach.  Of course, the 49-U6U fight made up for that.

I also did not lose any ships during the week, so my tally of losses still stands as follows:

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

Other Items

As noted above, I expect we will come to blows over the hostile Fortizar in SVM-3K.

More interesting will be what the enemy plans to do about the Keepstar we still have in 49-U6U.  They have said they don’t want to fight on our Keepstars, but since that is where we keep most of our stuff it won’t be much of an extermination if they don’t attack them.

And, since I have been tracking this sporadically in posts, I might as well keep it up.  The weekly peak concurrent users ongoing tally:

  • 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

We were up a bit for the week, though that probably has less to do with the war than with the threat to the economy from CCP’s plan to nerf mining even harder next month, but I’ll get to that in another post.

Other articles about this week in the war: