Tag Archives: SH1-6P

Operations in Eastern Tribute and the Vale of the Silent

Our operations have slowly been taking us further east.  The range of systems covered directly by capitals based in our staging system have been denuded of structures and ihubs.

Systems our capitals can reach in one jump from our staging

DOTLAN doesn’t show the “shape” of space, it being a representational layout attempting to group systems in a region together onto a single useful map rather than worrying about the actual distances between systems.  So, for example, SH1-6P looks to be much closer on the map than other systems we can reach.  But that isn’t the reality… whatever that means when we’re talking about a video game… of the actual layout of the stars which, among other things, are not a nice flat array but are in fact a three dimensional matrix of systems connected by star gates.  The in-game map tries to show you everything in 3D, and even if you use the “flatten” option, shows the stars in space with their actual distances (on one plane at least), which is why it is both so pretty and so useless to the average player.

Also, we haven’t spent much time worrying about the Territorial Control Units, the TCUs in each system, since aside from setting ownership on the map, they do not have any impact on the system.  The Infrastructure Hubs, the ihubs, are the key and they have all been blown where we can reach.  A few enterprising groups have been going out to flip the TCUs to get themselves on the map, but even where the systems still show NC. or -10.0 the ihubs and structures therein have been purged.

Anyway, we have been moving farther afield.  Sub cap operations have been starting with a titan bridge to PNDN-V, putting us on the path to operations in the far side of Tribute and into the Vale of the Silent.

Saturday I went with an Eagle fleet to the vicinity of the PanFam staging system in SH1-6P.  Word was that PanFam was evacuating the staging to pull back deeper into their territory.  A glance at Zkillboard for their staging system showed that somebody was insurance frauding a pile of Megathrons.

Some of the Blue on Blue kills in SH1-6P

Those seem to have been all empty hulls (I clicked a few but not all of them), so I gather they were not worth moving or sending to asset safety, but the modules were.

We passed through the system unmolested and moved to O-0ERG where an Ansiblex jump gate was waiting for us.  We landed on it in a ball and began to shoot.  As usual, I had plenty of T1 bash ammo in my cargo.  Life in Reavers, and then Liberty Squad, has kept me prepared to shoot structures at all times.

A Stork booster in our fleet with the Caldari Union Day SKIN

Being one jump away from a hostile staging system meant keeping alert, even if they were evac’ing.  While we were not the only fleet out shooting structures, at 100 ships we were a viable target if the locals decided to form and get a fight.

Our FC, whose name I’ve forgotten, seemed a bit on edge about the possibility of us getting dropped, but he was in the command channel where all sorts of information the line members don’t hear about things the enemy is up to is passed along.  We blew up the jump gate but were immediately aligned out to move.

On our way as the Ansiblex blows

We jumped into SH1-6P and passed through into D7-ZAC, where the FC had us start shooting a Pandemic Legion cyno jammer

Following the FC as we shoot

That did not last too long however, and he soon gave us an align point and told us that NCDot had formed a fleet and they would be coming for us shortly.  Vince Draken, long time NCDot lead FC, was bringing about 150 Eagles to fight us and we would be setting up for them.  The FC’s voice even sounded a bit stressed as he said we would be outnumbered and it would be a tough fight, so we needed to be on our game.

The enemy came through the gate and we started trying to hit their logi.  We failed to break the first couple and the FC switched over to targeting Eagles, which we were able to break and started to kill.  Things seemed to be going remarkably well considering we the odds were 3:2 against us and we were facing an veteran FC.  We were popping targets and almost nobody was broadcasting for reps. (Since I fly logi mostly I often forget and leave those broadcasts on in my fleet window.)

That was when I noticed that a full Baltec fleet of Megathron battleships had joined the fight on our side, weighing the odds heavily in our favor.  We were able to get some kills before the enemy fled, Vince Draken being one of the targets of the battleships who popped his Monitor FC ship.  The battle report shows that it ended up a very much one-sided fight.

Battle Report Header from the quick fight

That’s what happens when you’re out numbered.  I have screen shots of NC/PL dropping titans on us when we undocked Hurricanes back in Saranen during the Casino War, so I know what it is like.

Our Eagles were soon soaring alone on the field.

Eagle fleet spread out and chasing the FC

That was enough for us and we headed home.

Sunday several fleets were called up.  This time I went back to logi and joined the Baltec fleet under Pittsburgh2989.  This time we gated out to PNDN-V where a titan bridged us into the Vale of the Silent.  There we took up station and started shooting structures.

We did get one kill early on, an Azbel in 97-M96.

Baltecs already aligned out as the Azbel blows

But most of the time was spent reinforcing various structures in the vicinity.  A fleet had gone through and done the shield timer on a whole range of structures previously, so we were there to hit the armor timers as they came up.  This included a series of Athanor mining platforms that were mid-way through pulling moon chunks into position in order to be broken up and mined.

Moon chunk being pulled

That was kind of a neat visual, and on this sort of fleet you have to be interested in the visuals or watching Netflix on another screen or something.  I spent some time in WoW running world quests on an alt during the fleet.  But I also watched the ships and the targets.  We had a group from Black Ops that were out in the Triglavian battleship, the Leshak, hitting the structures with us.

A Leshak with the Metamateria Exotica SKIN

They can be kind of mesmerizing to watch, with their one red beam hitting the target continuously.

I just make a “bzzzzzzz” sound in my head when I see that

Seeing them makes me want to try out some of the Triglavian hulls at some point, though that will likely have to be something in a SIG.  They are too expensive and not abundant enough to be a main line doctrine.

We had a couple of the Triglavian tech 2 logi with us as well, the Zarmazd, which hit the game back in December, though I did not get a good screen shot of one of those.

What I did get to see is what happens when a mining platform gets its hull timer reinforced when it has a moon rock on the hook.  I have actually seen that before, but one of the Athanors had one very close to hand, ready for the mining action, so when it exploded it was right there on top of us.

Moon chunk goes boom!

And once it blows it leaves behind an oily black cloud that slowly dissipates.

The cloud as the explosion fades

It was a long fleets… past the three hour mark… but we reinforced a lot of structures and setup a lot of kills for a future fleet.  In a few days another fleet will be running around that area blowing up one structure after another.  We’ll see if I manage a return.

Tonight, or tomorrow morning EVE Online time, is another big structure kill.  The Keepstar in P3EN-E in the Vale of the Silent is set to come out of its final timer.  As with the two Keepstars last week, the fleets won’t even be forming up for the kill until almost midnight local time for me.  Kind of late on a weeknight.  Not something I can manage over and over.  But I am sure there will still be lots of people forming up to get on the kill mail.

Failed Headshot in Tribute

It was one of those fights where I could tell we were losing, but things in my own little corner of the engagement seemed to go pretty well.  So my view of the strategic outcome is more a matter of what I have read and heard elsewhere rather than anything I could attest to personally.

There had been pings earlier in the day to rouse the troops and get them to log in at what is generally a late hour for even USTZ, 04:30 UTC.  That translates to 9:30pm here on the west coast, which is about the time I want to be in bed.  But I figured I could be a little tired on Friday, so I stayed up for it.

The stated plan was to take out the ihub in SH1-6P, which is where the defenders of the region have massed their forces.  To finish off the ihub, which had been reinforced previously, meant an entosis fight across the six systems of the constellation.

The two stagings and the target constellation

If we won the cyno jammer would be disabled and we would be able to drop titans and supers on their staging Keepstar at will.  With the jammer still there they can keep out capitals out unless they want to gate in.

The first ping that went out for a Baltec fleet, the battleships doctrine based around the Megathron.  That filled up almost instantly, to the point that even though I was logged in before hand I couldn’t get in.

The next up was the Eagle fleet.  I managed to get into that before it too filled up, though it filled partially with people in Megathrons and interceptors, so there was a while of sorting that out and getting the right ships in the fleet.  It took us a good 40 minutes to get sorted and on a titan and ready to be bridged.

A dramatically lit titan

From there we were bridged into Tribute to sit on one of our citadels, where it seemed like we were bringing out the big guns as two titan fleets landed and tethered up around us.

Shield and armor titans on the field

We bridged off the citadel into Venal, something that a PanFam post on Reddit at least implied was unexpected.  They had bubble fucked the route through Tribute so we went through Venal, which was clear.  They seemed a bit salty about that.

Coming out of Venal with the Baltecs

We didn’t see those titans again last night.  We went in with the Baltec fleet, swatting aside the Sabres sent to slow us down pretty easily, ending up in Q-CAB2 on the WH-JCA gate.  The fight waited for us on the other side of the gate.

Ready to jump in

In we went.  TiDi was surging and while it never got down to the sludge of struggling at 10%, it stayed between 12% and 20% for much of the fight, slowing everything down.  The Eagles went through the gate and shot anchored bubbled and Sabres to clear a way for the Baltecs.

Glancing at the TiDi situation

Once through the bubbles and anchored up the fight became the usual repetition of locking and shooting targets, changing ammo to suit the situation, and managing drones.  For us the fight was trying to hit targets and break their tank before they could get reps, which is tough to do in TiDi, since it gives the logi pilots additional time to respond.  The game may be moving slow, but the humans at the controls are still at normal speed.  I know when I am flying logi it is easier to land critical reps in that situation.

This time however I was in an Eagle, shooting things.

Eagles flocking on grid

It was announced pretty soon into the fight that the entosis effort had failed.  The locals had won the objective.  But we were stuck in and not doing too badly, so there was no rush to get out.  We were managing to pick off a target now and again before they got reps.  I even saw a name or two I recognized, like Dreydan Trovirr of the Open Comms Show.

Saying “Hi” to Dreydan

He, like many of our targets, caught reps in time and lived.

The locals brought out some HAW dreads, which put some hurt on the Baltec fleet, which was taking the brunt of the fire.  Big, fat battleships are hard to resist and the dreads shredded the Bhaalgorns that were with the Baltecs.  But we managed to get in and pop some of the dreads along the way.

A Naglfar blows, other wrecks visible

We were also given a treat when a small pack of Macherials arrived on grid with us, which we blew up as fast as we could lock and shoot.  I ended up on the kills of five Machs and five dreads.

In a bit of a surreal situation, it turned out that one of the hostiles was streaming the fight with a very short delay… or no delay because it seemed only seconds behind… which meant we could hear their FC calling targets, allowing our logi to get reps on our ships before the damage hit.  I am not sure if that was ignorance or arrogance on their part, but we were happy enough to listen in as we continued to shoot.

Our Eagles lit by a dread explosion

As the Baltecs ceased to be much of a force and we became the primary target and the locals brought out their titans it looked like it was time for us to go.  We had lost our anchor, Zintage Enaka and were following a backup as we headed back to Q-CAB2 and though Venal again for home.

Once we were into Venal and grouped up the route was clear for our staging.  Our fleet, the Harpy fleet that came in after us, and what of the Baltec fleet that managed to get out were not bothered after that.  I arrived back at our staging Keepstar safe, having only lost my drones somewhere along the way.

Once there I was able to put the rigs on my ship.  I only noticed when we were into Venal that, after I bought the Eagle off a contract, I forgot to put the rigs on.

Something in my cargo hold I should have noticed

This is maybe the fourth op I’ve been on in this Eagle too.  I’ve glad nobody shot at me, though I am even more glad I didn’t get into the Baltec fleet.  However, I might have got to bed sooner if I had been in the Baltec fleet.  I didn’t turn the lights out until 1am.  Very late for me.

As for the battle, not only did we lose the objective, but the ISK war came out against us as well.  I tried to put together a battle report covering the constellation so as to include kills in battles over entosis hacking. (That just adds to our losses.)  I didn’t get everybody in the right columns, but all the significant groups were sorted.

Battle Report Header

We blew up almost 58 billion in hostiles, helped along by those HAW dreads, but lost over 100 billion ISK in the process.

Nearly 2,000 pilots were involved.  The locals dialed up Fraternity for some assistance while we had TEST and Brave from Legacy coalition, who have been fighting Fraternity, show up on our side.

In the end though, a fight like that doesn’t change much.  We’re not going home, the locals are not going away.  I suspect that rather than jumping straight at their staging we might spend some time drawing the locals out.  There is a Keepstar sitting 0-YMBJ, one gate from our staging in Pure Blind, that is just begging to be blown up.

Anyway, we shall see where we go from here.

Other posts on the battle:

The Battle at SH1-6P and Null Sec Ongoing

I wasn’t sure I was going to do a post about the fight at SH1-6P, seeing as I wasn’t there for it and I try to keep the blog to things I’ve seen and done.  That is the major premise of the whole effort here at TAGN.

On the flip side, over time one of the minor but valuable sub-notes in the disharmonious chord that is this blog has been the noting of events and milestones, such as game launches (and closures), expansion releases, and major events of note… like battles in EVE Online where titans get blown up.

A picture CCP used, maybe even from the battle...

A picture CCP used, maybe even from the battle…

So, there was a battle at SH1-6P, a system where CO2 had a POS with a capital ship assembly array, which PL and NCDot had previously put into a reinforced state.  When the reinforcement timer ended, the battle erupted between CO2 and its allies battled PL/NCDot and their allies.  Capitals, and then super capitals were dropped into the time dilated maelstrom around the POS.

Included in the battle were a large number of third parties (battle report), including a fleet from GSF that flew across New Eden for a chance to kick CO2 in the nuts.

CO2 escalated the battle to a super cap conflict and came out the worse for the effort, with it and its allied losing around 1.2 trillion ISK, including six CO2 titans down, while inflicting less than 200 billion in damage on its foes.  That is a one trillion ISK damage deficit.

There are battle reports up at the usual competing sources.

I think TMC wins out on details and insight.

In addition, The Asher Hour podcast episode 23 followed up the battle with a show featuring Asher talking with Ron Mexxico, Killah Bee, and Doomchinchilla to get sense of how things went from the PL side of the battle.

The event itself now takes second place on the list of battles that involved titans being blown up.  The list, so far as I recall it:

  • B-R5RB, January 2014 – 75 titans destroyed
  • SH1-6P, August 2016 – 6 titans destroyed
  • Okagaiken, July 2016 – 4 titans destroyed
  • Asakai, January 2014 – 3 titans destroyed

As things settle down the usual post-fight posturing is taking place.  You can catch that in the comment threads of both articles linked above.

And then a blog post, styled as An Open Letter to CCP, by the pilot Capri Sun Kraftfoods (yes, that is his in-game name) started its own waves as it took CCP to task for generally going down a path away from such large scale fights with Fozzie sov.  This led to a threadnought on Reddit with over a thousand comments, a surprising amount of which were not complete shit, along with a post over at Crossing Zebras trying to sum things up.

Unfortunately, none of what came up was really new.  I couldn’t begin to count how many times people who have actually had to go out and take or defend sovereignty have called out the entosis mechanic as a bad idea.  The fact that citadels didn’t go with entosis seems to indicate that even CCP isn’t sold on the idea.  Better to just shoot things, give kill mails, produce explosions, and have some sort of damage cap to extend events if you want to keep things from being blapped too quickly.

Likewise, jump fatigue has been moaned about for ages.  We’re coming up on Phoebe’s second anniversary and some people are still angry about it.

ADMs seem to be the only widely approved of mechanic from Fozzie Sov, as they reward groups that live in their space.  Of course, “living” in null sec means mining and ratting, which the PvP purists tend to despise, but at least it gives them some targets I suppose.

Being, as I noted recently, something of a fatalist when it comes to game mechanics, I take what I am given and try to work with them.  And I do not see any indication that CCP is going to change any of the current sovereignty mechanics.  Despite complaints about CCP being focused on null sec, Fozzie Sov seems to be clearly in the rear view mirror when it comes to development.  Maybe we’ll get another pass in a few years.

But the whole thing, Fozzie Sov, citadels, big fights, and how CCP responds to things does seem worth note.  One certainly couldn’t look at the bigger picture and come away thinking CCP is unified in their vision for New Eden.

The duality of man. The Jungian thing.

The duality of man. The Jungian thing.

On the one hand there is Fozzie Sov which, among its stated goals, sought to disperse fights across a constellation.  This seems like an attempt to reduce the size of sovereignty battles.  There have been some big battles over Fozzie Sov objectives.

The war that started LONG before Easter...

Excuse me, that is the “Casino War” TYVM

But in my experience, sovereignty, when it is contested, tends to turn into a long slog with both sides chasing each other around in a constellation-wide game of competitive whack-a-mole.  Less big fights when you disperse targets.  Working as designed.

However, this contrasts with how readily CCP jumps on any big event to drive press coverage.  CCP loves big battles and grand events, from Burn Jita to B-R5RB to anything else that gets a huge number of players in close proximity and destroys a lot of ships.  CCP threw together (another) screen shot contest immediately after SH1-6P. (The first Keepstar citadel getting blown up drew little water from the company though.)

And well they might jump on such events, as they do get wider press coverage and represent some of the “exciting” bits of the game in a world where coverage of the game can often stray into how boring the game can seem to those on the outside.  Of course, the press coverage of the exciting bits also brings in new players, though with the state of the new player experience, that often seems like a wasted opportunity.  Even letting people have a go at New Eden for free on Steam generates a spike in new character creation, but no noticeable effect on PCU.

Basically, another day in New Eden, where the highs can be incredibly high, while the everyday operations can wear you down if you don’t see a payoff somewhere down the road.