Tag Archives: TEST

Twenty Weeks of World War Bee

The plan was always we were going to move into Delve and Period Basis at some point.

-Vily, TEST Alliance SOTA

This past week on the CCP front, the company released the Monthly Economic Report for October which showed the extent of the destruction that occurred in Delve over the course of the five consecutive big fights early last month.

NPC Delve stands out on the map

Of the 45 trillion ISK destroyed that CCP recorded, 10.89 trillion ISK of that happened in Delve.  That is 24% of the destruction in the game, most of which occurred over a one week period.

The MER also showed how mineral prices have spiked to an all time high due to CCP’s starvation plan.

Oct 2020 – Economic Indices – Look at that mineral price spike at the end

CCP nerfing mining hard last month and nerfing ratting this month will have some impact, but with the World of Warcraft Shadowlands expansion landing later today, if CCP sees a dip in players it will likely be the call of Azeroth that did it.

Then there were two alliance announcements from the invaders, one from TEST and one from Pandemic Horde, which paint different pictures of their respective war goals.

Vily got up in front of TEST and trotted out the same vilification message that Goons are dumb and bad and their leaders needs to be driven from the game and the line members must repent of their bad choices.  Also, he wants to sit on our face, which I guess means he’s trying neg us or something?  Look, he said it, not me.  I just think of that as an incentive to keep fighting for as long as possible.

Also, as I pointed out in the quote at the top, TEST plans to come live in Delve and Period Basis which, again, is awkward given we’re still there.

TEST holdings in Orange

They do have all of Period Basis now, so I suppose they can start there.

Currently TEST lives primarily in Esoteria, Paragon Soul, and part of Feythabolis.

Current TEST home areas in Orange – Also, orange poop emoji?

Those areas will be up for grabs if they are really all in on Delve and not just making an excuse for their backfield home systems being attacked.  But the plans about avoiding our Keepstars and just smoking us out over time do not seem to have changed.

Then Gobbins posted an update for PanFam in their Discord on Saturday, after the Keepstar was anchored in T5ZI-S, announcing that “The Great Siege of 1DQ” had begun.  Also, they’re going to invade Fountain again, but this time from the south.  But primarily they want to burn “Rome” (1DQ), though they primarily interested in the faction Fortizars there, which were part of the treaty with GotG back in 2018, not the Keepstars.  They also want to blow up anything not secure behind the Helms Deep citadel in E3OI-U, after which they might be done.

Delve Front

In Delve there was much of the same going on as before.  As I mentioned earlier in the week, while ihubs continued to change hands, PAPI pushed hard to get the ihub T5ZI-S down, which opened the way for them to drop a Keepstar there.

PAPI Keepstar in T5ZI-S

The Imperium opted not to engage in another bloodbath to kill a Keepstar the way we did in early October, there being another one in the region already.  Without an opposition it went online successfully and put their new staging just one gate from 1DQ1-A.

Delve – Nov. 22, 2020 – Now with more annotations

What that they are… closer to us.  Maybe that means they will start attacking 1DQ1-A or that fights will be more likely.  The idea being floated that it cuts us off from Fountain though, I am not sure what that buys anybody.  But the war will get more real… or it won’t.

Other Theaters

Fountain.  I guess, given the above statements, PandaFam is invading there.  Reliving past glory?  Given that The Initiative retook a bunch of the ihubs and has since moved to join the Imperium foothold in Esoteria, there isn’t a lot stopping them.  Some theoretical capital ships are “trapped” there in Gobbins’ vision of things, but I’ve heard tales of trapped capitals before.  For a long time the same people were telling us the Imperium super and titan fleet was trapped in 93PI-4.  And then suddenly it wasn’t.

Querious remains an ongoing low intensity war over ihubs.  The invaders finally broke into “fake” Querious and took some of those ihubs after weeks of trying.  Now they have to hold them.

Querious – Nov. 22, 2020

And down in Esoteria the Imperium campaign has carried on.  The Bastion, Ferrata Victrix, and The Initiative have held on to their gains and even added another ihub to their record.

NW Esoteria – Nov. 22, 2020

If Vily’s SOTA speech is true, that group over there should be able to gain more ground if TEST is really moving to Delve.

My Participation

I went on a number of ops over the past week, but few ended up in a fight.  If the enemy shows up with double or more our numbers, we don’t feed them an easy victory.  The best skirmish was yesterday when a TEST Ragnarok warped off on its own and got dropped and killed by a dread bomb.  That drew a big response.

Behold their titan rage form

I bridged in with a Cerb fleet for support and, while too late for the titan kill, we managed to pick off a few hostiles, including an enemy FC, before heading home.  Screwing around in Delve just two jumps from our capital… well, there is a saying for that.

In the end, no losses for me, so my total remains 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
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The EVE NT Alliance Tournament wrapped up on Sunday, with the final match up being Templis CALSF versus Warlords of the Deep.  That ended up with Templis CALSF winning the final best of five matches with three straight victories.  They lost no matches and came out on top.

And then there was the weekly peak concurrent user count, which again happened on Saturday rather than Sunday, likely due to the Keepstar in T5ZI-S anchoring right at prime time, which had about 6,000 of us sitting around waiting for the other side to jump into us.  No fight occurred, but lots of us logged on.

  • 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)

Related

Eleven Weeks of World War Bee

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

When, further on down the road, somebody asks what the goal of the war was, I will reference this quote.  It is one thing to say it in your alliance update, or on /r/eve, or in some other dark corner of the internet, but when he has given it to the mainstream gaming press, that is now the benchmark by which he will be measured.

Vily is allegedly aggrieved because he was “fired” by the Imperium, something he explains in that article.  However, people who were around at the time remember him leaving amicably.  And the Imperium has, up through the last CSM election, put Vily on their ballot because he was viewed as somebody they could work with.  Also, there is that long non-invasion pact we had with Legacy when PanFam was their enemy.  Not behavior consistent with the Vily narrative.

Anyway, he and Progodlegend continued to push a narrative that Goons are bad for the game,  forming a huge blue doughnut against us while repeatedly using a scene from 300 where the Spartans claim “warrior” as their profession as part of his narrative.

Somehow the Imperium are the Persians in this scenario, the farmers and other non-combat types who are… completely outnumbered by an overwhelming force attacking their territory?  That doesn’t sound right.

And it is especially suspect when you look at the MER and see who is farming.  But I’m just a brainwashed Imperium line member (per Vily), so maybe I’ve mislearned that historical metaphor.

On the bright site, TEST has changed its tune on operational tempo.  February is no longer the target date for VD Day (victory in Delve).  They have decided they will only need until the end of October, though that might only be the 1DQ1-A victory date.  It only took until week eleven to declare that the invasion has begun.   We will see if they actually attack in Delve some time soon.

The Northern Front

There isn’t a “Northern Front” to speak of now.  All but four of the invader’s ihubs have been removed by The Initiative as of this writing.  They even got the staging Fortizar.  Anything left behind will end up in Hophib via asset safety.  The Initiative even visited there.  Basically, the attackers are gone, we aren’t doing much there other than clearing out the remains, and nobody lives there for now.

The Southern Front

Querious is now where the action is.  Last week I speculated about whether the invaders might be making for NPC Delve given their run of attacks on the northern systems that lead there.

However, their eyes were apparently focused on another target, the 49-U6U system.

They first dropped a Keepstar in 1M4-FK, which seemed a little short of where they might want to be for NPC Delve, though it was a single jump from their staging in Khanid low sec.

Then they put up a Keepstar in P-ZMZV, which definitely ruled out NPC Delve as the immediate goal.  Instead they were using that as a staging to take the ihub in 49-U6U, an operation where they got out 3,000 pilots for node contest.  That was more than enough to take the ihub.

Querious – Sep 20, 2020 – Invasion route and ihub status

The system is important to them because it is on the direct route from Catch to Querious.  Those who have been following along at home might remember that PandaFam and Legacy concentrated all of their supers and titans in two Keepstars, laid down expressly to dock them, early in the war.  That seemed like it might be their invasion route.

Where they started out and the current focus

And then, of course, those ships sat there and did nothing while KarmaFleet camped the gate in 49-U6U with a cruiser gang.

Later the invaders laid down a chain of 13 Keepstars to move the supers and titans all the way around to Fountain to bring overwhelming force to bear on the Imperium Keepstars in Fountain.

Once done there, they moved to Khanid low sec to focus on Querious.  Now their attention has finally turned to 49-U6U.  It seems like they could have force the gate a while back, but maybe they don’t have the thousand titans about which Progodlegend was boasting a few weeks back.

Now, with the 49-U6U ihub in their hands, we can no longer cyno jam the system if we want, so they used their advantage to… make the slowest move op ever, gating one dreadnought at a time through the gate into Querious to jump them to their new staging in P-ZMZV.  They were paranoid enough to be worried about getting caught by Imperium supers and titans that they wouldn’t put more that one dread on grid at a time… covered by three subcap fleets around the gate… but not paranoid enough to just use the chain of Keepstars to jump their caps around into Querious the long way.  It seems odd.

Systems in titan range of P-ZMZV and supply routes

Meanwhile, there is still an Imperium Keepstar and Fortizar in 49-U6U.  They reinforced the Fortizar, but then stood down for the armor timer when they found they did not out number us sufficiently to take the fight.  Who were the Spartans in that scenario?

But they’ll have to fight us on Keepstars and Fortizars in range of our caps at some point.  So far they have only faced subcap resistance, with some dread and carrier support, and had to bring out their own supers to overcome that.  It is going to be fun when we have titans on the structures waiting for them.

My Participation

This week was Slippery Pete week for me, the name referring to a Tengu doctrine fit with the covert and interdiction nullified subsystems.  This allows them to use black ops jump bridges and pass through warp disruption bubbles.  They are slow to align and not at all tanky, but can blap targets out to 200km and warp off before you can get to them.  You don’t hold the grid with them, you warp in on a group attacking a target and savage them from range then warp off, only to return from another direction and pick off more targets.

Petes on the move

I got in a Pete fleet four nights running during the week, and we managed to frustrate hostiles attacking our structures in Querious, saving a Fortizar while bleeding the enemy and making them jump their caps out prematurely, even killing an Apostle, a Thanatos, and a Revelation along the way.

Petes on the Apostle kill

Petes are a lot of fun and inflict a lot of damage for very few losses when used correctly.

I was also on the ops around 49-U6U.  Friday night I was in the wall of battleships there to defend our Fortizar in the system.

Battleships massed

That was the Fortizar timer I mentioned above where were were outnumbered by the attackers declined to take the fight.  So we reinforced the ihub in the system, so now they’ll have to at least form up to defend it because we have a whole SIG dedicated to entosis ready to contest it if they do not.

I was also around for the hostile move op through 49-U6U, though they were so cautious that there was never an opportunity for a fight as they ran their caps through the gate one at a time.

However, later that evening they got careless and Kun’mi and his dread group dropped on a TEST titan, killing it on their Fortizar in 4-07MU.  They responded with a dread fleet smaller than the group that dropped on the titan… I guess all their friends moved already… and a brawl ensued.  I jumped in a Ferox fleet that burned in to support the dreads and got on a few hostile dread kills (and one fax) as we helped clear tackle so our own caps could extract.

A Revelation goes up as we fly past

The battle report shows things fell our way.

Battle Report Header

I ended up getting caught on the gate trying to get out, so lost my Ferox, but it was still a hell of a fight, run and gun and go go go.

So I ended up the week with having been in a few good fights, having gotten on quite a few kills, all for the loss of one Ferox.  My loss total for the war across all accounts is now:

  • 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 Bits

The invaders remain careful… hesitant at times… and no doubt the titan kill I mentioned above is an indication as to why.

Their leadership is telling their members that we’re already dead, that the end is a foregone conclusion, that victory is theirs to take.  It is all the slanted rhetoric of war, and I would expect nothing less.

But, at some point, they are going to have to get on grid with one of our Keepstars within range of our supers and titans, something that has yet to happen, and put that rhetoric to the test.

Maybe.  I guess.

I mean, Dunk Dinkle was on Talking in Stations saying that they don’t want to do that, that they might never do that.  Instead they want to keep laying down a bunch of Keepstars to try and bait us into fighting on their grid.

I remain mystified about this apparent plan to build a Maginot Line of defensive Keepstars in hopes that we’ll attack them.  It worked so well for the French in 1940.  Or maybe the Italians invading Egypt in 1940 is the better metaphor.  I don’t know, and I might fall back into a “that’s not how invasions work” routine if I am not careful.  Though, if they get one close enough to us, I am sure we will attack it.  We have attacked defended Keepstars before, and won.

It the end, it seems pretty silly.   If you’re going to run a war of extermination (see quote at the top of the post), don’t you have to actually go in and get the people you plan to exterminate?  How are they going to makes us leave the game if they don’t have a plan to blow up our stuff?  How do you achieve the declared victory condition with that mindset?

Anyway, the lack of offensive spirit in our foes probably explains why the Sunday PCU counts for the war remain tepid.  You need a big battle to get big numbers.

  • 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

I fear we may have blown the horn of Goondor too soon.  The enemy remains tentative.

Other articles about the war this week:

(I’d link something other than INN, but EN24 just reposts CCP press releases these days and the New Eden Post has an apparent article quota of about 2 per month, and they blew one of them on EVE Echoes so far this month.)

Opening Moves in the War

It was a busy day in null sec yesterday.  A lot happened.  There were a massive number of ships in motion.  Yet almost nothing of real consequence came to pass.

So it goes.

The day started full of promise.  There was a fireworks event planned at the Imperium’s main Keepstar in 1DQ1-A, with more than 1,700 people in system and fireworks going off all over, which was enough to drag you frame rate down into the low teens.

The Keepstar lit by fireworks

The firework effects are relatively small compared to the size of the structure, but the cumulative effect of them going of lit up the whole tableau.

I had to peek in on that via an alt, as a couple hours before that kicked off there was a ping from Asher Elias to Reavers that was too hard to pass up.

SUPER IMPORTANT. TORP BOMBERS UNDER TOM FLOOD, NEED AT LEAST 25 REAVERS FOR THIS. IF IT SUCEEDS YOU’RE HEROES FOREVER. USE REAVERS SIG COMMS

Special operations can be a treat.  I love a big fight and, frankly, I am happy enough just shooting structures when it comes down to it, but something out of the ordinary is always welcome.

So a pack of Reavers flew off… and almost messed up the mission when our first black ops battleship warped with us straight into a gate camp in 1DQ1-A and got popped along with a couple of bombers.  The fuel truck got through the gate with 8% left in structure and had to tether up on the other side to repair.

A replacement blops was found, a Marshall, which is an 8 billion ISK ship.  But it looks good and, as fit, it aligned and warped off faster than the bombers as we moved to our destination.

Our hot rod blops

We moved carefully, eventually setting up shop in a dead end system in Stain that would allow us to drop onto a range of systems where Legacy Coalition was expected to drop a new Keepstar.

This Keepstar was to be the new staging base for their invasion of Delve.  But we had eyes all over and watched likely freighters come and go, bridge this way and that, because they knew they were being watched and no doubt feared that we would crash the party when they decided to anchor the structure.  And our hope was no less than to drop on the freighter and blow it up as it prepared to disgorge the Keepstar.

We even knew the timing that they wanted to align with, as they wanted the Keepstar live and deployed to in time for their own 19:00 UTC state of the alliance meeting to announce the start of the war.  Since it takes 24 hours to online a Keepstar in your own territory, the window of opportunity was pretty clear.

But being watched made them dither.  Meanwhile, as time went on, more and more Imperium luminaries slipped out of 1DQ to join our fleet.  Most of the major alliance FCs and one of our CSM reps were cloaked up on the blops with us before the decision point came.  Some poor Russian kept asking us in local to leave and go back to Delve so he could carry on farming LP for Nirvana implants, but we never answer back in local.

As we sat there, the Meta Show kicked off, where The Mittani, who had been on coms with us a few times, taunted Vily, the CSM member and leader of Legacy Coalition, that we knew what he was up to, that we were in his head.  If we couldn’t kill the Keepstar, we would at least mess with them.

The likely candidate systems were being watched, but we only had so many eyes, and in the end, after hours of hustling around and PM’ing our lurkers to see if anybody would answer, they dropped the Keepstar quickly in FAT-6P, a few systems over from our foothold in Catch at 4-07MU.

The Foothold in Catch

We got a covert ops cyno in position, but there was enough going on in the target system that tidi was up and it took a bit for the bridge to go up.

The Marshall is ready to send us

But the cyno ship got popped before more than a few of us could get through.  I ended up stuck with the blops.  But that was okay, as there were not many of us and the Keepstar was already anchoring.  In their haste to get things going, rather than giving it a meme name, as TEST tends to do, they named it “1111,” which we took as a sign than we has indeed made them nervous.  It also wasn’t very carefully positioned.  When you lay down a structure you try to face the undock in a useful direction.

Not one of their usual clever names

Asher, who had been through to see the Keepstar only to have his Purifier popped, took a moment to ping out this to the coalition.

Congrats to Test for starting the anchoring if their non-aligned keepstar panic-named “1111”. They meant to start anchoring it 3 hours ago so it came out with their 19:00 SOTA but a few brave bomber boys kept them flummoxed and confused for 3 hours while they cyno’d around Stain and Catch trying to lose us. A great start to the war for them! Looking forward to their pilots waiting for 3 hours after their SOTA before they can do anything!

With that ping “1111” became the new battle cry as people at the fireworks party in 1DQ began to repeat that in local.

GIF of 1DQ local

Expect “1111” to come up a lot.  At least you’ll know where it came from now.

This Keepstar was placed in the buffer zone between Legacy and the Imperium, which was yet another violation of the Non-invasion pact between the two powers, but with only a few hours to go before it ended, it was hardly going to change anything.

We made out way back home, disappointed that we hadn’t gotten to kill the Keepstar, but happy enough to have had an impact.  I actually had to leave part way through the vigil on the blops to go fire up the BBQ and cook some lunch for my family.  I had enough time to do that, eat, and get back on the blops again before anything happened.  Sometimes we just sit and wait.

It was about time for the State of the Goonion.  The Mittani read a prepared speech, the text of which has been posted on INN, in which he announced that our own war aim was to destroy TEST Alliance Please Ignore, that they were to be the Carthage to our Rome.  An list of 102 alliance might arrayed against us, but we would have one real target.

And once that was over, the form up for war began.  TEST seemed to have some plan to start the war well into July 5th, but so far as we were concerned, if the NIP between the Imperium and Legacy was to end on a date, we were going to get started at 00:01 EVE Online time, so declined to wait around for them to have their SOTA or for their Keepstar to anchor.

This led to a series of clashes across the map.  Up north PandaFam came out of their staging in Hophip and into Fountain where they fought several engagements with The Initiative, which was watching that way into our space.

Meanwhile, down south, TEST seemed to be ready to form up for battle on the Period Basis/Paragon Soul border, where the systems TCAG-3 and G-M4GK form the connection between our territories.  This led to… not much at all.  I flew on down with the spec ops group in an ECM frigate, ready to cause trouble.

ECM birds flying

However, while a fight threatened to develop, with TEST forming up fleets, they would inevitably stand them down or leave them idle.  They did poke into Querious and manage to reinforce the Ansiblex in 49-U6U, and there was a brief clash as they came through into TCAG-3, but no huge brawl developed.  They seemed to still be on their own timetable, set to have a meeting at 19:00, move into the new Keepstar once it anchored, and then get on with the war.

So the opportunity was taken to go in and reinforce a bunch of their infrastructure hubs in Paragon Soul and a few more in Esotaria.

Systems with an orange boarder have been reinforced

We seem to have stolen a march on the invaders, though these are more morale points than anything tangible.  The first day of counting coup was fun, but made no real change to the situation.  We are still greatly outnumbered by foes who plan to assail us from multiple directions.  They will get their act together and come for us, sooner rather than later.

Further Structure Bashing in Cache

Asher got us together again for another structure, this time an Astrahus timer, the timer that TEST had set while we were out bashing that tower a couple days before.  Being a final timer that might see the structure destroyed, the thought was that the locals might form up and defend leading to a fight.  And if they didn’t fight… well.. structure kill mail.

We logged in, once again totaling less that 30 ships, swapped out our cloaks and formed up to travel to M-MCP8, where we sat on the P7-45V gate.  The latter is Vindictive’s staging, so we hoped to catch some people passing through.

On the gate, bubble up

We did catch a Fraternity Dominix on the gate, and a couple other minor target.  The Domi seemed like a good sign, that maybe Vindictive would be getting some support from their Winter Coalition allies, since they were not leaving the coalition until the end of the month.

They would need some help and somebody else we caught in our bubble was Seddow, the FC of the Legacy Coalition Loki fleet that mauled the Vindictive Machariel fleet while we were shooting that POS tower.  We were asked not to shoot him.

So it seemed like they would be coming back to finish off the Astrahus.  They set the timer, so why wouldn’t they?

Our eyes on the Vindictive staging Keepstar was reporting various activity and even a titan up and perhaps ready to bridge a defense fleet in on the Astrahus.  They had a couple of force recons, the only viable cyno ships these days, hanging about.  Asher even had us drop our mobile depots in safe spots in the system in case things went against us and we had to either reload drones from cargo or get our cloaks on and hide.

However, for all the activity, not much happened.  When the timer ran down on the Astrahus we started shooting it, waiting for something to drop.  But nothing did.  Instead, a gunner in the Astrahus took shots at us, neuted us, hit us with tracking disruptors, and generally tried to make our time hitting the structure as taxing as possible.

Another bomb from the Astrahus goes off

The gunner did manage to kill off some drones, something of an annoyance to a group with a long supply line back to Delve, but did not slow down the inevitable all that much.  Legacy showed up with their Lokis again as expected.

Legacy Lokis join the shoot

Then final outcome was determined, the Astrahus exploded.

Another Upwell structure destroyed

We scooped our mobile depots and formed back up.

Then it was over to P7-45V, where an Athanor was also in its final timer.  There was no defense put up there either, so another structure kill mail was shared between us and the Legacy Loki fleet.

Athanor brews up

After that it was back to our staging system and our safe spots, cloaks once again fitted and running, waiting for our safe log off timers to run down so we could leave space safely.  Another night in Cache.

A Tower Bash in Cache

The current Reavers deployment has had some stretches of inactivity.  We were delayed deploying due to a hurricane (other than Hilmar) bearing down on Asher, then he was away on vacation for a bit.  My main and my alt had been logged out in hostile space for a while now, though since WoW Classic has been getting most of my attention, I wasn’t complaining.

But Asher got back and settled and it was time to log back in late last week.  We had something to do, so we dropped our mobile depots to refit and get rolling.

Off with the cloak

The target picked was a simple one, another powered down POS sitting out in space.  Maybe somebody would come get us, alerted by our attack.  We formed up and flew out to the target system, M-MCP8 in Cache, only to find it somewhat more populated than expected.

The residents, Vindictive alliance, were out in force, with 50 or so appearing in local as we jumped into the system.  We had fewer than 30 ships in our fleet, but Asher figured we might get a fight so we warped on grid with the tower and started shooting.

Tower hits

As we slowly circled the tower, formed up and following Asher’s Legion, more people started piling into the system, and we saw local rise even further.  The newcomers appeared to be from Legacy coalition, with TEST making up the bulk of them in local.  Of course, with TEST in system, local began to come alive with chatter.  We kept on orbiting the tower, chipping away at it.

Following Asher

As it turned out, there was another operation going on parallel to ours.  A group from Legacy had been running ops into Vindictive space for a while now and had recently set the armor timer on an Astrahus in the system.

The timer was set to come out just a few minutes after we arrived.  So people were showing up to that party.

Our target was a remnant left behind by Dragon Empire, who now live up in Geminate, so were unlikely to run out to save an anchored by unfueled tower.  Likewise, nobody in system had anything to do with the tower, so no notifications were going to them.  They were content to focus on their own battle, ignoring the small fleet of Ishtars easily within dscan range, it being one of the smaller systems in the area.

A clump of Ishtars

The tower took a while.  Even a small faction tower has a lot of shield hit points, but we kept on flying around it, letting our drones to the work.  In local it sounded like things were not going well for the owners of the system.  There were recriminations and some mocking going on.  It seemed that the defense, a small Machariel fleet had been swept aside by Legacy Loki fleet.

At our end, we eventually cut through the shields and were able to get through the armor and structure layers rapidly.  Soon the tower blew up with a satisfying display.

Brewing up, ready to burst

By that point the fight over the Astrahus had been resolved.  The final timer had been set and Legacy had finished spewing in local and headed home.  We too headed for the exit, our own small mission complete.

The out gate

However, as we landed on the gate to P7-45V an Vindictive Machariel landed as well and jumped, no doubt hoping to get away ahead of us.  And his hope was not unwarranted.  Aggression timers were still live on some of the fleet.  I still had a few seconds remaining on my own timer as we saw him jump.  But the call went out to jump through and tackle him if we could.  We jumped as soon as we could… and it was just soon enough.  A bubble went up to keep him from warping off and we piled on.

Machariel getting ganked at the gate

He put on speed to get out of the bubble but had a web on him as well, so exploded well before he reached the edge.  The kill mail showed a modest fit for a Mach, and no implants in his pod, but a good solid kill.

Having already deployed around the gate with a bubble up, we hung around and camped the gate for a bit, and were rewarded with a few more kills and the locals attempted to move back and forth between the two systems.

We even got the Machariel pilot again trying to slip through in a Cormorant this time.

But such a gate camp is a temporary thing.  We were in the heart of their space and they were just standing down from a defense operation, so it seemed likely they could form up enough Machs to sends us running if they had the heart for it, so we moved on back to our own staging in their space, warping off to our safe spots to once again deploy out mobile depots, mount our cloaks, scoop the depots, and cloak up safely while out logoff timers ran down.

I am not sure how much heart Vindictive would have had though.  They withdrew from Winter Coalition the next day, no doubt due to the attention Legacy had been giving them.  We haven’t moved on yet though.  There were ops on over the weekend (which I missed) including another camp on that same gate which was fruitful yet again.  But it is possible we might pack up to hunt elsewhere soon.

Quote of the Day – Goblin Gets His Due

Gevlon was right

-The Mittani, Imperium Fireside May 4, 2019

I previously mentioned the ongoing conflict in Perimeter over control of trading citadels.  Last year the Imperium and Legacy Coalition began to assail the trading citadels set up by Pandemic Horde.  Those were blown up and replaced by citadels run by TEST alliance, including a Keepstar.

Shop at the sign of the middle management dino

Why Perimeter?  Well, it is one of the eight systems that connect directly to Jita.

Jita and Perimeter

More importantly, it is one of the five neighboring system in The Forge, the same region as Jita, so if you are in Jita and searching for something to buy, goods in Perimeter will show up in your results as well.  As to why Perimeter won out over the other four, my guess is that being on the direct route to Amarr, the second trade hub of New Eden, probably tips the scales.  People try to set up in the other systems, but the listings there are even more meager.

Anyway, since the swap over to Legacy Coalition holding the trade stations in Perimeter a low scale conflict has carried on to try and wrest control away or at least make life annoying.  I had not heard much about that conflict of late.  As it turns out that was likely due to negotiations going on over the whole thing.

At yesterday’s fireside The Mittani announced that a deal had been reached and that going forward the Imperium, Legacy Coalition, and Pandemic Horde would all work together to defend the structures of the Tranquility Trading Corporation, consisting of the Keepstar, two Sotiyos, and one Tatara in Perimeter.

Instead of fighting, each of the three groups will now share in the profits from the trading complex.

This is where Gevlon comes in.  Somebody sent the link to one of Gevlon’s posts where he predicted something like this would come to pass to The Mittani, and Mittens had to admit that Gevlon was right on that particular point.  Some null sec powers did come together to hold a trading citadel together rather than fighting over it.

Of course, Gevlon was wrong on just about everything else in that post.  It is debatable as to whether or not the Imperium, led by Goonswarm Federation, Legacy Coalition, led by TEST, and Pandemic Horde add up to being “everyone significant” when it comes to null sec powers.  It most certainly does not mean peace between the three powers.  Even as I was writing this I got a ping to log in and shoot Pandemic Horde and expect to continue with the campaign against them and NCDot in TKE and The Spire, striking straight at their rental income.  These are not staged “gud fites” but an actual campaign meant to hurt them.

And then there is the effect on Jita.  While some trade is going through Perimeter, it seems to be mostly focused on some high price density items, things like PLEX, skill injectors, and the like.  Trade at the station at Jita 4-4 carries on pretty much as before, three years after the Citadel expansion brought this player run trade center option to the game.

Whether people keep trading in Jita out of habit, ignorance, or mis-trust or player run citadels… some of those trade citadels have been blown up after all… doesn’t matter, people still do most of their buying and selling in Jita.

This means that Gevlon’s assumptions and ISK estimates are all completely bogus.  If his prediction had come to pass we should have seen some sort of drop in the Broker’s Fees collects on the ISK sink side of the chart in the MER.  However, compared to his numbers from the February 2016 MER, the broker’s fees collected were actually up in the March 2019 MER.

As for how much the owners of the trade citadels have to discount their fees in order to attract business… well, he was way off once more.

Fee comparison

In Perimeter they had to cut the broker’s fee to the bone to get the business they have, and that hasn’t moved very much out of the much more expensive Jita.  Even if they got the level of business he predicted, the net profit would be nowhere near his cataclysmic outlook.

And Gevlon said he left EVE Online because of this, because of his grim predictions of what was to come with player run markets in citadels.  I guess he could have stuck around.  The null sec empires are still getting rich, but it doesn’t have much to do with markets in Perimeter.

A Fortizar Shoot in Perimeter

As I mention in a previous post, the null sec alliances brought their recent conflict to high sec using war decs, allowing TEST to assail Pandemic Horde’s trade hub in Perimeter.  PH’s structures in Perimeter were reinforced while TEST dropped its own citadels, a faction Fortizar and a Keepstar.

War decs piled up between the groups as The Imperium joined in on the side of TEST and its Legacy Coalition allies while Black Legion jumped in to assist Pandemic Horde.  Notably missing was the rest of PanFam, including Pandemic Legion and NCDot.  Pandemic Horde has truly grown into its own entity.

It looked like there might be a fight brewing in high sec, just one jump from Jita.

Instead, Pandemic Horde decided to punt on its high sec trading empire.  There is a post over at New Eden Report about the impact of this on the market.  But for those of us just looking to shoot things, there would be no war.  Pandemic Horde opted to contest neither the structures TEST deployed nor defend their own structures.  At best there would just be a structure shoot to take them out.

Being in Reavers, structure shoots are clearly my bag.  And since our war dec was still in place, I went out to shoot the PH Fortizar just because I could.

The Safe Trade Hub is no longer Safe

The nervous bit was getting there.  I undocked from Jita 4-4 with my market/training implant clone to run to another station where I could install a jump clone.  Then I ran back.  Fortunately, the usual people who have us war dec’d and are generally camping the undock at 4-4 had joined us in the war.  I was able to safely setup a local clone, jump to it, then roll back into 4-4 to pick up a ship.

I had a Jackdaw handy there and, not wanting to spend any ISK I didn’t have to, I rolled out of Jita to Perimeter in that.

Jackdaw on the way

When I arrived the shoot was already under way.  TEST had a fleet sitting at range shooting the Fortizar.  There was another group about 120 degrees off from them shooting the citadel as well.  That group was putting out constant beams, which confused me for a bit.

Jackdaw spotting the red beams, TEST fleet ball visible

When I put the camera on that group though, the answer was clear.  It was a small fleet of Leshaks, the Triglavian battleship, (supported by a few Nestors) responsible for those beams.

A Leshak at the shoot

The Triglavian weaponry, the precursor weapons, fire a continuous beam that puts out more damage the longer it stays on a target.

I had warped in at 50km and went into orbit around the citadel until the structure got down to about 25%.  I only noticed after I arrived that the Jackdaw was fit for rockets rather than light missiles, which meant I would have to move in close to get my hits in.  Even in sniper mode that meant being about 25km off the Fortizar.  I was wondering if wandering in that close might draw the attention of the defensive weaponry.

However, that didn’t turn out to be an issue.  I decreased the radius of my orbit to bring the rocket launcher in range and let fly.  I am way down the list for total damage, but at least I got on the kill mail.  It has been a quiet month with the peace agreement and PH not defending in Perimeter, so this is the only kill mail I am on for October. I try to be on one every month just to prove I am alive.

And so Pandemic Horde lost its foothold in Perimeter.

The PH logo shortly before the explosion

If you look at the kill mail, you will see that the five Leshaks in that group managed to get the top five slots for damage.  Those precursor weapons work as advertised I guess.

Null Sec goes to High Sec for a War Dec

Weren’t we just talking about war decs?

Okay, this isn’t that sort of griefing war dec that drives high sec care bears from the game.  In fact, this is exactly the sort of thing CCP wants war decs to be.

With the ending of the war in the north there was supposed to be a month of peace.  However, Pandemic Horde took great exception to the peace payoff that sent the Imperium on its way and loudly declared it was not bound by it in any way and heading off, along with Black Legion, after Guardians of the Galaxy in a war that seemed set to disturb any recovery peace might bring.

Pandemic Horde setting themselves apart from the peace terms left the door open to further conflict before the month long timer ran down.  And while there is combat going on in null sec space as each side drops on the others ratters and miner, a new front opened up over the weekend in Perimeter, a system one jump over from Jita, the central trade hub of New Eden.

Jita and Perimeter and the general area

Perimeter has been the system of choice for attempts to setup trading citadels since they were first introduced.  While not much trade has moved to those citadels… nobody is going to buy hulls or ship modules there when their market alt is in Jita 4-4… certain commodities like skill injectors have found a market home there.

If you are sitting in Jita 4-4 and you look at the market for skill injectors sorted by price, the lowest prices are in the Perimeter citadels.  Since you can activate them remotely, you should probably buy them there.  The lower tax margins allow for lower prices, though that still doesn’t stop people from buying them from Jita 4-4.  I’ve sold a couple dozen skill injectors, always in Jita, and always for much more than the current going rate in Perimeter, without issue.  People will pay more to buy from the station they are in, often much more, just to avoid having to undock and travel.

This is one of the special features of EVE Online.  There is no magical delivery service.  If you buy something remote you then have to go get it or pay somebody to bring it to you.  Travel is a burden in New Eden, but it makes market segmentation possible.  There is not a single, unified auction house that will pop your purchases in the post.  Distance matters.

CCP, in their usual techno-Viking libertarian madness, despite having seen how we generally behave, wants players to control as much of the economy as they can get away with, so this citadel market operation is their plan working as designed… for once.  Player owned citadel markets haven’t taken over the economy.  Gevlon citing this as a corrupt developer game-killing excuse to leave the game was yet one more sign of his self-deception.  But they are a thing and can make some groups a decent amount of money.

And, in the case of Perimeter, Pandemic Horde is a big player both directly and through their neutral alt alliance, IChooseYou Holding.  So this weekend a new front was opened against Pandemic Horde via high sec war declarations.

Declaring against Pandemic Horde

Both GSF and TEST got in early with their war declarations.  While the Imperium reset standings with TEST and its allies with the peace in the north, high sec is a different story.  We can work together and not be blue as standings between alliances do not matter in high sec, only war decs do.  And so both groups declared against PH and their alt alliance right away, with a few additional groups trailing in late.

Probably at war by the time this post goes live

Those mirror the war declarations against IChooseYou Holdings as well.  You can check their info in-game and see the same list.

So we may be working with Darkness, the lead alliance of Guardians of the Galaxy, in this war.  Black Legion, sided up with Pandemic Horde, was also included in the whole thing.

Black Legion’s war plan

Null sec alliances are used to having war declarations against them.  This is usually done by groups like P I R A T, which you see there on Black Legion’s list, that camp the undock in Jita (and sometimes Amarr) hoping to catch the unwary and the unknowing leaving the station for an easy kill.

If you look at Pandemic Horde’s status in-game, you’ll see they have no shortage of war decs running.  But none of them are quite like what they are facing now.  And TEST was quick off the mark to get the party started.  Once their war dec went active they immediately hit the trading Fortizars in Perimeter.

Pandemic Horde Fortizar reinforced

With the first timers down those using the market in either the PH or the IChooseYou Holdings face a choice.  If TEST comes back and wins the armor timer, then the market functions will be shut down and sellers may end up having to wait for asset safety in order to recover their goods.

But TEST was also in to setup their own trade hub.  There was a TEST alliance hub being spun up, using a Draccous faction Fortizar no less.  A bit of showing off in that I am sure.

TEST branded sales

But bigger still was the Keepstar they dropped in Perimeter under an alt corp.

A Keepstar in Perimeter

INN says that this is the first high sec Keepstar and it is right there on the Jita gate in Perimeter if you want to see on up close.

The Keepstar managed to slip past the initial vulnerability period when it was deployed, but anything that big is too sweet of a target to ignore.  War decs on the alt alliance went out immediately and we shall see what happens when it goes into its initial repair cycle after 19:00 today.

Fortizar with the Keepstar in the distance

So for those who were asking, “Now what?” when the war in the north ended, here is the answer, and likely not one many expected.  We will see if Pandemic Horde can be thrown out of the market hub business, something reported to be a serious source of income for the alliance.  The proximity of Jita, still the undisputed trade hub of New Eden, makes for fairly frictionless logistics, so both sides in this conflict could hang on for quite a while.

And, as null sec pilots prepare to enter high sec, the usual comedy will no doubt ensue.  If you live in null sec, where pretty much anything goes, the rules of empire space can be arcane and confusing.  There are already warnings going out for people to check the security status lest they find themselves a target of CONCORD and I am sure the locals will take advantage of anybody’s suspect status.

Finally, with war decs in the spotlight and loud calls to turn the feature off resounding around the community (if only until a better solution is found), there is the possibility that whoever can control the Perimeter trade might have their supremacy locked in by CCP.

Draccous Fortizar anchoring

That is, if you believe CCP will actually turn off war decs.  Somehow I doubt that will come to pass.

Further information:

A Keepstar Lives in Tenerifis

If at first you don’t succeed…

Last night saw the second Keepstar deployed in UALX-3 in the Tenerifis region come online successfully.

Home for Executive Dino

The circumstances of the past few days allowed this to conclude successfully.  The big fight over the first attempt to anchor a Keepstar in UALX-3 led to the node crashing after the Keepstar had been destroyed but before the attackers could extract themselves from the system, leaving many pilots trapped, logged off on the grid where the fight took place.  This area was covered by anchored bubbles by TEST who have been camping the area since the system came back up.

A field of bubbles waiting for people to log back in

With a fleet trapped and camped in the system and TEST able to anchor a cyno jammer to prevent reinforcements, the stage was set for the second Keepstar to online successfully.

I did not get to hang around and watch the Keepstar come online, but I was there earlier in the day to join in the camp and to watch the Fortizar that was anchored on the edge of the bubbled area come online.

Just before it started to anchor

You can see a large covering force around the Fortizar, with the bubbles nearby and the Keepstar, still a few hours from anchoring, in the background.

Once anchored, the Fortizar was a handy location for carriers to sit as they sent fighters out into the bubble camped area.

Meanwhile, as the camp dragged on, it seems that the FCs of the trapped fleet started telling members logged off but stuck in the bubbles to petition to have their ships moved by a GM under the theory that they were trapped.  I guess given a wide enough definition of the word they were trapped, but not in the way that CCP intended when it comes to asking for GM help, so CCP felt the need to issue a news bulletin on the topic.

UALX-3 Fleet Fights – Misfiling of “Stuck” Tickets

Over the course of the last twelve hours, we’ve been made aware of instructions being broadcast by the leaders of several alliances to file “Stuck” support tickets in order to have their capitals, supercarriers and titans moved out of the system of “UALX-3” by the GM Team.

This comes after a node death occured at around 09:00 UTC on July 19th, during a large scale engagement over an anchoring Keepstar, which resulted in the attacking forces being sieged in the system.

Our policies are clear when dealing with large-scale player engagements, and the GM Team will not intervene and move capitals, supercarriers or titans for pilots involved in these kinds of fleet fights, as per our Reimbursement Policy:

“Any losses of any kind resulting from a large-scale player engagement are not covered by this reimbursement policy.”

Furthermore, it is not possible for us under any circumstance to move ships sporting their own Jump Drive. This is clarified in our “Inaccessible Assets And Returning Players” article:

“Ships sporting their own jump drive are assumed to be capable of jumping themselves out quickly without the usage of a gate and no exception or move will be granted to these ships.”

Please be aware that the GM Team will not grant relocation of ships involved in large-scale player engagements, and that attempts at co-oridinated mass filing support tickets in order to avoid the destruction of ships involved in engagements of this nature may be considered abuse of the support ticket system.

Pandemic Legion an its allies aren’t going to get CCP to move them out, so the camp continues.  According to zKillboard it looks like there was an attempt to break out some dreadnoughts early this morning, leading to a series of kills,

But the camp won’t last forever.  People will either try to break out and either succeed or get blown up, or hunker down and wait the long wait until the locals get tired of deploying bubbles and sitting around waiting for people to log in.  Given that there are some titans yet to be accounted for, the camp may go on for a while.

Keepstar and Fortizar watching the bubble camp

And, of course, the next question is, “What now?”  Will deploying this Keepstar and trapping some of the attacking capital fleet blunt the attacks on TEST and its allies in the south?  Will the Imperium, which showed up in force for these Keepstars, stay in the south, return to Delve, or move back to the northern front once more to assail Circle of Two and Guardians of the Galaxy?

Then there is the propaganda war on Reddit, which has reached a high water mark of smug from the defenders.  Some examples:

Addendum: Meanwhile CCP Falcon has taken the time to lay down some facts on Reddit about some controversial aspects or misunderstandings about battle and subsequent stranding of capitals in UALX-3 in order to set the record straight on what CCP will and will not do.

Imperium Ignorance Saves the CO2 Keepstar in DW-T2I

After laying down a Keepstar in Cloud Ring last week, the Imperium went straight to work on Circle of Two, reinforcing their Keepstar in DW-T2I the next day.  The Imperium staged in Cloud Ring meant that most of Fade was in capital range, if those capitals took the gate between the two regions.

Fade Map with Locations noted

With the Keepstar in DW-T2I reinforced, the next big even was set to be the armor timer.  To destroy a fueled citadel you have to go through three battles.  The first is the shield layer.  You can attack at any time and if you get the citadel’s shields down to zero, a timer comes up.  When that timer finally counts down the citadel goes into a 15 minute repair cycle.  You have to form up and shoot it again, this time shooting its armor layer down to zero.  By applying enough damage you can stop the repair cycle and get through the the final timer.  When that comes up you do the same thing again, only shooting away the structure.  If you succeed, the citadel blows up.  If you fail, you get to start all over again.

So it was the second round, the armor timer, that came up yesterday.  It was set to hit at a little after 19:00 EVE Online time, which is UTC.  However, because fleets had to move and get in position, the call to form up came a good four hours before then.

That was before I got out of bed here on the west coast.  I turned on my computer to find fleets already forming and heading out from Delve.  But that was okay.  I wasn’t interested in heading out with main fleet for the long drive there and back to visit CO2.  I hung around waiting for something to form up in Pure Blind.

And I was rewarded for waiting with a fleet ping from Dabigredboat.

Some might not consider that a reward.  Boat can be an acquired taste.  But he works hard, gets you in the action, and tells you what is going on.  Plus, he was handing out free ships.  We were going to head out in Tengus to snipe targets of opportunity and run down disconnects.  I was happy enough to be in a Tengu again that I bought the snappy new Ghostbird SKIN for it.

55 PLEX well spent to my mind

Meanwhile I already had an alt online in a stealth bomber in DW-T2I to watch what was happening with the Keepstar and the system in general.  CO2 had been busy.  Both of the gates into the system were heavily bubbled, so any fleet trying to gate in to contest the timer would have to get past that.

The P-33KR Gate

You can just barely see the Keepstar in the background of that screen shot, through the dense layer of bubbles laid about the gate.  The array of bubbles was big enough that if I pulled back to get them all in the screen shot, the gate and the small bubbles around it become difficult to see.

The same gate from a distance

Everything seemed to be coming together for a big fight.  While Boat was arranging a black ops bridge up to DW-T2I my alt sat and watched CO2’s allies start to show up.  Darkness and their coalition brought a Tempest Fleet Issue fleet.

Darkness in a ball

Ranger Regiment brought an Ishtar fleet.  NCDot brought a Machariel and a Cerberus fleet.  CO2 undocked a fleet of Megathrons.  And capitals began to form up about the Keepstar.

Boat got us a bridge into system and we went off to safe spots to cloak up and wait for something to do.

Tengus on the way

In system Boat was keeping us up to date about what was going on while also looking for something to shoot.  We went and tried to pick off some transports that were parked near the O-CNPR gate.  We didn’t get a kill, but we scared them off at least.

Then Boat said we were going to go try and shoot the cyno jammer in system.

This was the first of many times I would hear the words “cyno jammer” during the op.

Boat explained that the previous day and evening the Imperium spent time putting up POS towers on every free moon and reinforcing the towers that CO2 or anybody else had deployed in the region.  This was to keep a cyno jammers from being deployed.  A cyno is a beacon which lets ships with jump drives travel to it.  You need a cyno lit in a system in order to jump into it.

A cyno jammer, as you might imagine, blocks cynos from being lit.  The ones on a POS jam the whole system, and CO2 had one in DW-T2I.

(Cyno jammers do not block covert cynos, which only black ops capable ships may use, such as our Tengus, which is how we got into the system.)

So Boat warped us over to the POS with the cyno jammer and had us start shooting it.  Very shortly a Minokawa force auxiliary logged on just outside the POS, close to the cyno jammer, and started to repair it.  CO2 had prepared for an attack on the jammer and, later, more Minokawas were spotted on the POS.  The Minokawa was repairing faster than we could inflict damage, so Boat warped us off and we went to our safe spots again.

As we sat around I turned up the volume on the INN stream of the event and heard Boat talking about the situation.  There, and on our own coms later, he explained that somebody running the preparatory ops believed that cyno jammers would not function on reinforced POSes.

This turned out to be a fairly wide-spread belief.  Progodlegend, on the same stream, said that they had just done the reinforce thing to Fraternity recently.  However, it appears that Fraternity just didn’t try anchoring a cyno jammer on a reinforced POS, no doubt because they believed the same thing.

GigX however, knew better it seems.

If we had known some simple contingencies could have been put in place, like leaving behind some logged off dreadnoughts to knock out the cyno jammer quickly to let fleets start pilling in.  But we didn’t so we were stuck.

That left the only way in to the system for the converging Imperium fleets… with more capitals on the way than the defenders had ships on hand… with one way into the system; through the O-CNPR gate.  But, as I mentioned, that gate was heavily bubbled.

The O-CNPR Gate

And it wasn’t just heavily bubbled.  It was also heavily defended.  The direction scan of the vicinity of the gate showed the following:

O-CNPR Gate DScan

Yes, you cannot possible read that unless you click on it.  But among the things on the list were 425 battleships, 124 super carriers, 35 carriers, 683 fighters from the carriers and super carriers, 504 drones from various ships, and a titan.

That titan, just sitting in a bubble waiting to boson somebody

So while it was possible that the Imperium could have thrown everything through the gate and eventually muscled past the defenses, it was going to be a slog.  Defending on a bubbled gate like that is referred to as “water boarding,” because it is torture that the attackers cannot escape.  With more bubbles no doubt set to be deployed and inderdictors on the field, a hostile fleet could be kept writhing in that mess for hours.  Certainly they could be held in check until the repair cycle on the Keepstar finished up.

Instead everybody turned around and went home.

That was it.  GigX won the day and saved his Keepstar.

As far as I can tell the biggest fight in the whole event was a smart bombing drop by NCDot on an Imperium Jackdaw fleet.  They did kill a lot of ships, 64 according to the battle report.  However, they lost 20 of the black ops battleships they used, destroyed by their own fleet’s smart bombs, which left the cost of the operation at roughly ten times the ISK of the hostiles they destroyed.  Not a good trade.

Battle Report Header from the Black Ops Drop

That was fine for everybody else.  However those of us in Boat’s fleet were still in the system and he was on the INN stream talking about events as they unfolded.  However, the stream wrapped up pretty quickly once it was announced that the Imperium was not going to show up.

Boat did not forget about us, though he forgot about his titan in the super fleet for a bit and almost got left behind.  He got a black ops battleship in to send us all back to Pure Blind, staying behind to cover two people who had gone AFK long after some FCs would have left them to their fate.  I got one last look at the Keepstar before we bridged out.

Still 35 minutes left on the clock

I was glad again to not have schleped all the way up from Delve in a Baltec fleet only to have to turn around and go home again.  But that was still shorter than having a fight before the return trip, so a bunch of people got some of their day back.

The Mittani held the weekly Fireside Chat on coms where he explained what went wrong and how we were going to go back to doing things the old fashioned way, grinding and suppressing the region until CO2  retreats.

Not our most brilliant hour.  Reddit will be filled with comments about Goons being dumb and not knowing POS mechanics for a while.

I guess we know the answer

But everybody knows about that POS mechanic now for sure, so if if anybody else falls for it… well, more of the same on Reddit I suppose.

So the war goes on.  We still have a Keepstar of our own on the border of Fade and SIG and Squads are still roaming north from Pure Blind.  The fun is not over, but it may be a while before we pave our way to the Keepstar to do anything more than keep it reinforced.  I suspect we’ll keep reinforcing it to ensure that CO2 can’t pack it up and move away.

Meanwhile there was no saving the TEST Keepstar down in 4-GB14 in Immensea.  They couldn’t even use GigX’s cynojammer trick since hostiles had already grabbed the ihub for the system, and if you don’t own the ihub you can’t setup a cynojammer.  And so that Keepstar died.  It wasn’t their capital Keepstar, but losing one hurts no matter what.

And then there was the Provi Bloc Keepstar, anchored down in 9UY4-H, which went online successfully.  This event also involved a cyno jammer, that being the EVE Online word of the day.  Hostiles sacrificed dreads to incapacitate it, but Provi just finished it off and anchored a fresh one, leaving the attackers without an easy way in.  Even being able get the cyno jammer offline doesn’t mean you’re good to go.

[Update: Or maybe Provi repaired the jammer. I’ve heard both stories now.]

So it was quite a day for null sec Keepstars, with one successfully defended, one destroyed, and a new one online.  And we all know just a bit more about POS mechanics, just in time for them to go away at some point in the near future.

Others on this topic: