Tag Archives: The Scope

Fourteen Weeks of World War Bee

hey guys just got back from my vacation did anything happen while i was out this week?

-Ping from The Mittani late Sunday afternoon

After things seemed to be moving slowly the week before, last week the war heated up as the invaders attempted to plant their flag in Delve by dropping two Keepstars in FWST-8.

Even CCP took notice of the fights this week and produced a new video about them for The Scope.

So I guess Delve is now in the front lines and on the front pages.

Delve Front

The focus of the war was on the NPC Delve system of FWST-8 for the first few days of the week.  PAPI member alliance Fraternity dropped a Keepstar in that system early on Monday in an attempt to give the invading forces a foothold from which they could jump capital ships into most of the systems in the region.

NPC Delve and vicinity

That led the Imperium to drop dreadnoughts and subcaps in a constant stream to destroy it, sacrificing almost a trillion ISK in ships to destroy the structure as it deployed.

Fraternity then dropped a second Keepstar a couple of hours later, which managed to deploy and get into its anchoring cycle, giving both sides a day to get ready for the next battle.  There the Imperium sacrificed over 1.5 trillion ISK in ships over about 15 hours in order to destroy the second Keepstar.

The next day saw multiple skirmishes in the system as both sides attempted to extract ships that had logged off during the fight.  There were two major clashes, with the Imperium doing better in one and TAPI taking the other one according to the ISK numbers.

FWST-8 was a busy system for a few days.

Ships destroyed over four days

The Imperium claimed victory because it achieved its objective, destroying both Keepstars, and preventing TAPI for securing a base within Delve.

TAPI is justifiably happy with destroying so many Imperium ships, winning the the ISK war by a huge margin.  That margin is inflated on battle reports by the fact that neither Keepstar, valued at ~187 billion ISK each, generated a kill mail.

Both sides got a victory condition and the war moved on.

Of course, arguing about who won and gratuitous moving of goal posts ensued over at /r/eve.  Unhappy with just an ISK war victory a few of the usual suspects proceeded to argue that the Imperium really lost the objective because they didn’t escalate to supers, because they didn’t kill any PAPI titans, or because they didn’t hell camp the battle site to kill any logged off PAPI pilots as they returned to try and extract.

I really like that last one.  PAPI out numbers the Imperium 3 to 1, but we’re supposed to be able to camp them.

And then there was TEST streamer and propagandist RonUSMC who, salty as usual, bitched on his stream that whatever Goons did to kill the Keepstar needs to be nerfed.  People complain about blobbing being an “I win” button until they try and fail at it I guess.

Ron waiting for the Imperium titans that never showed up

The Imperium was able to fall back on winning the objective, that we had to fight on their Keepstar, and how the battle demonstrated our determination to defend the region.  But I am sure we were feeling lucky that TAPI did not drop another Keepstar immediately because losing something like 8,000 ships in two days no doubt drained a lot of our supply chain.

In fact, TAPI not dropping another Keepstar immediately feels like a mistake, a missed opportunity to put the pressure on us, or at least force an escalation to the supers and titans clash they seemed to be longing for.  We were reeling a bit after having lost all those ships.  However, the other side might have been as exhausted as we were.  In war you sometimes see only the enemy’s strength and your own weakness.

Meanwhile, since people love dollar amounts, I did a back of the napkin calculation as to how much these battles “cost” in losses.

Losses were about 3 trillion ISK.  With PLEX running at about 3 million ISK per, that meant there was about 1 million PLEX in losses.  If you buy PLEX in the largest lot, 15,400 PLEX for $500, that totals up to $32,500.  Probably not enough for a headline in the mainstream gaming press.

While it wasn’t the “Million Dollar Battle,” the two together were at least the “Million PLEX Battles.”

Having been rebuffed in NPC Delve, focus seemed to go back to ihubs as they managed to reinforce their first ihub in Delve, in SVM-3K.  But when it came time for the rubber to meet the road, the passed on actually contesting the ihub.

Instead they dropped another Keepstar, this time in 319-3D.  It met the same fate as the previous two.

So three Keepstars have now died in Delve, but none of them belonged to the Imperium.

Other Areas

While the fights in FWST-8 were going on, both sides sent out side missions to try and hack ihubs.  The Bastion, one of the Imperium alliances, succeeded in taking multiple ihubs in TEST space.

The Bastion in Esoteria

TEST couldn’t let that stand and have since managed  to claw back two of the lost systems, but they had to spend time doing that when the could have been attacking Delve.

My Participation

I jumped into battle and lost many a ship last week, all in and around the Keepstar battles as FWST-8.  I was only an observer in the first battle, where I lost two ships, and an active participant in the second, where I lost six more.  For the battle in 319-3D, despite being on grid for three hours straight, I lost no ships.  It was a minor miracle.

It actually felt like I lost more ships that in the second battle at FWST-8, but that was probably due to how slowly everything was moving, so it took a long time to lose a ship and then get your pod popped so you could work on getting back into the fight.  I really want to thank the PAPI gate camp in PR-8CA for podding me quickly when I jumped in.  That sped up my return home every time.

Anyway, my loss count for the war is now:

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • 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
  • 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

CCP also mentioned on Twitter that they were notifying Guinness World Records about the recent fight as its totals exceeded the numbers that previously saw Guinness award CCP a record.  I certainly saw more that 6,142 people in local during the fight.

6,446 in local

On the other hand, the EVE Online chat system isn’t a reliable source so far as I have seen, so no doubt CCP has another method to validate exactly how many people were participating at the peak of the battle.  In the video they said the number was 6,557.  We shall see if the Guinness World Records staff will certify that.

And then there is the weekly PCU count:

  • 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

It looks like having a Keepstar battle on a Sunday during prime time might be a good thing.  Or maybe people were on poking at the Triglavian systems in order to see what was going on there.  Either way, we hit the highest PCU so far for the war.  Not quite to 40K again, but within spitting distance.

Other coverage:

Null Sec Blackout to be Maintained Indefinitely

CCP has not given any direction as to how long the blackout of local chat in null sec will last, but today they gave us something of a hint.

CCP says Blackout

On the lore focused World News section of the CCP site, a post went up earlier today from Ret Gloriaxx of The Scope’s Galactic Hour with this bulletin as the lead item:

SCC Confirms Limits on Nullsec Bandwidth to be “Maintained Indefinitely” Despite Fall in Drifter Assaults

Yulai, Genesis – Following its imposition of bandwidth and usage limits on nullsec FTL communications via the New Eden liquid router network, the Secure Commerce Commission has confirmed that the limitation on communications will be “maintained indefinitely due to the effects of both Drifter attacks and the ongoing Triglavian invasions on the security of supplies of Quantum-Entangled 4-Helium.” The possible impact of both Drifter and Triglavian attacks on the supply of QE 4-He has been extensively reported on by the Scope’s Galactic News Network.

The SCC has reiterated that its primary concern is to maintain the “integrity and sustainability of the liquid router network for strategic and essential communications” and noted QE 4-He resupply logistics have been put under serious and continuous strain by the Triglavian invasions. Sources within the SCC have revealed that the Triglavian attacks began to seriously affect resupply missions once the so-called “major conduits” phase of the invasion campaign began. Since the Triglavian World Arks began to spearhead the assaults, there have even been attacks on stockpiles of QE 4-Helium.

“The Drifter attacks in nullsec came close to being the tipping point for the imposition of bandwidth limits but it wasn’t until we lost an entire QE 4-He production facility to a Triglavian assault that the SCC decided to act. We’ve since lost some other stockpiles but the DED have stepped up fleet presence at all the critical locations,” said one source in conversation with Ret Gloriaxx of the Scope’s Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx.

CCP has handled the events of the Invasion expansion as in-game lore and has, for the most part, declined to comment in any “out of character” way about what has been going on with the Triglavian and Drifter attack.

The one exception preceded the imposition of “delayed mode” local chat… the blackout… when CCP officially announced that it was coming, promised then gave 48 hours notice of its imposition, and started a thread on the official forums to discuss the idea.  That thread is past the 9,000 post mark as of this writing, while over the weekend much of the discussion on the /r/eve subreddit was around the blackout and its pros and cons.  Meanwhile, over at INN, Arrendis tells us that the blackout won’t fix EVE.  I never thought it would, but some people clearly have that in mind.

CCP’s return to using the in-game lore to continue the narrative seems to signal that they are satisfied with how the event went over the weekend, while the statement itself seems to indicate that we will not see an end to the blackout in null sec any time soon, at least not until the Triglavian invasion has been resolved.

Furthermore, in a mailing to promote their current multi-training certificate offer (available until downtime on the 17th), CCP uses the phrase “events going on all summer.”

Also, buy our stuff please

While this is far from a hard promise… and who knows how long summer actually lasts from the Icelandic perspective…  it does seem like we might see local blacked out in null sec into September.

Local to be Blacked Out in Null Sec Soon

Something new is coming as part of the Invasion expansion.

CCP says Blackout

CCP posted a new video from The Scope earlier today that reports on the impacts of the Triglavian and Drifter invasions.

 

With the provocative title “Nullsec Blackout,” reporter Lena Amber announced that the fluid router FTL communication network maintained by CONCORD was under extreme pressure due to the various invasions and, in an effort to maintain critical services, will be turning off local in non-empire regions of space, meaning null sec. (Transcript here)

The removal of the local channel from null sec, making it more like wormhole space, has long been the pipe dream of hunters in EVE Online, as the way it currently works, local announces your presence by registering you in the channel the moment you arrive in system.

Basically, the local channel is a huge intelligence asset for those being hunted.  Before wormhole space was introduced with the Apocrypha expansion back in March of 2009, the local channel was seen as an immutable fact of life.  After wormhole space was introduce, a new possibility was realized and it became the dream of hunters and calls for removing the local channel from null sec has been pretty much constant ever since.

The video from The Scope doesn’t indicate when this local channel blackout will come to null, but for the first time since the invasions started, CCP has given us some information directly.  From the news item that went up after the video was posted:

As reported in The Scope earlier today, over the coming days we’ll be changing the way local chat works.

This change will affect the whole of nullsec space.

Local chat in all nullsec space will be switched over to delayed mode. This means that it will behave as local chat in wormhole space, with pilots only appearing in the local population listing should they choose to post messages.

Obviously, this will cause a substantial change to the dynamics of nullsec, so we want to inform the community before we begin.

The duration of this blackout is undetermined, and we’ll be monitoring what effect this has on the cluster.

We will give at least 48 hours of notice before initiating the blackout so pilots can make the necessary preparations.

There is a forum discussion thread about the blackout as well, which is quickly devolving into the expected divide between those happy about the change and those not.

This is not a surprise.

The Drifter invasion has so far aggravated the long standing rivalry between null sec and other parts of New Eden, where there has been much joy in some quarters due to null sec being afflicted.  Even normally cool heads seem to be jumping in with extreme views.  But, to me, the removal of local digs down to a much more primal level in the sphere of MMO players, the divide between PvE and PvP, sometimes characterized as the “sheep” and the “wolves.”

One of the draws of EVE Online for PvP players is the non-consensual aspect of the game when it comes to combat.  You can shoot anybody you run across.  This same factor is a red flag that keeps more casual players away from the game and probably represents a limiting factor on the size of the game’s player base.  A lot of people don’t like to be blown up.

The removal of local in null sec is a boon for the wolves, but a bane for the sheep.  The argument right now is that there are too many sheep and they have it too easy, that the wolves cannot catch them easily enough.  There are a lot of other elements thrown in to justify this, with claims about bots and RMT and whatever, as though they wouldn’t gank anybody they could given the chance.  A local blackout will swing things in favor of the wolves, so it will be interesting to see what happens to the balance with that change.

Games that do not protect their PvE players, that fully embrace the wolves, tend to suffer for it.  Players that excel at PvP tend to drive out those who do not, leading to games dying, see Darkfall, or a split between PvP and PvE servers, as happened with Ultima Online.

EVE Online is a rare gem in the MMORPG space, a non-consensual PvP title that has succeeded and has lasted for 16 years.  We will see if making PvP easier will keep that success going.

And, of course, there is the question of who will really feel the impact of this change.  If you’re ratting in a Nyx, you’re still as tough to kill as ever and will have time to light a cyno and call in reinforcements.  If you’re ratting in a sub cap, you’ll be much more likely to die.  I would expect even more super ratting if the blackout goes on for very long.

Also circulating this morning was a rumor that asset safety might be removed from null sec.  This speculation seems to be entirely based on a Galactic News Hour piece about the invasions and an item in the video’s headline news scroll about InterBus, which handles asset safety in the lore.  Nothing else has been said on that topic, though I would be interested to hear if this goes anywhere.  Having been there for a Keepstar kill in wormhole space, the giant loot pinata that results is a pretty good incentive to go blow up people’s stuff.

The loot ball after a Keepstar dies

Anyway, CCP seems determine to shake things up in null sec.  We will just have to sit back and see how it plays out.

Other coverage:

Celebrating Katia Sae

Consummatum Est!

Katia Sae, March 9, 2019

Earlier this month Katia Sae announced in a blog post that she had finished her nearly decade long mission.  Starting from back in December 2009, and flying a variety of ships, she had successfully navigated into each and every one of the 7,805 player accessible systems in EVE Online without losing any of her rides. High sec, low sec, null sec, and wormhole space, she had visited them all.

Signal Cartel, her corporation, put out a press release immediately to help spread the news.

And word did spread as congratulations for her achievement came from all quarters of New Eden, including from CCP.

Last week CCP brought her to Polaris, the CCP home system in never unlocked Jove space, bringing her system count up to 7,806.

Bathed in the light of the Polaris system’s star

She also received recognition elsewhere.  Her achievement popped up at about the 3:15 mark in the ticker of a video from The Scope concerning the Triglavian takeover of CONCORD billboards in New Eden.

Sister’s of EVE Confirm Legitimacy of Katia Sae exploration claims…

She was also mentioned at about the 4:18 mark during the EVE Pulse episode of March 15 and was a guest on the March 10 episode of Talking in Stations.

But the big moment came at EVEsterdam when a new episode of The Scope was first aired.  The initial focus was again on the Triglavians and their message to New Eden, but follows on with Katia Sae at the 1:35 mark.

Katia Sae featured on The Scope

There it was announced that the Acura Stargazer Society had commissioned a statue of her to be raised in her home system of Saisio at the Abagawa gate, where the first jump of her journey took place.

Katia Sai Monument

During the presentation by CCP Fozzie at day one of EVEsterdam he stated that the monument was approximately the size Mount Everest, making it bigger than the gate near which it will reside.  He also pointed out that the solar system in Katia’s upraised hand has a just visible cloaked Astero in amongst the planets, a nod to one of the ships she used during the journey.

Solar System in her hand

The inscription on the monument will read as follows.

Katia Sae Monument Inscription

The monument should appear on the test server soon and will be live on Tranquility with the April update.

I am given to understand that this will get Mark762 to add a new entry to his EVE Travel blog.

So there it is, somebody setting off on their own in the sandbox with a goal and a dream being recognized.  Congratulations to Katia Sae.  I just wonder if CCP updated her Activity Tracker, since that only counts system visits since November of last year.  If not, there is room for somebody to complete that.  I don’t think you’ll get a monument, but maybe you’ll get a shout out.

Other coverage:

 

A Return to Form Reinforces the Blood Raiders Shipyard

The battle station is heavily shielded and carries a firepower greater than half the star fleet. Its defenses are designed around a direct, large-scale assault. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense.

General Dodonna, Star Wars Episode IV

The mythos of the early days of Goonswarm and the Great War in New Eden is centered on how Goons opted to fight by flying masses of cheap, T1 frigates into battle, heedless of losses or killboard stats, with an aim to choke the guns on their foes with their wrecks.  This set them apart from Band of Brothers, which flew expensive fits and valued their green killboard.

The image of a Goon in his Rifter became almost iconic.

Back in the day…

Things have changed.  Not quickly… even back in late 2011 when I joined the then CFC the idea of a main fleet doctrine featuring anything besides T1 ships was crazy talk… but inevitably fits and doctrines got more expensive.  Two of the main fleet doctrines are Machariels, faction battleships, and T3 strategic cruisers.  There are always fits in each doctrine for new players, but you might be flying tackle, a target painter, or an ECM frigate fit.  Vital to each fleet, but not the big shiny ships that make up the power of each doctrine.

So there was an extra special dimension to the win when the the Imperium reinforced the first ever Blood Raiders Shipyard down in Period Basis.

After trying capitals, supercaps, and battleships on the test server, the doctrine for the first full on reinforcement effort was based on T1 frigates with newbie friendly fits.  The lowly, unloved Amarr Punisher formed the backbone of the operation, with a fit that ran just over a 1.3 million ISK.  The Blood Raiders were assaulted in the spirit of the Great War, by a mass of cheap ships.

Not as iconic as a Rifter, but an old work horse

This, of course, made some people lose their heads as this fine thread on Reddit shows.  But others cheered the fact that EVE Online is still a place where the stuff you are able to fit in the first week can be used in a high end event.

Unlike the old days however, there was no needed to choke the guns of the foe with wrecks.  Instead, the Blood Raiders seemed as impotent in defending their Soityo as the Empire was in defending the Death Star.  Rather than a mass of wrecks, there were only a few losses.  As the shields went down, the Blood Raiders called in more and more ships, but to almost no effect.

The full tale of the event is covered by Moomin’s post over at INN.

This all happened while I was at work, but when I got home I logged in my alt, which I had left in system and saw that the shipyard was counting down its reinforcement timer.

Less than a day to go

There were still some Blood Raider ships bouncing around the structure, but otherwise the field was clear and the system mostly empty.

Unlike player own citadels, the Blood Raiders structure has only the one timer event.  When that is done counting down, the structure will be vulnerable to destruction.

Of course, a replay of yesterday might not be possible.

To start with, news of the event has gone far and wide and the general timing is known, so other fleets may show up to either interfere with the second battle or to fight over whatever drops from the shipyard when it is destroyed.

And then there is CCP.  As you will note if you read through CCP Fozzie’s Twitter thread, CCP was watching this event closely.  With an intervening downtime, it is possible they may have tweaked the defenses of the shipyard to better respond to the T1 frigate menace.

We will only know for sure a few hours after this post goes live.

Addendum:

The Scope has a video up about the current state of the Blood Raiders shipyard.