Tag Archives: WinterCo

More than 6,000 Players Clash in X47L-Q as Keepstar Battles Commence in Pure Blind

Yesterday’s post recounted how the Imperium and B3 coalitions had spent the afternoon setting timers on multiple structures, including four of Fraternity’s Keepstars in Pure Blind.

Fraternity Keepstar Locations in the region

The Keepstars were all set to enter their armor timer events, the second of the three shoots required to kill these structures today.  The first event, shooting the shields, can happen at any time.  But subsequent events are set to occur in the time zone the defender has chosen.

Fraternity, the defender, is a largely Chinese based alliance, so their choices were well off of normal business hours here in the US.  The times were:

  • ROIR-Y – 08:34 UTC – 04:34 Eastern / 00:34 Pacific
  • X47L-Q – 10:08 UTC – 06:08 Eastern / 03:08 Pacific
  • F-NMX6 – 12:39 UTC – 08:39 Eastern / 05:39 Pacific
  • 5ZXX-K – 13:48 UTC – 09:48 Eastern / 06:48 Pacific

This was further complicated by the fact that at 2am local time in most locations in the US  Daylight Savings Time began, so the clocks did their annual “Spring Forward.”

Imperium leader Asher Elias asked us to “alarm clock” these ops… get up early, stay up late, whatever… in order to push these structures into their next timers.  I opted to take a nap on Saturday afternoon and then stayed up past midnight to try and go on at least the first op.

When I got on we had more than 2,000 people in our staging system, a number that grew past 3,500 as the first timer approached.

It looked like Fraternity and its allies were not going to contest the first Keepstar in ROIR-Y.  Leshaks were sent in to shoot it for the armor timer.

Leshaks at work on the first Keepstar

I was in Asher’s fleet of Stormbringers, and we jumped in when a small fleet of Tengus from Siege Green, and Frat ally, showed up and picked off a couple of Leshaks on the edge of the formation.

When that was done, we moved on towards X47L-Q, taking up station at one of the gate leading into the system.

Waiting on the X47 gate as bombers took runs at us

X47 is a location where we have fought over Keepstars before.  Back in 2018 we fought many of the same people over a Keepstar in this very system.

This looked to be the system where Frat was going to contest the timer.  As we lingered outside waiting for the timer to get close, Frat and PanFam had collected a good 3K players of their own on the Keepstar.

The X47 Keepstar Awaiting our arrival

Then the word to jump into the system came and the game’s troubles began as more than 6,000 players attempted to have a battle in X47L-Q.  CCP had reinforced the node for us, and was clearly keeping an eye on things.  But past history indicated that we were likely in for a mess.

CCP unironically using the word “Breaking” as we tried to set fire to the server.

Things were moving very slowly as we tried to load into the system, and once people got into the system, commands were taking up to ten minutes to get a response.  The savvy in the crowd had hit shift-control-alt-M to bring up the Outstanding Commands window to keep an eye on if the server was processing inputs.

past 6 minutes trying to lock two targets

Our structure shooting fleet, the Leshaks, got into the system and got with range of the Keepstar, but ran into one of our old known issues.  While everybody else was moving at 10% speed due to Time Dilation, which CCP uses to slow things down so the server can try to keep up, structure timers do not slow down.

So we had 15 real time minutes to start shooting while 6 seconds of game time was taking 6 minutes to execute… if your commands made it into the queue to be processed… so by the time they could start locking up the structure it was too late.

6K people in space around a structure though, a fight was going to happen and the Leshaks started brawling with a Paladin fleet.  We were going to get something out of all of this.

However, we were heading for another timer.  at 11:00 UTC every day is downtime, when CCP restarts the cluster.  Everybody gets kicked off the servers when that happens, and that time was rapidly approaching.

I was within range of some stuff on the Keepstar and trying to lock up some of the Paladins when downtime hit.

As close as I got

And the big log off came.

Downtime arrives

Pings went out to log back in as soon as possible to continue the fight.  We had invested the time, we were going to blow things up or go out in a blaze of glory.  The server, however, had other ideas.  While the cluster was up again soon enough, X47 itself was having problems.

At first the server was still loading.

Character selection failed

Then it was reporting as stuck.

The server is not happy

The EVE Status Twitter account was reporting that they were working on the issues, but that they were present.

I was able to get in fairly soon, maybe 20 minutes after downtime ended, when a lot of other people were piling in as well.  The server number climbed well past 3K again and I was on the Keepstar watching people who had been safety warped off returning to their locations, landing on grid.

And I decided it was time to call it a night.  Or a morning, it being nearly 04:30 local time.  I set myself to dock in the Fortizar we had in the system and was able to warp off and get tethered, but I declined to wait to get docked and went to bed, leaving the game up.

I came back this morning to find I had been disconnected.  But I was safely docked up.  I can leave my ship there and jump clone back to our staging.

You can see that there were a lot more people online than usual before downtime on the server graph from EVE Offline.  There were 26K people online then, and more than 6K were in X47, with even more in surrounding systems.  Pure Blind was a popular location.

EVE Offline player graph

You can see people trying to get online, then some trouble as we all got kicked out of the system again later on.

At its peak I saw numbers in local well past 6.1K.  The highest I screen shotted was 6,115.

Character in the system – 6,115

In the end Fraternity and its allies saved their Keepstar and without a doubt won the ISK war, as a lot of us were blown up on the Keepstar or trying to escape.

But the evening was not a total loss for the Imperium and B2 Coalition.  We managed to set the timers on the other three Keepstars, so the final hull timer fights will be coming this week at some early morning hour.  We shall see.

There is more to this story, including some word of a roll-back for the X47 system that did not restore ships that were destroyed but which pulled back people who had escaped from the system.  I do not know any details, but I suspect there will be more news about this as the day unfolds.  This, however, is all I have in me for the story this morning.  I may need a nap today.


Early battle reports for the active systems in Pure Blind show close to 370 billion ISK destroyed.

Battle Report Header

The Imperium and B2 Coalition make up almost 300 billion of that amount, most of it no doubt on the Keepstar grid in X47.

Somebody worked on another battle report that filtered out the third parties into their own column (Team A) and expanded the range of the battle to include the systems where four Fraternity Fortizars were lost during the same time frame.  There was a lot going on.


Setup for Conflict in Pure Blind

In Reavers Asher used to always talk about “putting money in the bank” for our preparatory operations.  We would spend evenings flying around, shooting structures, setting timers, and laying the groundwork for potential battles.

And, of course, having deployed to Fade to bring war to Fraternity and its WinterCo allies, we were clearly going to be out putting money in the bank on a lot of structures in Pure Blind and Tribute.  So I was right there and ready to go when Asher wanted to take out some fleets for that purpose.

There were a couple of fleets going out, but I went with the Leshak fleet that Asher was leading.  It is a sign of Asher’s reign that we’re getting some interesting and expensive doctrines in the mainstream of the Imperium.  Leshak’s were once something that were tolerated in a couple of fleet comps, then became a SIG specific fleet comp for structure bashes, and now it is open to everybody who has the ISK.

Leshak fleet on the way

I do not have that much ISK to spend, so I joined up on the logi side of things.  A tech II logistics cruiser is more in my price range.

The Leshak is fun to watch.  Triglavian ships have a single beam weapon that spools up damage over time.  Asher warped us in a wall formation to our first target, a Fraternity Keepstar, and I tried to capture what it looked like with a host of red beams reaching out to hit the structure.

Red beams reaching out

Unlike lasers, the beams are on all the time, so there is a convergence of them on the target all the time.  Because of the way EVE Online targeting works, you quickly get a sense of the points on a hull or structure that weapons are allowed to hit.

Or everybody is just aiming for that one spot

And the damage output from a wall of Leshaks is pretty fierce.  We burned through the shield timer on two Keepstars in record time.

We also spent a little bit of time reinforcing a Fortizar or two.

Brackets on, walls of battleships hitting a Fortizar

We spent some time traveling around to our targets, setting up timers that will come up deep in alarm clock time for those of us in the US.

Leshaks moving again

The locals did a little to respond to our efforts.  They were waylaying some stragglers who fell behind at one point and Vily was out with some bombers trying to catch us on gates with a bomb run.

Bombs landing as a fleet gates away

We made our rounds, did our shoots, then got a ride back towards home on a titan.

Sending us home

We happened to arrive back at the same time that some titans from The Initiative were landing back on our staging Keepstar as well.

Everybody landing between the uprights

They had been out doing their own reinforcement ops.  All told, we set armor timers on four Keepstars in Pure Blind along with a series of smaller structures.

But the big newsworth item that got pinged out for our op was that we somehow managed to ALL be aligned for a warp.

Asher lets everybody know about our achievement

This seems like trivia, and it certainly isn’t the FIRST perfect fleet warp I have been a part of, but when you have a full 255 member fleet with a battleship doctrine in time dilation… because pushing a few full fleets around Pure Blind was dragging the servers down… and having everybody actually paying attention and doing the right thing at the right time, that is a rare event.  There is almost always somebody who didn’t hear or had to step away or for whom the UI failed to register the align command.

Of course there was the ping and now a Reddit thread, which includes an image from the internal new post about the miracle warp.  It was an event.

Somebody also happened to catch a screen shot of our fleet ball in the Cloud Ring nebula looking like a menacing eye.

The Leshaks are watching

Now we just have to get back online for the next timers which will be around 10:00 UTC on the day most of the US leaps forward into Daylight Savings Time.  That means… it will be either a really early morning or a really late night for those of us in the US.

We will see who shows up to fight over the timers soon enough though.


Somebody put together a quick video of some of the structure shoot ops.

You can, if you look carefully and the quick camera moves haven’t made you ill, spot Asher leading the Leshaks, and a couple of the battleship walls including the one I have a screen shot of above around the Fortizar.

The Long March Northward to War

We’re going to go live in interesting times.

-Asher Elias, State of the Goonion

If you are one of those people who hate it when r/eve gets taken over by null sec bloc propaganda wars, I have some bad news for you; war were declared.

This is no surprise to those who were paying attention, and even some who were not.  As I noted last week, the Imperium had not been coy about what Saturday’s State of the Goonion was generally about, telling members to be ready for move ops immediately following the address, listing out doctrines that will be used, and generally ramping everybody up to be ready for war.

Asher, sounding somewhat subdued to getting over a cold, gave the traditional short address that has become the format of choice over the years.  His words were broadcast both on Mumble and over the Imperium News Twitch channel.

Waiting for Asher to speak

We are headed north to link up with B2 Coalition, which has been defending itself from Fraternity for many months now, to push back on WinterCo and PanFam.  Pretty much what I guessed last week, it being the obvious choice.  The war is being framed, once again, as a battle against the landlord alliances represented by WinterCo and PanFam.  Not a new spin, but a solid one.  The Imperium and B2 Coalition both stand against rental empires… we’ll ignore the former FI.RE alliances now in B2 that were landlords up until fairly recently… so that is the dividing line between the two factions.

The only detail left was where we would be staging.  For the answer to that it was time for a move op.

Move op fleets were put up shortly after the SotG ended, with three capital move fleets being announced.  Those quickly filled up… I managed to get in one… and two more were announced in order to find space for those headed north.

Unlike a lot of past move ops, where I have just gone out in a single sub cap, the advance notice of doctrines and such allowed me to get ready.  I had my Ninazu packed and fueled up, the fleet bay packed with sub cap hulls… this was so much easier due to changes that allow refit modules to be in the cargo of ships being carried… and I was in a move fleet and ready to go.

But these things take time.  We were pushing close to 1,500 ships through the pipe that leads from Delve up to Fade.  While that is only 18 jumps with Ansiblex connections… something you could do in about 20 minutes in an interceptor… getting all of us through in ships from shuttles and frigates all the way up to titans was going to take more time.

We waited for our fleets to be called so we could move by groups, making each hop and gate jump along the way in our turn.  As it so happened, the fleet I chose was the last of the group to be told to undock, but we were all ready when the word finally came.

Capitals undocking from the Keepstar

Then it was on to the well trod route between Delve and Fade, one I have taken many times in the last dozen years, such that I know the system names and can remember events that occurred in most of them.  The first jump was to the boarder between Delve and Fountain, and the through the regional gate.

Pushing through the regional gate to Fountain while sub caps cover

Then there are the traditional four systems in Fountain, Y-2ANO, KVN-36, C-N4OD, and J5A-IX.  In a sub cap that is quick set of systems.  With capital fleets it can been fairly rapid, because they can take the Ansiblex jump gates, so don’t have to worry about jump timers and such.  But when you have supers and titans, too large for the Ansiblex system, there is a jump and then a wait, and then another jump.

But the waits were not too long, the timers ran down quickly enough, and we were soon at the far end of Fountain, pushing through into Cloud Ring, the nebula for which it was named being obvious in the sky around us.

Last exit from Fountain

In Cloud Ring things get a little more difficult.  While the region is now held by an Imperium Alliance, Shadow Ultimatum, it is also an easy region to slip into and there are a couple of groups who love to camp the Ansiblex route, looking for easy prey.

My Ninazu making a warp seemingly alone

And, of course, the jump timers started getting longer and longer with every jump.  We had enough fleet mass to push through.

So many caps to draw that the Fortizar took a minute to appear

By then we were pretty close, though the last jump timer was about 30 minutes for many of us.  It wasn’t much longer until we were in Fade and landing at our destination, the last system in Face, on the boarder with both Pure Blind and Deklein, where an Imperium Keepstar was ready for us.  That puts us within easy reach of those two regions and Tribute as well.

The operational tempo has yet to really kick off, though I did jump into a fleet that reinforced a Fraternity Fortizar that was close by.  First shots fired and all of that.

Structure Shoots are our bread and butter

I did go along with a later move op to get an alt on a second account up north.  I activated a second account for the war and have my main combat alt up there now who can fly most of ships I brought up.  I just brought him up in a bomber in the sub cap fleet that was covering the next surge of capitals northward.

Once again at the sun

This became important because our staging system is within jump range of where Reavers had staged a few months back.  Not much came of that deployment, but I had moved ships up to that in an Apostle, so I wanted to get it and all of my ships there jumped to the new location and then have my alt to hand because I now had two capitals deployed and will eventually need him to fly one of them home.

So now I have two faxes and 20 sub caps deployed, and I don’t want to have to bring them all home.

So we are off and running.  We are settling in at the front and now two pairs of blocs, the major powers in null sec, are squared off in a somewhat more even match up when compared to World War Bee, where it was the Imperium versus just about everybody.

I am not sure what the war is going to be called, but we all seem to be ready for it.

There is a video of some of the first move op, with music and some of Asher’s address overlayed, that gives a sense of what a move op can be like.

Now to see how this plays out.  EVE had 31,329 on at prime time during the move op, the highest point since the launch of Uprising.  A good war could bring more life to the game… and destruction always stimulates the economy.


  • Reddit – The top comment of this post is a good summary of the situation
  • Reddit – Brave video about the war

War Looms for the Imperium Once More

As I noted at the end of my month in review post earlier this week, the Imperium has a State of the Goonion (SotG) address coming up this weekend.  Unlike the weekly fireside meeting, a SotG has evolved over the years to have a simple purpose: to kick off a deployment.

Despite a reputation for bloviation that past Imperium leaders may have developed due to their time spent on Twitch, these meeting have for years been short and to the point.  They are about deploying to a war.  They run for as long as it takes the essential information to be announced, then move ops are put together, and the coalition begins deploying for a new conflict.

Generally the announcement of a coming SotG comes with an reminder to be there and be ready to for move ops immediately following.

This time around any attempts to be coy have been dispensed with.  New doctrines were announced and contracts for the required ships were put up on the market while the call to poke you inactive corp mates, resubscribe alts, and get your last bit of crabbing in have been part of the messaging in the run up to the SotG.

The only things that have not been announced are who the target will be and where we will be staging from.

And even the former seems knowable with a bit of logic applied.  There are a limited number of possible opponents in null sec that would call for a full Imperium deployment.  Basically, there are three. B2 Coalition, PanFam, and WinterCo.

It says “B2 Coalition” but it is BOSS, Brave, and BL0B I thought

The Imperium, while not blue currently, has been cooperating with the B2 Coalition in the northwest of null sec, allowing the remnants of FI.RE to pass through Imperium space to join them and coordinating on the occasional fight, like the Fortizar fight in Pochven.  We do not have any real beef with them.

Meanwhile, the Imperium and PanFam have come to a settlement on the southeast of null sec, the space that FI.RE abandoned when they moved to join B2 which, among other things, set up a neutrally aligned buffer zone between the two blocs, securing that flank for both parties.  Why squander the diplomatic effort used to create that if we were just going to attack?

Which leaves WinterCo, headed by Fraternity, which holds a lot of the north and northeast of null sec.  They are also involved in an ongoing struggle with B2 Coalition, so there is a conflict already in progress.

So I suspect that we will be joining B2 Coalition in a temporary alliance to push back WinterCo.  More than suspect, really.  There are not any other logical options.  Certainly r/eve seems to have jumped straight to that conclusion.

The Keepstar where our move ops will start on Saturday after the SotG

Then there is the question about where we will be staging.  That is one thing the line members are never told until we arrive there.  But even that offers up some limited choices.

There are, of course, some low sec avenues of approach to Fraternity’s territory which, among other things, have the advantage of being easily resupplied from Jita.  Always a plus.  So we could come up from Hakonen like we tried back in 2017, to assail Tribute from the south.

Or we could try to set up shop near Obe in The Forge to take a run at Fraternity’s core territory, which would draw forces away from B2 Coalitions front, granting them more likelihood of success.

But I think we are more likely to want to coordinate directly with B2.  That means, following the paths of past campaigns, setting up in Pure Blind in the NPC null sec systems and driving into Tribute from there.

There are other options… I could see us using a B2 system for staging if we were going to blue them for the duration of the conflict… and other routes we could possibly pursue.  We might be set to squash that pocket of space WinterCo holds in the south of null sec.  But Pure Blind seems the most likely.   And handy.  I still have stuff sitting in an NPC station in Pure Blind.

The question is what will PanFam get up to if things play out this way.  They have been saying they are not allied with WinterCo, that they have been showing up at fights between WinterCo and B2 just to “third party,” though they seem to favor shooting B2 targets.

If they show up on the side of WinterCo we could see some serious battles in the north in the coming weeks.