Tag Archives: World War Bee

A Keepstar Dies in Catch

The war is over and most groups are back in their homes… old or new… and working on building up for the next struggle.  Out in Delve we have Ansiblex jump gates again and an industrial infrastructure in progress and ADMs on the rise.

But there are still some details to take care of.  While most of the PAPI structures have been cleared out, a Keepstar was still hanging on in Catch, in U-QVWD.  That might have been the most reinforced structure of the war.  The Initiative went after it many times, but it was a key waypoint on the capital highway to the east, so PAPI forces kept showing up to defend it even when they were not doing much in Delve proper.

They even gave it a name to taunt Dark Shines of INIT

But Monday night late USTZ the final timer was coming up for it.  The question was whether or not TEST or PAPI would put any effort into defending it one more time.  It was far from Outer Passage, but not impossible to get to.

The Imperium was not going to take any chances.  Capitals moved out the day before and as tht timer counted down subcap fleets were formed up and sent to Catch.  After all, who doesn’t want to get on a Keepstar kill?

Titans waiting their turn

There was even some chatter about Pandemic Horde doing a flash form and maybe coming our way.  But nothing came of it.  The joke went around that they accidentally jumped to the bait beacon in UQ-PWD like so many of their comrades before.

I had a jump clone and a couple of ships over in Curse in an NPC station just a couple of jumps away, so I grabbed an Ishtar I had sitting around and joined in to watch the fun.

Ishtar watching the Keepstar

I have been a bit under the weather and wasn’t feeling up to being in main fleet, so I did this on my own.  I waited until the Keepstar was down to about 15% then warped in range and took a few distant pot shots at it.  I scored no hits, but you get credit for trying.

The Keep exploded soon there after.

Another one bites the dust

I made it on the kill mail with about 800 of my fellow Imperium pilots.

GSOL, well practiced at this now, swooped in and grabbed the core then salvaged the wreck.

GSOL doing its thing

There is another TEST Keepstar in 0SHT-A, one gate over in Curse.  I am sure that will be next on the list.

 

The August MER and the End of the War in EVE Online

Time once again for a look at the New Eden economy as CCP posted the August monthly economic report for EVE Online late last week.

EVE Online nerds harder

August saw the end of World War Bee.  After the great PAPI summer lull, when the told line members to take some time off and we saw daily activity follow them out of the game, the coalition announced a final push against the Imperium, threw some subcaps against 1DQ1-A, then promptly began their retreat from Delve.

From there it was a time to clean up and return to normalcy, or something like it.  So let’s go through the usual categories and see what happened in August.

Destruction

While the final battle in 1DQ1-A resulted in a mere 340 billion ISK in destruction, blowing up the many PAPI structures left over in the region boosted the destroyed amount, putting Delve at the top of the region list once again.

  1. Delve – 4.27 trillion
  2. The Forge – 2.33 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 2.12 trillion
  4. Lonetrek – 2.08 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 1.42 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 1.37 trillion
  7. Querious – 1.27 trillion
  8. Catch – 1.1 trillion
  9. Genesis – 1.04 trillion
  10. Metropolis – 905 billion

You can see the effects of some of the clean up in Querious and the cyno beacon trap in Catch that added to the 36 trillion ISK in destruction that took place in August.  That was up 9 trillion from July.  With the war over, I expect we will see that number dip once more with the September MER.

Production

The end of the war saw a bit of a boost in production as well as parties settled down and began rebuilding for the next war.

August 2021 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

You can see the red line pulling upward again after having dropped off in April with the industry changes.  Overall a total of 94 trillion in ISK value was produced, up almost 13 trillion from July.  The top regions were:

  1. The Forge – 18.27 trillion
  2. Delve – 11.38 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 7.08 trillion
  4. Lonetrek 7.04 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 5.27 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 3.81 trillion
  7. Fade – 3.36 trillion
  8. Domain – 3.1 trillion
  9. Placid – 2.77 trillion
  10. The Kalevala Expanse – 2.74 trillion

The regions feeding Jita, The Forge, The Citadel, and Lonetrek, dominate still, but Delve managed to clinch second place as the Imperium ramped up production to rebuild the region shattered by the war.

Mining

Mineral prices changed a bit as the war ended, falling slightly.

Aug 2021 – Economic Indices

That would have seemed like a big change in past eras, but after the starvation spike it feels like a normal fluctuation.  A total of 21.95 trillion in ore was mined, up about 1.5 trillion from July, with the top regions being:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.43 trillion
  2. The Forge – 997 billion
  3. Domain – 979 billion
  4. Metropolis – 800 billion
  5. Fountain – 775 billion
  6. Insmother – 641 billion
  7. Malpais – 576 billion
  8. Lonetrek – 565 billion
  9. Sinq Laison – 538 billion
  10. Deklein – 531 billion

Delve was down in 14th position, which isn’t bad considering the need to install moon mining structures and the need to raise ADMs to get upgrades so that mining anomalies would spawn.  I expect that we will see Delve in the top five for September and that overall mining value will go up with the changes we saw in last week’s update, where ice availability was doubled and Mercoxit spawns were increased.  That is the first step away from CCP’s economic starvation plan.

Trade

The market also saw a jump in August.  I am sure all those players trying to buy fuel to move their capital ships added to that number.  There was a total of 647 trillion in transaction recorded, up from 513 trillion in July.  That is quite a significant rebound.

The top regions were:

  1. The Forge – 471 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 51.36 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Delve – 25.81 trillion (Imperium)
  4. Sinq Laison – 16.15 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Lonetrek – 13.41 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  6. Metropolis – 9.62 trillion (Hek)
  7. Heimatar – 7.09 trillion (Rens)
  8. The Kalevala Expanse – 5.15 trillion (PanFam)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 4.62 trillion (Fraternity)
  10. Essence – 4.21 trillion (Gallente High Sec)

All of those regions, save for Heimatar, were up, with the top three being up significantly as the economy shifted back into gear after the early summer slump.

ISK Faucets

I have left the most interesting for last and we might as well get right to the Redeemed ISK Token entry.  Last month that line on the faucets chart spiked dramatically as CCP handed out 235 million ISK in login rewards to players with Omega accounts.  The main spike finished in August and then fell off as the month carried on.

Aug 2021 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

The sudden prominence of that line last month led some to believe that it only tracked the ISK tokens that were redeemed as part of the login event, myself included.

Following that logic, with the event over and most of the redemption likely concluded, the assumption was that the 25,869,509,165,000.00 ISK that line represented in July and August could be neatly divided by 235 million to give us a minimum number of Omega accounts active in EVE Online.

That gives you a minimum of 110,000 subscribers to the game.

However, nothing is ever that easy.  That Redeemed ISK Token line runs back into 2020 on the chart, and while it isn’t significant amount, it does mean that it isn’t all from that one event.  The Nosy Gamer did some research on that line item.  The upshot is that there are other things that feed into that line.  I pulled the data from the source file in the MER and found that from July 1st through July 26th, that line accounted for close to 20 billion ISK in payouts before the login event occurred.  That isn’t a lot relative to the trillions that the event adds in, but it isn’t nothing either.

Still, that 110,000 floor for subscribers seems to be fairly solid.  While a far cry from the 400K subscriber count the company was reporting in 2012, relative to titles of its age not named World of Warcraft, the game is doing pretty well.  The list of aging MMOs that would like to have 110K paying subscribers is pretty long.

Otherwise the faucets were the usual suspects.

Aug 2021 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

You can see that commodities are still in the top position, with bounty prizes lagging behind as has been the case for the last year or so.  Overall bounties were up by about 4.5 trillion ISK, with a total of 29.14 trillion ISK being collected.  But if you look at the sinks and faucets over time chart above, which shows daily activity, you will see bounties making a surge towards the end of the month as people settled into a more normal peacetime roles.

Tiny little crop

It is very possible, given that trend, that we might see bounties back on top as the primary ISK faucet come September.

As for where bounties are coming from, these were the top ten regions:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 2.46 trillion (Fraternity)
  2. Delve – 2.43 trillion (Imperium)
  3. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.47 trillion (PanFam)
  4. Tenal – 1.12 trillion (Fraternity)
  5. Malpais – 1.07 trillion (PanFam)
  6. Insmother – 1.02 trillion (FI.RE)
  7. Esoteria 953 billion (AoM)
  8. Oasa – 940 billion (Fraternity)
  9. Tribute – 908 billion (Fraternity)
  10. Branch – 886 billion (Fraternity)

Fraternity is still leading the way on NPC bounties, but Delve surged back on the list in the the back half of the month as work on raising ADMs continued.  Delve could climb back to the top of the list, though Fraternity’s diverse holdings will likely still add up to more ISK income over time.

And, finally, on the commodities front, one of the big questions was whether or not that estimated 20 trillion ISK sitting in ESS reserve banks would suddenly be let loose on the New Eden economy.  The chart says… not so much.

Aug 2021 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

While looking at the yellow line clearly shows an uptick in redemption of the encrypted bonds that both ESS banks and reserve banks yield when you rob them, relative to other commodities it wasn’t a huge impact.

Of course there have been ongoing issues getting the actual reserve bank keys, the fact that reserve banks have been “nationalized” in a number of regions, and the rather slow payout mechanism involved with robbing reserve banks that keep that number from suddenly jumping into the trillions.

Something to keep an eye on as time goes by.

Other items of note, going back up to the sinks and faucets line chart, you can see the brokers fee and transaction tax changes that CCP put in place reflected in the chart as well as a rise in the asset safety recover tax as people get their stuff out of hock after the war.

That is all I have for August.  As always you can find all the charts and data at the dev blog for the MER.

Related:

Reviving My ISK Reserves in the Post War Era

I went into World War Bee with approximately 15 billion ISK on hand, spread out across various accounts.  About 11 billion ISK of that was on my main, while other key alts had a billion here or there in order to be able to buy things at need.

When I got to the end of the war my main had about 2.5 billion ISK on hand, with another 2 billion ISK still scattered about.

Where did all that ISK go?  Was the war that costly?  Didn’t I run on about how SRP was paying the bills previously?

Well yes.  Mostly.  Of my total losses in the war, I war reimbursed for every ship I lost on a strategic war op… as long as I remembered to fit the rigs. (That only happened once though.) My losses:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 7
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Sabre interdictor – 1
  • Eagle heavy assault cruiser – 1
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

I did not, however, get reimbursed, nor file for reimbursement, for off the books ops I took upon myself.  I did a bunch of entosis ops in Catch and Querious at various times during the war and ate all of those losses.  That added up to about 1 billion ISK.

I also put 5 billion ISK into Imperium war bonds.

And then there was the big build up for the final battles in 1DQ1-A.  The Mittani encouraged us all to have multiple reships for key doctrines ready to go because, in a massive tidi fight you cannot rely on the market or contracts to work reliably.  I can attest to that.  So we might only have what we was in our hangars for a big fight.  So in July I stocked up on doctrine ships, buying battleships, battlecruisers, HACs, and logi ships to the tune of about 3 billion ISK… which honestly didn’t buy me all that many ships.  With the industry changes and mineral prices, a fit doctrine battleship was going for 400 million at Jita prices.

Add in other ships I bought over time and still had in my hangar, and I was down to 2.5 billion ISK on my main.

I was, however, rich in assets according to the in-game wealth appraisal, which said I was sitting on almost 50 billion ISK in ships, modules, and whatever else.  So my first step in reviving my fortunes was to sell some of that.

Doctrine ships are tough to unload when there is suddenly no war.  Those are all still sitting in my hangar.  But I clone jumped back to Jita on my main, which I had not done in almost a year, and started sorting through all the stuff that has accumulated there over the year.  I shipped some of it to 1DQ1-A, as the market there still looked good for some items… and some items had grown so expensive over time that I figured they would be better to have handy there if I needed them.

The big money item for me was a SKIN I had laying around, the SARO Black Troop SKIN for the Marshal, which came as the final mystery code reward a little over three years ago.

The mystery code’s last payout

I hadn’t activated the code because the fate of the Marshal was a bit uncertain back then, and then forgot I even had it.  But now, three years down the line, with a Marshal hull exceeding 4 billion ISK last I looked, I figured that was never going to be on my shopping list.  So I could part with the SKIN… which was going for two billion ISK.

I was also sitting on 100 doses of Quafe Zero.  I decided to hold onto that, but sold ten of them just for a bit of cash.  Selling two more than covered the costs of me shipping a bunch of stuff to 1DQ1-A.

Some ISK sales injection

There is probably a lot more stuff I could sell off.  I am always leery of dumping stuff I might need for a fit later, so my hangars tend to be full of modules.

So that was one shot of ISK.  And the Imperium war bonds drip a little bit of ISK into my account every month, to the tune of 41 million ISK.  That won’t buy you much, but it is something.

Meanwhile I have also been ramping up on planetary industry.  A while back I started training up my unused alts on active accounts in PI.  A few run around in high sec, where the payout isn’t that great, but it is very low effort.

I also trained up my KarmaFleet characters so they all have max PI skills and have started those running now that things are somewhat quiet in Delve.  I had given up on PI in Delve for a while because my main had all his PI stuff in 39P, which fell to PAPI.

I am not quiet ready to get into ratting or mining, but I might start doing abyssal pockets again for a bit of ISK.  I need to build up my reserves.  The big war is over for now, but there is always another war or deployment or whatever just over the horizon, so I need to start saving up for that.

Dealing with Mudflation

A few weeks back on The Meta Show The Mittani characterized CCP’s attempts to fix the EVE Online economy as an attempt to roll back mudflation.  And that seems to fit the bill as to what they have been attempting over the last few years really.

Mudflation goes back to… well, as the name implies, MUDs and their economies.

Much has been written about the economies of online games, but my early experience with mudflation was around TorilMUD, which was big enough to have a player economy, but not big enough to absorb the faucets over time.

Mudflation generally refers to the growth of both power in online games and the effects of the uninterrupted flow of cash from drops, quests, and what not into the player economy.

In TorilMUD both aspects hit the game.  Power creep was generally part of the introduction of new raid zones.  If somebody made a fancy new zone for players to attack, they would seed it with some desirable gear, a bit better than you could get in some of the older zones.  That made people run the new zone to get the drops that they wanted, but also made older raid zones a bit easier to run.

For example, way back in time, the City of Brass in the Astral Plane was a tough zone for a raid group.  It had some nifty stuff, but groups primarily went there because it had drops for a couple of epic spell quests, including one of the druid spells… creeping doom or moonwell, I forget which this far down the line.  You needed a fire protection item, you needed to have fly cast on you, several of the fights needed very specific group compositions.

As new raid zones came in and gear got better overall, City of Brass became a bit of a cakewalk.  Part of that was the raid leaders learned all the tricks over time, what you could skip and how best to approach various bosses, but a lot of it was that we were all just now over-geared for the zone, so that save for one boss fight a run was rarely in question. (Unless Mori was running the raid, in which case we might all wipe just traveling through the Astral Plane and spend the next three hours recovering from that.)

The TorilMUD solution to this over time was to redo gear, generally by hitting it vigorously with a nerf bat until zones were, if not hard, but at least not a walk over.  Often the devs came for specific things.  There was the great war on haste items.  I remember Meclin lent me a pair of grey suede boots, which were haste items when he took a break and I traded them for some gear that was a big upgrade for me and then, two weeks later the devs nerfed them into oblivion.  I offered to go buy a pair of grey suedes for him when he returned to the game.  They were cheap because nobody wanted them anymore.

Part of the issue for TorilMUD is that it has had a level cap of 50 since 1993, so adjusting gear was the go-to solution.

Then there was the economy.  For some time after a pwipe, and I went through four of those, a player economy would grow and flourish.  I wrote a post about how we used to handle sales by yelling about our wares back in the old days.

TorilMUD was a game of many faucets and few sinks.  As usual, life was hard when you were level 1 and could barely afford the copper needed to buy a ration to eat.  But as you went on and looted every coin and sold every bit of junk to a vendor… we used to race off to the Faerie Forest with every crash/reboot because there were things we could sell available at such a reset… you eventually could cover your needs, then buy a few luxuries, then had excess.

When everybody was hungry, the economy thrived.  When people got fat, when the streets were running with gold, then the economy would die.  Basically, gear had value and coin did not, and who trades something of value for no return?  And when somebody did want to buy/sell something, it was for an obscene pile of coin.

That problem was never solved, save through the community itself.  People were generous in donating gear and when there was no demand, people stopped farming low level gear to resell.  But if you wanted to buy gear, pay money for an item, you were likely out of luck. (Except maybe for that tinker’s bag in the Faerie Forest.)

Both of those aspects of mudflation have carried on into modern MMORPGs.

In fact the experience of early EverQuest was very much a replay writ large, right down to people shouting to advertise their wares in the tunnel in The Commonlands.

The Plane of Knowledge kills all this eventually

The EQ developers had a different way out… a route that actually ran with gear inflation… which was expansions.  If you pile on some levels or some AAs to earn, a bit of story, and a pile of new gear to grind for, then you kick the gear inflation can down the road.  As long as you keep making expansions… and the EQ team was doing two expansions a year at one point… and don’t go crazy, you can sustain this for quite a while.

The economy was still a bit nutty in Norrath.  They had to turn off gravity in the Bazaar, the official player economy center, because you needed to haul huge amounts of platinum coin around to buy things, and woe to anybody who forgot to bank their coins before stepping out of the Bazaar, because you would find yourself weighed down, unable to move.  I’ve done that.

World of Warcraft had adopted pretty much the same point of view, at least up through the Battle for Azeroth expansion.  They did a gear squish at one point, just to reign in numbers, but gear progression through expansions was still pretty much the same; new expansion green gear was likely better than your old expansion purples.

And the team at Blizz made old raid tourism a thing for pets and transmog gear, so your inflated power could be used to go back and collect stuff you missed in past expansions.

It wasn’t until Battle for Azeroth that they started to feel that the “more levels with every expansion” model might be reaching the point of absurdity, so we got the great level squish before Shadowlands hit.  For me the jury is still out as to whether that was worth the effort, though it is hard to judge due to Shadowlands growing stale in the first six months and then the hostile workplace lawsuit hitting the company.

Regardless, I suspect that a level squish like that is a luxury that few titles can afford.  I am sure the EQ team feels the pain of having a level cap at 115 and 27 expansions to sort through.  I am not sure how Neverwinter managed it, though I suspect their plan was not as ambitious.

On the economy front Blizzard has just run with the inflation model, even expanding the gold cap over time.  Each expansion hands out more gold, but they add in a few fancy gold sinks… mounts and bags and what not… to try and offset that.  I am sure that WoW Tokens helped at least redistribute some of the hoarded gold in the game.

But the player economy isn’t critical to the game.  There are servers where the economy is totally screwed up, where the auction house is bad, but you can mostly ignore it.  You do quests, get gear, earn faction, get enough gold to buy from NPC vendors, and go on with your life and adventures.

It has actually been a bit amusing to watch the economy change in WoW Classic with the unlock of Burning Crusade Classic.  We would go out of our way to finish a quest with a one gold reward in vanilla.  In Outland the quest rewards are throwing gold compared to what we’ve been used to, and the market reacted.  People got rich, prices went up, and things moved along.

Still, the auction house it options.

Which brings me back to EVE Online, where started about a thousand words back.  CCP has been doing something that I have not seen before in an online game.  CCP has been trying to stuff the economy side of the mudflation genie back in the bottle.

After introducing all the changes that led to the current situation, epitomized at one point by the Delve Time Unit, CCP had a change of heart/staff and started down a path to reduce the wealth being accumulated in New Eden.  Rorqual mining was repeatedly nerfed as was supercap ratting.  Taxes on commerce were raised.  Anomalies were nerfed some more, then the whole ESS nerf was put in place to put income at risk.

CCP then got serious and went after mining and minerals, the core of the manufacturing economy, reducing ore yields, limiting where some minerals could be found, reducing the number of asteroids, and generally trying to starve the New Eden economy.

Most recently CCP redid industry.  Ship prices were already on the rise due to mineral prices, but CCP made certain ships, battleships and above, much more expensive to produce which saw a large downturn in production back in April.

A lot of effort has gone into throttling the economy, though after all that CCP threw some ISK at people for an event when they unlocked the ESS reserve bank keys.

July 2021 – Money Supply Over Time (with highlight)

While the money supply is down a bit from the June 2019 high, that last injection seems to have undone much of what they were attempting to achieve.

And CCP has promised that the starvation economy will be ending with changes slated for Q4 of 2021.  We do not know what those are yet, but I am very curious to see if there will be any tangible change resulting from these months and years of squeezing the economy.

For example, CCP loves when null sec goes to war.  Big battles with expansive ships set records and make headlines that help promote the game.  But this big economic squeeze has clearly impacted the war.

Yes, PAPI is claiming that the tax changes killed off their Tranquility Trading Tower revenues, which meant they could no longer finance the war, but that feels more like an excuse than major factor.

That said, making capitals and supercapitals more expensive to produce means that both sides in the war were much more careful about putting hard to replace assets on the line.  The tax change may not have ended the war, but the production change loomed large over how it was being fought and made those big battles CCP loves less likely.  Nobody wants to risk their big toys if they can’t be sure they can replace them.

CCP is in a tough corner, I will admit that.  If they think the economy is getting out of hand they cannot just add some more sinks in with the next expansion, a spiffy new mount or some such.  And the economy is vital to EVE Online in a way that few other games have ever managed.  Life goes on in New Eden because you can go to Jita and buy a new ship to replace the one you lost.  ISK has value in the economy.  Screw that up and the game breaks hard.

But I am still wondering if this effort will end up being an object lesson to other developers about how to, or how not to, deal with mudflation.

59 Weeks and the End of World War Bee

One last weekly update.  There is rarely a clean transition from war to peace.  The Imperium will be clearing out left behind PAPI structures for a while still.  But the pace of things has wound down significantly over the past week.

PAPI forces are all returning to their respective homelands.  Brave is clashing with Psychotic Tendencies in Geminate, and I can only wish them the best in that fight.  And they have their first ihub in NBPH-N in the region.

TEST though seems to be struggling to get to its new home in Outer Passage.  They do not appear to hold any ihubs there yet.  The word is that they have made it at least as far as A24L-V in Insmother on their route home, but that fuel constraints are hitting hard.

TEST has also dropped out of the Alliance Tournament.  I hadn’t heard why… probably ISK… but when they were pulled by CCP in the Alliance Tournament Feeder draw stream (you can see that at the 30 minute mark when they draw for spot 17), CCP Aurora said that TEST had asked to be left out.  They are still listed in slot 17 (see brackets here), but I guess they have decided to forfeit.

Progodlegend got up at another TEST town hall to motivate the troops during their retreat.  He once again tried to sum up the war favorably, declaring that 4,500 Goons just sat in 1DQ for 13 months.  I guess the battles in NPC Delve and M2-XFE, and the Guinness Book world records that went with them, were all just some sort of collective Goon fever dream.

You tell yourself whatever story you need to in order to get to your objective I guess.

And the rest of the former Legacy coalition is scattered about, settling into new homes or looking for a couch to crash on.

The overall PAPI coalition looks to be breaking up.  Pandemic Horde reset a large number of other null sec alliances, while the PAPI Assemble Discord server looked to have been taken down.

No more honking

Without PAPI there is no blue donut to fight for now.

One Year Ago

Niarja fell to the Triglavians, and the WWB participants were involved.

CCP added metaliminal storms to null sec so we could have space weather to worry about.

We fought over the O-PNSN Keepstar and lost, but at the fight over the KVN-36 Keepstar it was a server crash that saved the day for the Imperium.

In my week seven summary I looked at what coverage the war was getting, our losses, and Legacy getting pushed back in Querious.

Imperium Space Cleanup

In the Imperium regions of Delve, Fountain, Querious, and Period Basis all of the ihubs have been retaken and we’re in the count down to when GSOL can start installing Ansiblex jump gates again to facilitate movement around our space again.  Right now, if you don’t have a bridger and a cyno handy, moving around means taking a lot of gates.

TCUs, or territorial control units, are getting cleared out as well.  Those are less critical as their primary function these days is to act as a flag on the map for a given system.  They are a legacy of Dominion sov.  If you go to the null sec influence map for yesterday you will see that Delve TCUs have been retaken, but that TEST and Warped Intentions still have some down in Period Basis.  Those will be taken care of soon enough, but the ihubs are what matter.

Delve is Goons, Anime is Cartoons

And now it is the rebuilding time.  Structures are being put down again.  ADMs need to be raised in some systems to support infrastructure hub upgrades.  A new standing fleet for home defense has been arranged.  A list of supplies went out that the coalition will need to help rebuild.  I got my Planetary Industry stuff rolling again to help fulfill a few items on the long list of needs.

There is a lot of work still to be done, but plans are rolling out to focus our efforts in building a new Delve.

My Participation

I went out on a few ops this past week.  The pace of operations definitely started to taper down as the week went along.  The almost constant tempo of pings showing up for structure shoots fell off noticably.  Still, I got in on a few of them.

An Astrahus blowing up

We also got to run out and blow up a Hel supercarrier, which was a fun distraction.

Hel tackled in Catch

I did lose one ship this week, a Purifier to a gate camp.  It was a dumb, avoidable loss where I immediately said, “Why did I do that?”  But I am not going to count it as a war loss because the group that got me, Pax Sex and his gang, are neutrals that used to hunt in Delve in peacetime.  Losing ships to them is a normal thing now and then.  So my total losses for the war are:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 7
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Sabre interdictor – 1
  • Eagle heavy assault cruiser – 1
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

That is 86 ships and a deployable.  I am surprised I didn’t lose more really.

Other Items

CCP release the Monthly Economic Report for July, which I covered a bit.  It generally showed that July was kind of a slow month.

We also got a quick, three day login campaign for some skill points.  CCP hands those out like candy these days.

And CCP did the draw for the Alliance Tournament brackets.   The feeder round starts on September 4th.

The Final PCU Report

With each of the weekly updates I have reported the peak concurrent user count for that week, mostly as a record to see if those numbers tracked along with the intensity of the war.  There are a lot of other factors that play into online numbers, but they did seem to generally follow the war.  CCP reported that at one point during the second M2-XFE Keepstar battle more than one third of accounts logged into the game were in that system, T5ZI-S, or 1DQ1-A.

Anyway, I made a little chart out of the data with some annotations.

Over the timeline of the war

Over the 60 data points… I counted day one of the war as the “zeroth week,” which means that the numbers at the bottom of the chart are offset by +1… the following states can be derived:

  • Average weekly PCU – 33,893
  • Maximum weekly PCU – 40,359 (Week 15)
  • Minimum weekly PCU – 24,262 (Week 52)
  • Median weekly PCU – 35,075 (Week 9)

Weekly PCU isn’t all that accurate of an indicator.  It is more of a flavor for how each week went.  But it doesn’t reflect well if a whole week was busy or if we just had a busy day.  You can go to EVE Offline for a more granular look at the war.

The last year chart via EVE Offline

My chart lines up somewhat with that chart, though that cuts off the start of the war, which probably drops the average a bit when compared to mine.

And, of course, the final data set listing:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708
  • Week 42 – 33,521
  • Week 43 – 33,731
  • Week 44 – 33,742 (Saturday)
  • Week 45 – 33,758
  • Week 46 – 31,768
  • Week 47 – 29,898
  • Week 48 – 31,462 (Monday)
  • Week 49 – 27,914
  • Week 50 – 26,045
  • Week 51 – 25,661
  • Week 52 – 24,262
  • Week 53 – 24,290
  • Week 54 – 24,922
  • Week 55 – 26,259 (Saturday)
  • Week 56 – 27,176
  • Week 57 – 29,953
  • Week 58 – 29,111
  • Week 59 – 29,749

Related

The July Monthly Economic Report and the Lull Time in EVE Online

CCP dropped the Monthly Economic Report for July yesterday, a little earlier in the month than usual.  I take this as a further sign that not much goes on at CCP in August, so nobody was too busy elsewhere to run and post the report.

EVE Online nerds harder

That they had time to run and post the report early doesn’t mean that we got a better report.  As gets pointed out in the discussion thread about the July MER, there are still issues including the missing Pochven region and data bleed through across months.  But you work with the data you have, not the data you might want.

While August is a lull time for CCP, July saw the big lull in game.  The weekly peak concurrent numbers that I had been tracking since the start of World War Bee were at their lowest as the stalemate in Delve carried on into its third month and PAPI leadership was talking about taking the summer off.

We all know how that turns around in August now.

An interesting side question revolves around the sudden bump in player wealth at the end of July.  Was that the 235 million ISK in login rewards all Omegas got at the end of the month, the effect of people coming back when the final battle of the war suddenly loomed and PAPI was calling people to get re-subscribed, or a bit of both?  Down below we get a number for the login rewards, and it doesn’t seem like enough for that big of a bump.

July 2021 – Money Supply Over Time (with highlight)

But otherwise the MER is, as always, a month behind so we’ll have to just pretend we haven’t skipped ahead to the good part.  (Or the bad part if you were in TEST or Brave.)  Still, you can see the war slipping away in the Delve net imports/exports numbers for June and July

In June the Delve net trade balance was 138 billion ISK in imports, while in July that changed to 4.69 trillion ISK in exports.  That is a lot of stuff leaving the region.  Somebody was on their way out the door early.

Production

The last few months we have been looking at the impact of the industry changes on production in New Eden, so we may as well start there again with the chart and the red line that tracks it.

July 2021 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

As you can see, the slide in production continued into July, then turned around a bit mid-month to start climbing a bit.  It is still well below any recent dip, but there was also the slow down in the war and the decline in active users.  The numbers in the regional stats showed 85.23 trillion ISK in production, which is down about 3.5 trillion from the June number, even though the month saw an increase as it moved into August. (The chart goes to August 9th.)

The top regions for production were:

  1. The Forge – 15.33 trillion
  2. Delve – 9.19 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 6.59 trillion
  4. Lonetrek – 6.55 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 4.37 trillion
  6. Fade – 3.91 trillion
  7. Sinq Laison – 3.52 trillion
  8. Domain – 2.83 trillion
  9. Placid – 2.34 trillion
  10. Malpais – 2.22 trillion

Numbers did not change much over the June numbers.  As usual, a lot of the production occurs in the regions adjacent to the Jita trade hub.

Destruction

With the war in a lull the destruction numbers remained flat, ringing in at 27 trillion ISK, down slightly but not a significant amount when compared to June’s 27.65 trillion.

High sec remained to the top of the list when it came to destruction.

  1. Lonetrek – 1.82 trillion
  2. Delve – 1.82 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 1.76 trillion
  4. The Forge – 1.58 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 1.57 trillion
  6. Metropolis – 952 billion
  7. Querious – 871 billion
  8. Sinq Laison – 813 billion
  9. Domain – 793 billion
  10. Genesis – 746 billion

Delve was in the running, narrowly edged out by Lonetrek, but the three regions around Jita again dominate together, being the prime location for suicide ganks and war targets.

Given what we have seen in August so far, Delve should see a huge uptick in destruction if CCP doesn’t botch the numbers as the did back in December.

Mining

Mineral prices started rising again in July even as production stayed low.  This might be due to mineral bottlenecks in the production cycle.  Some higher end mineral caches have likely been burned through at this point.  I mentioned the morphite crunch last month.

July 2021 – Economic Indices

Mineral prices remain very high despite the drop from the record prices of recent months.

On the supply side, 20.57 trillion ISK in ore was mined in July, down about 4 trillion from the June number.  The top regions were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.16 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.02 trillion
  3. The Forge – 934 billion
  4. Metropolis – 686 billion
  5. Insmother – 635 billion
  6. Lonetrek – 507 billion
  7. Kador – 499 billion
  8. Etherium Reach – 489 billion
  9. Genesis – 488 billion
  10. Everyshore – 484 billion

High sec space still holds most of the slots, but Fraternity still tops the list in Vale, FI.RE in Insmother, and Slyce, a PanFam ally, in Etherium Reach.  Those are the null sect hot mining spots.

ISK Faucets

There was a new faucet on the chart in July, the “Redeemed ISK Token,” which I assume is the ISK Omega accounts got for the login reward campaign I mentioned at the top of the post.

July 2021 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

You might need to click on that image to bring it to full size in order to read it… I know I have to and the print is pretty tiny even then… but I underlined the new token item, which apparent injected 9.4 trillion ISK in the New Eden economy.

That doesn’t give us the full extent of the login reward largess, since that ran into August, so some people won’t have redeemed all of the 235 million ISK, and some will have left it in the redemption queue, but if everybody happened to collect and redeem in the first five days, that would be about 40,000 Omega accounts.

Put that number as the new floor on how many subscribers there are.  There can’t be less than that and likely much more.  I’ll follow up on that next month.

The redeemed ISK token also appears on the faucets over time chart.

July 2021 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

That dark blue line spikes up pretty hard at the end of the month.  For a short bit of time it was bringing more ISK into the economy that the other faucets.  But it was also a limited time item, a short blip.

Commodities remained the top ISK producer as usual, with incursions in third place.

July 2021 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

As usual, the wormhold crabs brought in the most ISK with Sleeper components.  Abyssal space and incursion rewards were pretty close, while the miscellaneous line must be related to the Minmatar Liberation Day events that showed up in the second week of the month.

As for NPC bounties, those totaled up to 24.74 trillion ISK in value in July, down just 1.5 trillion from June, with the top regions being:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.88 trillion (Fraternity)
  2. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.09 trillion (PanFam)
  3. Insmother – 1.0 trillion (FI.RE)
  4. Tenal – 995 billion (Fraternity)
  5. Esoteria – 993 billion (Army of Mango)
  6. Tribute – 894 billion (Fraternity)
  7. Branch – 867 billion (Fraternity)
  8. Oasa – 846 billion (Fraternity)
  9. Querious – 831 billion (Brave)
  10. Delve – 828 billion (TEST)

We are back again to null sec taking all ten spots.  Fraternity was especially active, but it has been clear from their position on the war and the TTT that they aim to be a significant null sec power in their own right.  Delve and Querious show that TEST and Brave were really bought into the idea of living in Imperium space, an idea shattered this month by the collapse of the PAPI coalition.

Trade

Finally, there is trade, which was up in July, hitting 513 trillion ISK, up from the 489 trillion ISK in trade that June saw.  The top regions for trade remain as consistent as usual.

  1. The Forge – 370 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 39.75 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Delve – 15.75 trillion (Imperium/PAPI)
  4. Sinq Laison – 14.43 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Lonetrek – 12.09 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  6. Metropolis – 10.75 trillion (Hek)
  7. Heimatar – 8.26 trillion (Rens)
  8. Essence – 4.65 trillion (Gallente High Sec)
  9. The Citadel – 3.63 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  10. Vale of the Silent – 3.23 trillion (Fraternity)

And so it goes.

The next report will be interesting.  Destruction should be way up again, trade up due to fuel scarcity, and the remains of the ISK token login rewards to account for.

As always, you can find more charts and all the data on the MER dev blog.

Related

58 Weeks of World War Bee

The week of maximum Imperium smug may have passed, what with all the PAPI structure kills being racked up.  The main battles have been fought, the outposts of our foes that haven’t been destroyed yet are on their way to that fate soon enough.

The war is starting to feel over.

The enemy has fled, the invasion is no more, and the coalition that joined together to attack us hangs together loosely at best.  I might be at the last weekly update.  We’ll see what happens in the coming week, but I could be done.

Not that I ever meant for this weekly post routine to become a thing.  It sort of just happened and, once it started, it seemed like a good idea to just carry on.

There is still a lot going on.  PAPI forces are bunched up in a few systems trying to get out and have moved at a slow enough pace that, thanks to CCP having systems with very similar names in Catch, other groups have been able to setup bait cyno beacons that continue to provide juicy targets like this FinFleet Ragnarok.

And, with thousands of capital ships in motion across null sec, there is now apparently a jump fuel shortage with isotopes of all four flavors being scarce, which has caused prices to jump dramatically. (It isn’t all Imperium spies in Pandemic Horde relisting things on the market.)  The CCP scarcity drive made ice mining less productive and broke ice belts in some places so that there just isn’t anywhere close to enough supply arriving on the market to cope with the huge demand.

The PAPI trail of tears back to the Dronelands may be an extended journey.

Then there are the organizational shakeups underway as various groups shed members or recruit from traumatized alliances whose members are fed up.

Sov losses and member movement

There will also no doubt be a shift in the alliance coalition structures as PAPI breaks up into smaller regional groups.

The Mittani announced a general moratorium on accepting members of PAPI alliances into the Imperium for the next couple of months.  We are not seeking fair weather friends.  I am not sure how diligently this will be enforced, but you can expect that if you were in PAPI then KarmaFleet won’t be recruiting you for the time being. (Unless you made the Operation PAPIclip list.)

One Year Ago

The CCP update included armor plate tiericide and EDENCOM turned hostile towards anybody supporting the Triglavian invasion.

We lost the Keepstar in IGE-RI in Fountain and our tactics did not extract much of a penalty from the attackers.

When we got to the Y-2ANO Keepstar we had changed up enough to make PAPI pay for reinforcing it.

In the Week 6 Update I noted that Fountain was almost completely lost to the Imperium, that Legacy was getting pushed back in Querious, and we dropped 70 Athanors in Esoteria just to annoy TEST. (68 anchored successfully.)

Delve

As I mentioned last week, all the ihubs in Delve have been taken and the focus has turned to clearing out structures left behind by PAPI in their retreat.  There have been lots of structures to kill, with resistance by PAPI tapering off to almost nothing.  There are a few PAPI members who are out there trying to grab the cores when the structured die, and they have had some success, but mostly it is just things getting blown up.

Of course, the big kill of the week was the Tower of Legends, the primary PAPI staging Keepstar, but it was hardly the only Keepstar to die this past week.

The Tower of Legends brought down

The Delve campaign report shows this, with more than 3.5 trillion ISK destroyed in the region over the past week, 94% of which has been PAPI ships and structures.

Delve Campaign Report – Week 58

Listing out just the PAPI losses by type, you can see that structures dominated the list.

Week 58 – Top 15 PAPI Losses by Type

That is a lot of structure bashing that went on in Delve, including 7 Keepstars… and apparently a lot of expensive capsules.  I read somewhere that defense was so easy that nobody should ever lose a Keepstar.  Maybe TEST will defend some of theirs.

Other Theaters

Fountain has been purged of PAPI ihubs, save for the constellation that LowSechnaya Sholupen (LSH) has.  They should not be confused with NullSechnaya Sholupen (NSH) who were part of the PAPI coalition.

Querious has been getting cleared out.  Brave still holds some ihubs and has structures all over… again, they were clearly committed to living there… but have mostly fled the region.  There are unreinforced Brave structures in Querious just sitting there, not unanchoring, waiting to be blown up.  We even got on in an abandoned state the other day, an Athanor, which turned into a 3 billion ISK loot pinata for GSOL.

Period Basis has also been getting some attention, but a lot of the focus has been on Catch, where TEST had to retake an ihub in a system where they had a Keepstar for the evacuation route.

Catch – Aug 15, 2021

I’ve marked the travel waypoint and the system with the bait beacon, CCP having nicely put two systems in the same region that have very similar names to help make this possible. (There are also two systems that start with “GE-” in Catch, so CCP had something in mind or the random name generator blessed the region twice.)

My Participation

I went on quite a few fleets this past week.  As I have said, there were a lot of structures to kill.  While I was out in my Bhaalgorn a few times, most of the week was work for bombers and blops.  My Purifier undocked over and over.

Another structure out there to bash

And then there were the blops pilots who were ferrying us all over Delve and Querious.  I will say that conduit jump, where the black ops battleship and 30 bombers go in one jump, has become a useful features.

A Redeemer blops lighting a covert cyno

While there were a few attempts to interfere with our shoots, I made it through the week without loss, leaving my war time total as:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 7
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Sabre interdictor – 1
  • Eagle heavy assault cruiser – 1
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The propaganda party never stops as Srsli put together another music video for the Imperium.

CCP has gone into its August hibernation mode and the patch update for August so far was pretty minor.  They haven’t mentioned the war lately, but they only seem interested in it when it produces a couple of Guinness Book world records, which happened at FWST-8 and M2-XFE.

This is in contrast to the Casino War where CCP covered events, mentioned it in their video series The Scope, and even tried to name the war.  Now CCP seems more interested in stagnating the game by strangling the economy.

On the weekly peak concurrent user numbers we crossed the 29K line again.  Oddly Monday was close to that peak number, hitting 29,033.  It wasn’t a holiday anywhere that I can recall, so it must have been the continuation of the Sunday peak and the orgy of entosis and destruction that was going on as the Imperium worked on clearing out Delve, Fountain, Querious, and Period Basis.  But Sunday just eked the top number for the week, hitting 29,111.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708
  • Week 42 – 33,521
  • Week 43 – 33,731
  • Week 44 – 33,742 (Saturday)
  • Week 45 – 33,758
  • Week 46 – 31,768
  • Week 47 – 29,898
  • Week 48 – 31,462 (Monday)
  • Week 49 – 27,914
  • Week 50 – 26,045
  • Week 51 – 25,661
  • Week 52 – 24,262
  • Week 53 – 24,290
  • Week 54 – 24,922
  • Week 55 – 26,259 (Saturday)
  • Week 56 – 27,176
  • Week 57 – 29,953
  • Week 58 – 29,111

Related

Surprise! The change in fortunes in the war generated a lot of writing!

The Downfall of The Tower of Legends

If you were looking for a moment to mark the end of the war, this might be as close at you’ll come.  It isn’t the end of the destruction or even the end of the fighting as the Imperium dogs TEST in its retreat to Outer Passage, but it is a significant milestone in the series of events.

The Keepstar that PAPI anchored in Delve named “The Tower of Legends” in the T5ZI-S system back in November, just one gate from 1DQ1-A, the capitol of the Imperium, was destroyed last night.  That was their staging point, the base from which they sought to assail the final stronghold of the Imperium.  That location that was on the same map I posted in the weekly update for so many weeks.  One more time won’t hurt I suppose.

O-EIMK Constellation – The situation before the PAPI retreat

That situation is now officially over.  The Anisblex jump gate connection to E-VKJV has been gone for a week now, and the ihubs and TCUs have been taken, and now their staging Keepstar is gone.  The Keepstar in YZ9-F6, the bubble wrap Keepstar, is gone as well.  But T5ZI was the main event.

The form up for the kill was a bit early, but not excessively so.  The rules were set out in advance, no capital ships, no alts, and no drones to be deployed.  The hope was to get as many people on the kill mail as wanted to be while not overloading the server to the point that the kill mail would fail to generate, the way it did with the NPC Delve fights or the Sotiyos in T5ZI earlier in the week.

Ten subcap fleets were announced, with a flavor for just about anybody.

  • Rainbow Lazor (any laser ship with different crystals)
    • FC:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Asher Elias
    • OP 1
  • Maelstrom> other Minmatar BS > Winmatar
    • FC Name:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Dave Archer
    • Comms:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Op 2
  • Eagles
    • FC Name:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Xanos Xellos
    • Comms:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Op 3
  • Ravens and Rokhs – Caldari Supremecy
    • FC:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Arakine Zamamammayid
    • Op 4
  • Gallente best portraits – Megas and others – no drones no problem
    • FC Name Klexos
    • Comms:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Op 5
  • Muninn fleet (the FC will SHOCK you)
    • FC:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Elo Knight
    • Op 6
  • Can I bring my drake? YES
    • FC:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Kor Anon
    • Op 7
  • GARBAGE DAY!!! Any old ship
    • FC:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alterari
    • Op 8
  • Cerb your enthusiasm
    • FC:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Kretin Valefor
    • Op 9
  • Battle Badgers & Firework Noctis (no drones)
    • FC:‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ Vex Tsnipe
    • Op 10

I got a spot in Asher’s fleet, both out of Reaver’s loyalty and because I was happy enough to get my Bhaalgorn out yet again.  While I rarely used it during the war, it has become my structure bashing ship of choice.  Lasers with standard large crystals never need to be reloaded.

Bhaalgorns were pretty popular, with 48 showing up in his fleet, outnumbering the popular Apocalypse by a few.  There was a wide range of laser wielding Amarr ships, from Harbingers to Paladins going in with us.

We jumped from 1DQ, which was under heavy tidi with all of us logging in and undocking, to T5ZI, where a node reinforcement request had been placed in anticipation of the fight.  Then it was just a bit of a wait as the timer counted down.

Not long now

As the time got close, the fleets warped into range and we opened fire as soon as we were able.  A weave of beams and projectiles formed on the grid in front of the Keepstar, and tidi began to kick in, dropping down to close to 10%, before settling around 25% for most of the fight.  That is actually a pretty tolerable level of tidi.  The server had enough power at that point to be immediately responsive to most commands.

We open fire on the Keepstar

The shoot was not uncontested.  The Keepstar had a gunner and the weapons one can bring to bear can be quite formidable.   Bombs and missiles and fighters and the Arcing Voltron Projector, the Keepstar doomsday weapon, were all deployed against us.

The first time the doomsday reached out it zapped a series of ships, the effect bounces from one to the next randomly, blotting them out, including KarmaFleet DJ Mind1 in a Kronos.  The battle bard was down!

The Arcing Voltron Projector lances out

If that weapon hit you in a subcap, if you were chosen to “ride the lightning,” you were done.

The Keepstar reaching out to zap us again

Fortunately there is a fairly long recharge timer on the weapon.  It was estimated that it might be able to fire 6 or 7 times if the gunner got shots off right away.  I counted five, so he may have been careful with his shots.

The gunner seemed to be going for high ISK value targets rather than famous names, Mind1 aside.  There were any number of notable Imperium FCs on grid to shoot, and up above the Keepstar was The Mittani himself in a Megathron, who was left unscathed by the weapon.

The Mittani shooting from his perch

I thought at one point the lightning was going to get to me as it zapped through a couple of Paladins that were not far off, but my number did not come up.

That shot right past me

Overall the gunner was able to take out more than 500 ships and capsules, including an unfortunate bunch that got pulled into range of the point defense system and murdered before they could get clear.  The battle report shows that the gunner racked up more than 52 billion ISK in kills.  But that wasn’t much compared to the loss of a Keepstar.

Battle Report Header

The Keepstar was undervalued on the kill mail because TEST pulled the rigs, which can run into the tens of billions or more, before the structure was destroyed.  A petty move to save themselves a bit of face in the ISK war.  And then there was what was inside.

I wish CCP could give us a report as to how much stuff went into asset safety.  There were surely a lot of ships and supplies still left in the structure from which PAPI had staged for more than seven months.  Any time you settle down into a place it starts to collect junk.  And all of the junk that got left behind will be delivered via asset safety to an NPC station in the Irmalin system in the Khanid region.  That is a long way from the Dronelands and Outer Passage, where TEST is headed.  Individuals can always arrange to have things shipped to Jita or Amarr, though you have to actually go to the station where your stuff has landed in order to reclaim it and make it available to move.  I am sure somebody will be camping that station when the time comes.

With tidi in place the shoot took longer than it might have otherwise.  It would have gone more quickly if we had just used titans and supers.  But we wanted to go with subcaps for the reasons stated above.  And it worked out, a kill mail was generated with 2,354 of us listed on it.  We all get that on our record of the game.

There was a lot of built up emotion coming out as the moment of destruction came near.  Everybody got called to Op 1 on Mumble to try for a long, voice server crashing “Aaaaaaah” chain, where everybody keys up their mic and says “Aaaaaaaah” for as long as they can.  It was quite a sustained event.  I had to mute the channel after a bit… my wife was wondering what the hell I was doing… but if you want to listen to it, somebody recorded it and posted it up on Reddit.  Or there is a video of the explosion with our voice comms running over it.

 

And then the moment came and the Keepstar exploded, but the “Aaaaaah” chain went on and on, buoyed by our success.

The Tower of Legends brought down

We hung about as the core was scooped, held down by bubbles still lit by the afterglow of the explosion.

After the Keepstar went

Then, once GSOL had spirited away the core, the loot, and the salvage, a new structure was dropped in place of the now destroyed Keepstar.

A Fortizar deploying… some fireworks in the foreground

The Fortizar was not dropped for any sentimental or ceremonial reasons, though that spot will be a special point in space for the Imperium going forward.  As I understand it, any super or titan pilots who were in their big ships and logged off when the Keepstar went up will log back in and find themselves in space.  The Fortizar is there to be the hub of a camp that will probably end up destroying some more big ships over the next few months.

That done, we were able to head back through the gate to home.  There, on the Imperial Palace Keepstar, fireworks were being set off, lighting up the structure.  Fireworks might be one of the low key best things CCP has added to the game.  They get used a lot.

A celebration at home

The work isn’t done yet.  Not long after we got back more pings started going out.  There are more structures to kill in Delve, Querious, and Period Basis.  The Region Commander board is alleged to have over 200 targets that will require attention over the next week or two.

There is also the pursuit of TEST and the rest of PAPI as they return to their homes, old and new.

Then there is the rebuilding effort, the new Delve to create once we clear up the wreckage of the old.  But the pace will settle down eventually.  A new normal will be created.  We’re already headed there.  The intel channels are starting to be lively again, with reports of people… not PAPI, but third party groups… roaming through our space looking for targets, the way things were before the war.

Once things settle down, once our homeland is secure again, then there will be some revenge to take.  But that will be another war at a later date.

Related:

Towards a New Delve

There is a bit of a tug of war about whether or not World War Bee is over.  PAPI is certainly keen to close the books on war now that they are headed home while the Imperium wants to keep counting coup as they clear out all the structures that Legacy in general, and TEST in particular, dropped in Delve.

Seriously, if anybody ever tries to dispute that Legacy was fully committed to moving into Imperium space to live there, the amount of stuff they anchored in Delve confirms their intention, misguided though it ended up.

At some point though, the current wave of destruction will wrap up, PAPI sovereignty will be taken and their structures all smashed and the war will be over in Delve.

And then there will be a new Delve to build.

The view from 1DQ1-A and old Delve

The old Delve, the Delve before the invasion, came about after our retreat from the north at the end of the Casino War, a conflict we unambiguously lost.

Back then citadels were new and lacked some of the modern conveniences which we have grown to expect in places where we dock up… things like the ability to insure your ship.  We had to go to a old style station to do that back in 2016.

So there was some learning to do and mistakes to be made as more structures were deployed in our new home region.

And then came the era of the Delve Time Unit and the Imperium went a bit crazy.  Mining and ratting was huge for a while and the wealth and resources led to a building boom where we were dropping new Keepstars just to say we had another one.  Every corp wanted to have their own.  It was chaos.

If was had come to Delve towards the end of that era, there might have been a different tale to tell.  I am not saying we would have lost, but we would have been a lot less ready to defend ourselves.

Oddly, a couple of things CCP did helped us prepare for war.

The first thing was the Drifter invasion.  We were in the midst of glassing Tribute and Vale of the Silent when CCP launched the Drifter event that had powerful NPCs attacking Upwell structures in null sec.

Drifter Forces Hitting a Raitaru

We bitched and moaned about that turn of events.  It decided the fate of that war, sending us home to defend our structures from NPCs.  It also looked like a heavy handed jab at the Imperium as the Drifters seemed to be focused on Delve to the exclusion of other null sec regions.  The Goon identity in EVE Online holds the belief that CCP is always ready to work against them, so there is nothing like a CCP launched event that seems to be targeting Goons to spur their already acute paranoia.

But there was an upside to the whole thing.  Having NPCs hitting structures, NPCs which could be defeated if the structure was setup right and a gunner could get in place, meant an overall review of structure requirements in the coalition.  There were standard fits laid out and every structure had to subscribe to the right access control list so that gunners could drop in at need, even if the owning corp wasn’t online.

Then there was the Forsaken Fortress update from CCP.  That still seems like a bit of a betrayal, the removal of asset safety, but the new abandoned state was necessary to thin out some of the structure spam that was becoming a blight in New Eden.

That led to another review and purge of structures in the coalition, as we went out to blow up our own abandoned structures before anybody else got the idea in their head.

So we had done a bit of work before World War Bee kicked off, but the structure situation in Delve was pretty chaotic, and 1DQ1-A was ahead of the pack in that department, with three Keepstars… expanded to five during the war… several Sotiyos, and a constellation of faction Fortizars, prizes from the war against Guardians of the Galaxy in 2018.

The 1DQ main grid with 4 Keeps, 2 Sotiyos, a Tatara, and some of the Fortizars

Outside of our final constellation everything that we couldn’t pull down was razed.  The one minor benefit was that a lot of the structures went down without cores, which made their loss a bit cheaper, but it was still a large hit.  If the PAPI war objective had been to glass Delve, they could have claimed victory in the war and gone away unassailable in their arguments.  Instead there was the whole war of extermination and Legacy moving into our space to live, which tainted their gains and gave the Imperium both an attainable win condition as well as plenty of targets to shoot in revenge.

But now that the cleansing of Delve is reaching is crescendo, with hostile Keepstars starting to fall, it is time to look forward to the new plan for Delve.

I had been thinking about what we would do after the war, long before The Mittani said this past weekend that things would be different in the region when it came to structures.  To start with, we are well past the era of the Delve Time Unit I linked above.  We have been in an era of scarcity and resources are no longer ready to hand the way they were back in that time, so there would naturally be a more conservative approach to structures going forward.

There are already some structures on the main 1DQ grid being unachored for deployment elsewhere in the region, a cheaper solution than building and deploying new ones.

But there are also the lessons of the war.  Loss teaches lessons that victory might otherwise hide, and we lost a lot in the war.  I am sure the big brains in the coalition have already worked out how to set things up more optimally for defense.  The Mittani promised a new plan that would make Delve even more difficult to attack should we face an invasion again.

And then there are the changes that may come from CCP.  PAPI blaming citadel mechanics in part for their loss is probably overstating the problem, but there are likely some changes in those mechanics coming in light of what happened.  It remains to be seen what conclusions, if any, CCP might draw from the war, but I might guess at a couple.

The first likely candidate would involved carriers and supercarriers and how they can stay safe and tethered on a structure while sending their fighters out to guard a gate, attack a fleet, or burn down a structure on grid.  Both sides used this in the war and it was one of the key defensive features of the final Imperium constellation in Delve.

A second might be another review of structure density, perhaps limiting the number of structures on a single grid.

And then there are the usual parameters around defense, offense, and cost that CCP might take a swing at as well.

But a new Delve is coming.  I will be interested to see how it shapes up.

Destroying the Forge of Heroes

Last night saw the first big structure big structure kills in PAPI’s staging system in Delve.

It was just a few weeks ago that we were prodding the already somnolent PAPI by gating into T5ZI and and shooting their structures while they sat around and watched, unable to form up enough pilots to stop us on a Saturday night.  Now we were back into the viper’s nest to blow up some of those very same structures.

A TEST Sotiyo waits for us

With PAPI’s failed assault on 1DQ last week and the subsequent announcement that they would be withdrawing from Delve, the Imperium moved into high gear to retake the region.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s war summary, but Sunday afternoon the Imperium had recaptured all of the infrastructure hubs in Delve, the critical piece of the sovereignty mechanics that gives an alliance control over a star system.

In addition to that, the Imperium had also been busy reinforcing hostile structures across the region in order to keep them from being unanchored and carried off by the retreating PAPI forces.  That included the key structures in their staging system of T5ZI.

Those timers started to come due last night, with two Sotiyo engineering complexes and a Tatara mining and refining platform on the menu.  One of the Sotiyos carried the rather dramatic name “Forge of Heroes,” which alone paired it with the Keepstar, named “Tower of Legends,” as a primary target.  Hubris must bring down wrath.

As the time approached the capitals and super capitals undocked and jumped one system over, going from 1DQ to T5ZI.  There is no cyno jammer there any more and it is easier to spend the jump fuel than try to shove all those big ships through the gate.  They landed at cynos on the Fortizar that was anchored on the Keepstar grid in T5ZI, which is where all the targets were located.

The big toys jumping in

The first target was a different Sotiyo with a less pretentious name (Mad Scientist’s Lab or something) to which all the supers warped to in order to start the attack.

Open fire on the Sotiyo

The titans are big and obvious, but up above them is a flat formation of supercarriers who were there to add their fighters to the mix.

Closer up on the supercarriers

As that was under way there was also a Tatara was also out and available.  Some of the subcaps went over to start on it in order to pause the timer.

The first Sotiyo was beaten down, though it took some time in no small because there were so many ships in on the shoot, which turned the tidi up effectively slowing everything down.  But it was worn down and exploded nicely.

The first Sotiyo blows up

You can see the bubbles put up during the last could percent of hull in order to keep any any PAPI ships from slipping in and grabbing the quantum core, that valuable “always drops” item that has been required to activate all citadels since the update in January added in grandfathered structures.  The Sotiyo core is worth 10 billion ISK.

From there everybody shifted over to the Tatara and applied fire to it.

A new target for the big toys

That too blew up nicely.

The Tatara begins to brew up

Once again you can see the bubbles up to thwart core theft as well as the two Rorquals that GSOL jumped in to collect the core, any loot, and salvage from the kill.

During this the Keepstar, the “Tower of Legends,” came out for its armor timer.  We were not going to get to kill it, but fighters were sent out to hit it so as to advance the destruction cycle to the final phase, the hull timer.

And then the “Forge of Heros” hull timer came up and that was the next target for us.

The turn of the Forge of Heroes

I have a picture from the other side with overview brackets turned on, which marks every ship, fighter, and drone with an icon.  You may need to click on it and view it full size to get a good look at how many ships were on grid.

Brackets on showing ships on grid

The Sotiyo was gunned and even managed to kill a few of the attacking ships, including a carrier.  But the outcome was ordained.  The Sotiyo blew up.

The Forge of Heroes undone

Unfortunately, neither Sotiyo generated a kill mail.  That sometimes happens when there are a lot of players on a kill mail.  We had that same issue with the four Keepstars we blew up in NPC Delve back in Octobers.  We would have to content ourselves with the Tatara kill mail and some of the fighter kills.  There were also a few ships in build in the Satiyo that showed up as kills.

After that the show was over.  The system went from about 1,200 people down to a few hundred pretty quickly as the capitals jumped out and the subcaps headed for the gate.

A crowd at the gate… and a Trig dread coming to take the gate with us

The next big show will be the Keepstar.  That timer is set.

The time is foretold – Thursday at around 23:59 UTC

I am sure the crowd wanting to join in on that kill will be even bigger, and the carnage even greater as a Keepstar’s defenses can be quite formidable.  Killing that will terminate a lot of clones locked up in the station along with sending a lot of left behind gear to asset safety.

All of that will end up in Irmalin, in the Khanid region, 30 days down the road.  I am sure there will be some camping of that station when the time comes.