Tag Archives: World War Bee

55 Weeks of World War Bee

The week was largely spent speculating about what big plan PAPI was set to announce come Saturday… to the point that I was half convinced that PAPI made the pre-announcement to see if Reddit could come up with a plan for them.  So many posts.

The Fraternity alliance meeting early in the week suggested the point was going to be to end the war in the next 60 days, though after the announcement it seemed more like Fraternity gave notice that if WWB wasn’t wound down in that time they might move on to other tasks… like assailing the Tranquility Trading Tower in Perimeter.

When the announcement came on Saturday it managed to be both exciting and disappointing in one blow.  Yes, PAPI was going to go all-in on taking 1DQ.  Yes, capitals, supers, and titans were mentioned.  The possibility of headline grabbing giant battles was waved before us as PAPI seemed ready to pay the price to break into the O-EIMK constellation.

Only we would have to wait a week before any of that could get under way.  The previous message from PAPI was that they were taking the summer off so they need a week to get people re-subscribed and their ships back in T5ZI-S.  So we’re back to PAPI moves op.

To be fair PAPI won’t be idle for a week.  They have things to do, like cleaning up NPC Delve, from which the GSF BlackOps SIG has been making its presence felt.  But waiting a week to get ready also gives the Imperium a week to get ready as well.

Still, maybe something exciting will happen come week 57 of the war.  Maybe August will be the war’s final crescendo.  But what happens if PAPI doesn’t win in time?  Do they disband and go home?  Do groups like Fraternity leave while other try to carry on?  Does TEST look for some space as far from the Imperium as possible?

One Year Ago

PanFam and Fraternity were pushing into Fountain while TEST was being pushed back out of Period Basis.

Legacy then swept into the eastern half of Querioues, notably the the part most distant from the gate connection to Catch where they had set up their staging at the start of the war and where they actually lived.

In my Week 3 update I was covering multiple active fronts and noting how the PCU was climbing.  How things change.

The June MER showed mineral prices sagging a bit and CCP gave use a new monument in Molea, making the cemetery there a permanent feature.

Delve Front

The strategic situation in the region remained unchanged.  Roll the same map I’ve been using for three months now.

O-EIMK Constellation – July 25, 2021

The Imperium did take advantage of PAPI’s state of torpor to continue with hot drops as well as setting timers, shooting bubbles, killing a couple of structures, and generally reminding the enemy that we are not so contained as they might believe.

PAPI did rise to the occasion now and then and skirmishes were had, so not every kill mail was a gank or uncontested.  The Delve campaign report shows an uptick in losses, with the total once again passing the half trillion ISK mark.

Delve Campaign – Week 55

With people coming back that number should keep trending up.

Other Theaters

In Feythabolis Red Alliance is still holding on to two systems, having lost two more ihubs to the Warriors of the Blood God.

Feythabolis – July 25, 2021

Re Alliance’s holding in Impass remain intact, though that may be the next target.

And in Catch Dracarys and Siege Green look to be in a stalemate in the southwest of the region, on the route to Querious.  Dracarys is pushing on Siege Green but took back no additional ihubs over the week.

Catch – July 25, 2021

In Catch Dreadbomb Alliance scooped up the remaining unclaimed ihubs save for that one on the way to Impass.

There were also reports of war adjacent fighting going on in Fountain around the J5A-IX system, while Snuffed Out opened up their campaign against Fraternity which led to a dread brawl.

I expect that other theaters will be static while PAPI works on assembling for their final assault on the Imperium… at least if they manage to get everybody on board and focused.

My Participation

I hit a minor milestone in my EVE Online career, getting on my 5,000th kill mail.  It was, rather unspectacularly, a Mobile Large War Disruptor II, one of about 40 we shot in PAPI’s staging system while they sat around and watched one afternoon.  Our Harpy fleet was mostly unhindered. (Overall I think we blew up about 400 PAPI large bubbles alone last week.)

Harpies in T5Zi killing bubbles

I had mentioned before that it was low key goal of mine to hit 5K before my 15th anniversary playing the game.  5K isn’t a particularly impressive number.  There is a player in Fraternity who has nearly 74K kills, with more than 9K of them coming in the last 90 days, and they’re not even at the top of the list.  But 5K is a nice round number and, now that I have made it, I can go back to flying logi more often.

Aside from harassing PAPI bubbles, when the big announcement came on Saturday I was out in a fleet with Asher to entosis a couple of TEST systems in Delve… multiple groups went out to hit ihubs so that they would get a bunch of notifications during their alliance meeting.  There were a few clashes along the way, but mostly it was the first time I had flown a Tengu since the nullification nerf and the removal of skill point loss.

Tengus waiting for the blackops trip

Fortunately I didn’t lose my ship, so I didn’t have to test that last change.  I did get to try out the interdiction module when I jumped through a gate as instructed, only to be waved off when it was too late, arriving in the middle of a hostile gate camp.  I was able to trigger it, align, cloak, and warp off safely, though my pulse had increased noticeably  when I loaded grid.

With no losses for the week my total remains as:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • 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

We got a July Update from CCP that announced the end of the starvation economy… some time in Q4.  It is good that there is now a faint light at the end of the tunnel, and we assume it isn’t an oncoming train, but CCP wasn’t forthcoming with details and we know they still want to keep the economy in check, so celebrations were muted.

Meanwhile, though the June MER, which was posted last week, showed mineral prices coming down, there was concern about morphite prices, critical to production, the supply of which seemed to be drying up, keeping the price of it rising rather even as production continued falling.

Focus returned to the Tranquility Trading Consortium, the shared venture between Pandemic Horde, TEST, and the Imperium.  It has long been called out as an oddity of the war that this agreement has held while PH and TEST have been attacking the Imperium.  The explanation has been that the deal is too lucrative to all the parties to let the war mess it up.

Now Fraternity has announced their plan to set up a competing trading outpost in Oijanen, a low sec system adjacent to their holdings, to get a cut of the easy sales tax money.

Meanwhile, The Mittani explained on the special Friday night edition of The Meta Show that the Imperium isn’t really a partner in the TTC deal.  Rather, we get a 20% cut to not make trouble.  So there isn’t any reason for the Imperium to leave, and if PH and TEST kick us out then we will go log in all the alpha clones we stashed in Jita and Perimeter back when the trading outpost situation was being contested.  That would be very bad for business, and would be all the more so with a competing venture coming online.

The TTC deal cannot last forever, but it will be interesting to see who finally breaks it knowing that it will all three members a lot of ISK.

Hy Wanto of Snuffed Out posted a long essay to Reddit about the problems with citadel game play which came with endorsements from other null sec luminaries, and even got a serious follow on post.  At least one person at CCP wasn’t interested however.

Somebody posted the manual for the Black Hand, the GSF spy organization.

On the PCU front, as I noted yesterday, the PAPI announcement at least had the effect of pulling the week’s peak user count up above the 25K mark for the first time in four weeks.  Big battles, should they come to pass, will help on that front as well.  But there is still more going on than just a slow war to keep the PCU down.

  • 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)

Related

PAPI All In to Win the War in Four Weeks

But they need a week to get ready… after waiting a week to make the announcement… after spending nearly three months with us bottled up in the O-EIMK Constellation… more than a year since the war kicked off.

There are days when it feels like they never really had a plan for the war.

Anyway, with a week’s notice for the announcement, when the time came it was the Imperium that seemed most invested, with more than 2,200 capsuleers logged into the capital system of 1DQ1-A and a few hundred more watching the back door of the O-EIMK Constellation in 3-DMQT, a gate away in T5ZI-S PAPI fell about a thousand behind the Imperium total.

O-EIMK Constellation – The focus of the war

Still, the announcement, spread across multiple PAPI alliances at 19:30 UTC yesterday, was at least enough to pull the peak concurrent player count above 25K for the first time in four weeks, with the numbers capping at 26,259 at just after 20:00 UTC.

The announcement time

That will make week 55 of the war the first real uptick, bringing it back above the week 50 peak, though still more than 1,500 players shy of week 49’s 27,914 peak.

Rumor is that Fraternity, which made a strong statement earlier in the week, was the force behind the announcement as it is alleged that they threatened to leave the coalition if there was not a serious effort to end the war.

In the TEST alliance meeting Progodlegend said that they would be going all in on defeating the Imperium, using capitals, supers, and titans to break down the defenses and take the Imperium’s final null sec defensive position.

The week’s delay is to get everybody resubscribed and back into T5ZI-S after Progodlegend previously said that PAPI was taking the rest of the summer off.  They also plan to use that time to try and contain Imperium harassment efforts coming out of NPC Delve, where they claim to have a thousand warp disruption bubbles ready to deploy.  They will need to defend those bubbles however, as Goons do love to shoot things that do not shoot back.

So that was the big announcement.  It looks like we will have at least another week of skirmishes and harassment before they get together the forces to begin the assault in earnest.  Progodleged asked that people give the effort four weeks once it started, that being their estimate as to how long it will take to grind Goons down under the weight of their attack.

How it will actually play out remains to be seen.

The Fraternity Alliance Update and the Direction of the War

…but this tireless swarm of maniacal bees is somewhat unexpected

-Noraus, Fraternity Alliance Meeting (translated)

In the week 54 war summary I mentioned that there was a big war related announcement expected for this Saturday, July 24th.  Earlier this week Fraternity had an alliance meeting to prepare its members for this announcement, as well as bringing up a couple of additional topics.

Fraternity is a primarily Chinese alliance and so a transcript was posted to Reddit initially in Chinese with a brief summary.  Translation from Chinese to English is problematic both due to the lack of exactly parallel idioms and the jargon laden nature of the New Eden, and the Google Translate attempt to bridge the gap is hilarious. (The quote at the top becomes “The tireless raging bee colony is indeed beyond everyone’s expectations” via Google.)

There have since been a few translations.  I am going by this one that appeared on Pastebin.

Fraternity is also the third largest sov null alliance in the game when it comes to membership and the largest when it comes to total systems held in New Eden.  So what they are up to matters to the rest of New Eden.

The Top 5 Sov Null Alliances

The meeting started with a summing up of the current situation, recognizing that the Imperium has held out for more than 90 days in the 1DQ1-A constellation and shows no sign of breaking.  The Mittani is said to have cultivated a group of diehard loyalists.

This is what happens when you declare a war of extermination.  If you say there are no terms save destruction, there is no reason to for us to give up.

So the failure to break us is because of maniacal bees and game mechanics, the latter being TEST’s favorite “why PAPI hasn’t won yet” hobby horse.

Faced with the stalemate, Noraus says that there are two paths forward.  They either have to go all out to destroy the Imperium regardless of the costs or they have to somehow break up the blue donut that is PAPI to foster null sec content while maintaining the containment of the Imperium in Delve.

The goal is to end the war in 60 days.  The announcement about which path they will take comes on the 24th.

I want to say that, to actually end the war, they have to go with the former.  They have to go all out and attack the Imperium and evict us from 1DQ.  There is no undisputed victory without that.  Fail that and the Imperium will never let anybody forget that all of null sec blued up and couldn’t take us down.

So it has to be an all out attack, right?  Why bother if it isn’t going to be an immediate all hands onslaught?  Nothing else wins the war in 60 days.  They have to be going on the offensive.

Maybe?  Maybe not.  Winning the war and ending the war in 60 days could be two different paths completely.

PAPI has been reluctant to commit to a big fight since the battles at M2-XFE more than six months ago.  They have been careful, using their numbers to squeeze us down to the last constellation in Delve, since which their progress has been stymied.

O-EIMK Constellation – The situation since mid April

Given this hesitance and the regular reference to game mechanics and servers favoring the Imperium, it is kind of a hard sell that PAPI has suddenly decided to go all-in on taking 1DQ.  Certainly this past weekend they demonstrated levels of torpor in the face of Imperium actions we had not previously seen as we ran around their staging system setting timers, then sent in a salvage fleet uncontested to clean up the battlefield.

And Fraternity itself has reportedly withdrawn its capital fleet from T5ZI already.  Not that they could not return, but that says something about their level of commitment to taking 1DQ.  Then again, Fraternity has used the war to expand its holdings and enrich itself in the northeast of null sec, so their level of commitment seems very much related to their own interests.

But breaking up PAPI in any serious way means disaster for TEST and some of its Legacy allies.  If Pandemic Horde leaves, PAPI’s conquest is over and the Imperium will retake Delve.

Perhaps this means a reduced PAPI with some of the alliances leaving the war.  I suspect FI.RE in the southeast and Fraternity will pull out along with some of the smaller alliances that were tagging along.  But PAPI has to keep a critical mass of player… Legacy and PanFam… to have any hope of keeping Goons from rolling back into their old holdings.

So I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out on Saturday that the big announcement is that PAPI will no longer be however many alliances they have left in the war.

Adding to that is the next item on the agenda for the Fraternity meeting, the TTC.

The Tranquility Trading Tower, the trade hub located in Perimeter, one jump over from Jita, controlled by the Tranquility Trading Consortium which is run by TEST, Pandemic Horde, and the Imperium.

The continued existence of the TTC, which sends trillions of ISK to the three partners over the course of a year, in the midst of a war where one of the partners joined the other to exterminate the third has raise questions.  There were one or two threads a week about it on Reddit for quite a stretch.  There was a point when Snuffed Out threatened that Keepstar, after destroying the low sec TTC Keepstar, where it looked like we might be at war in Delve and fighting shoulder to shoulder with TEST and PH in high sec in order to preserve the status quo in Perimeter.

The existence of the TTC has been used to suggest that the war is fake, but it is really a matter that all three partners know that one of them could make the situation untenable and they would all rather collect the ISK than fight the war in high sec.

Fraternity is not happy with the TTC because they feel they deserve a cut.  Their move from the drone regions into Vale of the Silent and Geminate was in part motivated by a desire to set up a competing marketplace under cover of their own forces.

So they have set up a Keepstar in Oijanen, which is in The Forge region, so checking region-wide market orders from Jita will show items listed there as well as those listed in Perimeter.

While there is a skill limit on setting up sell orders remotely (Marketing V lets you do so region-wide) buying is available region-wide by default, and for things like PLEX or Skill Injectors, which can be dealt with remotely (and which make up much of the Perimeter trade), means that Fraternity will be setup to compete with the TTC.  Their Keepstar being two jumps into low sec is mitigated somewhat by it being one gate from null sec and one of their home regions, so it can be defended.

What does all of that mean?

I’ve said a number of times over the past year that Fraternity has used the war to expand its own power while its allies were committed to attacking the Imperium.  The MER shows them amassing wealth every month and the sovereignty map has shown their expansion.  Now Fraternity is set to assail the golden goose of the TTC, pitting them against TEST and Pandemic Horde.

I think, at a minimum, it means that Fraternity will be stepping back from the war… stepping back more so, since their level of commitment had be fairly low.  Maybe if there is a last big offensive they will contribute some, but they have been hanging around the exit for a while now.

Barring any sudden PAPI military victory, the question becomes what happens when the third largest null sec alliance assails the combined income stream of the first, second, and fourth largest null sec alliances?  Does ISK trump war?  Do TEST and PH stick with the Imperium as a partner or do they kick Goons and maybe invite Fraternity into the agreement to keep a cartel going?

There is no possible peace with PAPI in T5ZI.  There is absolutely no peace with TEST in Delve.    There is likely no peace with TEST anywhere close to the Imperium.  Can the warring factions find a compromise?  Can the war end in 60 days?  Is Fraternity going to be the big winner of World War Bee?  Does the war conclude with Fraternity becoming what PAPI alleged the Imperium was threatening to become?

We’ll have to wait and see what gets announced on Saturday.

(The final topic in the meeting was related to the reserve bank keys that will go live next Tuesday.  As rumors suggested, they are nationalizing the output from a couple of regions for the alliance and encouraging their members to go steal from other people.)

54 Weeks of World War Bee

We got trolled for a bit on Friday when Hy Wanto announced on Pando’s FC Chat show #79 that Snuffed Out was set to join the Imperium since they were already mounting a campaign against Fraternity.

A wild Snuffed Out appears!

The Mittani was on the show and rolled with it, but later on said it was just a troll.  But the bit that made it believable was the fact that it would involve the return of Elitist Ops.  An early GoonSwarm corp, they were blackballed by Darius JOHNSON back in the day and went off to have adventures with Pandemic Legion before following their destiny with We Form Volta and Snuffed Out.

With the onset of World War Bee they came back to fight with their long estranged Goon brethren and were almost immediately causing headaches for the enemy, like when Madcows swiped a TEST Leviathan from an unfueled POS was back in week three of the war.  They were awesome to have around.

The war was a drain on them however and they went back to their home with Snuffed Out during week 36.  They left on good terms.  They made the war more enjoyable for us but we understood that they needed their space.   So to think that that might return for a bit for some more adventures lent some credibility to the troll, in my eyes at least, because I am sure they would be welcomed back if they wanted to come.

Compare that to the strife I mentioned last week in NCDot when two major USTZ corporations, Criterion and Original Sinners were apparently bored with the war and wanted to leave to join up with the NullSechnaya Sholupen alliance, which has been off doing its own thing.  While NCDot leader Vince Draken declared them personae non grata in PanFam space and structures, no decisions seemed final when I was writing that up.

This week saw both Criterion and Original Sinners in NSH, so the deed was done, with Vince burning their bridge as promised.  The thought seems to be that if you just let people leave, then the good people will wander off when they’re bored and how can you keep a war going under those circumstances.  The Original Sinners web site has a write up covering their view of the situation if you are interested. (And if you really want to dig into it, last week’s Trash Talk Tuesday goes into it.)

There is clearly a lesson to be drawn from the two situations.

Meanwhile, with two major corps out of the coalition, PAPI announced yesterday that planned town halls were canceled and that there would be a big announcement this coming Saturday, July 24th, regarding a unified plan for the coalition.  Given the reluctance so far to pay the price required to make headway against the Imperium capital constellation, my expectations are pretty low.

And, finally, I was told that this is what PAPI fears most.  This:

Set loose in their space

Yes, non-affiliated pilots in rookie ships.  I don’t get it either.  Maybe it is the name?

One Year Ago

CCP kicked off the Zenith Quadrant.

Legacy forces, after having setup a staging system in Catch on the border with Querious started some attacks in the region.

Meanwhile PandaFam, having staged in Aridia, began their attack on the Fountain region via the Taurus constellation.

I spent a bit of time in an alt being an entosis annoyance in Catch.

The good old POS, and POS shoots, were still a thing in World War Bee.

And I had my second weekly war summary post where I noted that CCP’s video titled War Ravages New Eden had nothing to do with our war.  It was about that Triglavian event where the outcomes were most predetermined.  The lack of coverage of what has been the largest war in New Eden was getting me down.

Delve Front

Strategically, the same map I have been using for months now still accurately describes where both side stand.

O-EIMK Constellation – July 18, 2021

PAPI gave up trying to break into the O-EIMK constellation back in May and things have fallen off since.   But that doesn’t mean that everything is quiet.  Hot drops and counter drops and skirmishes do happen.  And there was the clash on Saturday night when the Imperium sat around in T5ZI-S long enough to reinforce a Fortizar and their main Sotiyo.  Ships keep blowing up even if the map of Delve hasn’t changed.

So the Delve campaign report for week 54 shows a bit of an uptick in ship losses and, although a glitch last week prevented me from getting an accurate count, the ISK value of losses was up considerably from the ~270 billion ISK I estimated, ringing in at nearly double that.

Delve Campaign – Week 54

Other Theaters

In Feythabolis Red Alliance continues to hang onto the northwest corner of the region, which acts as a buffer to their holdings in Impass.  They did not lose any further systems, though one system they had lost to Vindictive is now in the hands of Warriors of the Blood God alliance, which is purple on the map.

Feythabolis – July 18, 2021

Who they are, who they have sided with, or where they even came from is beyond me.

Meanwhile, in Catch Imperium member Dracarys continues to push back against Siege Green’s attack on its holdings.

Catch – July 18, 2021

Dracarys took back 8 ihubs since the last update and looks to be continuing after Siege Green.

My Participation

I already wrote up a post about the big fight on Saturday night, the first war event I’ve bothered to post about in a while.

Other than that I went on a couple of smaller ops.  Jackdaws seemed to be the flavor of the week for a bit.

Jackdaws securing the bubbles again

I had no losses over the course of the week… lucky me… so my losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • 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

CCP announced the return of the Alliance Tournament with a surprise count down to a video that backfired on them a bit.

Coming this November

While people seemed happy enough to see the return of the event, there was clearly a feeling that giving back something that had been taken away did not perhaps warrant the big count down surprise treatment.  There are enough other things that players have been looking for… like an end to scarcity… that the AT seemed like a pretty low effort announcement.

CCP also announced that the ESS reserve bank keys would be live in New Eden before the end of the month… look for them on July 27th would be my guess… and that they have been deployed to the test server for people to try out.  A leading rumor is that the PAPI announcement on this coming Saturday will be that reserve banks will be considered coalition ISK to be farmed for SRP funds.  We’ll see if that comes to pass.

Dunk Dinkle wrote a piece about the need for new challenges in the game.

And then there is the weekly PCU.  I have been informed that any discussion of the PCU is Goon propaganda, so add that to my list of sins I suppose, at least so far as CCP’s white knight brigade is concerned.  I just started capturing it every week to see if it showed a correlation between player counts and significant war events.   And it has, passing the 40K mark during the early flurry of war fever.

Of late though, things have been down.

This past week saw another failure to crack the 25K mark, though the count did come close on Sunday.  That is three weeks running falling short of 25K.  It was just six weeks ago that the peak being under 30K was an oddity.

  • 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

Related

Saturday Night Action in Delve

It has been a while since I have been in a fight in the was that was worth a post, but last night we had quite the time.  It was time to get Munnins out to shoot things.

Muninns out for a shoot

It started with an innocuous ping from Asher calling for a Muninn fleet.  It was only about 10:30pm local time for me, not too late to join in on something on a Saturday night.

Asher calls

There were about 100 people in fleet when I joined, which swelled up past 150 before we undocked.

When we did undock, we warped over to a titan that bridged us into NOL-M9 in Delve, a system with some history, both old and recent.  In fact, it had been the focus of a clash earlier in the day when PAPI forces tried and failed to kill an Imperium Astrahus in the system.  That structure, now safe, was where we landed.  Once assembled, we moved over to a PAPI Fortizar which we started shooting.  The plan was to try and reinforce and to see if we could draw a response.

Asher kept us appraised of PAPI’s ping status, the joke now being that they have to ping multiple times to get enough pilots into a fleet in order to come fight us.  On our side pings went out with links to The Count from Sesame Street to indicate how many pings they needed.

Six! Six fleet pings! Ah ah ah ah!

Eventually that number would far exceed how high The Count usually takes his numbers on the show.

They put a Falcon on the Fortizar, on tether but as far from us as they could, which seemed to indicate that they would be bridging in an opposing fleet soon.  As the likelihood of its arrival grew, Asher had us split out one gun from out stack to keep on the Fortizar while the rest would be for the battle.

A Ferox fleet joined us, along with some bombers, and PAPI eventually dropped Muninns of their own along with carriers and fax support.  It became a fairly even exchange between the Muninn fleets, but we still managed to set the armor timer for the Fortizar.

Muninns and Carriers around the Fort

And then, with the timer set and no need to split guns any further, Asher noticed that one of the faxes was off tether.  So we loaded up short range, high damage ammo and he brought us in very close, inside the PDS range of the structure, where we took a shot and one of the faxes… and managed a kill.

A fax kill

Then we managed to grab another.  Then another.  And finally a fourth.  Four faxes down.

Four Faxes Destroyed

That turned what was already a bit of smug… we managed to ref one of their structures while in combat when they had capitals on the field… into a very smug moment for us.  Asher warped us off the Fortizar and back to our Astrahus, the job done.

The battle report fell in our favor, helped along by those four faxes.  We got the objective and won the ISK war.

Battle Report Header from NOL-M9

Asher pointed us back towards home in 1DQ1-A and the Muninns and Feroxes started gating back.  But before we got too far, Asher asked us to respond in fleet whether we would like to just go home and stand down or if we wanted to try and reinforce another structure on the way.  We voted to reinforce.

Mind1, who was doing the Saturday night show, got in our fleet and joined in the fun, streaming our progress and laying down a motivational beat.  Did you know that the Imperium has its own official DJ?  It is a glorious thing.  You should check out his stream.

So we stopped one system short of home, in T5ZI-S, the home staging system in Delve for the PAPI coalition, the place where all of their members are supposed to be and where all their ships and supplies are stored.  We were going to hang out in the lion’s den and shoot a structure.  We would see how awake the lion really was.

Not very.

After a while shooting the Fortizar without a response, Asher moved the Muninn fleet over to their main Sotiyo engineering complex, pretentiously named “Forge of Heroes,” in order to see if that would provoke PAPI to action.

Shooting the Sotiyo

You can see in that screen shot, below the Sotiyo, their Keepstar in the system.  That is their main base.  We were that close to the heart of enemy and for a long stretch the only opposition we faced was the gunner in the structure shooting bombs at us.

I have trouble visualizing something like this happening one gate over in 1DQ1-A, our home, where the presence of bads tends to draw an eager response from people looking for combat.

The first response from PAPI was to get out carriers and HAW dreads to make sure we didn’t take out any of their cyno jammers.  Fighters were sent to cover those as that is all that stands between them and the looming menace of our titans and supers.  Progodlegend, the leader with Vily or TEST, got out on the Sotiyo to assess the situation, but didn’t do much otherwise.

The Fortizar was reffed by the Feroxes, who then came over to join us on the Sotiyo.  The hostiles eventually joined us as well.  Asher had us strip a single gun out of our stack yet again to keep on the Sotiyo and then we started going after the hostiles.   They brought a Ferox fleet of their own and it was on.

Time dilation hit 10% at points and there were nearly 1,200 people in the system, but the biggest frustration was that my guns would cycle fast enough so I ended up only getting on every second or third kill mail, the hostile Feroxes were blowing up so fast.

We stayed in range of the Sotiyo and kept one gun on it while blapping hostiles as quickly as our guns would cycle.  The Muninns went relatively unscathed as the hostiles were more focused on support ships and the easier to kill Feroxes.

Combat on the Sotiyo

The Sotiyo was reffed, the armor timer set, after which we saw ourselves out, warping to the gate to 1DQ1-A and jumping through.

Through the gate to home in 1DQ

The battle report was more even this time.  In the scale of the war, these losses were pretty minor.

T5ZI-S battle Report Header

Strategically this did not change anything about the war.  It was a Saturday night lark and the enemy is likely to get their act together and form up to defend the armor timers of the structures we reinforced.  There is little danger of any of them being blown up.

When it comes to demonstrating morale and responses however, this was another stark illustration as to how low things seem to have sunk for PAPI.  We did something on a whim in their main staging system that they haven’t been able to manage in our home next door in all the months since they set down that Keepstar in T5ZI back in November.

Even the Reddit thread about the whole thing was mild.

PAPI, as a coalition, theoretically out numbers us by a ratio of three to one.  But even in their home they could barely get together equal numbers after sending out nearly 50 pings to get people into fleets.  (The Imperium ping count for the same time was 23, at least half of which were images of The Count or The Mittani smugging and sending out battle reports.)

I am reminded of the tale of why the cheetah doesn’t catch the gazelle nearly as often as you might suspect.  The cheetah is just running for his lunch, the gazelle is running for its life.

The Imperium remains motivated despite the odds because we’re fighting for our survival.  I am not sure what PAPI is really fighting for at this point, but if it is for their lunch then they don’t seem to be very hungry.

53 Weeks of World War Bee

We’re now past the one year mark and nothing special happened to magically end the war.  I guess we’ll just have to carry one.

Which didn’t mean there wasn’t some drama.  This past week saw two corporations in NCDot, Criterion and Original Sinners, discovered in their plans to jump ship and join NullSechnaya Sholupen (NSH) due to boredom with the war.  NSH, part of PAPI, has grabbed a corner of Fountain in which they have set up shop and spend most of their time battling in low sec.  The two corps, which have some key FCs on their rosters, want in on those fights.

The discovery of this plan initially drew a sharp rebuke from Vince Draken, leader of NCDot, that proscribed the two corps and hinted that they might even go to war with NSH over the whole thing, but so far nothing has changed, so that might have just been an opening bid.

As I wrote last week, the war effort breaking down would run against the current interests of PandaFam and possibly lead to the ruination of TEST and Legacy, so both groups are motivated to hold the PAPI null sec blue donut together.  It has been suggested that once one major party walks away from the war, the rush to the exits will follow, so anybody trying to leave the front lines should expect an array of threats and promises from their current allies.

One Year Ago

CCP cancelled all live events for the remainder of 2020.  That was hardly unexpected.  In fact, they seemed a bit late in calling it.  They also started straight up selling skill points for cash in the web store, something hardly unexpected in hindsight either I suppose.

Here I was looking into the different theaters of operation in which the PAPI invasion might take place.  It was also time for entosis warfare again.  TEST managed to take an ihub in Period Basis, which seemed like a strong start, but the Imperium wasn’t going to let that stand.

And then I summed up the first week of the war.

Delve Front

Once more, this image pretty much sums up the situation in Delve.

O-EIMK Constellation – July 11, 2021

Hot drops and skirmishes were the tale once again.  The Delve Campaign report for the week shows that the total ships destroyed was down by about 1,500 hulls.  Unfortunately, there is some glitch in the report and GSF losses don’t show.

Delve Campaign – Week 53

Adding up the losses by ship type it looks like the losses totaled up to about 270 billion ISK total and GSF losses, by subtracting everybody else, look to be about 100 billion of it.

Other Theaters

In Feythabolis Red Alliance continues to hold out in the corner of the region they captured.  They lost an ihub over the course of the week, but took another back, so they remain with the same number as before.

Feythabolis – July 11, 2021

Word is that The Initiative, back from a break, as setup to start harassing Legion of xXDEATHXx (X.I.X), which is invested in taking a big chunk of the region right now.

Over in Catch, the PAPI efforts to get back into the one-time Legacy region have stalled as Dracarys pushed back on Siege Green, retaking one of their ihubs.

Catch – July 11, 2021

The push into Catch seemed more an effort to push Imperium systems away from Querious to keep them from dropping on Legacy ratters and miners.

My Participation

I got in on an op early int the week when a there was a call for bombers to log in and join a Welp Squad operation in a wormhole.  They had found a Lazerhawks crabbing op in progress and we managed to kill a Minokawa, a Golem, and a pack of Lokis, along with some expensive pods.

Minokawa under attack

There is also a John Hartley video of the fight.

That wasn’t just the high point of my week in New Eden, but just about all of it. Otherwise I managed to miss any further skirmishes in Delve, so my losses for the war remain as:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • 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

CCP invited new players to “Seek your Destiny” in another attempt to make the game less opaque.

CCP also launched Minmatar Liberation Day which include login rewards, in-game events, and the usual sales in the store.

Have a Brutor Libre, the official drink of Minmatar Liberation Day!

And then there is the state of the player base.

The “summer of rage 2.0” meme keeps coming up related to the game.  Kotaku had an article last week exploring the whole lead up to where we are today.  But “rage” seems like an overreach.  Sure, some people are angry at CCP, but some people have been angry at CCP literally every single day since the game launched back in 2003.  And compared to the Incarna crisis, the rage feel pretty muted.  But, as I pointed out in the previous weekly update, it is more than monetization that is suppressing the PCU.

CCP’s response in the article seemed quite unconcerned about… everything.  They say their internal numbers are fine and this will all pass… no need to speak to the players, they’ll get on board, a sentiment that does feel remarkably reminiscent of CCP’s response to Incarna.  But CCP has a history of being dismissive of their player base.

As for the PCU this past week, we saw another of seven day run of not cracking the 25K mark, though the top number on Sunday was up a bit from the previous total.  We could blame it on US Independence Day the week before and an EU soccer match yesterday.  What will next week bring?

  • 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

Related

How Does World War Bee End?

It has been a year of war, a year that has seen some of the biggest, most epic battles in the history of New Eden, a year that has seen trillions of ISK in assets destroyed, a year that has seen the largest coalition of null sec organizations in the history of the game… 103 alliances at the start… come together to attack the Imperium.

The PAPI assault on the Imperium has rolled the Goon led coalition back to a single constellation in the Delve region.  By the end of Week 36 of the war the Imperium held only the O-EIMK Constellation in Delve.  PAPI media outlets were ready to declare the war won then.

Talking in Stations declares victory

The expectation seemed to be that the Imperium would follow the plan, evac low sec, at which point PAPI could finish destroying the last remaining Imperium structures at their leisure.  Instead, the Imperium held fast and now the was has been in stalemate ever since.  PAPI has not been able to break into the final Imperium bastion in Delve, but they retain such a numerical advantage that the Imperium cannot break out.  And so both sides settled down for a siege of sorts.

O-EIMK Constellation – May 30, 2021

And so it has gone for 16 weeks, more than a third of the war so far.  That has given people a lot of time to ponder, game out, and wish cast how the war might end.

How Do Wars Usually End in New Eden?

Morale is to material as three is to one

-Napoleon

Wars in EVE Online tend to end the way wars in the real world do; one side falters, loses faith, or otherwise stops showing up.  In New Eden, when one side stops logging in, the other side wins.

The failure cascade is a staple of our wars, where the line members give up, stop joining fleets, and try to evacuate whatever assets they can even as their leadership is talking about eventual victory.  You can only snow your line members so long.  They know when they’re losing, when the supply infrastructure is coming apart, when the finances have been tapped out.

Organizations that survive losses are the ones who spot the trend and find a way to end the war before the line members head for the exit en masse.

This time around neither side has hit the point where line members have given up.  Participation numbers are down, but that is to be expected when there isn’t much going on.  The Imperium bides its time by hunting PAPI pilots in Delve and other regions and PAPI pretends the war is still moving forward by killing left behind Imperium structures one by one.  That keeps enough players in motion to stave off desertion, but this cannot go on forever. Or can it?

The problem is that neither side can extricate itself from the war without devastating losses.

Survival of the Imperium

PAPI made a serious mistakes engaging with the Imperium very early in the war.  That was when Vily gave an interview to Polygon where he stated that the war aim of the giant coalition he brought together was extermination, the removal of Goons from EVE Online.

This was a propaganda coup for the Imperium.  When the enemy has declared they will accept nothing short of elimination of your faction, there is no longer any reason to contemplate peace or even compromise.  The war became one of survival against a foe who painted us all with the same “bad for the game” brush.  The victory conditions are set; we win by denying PAPI their stated objective, our mere survival means we win.  This is why Imperium line members aren’t calling bullshit when The Mittani says we’re winning.  We didn’t even set the victory conditions!

Meanwhile, Vily’s statement meant that there was no other path to peace beyond leaving the game.  There is no retreat so we might as well keep fighting where we stand.

Vily has squirmed on the hook of his own making since that interview, trying to downplay it, claiming that he didn’t really mean it, allowing that maybe the existence of the Goonswarm could be tolerated even if PAPI won.  The problem is that he hedges on the extermination stance whenever the war slows down, but as soon as PAPI gains a victory he and Progodlegend are quick to remind everybody that the war is about driving the Imperium and its members from the game.

That wavering on message just looks like weakness from the Imperium side of the war, and nobody is at all convinced he wouldn’t push his extermination plan if he could, he’s just seems to be worried he won’t have the means to fulfill it.  So we’re not going anywhere unless they force us out.

TEST is Next and a Tiger by the Tail

Vily’s statement about extermination made “TEST is Next!” the war cry of the Imperium.  That is a fairly empty threat when PAPI represents most of null sec and outnumbers the Imperium by a wide margin.

But from TEST’s perspective, they actually have to follow up on Vily’s statements and effectively drive the Imperium from the game.  If they do not and the PAPI blue donut disbands, TEST and its Legacy coalition partners will very quickly be on the defensive.  The general consensus is that in a war between just Legacy and the Imperium, Legacy loses.

So TEST is very much invested in the war carrying on.  Vily’s words cut both ways and, while I doubt the Imperium would view “TEST is next” as a war of extermination, TEST will be the next Circle of Two for us and we will spend the next decade if needs be shooting them where ever they go.

PandaFam Ascendant

PandaFam, the name coined by Jin’taan more than a year back, is the coalition of Pandemic Horde, Fraternity, NCDot, and Pandemic Legion, who live together in the northeast of null sec.  The war has been an opportunity for them.  They have expanded their space, their regions top the crabbing aspects of the monthly economic report, and their rental income is alleged to be up due to the fact that their space is generally safe, the war being so far away.  Aside from The Initiative prodding them a bit, the war has been very good to them.

They also represent the backbone of the attack on the Imperium.  Pandemic Horde has done the heavy lifting throughout the war and NCDot is always well represented relative to the size of their alliance.

PandaFam’s goal in the war has been to bring down the Imperium after from its post-Casino War heights, when Delve turned into the dominant economic machine in New Eden.  While they have never objected to Vily’s extermination plan, neither have they made that their own goal.  Their stated plan has been to wreck the Goon economy, destroy the tribute faction Fortizars from the war against Guardians of the Galaxy, and evict us from 1DQ.

Otherwise, PandaFam does not have a lot of skin in the game.  They don’t want any of the space lost by the Imperium and their own space has not suffered.  They could declare a legitimate victory today and walk away as the dominant power in null sec.  So why stay?

Goals aside, the war serves their purposes.  It keeps their space safe, it gives their combat pilots and FCs a war to play around with, and it keeps the Imperium economy offline.  Their power continues to grow relative to Legacy and the Imperium at a cost that is pretty reasonable.  But if they pull out, the balance shifts to the Imperium and “TEST is next!” becomes a reality.  They need to be there to prop up Legacy in order to maintain the benefits they are currently reaping.

Minor Powers

There are other players in the war, but their contributions have dwindled.  The Russian FI.RE coalition in the southeast and Army of Mango Alliance have been pushing a bit to clear up space that the Imperium took in Legacy’s backfield, but they don’t make up significant numbers in fights and they seem unlikely to up their commitment unless the Imperium and its allies come for their space.  They have their own local issues.  If they there is another history making fight brewing, they will show up in small numbers, but otherwise they are mostly on board because it is the safest course for them.

So How Does the War End?

Back to the question in the headline.

In the short term, I am pretty sure it just keeps going.  Neither Legacy nor the Imperium can get what they want with a peace settlement.  Legacy isn’t going to restore the Imperium to their pre-war space and the Imperium isn’t going to simply go away or let TEST off the hook.

Meanwhile PandaFam is getting all they want out of the war, so peace brings them no benefit.  They will keep propping up Legacy so long as that remains true.  They would still like to destroy everything in 1DQ1-A, but not at the cost it would take currently.

So PAPI continues to nibble around the edges.  They are clearing out any Imperium structures they can find.  They are pushing Imperium allies out of the Legacy space they have occupied.  They are looking to gank suspected Imperium alts in high sec.  They are trying to find other routes to chip away at the defenders.

PAPI could make like more miserable for the Imperium if they wanted to put in the effort.  They have setup Fortizars in NPC Delve on the stations from which they could camp then in order to interdict supplies coming in to 1DQ.  They could tighten the siege.  But that would be a lot of work and every ounce of misery for the Imperium down the road has to be purchased with an ounce of PAPI misery now, camping stations or gates or otherwise trying to suppress the Imperium.

Meanwhile, it is part of the Goon identity in EVE Online that they are willing and able to put up with more misery than anybody else, that they excel in a war of boredom and stalemate.  To fight to the last in 1DQ1-A, to make the attackers pay a terrible price for any attempt to evict us, is almost literally what it is to be a Goon right now.

So the war goes on and the occasional calls for one side or the other to do what is “good for the game” fall on deaf ears.  Nobody is going to sacrifice their side for some esoteric idea of what the game needs.

Longer term, somebody is going to wear out.  Somebody is going to get sick of all of this.  Fraternity will come to blows with one of the Chinese alliances that fought against them on the Serenity server or PandaFam will get tired of propping up Legacy or Legacy will end up in some sort of internal crisis because they have to dock up every time the Imperium forms bombers.  Morale somewhere will crumble.  People will stop logging in or somebody at the director level will decide they have had enough and betray Legacy yet again.

Or maybe PAPI will put in the effort to turn the the war into a real siege and actually starve the Imperium out.  I am sure the PAPI wet dream is to starve us to the point that we can’t even fuel the main Keepstar so that when they come to kill it, it drops all the loot like the biggest space pinata ever.  They keep killing it on the test server, so they clearly have something like that on their wish list.

What I don’t think will happen is an epic assault on 1DQ1-A.  The fights at M2-XFE showed that the Imperium is willing to go all in with supers and titans and, in their home system where they are all now parked, PAPI is not going to risk a repeat of jumping into 4K hungry and heavily armed Goons.  The lesson I took from the second M2-XFE fight is that it might not be possible to attack us on our capital system.

So it will be a wearing away process.

But all that will take time.  I suspect that we’ll be looking at winter coming before either side has worn down enough to either lose the war or find a compromise that leads to a treaty.

Addendum: Of course, I write two thousand words about this over the weekend and then somebody on /r/eve sums up the options in about 250.

52 Weeks of World War Bee

This week saw the non-aligned AUTZ null sec alliance Tactical Supremacy give up on its free range lifestyle of the last five years and joined The Initiative.

Put on ice for now

The stated reason was a lack of content for its members.  The move shores up The Initiative’s AUTZ presence, allowing them to work more effectively around the clock.

There were also town hall meetings for NCDot and Pandemic Horde, with the former being pretty down to earth and the latter trying to find something to keep the war going.  In furtherance of keeping the war going, PAPI has formed a high sec SIG to gank Goons and anybody suspected of being Goons, including the new player training group KarmaFleet University.  Gobbins also told his members to stop using the term “contained” when referring to the Imperium’s situation in 1DQ because it becomes a propaganda victory for Goons every time they kill something outside of that constellation.

One Year Ago

It has been a year.  One year ago today the non-invasion pact between the Imperium and Legacy coalition officially lapsed and the war began.

Two days before the start I was still fiddling with stuff in my hangar and wondering what was to come.

When the day hit there were moves/counter moves including the rushed PAPI Keepstar drop in FAT-6P.

And the first of my Monday summary posts went up about the events of day one of the war.  I did not intend for them to be a regular thing, but here we are a year later.

Delve Front

For another week this map fragment, first posted on May 2nd, accurately describes the state of the war in Delve.

O-EIMK Constellation – July 4, 2021

Otherwise is was a week of skirmishes, shenanigans, and avoidance.  One of the highlights of the week is summed up in this video from John Hartley, and Imperium FC.

Still, despite  the situation in the constellation remaining unchanged, looking at the Delve campaign stats for the week the level of skirmishing saw more than twice as many ships and capsules destroyed when it came to total numbers and almost twice in ISK value.

Delve Campaign – Week 52

If you go to the report and change the view to show by ship types you can see the dreads that PAPI lost before that video above along with a few other expensive assets they lost.

Other Theaters

Esoteria is done for the Imperium now while Legacy and FI.RE are pushing on the Imperium holdings in Feythabolis.

I had wondered last week if Red Alliance would come to some sort of agreement with their fellow Russians, and perhaps they did, but Legacy still wants them out it seems.  Red Alliance is down two ihubs and their other four are at risk, along with their holdings in Impass.

Feythabolis – July 4, 2021

It also looks like there is some TCU cleanup going on in the region (orange highlighted systems that otherwise have no ihub in this view.)

In Catch Legacy pushed further into the region from Querious, taking eight more ihubs from Imperium member Dracarys.

Catch – July 4,2021

Looking at the ADMs, Dracarys has been active in these systems.  We will see if Legacy keeps pushing into the region.

My Participation

As with the past few weeks I went on a few small ops, but nothing very exciting.  The biggest op was probably a Cormorant fleet called by Tom Flood to escort Jirai Grepher on his birthday op.  For their birthday, Jirai decided to gate a Naglfar dreadnought into T5ZI, PAPI’s staging system, to see how long he would last.  We went along to give him a bit of cover.

Into T5ZI

Jirai got a few kills before a PAPI Ragnarok hit him with a doomsday… PAPI undocked a titan… blotting him out.  I got on a few kills as well before my Cormorant got splashed.  That added one more to my list of losses, though the op qualified for SRP so I got the ISK to buy a new Corm.

My war losses so far:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • 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

CCP announced some graphic updates that are available on the test server that are supposed to make space bright and more colorful.  I’ve been around long enough to remember the graphic updates that were aimed at making some areas of space darker and less colorful.

Then there is the PCU.  I have been tracking the top weekly player count during the war, which usually occurs on Sunday. (I note when it is a different day.)  The decline in  the PCU has been noted by many and seems to be something of a perfect storm of conditions.  First, there is the coming of summer, which people always say heralds a decline, except when it doesn’t.   Then there is the end of pandemic restrictions many places, which has led to a surge of people eager go somewhere, anywhere, the hell away from home.  My wife noticed over the last week or so that luggage sections at various stores were almost completely shopped out.

Need a bag? Not going to find one here!

The war is not helping.  Stalemate and stagnation hasn’t given people a reason to log in. CCP’s economic starvation plan is piled on top of that.  It has made things more expensive so far, and capitals almost irreplaceable for some, so people are becoming more risk adverse.

And then there is the outrage at the pop-up ad that CCP has introduced to the game to encourage people to buy PLEX has encouraged a pile of people to say they are quitting.

Use your credit card to finance your revenge!

Add in a holiday week… yesterday was US Independence day… and this past week had the lowest weekly peak concurrent user count of the war so far.  The Blackout was a big worry back in the day because daily PCUs were down around 25K.  That is up from where we are now most days of the week.  The question is, when will this bottom out and begin to recover?

  • 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

Related

51 Weeks of World War Bee

We’re about to turn the corner and head on into a full year of war.  Just one more week to go.

There were preparations for war going on as the Imperium pulled in forces and structures and got itself ready for the coming fight.  And, of course, the propaganda machine started cranking up, calling out the attackers for the blue donut coalition they were even before the attack began.

Also, we finally got character logoff.

Next week I’ll start a new “One Year Ago” section in the weekly post with links out to the wider coverage of the war.

Delve Front

The stalemate that is the Siege of 1DQ carried on for another week, with PAPI making no serious attacks on the remaining Imperium constellation in Delve.  My map fragment from May 2nd remains accurate.

O-EIMK Constellation – June 27, 2021

Combat in the region consisted of skirmishes and hot drops.  Legacy seems to be getting sensitive to the Imperium pinging for bombers.

From Legacy Discord

PAPI did come through into 3-DMQT with a large fleet at one point and word went out that they had EDENCOM Skybreakers included, but hopes that we might be facing a meme fleet offensive proved false.  There were only five mixed in with a mostly Svipul fleet composition.  Five does not a meme fleet make.  They tried this again on Saturday with a few more EDENCOM ships with similarly bad results. (Late addition: Now this was a meme fleet coming into 1DQ.)

Vily did say on the Legacy town hall that they were indeed planning to try and camp all twelve systems in NPC Delve in order to interdict the Imperium supply chain.

NPC Delve

The structures are in place, they just need to actually commit to the task.  Otherwise Delve was not exactly the hot spot it was just a few weeks back.  It

There is a rumor that PAPI splurged and spent some of its ISK reserves on mercenaries to come in and help break the stalemate in Delve.  We shall see how that plays out.  They were supposed to attack this past weekend, but PAPI told everybody about the plan which meant we knew and would be ready, and they seem to have figured out that jumping into prepared defensive positions is a costly idea.

Overall, while little changed in Delve, there was more fighting than last week according to the campaign data.

Delve Campaign – Week 51

While the value of losses wasn’t much more, the total ships and capsules destroyed was up by nearly two thousand.  Cheaper ships were expended.  You can see what the Imperium has been up to as stealth bombers were the hulls most lost by them over the course of the week. (Also, I took that screen shot a bit early, but if you go to the link you can see the final weekly numbers.)

Other Theaters

The Bastion has finally been evicted from the corner of Esoteria where they have been holding out since Week 14 of the war.  A hell of a run.  The Army of Mango Alliance has taken the last ihub from The Bastion and is besieging their remaining structures.

Esoteria – June 27, 2021

Likewise, the tide has rolled against the Imperium in Feythabolis, where the Russian FI.RE coalition and Army of Mango Alliance have been rolling back Imperium gains.

Feythabolis – June 27, 2021

Red Alliance remains up in the northwest corner.  They are Imperium allies, having defected from PAPI back in week 17.  But they are not in the Imperium, having gone to work with the Stain Russians, so they may be secure in their corner.

And then there has been some activity in Catch, once home to several Legacy alliances including Brave.  Severance and Siege Green have been coming up the path from Querious to attack space currently held by Imperium member Dracarys.

Catch – June 27, 2021

I do not know if this is Legacy trying to simply push back the Impeirum from Querious or a serious attempt to retake the region.  Legacy does still have a couple of Keepstars in Catch.

My Participation

As has become something of the norm, most action in Delve has been on demand, where you have to be ready to login and go on very short notice to participate.  Still, I managed to get in on one good bomber drop where we toasted quite a few PAPI Caracals and helped reinforce one of their Ansiblex jump gates.

Purifier on the job

That put me on another 48 kill mails, moving me a bit closer to my goal of being on 5,000 before the end of August.  We’ll ignore the blues that got hit… most of the kill mails were PAPI.

I also lost my Purifier on our last bomb run.  I didn’t even have a bomb at that point, but went along to spread the enemy’s attention and, since no good deed goes unpunished, was tackled and blown up.  So I filed for SRP and bought a new bomber.  And then I lost that bomber on a later op, another SRP claim another bomber acquired.   So my losses for the war total up to:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Cormorant destroyer – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • 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 results of the CSM16 elections were announced.  The results were not particularly surprising.  Some people are mad about them, but for the usual reasons.  Large organized groups get candidates elected.  So we got to hear the usual complaints and demands that CCP rig the system so this person or that can win, as though electing a focus group through a popularity contest was a good idea.  It wasn’t in 2008, it isn’t now.

We also got the Black Ops update from CCP.  And the Monthly Economic Report for May showed up as well.  Something about that here tomorrow.

Overall a loud slice of the community seems to be upset at CCP with their new monetization ideas, the state of the in-game economy, the CSM elections, the way the war in Delve has petered out topping the list of complaints, and have been pointing at the PCU as proof that CCP has dropped the ball. (example of very mad person post that is mad about everything)  In response the usual Pollyannas have said the PCU isn’t a valid measurement and anyway this is just the usual summer lull, nothing to see here, go on about your business, everything will rebound come autumn.

Unfortunately, the only way to find out who is right is to wait it out and see if things do bounce back.  But either way, the weekly PCU still seems to be sagging, with another week where cracking the 25K mark was the exception, not the rule:

  • 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

Related

50 Weeks of World War Bee

We are just two weeks shy of the one year anniversary of the start of the war.  But that doesn’t mean we’re not hitting any “one year ago” events yet, because it was a year ago this past week that The Mittani held an emergency mid-week Fireside to announce that PandFam and Legacy were rounding up as many allies as possible to come and attack us.

Legacy and PanFam denied everything and called Mittens paranoid.  But then logs leaked… logs always leak because three people can keep a secret only if two of them are dead… and Vily made his “The Die is Cast” post, announcing that the non-invasion pact between Legacy and The Imperium would end on July 5, 2020.   And so the start date of the war was made clear to both sides.

The Goon Expeditionary Force, a SIG meant to keep pilots like me who only want to go on campaigns and fleet ops, was pulled back from Cloud Ring where it had been clashing with some low sec entities, to Imperium space as plans were being made to tighten up our perimeter and prepare for the coming onslaught.

Then there is my question of the week, which was “Who is Silent Company alliance?”  I noticed on Dotlan that they lost 3,655 members this past week, something that put them on the front page of the site, and which brought their member count to 31,696, a number still big enough to make them the largest alliance in the game.

I hadn’t actually noticed them before because Dotlan’s alliance view defaults to a list of alliance who hold some null sec sovereignty.  When you view all alliances they are there on top.

Top Ten Alliances by Members

I know that there are tons of alliances in the game, with more than three thousand on the Dotlan list having at least one corporation and player, but I wasn’t aware there was one so big.  Silent Company, if my Google research is accurate, does a lot of things, just not the null sec sov thing.

When you look at sov holding alliance the total is just 134.

Top Ten SovHolding Alliances by Members

My world view in game tends to be focused on the list of sov holding alliances as they tend to be the players I run into in game… and because so many of the alliances on that list have joined in on invading our space.

Delve Front

The Siege of 1DQ remains static.  PAPI has basically given up on attempting to gain a foothold in the constellation at this point, so my map of the siege from May 2nd remains accurate.

O-EIMK Constellation – June 20, 2021

There have been some skirmishes, but PAPI has not been big on commitment.  They’ll form, then we’ll form, and then they’ll find something else to do because they don’t want to commit to the losses needed to break into the constellation.  As such, the campaign stats for the Delve region were way way down this past week.

Delve Campaign – Week 50

Week 49 saw 9.6K ships destroyed for close to half a trillion ISK in losses.  Week 50 is about 3K ships and shy of 200 billion in losses.

Instead PAPI has gone to the trouble of anchoring Fortizars in NPC Delve, placing them off of the NPC stations up there.

Fortizar on grid with the station in PR-8CA

This is suspected to be part of a plan to try and blockade and starve the Imperium out of the O-EIMK constellation by camping the stations in order to intercept jump freighters flying in supplies.  But, if that is the plan, the effort so far has been so low as to give words like “desultory” a bad name.  There were literally no PAPI pilots in a number of the systems when I passed through to take a look.

In order to run this sort interdiction operation you need to have people out and on the station undock with bubbles and tackle ready to go.  And there is an additional issue in play here.

NPC Delve

There are a dozen systems with a station in NPC Delve, all of which are within jump freighter range of 1DQ1-A, which means you need a dozen camps active pretty much around the clock to make this sort of effort effective.  PAPI doesn’t need a thousand people to make this work, but they they need enough people on at all times on each camp to kill a jump freighter and ward off any Imperium response to a camp.  One pilot can kill a jump freighter but cannot hold the undock if a small response force shows up to drive them off.  Anyway, I suspect we will see if PAPI is up to the effort or not soon enough.

Other Theaters

Out in Esoteria Army of Mango Alliance has continued its drive to evict The Bastion and its allies from the region.

Esoteria – June 20, 2021

With just one ihub left in the region The Bastion looks to be on the ropes in the region.

Likewise, things in Feythabolis look grim as The Bastion as they lost all of the ihubs they held there to the Russian Legion of Honor Alliance.

Feythabolis – June 20, 2021

I am not sure where the RLH alliance fits in, but I suspect they are part of the PAPI allied FI.RE coalition, a group of Russian speaking alliances that grouped together a couple years back when the Winter coalition was attacking their space.  Red Alliance still hold part of the region and they are an Imperium allied group.  We will see if things end up in the region with Russians fighting Russians.

Elsewhere things seem fairly static.  The Initiative does something in Etherium Reach now and then, a new group moved into the formerly Legacy held region of Catch, which is now held by Imperium groups along with some non-PAPI alliances, and the rest of New Eden carries on.

My Participation

The week was definitely off to a slow start for me and it was mid-week before I even undocked.  As noted, ops have tended to be quick defense sweeps or hot drops where you have to get in right now in order to participate.  Still, I got lucky and happened to sit down as there was a rage ping going out to get into bombers and get on the blops and take a bridge.  I got in and was able to fire a few salvos at a Severence Hel that had been tackled ratting in Fake Querious.

The Hel is going to… well, you know

That was a decent kill and was a follow on to a Wyvern that had been caught just a bit earlier that day.  Delve (and Querious) are safe though.

I also managed to get in a John Hartley Harpy fleet that zapped some PAPI pilots who made a visit into 3-DMQT, putting me on a few more kill mails.  I have a low key goal of getting on 5,000 kill mails before my 15th anniversary, and looked on track coming into June within 200 kill mails of making it.  I was on 187 in May after all.  Then the war slowed down and I am not sure I’ll get there.  Oh well.

No activity means no losses I suppose, so my loss count for the war remains:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Cormorant destroyer – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • 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

This past week was Federation Day… which makes me think there might be a naming issue for the event… which included a bunch of little events and some specials in the store.  I did the login campaign daily on all my accounts and launched fireworks daily with one high sec alt, but otherwise it didn’t register much for me.

The CSM16 elections wrapped up on Tuesday at 11:00 UTC.  CCP Swift, who promised “teases throughout the week” said that there were more votes than last year… then gave us no more teases.  I submit this as proof that he is now fully integrated with CCP.

This week saw CCP Rise on Pando’s FC Chat Twitch show talking about recent changes and plans.  You can find the whole stream here or you can read the summary over at INN.

Meanwhile, the daily player count continued to falter, with mid-week numbers failing to crack even the 25K mark.  The chart of the last three months over at EVE Offline is trending down.

Not a happy PCU trend

I hope this is just summer and everybody just happy to leave the house, because the week’s high was kind of low, just barely cracking the 26K mark on Sunday, the peak of the week:

  • 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

Related