Tag Archives: WWB Weekly Update

33 Weeks of World War Bee

This week saw Snuffed Out, the big bad guys of low sec space, declare that they were going to attack the Tranquility Trading Consortium (TTC) Keepstar in the Ignoitton system in a low sec stretch of the Sinq Laison region.  The TTC is a combined operation of TEST, Pandemic Horde, and the Imperium, who split the profits from these structures.  While the primary money maker is the Tranquility Trading Tower in Perimeter, one gate over and in the same region as Jita (which means you see results from it when you do a market search sitting in Jita), the TTC runs other structures, including the one in Ignoitton, which is used for third party capital and super capital sales.

Snuffed Out had been paid to leave the structure alone but apparently decided, with everybody burning ISK and resources in the war, that it would be more fun to just blow it up.  Which they did yesterday.

Vily issued a statement advising people to evacuate their stuff before it ends up in asset safety.  Elsewhere (I cannot find it at the moment) Snuffed Out issued a statement that they could no longer abide a structure like that acting as a safe haven in their back yard.

At the beginning of the month Snuffed Out destroyed the Sixth Empire Keepstar, the most majestic structure of his holiness Max Singularity VI, also in the Sinq Laison region.

Delve Front

The past week saw PAPI’s operational tempo continue to escalate.  The completed taking all of the ihubs in the SG-CTQ constellation, which includes the KarmaFleet home system of 39P-1J.  Then on Wednesday in EUTZ they made a major push against the ihubs and cyno jammers in the O-EIMK constellation, which includes the Imperium capital system of 1DQ1-A.

The subsequent battle saw nearly half a trillion ISK in destruction as both sides traded blows in the constellation.  The 8WA-Z6 system was the main focus of the clash, seeing 355 billion in losses alone.

Battle Report Header

At the end of the fight, PAPI had managed to reinforce zero ihubs and only destroyed five cyno jammers, which could be replaced.

The fight, which saw fairly equal numbers, seemed to take the wind out of the PAPI sails again, and the remainder of the week saw only small actions in Delve, including the occasional feint towards the M2-XFE hell camp.  Progodlegend blamed CCP node reinforcement for PAPI’s failure.

Delve – Feb 21, 2021

The Imperium continued to lose structures, but the main base of the coalition, 1DQ1-A and its surrounding systems, remains mostly unscathed nearly eight months into the war.

Meanwhile, on the weather watch, the two metaliminal storms that have come to Delve are both still hanging about.  The Electrical storm, which looked to be headed to 1DQ1-A, turned back and headed towards the constellation containing the M2-XFE hell camp.  I wonder who is hurt more by the lack of cloaking in the area.  Then the Gamma storm headed into a dead end constellation, so will eventually roll back out into the rest of Delve at some point.

Other Theaters

In Querious, Brave and Siberian Squads have been in a shoving match over ihubs, with both sides taking and losing ihubs over the course of the week.  Brave did score a coup just yesterday however, taking the ihub in W6V-VM, the Imperium staging system used by Siberian Squads.  But the region is still in flux.

Querious – Feb 21, 2021

Catch and Impass, the other end of Brave’s problems, also remain in play.

Catch – Feb 21, 2021

Systems were reinforced that Brave had to defend and The Initiative managed to take another ihub in Catch.  Brave’s core systems remain intact, but ihub timers there continue to be set, forcing them to defend.

Immensea was also the scene of more ihub action.

Immensea – Feb 21, 2021

Federation Uprising and Warped Intentions were both under pressure to defend.

And down in Esoteria, The Bastion and its allies kept the pressure on TEST in the region.

Esoteria – Feb 21, 2021

They did not take any further ihubs, but they managed to kill a TEST Sotiyo in what may be the most expensive engineering complex loss so far.  The loot on the field valued at 100 billion ISK, is alleged to be greater in value than Brave’s SRP budget.  Those in the know say that there were two titans in build when the structure was destroyed.

Further afield, Evictus began to evacuate Feythabolis, unanchoring structures, with an eye to moving into Delve.

My Participation

Valheim ate up a lot of my time, as it did the previous week.  I still managed to find some time to go on a few fleets and sit in the M2 hellcamp, which always seems to have 100-150 people in it just waiting for some abandoned PAPI line member to log in and take the hit.

The bubbles still stand around the M2-XFE Keepstar

I did managed to log in to the 1DQ1-A constellation fight towards the end.  There was a call for ECM burst interceptors to break locks on entosis ships as the vulnerability timer ended.  I went out in a Malediction and made several runs at the PAPI forces around the ihub, which padded my kill board a bit.

As part of that I also managed to close with the TEST Wyvern that ended up trapped on its own and was quickly bubbled and attacked by Imperium forces.

Just had to get close enough to fire my pop-gun laser

I got on the kill and got to watch it explode.  In that screen shot you can see a Nestor exploding… it may have been out to give the Wyvern pilot an opportunity to refit as the Nestor has that ability… the Wyvern itself, an Imperium Rorqual on its tail hungry for the loot and Salvage, and my Malediction interceptor racing to catch up.

Despite a couple of close calls, my losses for the war remain as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

With the Tuesday update CCP managed to break jumping to cynos.  While an emergency fix went in quickly, requiring a launch restart for those already patched, this is the sort of thing that causes consternation out in null sec.

CCP released the Monthly Economic Report for January 2021, which includes the carnage from the hull timer battle at M2-XFE.

There was some alliance drama in Red Alliance, an ally of the Imperium.  This led to people and corps jumping to other orgs, including Siberian Squads.  The Russians are fractious and it is best not to get in the middle when they fall out.

Also, somebody on Reddit put together a map of null sec to illustrate the sides in the war at its start.

Null sec affiliation in the war

When somebody complains about the “blue donut” and they are in one of the alliances in the blue zone on that map, you are free to point and laugh.

At one point last week both sides in the war accused the other of padding their alliance numbers with freshly minted alts so as to hide any fail cascade.  That sort of thing, if either side is doing it, won’t help with numbers in fleets, which is where line members count.

Brave chief Dunk Dinkle was attacked by a bee this past weekend.  But he keeps bees.  I am sure there are multiple metaphors for the war in that.

Also, I went through all of the weekly updates and added the tag WWB Weekly Update to them. Now you can click on that if you want to scroll back and see how the maps have changed over time, when Fountain Frank showed up, when I started actually putting maps in the weekly update, or any of the inconsistencies in my own reporting, of which I am sure there are many.  It is all there in one long continuous scroll.

But you don’t have to go back to see the weekly peak concurrent user numbers, because I keep that going every week with the full list.  This past week saw Saturday once again take the top spot for the week as the numbers fell back down to about the 36K mark:

  • 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)

Related

32 Weeks of World War Bee

This past week saw drama in Brave Collective, the fifth largest alliance in the game currently and a member of Vily’s Legacy Coalition.  On Wednesday morning US time they had an alliance meeting where it was announced that they would be moving into Querious.  The fact that this was going to be fun was repeated frequently.  Other groups were reported to want to come live nearby and be close to Brave.  They were going to total take out Siberian Squads, who announced last week that, after having left Legacy Coalition, they were joining the Imperium and going to stage in Querious.  And taking and holding Querious was going to be in addition to maintaining their presence in Catch and Immensea, along with whatever commitments they might have to the war in Delve.  Nothing was being abandoned, there was no evacuation planned.

This seemed like a late point to make this sort of commitment.  As late as Week 24 of the war Brave held significant numbers of ihubs in the region.  They have since lost all of those ihubs, but now they were going to move in and start all over.

A while later a leak showed up on Reddit dumping internal leadership discussions about the state of the alliance and the move to Querious that was very much at odds with the happy, upbeat tone of the alliance meeting.  The outlook there was bleak and the ability to hold their old space while moving into Querious seemed unlikely, while the cost of all of this was going to be prohibitive.

This led to another alliance meeting that evening where Dunk Dinkle admitted up front that the leaked discussion was real.  He said it was embarrassing, but then commenced to hedge and try to paint a rosy picture once again.  Everything will be fine.  The M2-XFE hell camp is dragging the Imperium down.  Goons will collapse soon.  Victory is close at hand.

That prompted further leaks which reinforced the idea that Brave’s finances might be at the breaking point, along with some memes.

Meme’d… nice use of @dril for it too

One of the strange bits was the need to pay 12 billion ISK to TEST to be able to receive Imperium ping relays for intel.  But then Vily said on Discord that TEST pays that too and that it is just some guy in TEST that runs the service.

Sure thing

Looking over from the Imperium, that seems like a pretty ad hoc way to run a coalition.  Whatever.

Despite financial problems and too many commitments, Dunk echoed Kerensky in 1917 in saying that he has to keep Brave in the war.  But the fact that somebody in leadership is leaking these discussions indicates that there is discord within the ranks.

And then it sounded like there was discontent over in Federation Uprising, another Legacy Coalition alliance.

Admittedly this war is different than past wars.  Seven months of continuous fighting at this scale is unprecedented in New Eden and the obvious assumption on the PAPI side was that this would be the Casino War all over again with the Imperium falling back to low sec in a few weeks.  But Vily declared repeatedly that this was a war of extermination to drive Goons from the game because they are all bad people, and few things will make Goons dig in and hang on than making things personal.  Welcome to Delve.

Delve Front

PAPI continued to field large fleets and push on Imperium space in Delve, successfully taking ihubs in the SG-CTQ constellation.

Delve – Feb 14, 2021

PAPI also managed to destroy more than 20 large structures like Fortizars, Tataras, and Sotiyos in the region.

The hellcamp in M2-XFE carried on.  No serious efforts were made to try and break out the remaining ~130 titans and myriad smaller capitals trapped in bubbles around the Imperium Keepstar.  There was an uptick in capitals logging and getting destroyed as some players apparently were getting tired of waiting (some have been trapped in there since Dec 31, 2020) for the rescue that does not seem to be coming.  The big break out two weeks back apparently got enough leadership titans out that the rest of the trapped ships do not seem to be a priority.

Then there is the metaliminal storm, which has wandered down and has removed cloaking as an option in the staging systems for both sides in the war.  That is likely going to make things interesting, and all the more so if it keeps on moving down the path to 1DQ.  It does, in some ways, help the defender, as cloaky camping eyes cannot remain hidden.

Other Theaters

In Querious Brave started laying down ihubs as part of their move-in plan.

Querious – Feb 14, 2021

Since there were no ihubs in place, there was no contest over deploying them.  They just had to spend the 500 million ISK per ihub… if the Jita price is any indication… and carry them out there.  That is more ISK they are spending.  And, as you can see, they ended up getting reinforced.

Siberian Squads (SB-SQ), which joined the Imperium last week and which Dunk Dinkle was saying they would simply brush aside, took ihubs from PAPI during the week as well.  Brave did take the GOP-GE ihub, which is an Imperium Keepstar system, but they failed to take the Imperium Staging system in Querious, W6V-VM.  That also has a Keepstar and is where Siberian Squads is now based.

Back in Catch and Immensea The Initiative and their friends continued to make life difficult for Brave, Warped Intentions, and Federation Uprising.

Catch – Feb 14, 2021

Immensea – Feb 14, 2021

Out there structures and ihubs continued to be reinforced regularly and lost fairly frequently.

And then down in Esoteria The Bastion has kept on pushing against TEST, so that this week I not only have to put up a new map, but I have to change over to the whole region rather than just the northwest corner.

Esoteria – Feb 14, 2021

The Imperium continues to try and make Legacy Coalition regret their plan to move into new space in Delve and Querious while holding their old space.  Again, hearing the heart ache this is causing Brave, the second largest member of TEST’s Legacy Coalition, will only make the Imperium increase its efforts to disrupt their backfield.

My Participation

I will admit that I used most of my available game time to play Valheim last week.  That meant EVE Online (and World of Warcraft) didn’t get a lot of attention.  I did go on a couple of fleets and did some time on the M2 Hellcamp… missed a carrier kill when I  was in the bathroom… but wasn’t all that invested.

Well within range of my Rokh

So my losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The Mittani announced the Silver Ticket program last week.  The Golden Ticket program was an offer to any alliance with capitals trapped in M2-XFE to negotiate a price for their release.  Only one Golden Ticket was available and TEST was the only alliance barred from the plan.  This seemed largely a troll and nobody has taken up the offer that I have heard about.

The Silver Ticket program is an offer to individuals still trapped in M2-XFE to contact Imperium diplomats in order to sell their trapped capitals to the Imperium at a modest discount so that they could get out of the bubble camp with some ISK in hand.  This offer has netted the Imperium a Leviathan already.  (A ghost titan too, one from the second fight that showed up as an unfitted kill.) The pilot, who had gone over to Brave from GSF to play with a friend was apparently treated badly by Brave due to his corp history, which certainly motivated him to sell.  You can argue that he is the exception due to his background, but that is one more titan in the ranks of the Imperium.  But Brave has been having some troubles keeping up with its “Stay Classy” motto of late.

CCP also announced the Reign Quadrant this past week with the first February update which, as I mentioned, seemed to be dedicated to the Tactical Supremacy alliance, which has been one of the groups attacking Catch.  Another blow to Legacy Coalition there.

Tactical Supremacy is Victory, CCP says so

We also got the annual Guardians Gala event along with a login campaign.  Reports are that the sites pay off fairly well, but that they are more difficult than last year.

The war and the holiday event were not enough to boost the weekly peak user count, though it did not sag by much compared to the previous week and it is still up some from the holiday doldrums:

  • 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

Related

31 Weeks of World War Bee

We are now past the seven month mark for the war, which officially kicked off way back on July 5, 2020.

The headline news of the week was probably Siberian Squads opting to join the Imperium.

Siberian Squads

I mentioned back in the Week 29 post that Siberian Squads was leaving Legacy Coalition and possibly moving north to join in the shenanigans going on up there.  Unlike Red Alliance, which left PAPI to join in with their Stain Russian pals, Siberian Squads is joining the Imperium as a full member.  The will be taking up residence in Querious to keep that front active.  What will happen to there holdings in Tenerifis remains to be seen, but I assume that they used the two week interlude to move their stuff out of the region.  The FI.RE coalition seems salty about this.

This is something of a reversal of the Casino War where I announced several times that this alliance or that was leaving the Imperium. (Or in the case of Circle of Two, had betrayed the coalition and changed sides mid-battle.)  Since the war started the Imperium has actually grown while Vily’s Legacy Coalition is now missing some of its members.

Delve Theater

I mentioned back in the Week 28 post that the Imperium had given up the gate camp in E3OI-U that was protecting what was being called Helm’s Deep in order to maintain the hell camp on the logged out titans in M2-XFE. (See the Delve map in the Week 27 post for my last mention of Helm’s Deep on the map.)  PAPI finally noticed that the camp was gone and made a push to reinforce those constellations, culminating in day long series of entosis contests.

The Helm’s Deep constellations

PAPI was able to bring the numbers and were successful in taking two of the four constellations in play.

Delve – Feb 7, 2021

The back two constellations are significant as they represent the homes of The Bastion, Get Off My Lawn, and TNT alliances as well as hosting the KarmaFleet home system.

The TCU Sovereignty

GSF owns all the ihubs since they have the numbers and can bring the entosis forces, but those alliances get the territorial control units so they show up on the sovereignty map.

PAPI has pushed hard on ihubs over the last two weeks and now controls all but four constellations in the region.  They key to things for the Imperium is 1DQ1-A.  PAPI has not made a serious effort against that system and so long as it and its Keepstars and other structures survive, the Imperium will remain defiant.

Other Theaters

PAPI also expended some effort in Querious when it came to ihubs.

Querious – Feb 7, 2021

PAPI put 800 pilots up to attack the GOP-GE, W6V-VM, F2OY-X, and RF-CN3 ihubs, but only managed to secure the latter two.  That leaves a couple of footholds with structures in the region for Siberian Squads to base from and start harassing Severance (-7-) and Stellae Renascitur (S.R.) in the region.

Catch remains a battleground, with The Initiative continuing to press on Brave and Warped Intentions, with the latter losing several more ihubs over the course of the week.

Catch – Feb 7, 2021

Likewise, Immensea next door has become another bleeding sore for Legacy Coalition.

Immensea – Feb 7, 2021

There both Warped Intentions and Federation Uprising have been losing ihubs and the occasional structure to Imperium and Stain Russian forces.

Down in Esoteria, The Bastion and its allies continue to hold the northwest corner, so I’ll just roll the same map as before.

Northwest Esoteria – Feb 7, 2021

TEST has been telling their pilots to leave Esoteria and move to Delve, which seems like a trip with a fire at either end.  But they have been away enough that they lost another Fortizar.

My Participation

I did not spend a lot of time in New Eden over the past week.  The sovereignty battles tend to happen in EUTZ, which I can sometimes join in on as a break from work, but not always.  I did spend some time at the M2-XFE hell camp, which continues watch on the ~130 titans still logged out in space and was fortunate enough to be there when an Apostle decided to log in.  That put me on the kill board for February.

Apostle Explosion

Otherwise much of my space time was spent doing maintenance things like collecting PI output to sell.  I did get my corporate dividend payment for my 5 Imperium war bonds.

War Bond Dividend #1

The 1.25 ISK payment appeared to be a test run to see if the system would even work.  41 million ISK isn’t a ton, but right now my only other income is PI, insurance, and SRP and every little bit helps.  Fortunately I did not lose any ships this week so I didn’t need to collect insurance or SRP.  My losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

This past week CCP posted a dev blog about the first battle at M2-XFE.  The Dev blog lays out some details as to who lost how many ships, how the battle compares to other large battles in New Eden history, and plans for a monument to commemorate the battle.

Planned monument

CCP was also awarded two Guinness World Records for the battle, which was detailed in a separate press release.  The records seem a bit dubious compared to some of the past records, but are still a good PR moment for the company.

Meanwhile, the weekend saw the peak concurrent user number stay up above 38K for another 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

Related

30 Weeks of World War Bee

After a couple weeks of what one might describe as malaise on the part of PAPI, they finally came back strong this past week, taking advantage once again of their overwhelming numbers.

The big news for the week was probably the M2-XFE titan breakout.  After several feints and aborted attempts, PAPI finally committed to freeing their titans and went all in on it just after downtime on the 27th.  It was a costly operation for PAPI, which sacrificed more than 2 trillion ISK in losses… an amount made up largely of 400+ destroyed dreadnoughts… as the battle report shows.

Battle Report Header

But they managed to extract ~170 of their trapped titans, losing only 6 along the way, leaving 130 or so still in M2-XFE.  That can only count as a significant morale win for PAPI as they now have that many more titans to bring to bear if the situation calls for it.  The remaining titans are estimated to belong to the following groups:

  • Test Alliance Please Ignore – 47
  • Pandemic Horde – 39
  • Northern Coalition – 29
  • Brave Collective – 9
  • The Army of Mango Alliance – 8
  • Evictus – 2
  • Already Replaced – 2
  • Eternal Requiem – 1
  • Sev3rance – 1
  • VENI VIDI VICI – 1
  • Federation Uprising – 1
  • Fraternity – 1

PC Gamer’s Steven Messner wrote an article about the M2-XFE situation and the breakout which even mentions me briefly. (Wish he’d linked to the blog and not just the image, but whatever.)

The breakout coincided with a noticeable rise in participation on the part of PAPI pilots, demonstrating the morale boost the escape has given them.

Delve Front

Delve was far and away the most active area of the war, as one might expect.  After allowing the Imperium to push back some of their gains, the resurgent PAPI began successfully defending ihubs in the region.  One of those was in the system 1-SMEB, where PAPI was able to put up cyno jammers successfully and destroy the Keepstar there without opposition.

They also began to put in a lot of effort retake ihubs in Delve that the Imperium had snatched back.  They have been keen to get ihubs in systems with Keepstars and have been especially invested in reinforcing the ihub in M2-XFE, no doubt to keep their remaining trapped titans from having to extract from under a cyno jammer in another ten days.  After failing on the 28th, managed to secure the grid and reinforce the ihub on the 29th by dropping carriers to support entosis faxes on the ihub, finally claiming it after almost an hour over overtime in the contest.

Battle for the ihub in M2-XFE

That led to another battle yesterday over the ihub, one that ground on for hours because of Fozzie Sov and the fact that the RNG put multiple nodes in the M2-XFE system, which meant that a couple hours went by before even a single node was hacked by either side.  But, after the long tidi grind, PAPI numbers won the contest and now their trapped titans need no longer fear the looming cyno jammers in the system.  Looking at the battle report, compared to some other battles in this war, the cost seemed not so bad.  I supposed when you consider a quarter trillion ISK destroyed and nearly 1,500 kill mails “not so bad” you might be a bit jaded.

That leaves the ihub balance in the region looking like this.

Delve – Jan 31, 2021

PAPI has pushed back and taken ihubs in Keepstar systems.  If they can keep up their numbers advantage it seems likely that we will lose all of those Keepstars.

Also, we now have two metaliminal storms running through Delve, both of which found their way in through the same door.  Given the breadth of null sec, ending up with two such storms in the primary theater of operations… well, if I were a more suspicious person I might think CCP was pushing the RNG just to see what would happen.  They created the feature, no doubt somebody there wants to see how it might affect the war.

Other Theaters

I am demoting Catch to the “other theaters” category, not because of a lack of action there but because it most of the focus is on Delve while Catch is now in there with Esoteria and Immensea and other PAPI backfield regions that are under attack from specific Imperium groups.

In Catch The Initiative has been setting up in U-QVWD, dropping its own structures and sieging  the Legacy Coalition structures located there.

Catch – Jan 31, 2021

Near the connection to Querious Imperium and allied forces have continued to attack ihubs in order to force Legacy to respond.  Operations in Catch have spilled over to the neighboring region of Immensea, where ihubs have started to fall as well.

Immensea – Jan 31, 2021

Meanwhile, the metaliminal storm that had been hanging around in the region took the exit to Stain and is now meandering there.

Over in Querious the dead lands in the east remain unoccupied as neither side has any interest in dropping any further ihubs there it seems.

Querious – Jan 31, 2021

The metaliminal storm that came in from Catch has now moved on into Delve, as noted above.  An incursion has also shown up in one of the eastern constellations.  We shall see if anybody can be bothered to try and fight it.

And, finally, I am going to re-run the same Estoteria map again.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan 31, 2021

The ihub ownership has not changed despit some action over structures in the region.

And up in the north, a small unaligned group operating under the name Freemen of the North has been using the war as an opportunity to assail Fraternity, which has a large number of players back in the home space ratting and mining according to the MER.

My Participation

I did not get into many of the big fights over the past week as a lot of the action was happening in EUTZ.  Downtime is at 11:00 UT, 5am my time, which pretty much guarantees I am asleep when it passes.  But that is when a lot of the action around M2 occurs.  I did get into the big siege of the M2 ihub on Friday with two characters at different times.  At the end, during the “overtime” period, I flew in some ECM burst interceptors to try and help break the locks that hackers had on the ihub.  That ended up costing me three Maledictions, so my losses for the war are now:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The Imperium finished issuing shares related to the war bond sales.  The UI for handling shares has been unsurprisingly described as “clunky.”  I now have my five shares.  The first dividend payment is due today.

Visible in my wallet

CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson participated in the Venture Beat’s Into the Metaverse summit, speaking about EVE Online.  He tried to jump on the GameStop frenzy by claiming that New Eden faces market manipulation as well, though he apparently couldn’t sight any examples. (pssst: the ice interdiction or Hulkageddon would have done)  He also said that EVE Online added 1.3 million players in 2020, for specific definitions of “added” no doubt.  The online user count certainly doesn’t seem to reflect much in the way of a dramatic influx of users.  But he also didn’t mention how many of them logged in once and never returned, which is the usual problem with the game.

Still, while we’re nowhere close to the record peak users of 2013, this past week did see numbers rise on Sunday at the prime time when both EUTZ and USTZ overlap.

  • 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

Related

27 Weeks of World War Bee

The past week saw both sides adjusting to the new reality after the battles over the Keepstar in M2-XFE.  The Imperium has used their momentary advantage in morale to take back ihubs.

On the PAPI side, Progodlegend issued what has been called the “Dunkirk” update in which includes a mea culpa about knowing that jumping into the second fight at M2-XFE was a bad idea but that nobody wanted to be the person who called it off.  Also in the update:

  • Shifting to a “much simpler and much more fun game plan”
  • Breakout plan for trapped capitals under way
  • Titans lost at the fight will be reimbursed; may need to go to third parties for hulls
  • May issue war bonds to cover mounting costs

It has been reported that TEST is unanchoring some structures to avoid having to pay for quantum cores, the theory being that they can pay for SRP or pay for cores, but not both.  Critiques of the prosecution of the war have been rife, with Vily even being compare to George McClellan.  Certainly this past week did give PAPI a taste of the Seven Days Battles of the Peninsula campaign.

On the Imperium side, the M2-XFE system has been camped from downtime to downtime since the first fight and there are usually two fleets running because one is inevitably full.  Camping that space has become a priority as there are said to be 337 titans logged off in the bubbles under the Imperium Keepstar.  Some Imperium members have been offering to buy trapped ships, which led to at least one Wyvern logging and getting blown up.

On the weekly fireside chat Saturday The Mittani urged us all to man the M2-XFE camp as it is our key threat to PAPI assets at the moment.  When asked about negotiations, he did say that he would offer a golden ticket out of the trap to any single alliance that offered the best terms.  While he did not expect anybody would take the offer, he did explicitly exclude TEST from it as they are the ones who sowed the seeds of war and who thus must reap the whirlwind.  TEST is estimated to have more than 90 titans trapped in M2-XFE.

And then, on the finance front, the first series of Imperium war bonds has been sold out.

Delve Front

While Delve has been the primary focus of the war for week, these past ten days have pulled most everybody away from the secondary fronts.  The Imperium has setup a downtime to downtime camp, complete with bubbles, around the M2-XFE Keepstar.

In furtherance of this, the Imperium blew up the Fortizar PAPI had setup on the Keepstar grid to act as a staging point for attacks.

The PAPI Keepstar begins to explode

In its place the Imperium dropped its own Fortizar just in case any supers or titans managed to log off on tether.  PAPI defense of the Fortizar was limited to a small group of interceptors there to harass the attackers.

Bubbles on the M2 Keepstar Grid

Those bubbles groups are:

Bubbles on the M2 Keepstar Grid – Annotated

The primary trap is where the titans from the first battle have (mostly) remained logged off since downtime on Dec. 31, 2020.  The secondary trap is the point where PAPI titans, supers, and other capitals jumped in for the second battle, the location of some “ghost” titans.

Maintaining that camp has been declared the coalition’s highest priority due to the estimated 337 titans trapped in the system.  Jay Amazingness has been named the Bubble Czar to make sure that we have correct coverage of the areas where hostile ships are logged off.

The camp itself continues to feed people kills, which helps keep it going.  I have been on enough to have caught a titan and a few faxes.  Every so often somebody will log on… either by accident or in futile hope… and they get blown up.  There have even been some ghost titan kills, which means that not all the empty fit titans that were blown up during the second fight were moved back to their starting point.

You only die twice

PAPI sends interceptors and other small ships out to attack the anchored bubbles now and then, which also feeds the camp and keeps it engaged.  Give us PAPs and some kills and apparently we’ll sit logged in all day every day.

PAPI was in a funk early in the week and the Imperium used that time to work on some of its own problems in Delve.

Delve – Jan. 10, 2021

The Imperium started by taking back all of the ihubs in the NJU-QV constellation, which includes M2-XFE and is the route into the Fountain region.  The ihub blitz carried on and flipped more than a dozen ihubs, about half of which were systems containing Keepstars.  The systems hit were:

  • KEE-N6
  • M2-XFE
  • 5-CQDA
  • I-E3TG
  • ZXB-VC
  • S-6HHN
  • 4X0-8B
  • 23G-XC
  • D-W7F0
  • SVM-3K
  • 6Q-R50
  • UEXO-Z
  • 9O-8W1
  • 1-2J4P

Towards the end of the week PAPI started putting up a stiff resistance, and the struggle over the D-W7F0 ihub was a long fight. By the weekend the invaders were able to field enough pilots to keep the Imperium from flipping the 1-SMEB and M5-CGW ihubs.

Catch Front

The aftermath of the fights in Delve relegated the Catch front to a distant second over the last week, which was probably fine with Brave.

Catch – Jan. 10, 2021

The Watchmen space continues to remain empty and the two metaliminal storms in the region both seem to be making their way towards Delve as if they want to join up with the storm already there.

The one bit of influence the region has was when The Initiative reinforced a TEST Keepstar down to the final timer, which required Legacy to show up and make sure it did not get blown up, something that coincided with an ihub contest in Delve.  There was also a fight over the ihub in FAT-6P, a system on the Legacy Ansiblex jump gate network that went to the Imperium, disrupting their travel infrastructure, though Legacy regained the ihub to restart the time until they can use the system again.

Other Theaters

Even more so that Catch, Querious was very much a backwater after the events of the last week or so.  Some small changes, but not a hot spot.

Querious – Jan. 10, 2021

While the Imperium has been focused on Delve, northwest Esoteria remains a camp in the middle of Legacy space and a spot from which to launch attacks.

Northwest Esoteria – Jan. 10, 2021

And over in Fountain The French ConneXion has picked up a couple of ihubs that were sitting empty.  I do not know if this is the start of something, but the two systems the grabbed would make for a nice Ansiblex jump gate conneXion.

My Participation

While the ihub struggles tend to be in EUTZ I managed to get into fleets that help turn the NJU-QV constellation and was there for the see-saw struggle over the D-W7F0 ihub.  I was also around for the destruction of the PAPI Fortizar in M2-XFE.  And then there has been the camp in M2-XFE, which is something I can log into and put in the background so that just my overview and the fleet window are poking out behind whatever I am working on.  If a target pops up I can click over and shoot.

That was all fairly low key and I did not end up losing any ships over the course of the week, so my loss count remains:

  • Ares interceptor – 15
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Scimitar logi – 3
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

Just a bit of New Eden war trivia, but I was out on an op and saw a vaguely familiar name pop up in fleet chat.

Haargoth Agamar returns to the game

Haargoth Agamar was the player who, close to 12 years ago now, disbanded Band of Brothers back during the Great War, one of the great moments in EVE Online.  World War Bee has brought back a lot of old names and we can add one more to the list.

Meanwhile, CCP has been doing their usual bang up job when it comes to presenting a coherent message to the user base.  While they’ve spent the last year nerfing the ability to earn ISK in game, they still want to push wealth as an objective in the New Eden.

Get Wealthy!

As you can imagine, this has irked a few people.

  • 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)

And, finally, the requirement to have quantum cores in all structures hits this coming week.  Quantum cores were introduced with the September update and, since October, new structures have required them.  January 12th is the date that all structures will need them or ship fitting, tethering, and ship/module repair services will be disabled.  Without a core structures will also be vulnerable to immediate destruction.  No timers or return trips will be required.  I expect this will be another “happy time” for Upwell destruction.

Related

World War Bee Six Month Review

Time to sum up the story so far, if only to organize what I have written.

Munnins and Ishtars together in EI-O0O

The war officially started on July 5th with the end of the non-invasion pact between the Imperium and Legacy Coalition.  But nothing like that just happens on a single day.  The roots of the war go back much further and various points have been pointed to as where things began to head towards the state of affairs today.

I am not going to go down that rabbit hole.  Instead, I am picking as the start of things, the date when it became public that Vily and Legacy Coalition had been working PandaFam to attack the Imperium.  That extends the timeline by a couple weeks, but that was when things started moving… and when I started writing about the war and tagging it as such

Below is my post journey through the war so far in headline form.  This includes some events outside the war zone that involved the involved parties.  Each link goes out to the post named naturally, and often the headline is sufficient to tell you what to expect.  But somehow… and this was entirely unplanned… I ended up writing a weekly summary post.  For those posts I have added a few sub bullets to hit on the topics mentioned beyond just the state of the fighting.

And that is where we sit some six or so months into the war, with 71 posts documenting the path I’ve taken.  The battles over the M2-XFE Keepstar has given the Imperium some breathing room to push back on the invaders, but the war is still in Delve and PAPI still has a Keepstar one gate over from our capital.  There is much left to do.

Related:

25 Weeks of World War Bee

As expected, the Imperium Keepstar in NOL-M9 was destroyed by PAPI supers as we were unable to take back the ihub to prevent the system from being cyno jammed.  This will likely be the same fate that the Keepstars in D-W7F0 and 1-SMEB will face.

The highlight of the war last week was likely the Christmas Truce, where each group asked its members not to set timers that would come out on December 24th or 25th.  The truce seemed to be mostly respected, though not everybody got the word and the usual suspects on r/eve and elsewhere tried whine their way to a propaganda victory over things few cared about.  Nobody in an actual leadership position called out the other side.

There was even a game of “Griffinball” in T5ZI-S that both sides in the war participated in.  I saw the ping for it, though I didn’t have the time to join in myself.

Of course, the truce only covered structures and sov timers, so there was still plenty of shooting going on.  A big battle broke out on the T5ZI gate in 1DQ and there was an attempt to dread bomb a PAPI Erebus on the Keepstar in T5ZI that went wrong.  Christmas Day saw more than 150 billion ISK in ships blown up across the 1DQ-T5ZI front, most of it being Imperium losses.

And once Christmas Day was past, things returned to the usual grind, though PAPI seemed eager to give us a few last minute presents as they fed first one, then another Marshal blackops battleship for a combined loss of over 18 billion ISK for two subcaps.

Finally, there was a leak from a Fraternity alliance meeting that they were urging their members to get ready for a “big push” in Delve in January, so perhaps PAPI will make another move on 1DQ or Helm’s Deep.

Delve Front

There were not many big changes on the Delve front over the past week.  Timers came and went, but we haven’t been able to wrest any of the Keepstar ihubs back from PAPI.  Their doom awaits.

Delve – Dec. 27, 2020

The electrical metaliminal storm has kept on moving into the region.  Right now it is at a crossroads, where it might head up into the YX-LYK constellation or it could roam right into Helms Deep and its protected areas.  The storm in Helm’s Deep would actually help the Imperium as the only real threat there right now is covert ops bridges into the area to shoot at those still bothering to rat or mine.  Keeping them from cloaking would be a boon.  But even now, with it on E3OI-U it is keeping covert ops ships from slipping past the gate camp.

Catch Front

The Catch region remains in play with Brave and its Legacy Coalition allies having to spend time defending timers and structures.  Early in the week Brave had to defend its ihub, which The Initiative had reinforced.  They managed to form up enough to keep it from being take in the entosis event, but when their propaganda team compared it to the Imperium defending 1DQ I snorted audibly.  High on my list of objections to that comparison is the fact that PAPI hasn’t actually managed to reinforce the 1DQ ihub yet.

Catch – Dec 27, 2020

We keep pecking away at their infrastructure.  The Watchmen, which I mentioned last week because they appeared to be folding up shop, has lost a bunch of members and its sov will be up for grabs.  Legacy seems to have given up for now on killing our staging Fortizar in 0SHT-A, falling back to a defensive posture.  Brave has been keeping up a small gate camp on the gate between GE-8JV, their capital, and V-3YG7, the direction in which we lay.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Gamma storm that has been wandering the region for a few weeks now, the Plasma storm in Providence has started moving closer to the war zone.

Other Theaters

Querious continues to be a low intensity tug of war over some key ihubs in the region.

Querious – Dec. 27, 2020

Meanwhile, The Bastion and friends down in Esoteria are still holding on to a set of systems in the region.

NW Esoteria – Dec. 27, 2020

The Army of Mango Alliance appears to have all but given up fighting in the region.

And, if you have been watching Rorqual losses on zKillboard, you might have noticed that The Initiative has been busy dropping on Legacy’s backfield where they have been mining.

Dec 27 Rorqual kills

That should keep some crabs on their toes.

My Participation

My week in New Eden started with some fights and ended with some fights, but in the middle I wasn’t on all that much.  I formed up a few times for fleets in Delve where not much happened, but out in Catch with Reavers we have had some fun.

Waiting with Asher

I was involved with the fight over the GE-8JV ihub.  While we lost the entosis event, a significant brawl developed where we at least won the ISK war.  I had a close call on the way out.

Cutting things a bit close

But my Ishtar made it into warp and lived to fight another day.  It also has seven kill marks on it now, which is my new all time high.

Headed home for repairs

After the Christmas truce ended we were back at it in Catch on Saturday, reinforcing ihubs and shooting Ansiblex jump bridges.  Brave eventually formed up for us, but not before one pilot threw their Nidhoggur at us to try and stop an ihub hack.

Nidhoggur tackled

I gather he felt that his smart bombs would defang our Ishtars, but we pulled some range, dropped sentry drones, and took him down from a safe distance.  Not too long after we ran into a Jackdaw and Munnin fleet sent to see us off.  We were seriously outnumbered and had to safe up and log off for a bit.  But after that we were able to get out and home.  Through all of that I managed to not lose a ship.

I did lose another Ares, this time by forgetting it was on an alt sitting on a gate in hostile space because I was focused on my main for too long.  So it goes.  My loss count for the war is now:

  • Ares interceptor – 13
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Scimitar logi – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP released the Monthly Economic Report for November 2020 which showed the impact of the latest round of nerfs to the economy.  I wrote a post covering that, but the big news is pretty well summed up in this chart.

Nov 2020 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

Mineral prices are at an all time high, destruction remains high due to the war, and the ISK faucet of NPC bounties has been cut back down to nearly the low point of the Chaos Era null sec Blackout of 2019.

The MER was followed up yesterday with a self congratulatory Dev Blog from CCP about how well they have done fixing the economy.  They promise things won’t remain as grim as they are now, so long as you can do without self-sufficiency, predictability, or wealth.  You can call my outlook cynical and I’ll agree, but I think history warrants it.  I’ll probably do a blog post about the dev blog later this week if I find the time and energy.

Meanwhile, the peak concurrent user count for the week fell on Sunday.  The holiday week was slow and Saturday did not crack the 30K mark, but Sunday it managed to break through to 31K.  The time when it his it peak corresponded to a form up by both sides in the war over a Sotiyo timer.  No fight ensued, so we all just bridged in and glared at each other.

  • 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

Still, that is the low point of the war so far and, while it might be explained away by the holiday, the count does seem to be trending down.  As I mentioned last week, CCP was patting itself on the back for managing to get 1.9 million new accounts in 2020, more than the previous three years combined, but it doesn’t seem to be reflected very well in the PCU.

Related

24 Weeks of World War Bee

We are at week 24 of the war proper, having started officially back on July 5th, but it has been a full six months since the invaders were caught out in their plans and the two week count down to the start began, so I am celebrating six months of writing about World War Bee.  Compare that to the Fountain War back in 2013, which covered just two months, or the Casino War, which started in earnest in February 2016, had us in Saranen by mid April, and in Delve come July.  And we’re not done yet.

This week saw an address by Progodlegend to Legacy and TEST where he both said the war was pretty much a foregone conclusion and that we will all soon begin to abandon the Imperium.  The Initiative attacking in Catch was held up as a prime example of the Imperium collapsing.  Once the war is over Legacy will lay claim to both its old territory, such Esoteria, which they previously said they were abandoning for Delve, as well as Delve, Querious, Period Basis.

Basically, all they need to do is wrap up the Imperium pockets in 1DQ1-A and E3OI-U and they’re done, the war is over.  Those will be the last big fights of the war.  The timeline for that, however, is fairly vague.  Progodlegend says the will come very soon at one point and maybe in  a couple more months elsewhere.  Goons being driven from the game is assumed in there somewhere.

Pandemic Horde had a town hall meeting last week as well, where they distanced themselves from the Vily message of driving Goons from the game.  They are just in it to damage the Imperium economically.  They seem less patient when it comes to assaulting 1DQ1-A and E3OI-U, suggesting if the current strategy wasn’t working in the first few weeks of December that they might try something different.  Also, the second pass on Fountain has been seen to be something of a wasted effort which will likely not continue.

On the comedy front, there was this 5.3 billion ISK Vince Draken pod that got caught trying to slip through Delve in a covert ops frigate.

Delve Front

The Delve front saw quite a bit of action.  Also, that metaliminal storm has found its way into NPC Delve, keeping people from cloaking in the systems marked around it.

Delve – Dec. 20, 2020

The Imperium strategy of retaking ihubs before the 35 timer runs down and allows PAPI to cyno jam the system has not been working out for us.  We were not able to retake the ihub for NOL-M9 as they were able to put many more people on the field to defend it that we would manage.  NOL-M9 now has a cyno jammer setup and the Keepstar there seems likely to be destroyed this week.

PAPI titans at the armor timer shoot

A similar fate seems likely for the Keepstar in D-W7F0, where PAPI also holds the ihub.

The strategy, or that aspect of it which I can see, appears to have moved to preventing enotsis ops on the ihubs that remain in our hands where Keepstars remain.  This had led to a number of fierce skirmishes, like the ones that have happened around 5-CQDA.

Battle Report Header

The other twist that has been coming up more recently is forcing PAPI to choose between objectives.  PAPI can put enough pilots in Delve to force an objective there, but a simultaneous timer elsewhere, like Catch, will be lost because they had to make the choice.

Catch Front

This week I am elevating the Catch region to have its own category as it remains the most active theater outside of Delve and is the place where Legacy is being forced to make choices.

Legacy came back and reinforced the staging Fortizar of The Initiative, but were distracted by a Delve objective that allowed The Initiative to put down a backup Fortizar in their staging in 0SHT-A.  The odd thing was that, when the final timer came up for the original Fortizar, Legacy started to commit to it, lost a bunch of ships to The Initiative, then stood down, losing both the objective and the ISK war.

That left The Initiative with two Fortizars in 0SHT-A after the fight.

Meanwhile, ihubs in Catch, and even next door in Immensea, have been falling.  We took the DY-P7Q ihub and then blew up the no longer operational Ansiblex jump gate and Pharolux cyno beacon on the grid with the Keepstar anchored there.

The Ansiblex blowing up, taking over a billion ISK in fuel with it

The Initiative now holds the ihub and TCU for HED-GP, the gateway system into the region from high sec.

And, as Progodlegend said, Imperium SIGs have been active in Catch as well.  Asher, accused of abandoning the war to hide in Catch, had gathered up the Reavers SIG to deploy out to 0SHT-A along with The Initiative, so I have been out there some myself.  We have been shooting structures… like the two above… as well as doing some of our own entosis work.  Not bad for a “30 man SIG.”  (We have Dawn Rhea of Theta Thursdays with us as well, so add at least one woman to the total.)

Popping a node during an entosis event

Things do not look so bad for Legacy when you look at the map of Catch right now.

Catch – Dec. 20, 2020

They have taken back some ihubs, including the one at 4-07MU, which connects to Querious.  But having lost them, they have to wait 35 days after restoring them before they can install Ansiblex jump gates to restore their easy travel routes.  Instead they either have to gate, use titan bridges, or jump clone between Delve and Catch.

Furthermore, rumor has it that The Watchmen alliance, which holds a large section of Catch for Legacy, is about to fold up shop and disband.  That would set quite a few systems back to the 35 day clock before they can be used for travel infrastructure.

Other Theaters

Despite Progodlegend declaring the Esoteria efforts a failure, citing The Initiative’s move to Catch as evidence, the groups remaining down there, The Bastion, Ferrata Victrix, and the Stain Russians who hate TEST, have continued to make a nuisance of themselves.  They have pushed back on The Army of Mango’s attempt to assert itself in the region and have expanded to hacking new systems.

NW Esoteria – Dec. 20, 2020

Then there is Querious, which is largely a dead zone as both sides have tired of planting new ihubs in the region.

Querious – Dec. 20, 2020

A range of systems remain empty while those still occupied by Brave continue to be assailed, meaning Brave has to deal with entosis events both here and in Catch.

And then in Fountain, as noted above, the PAPI invasion has pretty much ceased, with NCDot left holding a single ihub in LBGI-2 for now.

My Participation

I was able to jump in on a few ops, including two fights in 5-CQDA, including the one mentioned above.  I was also off on a few side missions over in Catch.  I ended up losing a few ships, including two Malediction interceptors that were used for burst jamming in one fight (the hostiles love that), a Scimitar in another fight, an Atron entosis frigate, and a Drake.

Probably the most amusing fight was in Catch on Saturday night when we landed on a gate with a Maller gang fit with smart bombs who were looking for ESS banks to rob.  We murdered them.

Murder report header

The one ship of ours they got was a Griffin ECM frigate.  Otherwise they were tackled and blown up.  In that quick clash I somehow managed to get the final blow on five of them with my sentry drones, which gave me a nice little line of five kill marks on my Ishtar.

5 orange kill marks in the upper left on my Blaze SKIN Ishtar

I do not think I have ever had a hull last long enough to earn five kill marks.

Anyway, my losses for the war so far now are as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 12
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Scimitar logi – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP did a Fireside Chat on Twitch with CCP Burger and CCP Hellmar where they mentioned, among other things, that more than 1.9 million new players had logged into EVE Online in 2020, a number greater than the previous three years combined.

That seems like amazing news, though the fact that the online numbers peaked back in April and have been slowly sliding down as the year has begun to fade suggests that CCP has not solved the player retention problem they brought up at EVE North back in 2019.

The CSM 14 summit meeting minutes had a list of priorities that were:

  1. Stop the bleeding
  2. Fix the stupid
  3. Excite and teach
  4. Incentivize return

It feels like they haven’t really addressed the first point yet as 1.9 million people have poured into the game this year and apparently right back out again.  This number of new players was so huge that I had to check to see if they were including EVE Echoes in their count, but EVE Echoes has claimed more than 2 million players on its own, so I couldn’t tell you where those 1.9 million went.

And that brings us to this week’s peak concurrent user number, which was down again.

  • 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)

That is now the low water mark for the war, with even the holiday events and the Luminaire snowball fight failing to entice people into the game.

Related

23 Weeks of World War Bee

We lost another Keepstar while trying to unanchor it.  This time we managed to unanchor the structure ourselves, so PAPI didn’t steal it, but the jump freighter that was sent to scoop it got popped and the Keepstar was destroyed with the ship.  Some day we’ll get one unachored successfully

Then we lost a second one down in Period Basis and the one in NOL-M9 looks to be in danger.   It was not a good week on the Keepstar front for us.

This has added up to a lot of low effort trolling in /r/eve about why Goons won’t admit they have lost the war.  That makes we want to pull out the quote from early in the war, which Vily has reiterated over and over with the full support of his alliance and coalition:

When we started this war, we knew that we were fighting this to the end,” Vily told Polygon. “For us, this is a war of extermination. This is a war to the death. We are aiming for the removal of Mittani and The Imperium from Eve Online. […] We are here to purge them.

-Vily, in an interview with Polygon about the war

Leaving aside the fact that so long as we are still in the game we haven’t lost according to Vily’s stated victory condition, there really isn’t another exit from the war for us.  If Mittens said we’ve lost, that wouldn’t stop the invasion.  If you don’t leave somebody an out then they have nothing to lose if they keep fighting.

You might think that some moderation may have entered the picture since that Polygon article, which ran back in September.  But you would be wrong.

IGN published an article about the war this past week which offers a good summary of what is going on.  But within it you will find Vily bringing up the same end goal.  The war of extermination is still on.  Vily has set the parameters of the war and we have no place better to be.  1DQ1-A is where most of our stuff is now, so that is where we’ll stay.

CCP has also turned its eye back to the war.  With the Triglavian event over they found time to write up a post about the battle at FWST-8, which renewed two Guinness World Records for the company back in early October.  Lots of charts and graphs.

On another front, Massively OP named World War Bee as the Best MMO Event of 2020.

And then there is the ongoing forgotten rigs meme, which hit Vily again this past week.  Madcows of Elitist Ops was nice enough to contract them back.

Available for pickup

We’ll see if he picks them up from our Keepstar in D-W7F0. (Which you can do, it would just be risky.)

Delve Front

The week opened with a bang.  Pretty much as my Week 22 summary post went live PAPI tried to break down the door to 1DQ1-A with their headshot plan to take out the cyno jammers and reinforce the ihub.  We managed to thwart their attempt, but it looked like it was finally going to be Game On.  They were finally going to come and get us.

On the ihub grid

This was what we were waiting for and people on our side were itching for a return bout.

And then everything went back to the slow skirmishes over ihubs and small structures and whatever in Delve.  Not much happened.  Some ihubs changed hands, we botched the Keepstar scoop, and Vily forgot to fit his rigs again.

Delve – Dec. 13, 2020

One environmental change occurred however.  That metaliminal storm I mentioned in Querious last week got on its bike and rode into Delve, landing in SVM-3K.  It is an electrical type storm, which is the one that disables the ability to cloak.  If that keeps moving into the region it could mean some fun times.

Other Theaters

The re-invasion of Fountain announced which I mentioned last week seems to have fallen flat, likely due to lack of interest.

Fountain – Dec. 13, 2020

NCDot had a dozen ihubs there last week, now they have three.  The Initiative, the alleged target, has deployed elsewhere, but somebody seems to be pushing back in their space time.

Also, the metaliminal storm in Fountain, unlike the one now in Delve, seemed content to just meander about its pocket.

Querious remains an entosis skirmish zone.  Systems sit with no ihubs installed as both sides seem tired of them changing hands.

Querious – Dec. 13, 2020

The metaliminal storm in Delve is still on the border with Querious, so its effects still spill into the region despite the distance that regional gate spans.  New Eden storm logic I guess.

In northwest Esoteria, while The Initiative has moved on The Bastion, Ferrata Victrix, and the Stain Russians continue to keep the region from being a safe spot in the Legacy backfield.

Northwest Esoteria – Dec. 13, 2020

And this week we have a new entry in the secondary fronts, which is Catch.  I mentioned this in a post on Saturday and indicated that it too would now have to be included on this list.

The Initiative has set up shop in the system of 0SHT-A (universally referred to as “Oh Shit!”) in the NPC null sec region of Curse, which puts them a single gate from the center of Catch and very close to Brave’s home, route to the war, and supply route from high sec.

Action in Catch

They have used this position to reinforce and kill structures, reinforce and take ihubs, gank the locals, and disrupt life for them behind the lines.

Catch – Dec. 13, 2020

While derided as another pin prick, Legacy Coalition is moving assets and setting jump clones to Catch in order to counter this new fire in their rear area.  This will degrade their efforts in Delve and generally make the war more effort for them to prosecute.

And, just to make things interesting, there is also a storm in Catch, a Gamma storm, which has a penalty to remote reps.  There is also a Winter Nexus event ice storm, but that has no penalties.

Keep up to date on storm locations… at least the non-event ones… over at EVE Scout.

My Participation

I got into a few more fleets over the week than I had in the past couple.  I was lucky enough to get into the PAPI headshot fight in 1DQ1-A, so saw some actually fleet combat.  Otherwise I was mostly along for fleets out covering entosis or shooting people trying to entosis our stuff, though I may have spent some time in Catch.  But none of my ships exploded, so my losses for the war remain:

  • Ares interceptor – 12
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP introduced some changes with the December patch last Tuesday, among the biggest was the change to PvE drone aggression.  Feedback… and the fact that it broke PvP drone functionality… got CCP to roll back the change.  We’ll see if they try this again once they have their code figured out.

They also un-fixed the fix that stopped people from setting their home stations in NPC stations without cloning services.  This bug was around so long that it became a feature.  The real question for me was why NPC stations don’t all have clone services at this point?

Unannounced in the patch notes, or anywhere else, was a new character generation process.  This only affects newly created accounts and there is already a forum thread complaining about it.  To me it feels like an attempt to simplify the character creation process to get people actually into the game without getting bogged down in avatar creation.  We’ll see how that plays out.

They also kicked off the holiday event, the Winter Nexus.

And this week CCP faced another foe; the launch of Cyberpunk 2077.  Given how many people are talking about this game… it shattered Blizzard’s claim that Shadowlands was the fastest selling PC game ever, moving 8 million pre-orders, including 4.7 million on PC… the PCU dipped only slightly on Sunday.

  • 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

Of course, Legacy was supposed to be conducting that big move op in order to defend Catch, so that and the holiday event might have been enough to keep the numbers from tipping too far.  We’ll see how it goes next week.

Related

22 Weeks of World War Bee

One of our Keepstars has gone missing.

The Imperium Keepstar in K-6K16, one of the systems on the Doomclock, was allowed to unanchor at an unplanned time and NCDot swooped in and scooped it up. By the time anybody noticed what was going on it was too late to do much besides try to shoot the freighter carrying it off, which failed.  PAPI gets some pay back for losing a titan and a super on their own Keepstar in T5ZI-S last week I guess.

Still, that didn’t stop the PAPI team from losing more expensive stuff.  They managed to get another titan blown up, a Ragnarok that for some reason though it was a good idea to jump the gate into 1DQ1-A.  At least they can claim they were attacking something.

Then there was the more than 20 billion ISK TEST Legion that got caught.  Gating BPOs into hostile territory is probably not the brightest of plans.

Also in the news was PandaFam member Fraternity who, after CCP came in with the botting patrol to ban players and take back ill gotten gains, found their executor corporation 1 trillion ISK in the negative for the corp wallet.  They didn’t just lose a trillion ISK, the balance was negative 1 trillion ISK.

Delve Front

Delve is still where most of the action is.

The view from 1DQ1-A

The back and forth continues across the T5Z-1DQ gap.  Small fights and ganks of opportunity occur pretty much from the start of EU prime time to well into the Australian time zone.  That means there is always an opportunity to shoot something if you’re game.   However, you might be hard pressed to find any meaningful big objectives, if that is what you want out of a war.  No Guinness World Records are going to fall in this situation.

Delve – Dec. 6, 2020

And, of course, I took a moment to mark where an incursion was taking place, then it was finished before this post went live.

Other Theaters

Querious remains what it is, the main side show, but still a side show.  The Imperium managed to take the ihub in P-ZMZV which snapped the jump bridge network supporting PAPI’s supply lines into Delve.  They’ll work around it quickly enough, but it was an annoyance.

According to the EVE Scout Storm Tracker there is a metaliminal storm in ES-Q0W down in the southern part of the zone.  It is an electrical storm, which according to the info I posted back when they were introduced, is the type that prohibits cloaking.

Querious – Dec. 6, 2020

That will probably suppress any activity around there, but it would be amusing if it rolled into Delve.

Proof that there isn’t enough going on in Delve?  I think the fact PandaFam decided to actually start their promised re-invasion of Fountain is a convincing argument in favor of that.

There is also a metaliminal storm wandering Fountain… it has been there for weeks, but since something is happening there I might as well put it on the map.

Fountain – Dec. 6, 2020

The storm is of the exotic variety that boosts scanning and warp speed while debuffing reps and kinetic resists.  It has a long way to go to reach Delve, but it started back in Cloud Ring, so it could get there.

And then there is Esoteria, where the Army of Mango Alliance has been pushing back on the Imperium and Stain Russian forces that have been attacking the area.

NW Esoteria – Dec. 6, 2020

AOM has been working at it, but systems keep changing hands and the core defense of the interlopers remains strong.  The Imperium and the Stain Russians also managed to knock off three supers, a jump freighter, and a Rorqual that Siberian Squads had nearby in Catch.

My Participation

After my Thanksgiving holiday gaming binge I had to get back to focusing on work.  That meant less play time on all fronts, but I still managed to get a couple of ops in and got on a few more kill mails to prove I still exist.  I also managed to jump through the T5Z-1DQ gate just as PAPI was massing for a quick jab and managed to lose my Ares, so I will add that to my loss tally for the way.

It was only then that I realized that I was in a pod with implants, but I managed to warp off and jump out the other gate and get to a station that would let me put on an Ibis.  I sacrificed that to get to Helm’s Deep and the Ansiblex home, but I am not counting rookie ships.

So my loss total now stands at:

  • Ares interceptor – 12
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis ratting battlecruiser – 1
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP made a few tweaks to the Dynamic Bounty System and mandatory ESS changes introduced last month.  They are:

Dynamic Bounties System (DBS) parameters adjustments:

  • Equilibrium value increased from 115% to 135%
  • The maximum output of the DBS increased from 150% to 180%
  • The recover to equilibrium rate for states below the equilibrium value has been increased, making it easier for systems to recover.

Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) parameters adjustments:

  • The time required to hack the main bank increased from 5 minutes to 6 minutes and 30 seconds
  • The auto payment timer reduced from 3 to 2 hours
  • The radius from the ESS where Cloaking is restriced increased from 75 km to 150 km. All other effects remain at a 75 km radius.

Given the enthusiasm I have seen at our end for running off to rob banks, I can why they might want to work with that.  Six and a half minutes is more time, and can seem like forever when you’re sitting there, but to get a defense fleet together for anything bigger than randos passing through takes time as well.

CCP also announced they were going to go back to native support for MacOS.  Expected to arrive in 2021, CCP mentioned the Metal graphics system and the Big Sur operating system update as specifically being supported.  A likely incentive for this move was Apple’s move to their M1 processor on systems going forward.  Given even Linus Torvalds said that Linux support for the M1 was unlikely, CCP couldn’t just rely on Wine to keep MacOS players in the game.

This will probably also be a bit of a blow to those still running EVE Online on various Linux distros, an unsupported configuration still used by a small group of players, unless CCP continues to contribute to the Wine project after the new native MacOS client is released.

And then there was the weekly peak concurrent number, which was down again this 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

That’s the lowest number of the war so far.

Related