Tag Archives: YZ9-F6

Fifteen Weeks of World War Bee

World War Bee has truly picked up over the last couple of weeks as the previous slow pace of things turned into a crescendo of destruction which has seen trillions of ISK in ships and structures destroyed.  As I wrote previously, the October MER is going to be interesting.

CCP has thrown their own monkey wrench into the machinery with war, as the update last Tuesday made deploying citadels more expensive and complicated as well as nerfing mining in a big way.  Expect prices to rise on everything if the war keeps up its burn rate and the null sec alliances have to secure supplies.

But we did get the UI-only option for the client, which made the big fights more manageable for people running multiple clients.  It isn’t a huge change, but it makes things incrementally better.

Delve Front

It was a rough week for the Imperium.  There were three large scale clashes in NPC Delve, two of which went badly and one was something of a Pyrrhic victory.

The losses… the failed trap at YZ9-F6 and the bubble wrapped Keepstar… tipped against the Imperium more due to server performance than any implementation of strategy or tactics by the enemy.  The first, executed with precision, failed when damage didn’t apply while the latter saw PAPI fill up the Keepstar grid with 149 warp disruption bubbles… a number deliberately chosen because CCP is alleged to view 150+ anchorables as an issue that they will step in and correct by removing them… along with a continuous stream of dictor bubbles in order to make any fight on the grid untenable.

So many bubbles on grid

So PAPI won both.  They got to kill 2.5 trillion ISK in ships, including 16 titans and 27 supers and they got their Keepstar in NPC Delve on the fifth try, and nothing can change that.  A bunch of people in the Imperium are angry about these two events, but experience says that is the way the game goes and you have to be prepared to deal with it or stop playing.  CCP isn’t going to step in and make things better, so we just have to carry on.

Meanwhile the big win, the destruction of the fourth Keepstar, cost the coalition more than 1.2 trillion ISK, including 2,000 battleships lost.

On the upside, while the invaders have managed to get their Keepstar in the region and knock out several Fortizars in NPC Delve and SVM-3K, they have yet to be able to turn any of the ihubs in the region, something they have made a prerequisite for any offensive action so far in the war.

Delve ihubs – Oct 19, 2020 with the PAPI Keepstar system highlighted

If I had to guess, once PAPI gets done with their inevitable move op to the new staging, there will be a push on ihubs in Delve systems near the NPC space and Querious as well as possibly in “fake” Querious, the section of the region that is an enclave within Delve and which remains in Imperium control.

Other Locations

There was a running joke that when we lost a fight we would go hit things in G-M4GK and when TEST lost they would hit TCAG-3.  While the Period Basis region had been mostly quiet since the invaders moved into Querious, as the fourth Keepstar battle raged TEST managed to use the time to with the entosis match for TCAG-3, taking the ihub there as well as in RJ3H-0 further into the region.

The Period Basis / Paragon Soul front

They have since lost the RJ3H-0 ihub and we will see if they contest the TCAG-3 ihub when the Imperium pushes back on that.

Last week I reported that Bastion had captured several TEST systems in Esoteria, which I expected TEST would take back shortly.  Busy in Delve… and Period Basis… TEST has yet to clean up that incursion.

Bastion systems in Esoteria

Furthermore, during the fighting in NPC Delve, Bastion managed to anchor a Fortizar in one of the systems, giving them a base of operations that allows them to continue being a thorn in TEST’s side.  Not something that will win the war, but a distraction none the less.

My Participation

I somehow found the time to get stuck in on the three big fights last week, which meant I spent a lot of hours in New Eden in slow motion.  I also lost some more ships during the fourth Keepstar fight, five Crusaders and a Raven.  I managed to get home safe with my original ships from the other two.

That makes my loss count for the war:

  • Ares interceptor – 11
  • 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

Other Items

CCP put out a trailer regarding their fourth quarter plan, the Phoenix Quadrant.

The sound track syncs well with the feelings within the Imperium.

But the post that went with the trailer says that super carriers will be getting an overhaul as part of this quadrant, including giving them clone bays that allow capsuleers to respawn directly to them in battle, putting them in a ship stowed within the carrier.  That will introduce a new element to the war.

Much hay was made of the fact that The Initiative cut their SRP amounts from a 50% to a 25% of cost policy.  This led to a lot speculation about their finances and concern trolling about why Goonswarm isn’t financing them.  I was more surprised that they were only getting 50% as a matter of course before the cut.  In GSF it is close to 100%, and if you’re in KarmaFleet you get bonus SRP for logi ships, so you can end up making money on a ship loss.  So whether or not this policy change by INIT is significant or not remains to be seen.  They have always been a very independent ally and plot their own course.

And then there is the weekly peak concurrent user count.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359

The war finally saw the Sunday prime time PCU pass the 40K mark, something it hasn’t done since back in April when the pandemic was new and everybody was stuck and home and trying to obey the rules and suggestions to help stop the spread.  It probably helped that the bubble wrap fight was slated to kick off right before the usual peak time, even if no real battle ensued.

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Bubble Wrap Plan Gets a PAPI Keepstar Anchored in NPC Delve

When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. And that one sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Son, the strongest castle in all of England.

King of Swamp Castle, who only took four tries to get his castle built

On the bright side, the Imperium didn’t have to sacrifice another trillion ISK in ships.

Today saw the fifth attempt by PAPI to get a Keepstar planted in NPC Delve, this time in YZ9-F6, the site of the failed trap last week.  When the Imperium jumped in and warped to the structure to start the fight, we found it surrounded by 149 warp disruption bubbles.

Bubble wrapped Keepstar

There were also dictors putting up bubbles inside the bubbles and various groups of hostiles deployed around the Keepstar.

When the timer hit zero they managed to get the Quantum Core in right away, so we didn’t even get the free hits we got away with last time around.  But there were so many objects on grid that people were getting disconnected as they warped onto grid.  There was a momentary discussion about what we should do, but the timer was ticking down in real time.  In the end, there did not seem to be a way forward, so after some small clashes we turned around and went home.

Bubble fly by

The battle report shows a very small amount of losses compared to previous battles.

Battle Report Header

I had to go in and fix the battle report to get people on the correct sides.  That is a sure sign that not much happened, when the BR tool doesn’t know where to put people.

We were, of course, out numbered as usual, though not by the margin that the BR might suggest.  There was around 4,500 people in local, so the numbers on the BR are an under count of people who who showed up, since it only grabs people who were on a kill mail.

4,438 in local as the timer started

If you came and left without blowing something up (or getting blown up yourself), you were not added to the tally.

Bubbles in bubbles with more bubbles showing up

So PAPI has their foothold in NPC Delve.  Now where will they go from there?  Have they changed their mind about avoiding our Keepstars?  Or has the past two weeks of fighting in NPC Delve convinced them that would be a bad idea?  Either way, some of us got most of our Sunday back to do other things.  But somebody had to hang around and clean up those bubbles.

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The Failed Trap at YZ9-F6

It seemed like a typical op.  We had a couple of Fortizar timers coming up in NPC Delve.  The enemy, having lost three Keepstars there last week, was probably keen to remove those footholds that allowed us to safely jump in the many ships needed for those fights.  Things might have gone differently without them.

I remember the first ping, because it said that we would be forming up at 23:45 UTC, an easily recalled sequence.  That was a quarter to five local time for me, I would be clear of work and able to join in.

There was a mention that the enemy was pinging about this op and claiming that we were pinging for it a lot.  We hear that a lot, intel back from the invaders about what their leadership is telling them we’re up to.  It often seems quite exaggerated, but if they’re pinging and saying we’re pinging, we will end up pinging more just because of that, so there is an odd cause and effect cycle in it I suppose.

When the time came I got into the Rokh fleet that Lazarus Telraven was running.  I named it “Remember the Lazamo” and went with the fleet when it jumped into YZ9-F6.  There we hung out waiting for the timer to count down.

waiting on the Fortizar

As the timer hit, we went through many of the familiar motions as we began to exchange fire with hostile subcap fleets.  Dreadnoughts soon joined us in the field before the structure and a fierce battle began to rage.

Dreads and subcaps on grid

We started out trading blows with the usual TEST Nightmare fleet at extreme range.  We exchanged with them, then started in on some of the heavy interdictors that were on grid.  Laz seemed quite focused on them.  There were a little more than 1,600 players in local.

Brackets drawn with the new UI only mode

Meanwhile, the fight seemed to be escalating beyond what I might have expected for just a Fortizar armor timer.  When dreads were thick on the ground carriers and super carriers began dropping in, with both sides putting them on grid with the Fortizar.

Imperium supers landing

But we had our own battle to fight.  Time dilation went to 10% pretty quickly and as more players showed up in local, responses to commands began to drag out.  I had the outstanding calls window up to watch what was happening and the wait time before calls were handled began to climb.

In the midst of that I had my own close call for the evening.  An Eagle fleet was passing by us at about 5-8km range and the decided to target me.  I don’t know if I happened to be in just the right place or if it was because I put my drones on the FC, but I saw them yellow boxing me.

I broadcast for reps and put the fact that I was being yellow boxed in fleet chat, overheated my shield hardeners, then unlocked all targets.  We were fighting on the Fortizar and if my one minute aggression timer ran down I would simply tether up and become invulnerable.

But a minute long time is very long in time dilation.

I could see the yellow boxes turn to red and I started taking damage before my unlock commands had been handled.  I was worried that the logi wing might have a similarly long wait in order to lock me up and get reps on me.  In moderate tidi the job of the logi pilot gets easier as you have plenty of time to response.  But when the server is backed up and processing commands slowly you are left to the whims of CCP as to when target locks happen and when reps land.

The first reps landed when I was at half shields, but they were countered by more and more of the guns aimed at me finally activating.  I could see the damage numbers zipping past on the screen at an increasing rate.  More and more logi started landing reps on me as well as my aggression counter slowly clicked down.

The race was one.  Logi was slowing things down, but the guns put me into armor, then into hull.  Reps would push back the shields for a bit, but the issue was clearly in doubt and I still had seconds left on the aggression timer.

Reps keeping me alive

And then one of the Minokawas got reps on me and my shields went back to 100% and it looked like I was safe.  The timer ran down and after an agonizing gap I tethered up.  Everybody’s lock on me, attackers and logi, dropped and the Fortizar began repairing my damage.

Upwell structures are op.

Meanwhile there were now about 2,500 players in local and the fight was spread out.

2,500 in local, blues are us, reds the attackers, purple our fleet

The fight carried on, though fleet coms were oddly quiet.  We were asked to keep quiet, which usually means something is going on in the command channel.  But this was more quiet than I had experienced in the middle of an escalating fight.  We were taken off shooting ships and began hitting deployable warp disruption bubbles.

And then some titans landed on grid.  They didn’t jump in though.  There was no cyno.  Instead they warped in and landed spread out.

Titans landing in the fight

I didn’t think anything at the time about the fact that they were spread out or that they had warped in rather than landing on the cyno that had brought in the super carriers.  I was just wondering if we were going all in on a Wednesday night, escalating up to titans.

Later we learned what was up.  This was a setup, a trap to burn up a bunch of PAPI caps and supers by getting them all bunched up and then hitting them with a multi-titan volley from bosonic field generators, the BFG doomsday that does 40K damage to all things in a wide area over a 20 second duration.

And it didn’t work.  The enemy was in place, the titans were in position, the BFGs all fired, but the server cut off the effect after just three seconds, so they delivered less than 15% of the damage that they ought to have.

Asher Elias posted an after action report to Reddit on the plan and how it was setup and pulled off, which I recommend if you want to know the details.

But after that things went badly.  The enemy, seeing titans on the field commenced to undock and throw into battle as many of their own titans as they possibly could, fielding 278 before the fight wound down.  The local count wound up to about 3,200.

PAPI titans jumping in

Meanwhile our own titans, supers, and caps were now lined up to get smacked.  The hostiles went after our titans first, tackling and hitting them as hard as they could.  16 of the 22 were blown up, while six got away.

Ooddell takes multiple doomsday hits, but managed to warp off

We opted to limit our losses.  We shot up what we could on field.  At one point is looked like maybe we might be able to take down one of the enemy titans that had bounced far from the pack.

Welcome citizen

However, that did not work out.  We shot him for a bit, but after not too long the call went out to stop aggression and to tether up.  The enemy went about picking off targets that they could find.

A good day to see doomsdays

At the end of the day the battle report showed that the gambit had cost us a lot.

Battle Report Header

We lost 2.5 trillion ISK  in ships while killing 722 billion hostiles.  That totals up to about what both fights in FWST-8 last week cost all told.  All of this should make a mark on the October MER.

Ship losses from the BR

In addition to 16 titans we lost 28 super carriers, 85 dreads, and 5 carriers.  We did at least knock down almost 200 of their dreads, though they dropped more than 750 of them.

So it goes.  We swung and missed.  Some times the server favors you, some times is trips up your plans and hangs you out to dry.  The war carries on.

CCP said they may have found the issue that caused the problem with the BFGs, but it seems unlikely that we’ll be able to stage something like that again even if they do fix the issue.

The word is that PAPI has dropped another Keepstar in NPC Delve, in 319-3D again.  It managed to deploy, but it should begin its anchoring cycle about the time this post goes list. [I am told the timer starts at 17:18 UTC.]  Expect another huge battle today.

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