Friday, April 29, 2016

The Age of Sovless Wars

World War Bee (or the War of Sovless Aggression) taught us several things I think are worth pondering over.

The Fozzie sov system had its first epic test in the most recent great war and it demonstrated one truth is still true: all things being equal, the side with N pilots is defeated by the side with N+1 pilots. No amount of strategy or doctrines could have saved the Imperium from the wall of enemies arrayed against them, but what for certain doomed them to lose sovereignty was the lack of numbers to defend their space. The Mittani can blame it on Fizzle Sov and how the any attacker can aggressively  entosis while only the sov holder alliance can defensively counter-entosis, but really he's just trying to deflect blame from the Imperium's failures in diplomacy, grand strategy, and leadership.

Another lesson from this war was the sheer concentration of ISK in the hands of gambling site owners. This war would not happen without the infusion of ISK from IWANTISK bankers looking to settle a score with parts of the Imperium. While the ISK was not necessary to the victory over the Imperium, it was necessary to motivate several parties to make the effort to see it happen. Once they found the Imperium unable to withstand the assault, natural predator instincts took over.

I fear the results of these rich individuals learning of their power that the ISK can buy. Its possible we are entering the Age of Sovless wars where holding or taking sov is a secondary consideration, and the real factors have to do with who the ISK holders want destroyed. After all, if you can be paid to fight instead of having to rat for your ISK, wouldn't you take that option too?

The war for Deklien may be over and parts of the Moneybadger coalition breaking up, but I expect hostilities to continue for a long time. It was years before CVA restored their dominance in Providence and the area of the North that was razed was many times larger and is now being balkanized into semi-friendly/semi-hostile kingdoms. And don't think for a moment that the Goons will sit in Saranen forever pouting over everyone in the playground coming to kick their sandcastle over. In the end, this upset of the status quo in the North is good for everyone involved and the new life breathed into the Reasons To Be for both winners and losers will fuel wars for much time to come. 

The real question is how will citadels and capital changes affect the next war?

Interesting times indeed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Flying Dangerously

Let no one say I don't take risks (click for full size glory):

This game is glorious.

My Body Is Ready!

By body I mean industrial corporation and its ready for the Citadel expansion coming tomorrow that is...

Assuming there is no surprises in the Astrahus BPO tomorrow after the patch goes live, I'll be ready to kick off production as soon as I can transport the blueprint to the manufacturing station I'm using. I have the parts for two citadels ready, parts for a third will be ready tonight, and a fourth just needs me to build the Market Hubs components which takes a couple days. An Astrahus build takes about 5.5 days for TE0.

The dreadnought production changes almost caught me off guard, but someone reported the changes last week on Reddit just as I was buying minerals so I canceled my plans to build a Moros until I can verify build requirements and diverted the minerals to the Astrahus production lines.

Current estimate of build cost of a Medium Astrahus Citadel for me is about 950 million ISK. I'm hoping to get to market fast enough to get massive profits for the early buyers desperate to get citadels out. Long term I want to aim for a 10-20% margin profit.

Monday, April 25, 2016

BB 74 - Building the Future

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 74th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

The Most Important Reveal at Fanfest Was......
So when this Blog Banter goes live Fanfest will be over. Hungover geeks from around the world will be departing Reykjavik after a five-day binge of important internet spaceships and partying. Whether you were there in person, watched the streams or read the dev blogs on your mobile hidden under your work desk there was probably something in there that gave you a "nerd-boner". What for you personally was the most important thing to come out of Fanfest 2016?

* * * * *

I'm a sucker for prognostication. I love seeing plans and hints of plans and speculating about what it all means and how I would accomplish them, or change the plans entirely. So the most important things to me were these two pictures from Sand, Cider, and Spaceships blog on Day 3:

These two slides combined tell us the future of EVE and its propagation of user owned structures. 

So we know from above that Manufacturing and Research in outposts and POS are going to be covered Industrial Array structures in the fall. We can also speculate from the round tables and such that the Drilling Platforms for moon mining (and ring mining perhaps?) and reactions are a thing for next year, and I believe I heard that small "Stargates" are going to replace the jump bridges of the current POS networks. Not sure where Cyno Beacons and Jammers will fall, observatories or Admin Hubs? I'm still not sold on the need for Advertisemtn Center structures as per their description from the original dev blog:

H.     Advertisement Centers
Structures mainly aimed toward propaganda spreading.
Service module possibilities: Text advertisement, billboard replacement, being used as gigantic monuments with no purpose (except to show how big your e-peen is by showing the statue of your glorious alliance leader). Could also involve frozen corpses somehow.
Rigs possibilities: Anything affecting what’s above.
Regardless, we know now from fanfest that CCP is pleased with the direction and acceptance of Citadels and will continue to push forward with that vision. This is the most important thing to me to come out of fanfest. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nothing But Faction And Caps

Sunday night's fleet has to rank up with one of the most successful nights of PvP I've enjoyed in EVE Online in 9+ years.

We were roaming in my Hellraiser fleet (aka Kitchen Sink Battlecruisers) and started really well, catching a travel fit (or something?) Machariel in one system and an Osprey Navy Issue in another. We were setting up for a fight against a frigate/dessie gate camp in Tama when the cry went out over Gal Mil Intel channels about a carrier pointed in Heydieles and DPS was needed.

"On our way!"

We burned to the system and rolled into the other GalMil fleet (which was a Tempest Fleet Issue and Guardian fleet) and comms and found ourselves in a slugfest with two Soul Taker Archons, a Moros, Vindicators, Bhallgorns, Vigilants, and miscellaneous stuff. The fight was pitched and we were making very poor headway against their reps (a single Vigilant) when we got word a Caldari Militia fleet headed by Templis was incoming and they were friendly with Soul Takers (a long time pirate entity operating out of Old Man Star).

We left the field as the Caldari landed in their Tempest Fleet Issue fleet but got reports that the Caldari were shooting Soul Takers so some back channel agreements later, we were back on the field and shooting the Archons and Vindicators. I scored on the killmails of two Vindicators (one and two) and two Archons, including top damage on one.

After that amazing fight, Aideron reformed its fleet and we roamed around again, killing the Navy Osprey pilot again before calling it a night.

Easily the best set of killmails I've had the pleasure of being on in one night. And, two killmarks for my Oracle! Score!

Monday, April 18, 2016

So That's What You're Going With

I do not claim to speak on many things authoritatively but Warhammer 40K is something that I feel I'm qualified to speak to. After all, at one point in time I was obsessed with the game and its universe to the point of owning three massive armies of miniatures (Eldar, Chaos Marines, and Lost and the Damned), as well as a Battlefleet Gothic chaos fleet and Epic Chaos Marine army. I spent over 15 years deep in the hobby and lore behind it, wrote tomes of fan fiction and bought almost every publication I could get my hands on. I finally left the 40K world 8 years ago when my sons were born.

I was surprised when I saw The Mittani's post doubling-down on the Imperium analogy. At first glance it makes sense: an Imperium of Mankind surrounded by gibbering horrors of the warp, Xenos threats like Eldar and Tau and Tyranids, and the threat of rebellion from within, staunchly swearing eternal vigilance and forever-war on any that defy them.

But if you look at the analogy closer you start to wonder if The Mittani thought this through. After all, in the 40K universe the Imperium is ruled by the Emperor who is nothing more than a living corpse kept alive in a comatose state by the Golden Throne which itself requires the sacrifice of 100 psykers (humans with psychic powers) every day, swept up by Black Ships from all over the Imperium in a constant flood of uncaring murder. Actually ruling in the name of this husk on the throne is a secret all powerful cabal of tyrants that answer to no one, whose decisions carry the weight of a world of lives being snuffed out or saved by mindless hordes of soldiers and a few elite psychopaths called Space Marines. Meanwhile, the technology is stagnant as no one alive understands how it works anymore (except the priests of Mars and they barely get what's going on).

You know what? Maybe the analogy was thought out.

Except for one minor detail. In the 40K lore its quite clear once you get to know it that the Imperium of Mankind is losing. For every world saved or reclaimed, two are lost. Orks enslaved and kill, Tyranids strip planets of all biomatter, Tau build their empire bigger, and chaos continues to woo the disenfranchised, and the Imperium slips closer and closer to doom more and more every hour.

Not the inspiring narrative I would have hitched my wagon to.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Where Are The Goons?

Way back when I was a null sec pilot I had a little back of the envelope calculation I used to determine if an alliance was performing its PvP duties appropriately. Basically I'd look at the alliance membership count, divide it in two (assuming it was a roughly equal US/Europe membership split), divide it in two again to discount alt characters, and then take 25% of that resulting number with the idea that only about 1 in 4 pilots will be logged in ready to go in a PvP ship on any given night.

So an alliance of about 2000 pilots should easily get a fleet of 100 pilots together in an organized fleet if there is something that needs fighting. If there is no specific threat then 50 pilots is OK, and a CTA should double that into the 200 pilots area.

So my question is: where are the goons?
As of time of posting.
I admit I'm not participating in this war even indirectly but I've watched the news and listened to podcasts and one thing that jumps out at me is that I hear about Co2's 300 man fleet in the battle of UMI and I heard about FCON's 500 man fleet in the defence of their home but I've yet to hear of Goonswarm throwing up fleets of any size that they should be capable of. I'd expect to see fleets of 1000-2000 goons swarming the battlezones at minimum in defence of their empire, but they've seemed to be phoning it in so to speak.

Am I wrong? Are the fleets out there but just operating separately so not seeming as obvious? Or is the alliance bloated with dead bodies?

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