Friday, December 12, 2014

PvP Low Sec Is Where Its (Still) At

In other words, low sec sees more destruction per system spread pretty evenly than any other part of EVE in 2013. If you are looking for consistent PvP action, low sec is the place to be.

Now, about the grey coloured circles, they are low sec systems I recognized as part of the Gallente-Caldari faction warzone and we visited most of them on our roam last Friday night and they are frequent destinations for our fleets. If I coloured in the Minmatar-Amarr warzone systems, most of the other large low sec destruction circles would be grey as well.

In other words, Faction Warfare: its where consistent and destructive PvP is at.
Things have changed since those heady days in early 2014, as the blog EVE Lost and Found explains in a post titled "The State of EVE - Ship Kills in 2014":
2014 is the light blue line, click to enlarge.
There are some straightforward explanations of the trends witnessed in 2014.TEST leaves Innia and Faction War in late 2013, part of the slow decline of faction war that culminates in the second half of 2014. In February, Barlegeut had 11,800 kills; in March, 4800; and by April, just 399. Brave's PVP activity in March and April was largely clustered around Sendaya and the low security systems surrounding the area, but by May virtually all of Brave's PVP switched to to null security space, with only 142 kills in Sendaya. By June, a low security system wouldn't even appear on their top 10 systems by kills.You can see this movement of Brave on the LS and the NS charts for 2014--that drop in LS ship kills corresponds exactly to when Brave leaves for NS, which corresponds with a sharp rise in NS ship kills.

That discrepancy of on average 50k less kills in low security space from May to December 2014 is, then, largely explained by the loss of Brave & allies, the loss of the single largest content driver in low security space in 2013 and early 2014.
I can confirm that since March that the war between Caldari and Gallente has gone very cold over the summer (the notable exception being Templis alliance), with CalMil only starting to show more signs of life this past month. However, he continues:

[O]nce you take into account Brave's departure from low security life (not to mention the departure of a number of other major groups in late 2014, including Pandemic Legion), and the general slump of faction war in the second half of 2014, the statistics for low security space do not look too bad, all things considered. Imagine someone at the start of 2014 asked: What would PVP activity in low security space look like if Brave left and faction war got stale? I am pretty sure they would say, “pretty bad,” and one might well expect the statistics to be close to 2010-2011 levels. Instead, though, low security space PVP in the second half of 2014 was still the second best May-Dec period ever, surpassed only by the record-breaking year of 2013.

So, to sum up, the general state of LS & NS PVP activity in EVE online currently and throughout 2014 is this: PVP activity in LS and NS has reminded very close to the record-breaking levels of 2013. Activity was higher than ever in low security space in early 2014, and activity was higher than ever in null security space in late 2014, largely following the movement of Brave & allies and the ebb and flow of faction war activity.
This I can also confirm. While our CalMil enemies have been largely absent for a lot of the time, the mantle of our common opponents have been really taken up by other forces that either live nearby or roam through occasionally. Pirates like Overload Everything and Sniggewaffe and Shadow Cartel, neutral forces like EVE university and Spectre Fleet, and null sec fleets that used to frequent our space more than they tend to now, and the occasional wormhole gang.

And while null sec kills are higher than low sec recently, its worth remembering the terrain involved. Null sec's 300K kills in November compared to 280K kills in low sec represents the PvP in 3000+ systems compared to 817 for low sec. PvP continues to be more concentrated and thus more active in low sec outside of a few flash points in spread out null sec.

And things seem to be heating up again in our neck of the woods as CalMil is getting more aggressive pilots and corporations and local pirates seem to be stepping up activity. For example, this recent blog post on Jakob's Eve Checklist by Aideron Robotics corp mate Jakob Anedalle titled "On the Second Day of Rhea, My FC brought to me...":
On the First Day of Rhea - Bacon and Thera
I log in and Marcel is calling for ships to undock. Vexors with enfeebling ECM. Scramble - I have that mod, I'm in, I'm undocked I'm warping. Enemies in a plex in our home system. This is pretty much as "push button, receive bacon" as I've ever seen. I've barely had time to settle into my chair and I'm plugging away at primaries and finding a Scythe to try to scramble with ECM. Caracals backed by Scythes - as we weigh in we're starting to lose ships. Somehow we balance - I don't know if it's the Logi wing catching up or the Caracal's getting out of sync or just being too fragile, but soon it's a rout. Farewell, CalMil and thanks for the fight. Later I look back and see they were mounting Rapid Lights - so the initial burst started off great, but once we got into their reload cycle it was over.
On the Second Day of Rhea - Confess your Sins
I hop into the fleet chat and undock to a pretty much immediate fight again. There's someone moving too fast for our Tristans, so I dock back up and hop into my Retribution. We start hunting around and in an unusual situation we have someone up with Skirmish links. I must say I like to look of my overheated Warp Disruptor having a 31km range. We bang around a bit and then head out roaming.
A Confessor is spotted on dscan. It's unclear if the Loki nearby is boosting him, or just hunting him like everyone else. Sard Caid is around in a Thorax, so that's keeping us on our toes since any slip and he'll probably find some way to down a straggler or anyone foolish enough to engage him on a gate. I keep looking for the Confessor, but I figure that I must be pointing my narrow-band D-scan in the wrong direction.
Our fleet is split over a gate and suddenly there is excitement. Scram + Web on the Confessor. Jump, Jump. Am I on the right side of the gate to see the Confessor or not? I think I am, but I can't see the damn thing. Then it dawns on me that my overview isn't updated to see Tactical Destroyers. I have all brackets on, so I start locking, Scorch'd lasers overheated and pre-loaded... but just as I've almost gotten him locked he is reduced to a capsule.
Lots of things happening in low sec. Come join us.

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