<![CDATA[EVENevor - an EVE Online story - Blog]]>Tue, 08 Mar 2016 20:15:22 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[Imperium invasion Provi - Part 2]]>Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:16:29 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/imperium-invasion-provi-part-2Picture
The conflict in Provi rages on. Imperium forces are still pushing hard into the region but have made very little overall progress. Only 6 systems have been taken over by Imperium forces with another 3 where the TCU has been destroyed, but reclaimed by Provi Bloc. None of Provi Bloc’s systems in Catch have been taken. Its pretty much constant fighting with well over 2000 spaceships reduced to a wreck icon on the 27th and 28th of August. Imperium forces have improved their results slightly since my last blog post and ‘only’ lost 659 ships. It’s the Third Party groups that come out best.

Third party alliance like PL, NC., Russians, Test and Tri have an overall efficiency of 84,9%. Compared to the 57% which both Imperium and Provi Bloc are at, it’s a strong result but to be expected by the veterans making up the Third party groups. A total of over 82B worth of spaceships have been destroyed in the last 48 hours, with Provi Bloc and Imperium both losing around 35B each. Third parties have 12B of losses. The amount of active pilots from Provi are increasing and they fielded 825 ships in the period versus 1303 from Imperium. Goonswarm Federation members make out ⅓ of the Imperium pilots and if you add in Fidelas Constans the 2 alliances make up half of the Imperium forces. The other Imperium alliances are at 150 or below with Razor at the bottom and only fielding 16 pilots. My old alliance TNT only showed up with 50 pilots. Thats 2,5% of their total member count. It may appear that the Provi campaign has been less popular than Imperium high command anticipated.

On the infrastructure side Imperium have had more success and have killed 32 i-hubs since their campaign began. Thats 16B in losses for the provi side but far less than the number disparity between Provi Bloc and Imperium would suggest. At the time of writing there is only 7 timers in all of Providence where 6 of the 7 belong to Imperium. It appears that the wind pretty much has left the Imperium sails and they need to start all over again with their invasion.

Given that Imperium totals 41K members and Provi Bloc only has 10K members I find it weak from the Imperium they cannot field more pilots. This was their big testing of Fozzie sov and they should be able to outnumber Provi Bloc at least 2:1 overall. At least! I am very positively surprised by how well Provi Bloc are defending themselves. They have only lost handful of systems while killing as much of Imperium as they are losing. How much of this is due to third parties I am not sure of but it does look like Imperium is at it’s weakest in a long time and their performance is sub par.

I am not suggesting that Imperium are weak and their preparations for Fozzie sov was better than any other coalition. The consolidation of territories and running up their indexes makes the northern fortress quite strong. The recruitment of masses of ratters and miners have been a success in this regard but how has it affected their pvp side? Based on what's happening in Providence there is clear downward trend. The Imperium are not showing the kind of strength they displayed when they routed Black Legion, Darkeshi and NC. earlier this year.

CFC/Imperium have been very good at coming back from defeats and the pockets of the coalition are endless. They can lose ships constantly and their SRP funds will only slightly be reduced. Provi Bloc has more of a challenge in this area as their SRP funds aren’t that vast. They have also been involved in more or less constant warfare for close to a year. At least it definitely seems to have increased their piloting and FC skills as they have proven over this week. Will the Imperium manage to bounce back and fulfill their promise to burn Providence to the ground? I am looking forward to follow this war over the next days/weeks.

<![CDATA[Imperium invasion Provi - part 1]]>Wed, 26 Aug 2015 12:33:42 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/august-26th-2015Picture
The Imperium(CFC) invasion of Providence has begun and a lot, if not most, of Provi is reinforced.

Politics and warfare of EVE has always fascinated me. The richness and depth of how it plays out in EVE is awesome, with so many turns, twists and room for true strategic playing. With the exception of Provi Fight Club (2010) politics, I have never been involved at high levels and seen directly what’s behind the curtain. I have a fair bit of political knowledge and experience combined with many years of gaming so I think that most times I can piece together a larger picture from the many smaller bits of information. Not always, but I am going to use what I can and know to go out on a limb and tackle the Imperium invasion of Providence.

When Imperium earlier this year announced they would invade Providence it didn't come as a complete surprise. Already when Fozzie-sov was announced Goonswarm members wrote on EVE Online forums that they would go after Providence as proof that Fozzie sov was bad. It took them some months but finally The Mittani found a narrative he could deliver. Guess his extensive background in LARP’ing helped him here. With the storyline secured and CFC rebranded into The Imperium, they only had to consolidate their holdings and build a fortress in the North. They spent the next few months doing this by withdrawing and recruiting. They especially recruited miners and ratters to get high ADM indexes. But their pvp’ers don't want this type of gameplay, they want to have action. And that's where Provi comes into play.

Providence region and coalition is the perfect target for the Imperium. It’s the nullsec region in EVE with the most stations, densely populated, a coalition of 10K members and is famous as a hotbed of activity. It’s also a region with a rich history of roleplaying and the fights between Ushra Khan and CVA. Provi Bloc are known for coming out to fight and have been fighting Brave, PL and NC. at various times since summer 2014 with Spectre fleet roams coming in 2-3 times a day. All of this combined plays perfectly into to what the Imperium wanted and needed.

All the coalitions need to understand and find new strategies for sov conquering and defense post Aegis expansion. N+1 was no longer a guarantee for success though still is a major factor in determining the outcome of an invasion. The Imperium are trying something new and have given each of their member alliances the task of conquering constellations. A little bit later in this post I show that they resort to N+1 when they can’t get this tactic to work properly. After so many years at being best in educating F1 monkeys it's difficult to turn that around.

Ruining other people’s fun and game has always been a major thing in the CFC and still is. So leveraging its size to roll over Provi is playing to that attitude of destroying other peoples enjoyment. Criticizing Goons for this leads to being branded as a ‘Grrr Goon’ poster, which is a real smart way for them to say that all the rest of us are just jealous of Goon success. If we are jealous we shouldnt be taken seriously; ridicule the opponent is a potent weapon in PR work. Nobody can deny that they have been very good at this game since they inherited Deklein from TCF back in 2010.

Goons know how to use all tools to carry out a campaign. Political, military, economy and covert operations/spies are used highly effectively and they have since 2010 never lost a campaign. The closest they came was when fighting NC. over Tribute but by sheer perseverance and accepting losing battle after battle they wore NC. down and won the campaign. Their basic plan to conquer Provi looks solid enough and 2 days in they have delivered on their promise to reinforce everything. What's nice to see is how Provi Bloc are fighting back. I kinda envy Provi bloc. They get constant content and fights every day. The players there will get loads of experience in small gangs, large fleets and sov warfare.

24th of August was the first day of the campaign and if it hadn't been for N+1 factor in favor of Imperium it would have been terrible for them. As seen by this Battle Report they lost way more than they killed and only through sheer numbers managed to succeed. They fielded around 800-900 pilots against approximately 350 locals across the region. Imperium’s good friends Legion of xxDeathxx showed up in a 120 man ishtar fleet(and was murdered) with another 130 or so from PL, Soviet Union, brave etc third partying the fights. Losing close to 300 (close to 400 if you count ships lost by xxDeathxx) ships when fighting 4 or 3:1 is bad but on par with how most Imperium alliances perform. Co2 was and usually are an exception to this. They have taken almost no losses in the first few days of the campaign. Day 2 was better for them but trend of losing a lot of ships when having the advantage of 3:1 continues.

2 days into the campaign this looks like an extremely bloody and fun affair. N+1 is still a winning ticket but having to spread out forces much more it seems that the underdog gets a lot more time to bite before being beaten down. I am looking forward to see how all this develops.

<![CDATA[Not so much a wormhole op!]]>Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:48:26 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/not-so-much-a-wormhole-opPicture
Yesterday we had a wormhole op planned. Some WH friends of ours had a few poco’s coming out of reinforced and they asked if we wanted to come along for the fight. They weren’t too concerned about the poco’s, but knew from before that the guys who reinforced the poco’s and lived in target wormhole would put up a fight.

We formed a gang of around 20 with Gila’s, Cerberus and logi as main ships. As support we had links, combat recons, scouts, bubbler totalling us at 30. So a very tight and good core fleet-comp. We were formed up but Bob was not pleased with our offerings it seemed. The dudes who lived in the wormhole were doing an excellent job of crashing the highsec holes or keeping them just from collapsing, which made it impossible for us to get our fleet inside the wormhole.

Our friends, a cool gang called Friends from Murnaus, had more friends who wanted a helping hand fighting some french’ies in another wormhole. We burned 20 jumps only to have the french gang stand down and not wanting to play. We camped their wormhole for about 20 minutes but still no luck. Finally, Bob decided to show some mercy and gave us a nullsec wormhole. It led into I1Y-IU  in Querious so we took it.

In Querious I deliberately kept the fleet slow just in case Darkness actually would form up for a fight. After having given them plenty of time to form up we moved on towards Catch. My thought was that if we didn't get a fight before, HED-GP pretty much always offer combat opportunities. We could have hunted ratters on the way, but unless I am in a very small gang of 3-5, I find hunting ratters to be very boring.  As FC it’s the proper fight I want. It’s true that hunting them can force a form-up, but the time spent hunting them is not proportionate with the chance of locals coming out to fight.

Nothing much happened before a bit into Catch. We got to HY-RWO and held on the V-3YG7 gate. Our scout, who was on his first time scouting, started checking out the system. On the station there were some tactical destroyers so i asked him to zip around and see if they would get off station. He got silent and then I asked him what the situation was. He responded “I am scrammed and webbed” followed 5 seconds later by “I am dead”. Called for the fleet to jump into system and warp to him. My hope was that we could initiate warp and land on the hostiles. Didn't work so I rallied the fleet and took it to station. Bubbled up undock hoping for someone to warp into our bubbles. Had a few warping in but most of them got enough speed so they could burn in and dock.

Soviet-Union and .-A-. had a fair few in system so I kept camping their undock. They immediately started playing docking games and had a Dominix undock and we obliged by shooting at it. We were really itching for a fight and this looked like a good opportunity. They would of course try to both counter and get superior numbers on us but I had confidence in my Logi and fleet comp. About 10 minutes into the station camping they undocked a Chimera, then an Ishtar and a Scimitar. I ordered the Ishtar primary and had the main fleet anchored. The Ishtar melted and so did the Scimi. I am not really sure why the Chimera didn't land reps in time but not complaining. Just after the Scimitar went down the rest of their fleet undocked which was around 25-30 dudes in Cerberus, Barghest, Lachesis, logi plus tackle. I called a Caracal primary since I was sure we could burn through his tank before their reps would land. A carrier out of triage doesn't have a great locking time, especially a Chimera. Although we could have scored some kills, the Chimera repping would have been difficult to out damage, so I aligned the fleet out and warped. Naddy, our Sabre pilot, did a tremendous job bubbling them and staying alive so they were hindered by not being able to warp directly after us. We had one Gila that got unlucky and was scrammed just as we warped off and he died Gloriously.

Not wanting to fight in that system I burned a few systems towards HED-GP. I was pleased with us killing their stuff right under their noses, and if they chased we could choose a fighting position. Their tackle was chasing us and I assumed that their dps was behind the tackle. That was a mistake and a fubar on me as FC. Got into 36N-HZ where I took a system bounce before hitting 9KOE-A gate. My scout had died and I hadn't designated a new one so we blind-jumped and right into their 25 man fleet with 15 Cerberus + support and tackle. Had to Crash the gate but lost a Curse and a Scythe in the process. Killed their stilletto on the other side of the gate and got off.

The chase was still on, and with the route to HED-GP blocked I decided to tactically retreat us towards Curse. Kept best speed on for a few jumps while their tackle was keeping up. In ZXIC-7 I only aligned us out and their tackle jumped through and started burning after us. We primaried a Jackdaw who was piloted by the same dude that lost an Ishtar on station, but he managed to burn back and got out with just a little structure left.Murdered the 2 interceptors. When they were pointed by Lachesis and webbed by Huginn it went quickly. -A-/Soviet-Union main force jumped in so I warped us off. One of the Gila’s had fitted an Afterburner for some strange reason so he got caught. If he had a mwd fitted we wouldn't have taken any losses on that last engagement.

After that we flew through Curse and got out in Doril/Sendaya. Allthough the waiting time at the beginning of the OP was a bit too long, the whole evening turned out real well. My logi anchor Siree, who had his first time doing that job, did a tremendous job. Still kicking myself a little bit about the losses due to my blind jump because those losses could have been avoided. Very pleased about getting the upper hand in the station fight. Will definitely do this again and the Gila/Cerb combo was great with the kind of support we had.

<![CDATA[Fire ze missiles!]]>Sun, 23 Aug 2015 06:37:18 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/fire-ze-missilesPicture
‘Can I bring a Drake?’ This question never ceases to amuse and cause scorn on a teamspeak. It will do so in the nearby future too, at least until CCP actually fixes heavy missiles. They did get a boost recently but it wasn’t enough to make them a viable weapon system. Also there is the issues of using battlecruisers these days, given their slow warp speeds and huge sig radius.

EVE pvp meta is moving towards missiles none the less. It’s another Caldari ship which has become the new go to ship; the Cerberus. The Cerberus has never been considered bad but it hasn’t been considered really good outside of a few situations and by hardcore missile enthusiasts. That has changed recently since the launch of Aegis. With Ishtar being rebalanced(I refuse to call it a nerf, Ishtar was way too OP) the meta for fleets is changing. One of many things which made the Ishtar so great was its ability to apply dps at 90km. Before the changes made this year it could push out a lot of dps at that range. The Cerberus does the same.

Here is an example pretty standard fleet fit:

[Cerberus, Rapid Light]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II

50MN Microwarpdrive II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile

Medium Core Defense Field Extender II
Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition II

With max skills a Rapid Light Cerberus hits out to 114 km without any modules to increase range. Since its Rapid Lights the damage application is extremely good against most targets, with the exception of really fast frig/destroyer size hulls. I will get back to that last a little bit later. At those ranges the Cerberus will do 500 dps with a max skilled pilot using Caldari Navy Scourge missiles. If the fleet is fighting ships with high sig radius, like another Cerberus fleet, you can push the dps up to 600 with Scourge Fury missiles. As long as you have good intel or take the fleet off-grid to reload with a different missile type. The downside to Rapid Lights is the 35 seconds reload time. Going 2K with boosts running it shouldn't be too hard to get off the battlefield for a few seconds. And there is the volley. 20 Cerberus firing a volley does 28 000 damage. With a 2,66 second rate of fire you can hit a target for at least 90 000 damage in 15-20 seconds including missile flight time.

Added on top of all that, the Cerberus has a 55K ehp tank before boosts which makes it sturdy enough. DPS and tank are quite ordinary and nothing special as such, but when it's combined with the speed and range it’s not difficult to understand why the Cerberus has become so popular in the new meta. Range and speed allows it to dictate the engagement, the rapid lights are exceptionally good at clearing away hostile tackle/bubblers, so pinning a cerb fleet down is quite tricky. At the moment it seems different artillery fleet versions supported by huginn and lachesis can be a viable counter.

Artillery has the range and the alpha but the choice of ships to fit the 720’s on isn't that great. The Muninn can't be shield tanked so will struggle to keep up and the vagabond doesn't have the right bonuses or slot layout to very effective either. Scythe Fleet Issue is better and much cheaper, but it also struggles with range. Cynabal is the best of the cruiser hulls that use Minmatar weapon systems. Good range when you count in fall-off and, great speed and a decent tank at 40K while retaining a decent dps. The prices of Cynabals are low enough these days so its not a truly expensive ship. But I can't honestly say that any of these are great against the Cerberus meta. In some way or another they all lack something which makes them do badly in a situation where the FC’s on both sides are doing a good job. I have noticed that PL have been using Sleipnir’s and that is a very good counter. It’s a very skill-intensive ship but with good skills it can get an alpha of 6500 with 720’s. That hurts. At 400M and hefty skill requirements it’s not a counter too many groups can field a lot of.

At the moment, the FOTM is Cerberus. One of the few things a Rapid Light ship will struggle with is really fast ships(5K+) with low sig. Those ships more or less outrun the missiles which we discovered on a recent roam. You will get some hits but only with ⅕ your dps. Having high dps ships going at that speed won't really happen so it doesn't work as a counter but good interceptor pilots can help pin down a cerb or two.

Its going to be really exciting to see what the great EVE player base will come up with as counters. Join us in pub. roc where we will be happy to do some theorycrafting together with you.

<![CDATA[Corp/alliance management & recruitment]]>Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:17:37 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/corpalliance-management-recruitmentOne of the many things to do in EVE is corporation and alliance leadership. I have been fortunate (or maybe unfortunate) to have been involved in both. Early on in my EVE career I started a corporation called The Wyld Hunt. To begin with we were 5 friends and over the next 2 ½ years we grew to a 160 toon(about 80 players) nullsec corp. It burned me out. But I did make a lot of great EVE friends and learned a whole lot about the game, mechanics, leading people in social groups plus a whole lot more.

Setting a recruitment policy is important, whether you are an elite small gang group or a large corp with hundreds or maybe thousands of members. You will benefit from making the small effort of sitting down to type out your requirements and recruitment strategy, and communicate it to your corp members. Combine it with a few lines about what kind of culture your corporation shall have and you have instantly moved your corporation light years ahead of so many others. Remember that such a document requires iteration and should be updated as required by your success and progress. I decided on the following requirements when I started The Wyld Hunt:

  1. New members should be EU timezone.
  2. They should have a willingness and desire to become very proficient EVE players.
  3. Preferably they should be Norwegian (which is mine and the other friends I started out with).
  4. Be out of trial.

To a veteran EVE player these requirements seem very low and they are. Keep in mind that we were really noobs at the time so keeping them realistic was important. My strategy was to recruit using the old language-based chat channels EVE had. Back then there was a Norwegian language chat channel that was quite active, so I was active in it to get a feel for people I should be approaching. I evaluated a lot of the people and approached a couple of them directly. One of the first I approached was a really good player who had been doing pvp for some time. He helped me and my friends learn a lot of the basics of pvp like fittings, directional scanning, maneuvering during combat and more. As it turned out he had friends who played the game also and suddenly my small corporation of a few noobs grew to 10 players. A few short months after this we had grown with a few more and was doing some roaming lowsec together or fighting actively against those who wardecced the alliance we had been recruited into. We lost more than we won, but we had fun together. We also defined the culture of our corp.

We kept it simple and after listening to the players I defined the culture:

  1. Dont be an asshat. Treat fellow corp members with respect and be helpful.
  2. Behave decently to other EVE players. Represent the group in a positive way.
  3. We are NBSI.

3 simple points that I put in corp bulletins. Those points were also clearly communicated to the corp members with the clear expectation of them being followed. As a credit to them they followed and so we became a pleasant corp to deal with. We were always solution oriented and got respect from alliance members through being this way. By taking the effort to complete these 2 relatively easy steps we became so much more than just a collection of individual pilots. We became a community that drew upon each other to become better at playing EVE.

As a result of being perceived as a good corporation I got invited into alliance leadership. It was chaotic with strong people pulling in pretty much all directions. I asked to become an alliance diplo as I thought that would very interesting and it certainly was. Also totally and utterly exhausting. Suddenly my game time was swallowed up by endless convo’s and overcoming the trust issue that is so much part of EVE. This is one of the pitfalls of taking a leadership role. So much effort and time goes into it that you as a player don’t have the time anymore to actually fly spaceships. Some people find this meta-game more interesting than the actual game. Probably the most famous EVE player, The Mittani, who almost never actually fly a spaceship and only focus on the meta activities of the game.

Recruiting for an alliance is a tricky business. If it's a good alliance it has a certain culture and expectations of member corporations. It’s usually activity and participation in alliance/coalition undertakings but can be just being part of the social community which is what an alliance also is. The same principles as described earlier on corporation recruitment apply here. Having all CEO’s/senior directors agree to a set of requirements and what culture the alliance should have makes a huge difference. Both for the corporations joining but also for those who are already members. I believe that alliances who do this have a really good chance at becoming very successful and will be part of the game for a long time. Having alliance CEO and leadership who are active is of course a must.

In summary I can recommend doing corporation or alliance leadership work. But it is work and does require effort. If you can’t or won't put in the effort, then you shouldn't go for this. It will only lead to stress and frustration for yourself and those who follow you.

Shameless as I can be, I also want to advertise that ROC., the alliance I am in, is looking for new corporations to join us. Our culture is a supporting, relaxed and don’t be an asshat. Our name is an acronym for Real Other Commitments so we understand that not all members can be online 23/7. We don't do pap-links either but focus on being active in pvp with some dabbling in other aspects of the game. Feel free to convo me or join us in our in-game channel ‘PUB. ROC’.

<![CDATA[Galatea + Fozzzie = Improvement]]>Wed, 19 Aug 2015 23:01:14 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/galatea-fozzzie-improvementPicture
Galatea was a statue that Pygmalion, a sculptor, created and found so beautiful that he fell in love with it. He prayed and prayed until Aphrodite was persuaded by his prayers and brought the statue to life. Pygmalion and Galatea married and lived happy ever after. A very sunny little story and therefore any interpretation with regards to EVE Online has to put on sunglasses tinted with darkness and dystopia. In the EVE version of the same story we players would be Pygmalion who have sculpted nullsec and instead of only loving it, we hate and love it at the same time. Our prayers have been exchanged with endless posts on forums, twitter, news sites and reddit. In the end Aphrodite, in the form of CCP,  listened to her playerbase and made changes to how Fozzie Sov works. The only thing with this analogy that really disturbs me is that CCP is EVE players Aphrodite.

On the 25th of August Galatea expansion will be rolled out and how to conquer in nullsec is tuned. Which is great and is also exactly what CCP has been telling us all along. They will listen to their players, make a decision and evaluate. Rinse and repeat. The new changes are an improvement of Fozzie sov, but without taking away the good underlying principles of the new Sov system launched on July 14th. Here is a quick bullet point version of the changes:

  • Reducing the base capture time of Structure Command Nodes from 10 minutes to 4 minutes, and Station Services from 5 to 4 minutes
  • Defenders will start with 60% of control as nodes spawn, meaning an uncontested defense requires capture of 8 nodes spending 4 minutes per node
  • The cap on total number of nodes that can spawn pr structure is reduced from 20 to 10
  • Entosis Links will now reduce a ship's speed to max 4000 m/s

Reducing the base capture time is an important change. As an attacker it would be very slow having to run at least 10 command nodes per structure per system especially if the system had an Activity Defense Multiplier(ADM) of 6. It would take, at minimum, 30 instances of 60 minutes each. Even with a lot of people in fleets and using alts that is too much time. Under a the new system the same would take 24 minutes per node, though the attacker has to complete at least 2 more nodes than before. For the defender it will be easier since it will only take 8 instances of 4 minutes each. This is a huge improvement and makes the sov system much more gamer friendly. After all, we are playing for entertainment!

Defenders have gotten a bit of a buff and are now starting with 60% control and if uncontested only need to run 8 nodes at 4 minutes each. This boost to the defender is a wise one, giving them a bit more of an edge, especially for smaller groups with very few systems to defend. For the larger alliances and coalitions its positive also, but then again they don't suffer the same member fatigue as a small group would due to sheer numbers.

Capping entosis linked ships to 4000 m/s won't take away the trolling, this is EVE and internet spaceships after all. If you have entosis links active it means it's much easier to catch a troller. All you have to do is have a ship that's faster than 4K and catch him before his cycle ends. Since interceptors use t1 Entosis links there is a good chance you have a couple of minutes to burn him down. He can't warp either and fitting a ship to go faster than 4K is a no-brainer.

The CCP we players see today is a great game designer and following up on their word. CCP did tell us they would use the 6 week release cycles to iterate on content and mechanics and that is exactly what they are doing now. I am truly looking forward to the good stuff they will be doing for EVE Online this fall and beyond.

<![CDATA[What's all the Fozz about?]]>Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:55:13 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/whats-all-the-fozz-aboutPicture
For us that live in nullsec one of the big topics for discussion these days is Fozzie-sov. The majority of the negatively oriented discussions, like those happening on blogs, newssites and reddit, focus on fozzie being too easy to troll and that running the many nodes is monotonous. The positively oriented discussions are zeroing in on Fozzie Sov representing a new paradigm of combat in EVE, and a chance for smaller alliances to enter the sov game. So whats the real deal about this, who is right?

The very best of discussions are those where both sides have valid points, and this is one of those discussions. Both the yeasayers and the naysayers arguments have some merit. To start with the Fozzie naysayers, their point about Sov structures being too easy to troll is partially a valid one. Fitting an entosis link to a small ship is really easy. A single interceptor with no real intention of fighting if an opposition would actually appear, can create defensive work for the alliance holding the sov structure in question. Without going into the whole process, it takes xx minutes to reinforce the structure depending on the Activity Defense Multiplier (ADM) of the target system.Check out this calculator for the exact amount of time. Command Nodes will spawn around 48 hours later. To complete the event, one side needs to successfully capture 10 command nodes. The defender will always spend 10 minutes(if uninterrupted) pr node while the attacker spends time according to the above mentioned ADM index of the system. For all of those familiar with the system, apologies for repeating stuff you already know. But I wanted to highlight that trolls creating command node capture events in reality only creates 10 instances of 10 minutes work for the defender. If no-one show up to contest the command nodes the defender need 10 people running entosis links for 10 minutes each. So the same interceptor fit that was used to troll the system can be used by the same 10 people who has to defend it. One trolling attempt created maybe 20 minutes of activity for the sov holder. Is that too much for them to handle? Spending 10-20 minutes, including form-up, to counter a troll attempt really isn’t a whole lot of work. For the attackers it will be much longer, especially if the system is used and ADM is high. The table below show the numbers I am talking about.

Yeasayers have a tendency to focus on the argument that Fozzie Sov allows smaller alliances entrance into sov holding. And this is true. Its equally true that a larger alliance can take that away from them quite easily. The latter part is used as a counter argument by naysayers, who point to this fact as a proof of Fozzie Sov being bad. Nowhere is it mentioned in the devblogs that any small alliance who wanted a couple of systems of their own would be guaranteed to hold them easily under a new sovereignty system. So yeasayers and naysayers are too narrow minded in their approach to this argument. A smaller alliance would have to secure some friends in order to hold sov or they have to grow into a larger alliance really really fast. But since Fozzie Sov encourages and rewards players to live in their space, a small alliance can approach a larger one and offer to hold a couple of systems in exchange for running nodes and take away some of the maintenance work for the larger alliance. So a combination of diplomatic and military activity can secure a new nullsec home for an alliance with relatively new EVE players.

I must admit that to a certain degree I have stopped reading all the long threads on reddit and elsewhere filled with whining about how bad/good Fozzie Sov is. Both sides are so entrenched in their own arguments they fail to lift their heads and look at how to solve this new puzzle presented to us by CCP. This new system requires some new strategies and tactics. The defending and attacking FC’s have to plan for how to hold the constellation. That means looking at the geography of the area and plan accordingly. Expanding the use of local geography in EVE is a great addition to the game. It's always been a side of conflict that has more or less been missing from the game. What's the entrance points to the area? Which system within the constellation offers the best chance to pin and hold down the opposing force? If multiple systems located far away from each other are reinforced, which systems are most important to defend and concentrate own forces in? Those are questions a FC or team of FC’s have to ask themselves. In addition to the old questions of opposition numbers, ship strengths, whatever meta is active in the game, etc.

I always thought of EVE FC’s being akin to Generals and commanders from the period before World War I. They would command the forces tactically on the battlefield and orchestrate all their forces.The FC calls primary and all the forces would focus in on that ship, before moving on the next and so forth and so on. The quality of the commander was a huge factor in deciding the outcome of a battle. So it has been in EVE. But spread a contested system across a constellation and the fleet requires more commanders who can respond to the situation on that specific part of the overall battlefield. If the FC is in system X and combat starts in system Y, one side will probably lose or sustain heavy losses if they have to wait until the FC can make his or her way over. A FC can ofc use alts to be everywhere, but can most likely only handle 1 combat situation. Not going to go too deeply into real world analogies, but WW II was different to previous large conflicts in that junior officers were given a strategic objective. Then they had to make tactical decisions based on their judgements while engaged in combat. With Fozzie sov I see more of this coming to EVE, and it should make the game even more interesting.

Spending the required time to win a command node cannot be considered too long and it’s shorter and better than the structure grind/repair of Dominion Sov. The monotony level is approximately the same. Before it was truly a N+1 game where you could throw huge amounts of capitals/supers at a structure and finish it in no-time. Thats IF you had those capitals and the ability to defend them against a possible counter-drop. New mechanics given by CCP requires new ways of handling conflict, with different strategies and tactics. Once we get past this transition period I honestly believe that the game will have been enrichened by the change and provide more opportunity for fun than Dominion.

<![CDATA[Yesterday I lost and killed an Orthrus]]>Sat, 15 Aug 2015 22:06:18 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/yesterday-i-lost-and-killed-an-orthrusAs I do most days I logged into EVE and heard if there was any action on-going. Obligingly there were 4 neuts in our home system, skirmishers in Gila, Orthrus, Sabre and a Firetail. These were from Faceless Ronins or alts/friendlies. Faceless Ronins are a group of very good small gang pvp'ers who broke out of Solar Fleet when the peace deal with xXLegion of DeathXx was made. They base out of Konora, which is only 6 jumps from D-I where ROC. is settled. They frequently visit/farm D-I and bring content every day of the week. We have a tendency to respond a little bit too much kitchensink or so slow that they have left again.

But yesterday was a bit different. We got a small group together fast and moved to U-L gate where we started engaging them. One of our pilots unluckily decloaked too early in a bait Gila and died gloriously but the remainder 10 or so piled into system. Faceless was already at distance and kept burning as we raced to engage. This can often be a decision and they did kill of a lot of us, but my vagabond landed a scram on the Orthrus, tanked their damage while the rest of the fleet closed and we killed it.

Faceless Ronins, being good at this didnt just leave but kept at us while moving expertly around the grid. I decided to bounce a little bit myself and saw their Gila had moved in relatively close to the wreck of the Orthrus. I warped up, burned at him and got a scram again. What remained of our fleet warped up and we started killing him off. My Ancillary shield booster held(vagabond + ASB is awesome) and we got him to 30% structure. I thought I had seen one of our other guys get point on him so I switched Scram to the Firetail which was on top of me. That extra point was in my head so the Gila got off. Sad faces all around. We did get the Firetail, but that wasnt much of a consolation to be honest. In total the Battle Report was in Faceless's favor but it was a fun engagement and often we come out much more poorly.

Later the same day I decided to take out an Orthrus of my own together with a few other kitey ships. Our small gang flew down to Scalding Pass which is a great region for small gang pvp these days. We decided to visit The Corvos in their Capital. Got a crow kill on the gate coming in, and warped to station with a Cerberus and my Orthrus. Fifth Dimension, a good pvp'er came out in a fast and nippy Vexor Navy Issue. He closed on the Cerb, landed a scram and though the Cerb tanked fairly well it couldnt stand against the DPS coming out of the VNI and died. I kept point on the VNI with my Orthrus and kept distance well enough while the rest of our fleet got on field. We hammered him but his local armor reps and a Scythe kept him alive. Then I, through clumsy manual navigation got within scram range. Being Rapid Light I was almost out and though I kept them off a little bit with ASB the Orthrus died.

We fought some more, killed a caracal but also lost Scythe Fleet Issue and a Pilgrim so this skirmish didnt end in our favour either. In both cases our side didnt manage the skirmishing aspect very well. We either got too split up and/or coordinated too poorly. In earlier years I did far too little skirmishing and when I returned to the game last year it was one of the areas I want to become good at. I like toys so too often take out fancier ships than I should. But thats just isk and isk is really easy to earn more of. It is fascinating to see how much manual piloting decide outcomes. I am becoming better at it and thats gratifying to see, but its small steps at the time.

The good thing about all of this was seeing progress and most importantly having fun with good mates in Advent of Fate and ROC.]]>
<![CDATA[Fozzie sov - a defense!]]>Thu, 13 Aug 2015 19:35:50 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/fozzie-sov-a-defenseA hot topic in EVE Online for a few years has been the Sovereignty system. The discussions took off last year when CCP through a series of devblogs, and not the least, Phoebe expansion with the Jump-nerf. The enthusiasm for the proposed and now implemented changes have been very varied, with some claiming them as genius while others taking the opposite side and proclaiming “EVE is dying even more”. Not going into the whole eve is dying thing, but I DON’T believe it does.

I have tested out fozzie sov a little bit in a few different ways. Reinforced TCU’s and Ihubs to follow the process. Nobody in their right mind will find it thrilling to orbit a structure with a mod active. But it was fast. The system we were hitting had low indexes(nobody was living there, which is still the state of a lot of null sec systems) so we only invested about 90 minutes total(including form-up and travel time). Approximately 2 days after the command nodes popped out everywhere in the constellation so we took our entosis ships with a few combat fit ships and ran them. No opposition, which wasn’t what we were hoping for, but it gave us a feel for the new system. And I think its a great system for EVE long-term.

Fozzie sov doesn’t support well the large empires with lots of barren, unoccupied land. It might be too much work for the smallest alliances, who think living in null and holding sov is now easy mode. But for those small to mid-sized alliances who have a good organisation, realistic expectations and manage to build some meaningful diplomatic relations Fozzie sov offers a lot. Taking 1 to a few systems is manageable. If you are ROC., with our 160 man alliance, taking on Imperium would be futile. We won’t be able to take their sov and it would be a 90 degree uphill battle to do so. We might get some hit and run content while attempting, so it could be worth it, but not if our goal was to hold sov afterwards. But nullsec is about so much more than Imperium regions.

Scalding Pass has been called the Balkan of EVE given the large amounts of small groups holding sov down there now. I am sure that many of them talk both to each other and talk to larger coalitions in the nearby regions. Some of it might even grow into a coalition of their own one day. Thats perfectly fine. EVE is after all our sandbox, where we are allowed to fly with or against those we choose. Those attempting to build a large coalitions should keep in mind that managing eve players is a lot like herding cats... The game mechanics are there so we can find good solutions on how to enhance our own game play. Players are adapting to new environments, some better than others.

Since Fozzie sov was introduced in the middle of summer-holidays in the northern hemisphere it’s way too early to say that it hasn’t provided the intended effects. Some attempts at taking sov have failed while others have gotten off to a good start. Suddenly Spaceships went on a campaign for a few weeks in western geminate and took a constellation for a very short time period. That was content, both for them and for XIX/GemCo who retook it. During fall of 2015 I foresee a lot more sov campaigns as players are coming back from holidays and the long dark evenings set in.

Dominion is dead, long live Fozzie sov.]]>
<![CDATA[Never expect the spanish Inquisition]]>Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:06:11 GMThttp://www.evenevor.com/blog/never-expect-the-spanish-inquisitionTook out a roam with ROC., which I am a member of, and our allies Advent of Fate. We have shamelessly copied a great fleet comp from MIEP/Warlords of the Deep and are trying to make it our own. But so far they are much better at it than we are, but damn how much fun we are having!

We started off from D-I with direction of vale/tribute. I wanted to get us into a fight so via some waypoints we were heading to M-O. Fleet comp was good with 7 T3 destroyers, 4 t1 frig logi, interceptor and boosts. Didnt have a heretic, which all good inquisitions need. Will bring that next time.

Going along the route was fairly uneventful as we were moving fast and not really giving the locals a lot of time to form up while we were in the pipes in Vale and Tribute. We saw some people following us as we were getting closer to M-O but we pushed on and warped to zero on Taisy gate which meant we landed in a bubble. Seconds after we landed a Prowler landed next to us and decloaked. We scrammed, webbed and just killed him quickly and then we realised. It had LOADS of goodies. 

We took what we could, but there were some containers which we didnt have room for. As we were scrambling to get a hauler in to take it to safety Co2 landed at range on the gate. They maneuvered around some and we countermoved with both sides trying to get their optimal engagement side. We moved up and down from pings, which worked well until yours truly fucked up a fleet warp and 2 of our logi got caught.

We warped back to them but they had already taken too much damage so we couldnt hold our reps. It was a shame as they were at 0 with us which is what the fleet is designed to be. We targeted one of their scythes but couldnt break tank, switched to a Jackdaw which went low shields before their reps caught it. Lost 3x Inquisitor and 2x confessor at the gate.

Most of the rest of our t3's managed to get off field. But we still knew there was all that loot in the prowler wreck. I sent one of my alts from Jita in a Viator and with some creative trading via corp bookmarks he got pings on the Taisy gate in M-O, warped to the wreck and scooped all the goodies and brought it safely back to Jita. When sold it totalled at 5,4B in loot which we got out.

All members got 100M bonus for joining and all those who lost ships got back what they paid to ROC for them. So a roam with losses where all made isk is pretty cool.

What was good in the roam was fleet comms, movement discipline going to M-O and our initial movement on the gate was tight but good.

What was bad was yours truly fucking up the fleet warp as that would have allowed our logi to rep fully and I honestly think we could have won the fight outnumbered 2-1. My confessor took over 12K damage, and while reps were holding they couldnt break the tank with their jackdaws and worms. Also managed to have a 500M confessor lossmail since I had a lot of Strategic cruiser subsystems in my cargohold(none of it dropped though).

We had a great time, was a good bunch to fly with and will do it again. Look forward to more Spanish Inquisition fleets going forward.]]>