Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Loose Ends

"Where do you go -- what do you do  -- the night after you saved the universe."
    -- Howard the Duck 

Having neutralized Mittens (you're welcome) and sown deeply the seeds of Goonswarm Federation's destruction (regrettable, but necessary) I have put that corner of New Eden firmly in my rear-view mirror.  However I confess that, having finally reclaimed that time, I find myself a bit at loose ends.  Not that my life is any less busy that it was before, but nothing has really fallen in place to fill the time I set aside to write about Eve.  

Faction warfare appears to be more active than before, but that's largely due to ISK farmers swelling the ranks of winning factions in order to milk plexes for loyalty points; not so much playing a game as gaming a system.  There's no passion in the fights. It's just big FW factions kicking around little FW factions when the little guys show up, and soulless ISK grinding when they don't. All a bit of a snooze. 

Nullsec is similarly dull.

In the North, the Deklein coalition is grinding away at Northern Coalition[DOT] alliance and their DOT Brothers coalition (DOT Bros). The DOT Bros often wins engagements in terms of the ratio of Deklein ships destroyed to their own losses.  However Deklein has engaged the DOT Bros in a type of warfare in which winning on points doesn't matter.  Leveraging their numeric superiority in both sub and supercapital fleets, Deklein can absorb the ship losses inflicted by NCDOT and company, and happily does so; exchanging them for NCDOT real estate in Tribute. Somewhere along the line the NCDOT leadership got the idea that they could sit out the Branch war between the CFC and their one-time allies (Raiden[DOT] and elements of the splintered Drone Russian Federation), and then make a separate peace with the victors.  Seems not.

In the South, the other half of the CFC coalition, Test Alliance and their allies, including Pandemic Legion, are applying pressure to their borders with Against All Authorities (-A-), Stain Wagon, Red Overlord and the rest of the Stainwagon Coalition.  The purpose here seems not to be conquest (yet) so much as keeping the Stainwagon Coalition occupied until Deklein resolves matters in the North with NCDOT (and, possibly, Solar Fleet). Once operations in the North are complete, and assuming other events don't interfere, I look to see the members of the old CFC reassemble and bring their full strength to bear on Stainwagon.

Now, in the words of Bobby Burns:
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain:
 The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men. Gang aft agley
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain...
I've written elsewhere that irrational choice has a way of dragging events off their obvious and expected courses.  And there are often chains of events not immediately evident that can upset the conqueror's apple cart.  However, there is an awful lot of momentum driving the current direction of matters in nullsec, and even an unexpected upheaval will likely only delay matters.

As of this writing, CCP Greyscale's dreams of small alliances holding their own patch of sovereign space in nullsec are distant at best.  In fact almost every change impacting nullsec since that workshop was held has pushed such possibilities further out toward the horizon.

More on that next time. 


  1. Greyscale's dreams aren't distant. They're dead, dead, dead. And any attempt to implement them will be met with strong resistance by the players. Yes.

    Super-large fights and the players that love them have all but driven anyone who feels differently *out of EVE*. Those voices are silent. The number of effective small-gang alliances that might go for small null-sec patches were they available, you can now count on two hands.

    As for everyone else, including the CSM, I'm reminded of a line from The Matrix: "Many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."

  2. There actually is something interesting going on in Faction Warfare, specifically the Caldari-Gallente conflict. There's one side that's holding and trying to defend something like ninety percent of the FW map, and there's one side that fields massed Tier-3 battlecruiser fleets and Titans with which to hot-drop them on anything that moves.

    The interesting thing is that they're not the same side. Which means that you've got one side concentrated, able to field massive numbers at any one point on the map, while the other side is spread out, trying to defend everywhere at once, and scrambling to figure out how to use light subcaps to counter a bloody Titan.

    1. On defense, the counter to offensive Titan bridging is a good jump bridge network. That allows you to quickly concentrate spread out defensive fleets onto the offensive fleet once it finally commits.

      'course, FW doesn't have jump bridges, so I'd say the side trying to defend against Titan hot-drops has quite a problem.

    2. I assume they're trying to use light subcaps to counter the T3 battlecruiser fleet being dropped via the Titan's jump bridge.

      Bear in mind that the t3 ships are all gank and no tank. They kick like a mule but can't take a punch. That should give you a hint as to how to counter them from a ship/fleet perspective.

      Once they've crossed their Titan bridge, the battlecruiser fleet has return home gate by gate. The absence of JBs, doesn't prevent you from putting together a rapid response doctrine leverage your superior numbers. Mind, this assumes those numbers aren't so busy grinding LPs that they haven't time for PvP.

      Have the appropriate ships (properly fitted) on standby - staged where they can be deployed quickly to block the tier-3 fleet's likely escape routes. A secondary force deploys to dog the tier-3 fleet's withdrawal - snapping at their heels and picking off stragglers while herding them into the kill zone.

      Obviously this will take some discipline and compartmentalized fleet coms. If you can bait the tier-3 fleet into jumping into a fight on your time table, so much the better.

    3. Tactics evolve, I guess. We got caught flat-footed the first time they dropped thirty T3's (with Lachesis support!) onto a small gang of T1 cruisers and AF's, but at least now we know to watch for the cyno.

      Thanks for the advice, in any case!

  3. Quite a problem indeed. I know that fair is fair and war is war and never the twain shall meet (barring screwups on someone's end), but this looks like a sign of Chinese-curse-style interesting times:


    And this is in the arena that CCP's been trying to entice newbies to enter in order to learn about the fun they can have in PVP combat. Maybe it's me, but I can't see the fun in re-enacting the Battle of Savo Island from the perspective of the Five Sitting Ducks.

    Is that what warfare is like in nullsec?

  4. Thanks for the update on null, Mord. This was a really nice read.

  5. Nice article, thanks for the information.
    Anna @ rental mobil