Monday, January 30, 2017

What I Look For In A CSM Candidate

On Friday, the second CSM 11 summit will end and the application period to run for CSM 12 will begin. Upon the end of the summit, the incumbent members running will make their intentions known and we'll have some idea of the size of the field for the next council. Now comes the next question: how do you judge the candidates?

First, I try to judge a candidate's character. Members of the CSM need to work with CCP developers. Perhaps more importantly, members of the CSM need to not drive off CCP developers with really bad behavior. If the devs don't want to work with the CSM due to one or two asshats, that reduces the effectiveness of the CSM as a body.

CCP takes a dim view of extremist views. The classic case occurred during the CSM 8 elections when Fon Revedhort, a player who not only expressed white supremacist and racist views, but included neo-Nazi songs in his YouTube videos, was not allowed to run. The post by the CSM coordinator at the time, CCP Dolan, explained the reasons:
"Being supporters of free speech and free and open elections, CCP undertook internal debate about whether or not to deny Fon Revedhort’s candidacy for the Council of Stellar Management, careful to take all aspects of the discussion into consideration. It became clear we could not allow him to continue his candidacy past the initial electoral phase. While he is entitled to his personal opinions and to the ability to “roleplay a character” within reason, CCP does require certain standards for those representing the EVE player base which are not met by the views continually expressed by Fon Revedhort. The presence of such a player on the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) would only serve as a distraction to other elected Council members and developers they would work with both virtually and at in-person summits. Furthermore, it would reduce the overall efficacy of the institution itself and harm future iterations of the CSM, which would be counterproductive for each and every player. As such, with the Council being a vital part of our development process and a representation of our players both internally and externally, we have made our decision and removed him from eligibility."
If CCP takes such a dim view of such views, I figure I should when evaluating candidates as well.

The next criteria I have for judging candidates is if they have an agenda. CCP devs can quickly tell when a CSM member is pushing an agenda to benefit himself or his alliance. Those members become ignored and ineffective. A player can have all the knowledge in the world, but without the devs believing the advice the member gives is for the benefit of the game, the member is just taking up space.

Finally comes what many people would probably consider the most important factor, player knowledge. I like candidates who have a wide breadth of knowledge and experience. A one-trick pony is okay if CCP plans on working on features related to that candidate's area of interest. But what if that subject is not on the roadmap? For example, someone passionate about fixing wardecs is great, but what if the focus of the next year is null sec and the introduction of player-built stargates? If our wardec expert also knows a lot about high sec other than high sec warfare, then that member can meaningfully contribute to some of the discussions. If not? Then that member will just sit about looking for things to do. Depending on the person, that could prove sub-optimal. Or as The Bible states:
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.
An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
Wickedness loves company—and leads others into sin.
Somehow I always think of DariusIII when the subject of idle CSM members up to no good comes up. For those candidates running, DariusIII is a warning, not a guidebook on how to act as a CSM member.

If a candidate can pass these three criteria, then the candidate most likely will serve as a good member of the CSM. I have other areas I look at, but those are aimed toward my biases and designed to rank candidates, not determine if a candidate is not qualified.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Quest For The Great White Battleship - Megacyte

Sometimes I have to choose between blogging and playing video games. Right now I switch between EVE Online and EVE: Gunjack. Even then, I get distracted when I play EVE Online. After the release of the Ascension expansion I spent six weeks playing on an alpha account. I also decided to upgrade my data entry setup for my RMT research, including adding in some additional graphs.

My own illicit RMT graph porn
Top that off with trying to keep track of the CSM this year and I stay busy.

Checking Evemon reminded me of a goal I set myself a few months back. Rosewalker was halfway to learning Amarr Battleship V. Oh yeah, I needed to start mining again in order to build a Nestor. I was down to only needing two more types of minerals, zydrine and megacyte. I decided to go into null sec and mine some arkonor.

NPC null sec really isn't that dangerous when flying a Prospect. Or perhaps the region I chose just doesn't get a lot of traffic. I slipped past the delusionary bubble camp in the entry system and headed deep into null sec in search of a quiet system.

What I found wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I saw a lot more traffic at my destination than I expected. I did find a quiet spot, but about 10 km before an asteroid would have uncloaked me, an interceptor buzzed the belt. I quickly stopped and waited to see what would happen. The interceptor left, followed shortly with a Bantam appearing. After 30 seconds or so, the Bantam lit a cyno and in jumped two carriers, an Archon and a Chimera. I decided to get a closeup of the carriers and that's when I noticed the Astrahus. I switched tabs on my overview and confirmed the presence of the citadel. Just then, another interceptor showed up and destroyed the Bantam. 

Needless to say, I quietly left and warped to the next belt. I spent some time making a couple of bookmarks to use as observation perches and taking a close look at the locals. My first thought was, what's a Provibloc sov holder doing in the middle of NPC null? My second thought was, aren't Provibloc sov holders NRDS?

For those who don't play EVE, NRDS stands for, Not Red, Don't Shoot. Which means if a player isn't at war with the alliance, have a history of shooting other players, or actively shooting them, they won't attack other players. And a 2000+ character alliance that described itself as "an Anti-Priate community of players" had set up multiple Astrahus in the constellation. Woot!

I spent three play sessions over three days mining the arkonor I needed to build a Nestor. Now I just need to mine enough ore to get 8100 units of zydrine. I'm not sure I'm going to do that, though. I have 97,000 units of zydrine sitting in a station in low sec. Do I really want to spend a few more hours mining, especially in low sec? Low sec is getting a bit crowded. But then again, part of the quest to build the Nestor was to acquire everything fresh. I'm really close to the end now, one way or the other. I guess I'll decide what I'll do the next time I log in to play.

Monday, January 23, 2017

CSM Wire - CSM 12 Election Edition

With the arrival of the silly season (aka the Council of Stellar Management election), I spent most of the weekend updating and improving my CSM Wire site. Out with the generic white template, in with pastels. But people don't usually visit the site for the looks.

I built CSM Wire out of a desire to make doing research on the CSM, especially during election season, less painful. I then figured that if I found the information useful, that others covering the CSM elections might also. By adding links to interviews and other content, I hope that anyone interested in voting in the CSM election will find the site useful.

Now that the site is presentable with the basic features I plan to use this season, I figured I would explain what I included on the site.

The Home Page
Along the left side of the website is a list of the declared candidates. Until CCP finalizes the list, I will only create pages for those candidates who have posted in the CSM Campaigns section of the official EVE Online forums. Clicking on a name sends visitors to a candidate's page.

Along the top is a series of buttons with various topics. The "Eligibility And Voting" section lists the rules governing the election. I still need to add an explanation of the single transferrable vote system used in the election.

The CSM 9, CSM 10, and CSM 11 buttons lead to a little history of the CSM. I created the site in 2015 so only the CSM 10 and CSM 11 sections have previous election content.

Information about the current CSM
The CSM 11 page will probably draw some interest as researchers and voters try to figure out how the current members performed. In addition to a link to the CSM 11 election content, the page contains a list of the current members (along with links to their individual pages), the summaries written by Jin'taan, a copy of the first summit meeting's minutes, and an attendance chart. I'd take the attendance chart with a grain of salt as real life does get in the way. I may try to compile a list of the roundtables some of the individual members held, but I can't make a promise about that.

An example of candidate information
Finally comes the information most people will search for, about the candidates themselves. I include the date the character creation date, corp/alliance, and any links to social media and/or outside websites. I also include links to the candidate's listing, EVE Online forum posts, and zKillboard history. Below the above information I link to and copy/paste the candidate's campaign post from the EVE Online forums.

Those are not all the sources of information I use, but do present a very solid base with which to start. Also, if all those sources come up dry, I start to question if the candidate even exists.

I do have to add one more little fact. From experience, I know I will have to prune 10-12 candidates from the site once CCP announces the final list of approved candidates. My problem is that I can't wait until the candidates are approved before creating the pages. I figure I still may need to make 5 or so additional pages once the candidates are announced, but that is a lot better than 35 or 40. Also, I need to have the site up-to-date as quickly as possible. Having the site ready a day or two before the election period doesn't do much good.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Winter War: Stiffening Resistance

Watching the map of Catch, one might get the impression that Stainwagon has retreated to Stain to wait until everyone goes away. To those people, I say take a look at the maps in Impass and Feythabolis. After a few days of disorganization due to the evac from V-3YG7, Stainwagon is once again putting up a fight in the two southern regions.

First, let's take a look at Impass. On Tuesday, Circle-of-Two only had sovereignty over three systems.

In a 72-hour period, CO2 managed to take sovereignty over an additional 8 systems and 2 outposts.

The latest situation map shows that Stainfraggin Coalition forces are still aggressively entosising sovereignty structures, but Stainwagon forces are fighting back by entosising structures of their own in six systems. I am not sure how successful Stainwagon's efforts will prove, as I believe their main defensive effort will take place in Feythabolis.

On Tuesday, SOLAR FLEET's low key effort in southern Feythabolis began to pick up steam. Between Tuesday and today, SOLAR, joined by DRONE WALKERS, made a big push, with DRONE WALKERS dropping intfrastructure hubs in many of SOLAR's systems. The campaign in Feythabolis was conducted a bit differently, concentrating on capturing outposts even if Stainwagon possessed iHubs in the system. 

SOLAR and DW made great strides in securing the pipe between C-PEWN in Esoteria and OKEO-X in Omist. SOLAR now controls 7 of the 10 outposts in the constellations of 3-PC31 and 42-WDG. However, notice all the blue on the map now. Over the course of yesterday, Stainwagon managed to reinforce 3 outposts, 3 TCUs, and 5 iHubs, with the timers coming out on Saturday.

From the posts on r/eve, Stainwagon sounds like it wants to make a final stand in Esoteria, making the attacking forces pay for every system taken on the march to the region. I don't know how many forces the Russian coalition will divert to Impass, but yesterday's activity indicates Stainwagon intends to hold their ground in southern Feythabolis.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

CSM Season Has Begun for 2017

The election season officially began yesterday with the publication of the dev blog outlining the rules and timeline for the elections for the 14 spots on the 12th Council of Stellar Management. Unlike the past few years, the CSM Campaigns section of the EVE Online forums is not crawling with candidates. So far, only nine hopefuls have posted.

I should warn everyone that the subject of the CSM will probably not feature prominently in the EVE media. Ever hear of the term "clickbait"? Writing about the CSM is click repellant. One year I saw my traffic drop 20-25% every time I posted about the CSM. Fortunately, with no advertising on the blog, I'm free to write whatever strikes my fancy. Not so the big outlets, especially Imperium News and Eve News 24. So don't look at a lack of stories as some kind of metagaming. Instead, look at the subject as a television series that ran its course a long time ago and no one wants to pick up.

Here is the published timeline:

February 3-17: Candidacy application period. During this time candidates can fill out an application form. Not before the 3rd and not after the 17th. Don't bother going now as the only thing that shows up is a 404 error telling prospective candidates the wormhole has collapsed.

February 17-28: Application processing period. During this period, CCP staff goes through and makes sure all the paperwork is filled out. Also, CCP's Internal Affairs staff goes through and checks you out for prior EULA/ToS violations and other stuff that could possibly embarrass CCP. Without going into too much detail, CCP Arkonon has a bunch of cool tools to play with.

February 28: Candidates for CSM 12 are announced.

March 6-26: CSM Voting takes place.

April 6: Results are announced during the Fanfest Keynote.

Let me copy and paste the application requirements and then make a couple of comments.
  • To apply your account must be older than 60 days at the time that candidacy applications close (that is, created no later than 2016-12-26)
  • Both Alpha and Omega accounts are eligible to run
  • You must have a history of honoring the EULA and the Terms of Service. We will screen every applicant thoroughly and EULA/TOS violations on your record can result in a rejected application.
  • Your account must have updated and correct information at the time of your application. This includes; your real life name, correct date of birth and the same email you use to submit your application. To view and edit this information go to the account management system.
  • Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years of age. If the legal adult age in your home country (the age at which you have the legal capacity to enter into a contract) is higher than 18, that number applies instead.
  • As an applicant, you must consent to providing your personal details to CCP, including your real name and a copy of your passport or internationally accepted identification. A CSM candidate can share any real-life information about themselves with the player base at their own discretion but it is not required at any stage in their application or CSM term other than sharing their country of residence on their candidate information page. Further personal information is only visible to CCP staff and will not be revealed by CCP.
  • To apply you must own a valid passport or verifiably be in the process of successfully applying for one at the time of your application. CSM members are expected to have the option of travelling to summits in Iceland. A passport is still required by applicants living in the EEA, as airlines may demand possession of a passport as a condition of carriage.
  • If you control a character that is well known in the EVE community, CCP may require you to run under that identity and not one of an alt or a lesser known character.

First, I can see a problem with allowing Alpha characters to run. Imagine a popular person in a major alliance who has not played the game in three or four years. Since the Ascension expansion, he now is eligible to run. A good idea? I don't think so.

Second, last year, the rules stated any breach of the EULA/ToS would disqualify a candidate from running. This year, EULA/ToS violations only may potentially disqualify a candidate.

Next, the thing about having correct personal information on a candidate's account. No one should complain about that, as that is a requirement set out in the Terms of Service:
20. You may not give false information or intentionally hide or withhold any information, including billing and contact information, when registering your EVE Online account subscription. You are responsible for keeping this information accurate and current.
Fourth, CCP is once again requiring a passport in order to run for CSM. For the last two years that was not a requirement. Apparently, despite the cool conference equipment CCP utilizes, they prefer candidates who can travel to Reykjavik. CCP has brought in all 14 members of CSM 11 for the two summits this term.

I should also add I believe the passport requirement is designed to limit the number of candidates. Last year, 54 candidates ran for a spot on CSM. In 2015, 75 players successfully applied to run. Trying to wade through that many candidates is hard, if not impossible for the average player.

Finally, I'm looking forward to CCP applying the rule that well-known players cannot run under an alt. I'd really like to see if that applies to Borat Guereen, a perennial candidate who runs under an alt while railing against the use of alts in EVE.

Now, the information about the voting.

  • Voting is performed through the CSM portal on the EVE Community website. The voting site will not be accessible until voting opens on March 6.
  • To vote your account must be in Omega state at the time of voting. This is due to the increased ease of voting manipulation by mass creating alpha accounts specifically for voting purposes. Despite this, Alpha players are eligible to run and serve on the CSM.
  • Every active Omega account gets to vote once, but each vote allows you to choose up to 14 characters in the order of your preference, from highest to lowest.
  • Votes cannot be edited or revoked after they are submitted
  • The voting system we use is called Single Transferrable Vote.
  • The code used to tally votes is available on Github in this repository. The voting data will be made available after the election results have been announced if you wish to verify the results of the tally.

The big news is that Alpha players cannot vote their accounts. The limitation should keep some people from creating a thousand or two alpha accounts. Don't believe someone would do something like that? Trust me, someone would.

The other piece of news is that the age requirement for accounts was lifted. Before this year, only active accounts over 30 days old could vote. I'm not sure if that was an oversight or whether due to changes made for the creation of Alpha accounts a certain exploit is no longer possible.

I should add one last bit before I conclude the post. For those running, don't wait until you receive approval from CCP to start campaigning. And for anyone covering the campaign, either on a podcast, Twitch stream, blog, or whatever. Voting begins on 6 March, or in 6 1/2 weeks. If you want your work to matter, getting everything up and posted before the first day of voting is essential. In my opinion, and I have covered CSM elections both as a talking head/researcher on the CSM Watch podcasts and on the blog, at least half of the people who vote will do so on the first or second day. Covering a CSM election is a lot of work. Speaking from experience, 6 1/2 weeks isn't really a lot of time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Winter War: Looking Beyond Catch

On Sunday, a post on r/eve reported that Stainwagon ordered a move from Catch to the LGK-VP system in Stain. Doubtless, western players will declare the war over and that the Stainfraggin coalition won. If the fighting only took place in Catch, one could say the claim is true. But the fighting is not just confined to Catch.

Here are some of the relevant points from the meeting notes:
  • Why LGK? We have good stain coverage, close to V-3, fortizar is already deployed there. It's NPC space and cannot be taken from us.
  • Start stocking the LGK market. We need it. Please put up contracts for CTA ships, and stock the market. Unlike V-3, your contracts in the LGHK station will never be lost, so you have nothing to risk.
  • In Feyth, SOLAR has started attacking our space. We have a backup staging there. is backup staging for when we defend Esoteria/Feyth/other space. Have a jumpclone ready. Burn a travel ceptor there and put a clone in the citadel.
  • In regards to ratting, Afterlife space in Esoteria is available to everyone to rat in. Everyone in SW can rat there.
  • Will we spam citadels in Esoteria? Yes
  • Are you sure we're defending? Yes. We're defending everything. Sov, timers, towers, JB's. They will not make it to Esoteria.
  • What about Feyth? Yes. I said we're defending everything. We have a NIP/NAP with Wings Wanderers. They won't hit our shit, they won't hit ours.
  • Why HHQ and not any other system in Esoteria? Better logistics, and only one mid from LGK. If Tri/FCON/xDeath push forward, we will relocate there to defend Esoteria.

I'm not sure saying that SOLAR just started attacking Stainwagon's (specifically Soviet-Union's) space is accurate. Here is the situation map from 6 January, when SOLAR WING had just captured its first station in Feythabolis.

And here is the situation as of midnight today.

SOLAR WING, contrary to the belief of some western players, captured the first outpost of the Winter War for the anti-Stainwagon forces, in R97-CI, on 5 January.

I should also add that Soviet-Union is facing pressure in Impass as well. Circle-of-Two managed to drop TCUs and iHubs in AFJ-NB and D-L4H0 yesterday.

One of the statistics that stuck me was the number of systems Soviet-Union owns that currently have at least one sovereignty timer to defend in Catch, Impass, and Feythabolis: 41. How can an alliance of 2142 members defend timers scattered across 41 systems in 3 regions? The obvious answer is they can't.

Another statistic is that Soviet-Union, as of midnight, owned 124 systems. In contrast, Goonswarm Federation, with 10 times the number of characters, only claims 90 systems. With a population density of 242 characters per system, GSF seems well adapted to take advantage of the Aegis sovereignty system. Soviet-Union and Stainwagon, on the other hand, look like they will need to fall back to defensible positions. Quite frankly, that's an awful lot of systems to lose.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Winter War: Switching Directions

I'm not sure how valuable keeping track of the fighting in Catch is right now. I have the feeling that TESTCO and its allies are posed to steamroll through the northern half of Catch, sweeping up all of the territory claimed by The Volition Cult (VOLT) and Against ALL Authorities (-A-). Given -A-'s performance, TESTCO may decide to leave -A- as a buffer zone and turn north and take VOLT's systems in the northeast corner of the region.

First, TESTCO needs to finish securing the systems close to its entry point from Curse. The invaders are poised to capture the last three sovereignty structures owned by Cold Steel Alliance in the EM-L3K constellation. The last outpost is currently a freeport and the sides can begin fighting on Saturday. An interesting development is that Dangerous Voltage, a member of the Tactical Voltage coalition, now owns the iHubs in 1P-WGB and L7XS-5. Is it possible that Tactical Voltage will reappear on the sovereignty map in Catch?

In the constellation of XR9-LP, TEST Alliance Please Ignore (TEST), DRONE WALKERS (WALKA), and Lord of Worlds Alliance (LORDE) each took the sovereignty of one system. The DRONE WALKERS faced defending two of their three TCUs as of 0430 today. The alliances changed from their previous strategy of destroying the iHubs first. Perhaps the invaders are getting overconfident with word that the Imperium has drawn back due to the unreliability of some of its allies in Stainwagon.

The next constellation that TESTCO and friends will attack seriously is N-OGI1. The invading forces have already freeported the outpost and reinforced the TCU in ZXIC-7 and may capture both within 12 hours after the publication of this post. Overall, TESTCO has reinforced every sovereignty structure in the constellation except for those in KDF-GY. The system is probably the capital system of Axiom Vocation Alliance and has an ADM of 5.2.

Outside of the main area of conflict, the invaders have reinforced eight VOLT iHubs and four VOLT outposts due to come out of reinforcement on Saturday.

Part of the reason for implementing Aegis Sov was to eliminate the grind of destroying sovereignty structures a month or so after a war ended. In the war in Catch, I don't believe TESTCO and the other members of the Stainfraggin' Coalition will face serious resistance until they run into the Soviet-Union held systems in U-JTBT. For now, I'm interested in how fast the invaders can clear out the north of Catch.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Break In The Action

Not much was scheduled for yesterday, so I basically took the night off. But given what happened in 36N-HZ on Tuesday, I thought I'd post a cartoon The Mittani tweeted out.

I should add the Against ALL Authorities iHub in 9KOE-A that came out of reinforcement yesterday was replaced by one from The Volition Cult. I wonder if that is a prelude to today's activity.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Winter War: Target - Against ALL Authorities

In the biggest change in the map so far during the war, Stainwagon lost sovereignty in five systems in Catch and the iHub in a sixth.

In the eastern constellation of EM-L3K, TEST Alliance Please Ignore captured the sovereignty in the strategic system of F4R2-Q. The alliance now owns all three sov structures in the system, although enemy citadels are possibly still present. TESTCO is still trying to dislodge the Cold Steel Alliance (STEEL) from the constellation, so far with little success. Out of the four systems the Stainwagon alliance controlled on New Years Day, STEEL has only lost one TCU. Perhaps ominously for STEEL, The Volition Cult (VOLT) currently owns the station in L7XS-5. VOLT has not shown the steadfastness that STEEL has displayed during the conflict so far.

TESTCO is not waiting to expand the conflict beyond the jumpgates of F4R2-Q. A serious push targeting Against ALL Authorities (-A-) is ongoing. In the constellation of XR9-LP, -A- lost sovereignty in 4 systems: 2 to the Drone Walkers, 1 to TEST, and 1 to Lord of Worlds Alliance. TESTCO also reinforced the outpost in ZXIC-7, adjacent to both F4R2-Q and the XR9-LP constellation.

The pressure is also coming from the west, with not only HED-GP, but the -A- iHubs between Catch's gateway to highsec and TESTCO's newly purchased fortizar in 36N-HZ also placed in a reinforced state. The attackers position in 36N-HZ was also strengthened when Triumvirate. captured the iHub in the system. The Triumvirate. move put Vanguard Coalition on the map for the first time in the war.

In an amusing note, a major 300 billion ISK fight occurred due to at least one, if not two, titan pilots jumping into 36N-HZ instead of bridging, In the ensuing fight, both sides lost a titan, with the Imperium winning the field by dropping a fleet of 20 titans, 51 supercarriers, and over 100 dreadnaughts into the system.

The only counter-move visible on the sov map is the reinforcement of the iHub in the Stainwagon staging system of V-3YG7. I'm not sure if the system is still the staging system as I understand Stainwagon removed much of its ships and supplies from the system's outpost during last weekend's fighting. Stainwagon reportedly does have a fortizar in-system, so the defenders still have a solid base to fight from.

The situation went downhill rapidly after Stainwagon lost the iHub in V-3YG7. The Imperium is still active in the region, although I don't know how far they will attempt to project their power. Will the Imperium attempt to aid VOLT, or will it draw in and only protect the space of Soviet-Union? I do expect a sharp fight over HED-GB along with a collapse of -A- sov in eastern Catch. Beyond that I have no idea what the future holds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Winter War: Down To Cold Steel

The big news in the winter war in Catch yesterday was the capture of the outpost in F4R2-Q by TESTCO. TEST Alliance Please Ignore now owns both the outpost and the iHub in the system.

TESTCO and its allies still have a lot of work to do if they want to dig Stainwagon forces, mainly Cold Steel Alliance (STEEL), out of the EM-L3K constellation. I don't see TESTCO evicting STEEL from the constellation before the weekend.

Based on the entosis activity, I believe TESTCO will attempt to expand westward over the next week. TEST dropped a TCU in J-ODE7, taking sov from Against ALL Authorities (-A-). -A- seems the weakest member of Stainwagon at this time and has dropped sov in five systems. A move to take ZXIC-7 is likely as the outpost in the system is currently reinforced. TESTCO may need to take care or they may accidentally take a sov structure.

Action continues in Feythabolis, but no sov structures changed hands yesterday. The map in yesterday's post shows today's action. The Drone Region Federation is targeting outposts, even managing to freeport the station in BGN1-O. In addition to the fight in BGN1-O, three other outposts come out of reinforcement today.

A major problem for Stainwagon is if TESTCO breaks out of the EM-L3K constellation, they may sweep westward and take northern Catch relatively quickly. The Imperium will want to help stop TESTCO and the DRF from taking all of Catch, if only to keep them more than two jumps away from Delve. The question is, how far forward can the allies keep TESTCO from advancing?

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Winter War: A Busy Weekend

The past weekend was a relatively busy weekend for this winter's war in the south of EVE Online. Let's take a look.

Stainwagon began the weekend by finally clearing out the remains of Tactical Voltage from the constellation of BRP2-K in southern Catch on Saturday. Not only does the removal of the coalition remove an impediment to Imperium travel between Delve and the front lines in Catch, but Soviet-Union gained the constellation with the best true-sec in the region. The average true-sec in the 7 system constellation is -0.84.

Perhaps the biggest news occurred Saturday in the Stainwagon staging system of V-3YG7 when TESTCO, assisted by a large Drone Region Federation force, took down the Against ALL Authorities iHub and replaced the structure with one owned by Circle-Of-Two. Not only do iHubs aid in increasing a system's Activity Defense Modifier, but also allow the deployment of jump bridges. Reports indicate that V-3YG7 was part of Stainwagon's jump bridge system linking central Catch to the border system of HED-GP.

Whatever the reason, the destruction of the V-3YG7 iHub seemed to invigorate TESTCO. Shortly after the iHub battle, TESTCO and allies won the timer for the outpost in F4R2-Q, putting the outpost into freeport mode. On Sunday, TESTCO continued to make gains in the EM-L3K constellation, finally taking sov away from Cold Steel Alliance in 1P-WGB.

Reports from r/eve also indicate that TEST Alliance Please Ignore acquired a fortizar from The Volition Cult (VOLT). One of TEST's main fleet commanders, progodlegend, published a screenshot of a TEST fortizar in the system of 36N-HZ. The story is that TEST purchased the medium-sized citadel from VOLT member corporation Unsung Heroes, after which the corporation was kicked from the alliance. Dotlan shows that Unsung Heroes no longer is a member of VOLT, leaving the alliance at 8 January at 22:59. 36N-HZ is centrally located 3 systems north of V-3YG7 and 4 systems east of HED-GP.

In a related bit of news, Just let it happen, a member of the TESTCO-allied Foxtopus Coalition, lost three titans in Hedgiviter in lowsec Heimatar. Imperium news reported that the titans were probably headed toward their space in Tenal.

TESTCO's allies conducted entosis harassment in both Tenerifis and Impass over the weekend with little effect. The DRF activity led by SOLAR FLEET in Feythabolis is a little more serious. The alliance managed to hold onto its outpost in R97-CI and destroyed a Soviet-Union iHub in SWBV-2 in the early hours of Saturday. On Sunday, DRF-led forces freeported the Wings Wanderers outpost in BGN1-O.

I do begin to wonder about the fighting in Catch. If TESTCO finally manages to take F4R2-Q, will resistance crumble until the forces get to central Catch? The most desirable systems in the region are found in the west and southwest. I can't imagine Stainwagon would stop fighting so soon given that its control of the neighboring regions depends in large part on holding Catch. I hope to see Aegis Sov played out to see if the system truly works in a major war.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Winter War: More Russians Are Coming And Freeports

I didn't expect to write much today on the war. The big battles usually occur on weekends. Then I opened up the map for Feythabolis on break yesterday ... and, oh my!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Winter War: The 55 Billion ISK Wyvern

No sovereignty structures changed hands in the strategically located system of F4R2-Q yesterday. A lack of offensive success do not mean no action occured. Dotlan showed that between 0500 4 January and 0500 5 January, 1293 ships died in the system and the adjoining system of 1P-WGB. Perhaps the most significant event occurred in 1P-WGB as an Imperium fleet attempted to kill a TEST Wyvern-class supercarrier that wandered too far from the mooring's of an Astrahus-class citadel.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Winter War: Sides Chosen And Plates Of Spam

When I opened up Dotlan to check on the situation in Catch during lunch yesterday, the following site greeted me.

Okay, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not by much. The image may even invoke amusement from those that don't have to clean up the mess (or document the activity on maps). Speaking of maps, before continuing on to the map of Catch, I need to explain the political changes that impact the landscape.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Winter War: Force Projection And Entosis Spam

On Sunday, Stainwagon and Imperium forces prevented TESTCO from deploying two Fortizar-class citadels in the system of F4R2-Q. While I have not seen a battle report, the Imperium reportedly lost 4 supercarriers and 40 dreadnaughts in the system.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Winter War: Death To Supercarriers And Citadels

The fresh new war in the south of New Eden is generating a lot of attention from EVE's propaganda specialists. Of course, one of the biggest challenges is to name the war. A lot of the proposed names are linked to either the Imperium or to former Imperium members. I'm surprised no one's thought to call this conflict The Ice Floe War. After all, a massive amount of CO2 is threatening the home of the southern Russians. After a couple of days, I thought of photos like this:

Photographer: Josh Anon

Sunday, January 1, 2017

EVE Online's Winter War

The south of New Eden is set to host EVE Online's next big war. TEST Alliance Please Ignore (TEST), Circle-of-Two (CO2), and DRONE WALKERS (DW) look to spearhead an effort against the Stainwagon coalition in Catch. CSM member Jin'taan created a very good primer on the political situation and anyone interested in the conflict should take 15 minutes and watch.

When discussing the war, one should probably have some sort of understanding the location of the conflict. The regions the news reports will probably concentrate on are located in the southern portion of the galactic map. I have outlined where I think the majority of the fighting will take place, although in the event of an extended conflict that occurs in excess of six months, regions outside the dotted line will also become war zones.