We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.
While I have spent some time getting myself ready for war, I spent last night tidying up some loose ends and looking to see if there was anything else I should package up and ship off.
I can be lazy about leaving ships and fittings and what no sitting about in various stations. But past wars have encouraged that. We have always been fighting in somebody else’s space, so there has been no worry about leaving anything laying about. It would be there when I got back.
This war is different. After four and a half years, war has come to our space. It was time to get things together. According to once EVE utility I had more than 15 billion ISK in ship and fittings and what not just sitting in stations. Better to send that back to Jita, to turn it into ISK. Better to have more liquid assets in such times.
I had already jumped my carrier into low sec after moving it out of Tribute. That left one more load of non-essentials in the region for me to retrieve, a blockade runner full of my remaining ratting loot and excess ammunition sitting in L-VXTK. I just had to get that out and to a station from which I could ship it all to Jita and I would have nothing left but combat ships in the area.
TNT’s holdings in Tribute are going down. We have managed to put together some resistance. Fleets come out from Saranen to help. But as always, there are multiple fights going on at any given time and Tribute tends to be the furthest away.
Of course, the fighting over the region almost got my blockade runner blown up. I hadn’t checked, so was caught off guard when, trying to slip past hostile space and into Venal, I found myself in the middle of a Fozzie sov command node tug of war. There is nothing like sitting cloaked off a gate in the middle of two dozen Mercenary Coalition ships who would view my presence with the same enthusiasm a starving man might give the unexpected arrival of a Chicken Delight delivery truck.
Still, I managed to survive, holding my cloak, watching the timer count down, only to have them all warp off to a node with about 10 seconds to spare. Just another day in a war zone.
I scooted along carefully, passed into UMI-KK, our fallen capital, and then off into the wasteland of Venal.
I wasn’t surprised to find Venal empty as I passed through. It was rarely ever a busy place, but it has been more quiet since the null sec changes. Somebody should do a study on the effects of Fozzie Sov on NPC null sec regions.
And then I was into Deklein.
I hadn’t flown about Deklein much of late. I scooted off to YA0-XJ to drop off my load then checked my asset list to see what else I had stashed away in the region. I had a couple loads worth of stuff still sitting in my old home station 0P-F3K that I never quite got around to moving down to Tribute after we left Deklein. Good call in hindsight.
I also had a small pile of stuff and a few ships in QPO-WI, where we have staged now and again.
And, much to my surprise, I had a whole bunch of stuff, including half a dozen old doctrine ships, sitting in VFK-IV. I can’t even remember when a Digi-Canes stopped being a doctrine. There was also a Megathron from the Fountain War, the same one that refused to fire back Z9PP-H, which I named the San Ramon for reasons that escape me today. And, of course, another Drake from the era when MWD Drake fleets ruled the skies, unleashing torrents of scourge missiles at our foes.
So I move around, picked up the loose items in the blockade runner, the flew about in my pod to ferry ships back the the shipping station. Once there I repacked them all, created courier contracts for one of the alliance shipping services, and sent them all to Jita. Almost 100 million ISK in shipping fees, at 320 ISK per cubic meter. The shipping services are making some money this month. But there was probably a couple billion ISK worth of stuff in what sent down. (And I awoke this morning to find it all safely delivered.)
Some of it I will just sell. Some of the hulls I will buy fittings for and ship out to Saranen. Megathrons are back in style, so I can use that Quafe skin again. And I had a few interceptor hulls which, given the loss rates being sustained by that class of ship in the war, are actually worth a lot more in Jita than what I probably paid for them, shipping included.
If you are in the interceptor building business, it looks like fat city is here. Industrialists rejoice.
The one thing I did not have to do during a couple hours of flying around Deklein during US prime time was dodge any hostiles. I didn’t actually see a hostile ship until I decided to YOLO back down to Saranen in a surplus Hawk, rather than waiting for my jump clone timer, and got caught in a gate camp in Fade. (A kill that doesn’t seem to have shown up yet on zkillboard or I would link it.)
Yes, I passed by a couple of systems with somebody cloaked up. There is always that guy watching the cyno beacon in YA0-XJ. But a lot of systems were blue. Intel didn’t report a single gang roaming the region while I was about. It was, frankly, more peaceful yesterday than it was during peace time.
And here we see the fiction, for now, in the name “World War Bee.”
It is alleged by our foes to be a war against Goons. They are the target. They are the ones that the Moneybadgers say they want to take down. Allies in The Imperium are just meat shields, casualties of Goon callousness.
But actions speak louder than words… or, if you prefer, inaction. If our foes really want to attack Goons, they sure are taking their time getting to it. Despite having effectively taken Fade and holding stations on the path to Deklein in both Pure Blind and Tribute, a look at the map of Deklein shows you this.
There is exactly ONE system under attack in the entire region… and it is the ONLY one that isn’t held by GSF. Some war against Goons!
No, so far this is the war against Goon allies. Even in Pure Blind the enemy goes after the few non-GSF systems first. They are going after us because they believe their own propaganda and think we are weak and oppressed and would rise up against Goons because everybody hates Goons. They think we’ll thank them for coming after us.
They don’t even think they need to negotiate with us. Their offer is to let us keep what we currently have, which is exactly the sort of offer you present to somebody you don’t think is in a position to negotiate; the sort of offer you give to somebody you feel you can take care of later. And all the while they keep hitting us and telling us Goons did that.
We’ll see how that works out. Certainly The Imperium is suffering, with LAWN and Bastion already displaced, SMA on its way out of Fade, TNT’s remaining systems cut off on in Tribute, The Initiative driven out of Tenal, and Branch under assault. (Nosy Gamer has summaries for Fade and Tenal.)
That is World War Bee. That is the attack on Goons. I am starting to think that MOA did more damage in Deklein during any month in 2015 than the Moneybadgers have done during this war.
I am starting to think I should ship an Ishtar up to Deklein. As Gevlon inadvertently points out, it is clearly safe to rat up there and GSF has opened up all of its systems to allies for ratting and mining.
Probably the best summary of the mindset of the Moneybadgers I have seen is this post, where after mocking The Mittani and his GSF CEO Update, the author disdains the Goon allies in The Imperium as worthless, tells us there is no shame in treason because Goons are bad for the game, and then goes on to a daydream about how wonderful the NEXT war will be, once Goons are gone.
This is counting ones chickens before the eggs are even laid. You may have seen Jester was back for a guest post, cataloging the sins of the Goons. One of the things he used to complain about back in the day was Goons casting themselves in the role of the underdog even when they held military superiority. It was the role the made for themselves during the Great War (read the book), it is a role they find comfort and solidarity in, and the game has just put them back in that role again. Among the alliances seeing a boost in membership is GSF. The engines of war are being assembled. The undock of our staging system is almost constantly lit by cynos bringing in supplies for the fight.
So it may be a while before null sec is just happy little constellation versus constellation wars, all the while hoping PL or NCDot hasn’t decided it is your turn to provide them entertainment. What, do you think that power bloc will go away?
As for “bad for the game,” well… I am not sure I buy that. Bad for how you may want the game to be, your vision of a perfect little New Eden, sure. But if you want to promote the game, Goons have a way of doing things that make headlines and drawn new players to the game in droves. (Only to be driven off by the still horrible a decade after it should have been fixed new player experience.) What else brings that kind of attention to the game? How are esports working out? Does the annual Alliance Cheating Tournament cause a subscription boost? How about Fozzie Sov? Did Fozzie Sov bring people into the game? Do you think PL showing up to tell you to feed them kill mails or lose your constellation will boost subscriptions?
What drives up the PCU count? What makes the grass grow?
They are so bad for the game that the CCP marketing department wouldn’t know what to do without Goons.
Anyway, I’ve already said where I will be for the duration of the war. I may be something of a space tourist and not fully on board with our propaganda line, but I am not a traitor. (And hey, look, disagreeing with Dear Leader publicly doesn’t get you booted.) If we get kicked out of sov null I will follow The Mittani into the hills to carry on the struggle by guerilla tactics, though he’ll need to grow a better beard if he wants to be Fidel. It will be a new experience.
But the Moneybadgers will actually have to attack Goons first.