Goonswarm Fountain War Update – 18th March

Top NCdot skirmish FC and campaign planner Fufa or Foofa or something like that demonstrates his radical new strategy for taking Fountain at the bazillionth attempt.

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Welcome back to Fountain. For what is almost certainly less than the eleventh time, we find ourselves scratching our heads in bemusement while watching a bunch of NCdot members strapping ostentatiously spiky helmets to their heads and waddling at what passes for top speed towards our walls, apparently in the wild hope that they can head-butt our sovereignty indexes to zero.

I’m not going to lie to you: this invasion is so bafflingly obviously doomed that I find myself making excuses for the enemy. I presume that they have some vast ally we didn’t think of waiting in the wings, or that they have a spy in one of our Fountain allies with roles to disband or the like. Because at the moment theirs is so nonsensical a plan that if I scratch my head much more I’ll end up trepanning myself and letting the bad voices out.

This is almost certainly going to be the last great war under dominion sovereignty, and may well be the last war for a long time in which those of you with supercaps and titans – apparently most of you judging by the move ops – will get the chance to flaunt them with any real effect. So for goodness sake get them to Fountain. In a convoy. Not solo. What, are you ex-Razor or something?

Seriously, I don’t know why you would go through all the pain of getting those supercaps, of endlessly replacing all those ratting ishtars you lost to Moa – usually because you were watching hentai porn on the other monitor and it was just getting to the good bit with the tentacles – if you are going to pass up the chance of a BR- rerun but on home soil and with even greater subcap dominance.  Don’t make poor Gevlon have shelled out all those hundreds of billions for nothing yet again. Because believe me, the third-tier scrubs who organised this invasion ache to be able to have a comeback to that humiliation and there is a very real chance we’ll get to show their supercap fleet what the inside of four hundred kilometres of bubblefuckery looks like one more time.

Here, by the way, is a gif of one of the five move fleets yesterday. Don’t miss this. Check the forums for further massively bloated move ops that act as unfun gateway drugs to the euphorics our enemies are selflessly offering us on the Delve border.

The Mystic Stylings of the Prophet Endie

Most of you know the way that these wars play out, especially in Fountain. Fuelled by the blindly optimistic view that “this time will be different, no really, I have a good feeling about this guys, just trust me,” the hostiles will get excellent turnout for a few fights and structure shoots against only the locals. They’ll take the odd system and circle-jerk threads about it on reddit into the stratosphere, because everyone knows that he who controls the karma, controls the universe. After all, when we were driven from the reddit battlefield during the previous Fountain invasion after Phoebe, in short order we lost the entire region, going on to be driven back to Venal in a series of unmitigated disasters only made bearable by the fact that it was entirely imaginary.

That’s usually the point at which we sacrifice a titan to the fickle gods of Eve war, but apparently we some deep-cover sleeper corp in the alliance called Repertoire or Reparations or something who have carefully laid low by never coming on any fleets and only ever posting while disguised as the bastard offspring of Fcon and Widot. Now, as we begin a war, they have pounced, viciously jumping their titan into a Snuff trap and cackling as they assure our doom by dying like a Liberian mortician with a fetish for blood play.

As an aside, and as a member of Bat Country I should like to point out that losing a titan to Snuff Box is, in fact, a clear signal that you have really made it as a corporation in Eve and that you are dining at the top table of Eve’s elitest p33v33p33.

Brave Newbies: The Implodening

Napoleon “Sun Tzu” Bonaparte once said that if you place a lion in charge of 100 dogs, the dogs will fight like lions, but if you place a dog in charge of 100 lions, the lions will die like Korean entrees. Actually I don’t know: maybe Dokdo can clear this up for me but I imagine they probably eat lions too, given half a chance. That’s beside the point. The issue here is that Napoleon never considered what would happen if you put a panel of a herd of sheep, three parakeets and a drunk jellyfish in charge of a giant sack containing several thousand chubby cats. That is pretty much BNI at the moment.

After a hilarious (if you are not stuck in a station depending on these guys to save your stuff) soundcloud was leaked containing an impressively drunk leader whose grasp on space politics was not improved by the apparent consumption of a quart of absinthe arguing with less than eighty or ninety of the elite inner circle who run Brave Newbies, drama has spiralled excitingly with PL’s decision to push Brave’s staging system into final reinforced. I certainly recommend you listen to the soundcloud in question: if you can do it without grinding three millimetres of your molars into dust at the bit where some antipodean says “can I just have a newbro moment here?” you are a calmer, more forgiving person than me.

Goodness knows how this will play out. Since several huge, sprawling factions of scores of people all think that they really run BNI. One of the Brave Newbies governments worship the N3 bloc that farms them merrily for kills, and if they succeed in having their way we could yet see BNI bringing vast fleets of ewar ships to fight us, but that is just one of a huge range of kkkomedy options that lie before us: maybe they really will move to geminate. Maybe they’ll melt down so fast they burn right through the earth’s core and end up singing that annoying woman from the soundcloud. Someone should run a sweepstake.


Let’s pour some cocaine on the kerb for a gangbanging thug who never saw it coming: Fwiff0/Mandozer. Apparently Aryndel saw that he’d left on good terms last time and thought that this Fabulous Freewheelin’ Franklin of the spaceways was now a reformed character and let him in unvouched (and this with people like me saying “not on my dime this time”). Even more bafflingly, someone thought that loaning him a bazillion ISK was wise: frankly I’d rather lend my house to the Greek government for the purposes of moving it to a warzone and putting up a big sign saying “fuck all Putins and ISIS: bomb this house if you’re not down” but I guess that’s why I’m stuck with all this stupid ISK unlike the cunning eve capitalist in question.

Fwiff0’s plan had been to go out aw0xing that guy from that Repertory corp who spends his days making Widot look like Epsilon-tier posters but, Dozer being Dozer, he literally slept through his own aw0xing spree and the hit squad he had infiltrated into his alt corp killed Warr Akini, ironically someone he got on with ok, instead.


Get to Fountain.  Or if you are in EG, Reavers or Blackops get your shit deployed to where you will be infilcting your own particular brands of hilarious griefing on our hapless foes.  Don’t move supers solo.  Don’t use a council to run your alliance and never lend money to someone who only joined the alliance to win a bet.

And hurry on the deployment, because sooner or later Vince Draken is going to log in and notice what these bunglefucks he left in charge are up to and once he stops laughing he’s going to cut our fun shorter than a reality show star’s career.

A Crazy Little Thing Called Sov


In my last article I went over a big pile of reasons why I liked the first iteration of Fozziesov. This one contains a few suggestions for tweaks as well.

Phoebe and Phoezziesov

The impact of Phoebe on these mechanics reveals a key effect of the changes to travel made late last year: localisation.

Imagine you are leader of a mid-sized, sov-holding alliance – “Memecats Alliance” – living in Cobalt Edge and you fancy making yourself feel all relevant and elite (argh I automatically typed “revenant” there). Naturally, you immediately deploy from your holding to, say, Catch where Big Target Alliance already have a bunch of NPC sov dwellers merrily torturing fights out of them from Stain, empire and Curse. You can roam around and bomb or otherwise harass their nightly defence fleets on gates. Maybe pick off stragglers with cloaking ships.

But you are *not* an NPC dweller. You have a bunch of space, and maybe some CSAAs building supers (brave you under the new system!) back in Cobalt Edge. And now “.xX420Noscope BudSmokersXx.” next door in Tenal have camped your left-behind ratters into their stations for days. Who cares, right? They should be on deployment, the scrubs. Let ’em squeal. You are like Ivan the Terrible here.

Except that now your occupancy indexes are plummeting, and a couple of ten-man .xX420Noscope BudSmokersXx. gangs just reinforced every structure in your two constellations in a matter of hours. It took you forever to get down here, and your triage carriers took half a week to move to your lowsec staging system, and now you have to jump clone back or risk losing your entire empire. And this will happen every couple of days. Maybe next time you should consider invading those guys next door, next time?

This is All Good and Working As Intended. The catch, if you will spare the pun, is that people will still take the easy route out, because the system at present doesn’t actually offer incentives to do things as smaller groups. You and your neighbour both want to deploy, you both have to deal with the endless stream of zero-risk NPC dwellers, so why not blue each other? With the potential for endless pestilential timers, the best defence is to blue up everyone nearby. And the guys next to each of you, because shared blue lists are easy. In fact, if you *don’t* view the prospect of hacking your own sov structures every single night from now until eternity as fun for some reason then you either want to live deep in Bluetopia or in NPC nullsec.

The in-game answer is probably mixed-TZ alliances. Like Goonswarm. EG wants to deploy? Set structures for EU TZ vulerability. BL deploys nearby? Set timers for deep euro time and send poor Elo a nice alarm clock as a birthday gift. I am not sure that this is what was planned.

Gevlon Goblin in Good Post Shocker

I am going to do something special here.

I am going to quote The Gevlon. Approvingly. Of course, as Gevlon would be quick to point out, a good post tends just to be one that
the reader agrees with. But here, Gevlon cuts to the heart of the matter and makes a good point.

Each time a structure is reinforced, the defender is being forced to bet he can hold it. The defender’s stake is the sovereignty that
makes living in nullsec (allegedly) worthwhile. The attacker should not force that bet with a T1 cruiser: that is not of commensurate
value for forcing a defender to get scores of people to waste an hour of their gameplay to fix their trolled sov. And a handful of interceptors warping in at each side of a 500-km wide sphere and warping off to let others continue using their Entosis mods whenever approached is not placing assets at risk to force fights. Nor is what I admit I would love, warping around the field using the Entosis mods to kite defenders into a steady stream of tackle wrecks.

On a personal note, I cannot help but think that this is a chance to make battleships relevant again. Make the fitting requirements require at least a battleship, or maybe a battlecruiser hull, and you have some old-fashioned, burly brawls on your hands once more! P.S. fix bombers and insta-probing.

In any case, the doomsday theorycrafting about ridiculous, untrackable setups should wait until we know the fitting requirements of the Entosis units. I bet Fozzie has no intention of allowing pairs of 12km/s troll inties to zip around kiting uncatchably.

If Everyone is a Wolf…

Manny was also quick to raise the question of risk vs reward
“Besides the name on the map why would anyone choose to move to nullsec? ( Incursions , level 5’s already offer more isk per hour than
nullsec. )”

It is vital to remember that Manny sits firmly on the predator side of the argument, here. He knows that, in order to get fights, PL
need a vibrant and busy nullsec upon which to predate. A system which allows non-sov-dwellers to run riot in sov null, but which does not compensate the sovholding line members sufficiently, will see depopulation, after which nobody gets fights.

The job of sov-holding nullsec alliances in the new game is to be the content for attackers, who will probably tend to be NPC-space-
based (NPC null, lowsec, highsec NPSI etc) or wormhole forces. That is fine. The nature of a PvP game is that the end game content is
other players, and CCP relies on sov-holders to provide that content to others and to each other.

But it is vital for the health of the game that there are sufficient sheep to feed all the wolves. If the game gives more advantages to
the attackers then the rewards for putting up with the resulting harassment have to increase dramatically. People have to believe that it is really worth the candle.

Manny also raised the same question that has occurred to a lot
of people: why hold sov when constant troll timers will be being generated by the likes of our Reavers, EG or the like?

I have often suggested that missions should be available in sov null, because they force people to travel and provide things in space to
shoot at, while providing scaleable income for a dense population. I have picked up from comments by Fozzie that he is not keen on that
idea, and wants to keep those lucrative rewards in NPC null and lowsec. In that case, it would be a simple change to increase the
number of anoms that spawn in a system with an upgraded hub to allow easily-tweaked maximum population density.

The key thing is that, in order to defend in this new system, you will need a certain player density: you need to have enough people
nearby who are able and willing to drop everything in order to see off the multiple harassment fleets running around. That means a
certain number of players within your staging system and very close nearby.

But if the game does not support that density then the floor on the minimum viable population density is *above* the ceiling on the
maximum supportable economic density. That would see sov space empty. You might not want to see sov space any richer, but you have to bring people closer.

Boosting the anoms per system through the iHub would not provide more money overall in sov nullsec – and certainly nothing to match NPC systems like N5Y in ISK/Hour – but it would allow for smaller footprints and populations dense enough not to feel they need more allies to act as buffers.

Fozziesov? What is this called, anyway? The new Sov system.

I’ll bet you expect me to raise all hell about the problems this new system raises for Goonswarm, and to start pointing out why it will never work, aren’t you?


First off, there are many elements of this system that I like. I think that the stated goals – provoke fights, increase flexibility, enable smaller groups to hold sov – are wholly admirable, and I was very flattered to see several passages from my blogs appear. I think, overall, that there is a huge amount of promise there: Fozzie made it quite clear that an important element of the design was that it was malleable, and that he foresaw the potential for a lot of tweaking before it went live.

Entosis -> Apoptosis -> Necrosis

I love the Entosis element: I had suggested a class of ship dedicated to “hacking” sov like this instead of a module, but on reflection, the module allows for more variety of fleet doctrines than being tied to a certain class being in fleet and working around that. The underlying principle is the same: you have to put ships on grid to take or defend sov. That is the key point and everything else is attempting to balance what is perhaps the single most complex game on the market.

I think that the timer element is well executed, as well. Yes, it will provide challenges for AU TZ people, for instance, to take systems from EU people, and similar combinations. But at the same time that is balanced for AU TZ defenders who will tend to be be more secure. Widening the window or making structures vulnerable round-the-clock would mean that people would be encouraged to troll-reinforce those who cannot give them a fight at the time: people who will be asleep when the sov structures get reinforced. I think that would go against the “get-fights” spirit of these changes.

As well as their ability to disable services, off-timezone forces will also have the important job of reducing the defenders’ use of the space to even out the timer multipliers. I do like that aspect of the design: there are lots of ways to attack. That is good!

There are a few elements that I do feel need tweaked. Here are my first couple of suggestions: everyone is already suffering great fatigue from reading a thirty-page sov design document so I won’t do it all in one post!

What about the little guy?

Malcanis’ Rule is not broken here: read to the end!

I like the constellation sov idea, with split up fights in a variety of locations. I hope that yields what is intended: an urgent race between opposing forces, moving around rapidly, splitting forces to take one timer while harassing others and so on. The fact that these timers can be all over a constellation really favours someone who has forces to spare to camp gates.

I do worry that this favours people like us (Goonswarm) rather heavily. On a big op, we can afford to place a full fleet in three timers and put a fourth on duty interdicting hostile travel. I think that a further advantage explicitly rewarding the smaller defender would be good: perhaps a multiplier on top of the occupancy bonuses meaning that an alliance that owns one system has its Entosis systems run twice as fast again; one that owns two systems has them run at 1.8 times as fast, and so on down to, say, six systems when there is no bonus. Otherwise a small defender will rapidly be camped into zero occupancy bonuses then easily overwhelmed by numbers.

I may very well be shot at dawn for this by my own bloc but perhaps that multiplier could further scale once a certain threshold is reached so that someone who owns a very large number of systems (more than 8-10 constellations, say?) has its Entosis systems run progressively slower?

Thus endeth the reading…

OK that is part one: I hope it came across as welcoming and optimistic but with a couple of important quibbles.  Next, I’ll look at Risk vs Reward and the inevitable rise of the remote tracking computer-boosted blap-Muninn in Fozziesov.