For anyone unaware, EVE Online is currently experiencing one of if not the largest wars it has ever seen. At New Eden Post, we try to keep everyone updated on the happenings in the war. While every fight isn’t newsworthy, some are worth mentioning. Others are worth mentioning repeatedly. Starting Thursday (not technically the weekend) the system of Y-2ANO in Fountain saw several large fights that culminated in the destruction of nearly 4000 ships valued at over 300 billion ISK and involving a staggering 6500 players (though not all at once). Some people have been wondering where all the fights were in Fountain as The Initiative left it for dead and the Imperium followed suit. This question has now been answered as invading forces knock on the doors of Fortress Delve.
1. The Initial Reinforcement of the Y-2ANO Keepstar
The string of fights began with the initial reinforcement of the Y-2ANO Keepstar, which took place on Friday at around 0200 EVE. Attacking forces entered the system with fleets of Feroxes and a large group of carriers and force auxiliaries. Carriers were tasked with sending fighters over to the Keepstar and beginning the reinforcement cycle. Not to be left without something to do, the Imperium brought their own Ferox fleets to the system. One Ferox fleet, fit with little tank and maximum mobility (with a micro jump drive), spent the majority of their time shooting fighters. Another Ferox fleet, fit normally, stayed nearby ready to engage in combat with a third fleet, Jackdaws, protecting each from potential bomb runs and providing anti-tackle support.
Attacking forces warped in and out while the fighters from the carriers continue to apply pressure to the Keepstar. Each time, another cycle of the Keepstar’s doomsday went off, signaling doom for at least 5 ships within an instant. All throughout this process, time dilation was raging in the system, pushing everything to be 10% as fast as it normally would be. The fighting lasted nearly 3 hours but, the Keepstar was reinforced. This prompted The Mittani (leader of Goonswarm Federation) to create a new tool of propaganda in the “Pubbie Woodchipper”. Overall, the defending forces used their newly found citadel advantage in ways that leading FC, Asher Elias, was elated to experience, as he described on the Meta Show.
Overall, this initial reinforcement cost attacking forces 42.5 billion ISK compared to the defenders 21.4 billion ISK.
2. The Y-2ANO Keepstar Armor Timer
On Saturday, attacking and defending forces were primed and ready to fight over the armor timer of the Y-2ANO Keepstar that had been reinforced in days prior. Ping notifications went out to the alliances involved and a staggering number of players turned up for what would be arguably the largest fight that World War Bee 2 has seen to date. Though the battle report shows just under 4000 players involved, the local count in system showed almost 1000 more in system and actively engaged in the conflict. With this many players in a system, EVE’s servers shuddered and groaned under their weight, causing the system to remain in a constant state of <10% time dilation.
At around 1400 ET, PandaFam forces entered the system of Y-2ANO and perched themselves on the ZXB-VC gate. Much like the previous incursion into Y-2, the attacker’s carriers were jumped in and positioned on an Astrahus just off the Keepstar. When PandaFam forces entered into the system, there was roughly an hour left on the Keepstar’s reinforcement timer, meaning that there was nothing to do but wait for the Imperium’s defenses to arrive. PandaFam brought fleets of Feroxs, Muninns, carriers, and FAXs, ready to engage in the day’s version of the “woodchipper”. The Imperium brought along a collection of their favorite doctrines including Baltecs, Ferox, Abbadons, and– the doctrine that would prove to decide the fate of this timer– stealth bombers.
The fighting started when the Imperium fleets jumped into the system from ZXB. PandaFam had positioned their subcap fleets & carrier fighters on their in-gate. What followed could only be described as a woodchipper as PandaFam unleashed a group of HAW (high-angle weapon) dreadnaughts to pluck away at the fleets trying to burn their way through the bubbles. An untold amount of ships died on that gate and, by the time the initial fleets had burned off and prepared their defense, more were waiting to jump in. This prompted one group of carriers to leave their fighters on the gate, eagerly awaiting kills that were sure to come.
TEST had brought the siege machine for this encounter in the form of cruise missile Ravens, something that the Initiative had coined to bash on Keepstars when the use of capitals was scarce in the eviction of Hard Knocks. These Ravens were used to pause the Keepstar’s reinforcement timer while fighters slowboated from the carrier group over to the Keepstar. The plan was sound as the Ravens fielded by TEST would certainly not stand up to hundreds of Feroxs and Megathrons if engaged outright. Once the Ravens were either dead or forced off the field, the fighters from the carriers would have arrived. An alternative would have been that the Ravens never got engaged by any of their enemies, opting more to attack the battlecruiser and HAC fleets on grid. Unfortunately for the Ravens, one situation that was not thought of was eating a bomb sandwich in the form of stealth bombers led by Dabigredboat. It took a while for the bombs to register and for the ships to explode, but explode they did with nearly every Raven being evaporated.
This caused the Keepstar timer to begin to tick itself down again, in real time, while attacking forces scrambled for a way to pause it again at 10% speed. Before the attackers could get damage back onto the Keepstar, the timer ended and the structure repaired itself. Through the entire 15 minute timer, fighting continued both on the ZXB gate and in random spots around the grid. However, for nearly 5000 people, only 174 billion ISK being lost seems like quite the understatement.
3. The Y-2ANO Fortizar (Y-200 Dead Ravens)
The final battle of the weekend in Y-2ANO was over the structure timer of an Imperium Fortizar. Both PandaFam and the Imperium brought Ferox fleets (boy I’m getting tired of writing that) to the system. There was some fighting prior to the structure coming out of reinforce, but the fighting really began when PandaFam fleets called the bluff established from recent experiences with the Y-2 Keepstar. Imperium fleets were content to sit on the Fortizar, being chewed up by their own point defense system (much like PandaFam were) and brawl it out. Fortizar’s are much weaker than Keepstars with no ability to doomsday its targets.
The fight on the Fortizar happened while carrier fighters shot through the citadel’s structure HP. Truthfully, this fight could only be described as a dance of destruction as both forces tried to use interdiction to hold their opponents down but the point defense system of the Fortizar was systematically destroying the interdiction probes from both side’s Sabres. One fleet would warp in, another would warp off, followed by another warping in and so on. The brawl itself lasted for nearly 3 hours and resulted in the loss of over 1000 ships. This battle was half as destructive as the battle for the Keepstar’s armor timer and contained less than 1/3 of the players.
Once the Fortizar was destroyed, Imperium forces attempted to flee and were greeted with Sabres that could not have their warp disruption probes destroyed and enemy fleets thirsty for their blood. HAW dreads were dropped into the system to assist with this cleanup effort. Battlecruisers, namely Feroxs, are notoriously slow which resulted in a large number of ships being cleaved out from under fleet commanders, Asher Elias and apple pear. Eventually, however, a fortunate bombing run cleared some of the interdiction probes, allowing a large chunk of the Imperium Feroxs to warp off-grid and get safe in system. Though some of the line members made it out of the fight, most fleet commanders present did not with five Monitors becoming wrecks on-field.
Overall, this weekend was an exciting weekend to be an EVE player. It isn’t very often that an enemy puts up as good of a fight as Goonswarm Federation did in Y-2 for the armor timer of their Keepstar and I can truly say that I’m happy that they showed up. As PandaFam continues to push inward towards Delve, the fighting will only continue to get more heated. As a member of Northern Coalition, I’m looking forward to losing more Feroxs on the field of battle (I’m up to 3 in one night so far!) and seeing what surprises Goons have in store for us once we enter into their Fortress.
Were you at any of the fights that happened in Fountain this weekend? What were your thoughts? Let us know below!