In the early hours of the morning of September 24th, World War Bee 2 finally heated to a boiling point as the armor timer for an Imperium Fortizar resulted in a sizable supercapital escalation. The video above is a quick video of the events in 49-U6U that led to over 1 trillion ISK being destroyed, with the Imperium alone losing 772 billion ISK, including a Vendetta belonging to Rouge Adel, while the attackers lost around 313 billion ISK (though for some reason the battle report doesn’t include two PAPI supercarriers that died– one to a spy cyno and the other to a mercy AWOX). More than 3,000 people were in the system locked into the battle at its peak with two-thirds of them belonging to the attackers.
Attacking forces brought a collection of heavy assault cruiser fleets along with a TEST Nightmare fleet while the defending forces brought two battleship fleets, a Megathron (Baltec) fleet and a Rohk (Supertrain) fleet. The Imperium fleets were positioned first on the Fortizar with several force auxilliary ships as logistics. Once the attacking forces jumped into system, each fleet warped over to the Fortizar and began the engagement. TEST Nightmare’s held the ranged position as the Eagle fleets from Pandemic Horde and the Legacy Voltron crew moved in. A Muninn fleet from NC/PL held somewhere in he middle of the pack.
As the forces engaged, Pandemic Horde brought in the first wave of around 25 dreadnaughts according to Vily’s accounts of the battle:
The timer is out now and fire is being exchanged between Rokh/Baltec/Abaddons and Nightmares, Muninns, Eagles and more. The key however is no hesitation, Horde begins the escalation, dropping a dreadpack of 25 on their FAX. We will struggle to break BS under FAX reps so we can lose slowly or call the game.Vily on the initial escalation
This move caused the Imperium to counterescalate with their own group of dreadnaughts, nearly double the size of the Pandemic Horde group. In response, Horde brought in three more groups of dreadnaughts. Almost immediately, scouts across the board began to report the undocking of the Imperium supercarrier wing. As the supercarriers jumped into system, calls were made throughout various communication channels for the PAPI supercarriers to enter the fight. They came into the system at range and began to boat their fighters over to the Imperium supercarrier group while the Imperium focused on clearing as many dreads as possible as their capital numbers dwindled.
As the supercapital fight ensued, the Imperium was looking for the exit (and rightfully so) but their supercapitals were completely bubbled on the Fortizar and the only way to get them off was to warp them. The Imperium strategically activated the Fortizar’s point defense system, killing off some of the bubbles and allowing a large chunk the supercarrier group to warp off. According to Asher Elias’ account of the evening, this didn’t go according to plan:
The fighter wave is getting towards us and it’s time to make our exit and we press the PDS to clear the bubbles and press fleet warp. Only nothing happens. The PDS on the fort just refuses to respond. Our gunner waits for the next cycle but nothing again. Some people got damage notifications but the bubbles from dictors stay there. About half of our super fleet catches the warp but the other half just sits there, bubbled.Asher Elias on the PDS failing to activate
Regrettably, the time dilation in the system combined with the overall performance of the server were credited in dozens of reports of modules not responding and ships failing to maneuver properly. This has been a common thread in WWB2 and is one that it seems will continue throughout the remainder of the war. In spite of CCP’s best efforts, it seems that pitting 90% of the galaxy against eachother in a war for survival is not conducive to server stability.
Once the supercarriers remaining on-grid had been dispatched, the Imperium sent a relentless stream of interdictors into battle, doing whatever they could to hold the PAPI dreadnaughts in place. Nearly 300 interdictors were destroyed for this purpose, a number that industrialists in possession of Sabre BPOs should rejoice in. It is believed the Fortizar managed to kill two PAPI dreadnaughts with this tactic but, eventually, PAPI brought bombers in to clear off the bubbles and extract their remaining capitals.
Overall, 18 supercarriers and dozens of other regular capitals including dreadnaughts and force auxiliaries met their end in this battle, signalling a grim outlook for the future of these types of fights. Supercarriers cause unnecessary strain on the game servers as they take up to 6 times more resources than any regular ship would. BlazingBunny, a fleet commander from Northern Coalition. speculates that this would be the first and the last supercapital fight the game really sees.
There will be no super fights from here on. This proves the era of supers is gone. They couldn’t counter our dreadbomb and we deleted supers at a rate unheard of. [I think] it would’ve been the same for Titans.BlazingBunny on future supercapital escalation
Time will tell whether this is a correct assessment as the Imperium’s leader, The Mittani, insists that they will use their Titans and supers down to the very last ship. However, the recent changes to the health pools and resistance profiles of supercapital ships seem to have given way to dreadnaughts being the strongest in a capital meta, something that was thought to be true on the announcement of the changes.
One other large factor is the announcement of a further reduction in minerals and a removal of some key production items in today’s devblog on mineral restructuring. These changes will continue the scarcity mechanics that CCP seems to think will fix EVE’s economic struggle and cause prices for ships, especially supercapitals, to increase dramatically. We will not likely see the results of this for a while but keeping an eye on key battlefields and the composition of ships used is highly recommended.
As for this fight, the video above gives a good overview of the battle. We will be posting our own video within the next day or so that digs into the strategic decisions made during the battle and gives an in-depth analysis of what happened. Stay tuned here and to the New Eden Post YouTube channel for that upload.
If you’re looking for more screenshots, Maximus Brutalior has posted a fantastic album on flickr that is a must view.