Art by Redlline XIII
On 12/09/2018, Hard Knocks and The Initiative, along with their allies, participated in one of the largest wormhole battles ever fought in EVE Online. Hard Knocks came under attack by Imperium forces and the Imperium-lead Initiative set their eyes on the oldest Keepstar in the game, called “Fort Knocks, “which was setup in the system of J115405, known as “Rage” by the wormhole population.
The shield timer was quiet, more of a first strike to notify Hard Knocks of the coming eviction. Multiple POS structures also fell on December 9, but that was the extent of the day’s conflict. The real destruction was on the day of the armor timer.
Game of Holes
Hard Knocks felt the pressure from the attacking forces and called for other wormhole groups to come and assist them in defending “Rage.” The Initiative also wanted more support and that is when the seriousness of the situation became clear. The two sides engaged in a massive battle for hole control, with both sides switching back and forth with who had control. The Initiative made a clear gain of power in the hole control tug of war. Most of the deaths of the day occurred during these battles over hole control.
The coalition of wormhole groups that came together to defend “Rage” managed to get another connection into the system. They gathered and in a panic flooded in the system. The FC of the INIT bomber fleet commanded a massive volley of bombs onto the wormhole, which slaughtered a massive portion of the defense fleet.
The wormholers lost ~39 billion ISK. Hole control was officially lost for the day and at 03:00 on 12/10/18 the armor timer of the Keepstar was successfully taken out by the Initiative, making both day one and two an Initiative victory.
The Death of Fort Knocks
At 02:35 on 12/12/18 the oldest Keepstar in the game died in J115405, killed by Initiative forces. There was a small battle during the hull timer, but there was no formal defense. HK released a statement that said that the Keepstar would die, which it did.
Currently, it is not certain how much loot was left in Fort Knocks and how much was transferred to the other Keepstar in the system or possibly out of the hole. There were also large amounts of self-destructing capitals, similar to what we saw during Judgment Day, but to a smaller extent. Shortly after the destruction of the Keepstar, d-scans of the space indicated over 2,500 containers were available to loot, with more spawning as time passed.
These thousands of containers were spawning outside of the Keepstar’s wreck, along with ships. Right after the Keepstar fell, almost everyone who was on the field started warping to random containers searching for valuable loot, such as AT ships, faction capitals, expensive mods and blueprints. Hard Knocks could have lost trillions of ISK, but we will probably never know the exact figure.
As for official ISK lost during the fight, it stands as 5 billion ISK for the attackers and 315 billion ISK for the defenders. Initiative completed what they said they were going to do: they killed Fort Knocks.
The History of Rage
The reddit user “fankysaken” wanted to clear some things up for those who were reading, watching, and who were involved in this battle. He made a long post on reddit, which has been edited and shortened for readability, but in no other way altered:
Hey nerds, since this reddit has been writing so much about Hard Knocks Inc, Rage and what is going to happen tomorrow I thought I owe a somewhat more official story from our side as I seem to be the only one who is not flair baiting.This post will go a bit over the current situation and the history of Hard Knocks Inc. and Rage without too much drama. . . .
HRDKX grew to be quite a proficient and large wormhole corp over the years with reddit swapping between cycles of “HRDKX is killing wormhole space” to “HRDKX is cool” on a bi-monthly basis or depending on who you talk to.
And that brings us here. Rage is under attack by INIT and friends. Last Sunday [Dec. 9, 2018], they brought in about 700-800 people on their first try and quickly gained control over Rage. Disallowing anyone from entering or leaving except by random numbers of rolling into Rage with reinforcements.
Without whining about n+1, INIT has a lot more dudes than we have. Even with all of our friends getting in they’d outnumber us about 6:1 if not more. HRDKX has always had between 90-110 real people and as of [this] writing we have about 60 of those online while a quick look at INIT comms shows them to have between 300 and 400 before a ping has gone out.
Tomorrow, one of our Keepstars, the first ever built and onlined in EVE, will fall. It will be streamed so you should take a watch. At the moment we see absolutely no way we can contest the MJD Ravens and superior numbers.
There has been a lot of sperg on reddit over recent days and I’d rather have people know the history so I’ll put forth some counter points to all the wild stuff:
Hard Knocks Inc are all PL alts – This is an older meme and yes some of our members have characters in other alliances including PL; no they do not own us.
HRDKX rents out wormholes – No, we don’t.
HRDKX is blobby – Maybe at times we have been but if you take a quick look through fight videos, AARs and other stories then it definitely wasn’t the case at all times.
HRDKX is self destructing! – Yes, we are. I’ve told our line members to safe as much as they possibly can. We can’t continually fight and have had to leave that for the last moment. Now that the situation seems ever dark for defending it is better to save what one can instead of losing it needlessly. This makes people angry and I would be dishonest if I said the same thing hasn’t annoyed me in the past but that’s EVE (I say this as I am literally self-destructing caps :x).
HRDKX evicts PVP corps! – Yep, we have but we were definitely not the worst offenders. Many of our evictions were out of grudges. Some failed, and we really haven’t done that many the past two years.
In the end, this is EVE and there’s always a bigger fish, and in this case a much better fish! As for the future of Hard Knocks Inc, we’re having discussion on that internally that I’m sure some of you are also participating in/reading about.
What is an interesting aspect is that null sec never really tried to do this in wormhole space up until this event, at least not en masse. It will be interesting to see what that brings in the future for wormhole corps and how they function!
In the end, a group that is known for outnumbering their opponents were outnumbered. They lost because of it. Fankysaken cleared up a few things that were rumors or lies, that maybe helped fuel the Initiative line members. I talked to a few INIT/ Imperium members, and a lot of them thought that they were freeing wormholers from rental policies, overlords, etc., but in fact it wasn’t true. This event might have actually shown the true numbers and power of HK (that they might not be as tough as they thought), which could open up more aggressiveness toward HK and their assets and members in the future.
Conclusion (And a Bit of Biased Opinion)
In the battle of “Rage” one of the best wormhole corps in the game went up against one of the best nullsec corps in the game. Nullsec clearly came out on top, destroying Fort Knocks, getting the objective, and they did it well. I am 100% sure there was hard work, planning, seeding, and lots of time put into this op on both sides. As you could probably guess, the Initiative and allies have a better morale right now. All their hard work paid off and they deserve credit.
Hard Knocks is now picking up the pieces of their biggest loss in years and maybe in their entire history. The entire EVE Online population just found out that what was once thought impossible is now possible. A large wormhole alliance, with multiple Keepstars, can be defeated by an outside force. This event is probably a massive wakeup call for a lot of wormhole corps and this will probably open up a lot of doors for K-space entities to get involved in wormhole space. We are entering a new era in wormhole space. If it will be good or not is for the future to tell.
Up to now, I have not talked about the wormhole morale after this event. As a wormholer myself, I can say it was pretty low after losing hole control and we wormholers were all thinking we might lose Anoikis or become “Imperium pets” or something. A lot of us forgot about what makes wormhole space truly different from K-space: The difference is the community. In K-space, you may be an “Imperium member” or a “PamFam” member, but in wormhole space it is different. You could be a Russian krab or a hardcore HK or LZHX PVPer, but we all have something in common. We are all taking on the challenge of living in wormhole space. The reason we like wormhole space is not for the lack of safety, randomness, or obscene amounts of ISK. The reason we love it is the community, and that is the reason a lot of EVE players, J-Space or not, play this game.
Reddit user “Loroseco” posted a comment to the Hard Knocks post:
“I guess I’ll say a little something.
Most of the smaller corps who got involved did so through me. The amount of offers of help and support that I’ve received has been astounding, and I was only one of several people who was talking to external corps. To everyone who turned up: Thank you, truly. I have never seen so many unlikely friends and enemies working together in one place, even compared to World War Bee.
Lazerhawks our forever-allies. You put in by far the most work of any corp, herding cats and ragerolling constantly for hours upon hours. Sound timed a couple of rolls from sig pop to sig pop, and the fastest they witnessed was 2m48s. Any wormholers here will appreciate how absurd it is to keep that quality of rolling for hours over several days.
Novac & Sound, the first responders who were making preparations and rolling before most of wormhole space even knew the eviction was even happening. I know you don’t need my thanks to continue being the best allies we have alongside hawks, but you have it anyway.
TDSIN & POSPY – Both old enemies. I’m sure it would have been very satisfying to sit back and watch the fireworks. But you put in more numbers and more effort than we ever could have asked for, and our members are eternally grateful for your commitment despite our differences.
All of the corps who set up their own rolling teams. Odin’s Call, Kronos Ritual, Chainsmokers, MCAV (I think?) and others I forget the names of because there were so fucking many of you. You all stepped above and beyond.
Every random corp who pm’d me out of nowhere offering their full commitment. There’s too many of you to even list. I’d never even heard of most of you, and will probably never hear of you again. But you all proved yourself true wormholers today. I have thanked most of you individually, but if I missed your name in my list of 100+ discord PMs since Saturday, then know that we thank you for the effort you’ve dedicated.
WH bushido is real. Wormholerbtw”
The wormhole population lost this week. They were beaten by superior numbers and tactics pulled off by Initiative-lead forces. The morale, high or low, may vary but wormholers will come back stronger than before. HK does not plan on disbanding their alliance, or abandoning Rage. This was just a very large setback for the wormhole population and a huge victory for the Initiative . More than making HK lose possibly trillions or INIT doing the once thought impossible, this event really exposed what makes this game great, the community.