The Trade War Rages On


Header Art by Empanada

The first days of February brought a fresh attack on the Perimeter Tranquility Trading Tower from the forces of Northern Coalition (NCdot) and NCdot’s partners in PanFam. The defending force, Test Alliance Please Ignore (TEST), was supported by the Imperium and was successful in repelling the attack and winning the ISK war (editor’s note: the teams are substantially correct, but given the number of third parties, it is impossible to determine with absolute certainty who was shooting at whom). This latest fight in the ongoing conflict raises some interesting points, including whether Goons know how neutral boosting alts work and why players should have their safety set to green if they’re in a DPS ship.

These factors are important because in high-security space you are only permitted to shoot players in corporations you are at war with. If a neutral player is boosting a TEST ship, a PanFam ship cannot shoot the neutral booster; if it tries, the PanFam ship will be killed by CONCORD for unjustified aggression. This is why some groups use neutral boosters and logistics; the same is true of neutral anchors. You can have them in the fleet and they can boost or maneuver the fleet around, yet they are very hard for the enemy to remove from the field. When a player with amber or red safety settings accidentally attacks a neutral character, this can cause a chain reaction of suspect and/or criminal timers being handed out to the ship who attacked as well as anyone who provides reps to that ship.

The Battle

With the losses for the fight well under the expected amount of ISK for a fight of such size, it’s shown how the war will be won by factors such as high sec war decs, how many Feroxes you can get into staging, and who runs out of ships first. The battle itself turned into a slugging match; who could remove the other side’s DPS from the field first? Imperium pilots who died had to quickly reship at the nearby Sotiyo and get back into the fight. The ships were being handed out for the low price of 40m for a Ferox and 20m for an Osprey. This was key to allowing Imperium fleet members to reship and return to battle, tipping the scales for TEST and the Imperium. Soon after, the attacking side withdrew from the fight, meaning we’re now returning to square one – it’s back to a game of who can resupply their in-system ship caches the fastest, as that is the key element to defending the shield timer.

Server Considerations

CCP has the ability to reinforce a server node when they anticipate a large battle occurring in a given system, and players can notify CCP when such a fight is scheduled to occur, such as when an armor timer is known to be happening at a specific time. In this instance, however, no notice of a fight was given to CCP to reinforce the node. The issue is that the ball is in PanFam’s court to decide when to attack the Keepstar, and they can choose whether to carry out the attack or not, depending on how many defenders are in the system. Because fights over the shield timer can happen at literally any time, whenever the attacking force decides to show up, we will most likely never see a fight for the shield timer on a reinforced node. Even if the node were reinforced for a battle, if circumstances were not favorable, PanFam and friends could simply choose not to attack that day.

This leads us to the question of how best to defend the Keepstar: do you wait for the shields to be reinforced and defend only the armor timer? Or do you take the shield fight every time knowing that the server node not been reinforced and it will be a sub-optimal experience?

One thing I did notice during all the fighting last night was the use of the Imperium’s alpha-clone based “Mallet” fleet, which allows Imperium members to have a free-to-play clone in a ship ready to go as a local garrison. This pilot does not have to worry about security standings as they simply are used for PVP.

Future Developments

At The Mittani’s latest Fireside Chat on February 2, it was announced that Suddenly Seamen, A Naval Charity, will be deploying to the Tranquility Trading Tower to shoot PanFam and friends in the face, allowing the faster tactical deployment of ships and personnel.

This is part of an ongoing war regarding the Perimeter trading hub. Perimeter is host to a number of parties involved in high-value item trading, often used to sell PLEX, skill injectors, and other items at lower taxes and market fees than players would pay in Jita. These lower fees drive much of Jita’s historic trade to Perimeter, meaning that whoever controls trade in Perimeter earns a significant amount of ISK from these transactions. INN will continue to cover developments in this trade war.

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  • Nick Ashley

    Good article. Informative and to-the-point.

    February 3, 2019 at 1:40 PM
    • General Thade Nick Ashley

      woah he post something positive I am surprised. Anyway, good article I never thought I would see null politics being brought to highsec.

      February 4, 2019 at 3:39 AM
  • Reality Check

    It’s good to see Suddenly Seaman aiming higher.

    February 4, 2019 at 4:04 PM
  • Arabella Meyer

    Note to the author. CCP constantly keeps the jita constellation (perimeter included) on a reinforced node. So even notifying them of a fleet fight won’t net any greater performance gains server side.

    But all in all good article

    February 5, 2019 at 9:06 PM