Week 26 of World War Bee was one of, if not THE, most consequential weeks of the war to date, with five more total actions and the most expensive battle in EVE Online history, an unprecedented change over week 25. Action took place in lots of locations across New Eden, particularly as titans were ambushed on their way to or from Delve, then of course the staggering losses which occurred over two fights in M2-XFE.
The ISK split in the war zone of the Southwest has narrowed staggeringly following the second fight of M2-XFE, now 52.3% to 47.7% in favor of the attackers. The belligerents have now lost 93.7 trillion isk, up 38.3 trillion ISK week over week, with 535,118 ships lost, an increase of over 25,000 week over week.
Across New Eden, since July 1, the ISK split is now 52.5% to 46.5% for the Imperium, a fifth consecutive improvement for the Imperium, and the first time in months that the war across New Eden favors the defenders. The belligerents have now lost 110.1 trillion ISK, an increase of 39.1 trillion week over week, with nearly 630,000 ships lost, an increase of roughly 28,000 week over week. The average ship cost nearly 175 million ISK, an increase of 57 million ISK week over week. Given the decline in PLEX prices, INN has changed our conversion price for real world currency. Under the old pricing, the real world cost of the war is no less than 1,530,000 USD/1,148,000 GBP/1,285,000 EUR. Under the new conversion rate, the real world cost of the war is no less than 1,714,000 USD/1,285,000 GBP/1,440,000 EUR. As a note, the first battle of M2-XFE had a real world cost of no less than 366,000 USD/274,000 GBP/307,000 EUR.
There were 12 fights in week 26 that exceeded 20 billion ISK in total losses, excluding the border skirmishes between 1DQ1-A and T5ZI-S. Seven were strategic victories for the Imperium, one was a draw, two were a strategic win for the PAPI coalition, one was a major third-party fight in Venal, and one was inconclusive.
The three major theaters are the North (Fountain and the border with Aridia and Cloud Ring as well as western Delve), the South (the rest of Delve, Querious, and Period Basis), and the East (Paragon Soul, Stain, and Esoteria).
THE NORTHERN THEATER
The Northern theater, as defined here, includes the Western part of Delve which is the artery that links Delve to Fountain. Nearly each of the systems in the NJU-QV constellation has an Imperium Keepstar citadel, largely placed by member corporations with the M2-XFE Keepstar being created almost single-handedly by one player. As of today, the constellation’s iHubs are controlled by Horde, possibly to protect a route into Fountain for them as a raiding pathway or securing a road to friendly territory in the North.
Beginning late December 30, both sides readied themselves to fight the armor timer of the M2-XFE Keepstar. For its part, the Imperium had reinforced or destroyed many of the cyno jammers, allowing them to bring supercapitals into the fight for the first time. As the countdown got closer to its endpoint, both sides began bring in bigger and bigger hardware, accelerating towards an apocalyptic fight.
By the time the dust cleared on New Year’s Eve, the Imperium sacrificed 12.3 trillion ISK to 11.5 trillion by PAPI and others. Each side lost over 120 titans, with the Imperium losing 123 and PAPI losing 130 or more. Nearly 320 dreadnoughts were destroyed, as were 72 carriers and 6 supercarriers. 40 FAXes were killed and the Keepstar was reinforced to its final structure timer. The Imperium held the field at downtime and PAPI leadership told their pilots to refrain from logging back in, keeping their ships safe but effectively sidelining them from future fights without clearing the grid.
The Imperium began a hell camp of the grid, yielding capital kills as the Imperium lost 8.6 billion but killed 29 billion ISK over the following day. On Saturday, Imperium coalition leader The Mittani gave a brief State of the Goonion on INN’s Twitch.tv channel, setting the table for his expectations for the following fight. The Imperium pilots began piling into ships and preparing for the escalation of the siege of M2-XFE three hours ahead of the structure timer for the Keepstar, with nearly 5,000 pilots in system, clearing fields of fire for their super capitals. As the time ticked down, PAPI forces began forming up and then suddenly, many cynos were lit across M2-XFE signaling arrival of the PAPI forces. However, the server began to buckle under the strain and it quickly became apparent that their late arrival was going to doom dozens, if not more supercapitals.
The Imperium began a new battle of M2-XFE, although this one staggeringly one-sided. Early reports show 13 trillion ISK lost by PAPI forces with only 124.3 billion ISK lost by the Imperium. Reports of “ghost” titans with missing fits were rampant as pilots were slaughtered as they failed to load grid somewhere in the inscrutable loading process designed by CCP. Many of the pilots of the “ghost” titans later reported themselves home safely in T5ZI-S, suggesting that they missed being eliminated, although rumor suggests that they explode on undocking. It’s possibly too early to know exactly what to expect with the “ghost” titans, but players have reported at least one kill mail appearing with the fit hours after the ships was initially reported dead on zkillboard. It’s quite likely that many of the supercapital losses will be permanent, but there may be intervention by CCP.
Late in the day on Sunday, ahead of publishing time, PAPI forces attempted to stage a break out from M2-XFE to liberate additional ships from the hell camp, with both sides logging in 2,200 or more players for a fight. Imperium forces quickly killed the Muninns and Onyxes that attempted to initiate the evacuation, with the Imperium killing 20.9 billion ISK for 1.9 billion in losses. PAPI forces apparently stood down shortly afterwards and it appears that their supercapitals are still trapped for the time being.
THE EASTERN THEATER
The Eastern theater kicked off on Saturday as well with a fight in Catch as Initiative defended a staging Astrahus from Legacy forces. The two sides traded body blows as the Imperium lost 11.6 billion ISK to 9.9 billion for Legacy, although the citadel repaired. Tuesday saw Imperium raids into Brave’s staging system of GE-8JV yield fruit as one thrust saw them kill 12.5 billion ISK for 2.3 billion in losses, then another as the Imperium lost 6.6 billion for 2.8 billion in losses but reinforced the iHub.
Wednesday’s action saw a fight in Catch over a few iHubs, where the Imperium lost 11.6 billion ISK for 3.5 billion destroyed, but killed the N-CREL border iHub in Impass. DarkSide and other third-party alliances came through and wiped out iHubs in Catch (pictured above), removing one-third or more of the iHubs in the region. One of the bigger fights in Catch saw the Imperium attempt to kill the GE-8JV iHub but losing 31.7 billion ISK for 11.3 billion in kills. Friday saw a TEST Fortizar die in Catch.
Saturday saw more Catch iHubs die to third-party forces. There were two titan ambushes, one by Simple Farmers to kill a Fraternity titan for 71.6 billion ISK, while Goons dropped on a Siberian Squads move op and killed 163.4 billion ISK.
THE SOUTHERN THEATER
Fights began to kick off in the South on Sunday, with a Horde Marshal and other black ops ships being caught in Helm’s Deep, losing 9.6 billion ISK to an interceptor fleet. The border skirmish battle report between the two staging systems of 1DQ1-A and T5ZI-S was decisive in favor of the Imperium, where they lost 11.7 billion ISK and killed 32.3 billion. Monday saw a Goon super jump to the AJI-MA bait beacon, losing their Nyx to a dreadbomb. The two sides traded some blows, but the Imperium lost 32.4 billion ISK while PAPI forces lost 4.4 billion. The border skirmish battle report shows the Imperium lost 6 billion ISK while PAPI forces lost 9.6 billion ISK.
Tuesday saw a brutal AUTZ brawl as Imperium forces sought to defend an Astrahus anchoring in Fake Querious, killing 48.4 billion ISK for 35.7 billion in losses. The border skirmish battle report shows the Imperium killing 19.9 billion ISK for 12.9 billion in losses. Wednesday was a quiet day for many parts of Delve, except for the NJU-QV constellation, with the border skirmish battle report showing 9.2 billion ISK in losses for the Imperium and 12.1 billion ISK in losses for PAPI forces. Thursday again was a relatively quiet day outside of NJU-QV, with the border battle report showing 7.5 billion ISK in losses for the Imperium and 17 billion in losses for PAPI.
Friday saw a Legacy force attempt to reinforce the W6V-VM iHub in Querious, home to an Imperium Keepstar where many raiding parties are based. The Legacy Sacrileges and Feroxes were turned aside by a number of Imperium groups, killing 7.5 billion ISK for 418 million in losses. The border battle report was the first in favor of PAPI for the week, with the Imperium losing 22.8 billion ISK for 11 billion in PAPI losses. Saturday was interesting as well, as Imperium forces restored the PUIG-F and GOP-GE Keepstar iHubs in Delve and Querious, respectively. Towards the end of the day, a TNT titan jumped to the 1-SMEB bait beacon. The border battle report was once again in favor the PAPI forces, as they killed 29 billion ISK for 15 billion in losses.
ELSEWHERE IN NEW EDEN
Other areas of New Eden were affected by the war with big action. Beginning Monday, there was a fight in Impass where a Brave carrier and other ships were destroyed while they were attempting to reinforce iHubs in the area, losing 3.4 billion ISK. Friday saw a major fight in Venal as DarkSide and Trigger Happy drop on a Fraternity Rorqual group, which escalated to supers. The raiders lost nearly all of their dreadnoughts after killing the mining capitals and a Fraternity Wyvern, the total battle creating losses of 172.4 billion ISK.
Saturday saw more action as Snuffed Out dropped on TEST titans in Haine, killing 158.1 billion ISK. Ranger Regiment and V0LTA also dropped on Fraternity supers in Branch, the Imperium losing 13.7 billion ISK, V0LTA and others lost 39.3 billion, while Fraternity took on 116.1 billion in losses.