X-7OMU, Pure Blind, 15:20 GMT — A bloody battle took place in an area that, recently, has seen much conflict between PanFam and The Imperium with Pandemic Horde (REKTD) deploying their Drone Expeditionary Force (DEF) SIG to help the United Federation of Conifers (.UFC.) in their conquest of the northwestern regions of space. X-7OMU is NPC space, meaning that anyone can dock in stations present in this constellation of Pure Blind and that player owned citadels are not necessarily required to stage subcapital and even capital vessels. However, one mechanic in EVE Online that you would not expect to cause a large scale battle in 2020 is a Player Owned Starbase, commonly referred to as a POS.
A POS allows any kind of ship to take safe haven within its shields while preventing those capsuleers not authorized through the POS access lists. These structures were used for players to live out of back in the days of stations. Nowadays, they are the only structure capable of keeping a Titan “safe” from enemy attacks aside from a Keepstar (even Titans can be bumped off tether, but nothing can penetrate a POS shield except for a password). Today’s battle was a result of one such POS being reinforced.
Pandemic Horde placed an Augoror Navy Issue fleet (referred to as BeanBricks) on top of two Minokawas tasked with repairing the structure. Some time after the Horde fleet arrived on-grid, the Initiative (INIT.) came to contest with a Zealot fleet. A fight began between the two subcapital fleets while the Minokawas proceeded to try to repair the starbase. Goonswarm Federation (CONDI) also joined the fight with their own Ferox fleet and the battle intensified. Johnny Trousersnake, a fleet commander from Pandemic Horde, explains that the “hostiles came in on [the] opposite side of the POS.” At that range, Horde was not breaking the enemy subcapitals, so the decision was made to drop a carrier fleet into the fight. Placed above the Horde sub-capitals, the carriers began to send their fighters towards INIT’s fleet.
INIT then called for dreadnought pilots to jump-clone to the region. Once they were ready, no less than 50 Initiative dreadnoughts jumped into the system and began to fight. Pandemic Horde followed suit, dropping their own collection of dreadnoughts and a capital battle ensued. At this point, allied groups started pinging their members, eager to join the fight. Northern Coalition (NC.), allied to Pandemic Horde, brought in their own dreadnoughts while Goonswarm, allied to The Initiative, brought in another, smaller, fleet of Jackdaws and began to form their own Muninn fleet. Blows were exchanged between the fleets as local climbed to over 1000 pilots.
At around 15:45, Goonswarm Federation unleashed the cache of dreadnoughts they stored in the area for events like these and sent them into the fray. The Initiative also dropped their supercapitals. The battle swung heavily in their favor as heavy fighters and Titan lances tore into the subcapital and dreadnoughts. The Pandemic Horde subcapital fleet left as the dreadnoughts bore the assault from the enemy capital pilots. All together, nearly one trillion ISK was destroyed as local reached nearly 2000 pilots. The ISK war in this battle was, surprisingly, quite even and participants of the fight reported high server stability in spite of very strong time dilation. One of the most important notes of this battle did not begin, or escalate as a result of, a Citadel. Citadels have been the focus of change recently. Perhaps it’s time we start to look at changes to make Citadels more like a player-owned starbase after all.