Comments

J115405, better known as Rage, is a system in wormhole space which has been home to the Hard Knocks (HKRAB) alliance for more than half a decade. J115405 is — by all standard metrics — an unremarkable system, a class 5 wormhole with class 5 static like two-hundred-and-forty others; but the system has a rich and storied history, most notably playing host to New Eden’s first Keepstar-class Citadel.

And now, both Hard Knocks and Rage, having created so much history together, find themselves the centre of attention yet again. Unfortunately, it may not be the kind of attention they sought to garner.

On Saturday 8th December 2018; The Initiative, backed by the leader of their coalition, Goonswarm Federation; laid siege to Rage. Hard Knocks’ 979 members found themselves facing down a force of over 40,000 nullsec pilots.

Hard Knocks Alliance Logo

The School of Hard Knocks…

If you don’t pay attention to goings-on in J-Space, you may know Hard Knocks as that group which controls some space in the northern drone regions. Whilst it is true that Hard Knocks have taken some space in null sec, the vast majority of their wealth has been generated in wormholes.

Through a series of wars, Hard Knocks’ coalition (with Lazerhawks and the now-defunct Quantum Explosion) established a monopoly over the highest tier of wormholes, the class 6 systems. This gave them an enormous income advantage over other j-space groups (it’s not hard to find videos of people making upwards of a billion ISK an hour in a single dreadnought in these systems).

For those of you who remember OTEC or the Viceroy programme, you may be starting to draw parallels between Hard Knocks and Goonswarm, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.

Hard Knocks have established themselves as the dominant force in j-space through evictions and tyranny; and whilst most of j-space is publicly backing them against a foreign invader, there are bound to be at least a few wormholers looking on with more than a sliver of schadenfreude as their tormentors face the colossal numbers of The Imperium.

Goonswarm Logo

The Narrative of The Imperium…

Every now and again, an Imperium alliance tries to make a name for itself as something more than “one of Goons’ allies” and this appears to be a part of Initiative’s attempt to set itself apart.

It put out a cryptic press release shortly after the invasion began:

Amidst the background murmur of cosmic signatures, stardust and exotic matter flickering across high-precision instruments emerges a vivid trace bearing the hallmarks of an unregistered Fenrir class freighter bearing the insignia “Ana ugglor I mossen”. As the event horizon closes behind it, Ana’s sensors lock onto the environment of J115405 as core systems calibrate and execute against their boot sequence. Unusually, Ana’s exhaust ports show extremely low radiation, barely registering on sensors which suggest it has been drifting silently and unobserved for some time.

Tens more signatures flare in nearby proximity as “Det ligger en hund begraven”, “Det är ingen ko på isen”,”Nu är det kokta fläsket stekt” and dozens more freighters emerge from the stillness. Point-to-point narrow beam channels are established, linking the awakened into a co-ordinated formation, waiting patiently to deploy their precious payloads.

In a distant star system, behind drifter wormholes and layers of channel pings, an Initiative. [INIT.] Stuka fleet is spooling up, numbers multiplying and thrashing for a place in history. ETA to Rage is within minutes as a drifter pathway provides the route in for a rendezvous with death. Boosters are consumed and final trajectory set for deployment as citadel structures are poised to drop and manufacturing sub-assemblies snarl with hunger, ready to feast on millions of cubic metres of compressed ore.

There are no maps for these territories and no presentable rationale for this event. Is this a contract formed by the cries of wormhole communities against the oppressive regime of the red crab or an unprovoked assault on the impossible?

Soon the news will be out, “Assault on Fort Knocks!”; “Is Unassailable Wealth Truly Unassailable?”. No-one knows the answers, nor the identity of the freighter ghost fleet. Succeed or fail, history is in the making…

o7

SB

Then followed this up with a promotional video, meanwhile its coalition leader Goonswarm Federation sat silent. I have unconfirmed reports from Goon members that the two full fleets they’d assembled were left outside of the target system for hours, not allowed to get on the killmails for fear of disrupting the INIT vs HK narrative.

Space Chess

It’s All About Hole Control…

Wormholes have some pretty complex mechanics, but understanding three of them in particular is key to understanding how wormhole conflicts work:

  • wormholes have a ‘mass limit’, which means that after a certain total mass of ships have passed through them, they collapse;
  • j-space systems can have two types of connection: wandering connections and static connections — when a wandering connection collapses, it stays closed and a new wandering connection may not reappear for hours; but when a static connection collapses, it will be immediately replaced with another connection to the same type of space;
  • however, the static connection will not actually appear on the other side unless someone initiates warp to it (it’s actually more complex than this; see this infographic for more information – h/t Feronanthus).

Rage’s static connection means that there will always be an available exit to another class five wormhole, so long as someone can scan it down and get on grid with it.

Hole control is essentially a battle for who can get and keep the most friends in the system. Because j-space systems can’t be set as home systems, and you can’t jump clone into them, the only way in or out of Rage is through a wormhole connection. This means that whoever controls the hole can control the number of ships (and potentially the type of ships) the enemy can field.

Because of this mechanical difference, whilst podding enemies out of combat in nullsec is usually avoided because it will take them longer to re-ship if they have to self-destruct (particularly in time dilation), podding people out of a fight in j-space is essential because it can actually prevent them from getting back into the fight at all.

As of now, it appears that The Initiative has established Hole Control in Rage, and is successfully keeping Hard Knocks’ allies out of the system and allowing more and more Goons to pour into the system.

Treasure Chest

Eyes on… What Prize?

The Imperium have been cryptic about their purpose for attacking Hard Knocks. The narrative they seem to be pressing is that it’s some kind of incredible accomplishment if they pull this off, but defeating an entity one-fortieth of your own size isn’t particularly impressive.

One possible answer is the wealth available inside of Rage; it’s speculated that a large share of Hard Knocks’ fortune lays inside their Keepstars — named in hubris as ‘Fort Knocks’ and ‘Unassailable Wealth’ — and with no asset safety in j-space, the destruction of their Keepstars would cause all of these assets to drop.

Another possibility is that this is about trying to craft an ‘elite’ narrative around the Initiative; that they represent a high level entity inside of The Imperium able to fight ‘elite’ alliances like Hard Knocks. If successful, this could make The Imperium a more attractive destination to players who consider themselves non-casual, but it’s difficult to see how winning on Imperium’s familiar N+1 grounds could in any way be painted as innovative or elite.

Summing Up

It would be very surprising if these two Keepstars aren’t destroyed at this point. Hard Knocks don’t have the numbers to re-establish hole control, and probably don’t have the allies to put up much of a fight even if they miraculously do regain control for a period of time.

Hard Knocks themselves seem resigned to this eventuality, having posted what seems like a message of surrender on Reddit, an excerpt of which is:

Over time the numbers of INIT and friends in Rage have grown. Many of our friends and even enemies immediately started assembling their fleets to try and get into Rage. Many have succeeded and for this I am ever grateful. The amount of work put in by all the corporations and especially Lazerhawks have been immense.

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 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 to be 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 in how we can contest the MJD Ravens and superior numbers.

It will be interesting to see what’s next, both for Hard Knocks who appear to be taking a huge blow to their invincible image and also to their wealth, and for The Imperium, who are finding that their numbers are more of an impediment than an asset when it comes to the illusive search for content.

The only thing that’s certain: there’ll be a lot of narrative and spin.

80 Comments

  1. Hi there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG
    editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    March 6, 2019 at 11:24 Reply
  2. It’s wonderful that you are getting ideas from this article as well
    as from our discussion made here.

    March 6, 2019 at 16:05 Reply
  3. I believe this site has some rattling great info for everyone. “As we grow oldthe beauty steals inward.” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    March 6, 2019 at 20:16 Reply
  4. If you want to improve your know-how simply keep visiting this site and be updated
    with the most up-to-date information posted here.

    March 7, 2019 at 11:48 Reply
  5. Thanks for sharing such a fastidious idea, post is nice, thats why i have read it entirely

    March 10, 2019 at 10:44 Reply
  6. Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my weblog thus i
    got here to go back the desire?.I’m trying to find things to enhance my site!I guess its adequate to make use of some of your
    ideas!!

    March 10, 2019 at 15:21 Reply
  7. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also
    am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many
    of us have created some nice practices and we are looking to trade strategies with
    others, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

    March 12, 2019 at 14:31 Reply
  8. Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am inspired! Extremely useful info specially the last phase 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I used to be seeking this particular information for a very lengthy time. Thanks and best of luck.

    March 14, 2019 at 21:39 Reply
  9. What i do not realize is actually how you’re not actually much more well-liked than you might be right now. You are so intelligent. You realize thus significantly relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

    March 15, 2019 at 19:49 Reply
  10. Together with everything that appears to be building within this specific subject material, a significant percentage of perspectives tend to be quite refreshing. However, I beg your pardon, but I do not give credence to your entire theory, all be it stimulating none the less. It seems to everybody that your remarks are not entirely rationalized and in actuality you are generally yourself not even completely confident of your argument. In any event I did appreciate reading it.

    March 16, 2019 at 04:36 Reply
  11. We’re trusted Mississauga Heating and Cooling Experts.

    March 16, 2019 at 17:10 Reply
  12. Some times its a pain in the ass to read what people wrote but this web site is real user genial! .

    March 16, 2019 at 20:20 Reply
  13. This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

    March 18, 2019 at 07:37 Reply
  14. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

    March 18, 2019 at 19:13 Reply
  15. Outstanding post, you have pointed out some excellent details , I likewise believe this s a very excellent website.

    March 19, 2019 at 10:27 Reply
  16. I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours these days, but I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is pretty worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

    March 19, 2019 at 18:35 Reply
  17. I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

    March 20, 2019 at 16:15 Reply
  18. A financial advisor is your planning companion.

    March 21, 2019 at 01:41 Reply
  19. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a
    famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    March 21, 2019 at 22:23 Reply
  20. I am not real excellent with English but I find this real easygoing to read .

    March 22, 2019 at 13:51 Reply
  21. Very good information can be found on web site.

    March 22, 2019 at 19:47 Reply
  22. Great awesome issues here. I am very satisfied to peer your post. Thank you so much and i am having a look ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

    March 23, 2019 at 00:38 Reply
  23. I am not certain where you are getting your info, however great topic. I must spend a while finding out much more or working out more. Thank you for fantastic info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

    March 23, 2019 at 06:21 Reply
  24. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    March 23, 2019 at 09:00 Reply
  25. Utterly written content material, Really enjoyed looking through.

    March 24, 2019 at 15:14 Reply

Leave a Reply