In a scene unusual for high security space, Sotiyo engineering complexes in Tanoo and Teonusude were destroyed yesterday and today as a coalition of mercenary groups and highsec PvP corps, often at odds, finished off the structures belonging to EBOLA in back-to-back operations. While not exactly “million-dollar fights,” local chat exceeded 520 pilots both days, a number of pilots uncommon for high sec. On both days, more than 360 pilots from the VMG-led coalition came together to destroy a combined 64 billion ISK. As happens so often, losses could have been much higher had EBOLA chosen to defend its citadels.
The operation first began when a player-owned customs office under the protection of VMG was destroyed on Christmas Day, reports Commonwealth Mercenaries’ anthrobeau. VMG in return destroyed Ushra’Khan’s Fortizar, and EBOLA came out on the final day to help defend it. Sensing the possibility for a big fleet fight, numerous other high sec PvP corporations, including Hole Control, Holesale, Lonetrek Salvage and Scrap, Pandemic Horde, Mercenary Coalition, Wrecking Machine, LICMY, and P I R A T quickly joined in the war declaration against V.I.R.I.O.N Industries and New Eden Patriots, the EBOLA member corporations which owned the Sotiyos.
In a strange move, however, V.I.R.I.O.N promptly declared war on Goonswarm Federation, possibly in a hope to get the Imperium to crash the grid and save the stations through time dilation. As well, they began declaring war separately on other highsec PvP groups. “My guess is they were hoping to just make the grid as confusing as possible so there’d be a bit of blue on blue killing by accident,” said CWM’s anthrobeau. EBOLA also kicked V.I.R.I.O.N Industries and New Eden Patriots from the alliance and declared war on them as well, “to keep it off their [killboard], and dec’d it themselves to get on the killmail.”
Unfortunately, the hundreds of pilots hoping for a big fleet fight were not to be satisfied. EBOLA’s turnout was minimal, with only some small groups of catalysts harrying the attackers on the first day. On the second day, most EBOLA pilots showed up in corvettes. “We really thought they’d bring a fight instead of token ganking ships…there was so much shit talking on Reddit we brought our A-game and had nothing to do.”
Despite the lack of a big fight, time dilation did occur on the first fight, if only briefly. On the initial warp in, 70% TiDi briefly kicked in, though it quickly resolved. Still, some pilots are hoping that with coming changes to citadel mechanics, these kinds of big fleet operations will happen more frequently in high sec, and hopefully create the opportunity for bigger fights.