I stopped playing Eve for years and recently decided to return to the game. After returning and reviewing my skills and assets, I decided it was finally time to move out of high sec and join one of the major corporations for glory and ISK. I set my training queue up with some PVP skills I never bothered to train and mined around high sec.
So there I am sitting on an ice belt and I walk away for 5 minutes. I return and I’m sitting in a station. At some point, CODE came in and decided it was time to “teach” a carebear a lesson. In the Evemail sent to me, it outlined CODE’s “code” and how they are doing good work and other bullshit. I sent back an Evemail stating good fight and all that, however, I don’t agree with how they operate and that I was already planning on joining a major alliance. I received a return Evemail stating that I was a lot more reasonable than most people they receive mails from and asked that I check out a member corporation of Goonswarm. From there I sold all of my stuff and moved down to Delve.
Yes, you got that right, I joined the alliance of the dirty bastards who killed me. Sometime later, one of the people who killed me struck up a conversation where I told him there were no hard feelings. My integration into the swarm was a very easy one. I purchased a VNI and a Rattlesnake and started making some serious ISK, I purchased multiple “ships of the line” and participated in about fifty fleets over the course of a couple of months, and I had fun learning the etiquette and flight skills. The peacetime allowed me to enjoy with great rewards. I even had enough ISK to start a carrier skill plan and I set that up. Life is good.
Two days later we get the notice that we are going to be deploying.
A quarter of me was a little upset that I would be losing my ISK making potential and that the deployment would be pushing out my owning of a carrier due to not being able to afford skill injectors until after deployment. The other half of me was screaming” HELL YEA, LET’S DO THIS!” I clear out my hanger of junk and sell my rattlesnake due to it being a little too blingy for me to lose and I knew I wouldn’t have a safety umbrella back home. With this, I set up 3 ships and a freight can to go. I am ready!
When the move op is called we start heading out to our staging and, of course, it’s a long, slow trip. Comms kept it from being incredibly boring. Here is where our alliance makes a mistake, in my opinion. They drop us off some jumps away from our staging system and tell us to log off and wait for the next move op. What they didn’t tell us is when that would take place. The next day I log on and worry until about moving until the ping finally goes out without warning.
I make it to staging with the fleet just fine, however, I am sure there are people left behind due to not making the second move op. Good luck to them I guess. The reason stated for us not going directly to stating was our enemies still didn’t know where our staging would be. In my opinion, there should have been better communication as to when the move operations would continue from the midway point. When I finally reached the staging system, I couldn’t help to grin as I saw over one thousand people in local. “I made it. I am a part of something big.”
The Imperium Strikes back and the Whaling War
Back home it’s not so good. I see reports coming in about roaming fleets and massive loss of mining barges and carriers. I feel for some of these pilots who didn’t log in for a long time and got blapped not knowing there would be no safety umbrella. Most, however, had numerous warnings not to fly while we were deployed and ignored it or were not smart enough to read their Evemail, forums, corp chat, comms, etc, etc.
The enemy starts calling this war the “Whaling War.” At some point, the enemy also loses a titan and carriers during a move op to further the whaling meme. At this point, there is massive server instability which continues to this day. Some call the war “The War Of Socket Closed” on Reddit. All in all, I don’t let this bother me at all. Our leader tells us the war is for content and to strike back at the people who once hurt us. I could honestly care less as I was not a part of any of these wars. The war is named “The Imperium Strikes Back.”
Our alliance starts erasing non-alliance player owned stations and starts installing their own while making life hell for our enemies. I join a bunch of fleets in the first 5 days and get more “paps” then I did the entire previous month. I enjoyed the fleets and even managed to score a killmark. At this point, there are some serious etiquette problems on comms. People don’t understand how to set up a local key or how to shut the hell up on comms. Our comms directorate did an amazing job of muting people to keep the comms clear. An example that I found humorous: Line member with no reason to speak up: “Hello?! HELLO?! DOES MY MIC WORK?!” Backup FC: “SHUT UP!”
I make almost nothing for income during the first days of the deployment and have no expectation of being able to make ISK until the deployment is over.
Yesterday I get home and get ready to join a fleet when it’s called. Not long after a major form up takes place with multiple fleets forming. I don’t have the skills needed to fly the main line ship’s fitting of the day so I ship down into a Jackdaw. We get word that there will be a fight and massive numbers are incoming. At this point, I am psyched up and ready for a massive battle. I already put my client into potato mode knowing it may cause me to socket close. How little did I know that wouldn’t be the issue of the day. Everyone undocks and we stage in space. A couple minutes later the enemy rolls into system.
This is the point where the grin drained from my face as I experience for the first time major time dilation. We were not properly prepped in advance by our FC that this would happen and everyone is confused. The client barely works and everything happens in extreme slow motion. We arrive on grid and attempt to lock up targets and shoot them. The experience of being in a 2700 person battle was shockingly bad.
I had to quickly turn off all brackets from my overview and take a look at the battle. It looked like a screenshot while I was playing the game, no movement. This is not what I was expecting. What I had been expecting was a general slowdown of the client and for it to still operate reasonably. This was not the case at all. I would press f1 and wait 10 seconds for it to turn green. People start saying in comms that they are dying; more fail as this info is not needed on comms.
After a couple warps in and out, I notice a very small damage indication come on my screen that barely scratches my shields, so I think nothing of it. Minutes later, my ship went from full shields to dead in one tick. I guess I was primary and didn’t get to even see I was locked up due to TiDi. I should have known to warp out when I felt the first tickle.
Five minutes later and I’m back with another jackdaw trying to figure out if its OK to warp to my FC. I warp to a safe in system because my fleet is mid-warp. I leave the room for a 5 full minutes and come back to my ship finally landing at my safe spot. Immediately I warp back into the action but at this point, my spirits are drained. This isn’t fun. I have no idea if our fleet is winning or losing or if we are even making a difference. The FC doesn’t even know what is killing us when we lose fleet members. I take damage two more times during the fight and I was able to warp off with the assistance of logi. This is a miracle in itself that I caught reps during the hellish TiDi. Thank you logi!
As I am warping off the second time, the call goes out for any carriers in my fleet to cyno out and my heart drops. I knew at this point we were withdrawing from the field. We are told not to come back to the field of battle and I dock up.
The After Action Report
So I’m docked trying to figure out what the hell just happened. We were told that we had lost the Foritzar, however, all the other stuff was onlined in system. The battle report shows massive losses on our side. We had lost. Comms did little to help as we were not told how this had happened or where our dread force was and why they were not deployed. I see the number of people in comms and logged in die out to almost nothing. 2700 in system becomes 1300. I enter my SRP for my lost ship with its killmark and notice I am only going to get 100 million ISK for my loss when I had just purchased a replacement on contract for 200 mil. I netted a 100 million ISK loss on the fight.
This really bummed me out because if I end up losing 20 ships on this campaign I will have lost 2 billion and that amount is just not sustainable. Hopefully, the price of those contracts will go down, however, I wouldn’t bet on it. Comms are quiet and I log off upset and deflated.
So this brings us to now. I came back to this game thinking I could join in on some huge fights and make a difference. What I got was massive TIDI and an unresponsive client on my first large engagement. I am astonished at how long this game has been out and that it’s still 90% broken in large fights. My fight massive fleet battle was a huge disappointment to me and I pass the blame directly to CCP. There have to be better solutions than what I had experienced in my first large scale battle.