Art by Quendan Comari
As a US Marine, I got used to waiting for a lot of things: the armory, chow, the LT to figure out what is going on, four hours at the rifle range for the sun to come up, the flight line, firewatch to end. Hurry up and wait might as well be the US Marine Corps’ unofficial motto. None of these came even close to the sheer amount of frustration and rage I felt during the supposed battle of 49-U. I waited more for that allegedly reinforced node in a few hours than I ever waited in my entire time in the Corps.
The fight started off decently enough. The Imperium put their subcap fleets on the Fortizar to be defended. PAPI entered the system not too much later and, after a bit of maneuvering, dropped some dreads on the Fortizar in range to attack the citadel and Imperium subcaps.
To absolutely no one’s surprise (really, if this surprised you, you are not paying attention) the Imperium dropped in a super fleet. Frankly, we’ve been wanting to drop our supers to kill stuff for so long that any excuse is a good one. Oh, look at that, I’ve dropped all pretense of objectivity; might as well go whole hog.
At first, it wasn’t so horrible. I’ve been in big fights before, B-R5, Asakai, the sieges of J5A, and others I’ve forgotten. I’ve been in bigger fights than the one in 49-U, with more people on grid and more ships.
And let me say this, gentle reader, tonight was somehow the shittiest, worst experience that I’ve had in a fight in a long, long time. I spent most of the time watching the outstanding calls list to see just what was going on. Press a button and wait 180 seconds or more for the damn thing to happen. I know there’s TiDi, but this is stupid. We didn’t even get to 4000 people in system! This is a reinforced node! What the actual, and I cannot stress this enough, fuck, over?
The only good thing is, as far as I noticed, things did not get dropped. Server calls stayed in their queues until they were answered. Of course, the queues were as long as the service counter in Beetlejuice, but they still got answered.
Otherwise, things were atrocious. Yours Truly’s client decided to crash and burn like Vily at the bar. Just as soon as I was tethered in my Nyx, the client decided to crash. This is not the situation anyone wants to be in! After taking more than ten minutes to log back in—ten excruciating minutes—I finally was able to reassert control of my ship and jump out of a buggered system. Other pilots in the super fleet also had issues with the client crashing and similar experiences. I cannot speak for them, but while I would gladly lose my ship in a blaze of glory, waiting to see if it died because CCP can’t unfuck their servers long enough for a fight is not fun.
As the Imperium is here to fuck, we obviously went ahead and dropped our supers right on top of the dreads. Cynoing on top of the Keepstar in system and then slowboating the fighters over to the dreads would have been the safe route, but not audacious enough. While the Imperium supers (it would really be wrong to call it the superfleet, more like a bunch of us bored super pilots) were going through dreads at the agonizingly slow rate due to TiDi and a server slower than a 90 year old woman driving a Buick, PAPI sent all their ‘dictors to bubble the supers. Smart so far. However, normally, the bubbles would have been cleared by the Fortizar’s PDS. IF THE PDS WAS WORKING.
Because of whatever server fuckery was occurring, the point defense system on the Fortizar—a giant smartbomb for those that do not know—didn’t work. The bubbles were not cleared, and Imperium supers, who would have otherwise jumped or warped out, died.
One pilot reported that when they jumped into the system, their whole fighter bay decided not to load. Do you know what we call a supercarrier without a fighter bay? Give your best answer in the comments. So, this poor player had to spend the entire fight doing nothing. A whole lot of nothing fast. This isn’t the kind of thing you can just relog to fix either. One does not simply relog into
Mordor the middle of a super fight.
No one wants to wait five minutes from clicking a button to it happening. Yes, I know we can see the call queue in our chat window. No one should have to play the game in the console mode. Not a single person walked away from that fight satisfied with how the server performed.
This isn’t even the Götterdämmerung, the Ragnarök, the Armageddon of this war. No titans were dropped; no one was hurfing for a week. Fights will get bigger. And if the node keeps crashing, people are really going to ask if they want to keep playing EVE.
I’ve been told by people that undock for other things than giant fights that the servers have been pretty bad all around New Eden. Look, when the high sec
pubbies people start to notice that the server is lagging, things are really bad.
Maybe I was wrong to make fun of Piggles when he stood down from a fight because the node was not reinforced. Maybe.1
I don’t know what it would take to fix things. However, if I were CCP, I would utterly eliminate anything that slows down the server in a fight. Bounties: gone. These stupid liminal storms: gone. I don’t know how a fight in the year of Our Lord 2020 can somehow have a worse server experience than larger fights in years past. It really takes a certain kind of special to make that happen: the certain kind of special that lives in Iceland, I suppose.
Right now, the ‘fight’ is still going. And by that, I mean there’s dictors bubbling dreads so the fort can kill them. That’s a far cry from both sides committing massive supercapital forces. A few hours ago, they were absolutely ready to do that. The only thing that stopped them…was CCP.
CCP needs to stop being clever and make sure the server works. All the game systems do not mean shit if they don’t run. Under normal circumstances I would be stoked about getting a killmark on my Nyx. Instead, I’m writing a profanity-laden rant for INN. What do you think, dear reader? Did I have fun tonight?