Image by Redline.
The Keepstar battle in X47L-Q marked one of the largest fights in EVE Online history. In terms of titans killed, it places behind only B-R5RB. And it far outpaces even that battle in the sheer amount of supercapital assets on the field—to say nothing of the Keepstar itself. The battle marks one of the more significant developments in the Western War, and may be a sign of things to come.
Dead Coalition (DC) sits at the heart of the northern defense. As the Alliance Executor of Darkness, Sort Dragon leads the coalition. He is also a veteran Fleet Commander (FC) and supercapital pilot. His experience includes the 9-4 defense, B-R, and many other engagements over more than a decade in EVE Online. In addition, Sort is a multi-term member of the Council of Stellar Management. This combined record gives him the rarified position of being an ‘elder statesman’ on fights like these. INN sat down with Sort over the last few days to get his perspective on the battle, the server performance, and even some of the meme-ing that followed.
INN: As both an FC and an alliance leader, what were your first impressions of the fight, and how it unfolded? Was there anything that stuck out to you as particularly significant on the strategic level, beyond the reinforcement of the Keepstar?
Sort Dragon: The fight was good. I am dissapointed more things didn’t die. Mostly due to the time taken. With 9 hours of fighting only 50 titans died. That part is crazy. Its good to see after 15 years we are having super cap fights off actual timers and planned events. Not off mistakes.
INN: You’re one of the most experienced bloc-level FCs in the game today, with a pedigree that goes back well over a decade. In terms of the scope and scale of it, do you feel like this fight was similar to other large engagements like B-R, or was it significantly different, and if so, why?
SD: It was in same was as b-r in the sense there was super caps on the field and people died. Thats pretty much it. The game ran a lot smoother back then. The fight as a whole was over a mistake on one side. This fight was determined to be a fight when the reinforcement happened.
INN: The Imperium began by focusing on Circle of Two, and sources who were in the defenders’ comms have told us that CO2 leadership gave the order for them to tether up early, and stop firing. Was that a decision everyone in the combined leadership supported in order to preserve firepower for later volleys? Did it put additional pressure on the DC/NC./PanFam fleets? And did CO2’s titans take part in doomsday volleys later in the fight?
SD: I didn’t know that happened but this is the second time I have heard it. I hope its not true because that sucks. But that is each to there own really. I personally lost my titan and I believe in standing with my allies on the field no matter what.
INN: On the Imperium side, a lot of the sub-orgs, such as Recon and GSOL were working overtime to support the fleets. What similar monumental efforts were underway on the Northern side of things, and is there anyone you’d like to make sure gets proper credit for kicking ass behind the scenes?
SD: Um we have a lot of teams but I don’t like to name them because they can find themselves targets next time and I would rather not have that. But otherwise everyone from the fc’s to the line members did great in the fight I am super proud of my allies too we had a great fight and props to the other side for showing up.
INN: You said that in B-R, the game ran a lot smoother. I’d like to touch on the server and game’s performance a bit, and get your impressions of a few things. How would you compare the server’s performance in X47 to other large-scale engagements using basically the same code, like UALX and 9-4?
SD: In b-r the game was laggy but there was not a huge amount of disconnects. There were some and there was slow loading times but nothing like the disconnects we have seen in 9-4 UALX and X47. X47 was the better of pretty much all the latest engagements for big super cap battles. Lag and disconnects right now happen in such a huge scale. We see them in smaller fights and big fights. Why they happen I have no idea.
INN: You’re a member of the CSM, and have open communication with CCP. Without getting into anything that might violate your NDA, do you think there are changes CCP could make to the current mechanics to improve server performance in these large fights? If so, what might those changes look like?
SD: Yes but those things I will talk about at the summit first. I am not really interested in calling ccp out before I get a chance to talk to them and lay down the data collected by FC’s and line members. Then I become apart of the problem not the solution.(edited)
INN: There have been some questions raised regarding attempts to compromise the node’s stability. People on the defending side have accused the Imperium of being behind the DDoS attacks that Falcon acknowledged before the fight. At the same time, some on the attacking side have pointed to things like the ECM burst frigates that were employed as attempts to crash the node during the fight, which would have given the keepstar time to repair. In a leaked recording of northern voice comms, one player can be heard to say ‘at least we’ll get the node’. What do you make of all of the accusations and finger-pointing about the server performance, disconnects, etc?
SD: People on both sides should shut the fuck up and play the fucking game. I highly doubt Imperium had anything to do with the DDoS. Just like I know that the ECM burst frigates were not there to create lag. ECM burst frigates are crazy powerful in tidi. They are annoying as fuck but I have never seen them able to crash a node.
On the subject of ‘leaked recording’, anyone can take something and make a big deal out of it. Just because 1 member on the comms of a side of this engagement says something dumb. Doesn’t mean it should be taken as gospel. I get propaganda need. But overall I would hope that no one at leader level wants to break the server as that’s just dumb. Playing this game to make it unplayable just makes you a shithead imo. So I reiterate more people should shut the fuck up and just play the game itself.
I mean this whole Killah flee thing. Its just silly. I mean teasing is teasing but the problem is 2 things happen from this:
1) People look at it and go shit this game’s players are toxic I don’t want in on this.
2) The people attacked leave as they don’t want to deal with people continual attacks.
Both ways the game suffers. And the players love to blame ccp for the reason more people aren’t playing. We should try to meet them in the middle.
INN: Are you guys planning to defend the final timer as hard, and do you have any message for the line members on both sides in advance of the next round?
SD: Everything will be answered on Wednesday. For the line members of both sides. Cut the shit out out of game. Play the game, enjoy it. No other game offers this.
UPDATE: The original text of this article identified Dead Coalition under its former name, the Guardians of the Galaxy. After clarification from Sort, this has been corrected.