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Coming Soon – Burn Jita 3 April 6, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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People have been wondering in the EVE forums if Burn Jita is going to happen again this year. There has been no official announcement so far.

But finally, we have a clear sign… someone has started making posters for it!  The rule is always, first Photoshop, then action!

Zombie Metaphor Time

Zombie Metaphor Time

Self-proclaimed Goon nemesis Gevlon has already been proposing a plan to defeat Burn Jita this time around.  Has to be better than last year’s approach that largely involved ignoring the whole thing.  That worked out so well.  The PLEX to dollar count, beloved link bait metric of gaming sites, pegged the losses at $27,000.

What is going to happen this year?

Addendum: Further hints that it is coming.

Jita… Burnt to the Tune of $27K April 24, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Well, the party did not last too much longer.

There was apparently some attempt at deception in declaring the Burn Jita event over before everybody went home in hopes of luring some more freighters back into the system.  But things now appear really over, with some of the key players off to Iceland and FanFest.

Mission Complete

Mission Complete

Image source: the internet… I forget where exactly.  Sorry.

The tally posted over at The Mittani shows that 142 freighters, 13 jump freighters, 10 basic industrials, and 2 Orcas were blown up in the event, along with a few choice targets of opportunity. (A best/worst kills lineup is available.)  That is a considerable increase over last year’s totals.  Jita remains the most violent system in the game this month. (It was in third place for the month of April last year with the first Burn Jita, which is where it usually sits most months.)

April Stats as of Today...

April Stats as of Today…

The victim count sums up to around 573 billion ISK destroyed, which using the current in-game valuation of PLEX (515 million ISK per) rolls out to about $27,000 worth of destruction, given the only real world to in-game currency conversion mechanism we have.  Nobody literally lost that much, but all of that ISK could have been used to buy that much in PLEX.

In all, the event felt, as was received, differently than the last time around.  The lack of fuss surrounding the pending event has been attributed to the CFC not making a big deal before hand in hopes of catching people unawares.  Not that I think that was really necessary.  Anybody who were paying attention knew it was coming.

Those who did not pay attention… well… surprise… and confusion!

On the confusion front, a newer member of our corp sent out a corp-wide email letting us all know that The Goons were going to attack Jita and that we all ought to steer clear.  I hope somebody explained to him that we were invited to the party.

The reaction from CCP was particularly muted.  Last year they were giving interviews and playing up a huge player driven event as being exactly the sort of thing they want happening in EVE Online.  They also took the time to put up a banner on the login page to warn people that the event was taking place.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

This year there was no talk and no banner.  I do not know if the whole thing was no big deal to CCP this time around, or if they were simply too busy wrapping up the CSM elections and preparing for FanFest, but things sure were quiet on that front.

On the blog front, it was pretty quiet as well.  No calls to action, either to get people out to blow things up or to defend Jita against the CFC.  There were some posts about Goon conspiracies, Goon contempt, and what happens to morons.  But it wasn’t treated as a big deal.

Over at The Mittani, the summing up post includes an interview with Warr Akini about what it took to setup the event.

I expect that anything which remains to be said will be overshadowed by Fanfest posts and announcements, which will include what we can expect from the Odyssey expansion this June and who will be sitting on CSM8.

And so we move on.  Ships blew up.  Some people are angry.  Some people are happy.

Just another day in New Eden really.

On the iPad – Vinylize Me April 24, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, iPad.
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Apps for editing and modifying pictures seem to abound in Apple’s App Store.  You can spend a long time wandering through that section.

But while I find many of these apps interesting, I don’t actually use my iPad to take pictures.  To start with, the iPad is kind of bulky.  And then there is the fact that it takes pictures in 720p, which would have seemed like fine resolution for a digital camera… about 12 years ago.

So who needs photo editing on a device when you don’t use it to take photos?

But every once in a while I notice an editing app… in this case because it came up in the Apps Gone Free app, which I recommend to all my fellow cheapskates out there… that does pique my interest.

In this case, the app was Vinylize Me.

This app lets you create vintage looking album covers, into which you can incorporate your own photos.

That sounded pretty neat, so I grabbed it.  But then I didn’t have any photos on my iPad.  So I took some screen shots of pictures from the blog in Safari and used them to make a few samples.  Click on them to view as a larger gallery.

Not the best work in the world, but I think it shows some potential.  I have to figure out a good use for the app, but I like the idea of it very much.  You can change most of the text, tint your photos, swap out the “stereophonic” banners, manipulate the colors, and even add aging affects to make it look like an old LP that has seen some use.

The images in the gallery above are actually one quarter size of the output the app gives you.  The pictures I used were low resolution… they came from iPad screen shots after all… and looked very grainy at full resolution.  They would look better if I just imported the pictures from my computer rather than being lazy and taking a few screen shots.

Full resolution is 2448 by 2448 pixels, which seems to be about the size of an actual LP sleeve.

The main downside to the app is that you are limited to the templates they have provided.  You cannot add your own or edit the basics of what you are given.

Technically, this is an iPhone app, which means that it is half size on the iPad screen by default.  But unlike some iPhone apps, it looks okay when set to fill the screen.  (Unlike, say, that World of Tanks app.)

Anyway, another goofy app that amuses me.  And the results look better than the last such app I played with, Halftone.

I don’t think I quite have the hang of that one.

Burn Jita Held Over for an Extended Run April 22, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Why stop the party when it is going so well?

Sure, the invite said April 19-21, but everybody is still having fun, nobody has any place better to be, and the targets keep wandering into the system, oblivious of their fate. So it looks like ganks will keep on well into the work week.

All of which has turned Jita into the most violent system in the game for the month of April according to DOTLAN.

April Stats So Far...

April Stats So Far…

More ships have blown up in Jita than any other three systems in the game so far this month.

Now, the number is so big in part because for every freighter taken down, a pile of small, expendable ships go with it. But the tally of victims so far appears to include 128 freighters, 12 jump freighters, and assorted smaller (or oblivious) targets. The estimated value of all of this destruction exceeds half a trillion ISK.

Over at The Mittani dot com, regular updates have been posted (which included a link to a forum post blaming CCP for this… it wouldn’t be Burn Jita without one) as well as a live stream of the event. The live stream became one of the featured channels on Twitch.tv for a while and had over two thousand simultaneous viewers.

Meanwhile, in Jita, the business of ganking goes on. The MiniLuv regulars, who gank jump freighters in high sec space on a regular basis, brought their experience to the CFC masses as they lead ganks.

I helped out for a while as a bumper. The bumpers keep a freighter that has been scanned and identified as a target from aligning to warp by bumping into it.

Bumping a Providence

Bumping a Providence

While that is happening, the disposable ships of the damage fleet gather and drop on the target, calmly getting into optimum range.

The damage dealers arrive

The damage dealers arrive

Then the target goes boom. CONCORD shows up, blows up all the attacking ships, and the remaining pods warp off to find a station to sit in until their criminal timer runs down, and then it all starts again.

Salvaging going on as CONCORD mills about

Salvaging going on as CONCORD mills about

CONCORD attracted to a gate

CONCORD attracted to a gate

Interestingly, CCP has opted not to put up a travel advisory banner at logon as they did last year.

click to enlarge

Last year’s warning

I wonder why. No, really, I do.

Anyway, I haven’t gotten many good screen shots, and none of actual kills yet, though it looks like I will have ongoing opportunities to do so this week. Others have posted some nice shots.

You have been warned. Jita remains hot.

Update: It looks like Monday night US TZ was about all that was left for the party.  There was a small surge in activity, and then things tapered off.

JitaApr230400UTC
I think the fact that key participants were headed off to Iceland for FanFest probably helped curtail the event.

The normal regimen of MiniLuv ganking freighters and other targets of opportunity in high sec space continues.

Jita Smoulders April 19, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Despite… or maybe because of… the seeming ennui around the return of the Burn Jita event this year… Burn Jita 2 or Burn Jita 2013 or whatever… kills are mounting in Jita, the economic hub of the game.

Jita2kills

That number corresponds with the increase in kills in the system over the last 24 hours, as recorded at DOTLAN.

Jita2ShipKills

That is enough to make Jita the hot spot for kills on the map of the EVE Online universe when set to view systems by kills in the last 12 hours.  The bigger and closer to red the system indicator, the more kills.  Jita’s indicator strays off into several adjacent regions.

Big orange ball around Jita

Big orange ball around Jita

However things seem pretty calm.

CCP learned from last year.  While Jita always has a lot of server horsepower running it due to its popularity, they have a population limit of 2,000 pilots set for the system currently.  So there are freighters sitting on the gates, brought there on auto pilot and now hanging out with a “Jump Prohibited” message on their screen.

Jita2NoJump

So, the gate in Perimeter looked like this when I last checked.

Perimeter Gate Crowd

Perimeter Gate Crowd

And still crowded

And still crowded

Meanwhile, inside Jita, once you can get there, isn’t the chaotic mess of fights it was last year when the original Burn Jita kicked off.  The Jita 4-4 undock is under observation, but isn’t aflame.

Tornadoes on the undock

Tornadoes on the undock

Having been on voice coms for a bit, I know that things are going on.  There is a fleet present to oppose the corps that declared war in order to be able to shoot CFC targets as the showed up in Jita.  There are ships scanning freighters, and bumping them to hold them while gank fleets warp in for the kill.  But it is all being done in a calm, business like manner at this point.

Last year it was fun to just sit and watch things unfold.  This year you might have to dive in and participate in order to find the fun.

The Burn Jita event carries on through the 21st.

Ignore Burn Jita? Is That Your Plan? April 16, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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You know, we are burning Jita again in just a couple of days.

And when I say “we,” I mean our coalition, the CFC.  The people in the north end of null sec space, which consists of Goonswarm and its friends and allies.

People set to murder you in Jita

I am pretty sure that is right

Seriously.  It was announced a while ago.  I noted it down in my calendar right here… “April 19 through 21, get latest version of Fraps downloaded, Burn Jita.”

Only nobody seems to be be talking about it.

Was April 1st a bad day to put up that notice?

Maybe I am not looking in the right places… I know I rarely look in the official forums, and I only stray into Kugu when I know there is something to see… but still, it seems like there ought to be more noise.

Last year Burn Jita was controversial.  People were talking about it, blogs posts were up all over the place discussing it, counter events like “Defend Jita” were being planned.  The day it kicked off it made the real world news.  My video from the Jita 4-4 undock may be the most popular “exploding spaceships/Red Army Choir” mash-up Poland has ever seen due to the scope of the event.

Stuff Exploding on the 4-4 Undock

Stuff Exploding on the 4-4 Undock

Afterwards everybody claimed victory, while CCP crowed about how great such player operations were.

Back in November I was wondering if the Retribution expansion, with its changes to bounties and such, would impact how another Burn Jita might play out.

Little did I suspect that the whole thing would get overshadowed by the elections for the Galactic Student Council… and given how low key that has been over the last few weeks, it is like getting overshadowed by dandelion.  Ironic that a sandbox game should have a sandbox parliament.

What is going on?  What does this lack of excitement and outrage portend?

Will people be even more surprised… and then outraged, by turns, at Goons, CCP, and online gamers in general… because of the quiet run up to the event?  Will exploding freighters and industrials jar people out of their sense of complacency?

Or have things like the ongoing MiniLuv freighter ganking, the Hulkageddon forever, and the miner bumping hijinks of James_315 made this seem… just part of the norm?

The whole thing is kicking off on Friday… which, EVE time, is 5pm Thursday at my house… or possibly sooner.  When people pile up hundreds of ships, it is hard to make them wait.

Will this be an epic event that captures the attention of the community or will it just be another day living next door to the Goons?

Addendum 4/19 – An update to the scrawls on the map in the post. In a fleet last night it was mentioned that Fatal Ascension has told its members not to participate in Burn Jita.  They are the tangerine blob in Fade and Pure Blind on the map.

This may be because TEST, with whom they have had issues in the past, has thrown in and is coming to the party. However, intel last night indicated that TEST might have missed a jump somewhere and ended up burning Amarr for a bit.

And RvB seems to be in for some fun as well, planning to shoot gankers and do some ganking of their own it seems.

Retribution and Burning Jita November 15, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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You remember the Burn Jita event, right?

A little over six months ago… well… this happened.

That is a glimpse at an hour’s worth of destruction happening right on the 4-4 undock in Jita, the economic center of the EVE Online universe, in the middle of high security space.

Starting on April 27th, the Goons and their CFC allies set about to disrupt the heart of the EVE economy by suicide ganking freighters and other ships involved in commerce.

How many people even got this reference?

Anybody paying attention had plenty of advance notice.

Of course, few actually pay attention, but that is another story.

A Save Jita defense force was formed while others just planned to stay away from the system during the event.  The Save Jita forces declared was on the various CFC alliances.  This, in turn, prompted many CFC players not really interested in suicide ganking to come out and fight with the Save Jita forces.

Glorious mayhem ensued to the point that CCP put up a travel advisory on the launch screen.

click to enlarge

Freighters were blown up.  Gankers were blown up.  Opposing defense and ganker escort forces were blown up.  Random strangers were blown up.  That guy in the disco Bhaalgorn was blown up.  There was a frenzy of looting and salvaging.  You can see some wrecks being hit with 3-5 white salvage beams in that video.

Salvage Beam Frenzy

And everybody declared victory!

Though with even major news outlets covering the event, it was CCP that really seemed to come out on top.

It was a short, sharp event that gave a bunch of people something different to do over a weekend and something to argue about for the weeks surrounding it.  A classic EVE Online happening.

And at then end of things, The Mittani announced that we would be back to do it again some day.

But the CFC hasn’t been back.  Not yet, in any case.

There was the war in Delve to prosecute and, once we were home from that, the sovereignty grind in Tribute started and is only now petering out in The Vale of the Silent.  Sure, there has been some Goon ultra violence in high sec.  There has been a low key freighter ganking op going on for some time and a new Gallente ice interdiction campaign started up recently.  But neither of those are splashy, front page events.

And given the logistics of getting ready for an event like Burn Jita, it looks like the next EVE Online expansion, Retribution, will hit before any such event can be pulled off.

And part of Retribution is a Crimewatch update, which might shake things up in high sec space a little.

If not criminal, at least controversial

So the question here is, will the Crimewatch changes in Retribution impact a second Burn Jita event?

The short answer seems to be “no.”

Yes, you’re welcome for my wasting your time with all of that back story and build up.

But how can this be?  There was a freaking dev blog post that required not one but two giant charts to help explain the changes.  Jester has done a couple of posts just looking into the changes.  And did I mention the charts?  Like this one?

This is the one about getting flagged

The thing is, a lot of the changes are really just details, at least in this context.

We get new, visible timers, which I love.  But that doesn’t actually change anything.

Security status impacts happen when you initiate an unlawful attack rather than after you killed whoever, so you get penalized after you fail.  But if you’re already set on suicide ganking somebody, you’ve accept that your security status is going to take a hit, so who cares.

I suppose something could be said about getting flagged if you remote rep a criminal… but that generally isn’t how suicide ganking works.

There have been changes to the war dec mechanics which I haven’t even bothered to look into, but I would take it as read that war can still be declared and legitimate war targets remain legitimate targets where ever you find them, so only the visible meter showing your aggression timer changes there.

No, to my mind, the only thing that seems like it might change for a new Burn Jita event is looting.

You see, with the Retribution changes, if you loot a wreck which is not yours, you will be flagged as a “suspect” and open season for anybody who cares to take a shot at you.  Or so says the consequence chart.  And one of the things going on in the original Burn Jita event was a rush to loot the wrecks that were strewn about the 4-4 undock area.

So that change could make things interesting.

While there will be plenty of legitimate loot floating about, I am sure there will also be enough loot that belongs to individuals out there to get more than a few greedy grabbers flagged as suspects.  And then anybody can shoot them. This will, in turn, leave more potential bait loot on the field that can ensnare more looters.  And the cycle goes on.

This could bring a whole new group into the already crowded space in front of the Jita 4-4 undock.  A new level of hilarity could ensue as people learn about Retribution changes, and how everybody gets to shoot people with the suspect flag, the hard way.  And the hard way is always the EVE way.

At least that is how I see the Retribution changes impacting a second Burn Jita campaign.  But I am famous… in as much as I have any fame at all… for noticing tiny tangential details while failing to grasp the big picture.

So what am I missing?  How else will Retribution impact this sort of thing?

CCP Clearly Victorious in “Burn Jita” Event May 2, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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CCP has a Dev Blog post up today that details what was going on behind the scenes for the Burn Jita event this past weekend.  It is a worthwhile post and you should read it if you are at all interested in the game.

The post sets the stage for the event:

For several months now, a coalition of thousands of players have been planning the “Burn Jita” event, aimed at disrupting the biggest trade hub in game in order to wreak some terrific, universe-wide changes by shaking the very pillars of EVE’s economy at its metaphorical heart. Surely there was some sort of larger, meta-economic objective that likely would cause them great profit. This planning happened both in game and outside of game, via voice over IP chat, secret forums, Twitter and more. A sci-fi plot of the new information age if there ever was one.

Then talks about what CCP was doing to accommodate the event (including a hotfix):

Since the “Burn Jita” event was announced well in advance and CCP wants to support player-driven events (as long they are within the rules of the game), we reinforced the Jita solar system on our beefiest hardware, further reinforced all neighbouring systems and set out to monitor the event and provide the best experience we could to willing (and unwilling) participants.  Then things started to unfold a day earlier than announced on Friday morning. We gathered data and fine-tuned the systems and as CCP Veritas put it: “It’s okay, didn’t want that Friday night anyway.

And then they start to trot out the charts and graphs… something CCP does better than any other game developer I have seen… to show what happened, culminating in the actual short-term impact on economic activity in Jita.

(Graph cropped and annotated by me. You have to go read the post to see the whole thing.  CCP_Diagoras posted another version of the chart here.  He also posted some kill totals in the forums.  You should follow him on Twitter, he is the EVE Online stats master.)

People can (and will) argue as to whether the impact was significant and whether it will mean anything at all in the medium to long term as far as the game economy goes.

But the whole event allowed CCP to send a message as well, that player stories, that players creating the content of the game, is what they want.  As the post concludes:

Make your stories happen!

Clearly they mean it.

And still, people will persist in not getting the message.

Burn Jita Makes it to Le Figaro May 2, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Dans ce macrocosme fascinant s’est instaurée une société complexe, un far-west spatial où le commerce de matières premières côtoie le crime organisé, la délinquance financière ou l’escroquerie pure et simple.

Le Figaro, on EVE Online

There is a sentence that sums up EVE Online pretty well.  Go on, use Google Translate on it.

So many things are made better by being in French.

And EVE Online making the culture section of Le Figaro… amazing.

Okay, it isn’t quite Le Monde, but it is still one of the “papers of record” in France.

Though I do have to nitpick about their headline.

EVE News 24 logo right at the top...

It translates roughly as “Anarchist Insurrection Launched in Online Game.”

I wouldn’t exactly call the Goonswarm or the CFC anarchists. (Comments on the article point this out as well, before the thread turns to the tired violence in video games argument.)  More unfettered capitalists really.  They don’t want to burn down the universe, just the parts where other people live.

There are other errors.  Jita is a star system, not a space station, and you cannot really ruin the insurance companies since they are NPC run and have limitless resources available.

But the article as a whole gets across the spirit of the game… and the viewpoint of CCP.  The didn’t stop the event, they just reinforced the servers running Jita so it could go on.

Of course, I might be biased about the article, as they chose to embed my Jita movie further down the page.  First Poland, then France… wait, don’t go there.  Anyway, like Jerry Lewis, my works are appreciated more overseas.

Claiming Victory in Jita! May 1, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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We’ll beat the bailiffs out of fun,
We’ll make the mayor and sheriffs run
We are the boys no man dares dun
If he regards a whole skin.

-Verse from the Garryowen, a traditional Irish air

The “Burn Jita” event is officially over.

The thing about an event like “Burn Jita” is that it lacks any real, concrete goals.

Nobody, aside from the devs at CCP, can actually “burn” Jita.  Likewise, there is nothing any player can do to “save” Jita either.  Jita is a static element of virtual universe.  Players in the game have no ability to affect the virtual manifestation of the location in EVE Online known as Jita.  You cannot actually burn Jita.

So for the event, you can pretty much craft your own victory conditions.

Certainly The Mittani, back from his ban, is claiming total victory.  But his victory is a macro-economic victory bound up with the control of the technetium needed to replace all the ships blown up in Jita and the subsequent Hulkageddon event, leading to economic dominance.  To mis-quote Mao, power comes from the barrel of a Goon.

Others, such as the EVE Morning podcast seem dubious, though they seem to be focused on one aspect of the plan and only in the short term.  They are claiming victory for the opposition, I suppose.

Then there is the gank fleet.  The certainly blew up some freighters.  In the 12 months previous to the event, 23 freighters and 3 jump freighters had been destroyed in Jita.  The event took down 38 freighters and 9 jump freighters.  More than a year’s worth of carnage in just three days, plus a few more in the surrounding systems as well.  Jester has a “Butcher’s Bill” and some analysis on the big kills.

Freighters Destroyed

The Save Jita folks are certainly claiming victory.  They flew in Jita and sought out the gank fleet.  Having declared war on Goonswarm and other alliances, they were free to engage in combat.  And they definitely blew up their share of gank ships.

But the presence of the “Save Jita” forces, clear for CONCORD free combat, brought an additional group of players into the mix in the form of the gank defense fleets.  CFC players who had no real interest in suicide ganking got to come out to Jita and engage in fleet PvP fights.  And so they got to show up, PVP, kill stuff, and have a good time.  Another victory!

All of this adds up.  You can go to DOTLAN and see that jumps in and out of Jita seemed close to the normal pattern. (Though Burn Jita even hit DOTLAN hard, causing some data loss.)  Jita interdiction fail!  But the total number of ship and pod kills in the system, which usually sits between 2,500 and 4,000 on any given month, spiked to almost 13,000.  And that number was heavily weighted towards the last three days of the month.

Jita Jumps and Ship Kills in April

Then there are the other players, those in system neither to gank nor defend.  Some clearly “lost,” in that their ship was blown up.  But every hauler who entered the war zone, loaded or unloaded, and made the run back out, can claim a victory of sorts.  They lived while others perished.

And for those of us who were just there as spectators, it was a chance to see and be, if only in a small way, a part of one of those great EVE Online events.  Burn Jita will be one of those things mentioned for years afterwards, and we were there to see it and to suck up system resources.  We helped lock down Jita at times by sending it to the limit of its capacity.  I claim victory for myself.  And I have some video to prove it. (The most popular “Burn Jita” video in all of Poland!)

And finally, there is CCP.  They got a clear victory with the press coverage.  And, in an interview with EuroGamer, they got to make their stance on the whole event quite clear.

“Do you want to play a 15 minute match of Call of Duty that you won’t remember the next day, or do you want to spend four months manufacturing 14,000 Thrashers to do this? It’s just so big and awesome.”

“We want people to be able to do this. If Goonswarm want to do it, we want them to do it and we want them to have a great time doing it.

“The worst thing we could do is to stop it happening. It would be appalling for the game. It would be against everything we stand for.”

Not a lot of ambiguity in that.  CCP digs this sort of thing.

So there are many out there who can claim a victory.  That, in itself, is probably a pretty good sign that the event was a success.

Of course, one sign of victory is the desire to do it again.  And I think that will happen.

The musical question might just be, “How are you going to keep them down on the farm after they’ve burned Jita?”

What do you think?  Who can claim victory in Jita?

And what will you do when it comes time for Jita (or maybe Amarr) to burn again?