To Soar with Titans, To Sow Destruction!

When I last wrote, I was hanging around in Mittaningrad, so named, as I understand, for the heroic defense that took place there back in July, looking for something to do.

Me, still at Mittaningrad

With fleet ops active, screwing around in empire space or hunting rats in the asteroid belts were officially verboten, so something to do would mean getting into a fleet.

Fortunately, as I logged on to see what was going on last night, there was a convoy forming up to bring people out to our advanced staging point, from which fleet ops were being launched.

With Gaff’s help, I was able to join the convoy fleet just as it was leaving.  In fact, due to my fumbling, I was actually a couple of jumps behind it for most of its run.  It was a good thing somebody pasted the route into the fleet channel.  And with a 100+ ships breaking trail, and a couple of stragglers along for the ride, I do not suppose I was in horrible danger.

I arrived at the staging system, left the convoy fleet and joined Gaff in second fleet, and I did so, as usual, just in time.  It filled up to its maximum 255 ships just after I joined and a third fleet started assembling.  There were a lot of people out there.

So I warped out to the second fleet leader to see what I could see.

And what did I see?

Lots and lots of ships… including mother ships and titans, classes I had never seen in person before.

A Nyx floating around waiting for ops to start

There were lots and lots and lots of ships, and more showing up all the time.

Masses of Maelstroms

But, as usual, I was behind and flailing to figure out what was going on, where I should be, and what I needed to do.  I took a few screen shots before it was suddenly time to jump out.  This required me to be within 2,500m of the titan opening up the jump and I had managed to drift off while I was agog, so had to get into position.

Fleet jumping from the titan

At jump in there was a fight… I think.  I took some shield damage as White Noise stealth bombers tried to disrupt the fleet.  I think I saw the bad guys, but due to distrust and inexperience of using the overview as a PvP tool, I was afraid to start shooting just anybody I wasn’t sure about.

And by the time I was sure, they were dead.

We faced stealth bombers a few times, but they did not seem to be that effective.  On the fleet channel it was said that they launched too close together, used the wrong bombs, launched from too far away, and a few other foibles.

But in general I never saw more than 20 at a time, which versus 255 in our fleet… plus the other fleets… made for no odds at all.

We sustained a few losses from that first encounter, but drove on to the initial target, where the fleets formed up.  We were waiting for a timer on the player owned station tower to run down, at which point it would be vulnerable to attack.  White Noise had a number of towers set to time out in a relatively short window and we were there to kill them all, along with structures being protected by the towers, including CSAAs, which I am told have nothing to do with the California State Automobile Association and everything to do with building titans and other capital ships.

Blobs of ships warping in to the target area

These were, as The Mittani put it, with his usual turn of phrase, the “hell wombs” that we needed to take care of in order to ensure victory over White Noise.

We arrived at the first target and had about a ten minute wait before we could start the attack, so I floated around taking pictures.

Titans and lesser ships

Titans and dreadnaughts

When we arrived we were told to pick a random direction, turn on microwarp, and spread out until the fleet commander (FC) said stop.  My “random” direction was away from the tower and I ended up way out of range of my heavy missiles and could not get back in before the first tower and all its structures were destroyed.

First tower goes with me out of range

I do like how the titans were looming over the kill.

Then it was time to align and warp off to our next target.

Titans attempting to align

Here I made sure to get in close and when the timer expired, I was able to open fire.

My Drake blazing away

The control tower is in the center of the kinetic missile explosion, while you can see one of the CSAAs in the foreground.  And very quickly it went boom, and then the secondaries blew as well.

The structures went next

I think those pictures were all from the same kill… though there seems to be a planet missing in that middle shot, so it might be from another tower kill.  Same idea though.

According to the kill mail, I did 0.04% of the damage.  Titans and dreadnaughts were doing the heavy lifting, though even the top contributor only just got past the 3% mark.

First Time on the Kill Board

If you look at the mail, there were 281 Maelstroms, the most popular ship in the fleet, involved in the kill.  There were also 26 Drakes, including my own, though I do not think I ever saw more than one other at any given time.

Then it was time to move on to the next target.

Aligned with a school of Maelstroms

Landing on a gate or a similar location in a large group is quite a sight now that trails are back in the game again.

Trails, trails and flashbacks!

And from there it was servicing a target, moving, and then servicing the next.

Another titan based jump

Eventually we arrived at the final tower of the night.  There was a 25 minute wait for us before we could attack, which allowed me to get up, stretch, and then go explain to my wife what I had been doing for the last two and a half hours since I disappeared into my office for “just a minute.”

This also gave me time to set up Fraps to take a movie of the final attack.  It turned out to be a long attack too, at least relative to the previous ones.  The titans and other capital ships had gone off to do something else and so it was just second and third fleet left to do the killing.

This is a picture of the attack in progress, so you can see some of the details, including the pair of CSAAs sitting in the bubble.

Attack on the last tower

And then there is the movie.

I started recording the movie 4 minutes into the attack and the edited out the first 5 minutes of the movie, as it was pretty much a loop of use just shooting.  There was a lot of fire and reload, fire and reload going on.  Basically, imagine the first minute and a half of the video going on for around ten minutes.

I also had to put in a new audio track.  Enjoy the music.

It turns out that Fraps will capture all your other commo, so the original sound track was chatter from the fleet coms.  While I do not think it divulged any Goon secrets (Lord knows I heard little enough of value during the whole op on that channel), I thought it better not to broadcast, though there was a good exchange in there about the White Noise response to all of this, which I gather was somewhere between, “We can rebuild!” and “We’re letting you get away with this for a reason! You’ll see, and you’ll be sorry!”

The video also plays in higher resolution, at least up to 480p when I tried it.

And with that most people in the fleet were tired and want to go home.  We had to “slow boat” nearly 20 systems to get back to our starting point.  One of the gates on the way back was camped and a few of those rushing to get home got killed.  That camp may have caused nearly as much damage to our fleet as the total White Noise defense effort.

However, I was in the middle of the returning blob… never less than 100 fleet members in local… so saw nothing but wrecks.

Gaff, in checking the kill boards, discovered that his character was on top for our corp for the month of December so far, though he was, by his own admission, “kill whoring” and targeting his guns individually on multiple targets to get in on as many kills as possible.

But even I appeared, for that moment at least, in 8th place with nearly 60 kills on the books.

Not bad for my third day I guess.

And quite a third day it was.  As much as I would like to say that the Goons do this every day and twice on Sunday, I gathered that this was a reasonably special operation.  I was lucky to be there at the right place and at the right time.

Now what will we do tomorrow?

14 thoughts on “To Soar with Titans, To Sow Destruction!

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Follow up notes on picture and video quality and lag.

    I usually resize my screen shots down to 80% of their original size (I play full screen, 1600×1200) because that tends to smooth out the jagged edges. I did not do that on these pictures in an attempt to show more detail. So they may seem jaggy for that reason, as well as due to the dark black starscape background in 0.0 and the fact that the machines was often trying to draw dozens of ships in motion at a time.

    Likewise, it is not apparent in the video, until the explosion, which has an ugly long transition from being a tower to being a boom, that I was getting around 8-12 frames per second of video. That was about the size of it during the whole op.

    On the bright side, I ran into relatively few instances of bad lag where the game would not respond. But, in my case, I was usually either traveling or turning on the missile launcher and watching the destruction. If I had had to do anything complicated, it would have seemed much worse I am sure.


  2. Rothmog

    This is the typical Winter campaign. Don’t let the POS bashes control your schedule. The Fountain campaign made me take a 7 month break after last winter.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    A woman on the street corner tried to sell me needle and thread. I said I didn’t sew, to which she retorted, “Then neither shall ye reap.”

    You can tell I am not a farmer I suppose.

    This is the sort of karmic response that I get for pointing out to Ken at Popehat that “84 Charring Cross Road” did not involve a “cross-Pacific correspondence.”


  4. Mbp

    I am confused about the Goon connection. Its been a while since I played but I seem to recall Goons having a terrible reputation for childish griefing and generally sociopathic behaviour. Unless I am much mistaken you don’t fit that profile at all. I am confused.

    Perhaps White Noise was a carebear corporation of cancer surviving post heart op silver haired grandmothers who only started playing online games as a means of making friends as part of their rehabilitation. That might explain it.

    Perhaps White Noise was


  5. Solf

    I’m not trying to flame, honest :)

    I have a question — was it fun? If yes, would it be fun the next time? The time after the next?

    I mean, for me this symbolizes everything that is wrong (in my opinion) with ‘open warfare’ in games — whoever has the most dedicated warm bodies — wins. And getting most bodies usually has little to do with game and a lot to do with meta-gaming. And people joining winning side because it is winning are a big part of it and ‘break’ the whole concept even further.


  6. Gaff

    We didn’t seek out the goons to join the “winning side.” In fact, we were in Deklein before the goons moved in here…we allied with them because of the fall of the NC.

    Grinding structures always has a chance to bring ship to ship combat–we were harrassed by bombers at each of our structure shoots yesterday. I may be wierd, but I don’t mind shooting POSs–knowing the enemy could react at anytime keeps it interesting.


  7. Solf

    I never said (nor meant to imply) that you (Gaff & Wilhelm) specifically joined Goons because they were winning. Although ‘we allied with them because X fell’ might be actually construed as such :P

    But I’m willing to bet that many (if not the majority) join Goons because they are the biggest bully around [the particular piece of space]. Thus compounding the problem.

    Now I don’t know the history. Maybe White Noise didn’t show up to defend because they were already soundly defeated in the ‘relatively’ fair fights. But if I had to bet, I’d bet on them simply not having anywhere near the number of people required to stand up to the Goon juggernaut. Which means that Goon can do whatever the hell it wants and there’s not going to be anyone who will be able & willing to do anything against it.

    Which in turn means that (if I were part of Goon) whether I show up or not for an operation means squat. It’s a foregone conclusion (unless everybody decides not to show up because it’s so much a given :)). Which would be mean (for me personally) that this would be fun only for a basically first time — to see all these big fleets. Moving down helpless opposition gets old fast (again — for me).


  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @MBP – Like all stereotypes, the Goons are not quite as they are portrayed by people who are often, coincidentally or not, their enemies. Personally I always thought that they seemed to be having the most fun, if trending towards puerile in nature. Their comms were surprisingly mature, though part of the goon operational playbook is to pollute the local channel to annoy the enemy. Do not click links in local, I am told they all go to graphic porn sites.

    As for my Goon connection:

    I am in a corp, the BSC Legion. They are not Goons.

    Our corp is in an alliance, TNT. They too are not Goons.

    Our alliance is part of a confederation that is lead by the Goons. As Gaff said, we were there first (well, I wasn’t, but you get the idea), but survival in 0.0 space means making alliances and changing with the times. And the Goons are often where the action is. They will create action if there is none.

    The Goons

    @Solf – So I get where you are coming from about the Goons as big bullies, but the context is… odd. 0.0 space is about conquering and holding territory. Somebody not prepared to hold their territory is bound to lose it unless they make alliances. White Noise felt that their alliance structure was enough to deter aggression. It turns out they were wrong.

    Think of it in the context of other games. If you play Risk, and you are getting towards the end of the game, do you tell the person who is winning that they are a bully?

    And, not that I want to take a position as “defender of the Goons,” but even the “biggest bully” thing is wrong. Goons hardly terrorize all of 0.0 space, which is pretty well divided up. Go google the sovereignty maps. (Here is one.) Their grand alliance is big, but still only second in total members, and fourth in terms of systems and outposts. Third place is White Noise and they were right next door and were not building those titans to mow the lawn, and they were depending on their far neighbors, Raiden, to come to help. The Goons have been on the short end of things many times. You should read their history on the Evelopedia Wiki.

    As to what I think was your real question, was it fun?

    That is hard to say. At the time I was doing it, it was confusing and disorienting and I was lost or two steps behind for most of time… except when we were sitting and waiting, during which I was by turns bored and then anxious that I missed some order. And I was lost in a set of systems I did not know in hostile territory where any gate could hide an ambush on the far side, so I was primarily concerned with not getting separated from the herd.

    In hindsight it was a great new adventure. I saw and did things I had never done before in the game and made for a good story.

    But that is the way it goes for lot of things. How many epic boss fights that were near run things for your group were fun at that very moment? I am always stressed and trying to focus during those situations. It is only afterwards, when we have won (or lost), and it makes a good story that the overlay of fun gets applied.

    And, of course, this is EVE, which has been described as having another job. The fun tends to be in accomplishments in EVE.

    Would I do this sort of op regularly? No, it would get dull fast. Is that the only kind of op that this war is about? No, I linked an epic fleet battle in the last post. Like war, each person only sees their little corner of the battlefield.


  9. Solf

    It seems that we are both agreeing and disagreeing at the same time :)

    Anyway, to make it crystal clear — what I’m driving at — is that in my opinion (and I guess specifically for me), having battles where sides are roughly equal and where each person can feel that their presence and contribution is important is much more fun.

    I think in an unrestricted warfare (as in Eve 0.0) this is practically impossible to achieve (as they say, if you’re in a fair fight that means someone screwed up). I don’t know a good solution here, but imo ‘battleground’ type fights are better.

    But I’ll be watching your adventures in Eve to see how you like this ‘asymmetric’ warfare ‘long term’ :) I have a bet with myself that you won’t enjoy it for long :)


  10. Rothmog

    I am in Goons, and have been over about a year and half. I joined them not because they were winning some war, but because I found a corp in the recruitment channel and they were all ex-goons. After flying with them for about 6 months or so they went back to goons and I tagged along. Individuals can not show up for fleet ops, but attendance is recorded at the corp level. If a corp does not show up enough their rights are restricted or if it has been a long time issue they may be removed from the alliance. I have been playing eve since 2003, I have been in most of the large alliances at one time of anoither. I don’t spam local, scam (yet), or do most the other things that “goons” do. It is just like racial stereotypes, it only takes a few people to get an entire group branded as a certain way.


Comments are closed.