I have been shirking my responsibilities in EVE Online of late. With the return to Azeroth and the sudden burst of enthusiasm from the instance group I have been allocating most of my gaming time to World of Warcraft.
And, honestly, it is easy enough to do that. WoW, being the PvE solo-friendly world that it is, is always ready with something to do… so long as you are up for that sort of thing. Interstellar space wars in EVE Online on the other hand do not necessarily work with your schedule. Just because you have a block of time doesn’t mean that anything will be going on, and I hate to clone jump back to Deklein to rat or mine because that will lock me out of action in Curse for a 20 hour stretch. So the last few weeks have been mostly about skill training and reading about battles I missed.
Finally on Sunday, with a chunk of free time, I decided I would drop into whatever fleet was announced, so long as I could get into an appropriate ship. I was rewarded with a directorbot announcement almost immediately.
so I literally just woke up to find 500 people on mumble and shit happening, idk what shit but i wanna kill it. DOMIS on Reagalan – Op 1 – STRATOP – get in fleet let’s goooooooooooooo
Dominix fleet. I had an appropriately fit Domi at our staging station in G-0Q86 (as well as an incorrectly fit one, which I have to fix at some point), so was able to join the fleet right away. The situation, as described, sounded similar to the last fleet I actually flew out with, back at E-YJ8G nearly a month ago. There were Slowcats on grid, things were bubbled, supers were arriving, and we were going to go add our weight to the fight. Sounded like another node crash in progress to me, but what the hell. Every fleet is its own story in New Eden. We stacked up our potato fleet on the titan and waited for the bridge.
I am not sure where the actual capital fight went down. We bridged out, and started to move in that direction until we made it to BW-WJ2. At that point we held up as there was a report of a Nulli Secunda fleet laying in wait for us. We sat for a while at the XVV-21 gate in BW-, aligned towards the S4-9DN gate waiting for the word as to whether we would go forward or retire. Eventually the decision was made to turn around and head back as the route was going to be too hot. Reagalan warped the fleet to a point in space not too far out so we could all turn around and warp directly to the XV gate.
However, some people missed the fleet warp and warped directly to the S4 gate instead. The S4 gate had hostiles on both sides of it and it seemed sure that those we went there would be lost. Some who warped there jumped through the gate into S4 in one of those “there is no situation so bad that you cannot make it worse” moves. Reagalan, in a moment of compassion, decided to warp to the S4 gate to try and rescue those who had at least remained in system. This was a 49 AU warp in 10% time dilation, in battleships, which is one of those “everybody is clear for a bio” times, as that takes a while.
As the gate came into view those landing first reported that the hostiles had apparently come through the gate and there was essentially a sizable cruiser fleet sitting, freshly arrived and embarrassingly far from the gate, just waiting for us to slaughter. Rather than a rescue mission, Reagalan called for bubbles to trap the cruisers, for us to drop drones and assign them to him, and for everybody to start neuting any logistics so that reps would be unavailable to the hostiles.
The last 4K kilometers to the gate had to be the longest I have ever experienced. When you are there, you see the bubbles up, you have instructions to follow, and targets are waiting to be destroyed, waiting for your ship to finish up its warp so you can start is like watching the kettle, waiting for it to boil. The mere act of staring at it makes the whole experience seem to stretch out beyond all reason.
Eventually the universe relented. I dropped out of warp, launched drones, assigned them, and then locked onto that one Onerios in the hostile fleet to apply my neuts in order to drain the energy from his capacitor. Me and most everybody else in the fleet chose the same target. I am sure his capacitor went dry pretty quickly… or as quickly as it could in 10% tidi. The reddish beams in the picture below are energy neutralizers working on him.
Slowly but surely Reagalan moved from target to target, popping one after another while our own logistics kept us all alive. Ships that jumped through into S4 were able to come back and join the fleet in its slaughter. The enemy fleet quickly decided that they needed to leave and began either heading towards the edge of the bubbles or towards the gate to jump out. It became something of a scamble to hold and pop as many as we could. Our one-sided battle began to wrap up as hostiles disappeared, either escaping or being destroyed. A spike on the system graphs at DOTLAN marks our time there.
The EVE-Kill listing for the clash shows that we blew up quite a few ships. 37 cruisers and a smattering of other ships gone, along with a couple of golden pods.
We did not have much time to celebrate our victory though. The word at that point was that a Nulli Secunda bomber fleet was headed our way to take us out. We were told to pull in drones and align towards the XVV-21 gate.
During the fight I had managed to wander off my sentry drones, which are immobile when dropped, so went to move back towards them as we got set. When moving the camera around for screen shots, clicking in space will sometimes set your ship in motion. I did not realize that my drones were positioned in such a way that I would end up heading the opposite direction as everybody else in the fleet, which made me the idiot of the moment as people got mad at me for bumping them. My camera was zoomed out far enough that I didn’t even notice my ship moving that way until people began complaining. Still, I managed to scoop my drones and get aligned myself before Reagalan fleet warped us to the XV gate, so nobody was harmed by my transgression.
From there it was a race, with a pack of fat happy battleships running away from a fleet of stealth bombers looking to get in some hits of their own. There were a couple of points where the hostiles were appearing through a jump gate as we were warping off to the next one. That isn’t really a viable position for a stealth bomber, unless they want to chance taking their own bomb in the teeth. We kept moving back through Catch to Derelik to Curse, where we were able to catch a bridge from an allied titan back to our starting point in G-0Q86.
The fleet stood down at that point, which was good as my chunk of free time was coming to an end. Further fleets went out later, though so far as I heard there was no node crash because of too many drones in play. And I did managed to get in a fleet and on the kill board for the month. So mission accomplished there and I can tell my CEO I did something in December.
More snapshots of our trip to BW-WJ2 after the cut.