In Which We Blob

The purging of Cloud Ring continues, though mostly while I am asleep.  Waffles and Pandemic Horde changed their vulnerability widow to be during AUTZ, so the Entosis Link ops have been left to Lemba’s Korean’s in DOKDO and Arsehole squad, the AU/NZ time zone SIG in The Imperium.  So I wake up in the morning and can see the fleet pings that went out overnight.

While The Mittani’s optimistic six day forecast now seems… well, optimistic… the purge doesn’t seem to be in doubt.  The desired end state though… I’m not sure what that is.  We don’t want any hostiles living in that region, so we are purging them.  But we don’t want to take the sov ourselves, so we didn’t, for example, drop a TCU in W-4NUU after we killed the Pandemic Horde TCU, which allowed them to drop one and take the sovereignty right back. (Though reset to 0, so the system is easier to take/retake.)  And we have seen that our only friend in the region, Fweddit, can’t hold the whole region by itself, so I am not sure who we expect to come live there.  Who wants to live next to us?

Anyway, there has been day by day coverage over at The Nosy Gamer under the Kickstarter War tag.

Having avoided Cloud Ring completely, I did get into one fleet over the weekend, once that ended up in a fight.  There is a story about it up at TMC that I find a bit confusing.  The copy makes it sound like the whole thing was a surprise when, in fact, there were pings out for a “max dudes stratop” nearly 24 hours in advance.  Maybe I have misunderstood.  I guess we did pour in over time.

Anyway, the pings were out far enough in advance for me to get down to our staging system in Pure Blind and be online and ready to go.  Well, mostly ready to go.  I ran down in an interceptor and wasn’t keen to buy a doctrine ship off contract until I knew what fleets were going up.

When the ping for fleets went out, the initial options were Tengu fleet or Harpy fleet.  Later Cawk fleet was added to handle all the people piling into the system and trying to get into a fleet.  I opted for Harpy fleet because, if nothing else, a Harpy is cheap and warps faster than a Tengu and looks better as well.

Harpy out and flying about

Harpy out and flying about

Also, with three Basilisks lost already this month, I might be past my limit on reimbursement.  No need to risk losing a Tengu or a Basi.

Anyway, I got into fleet and immediately began looking forward to the next Reavers deployment.  It has been a while since I have been in the main fleet during an op.  Somewhere around 500 of us showed up, got in fleets, and starting flying towards some distant destination, leaving time dilation and tasty stragglers for MOA in our wake.

We reached UMI-KK about an hour after I joined the fleet, a system where I had both a jump clone and a Harpy standing by, so if I had known I could have saved myself the first part of the journey and the price of a Harpy.  The cost of op sec.

We didn’t have to go the whole way by gates.  We did take one jump bridge.  When we arrived there, the guy who said he had a three day timer before he could take a jump bridge and was told we would be taking one, again announced his timer issue.  I suppose he expected us to all slog an additional half dozen gates to keep him safe.  We took the jump bridge and let him fend for himself.

We left one Harpy behind

We left one Harpy behind

From the far end of the jump bridge it was a few more jumps through tidi until we finally arrived at MR4-MY in Geminate.  Our FC was hurrying us along at that point, as it sounded like the fight was going to end soon.  Sure enough, things certainly seemed to be in progress when we got there.

Fight in MR4-MY

Fight in MR4-MY, many bubbles

After some mucking about just out of range of all of the fun, our FC pointed us at the two biggest targets on the field, the two Archon carriers supporting the NCDot fleet.

The prized on the field

The prized on the field

Everybody loves a capital ship kill.  And certainly everybody seemed to get on those kills.  There were 741 involved parties on the first carrier kill, and 717 on the second.  I also managed to get on the kills of a Proteus, a Damnation, and a Devoter.   But that was about it.  After that, the field was clear and it was time to head back home.

The battle report shows 865 of us blobbing 121 of them, inflicting 43 billion ISK in damage for about 5.5 billion in losses.  That is the old CFC way.

And then it was another hour getting back to our staging system.  The whole thing went a little longer than three hours, so at least we got two participation links for the effort.  But it was a reminder of what big fleet fights can be like in the main fleet, with time dilation, hours of travel, uneven levels of skill, and coms that made me hide in the “no chatter” channel.  After that, a Reavers deployment feels like a vacation.

8 thoughts on “In Which We Blob

  1. Mark Hudson

    I’m curious whether you find these actions (I don’t think you can really call it a war) challenging as a player. From the outside it seems the CFC / Imperium has achieved a position where there is no risk involved. So you may not win “fast enough” but you can throw so many people at the enemy that you will win once they get fed up of being blobbed. Or are there enough “good fights” to keep both sides entertained before that point is reached?

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  2. splatus

    Wow, thank you for reminding me not to fly in Sov Nullsec. While I appreciate the amount of planning and logistics that goes into fleet fight of this size, as a grunt, I prefer fleets of <50 pilots….

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  3. Some random guy

    Fleets these size are really more of a social event with some minor entertainment than anything approaching combat. There are some really funny people in comms. There are also some really stupid people in comms (3 days of Aids? Really?) and that’s pretty funny too.

    It’s like housekeeping: good to do once in a while but you wouldn’t want to do it all the time.

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  4. Fenjay

    Would you explain what a participation link is? I sort of think I might get the idea, but I’m curious how you get them and what effect they have on you.

    I was in Goonswarm back in the days of taking Delve from BoB and we didn’t have such newfangled gadgets, but participation was a hot topic even then. So I’m curious how (and if) the problem has been solved.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Mark Hudson – For me as a player, this particular fight was no challenge, but I also didn’t choose a role that had much in the way of responsibility either. It still took somebody to put it all together and our fleet commander had to keep us all together, and somebody is keeping an eye on the strategic scene, so I don’t mind jumping in to keep things going now and again. But after four year in null sec, and having been at some of the biggest fights in the game (such as 3WE-KY, 6VDT-H, and B-R5RB) I suppose I am not as easily impressed as I once was.

    @splatus – After a year doing Reavers stuff, where 25 people is a common fleet size and 100 is a lot of dudes, it is an adjustment to get back to an operation where there are three 200+ pilot fleets trying to fly a pipe to an engagement.

    @Fenjay – Participation links, or PAP links in the fleet vernacular, are URIs that are put in fleet chat that, when clicked on, record your participation in a fleet, including pilot name, ship, and location. They are used as a metric to see which alliances and corporations are holding up their end of things. Various groups have rules or bonuses for clicking on them. My own corp asks that each pilot go on four fleets a month, thus click four PAP links. I am good for 8-24 a month, depending on what Reavers are up to. Karma Fleet, the Goonswarm noobie corp, requires 3 PAP links every three months. A couple of alliances pay people who fly logistics or fleet boosting ships a bonus based on their PAP links. And if you are in GoonFleet (GEWNS) you don’t have to click any PAP links at all, as you are one of Lotax’s chosen people and can do whatever you want. (You joined through the Something Awful forums.)

    Like any metric ever in history, people obsess about PAP links because that is how we are being judged. Nobody wants to leave a fleet early because they don’t want to miss the PAP and the FC doesn’t want to give out the PAP early because some slackers will drop fleet and log off as soon as they get their PAP. Getting two on a fleet is good, though not as good as getting one for an emergency Homeland Defense fleet only to get stood down five minutes later.

    And, finally, there are Strategic op PAP links and Peacetime op PAP links. Stratop PAPs count for more than Peacetime ops. In order to encourage people to rat and mine, we have had mining and ratting ops that have given stratop PAPs, because they are being used to raise the ADM of systems. Those are essentially PvE PAP links.

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  6. Stabs

    So where’s it all going, Wilhelm? Do you think The Imperium will carry on as is for the foreseeable future or are we in for something dramatic?

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  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Stabs – That is a question being actively pursued in the Goonfleet forums even now. The general consensus is that everybody hates us, there is no combination of entities who could could combine to assail us, so what are we going to do. We’ll see what the brain trust in the Imperium comes up with. I’m sure whatever it is, it will annoy the same people we usually do.

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  8. Telke

    The Imperium for me is the subgroup I fly with (Arsehole squad). I do the occasional Reavers and mainfleet ops, but I think eve now is finding a group you enjoy flying with and…flying with them. Like Reavers, we can get 35-60 in fleet and have very good fights in many regions of eve, and we occasionally get recalled to do less interesting Empire-maintenance work. It’s just part of the package.

    I doubt the Imperium will collapse anytime soon unless it’s voluntary somehow – and good luck having that happen – but I agree we’re a bit too big right now. There’s ennui about empire maintenance being worse than empire building.

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