The word did come down via the State of the Goonion on Saturday that we would indeed be moving north for war and that Tribute would indeed be our target. That seemed the most likely scenario even a week ago.
In anticipation of the move ops to come I had logged into the game an hour ahead of time to figure out what I wanted to bring north. I didn’t know where we were headed yet, but I wanted to be ready. I was not alone. I found almost 2,000 people in local and when I undocked I found titans practically frolicking about the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A.
Closer in my Megathron… I decided to take a battleship north… reflected the glow of the fireworks being set off.
As the time for the SotG approached, the number in local climbed, peaking at just past 4,000 as The Mittani’s speech ended.
In Mumble as well people started filing into the SotG channel. There the numbers climber, passing 2,600 during the speech.
That is a better representation of how many people were present since you get only one forum account and Mumble login no matter how many alts you have.
At the speech The Mittani confirmed what had be widely rumored, that we would be heading to Tribute to drive out Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition. We were not going to take the region in order to hold it, but merely destroy all we could, reducing the infrastructure back to its lowest ebb.
Mittens gave us no dramatic raison de guerre. He said he would not be waving a bloody shirt and calling for war. The reasons for us going north to “glass” Tribute was simply to widen the gap between us and our traditional foes that we might deny them the ability to ever assail us again. I am sure that the fact that those in Tribute remain among the organizations that sent us packing during the Casino War that haven’t been displaced or made to pay tribute fed into the decision as well. Something, something, pays our debts.
The speech was short and our actual staging destination was left unstated. We would have to go on move ops to find out. But move ops were being pinged immediately. Six fleets for capital ships went up and they began departing 1DQ1-A immediately. The local count because to taper off some.
Those of us in subcaps had to wait about an hour before we were called.
This became one of those move ops where everybody was stuffed into the same coms channel. All the capital fleets and all the subcap fleets would share coms, which meant we were told to keep quiet.
I was wondering how that would play out. People often don’t know or care that there might be 2,000 other people on the line and start speaking up because they can’t find this or that in their hangar or asking where the fleet is or some bit of trivia about their day that really doesn’t play in front of a large audience.
But it did not work out too badly. There were the inevitable people wandering in and chatting away like they were on a small gate camp as opposed to a 2,000 person move op, but they were hushed and things on coms remained mostly the command staff giving instructions to the various fleets about who should jump and who should hold.
When subcap fleets got called I piled into the Baltec fleet, which Cainun was running. We hung around for a bit and it was explained that we would have to keep a close eye on the in-game fleet chat as that would be where most of our orders would appear.
CCP Please, let me pull the chat window out to another monitor.
I had been listening on voice coms and watching Jabber in another window while I played Minecraft. But if instruction were going to be in fleet chat that mean keeping the EVE Online game window up where I could see it. Oh well. We eventually undocked and headed to the Eye of Terror jump gate chain to start our move north.
Even in slow old battleships with TiDi hitting along most jumps, we were able to move along at a fairly brisk pace, jumping and aligning over and over.
It wasn’t long before we had caught up with the capital ships. They were jumping by groups and then waiting out their timers so as not to build up jump fatigue, so we caught up to the tail end of the big ships half way through Fountain.
Some clever person in a dictor put up a bubble off the gate that stopped us short at one point and we had to burn through a mass of capital ships to get to the gate and jump. That put us pretty much in the thick of the capital ships.
On entering Cloud Ring we ended up in a capital traffic jam. The caps were supposed to jump in, warp to a structure, then warp to a gate. However, time dilation was down to 10% from just us moving and jumping, people felt like they were falling behind and started trying to warp straight to the gate which meant they were bumping off the people still trying to warp to the structure. And then a whole fleet of Apostles came through the gate.
We orbited the gate… you can’t even see our tiny battleships in that blob… and waited for things to get sorted. Eventually everybody got themselves pointed in the right direction and warped off. We hung around to see off the final capitals before heading out ourselves.
From there it was just a couple of gates for us, then another ansiblex to the Kirkland Protein Star, the Keepstar we dropped back in July of last year to support the war against Circle of Two in Fade.
We moved out of there in October in a massive move op and I diligently carried all of my stuff home because I thought we were supposed to take down that Keepstar. However, there it stood. If I had just left my stuff there… which included the Megathron I had just moved up there… I would have been set already because that is where we stopped. That is where the move op ended, well short of Tribute.
We were told that this was a preliminary staging point, that after we got more people up into Cloud Ring we would be moving forward to our final staging point for the assault in Tribute. But for now we sit in Cloud Ring.
Others on this topic:
- INN (includes link to the SotG recording)