Feed us PAPs and hostile caps and we’ll keep logging in!
-Motto of the M2 hell camp
I’ve spent quite a bit of time of late in the hell camp in M2-XFE, sitting in my Rokh, waiting for a target to appear.
“Camping” is a pretty common term in MMORPGs. I was camping spawns back in TorilMUD before EverQuest was even a twinkle in John Smedley’s eye. You sit and you wait for a mob to spawn or otherwise show up, and then you kill it. And then you do it again… and again.. and again… until you get your fill or your rare drop or whatever. It has its variations. In PvP you can camp the respawn point in a battleground or the objective the enemy is trying to reach.
A “Hell Camp” on the other hand might be a special EVE Online term. I haven’t run into it anywhere else.
A “Hell Camp” is an operation when you have an enemy or a hostile fleet or the like trapped, in a station or logged out in space, in a known location and you set up to camp them from down time to down time, every day, for as long as it takes, until they either try to break out or they offer terms you can accept to let them go.
Many a hell camp has been called, but sustaining them is difficult. You really have to have the hostiles pinned down for it to be effective and you must field a force capable of sustaining the camp. Attempts to hell camp the Imperium into the Quafe Factory Warehouse station in Saranen during the Casino War were largely ineffective. We had enough people that we came and went when we wanted. And, in the end, packed up and left for Delve without much hindrance.
Likewise, at one point Guardians of the Galaxy declared they were going to hell camp Reavers into a station in ROIR-Y during a deployment. That lasted less than a week before they wandered off and let us be. Such a camp isn’t a lot of fun over an extended period of time.
That is a lot of titans. Progodlegend said that PAPI was bringing one thousand titans to attack Delve, so that is about a third of what they promised. Add in about 200 more destroyed in both battles and afterwards and we’ve trimmed their titan fleet by half… if we can keep a hold on the 334 that are logged out.
The Mittani has said that this camp is the most important thing for us in the war right now. We’ve given up the Helm’s Deep camp and moved carriers and supercarriers to the M2-XFE Keepstar to sit with fighters out, ready to grab anybody who logs in. We also cleared out hostile structures and deployed multiple additional Fortizars around the camp grid.
How long will this last?
We’ve been at it for two weeks now and the camp shows no sign of slackening. There is always a full fleet worth of ships on when I join, and an overflow fleet with 50-150 more hanging about, putting a sizable force on call around the clock.
It is helpful that being on the camp doesn’t demand much attention. On my big monitor I have EVE Online open, full screen, in the background and then something else I am working on… like this blog post… in the foreground with just the overview and fleet history from the game displayed on the right side of the monitor.
That is enough.
My overview tab is set to show nothing save hostiles, so somebody logging in or showing up attracts the eye immediately. I haven’t missed anything that has shown up in range of my guns, save for the interceptors that occasionally show up to try and pop bubbles.
You can sit on coms and chat. There is a channel just for the camp. I prefer to do other things and wait for the overview to alert me to action.
It is nice that we get PAP links, marking our participation. (I covered PAP links in another post a while back.) But even those reach a level of absurdity when you get one every three hours for being logged on in the camp.
The fact that PAPI forces keep logging on trapped ships is probably the biggest thing keeping people active in the camp. At this point I am sure PAPI knows the situation and has communicated it as far and wide as they are able, but people make mistakes. Somebody logged their titan in too soon before downtime… they have been logging in just before downtime to recharge capacitor… and ended up getting blow up. And there have been a few where I suspect that they clicked on the wrong character by mistake at the login screen… I’ve done that a few times… and then their stuck riding the warp back into the bubbles and sure destruction.
Every kill revitalizes those in the camp.
But there is also, as part of the Goon identity, the idea that we’ll do something like this for as long as it take, far longer than any other group in the game would, just out of sheer stubbornness and desire to prove that we can. So the camp goes on.
Which doesn’t mean the war has stopped elsewhere. The week has seen a bunch of subcap battles over ihubs and timers both in Delve and in Catch. The fighting surges back and forth and billions in ships are still being blown up. I’ve been on some of those this week.
But the camp remains, uninterrupted, waiting for the hostiles to attempt a break out.