As I posted on Sunday, CCP’s GM week is now in progress and opened with a bang… the bang being the Yulai Bot Bash on Monday.
Monday was also a holiday in the US, so I managed to find the time to get logged in and setup for the festivities. I sent one of my high sec alts out in a Kestrel with sensor boost and a range script thinking that I would just have to orbit around the Yulai graveyard (some info about that landmark here and here) in order to snipe at the capitals as they were hauled into the system.
That gave me a lock range out to 74km. I figured that should be enough. So I logged in early and got myself setup, watching as more and more people piled into the area waiting for things to kick off. CCP Swift showed up in a Polaris Enigma frigate. Many tried to lock him up, but those frigates invulnerable to even being locked.
I had learned my lesson from last year’s fiasco and put together a quick “suspects only” overview to show only targets that I could fire on safely.
I took that screen shot as the GMs dragged in the first target, a Nidhoggur that landed 123km away from me. 123km is more than 74km, so I had to light my MWD and head over towards it to get in a couple of shots before it blew up.
Capsuleers who showed up in long range marauders and such were not bothered by the first few targets being dropped way off the graveyard where everybody was clustered. And I was able to move fast enough to get on a couple of those early targets, but a lot of people show up in smaller ships, even corvettes, so they were unable to get in any shots.
Even moving at 2,600 m/s my Kestrel wasn’t able to catch the Rorqual that got dropped on grid not the Moros that showed up.
After some complaining in local about how a lot of people were missing out on the targets… some of these capital ships were melting fast under the sustained fire of those in range… that the GMs started dropping the targets closed to the beacon.
The GMs went through the usual progression, bringing on carriers, then dreadnoughts, then a Rorqual, then some force auxiliaries.
This were better once we got to super carriers, which take longer to burn down. The GMs also seemed to be on a kick to show us one of each of the standard, non-faction capitals and supers. So we got a Nyx, a Hel, an Aeon, and a Wyvern.
And then it was time for the big hulls as the GMs dropped an Erebus titan on grid for the crowd.
The Erebus was both closed to hand and took long enough for everybody to get into range before it finally started to blow.
Before the Erebus was done, the GMs had pulled a Ragnarok in for us to shoot, the second titan of the day.
I thought for a moment the doomsday of the Erebus was going to fire as is started to explode, but the explosions of titans appear to have been updated to match their faction/doomsday color. So the Erebus explosion was green, while the Ragnarok was red.
After the Ragnarok the GMs gave us an Avatar and a Leviathan, letting us shoot one each of the empire titans. Past events have generally just had two titans as the grand finale, but this time around we got four. And they even had the Avatar doomsday the Leviathan as part of the final act… and to speed things up. The titans were going down kind of slowly.
After being hit, the Leviathan’s shields flared and stayed visible for a stretch.
Of course, part of the reason it was taking a while to kill the titans wasn’t just a firepower issue. Enough people had joined in on the event that time dilation had kicked in and everything was moving at 10% speed.
With the help of the Avatar doomsday, the Leviathan blew up next.
Then, finally, it was the turn of the Avatar, which had a bright yellow explosion.
There were some oddities with the wrecks loading as ships exploded. This is not uncommon with time dilation in effect. In big fights I have seen my own wreck and my capsule floating in space even as my ship carried on down its path until it finally go the notification to explode.
There was a lot going on during the event. I went and made a battle report to cover the time frame, just to see how much stuff got blown up. It isn’t divided into sides, there being no real sides, but it does show all the capitals that were destroyed, plus all the other ships that managed to get destroyed along the way.
There were 387 killmails that showed up during the event, but only 15 or so were capitals dragged into the system by GMs. A lot of other shenanigans and mistakes were going on during the show. My Kestrel got hit by smart bombs and ECM bursts a few time, something that will turn you into a suspect and allow everybody else to shoot you.
I managed to get a missile off at a Brave Punisher that popped up as a suspect nearby where I was, for an extra kill mail.
And so it goes. I know there is more to GM Week than just the bot bash, but that is always my favorite bit. It combines capital ships, explosions, and the unpredictable chaos that is EVE Online into a convenient high sec location.