Battles in EVE Online are not like WoW battlegrounds or things like that. There is no mechanism to teleport you into the event and certainly nothing to extract you once you’re done. In New Eden everybody has to walk uphill in the snow both ways and events don’t just happen. Every big battle and every event, including things like Burn Jita or the Frigate Free for All, involve a lot of up front work by a dedicated crew invested in making something happen.
A battle where 6K people show is the result of considerable effort, both setting up the supply lines and resources as well as simply getting people into and out of the battle. There are often whole side battles going on to interdict reinforcement or catch stragglers trying to leave the field. I’ve spent my time off the periphery as often as I have been in the main scrum, stopping people from joining or leaving the fight.
For example, back at B-R5RB, I was able to join the battle late in the evening as part of a subcap fleet sent in to drain titan capacitors, but only after hours of fights between reinforcement ops clashing around the constellation. And that opportunity started in so late on a work night that I couldn’t stay up until downtime at 4am local, so I left myself logged in and, the next day when I had some time, got back in game and docked up at the station in system. I then jump cloned back to our staging and picked up another ship.
I left my Dominix and a jump clone in that station for over a year and was never able to extract that ship. Eventually I put it up on contract at an attractive price and somebody bought it, but it was deep in hostile space and while I might have YOLO’d it out on some quiet week night, it was easier to just sell it at some point down the road.
And this is hardly the only example of things I have left behind in battles or deployments where extraction hasn’t been viable. I have stuff littered about New Eden in NPC stations… some where we stayed, others where asset safety sent things… so make an effort to try and not leave things behind.
As I mentioned, with last nights battle in X47 I ended up docking in a friendly Fortizar in system and heading to bed. I was somewhat resigned to leaving my Strombringer there to linger until the time was right to try and get it back out.
X47 isn’t far from our staging. It is just eight gates between there and or current home in DO6.
But that route was guaranteed to be camped for days. The gate out from X47 to J-CJIV was sure to be bubbled and watched by those eager for a few more easy kills.
Alternate routes were possible, and not even that many more gates in distance.
But anything I can think of somebody else no doubt has marked down and camped for now.
The camps do die down. Eventually those in a hurry to get home stop taking the chance, the people on the gate camps get bored, and opportunities arise. But it can take a while and, in a war where we’ll be back and forth to X47 again soon, the risk will remain higher than one would like.
If I had gone out in a Scythe logi cruiser, which I felt like doing because they are so cheap and insure so well that the loss would be negligible, I might have just tried to blast out right away. But I was in my Stormbringer, kind of a pricey cruiser for me. So I was set to let thing lie, jump clone back to staging, and worry about it later.
But that morning, as I was writing up yesterday’s post about the battle, a ping went up for a fleet set to go rescue people who were trapped. It didn’t specify where, but there were not a whole lot of options besides X47. So I logged myself back into the game and got on voice coms to listen to their progress.
They did indeed come to X47 and began clearing away bubbles and shooting the cyno jammers and generally making a path for egress. I had to hold tight because I was tempted to just warp to them and follow them around while they did their stuff. But that isn’t always helpful.
Other people had the same idea and we were soon told to just hang on, a plan was under way.
Once that fleet had cleared a path from the Keepstar to the Fortizar where I was now undocked and sitting on tether, more pings went out telling people to log back in and warp to the Fortizar.
Meanwhile it was clear that other groups were part of the same plan. I saw The Initiative undock their Navy Apoc fleet from the Fortizar, where they must have safed up earlier, and head off to the Keepstar to help clear.
We had to sit around for quite a while while things got sorted, and it is possible that at least one group went off to shoot the Keepstar again to set a new timer, though I cannot confirm that on my own.
Eventually though there were last calls to get everybody who wanted to go home on the Fortizar. Then titans started to drop in, one for each fleet, in order to bridge us home. Another aspect of this war is that our front line staging Keepstar and theirs are a single jump apart for capital ships.
We all got on our titans and when the bridges went up, we were sent back to our staging system.
I am sure there are still people stuck in X47. We never get everybody out in one op, so there will be more ops later. But a bunch of us got back and are ready to undock again.
Meanwhile, I am a bit surprised at the lack of response this whole extraction operation got from Fraternity and PanFam. There are a few of their partisans on r/eve posting about a “hell camp” and Imperium ships being trapped in X47, but the actual action in the system was fairly low effort. A couple of small groups put up some bubbles and grabbed a couple of stragglers, but when one fleet can drop in, clear the undock of your Keepstar so that people can log in and warp out, a “hell camp” it is not.
And the lack of effort in trying to extract more losses from trapped ships makes me wonder how committed Fraternity and PanFam are to the war.