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Monday, 25 November 2013

The Centre of the Universe


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Blogged by Jay Joringer

Being honest, I started the week pondering whether I should re-subscribe to Eve. Game time was running out and I took a look over my toons and started to wonder if I was getting the most out of them – an industry focused toon in a PvP alliance frequently topping the corp killboards and a PvP toon rotting in highsec, killing me with incursion boredom. If I looked at this arrangement sensibly, you might say there was a simple, obvious fix. 

“And always, he fought the temptation to choose a clear, safe course, warning "That path leads ever down into stagnation.’" – Frank Herbert. 

So, almost on a whim, I left Blackstar. To say that left a few people bemused may be quite an incredible understatement. In the meantime, I’d been talking to several groups through an alt to try and keep a low profile. One group in particular caught my attention: Void-Legion. There were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, what they were trying to was very similar to what I was trying to achieve with Enigma Project before Blackstar formed the splinter corporation and left. From what I gathered, the way they were organized was impressive and the leadership was dedicated with ambitious plans to make a name for themselves. And if WH space needs anything right now (aside from new content, CCP!) it was another big name . 

The second reason was that they were being invaded. Reading between the lines, a couple of their ex-members left disgruntled and joined Daktaklakpak and that turned into a full on grudge when they failed to break up Void-Legion by stealing their members. The previous invasion failed, but now Daktak were under the banner of the Red Coat Conspiracy. With Obstergo also in their alliance, they had someone to do their heavy lifting and hit Void Legion on Friday night when their EU contingent had logged off. 3 Dreadnaughts, 1 Carrier and a 40 man subcap fleet had reinforced the Void-Legion towers without much reply from the residents. 

I had to get involved. Void-Legion looked to me like having a lot of potential. And any chance to get at Obstergo was a bonus. The only problem was one of Void-Legion’s Directors, Viscis Breeze was pretty sharp, so I had to come clean about my identity and motivations, which meant dropping out of Blackstar, leaving Dizzy in charge while I hooked up with ‘13.’ to keep my involvement neutral. 

Saturday, Void-Legion sounded pretty demoralized. They knew they couldn’t deal with a subcap fleet of that size and were looking at the possibility of losing everything. Lurking on their comms, the whole thing sounded like a total clusterfuck. The Directors couldn’t get anything organized from people going AFK or simply logging out. I gave a little advice on reinforcement mechanics, but there wasn’t much they could do. They knew what they needed to do, which was re-establish hole control. From there, they could decide whether they wanted to evac or bolster their defences, but as that looked like an impossibility, I was beginning to wonder whether putting myself in limbo was worth it. To make things worse, one of the Void-Legion pilots, Relic124, had made a deal with the Red Coats. He had traded them his Naglfar for safe passage out. Absolutely unbelievable. Sure, people pay to play, so you should play it how you want, but how did this moron make it past the learning curve? Quit the game, Relic124 – no one sane will take you on after a stunt like that. 

Sunday was indeed a different day. I logged in to just move some ships around on my laptop while I chilled out with some Mount & Blade on the main PC. Just as I had a few things organized and was about to hit autopilot when I noticed the invite to convo. That was when Void-Legion gave me the news. Apparently, before I logged in, they had fleeted up and regained hole control, destroying 2 Red Coat Dreads and their Carrier in the process. Suddenly things looked very, very different and Mount & Blade would have to wait. There was also a direct null with mass left for 1 capital jump. I hadn’t realized it until this point, but the Red Coats had also wardecced Void-Legion, so it was difficult for them to exploit hole control and move things about through empire. I could move unimpeded and began mobilizing Orcas and Carriers to assist. The VL guys rage-rolled for a highsec through their C3 static, finding a connection close to Amarr, which was unfortunately EOL. Seagray brought the bookmarks to Amarr and a few minutes later 13 cyno’d in an Archon through the direct null. 

While this was going on, Viscis got a unsolicited convo from No Holes Barred. It was obvious how they knew about the situation. Red Coat Conspiracy were now on the back foot and were bat-phoning every known PvP entity in WH space, telling them they needed some help evicting some farmers. Given the stigma of a group simply farming WH space and not adding to the environment and ‘generating content’, there were bound to be a few people to answer the call – even if was, in this instance, untrue. Especially with the Rubicon changes to looting SMA’s. I warned him “Your wormhole is about to become the centre of the universe.” Lame doesn’t even begin to describe Daktaklakpak and Red Coat Conspiracy’s tactics here. 

VL had decided they didn’t want to moved things in and out through the EOL highsec. The C3 residents (whose name I won’t mention – only partially because I’ve forgotten) offered their help to roll it- which was very cool, by the way. I sent an Orca to help out while readying a humble Loki for when it did finally kick off. And one way or another, it was going to kick off. 

With a new highsec connection and a Loki and Archon from 13 deployed in system, Red Coat Conspiracy seemed reluctant to get involved in another engagement without support. Normally, I’m not one to engage in smacktalk or chatting in WH local in general, but here I made an exception. 10 minutes of belittling the would be PvPers while they sat in their own reinforced staging tower while I was sat on the WH in my Loki with Viscis dual-boxing an Archon and a Proteus as well as 2 VL HIC’s and another Loki seemed to do the trick though (which was good because I was running out of annoying ‘come at me bro’ gifs and witty retorts). How do I know it did the trick? The fact that the Red Coats 15 man T3 fleet primaried me was a bit of a giveaway. 

Tentatively, I edged around the WH, staying well within jump range, but Viscis was on the ball with reps. Then on comms, someone asked for a primary. Then the request was repeated. Letting out a deep sigh and wondering for the briefest of moments how I got myself into this, I started calling targets. There was a request to primary someone, which I denied. There was no time for personal vendettas while they have ECM and Logi on the field. VL support started logging in and warping in to support the bait fleet. Our reps were holding and so were theirs on their solitary Tengu. It was time to see how ‘switched on’ their logi were and I called a switch to one of their guardians, while any available neuts and ECM drones hit the others. It was working. The targets armour started bleeding precariously towards hull. Before we could finish the job, he jumped through the WH. It was time to force the other guardians off field. 

By now, scouts were reporting a dire situation through the highsec side of the C3 connection. Surely You’re Joking and Anomalous Existence were massing in system and preparing to jump in and join the fight- explaining Red Coat Conspiracy’s new found confidence. The defence fleet persisted, however, and forced another Guardian off field. I called for a HIC to follow them through, but before any of the pilots could act, the familiar sound of multiple WH activations went off before it collapsed entirely. Disavowed had joined the fight and the size of their fleet indicated they were going to have the last say in the evenings proceedings. 

Did things look bleak? Well, yes. At this point, it might be worth mentioning Disavowed were on the Red Coats’ bat-phone list. They were sold the same bullshit story about being needed to assist in evicting some farmers. There were reinforcement timers to meet, loots to be had yadda, yadda, yadda. I know the guys are always down for pew and Red Coats trying to get them involved might have been a good idea… had I not beat them to the punch. Obviously, there’s a somewhat tenuous link there anyway, which made me laugh when at one point during the pre-fight smacktalk, one of the smarter daktak pilots asked the question: “Who the hell are you?”. I’m quite glad the depth of his research ended there, however. Long before I had fired any shots, Disavowed were formed up and rage-rolling for a K-space connection. When Void-Legion get a new highsec, they also scanned out a C4 connecting to the static C3 where the Disavowed fleet hid until the action started. For sure, things looked bleak. But not for us. 

Their joining the fight shut out Red Coat Conspiracy’s would-be reinforcements and all that was left was a massacre. I ceded fleet command back to Void-Legion while we along with Disavowed mopped up the field. The fight  

Following the battle, contingency plans were discussed. The grim reality was that the Red Coats, despite failing on their latest invasion attempt to the tune of 30 billion ISK, weren’t going to give up. And given who they tried to bring along on this occasion, it was probably an indicator that next time they would not be alone. All for some for some irrelevant grudge. Void-Legion then burned down their own WH. That might sound like an odd thing to do, but it took a lot of resolve. They weren’t going to let Red Coat do it for them, and lets’ face it, they won here so they can do whatever they like. I’ve got a lot of respect for Void-Legion and I’m sure they’ll come back stronger for this. 

For me, the night ended shortly after with me returning ISK people had sent me for helping them out. The gesture didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated, but I believe getting involved was the right thing to do. I’ll do good things for free all day long and I knew it was a good thing when I got this feeling somewhere inside. I couldn’t place it at first, but then I remembered what someone had told me only a few days earlier: “Fuck you, Jay Joringer, you smug bastard!” and then I remembered. Smugness (Thank you for that little reminder, Dizzy Uzzy). I said ‘goodnights’ to both parties on TS which was reciprocated by most. The voice of the aforementioned Mr Uzzy rang out apart from the crowd, “See you back in corp, Jay”. 

Yeah, we’ll see ;)