Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Tale of 200 Pirates

People keep asking me, “Susan, when are you going to write about this past weekend?”

The truth of the matter is, I started my Saturday morning debating on whether to log in to EVE, or go shoe shopping. And, shoe shopping won. I’ve been looking for these specific clogs I tried on once.
And I was ready to do major recon to find them this weekend.

But of course, I had to adjust my market orders and check on the alliance contracts before I left. My virtual wallet need not suffer the same fate as what I had planned for my real wallet. =D
I was greeted (too cheerfully to someone who had not yet had her coffee) by our space dictator Bahamut420:

“So, we were invited to do this thing in a few hours, you going to be around?”

“What thing?” I replied grumpily.

My alliance mates apparently know me too well. First, he intrigued me with the idea of a bunch of low-sec groups who normally would be slaughtering each other by now on a Saturday morning, fleeting up together instead. Then, he dangled potential capital kills in front of me. And finally, he offered to loan me a billion+ isk shiny for the afternoon to seal the deal.

What’s a girl to do? In the end, spaceships won.

So a couple hours later, I found myself shuttling up to Gallente low-sec to meet the carrier that was bringing our goodies. At that point, I didn’t entirely know what I was getting myself into. I knew capitals were expected to die, and that I was going to contribute to their death. What more was there to know?

But, I figured as soon as I jumped into fleet, and saw a rather entertaining variety of 150-200 low-sec pirates, that it wasn’t going to be your average low-sec tarp. And then someone mentioned killing RvB capitals, and I finally put two and two together as to what we were up to: Ganked 100.

I have heard of player-run events before, but truth be told I’ve never participated in one. Until now.

To say that things were a bit chaotic in the beginning would be an understatement. Pirates are not coalition material, and flying around in 200 man fleets is not our business. While the biggest showings were from Shadow Cartel, along with Snuff Box, and Balex (who mysteriously decided to forgo the fleet later on) there was a large number of miscellaneous pirate groups in the party as well. There were only four present from Late Night, and looking at some of the other fleet members, there were many other groups that had brought only a handful of pilots to join in.

But the chaos was the good chaos of FCs organizing people into the correct wings, counting Guardians, and sorting out scouts. I kept expecting someone to pipe up with a good old fashioned, “can I bring a drake?” but no one ever did….

The fleet was initially FCed by someone from Shadow Cartel named ‘wowbagger.’ It was my first experience flying in a Shadow Cartel fleet, and in all honesty my first impression of them was that they are more or less like Late Night Alliance—with significantly more people flying significantly more expensive ships. =D

Needless to say, even though some expensive assets were being put on the line, things were kept pretty lighthearted.

The first mishap of the afternoon came during the organization stage of the fleet when Shadow Cartel’s Teamspeak decided that there were way too many people logged into one channel and that everyone should no longer be allowed to talk. Things were taken care of pretty quickly, but not before there was a bit of bewilderment all around. Also, listening to the FCs try to get a hundred or so people to move into the right channel was a bit amusing.

At any rate, soon we were off to sit on a titan and wait for our bus into Hysera. The scouts were reporting all sorts of things, some of which seemed contradictory to me. But through it all I gathered one important piece of information: there were many things for us to kill.

We bridged into system and spent a little bit of time looking for a group that would fight us. Local was rising very quickly, and there were a certain tension in the air –as if one only needed to light a match to have the entire system ignite.

Scouts reported action on a plex in system, with RvB capitals on field, and we were off to check it out. I had to laugh a little. Here I thought I’d be taking a vacation from Faction War for an afternoon, and here we were warping to a plex.

Now, before I go on, I have to explain some past history I have with RvB that you might find a little amusing. Many years ago, before I knew anything about Faction War and before RvB was all that well known (or all that large) I saw these two random groups of people fighting each other and thought it would be a good idea to wardec them both in my one-man empire corporation. I was extremely bored, having just left a crumbling alliance in nullsec, and was debating whether I really wanted to continue playing EVE or not.

I’m not entirely sure how it came about, but one thing led to another and I was challenged to a 1v1 battlecruiser fight with a member of Red Federation. He was in a hurricane, and I was in a drake. And, to my utmost mortification, I still remember how my drake was fit: heavy missiles and this crazy passive recharge shield tank with purger rigs and shield rechargers. (Ha!) Anyway, I felt invincible. All the rats in nullsec couldn’t break through my shields, so one dude in a Hurricane obviously wouldn’t be able to, right?

(The other thing you should probably know about this equation is that the ‘dude’ was actually Lukka –one of the all-time top ranking pilots on Battleclinic.)

Well, I died in a fire, obviously. But, Lukka ended up inviting me to this channel that had some other people he knew in EVE. Months later, after chatting with these people off and on, I eventually accepted an invitation to join one of their corporations and try this thing called ‘militia.’

You can probably see where this is heading. Needless to say, my long term career with Faction War can be directly traced back to a random 1v1 I had with a member of RvB. (not sure I should thank them or curse them for that..=p)

Anyway, back to Hysera.

My overview exploded when I came out of warp to land on the plex. From frigates to capitals, the battlefield was a picture of bedlam. I quickly anchored up as the Shadow Cartel FC started calling targets.

I’m not sure of the exact details but shortly into the fight something happened to the FCs overview (lag?) and a guy named Hunlight Faithus, of Snuff Box took over.

Now, I’m not really familiar with Snuff Box, though it seems like they’ve been around a really long time and I have the impression they are a bit of an old school pvp group. I could be wrong on that though.

Hunlight was both an exceptional and unique FC. It’s not every day someone sings your targets instead of barking them at you. But, truth be told, he seemed so happy to be calling targets, and called them so melodically it was like he could not help but break into song now and again.

From that point, we fought straight for a good 2-3 hours. I wish I could give you a play by play of the resulting bloodbath, but I couldn’t even begin to remember it in that much detail. So many. Things. Died.

I remember a rather large battleship fleet landing at one point, as well as a caracal fleet. Some target names started to sound familiar as time went one, as those who died reshipped and came back. I also remember changing focus from the capitals to the sub capitals, and then back to the capitals once the bulk of the sub capitals’ DPS threat was off the field.

An amusing moment during the fight was when the FC was trying to make sure all the capitals were pointed. Trying to manage the spreading of points across so many targets it’s not an easy task. Finally, the FC told everyone to broadcast the pilot they were pointing so he could better sort it out, and to everyone’s great amusement the broadcast history lit up with a huge quantity of targets being pointed.

After a bit of chuckling over coms, the FC commented wryly something to the effect that he supposed he couldn’t say we were not spreading our points. =)

It took a little bit to get used to fighting in TiDi. It wasn’t really bad –not nearly like what they were experiencing in HED-GP at the time. But it still went up to 60-70% on occasion with so many people shooting each other at once. On occasion, we often mistook the lag for someone taking reps. It would seem like our damage wasn’t doing anything so the call would be made to switch to another target. Usually, just as the call was made, all the damage would ‘arrive’ on the target, and we’d continue to finish him off.

When the dust settled, hundreds of things had died, including a dozen or so capitals. People were practically chortling on coms, and we stayed a little while to loot some of the wrecks that were left behind –if you could load an overview with wrecks on it without crashing your EVE client.

We went home to a few grumpy alliance mates who were a bit jealous that they hadn’t logged on in time. And, a POCO we were supposed to have defended that afternoon was dead. But oh well. I’ll take a fight like that any day –even if it means I’ll have to resort to online shopping to get my shoe shopping done. =D

Edit: I also want to give a shout-out to our Guardian pilots, some of which didn't get on many, if any killmails that whole three-hour fight but did a rather admirable job at keeping most of us alive. =)


  1. Here's a shot of the grid after the shooting stopped:

    And here's a battle report:

    The early day shopping was not meant to be. After that fight, you probably needed to add nanite paste and ammunition to your shopping list. I'm really glad you had fun.

  2. Shadow Cartel Gaurdian Pilot reporting - you are most welcome.

    One of, if not the, biggest fights I've ever been in, was pretty draining to have to concentrate that hard for three hours straight. But we had fun and I'm glad everyone else did too.

    1. Being logi in an INTENSE fight seems more demanding than being a shooter. Locking up the right ships to rep, dropping lock on other ships, not derping a rep on the wrong target, managing heat aka not burning out your ECCM, all that and you get no mails. :(

      But if your whole guard group is on the ball, your fleet looses very few ships, then you are hailed the heros of the battle as much as the FCs were.

      Looked like a lot of fun!