Three months ago I packed up shop, pulled down markets, cleared out alts, and let accounts expire. I was burned out and bored and had thoughts of perhaps quitting EVE for good.
But, like the Hotel California, you can never really leave this game. You can check out all you want but as many veterans will knowingly smile and tell you, “you'll be back.”
And so I am. I made the mistake of reading about the latest happenings of EVE. A massive war with the CFC and my alliance was smack in the middle of it. How could I possibly resist such a thing?
Now, most people, when they talk about wars in EVE talk about great battles –the amount of ISK lost, the number of pilots involved, and who won or lost.
But, battles in EVE are very complex things. Hundreds of pilots do not simply materialize out of thin air at the whim of a commander.
There are compositions that have to be theory crafted, and then put together. These often happen long before a specific battle, as many alliances have 'repertoires' of compositions they keep on hand. But they are often tweaked and honed for specific situations.
You have massive amounts of logistics efforts to move things where they need to go. The hulls, ammunition, drones, fuel have to be brought in. (That is, after the materials are mined and the equipment manufactured by either your industrial wing, or the general guys who supply the trade hubs.)
POSes and other structures have to be fueled and maintained. Timers have to be watched and planned for.
And then, leading up to the battle itself, there is all the strategic planning and movements that happens. Cynos need to be put into place, and multiple scouts sent out. Titans may need to be relocated or prepared for bridging chains, and capitals staged at specific locations.
Coordination happens between allies, as multiple groups come together for similar objectives. Fleets are started, and sometimes an hour or more of organization happens.
Logistics and links and e-war. Channels and chains and wings and fueling. Last minute refits and theory crafting.
Then, a breath of relief as the FC finally announces it's time to move out. Then, you have bridging and gating and warping. There are bubbles to be avoided and small groups hounding you, waiting to pounce on any stragglers. There is traffic control, and that one logi that always disconnects, and scouts reporting in, and you're perhaps meeting up with an allied fleet along the way.
Then you arrive. There are bounces and pounces and positioning and re-positioning. There are cynos and coordination with other friendly fleets and the scouting of gates and enemy movements intensifies.
And then, finally, the battle starts and all the losses and carnage you read about in the blogs and watch on youtube begin to unfold.
Large battles, in EVE, are like weddings. Massive amounts of preparation, planning and coordination (and cost) leading up to a few hours of gratification. The sheer amount of man power and effort that goes into it is staggering if you consider everything back to the point of the materials being mined up to the moment when hundreds face off in their spaceships within some distant solar system.
And large wars themselves exponentialize this complexity, with the full impact spanning from the most renowned war lord to the lone miner in high sec. Trade hub prices fluctuate as demand increases, coalitions are born, allegiances shift and turn, and the large virtual world that is EVE churns as thousands of real life players all over the world push their agendas.
It is all quite glorious if you enjoy such things. And I'm afraid I've been thoroughly and hopelessly sucked back in.