Yulai – Acting on behalf of the navies for the Amarr Empire, Caldari State, Gallente Federation, and Minmatar Republic, CONCORD has put out a one-time call for capsuleers to provide backup on a “massive, sustained assault on high-priority targets”. Kilkkuken Mallen, Chief Intelligence Operative for CONCORD, said, “We are currently unable to provide details on the target, as this would represent a significant security risk in the operation. However, this threat is considered extremely high to all law-abiding citizens of New Eden. We ask that any capsuleer who wishes to protect civilized space gather up at our two rally points in Sarum Prime and Meves on November 7 for departure at 18:50.”
The above was an announcement made earlier this week and as usual piqued my interest enough to mail the RvB Ganked mailing list saying “yeah lets do this”. Yesterday rolls round and I move myself into Sarum Prime with around 4 hours to go and already the system is getting busy, as was the Live Events channel. Now due to confusion on my part I was not originally going to run a fleet, just join a CCP run fleet, however me being me and all of you being, well all of you, that plan went out the window. Next thing you know I am taking x’s from around 150 people, many of them regulars to Ganked or members of RvB, and many more people sent my way by folks in the Live Events channel including my fellow CSM delegates, Chitsa Jason & James Arget.
Around 18.00 GMT we started getting reports from fleet members moving to join us that Sarum Prime was under traffic control, much like Jita on a Sunday evening, however it must be noted it was sitting at around 1300 pilots all looking for fleets for the event, so this was very much expected. It was not long after this that when Fozzie tweeted that the people in Sarum should make best speed to Ihal in Derelik, which meant my fleet was one of the first to get going as we had several twitter uses in fleet. By all accounts, moving off so early was a Good Thing, as a wave of ever increasing Time Dilation (TiDi) followed in our wake, with late joiners moving from Sarum 20-30 minutes after announcing endlessly in fleet about 10% TiDi on each jump.
Arriving in Ihal we formed up on the Mifrata gate while getting eyes into that system. Scouts reported a Naga gang set up off gate for a good while, a gang that got themselves a few kills when random eventers would just jump right into them from Ihal, before they themselves moved away and into Curse. While waiting on our fleet to regroup we set to spamming local with this:
[18:53:01] Sami Okuuda > Warriors of the State, jump into Mifrana and engage the Sansha’s forces at the second Planet!
Unintentional typo that still caused many to jump into Mifrata, while we giggled in fleet chat.
Finally we started to move towards RMOC – obviously knowing we had to pass through Doril caused us to nearly rethink this, but as TiDi was so insane we just went with it, as going to any other nearby Null entry would have been too time consuming. Instead I announced that we would wait till around 400-500 of the people in Sendaya local had moved on before we would follow. The rest of the plan was made up as we jumped into Doril, while most of those before us were dying horribly to the numerous fleets setup on & around the gate. And who knew, such a simple plan as “burn off, kill the sabres, warp to bottom station” would work? Not me for sure!
Yet it did, and all our fleet lost was like 10 dudes, including a Nighthawk – but he took it well, and the fleet chucked iskies at him for being a hero about it.
Once we got out of Doril, TiDi fell away and we moved to RMOC as quick as we could, however we arrived seconds too late for the event, as all Angel installations & ships had either been “protected” by the locals of Curse, or self destructed in a show of Pirate balls! Either way the Empires had lost. However we wandered around system getting a few kills, getting killed a few times, until we decided that it was time to head back to Empire. And that was pretty uneventful. Arrived back on the Sendaya gate in Doril to see a pretty large fight going on, but with heavy TiDi and bombers on field we decided NOT to whelp into the centre of it, and instead hit lowsec and got a few more kills there, most of stupid flashies that do not warp when pod squads land at 0 on them!
When all is said & done, we had a good time. Lots of new people – well new to pvp – flew with us and came away with a good impression of Ganked & RvB as a result of us NOT whelping / freezing up on the jump into Doril or at the first sign of TiDi. I am still finding kills we either achieved as a fleet or whored on to, just keep an eye on this campaign – and if you do find it, post that bloody suspect Cynabal from Ihal!!!
Here is a few quotes from people who flew with us:
Was in the fleet with RvB FC – we didn´t jump right throu and we avoided to be bombed … from 150+ we only loose 10 ships and then finaly got into 0.0 – but the event was over. We had only 4 to 6 logi (include myself) for a 150 man fleet ;D.
It was a goog experience for a newbie on my side and iam looking forward to be in such fights again thanks to the FC !!! From what i read here the other fleets are not so lucky to have a propper leader so i think the expierience was awful and thats not how you drag people into pvp. You scare them into highsec and so I dont unterstand some of the comments because 10 year old chars with huge experience in fighting.
[ 2013.11.08 14:10:35 ] Phobia Severasse > Mangala Solaris it was great, mostly cos we had decent FC it would have sucked to be cannon fodder. Perfect Eve event though
Completely forgot to say this: turns out that, if not for your watchfulness with the twitter, we’d all get stuck in 23 jumps of 10% tidi instead of getting those nice fights in null and lowsec. I was just reading forums and realized how bad it was for people who didn’t get lucky to have a good FC like you.
Anyway thats enough food for my ego, what did I think of the event itself?
As a pod pilot: it was messy, it felt very disorganised, exactly what was the goal? what was the time frame the Empires needed to achieve this goal in? However while I say this, I still enjoyed myself massively. I primarily went to shoot dudes, with taking part in the “RP” side of the event as a distant secondary.
As an FC of a public high-sec fleet: I was shocked at how little information was put across by the event “actors”, especially in the few hours before Sarum filled up and once in Ihal & Sendaya, together with how poorly their fleets seem to be lead – let alone the other high-sec fleets I came across along the way. More information would have certainly been great here. Still now the dust has settled, as an FC I really loved it. Having many new people in fleet who “got it” right away and were willing to follow really made me want to impress, and while I think I did not do as well as I could, my fleet members seemed to enjoy themselves.
How would I suggest things be ran? Especially events that have the possibility to reach the scale of last nights event, which had some 3000 involved pilots across two regions with many many more trying to join in and facing numerous perceived hurdles.
Well I would always count on the null based attendee’s to be more organised – regardless of the Event location. To that end, while you cannot ever organise high sec residents to that scale, draft in people who have a proven track record of doing so and get them to be your shepherds. Yes its nice having CCP actors leading fleets, but do they have much experience cat herding people who have never pvp’d, never so much as jumped to low sec and so on? On this topic this says it all:
[19:51:51] Ren Karetta > Alright people, we’re going to make a run for it
Approach the people who have done this & offer to name check them in follow up reports as chosen reps of the empires or such things, or invite people from across the cluster to put their names in the hat for this opportunity so as to avoid any claims of bias, hell I could name half a dozen organisations and/or pilots who could be tapped for being the player “reps” at such events, and yes that would include myself!
Additionally to the above, if you do go with player reps – or at least more experienced “actors” – go with more form up points. For a 4 empire event, having 2 initial form up points just did not pan out as well as it should have. If the people had been spread out then the initial moves would have been less of the drama bomb they became. And also geography can play a part here too for example, a Caldari force could have reached Curse from one direction – yes it would have meant a run through GW, but hey quietest region ever! – while the Amarr groups came over from Sarum.
If TiDi is to factor in, can CCP ensure that the most likely route is reinforced or as close to it as possible, yes you wont avoid TiDi entirely, but at least it could be lessened. If the Sarum>Ihal route had been reinforced it may well have led to less of the tears we have seen on EVEO today. People expected to die when reaching null-sec, they just expected to reach null-sec first!
To close, I feel that events of this scale should continue to be undertaken, – the large scale fights are what make people sit up and look at eve just as much as the intrigue does after all – just CCP should ask the players, especially those of us heavily involved in the EVE community, for some assistance. We wont say no, we wont (well most of us wont) accuse CCP of bias if we get overlooked in favour of others to help out.
(Note all of the above is my own opinion not that of Mangala as CSM. Just Mangala as FC, as regular dude. It should also be noted I have yet to watch any fraps my fleet may have captured last night and my memory is sketchy on a Friday afternoon!)