Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I was there

On the evening of August 31, 2010, I had one of the most fun nights I'd ever had in EVE Online.

At the time, I was a member of The Perfect Storm, one of the expat corps that escaped from the collapse of the Gentlemen's Club alliance, after the fall of our Scalding Pass home to the DRF horde.  We had set up shop in Orvolle in Placid, just one jump from Syndicate null-sec, and we spent our nights roaming through Syndicate, Outer Ring, and low-sec Solitude.  At the time, my corp was looking to join Cry Havoc., one of the truly great unbounded PvP alliances in EVE's history.  A group of us were flying with their gang in a combined short-range armor HAC gang.  I was logged in as Ripard, in my beloved dual-tackle Terrier Taranis.

IT Alliance was at what turned out to be the height of their strength.  They had retaken Delve about six months prior, and their fall was about six months in the future.  But at that time, they were a force to be reckoned with, and roamed far and wide... including frequently into Syndicate.  So Cry Havoc. and Perfect Storm spent a lot of time separately fighting their roaming gangs and good fun was had by all.  Now it was time to try working together.  On this particular night, we got word of a strong IT fleet of sniper Apocs supported by close range armor HACs acting as tackle.  I forget what the IT gang's goal was -- it isn't important.  What was important was that there was a good fight to be had.  Their fleet was about 70% larger than ours, but with their fleet doctrine split, our FCs agreed that we stood a good chance of taking them on successfully.

We rushed toward their location; they spotted us, and turned to leave Syndicate.  Our lead elements caught them briefly in Faurulle and prevented them from escaping into Aridia, where it was known they had at least two Titans parked for bridges back to Delve.  Two jumps later, we pushed them into Hare, their Apocs burning to a perfect sniping range away from their AHACs, daring us to come at them.  And come at them we did.

What followed was a 40-minute melee throughout the system, from gate to planet to safespot and back.  Both sides had scanner ships, and both sides used them well.  But where they had sniper battleships, we had inties and a few T3s for tackle.  And that made all the difference.  Our scanner ships would get us decently close warp-ins.  At that point, I and the other inties would burn in and catch and hold as many of their ships as we could.  Meanwhile, we acted as warp-ins for the rest of our close-range HACs.  For me, it was a glorious, heart-pounding fight.  I'd pick a HAC, scram and orbit him at 600m,  and point whatever the most expensive thing I could find within point range.  Call my scram, call my point.  Wait for one of the two to die.  Replace that target with a new target.  Repeat until their fleet warps off.  Wait for our scanner ship to give me a new warp in.  Warp.  Find myself 70 or 90km off as they desperately burn away.  Burn after them.  Maintain transversal; don't get popped.  Watch out for Zealots; those are particularly nasty.  Get in close, wait for my range to the rest of the fleet to open.  Scram.  Type a few "x"s into fleet chat.  Call on comms: "Warp to Ripard!  Warp to Ripard!  Xs in fleet!"  Rinse and repeat.

The final battle report is gone from eve-kill now, sacrificed when eve-kill dropped all but this year's kill-mails.  I came home with my Ranis intact, several expensive faction mods in cargo, my reward from the FCs for many hero tackles that evening.  The Cry Havoc. guys gave us a lot of compliments and it looked like Storm was going to be their newest member corp.  But CH was essentially dead two weeks later, the victim of lassitude within their own alliance.  I remember those few weeks campaigning to join them as my opportunity to fly with a lot of guys from Habitual Euthanasia, at that time a cornerstone of CH... now a cornerstone of Pandemic Legion.  Hull Miners Union is gone.  Invicta. is in Rooks and Kings now.

It was in many ways one of the high points of my time in EVE.  I spent months after that looking to recreate that experience... to no avail.  The few T3s we had in fleet heralded the birth of the T3 blob.  The IT super-caps we avoided heralded the birth of the super-cap blob.  I'm honestly not sure that kind of fight even exists in EVE Online any more.

So it's with very mixed emotions that I watched the new "I Was There" trailer today.  I've been right where that ceptor pilot was.  It was real for me, too.

I was there.  Was.  Past tense.

Does the kind of fight in this trailer exist in New Eden any more?


  1. Heh.

    Jester, you are losing the small picture by being blinded by the big guys. Who cares to be honest that sovereignity warfare is won by supercapitals? Isn't that what they're designed to do? Oh, or would it be better to pummel POSes with battleships. Yep, that's definitely not boring.

    I was there. I was there 2 weeks ago when I had to make a run for it in my Golem. DRF was pummeling the NC, territories were lost, I had to get out with my ship and I had no ship capable of jumping.

    I went through several gates with mwd/cloak, at one of the gates a cane was onto me, following me in warp. That is my Kryptonite :) At one gate lag got the best of me, I was locked, scrammed, the works. Burning towards the station, I felt my heart pumping like mad, still I retained my wits about me and saved the overheating for a tad later. Had 5-6 ships firing upon me, yet I just left the shields go down into armor as I watched the gate approach. 10km. 9km. 8km. Bless MWDs :) 5km. 4km. Don't turn on the booster yet. Don't turn on the invuls yet. DON'T overheat. Let them think they got this. Let them all agress so nobody will be able to follow you. Be patient. Wth is this thing in my throat. Oh, it's my heart :lol: 3km. 2.8km. 2.6km. 3/4 armor. Cap good. All good.


    Sigh of relief.

    Loaded grid. Nobody. Waited 25 seconds. Could hear the clock tick. 5. 4. 3. 2. align. MWD. Cloak. 1. Cloak off. Warp, warp, warp.

    Osh*t, warped to 0 to a Custom's Office. Warp away to 70 to another. Manual align to the unknown. MWD. Cloak.


    Smoke time.

    Took my blood pressure. 190/100. I`m 28 :lol: Pulse 130.

    It does not matter how many fights you've seen. I`ve been in blob wars in small ships and I don't know if I made a lot of a difference, but it got my heart pounding and my blood racing.

    This is Eve.

    Maybe you got too much of a high and now you can't re-achieve that. Well... get your char in a T1 frigate, fit it and go for a solo roam. Get some people together and go for a small gang roam. Get a corp off the ground and get a larger fleet on a roam.

    It is possible.


  2. Yes, that sort of thing definitely has its place. I described a freighter escort in this blog some months back that felt the same way to me: defending and moving something really slow and really expensive that couldn't fight back.

    And yes, that definitely gets the heart racing.

    But you don't want to be on the defensive all the time. ;-)

  3. I enjoy your postings for some months now.
    You have a pretty nice and flowing writing style, which is quite uncommon to see nowadays (especially with blogs).
    But enough with the ego swelling.
    To answer your question:
    Yes, this kind of stuff still happens.
    I joined the NC weeks before their fall. And as a pretty new player to EVE, plus eager for some PVP I tried to get my pod in a ship fast that people said it was decent. So the Taranis was my choice.
    After the first few days getting used to 0.0 space and pretty boring gatecamps in P3EN-E, we had to evacuate Vale of the Silent and pulled back to Tribute.
    This is when I came to love my Taranis.
    Everyday I joined fleets to provide warp ins, intercept stragglers, get points on anything not in a bubble. It was so surprising to me that a newbie with 6mil SP at the most could help even big fleets so much.
    The actions in CCPs video were pretty common at this time.
    The last good thing I remember in the NC, was when a fail FC lost his calm over nearly welping his 150 ship fleet. He warped half of the fleet to a random planet, with the other half stuck in bubbles yet (they were doomed) and didn't know what to do ("Align to Planet... uhm... fuck... no... fuck, we gotta get out of here somehow...").
    So I called for 'break' put Xes in fleet and told everybody is going to be fine when using me as a rolling safespot, so FC can have some time to think.
    He was grateful for getting a few seconds to think, got his calm back and brought the remaining fleet back home. "Thx man, this was great"
    One hour later I joind another fleet of this FC. I didn't care if the FCs are capable or not. I just wanted to defend "our" space. Same name, same game. But he told me to GTFO...
    "Man, why are you bringing a Taranis to my fleet? GTFO, or you will be primary! If people see plenty of small sh*t like you dying in my fleets, they will stop joining."
    Guess what, he accidentally the whole fleet...
    Counting on the sandbox, we will meet again to sort this one out. I still remember your name ;)
    But then I want to thank Plague Black and especially Ide Matsumoto for not being cocky, excellent FCing and providing me with fun fleets and fun guys to fly with.

  4. Well it's not that I couldn't have fought back. It's just that fighting back in that sort of a situation you can't know for sure there isn't a much bigger gang close by that's ready to drop in.

    IMHO, in Eve, surviving an attack is a much more important victory than completing a successful attack. It's all about on whose terms you're fighting and when you're the attacking force it's 99.99% on your terms.

    That is why what you described is so rare. Not because of supercaps or T3 blobs, but because everyone in Eve tries to fight on one's terms and avoids like hell just jumping in.

    It's because most of the times the stakes are high. Your ship, your pod, your (or the alliance) ISKies.

  5. @War Swine: Thanks for the perspective, man. It's nice to hear that small scale fights are still happening, even if they're not in the best of circumstances. ;-)

    I do worry for EVE's newer players becoming FCs, though. FCing in EVE is *much* more complex now than it was a year or so ago. Lots more to think about, and lots more risk of losing entire fleets instead of just a few ships here and there.

  6. Still having some good fights.
    70man or so BS blobs still need tackle and small tackle, t3, and dictors are viatal as always.

    Also flying a logi can be fun, no kill mails but watching some one health bounce is kind of cool.

    Recently went on a harrasment roam in my inty and faced a decent sized gate camp consisteing of BC and destroyers. Was called primary but the scimi pilot kept me up and ended the fight with 25% hull left. Turns out I was the only inti fitted with a DCU so got lucky they called me primary. Was a good fight and my heart was pumping.

    Also finding we are getting a lot of out numbered fights. We jump into larger fleets depending upon better fleet tactics and FC's to win the day. Scary seeing 120 hellcats to your 70 man fleet.

    Also stealth bomber runs...fun fun fun.



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