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.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drama mobilizing

So, Dark Side post a little bit later today, but there's a bit of a drama going on in the two public Incursion channels this morning.  Since it's an easier post, I want to get it out first.  Check back later for the follow up to yesterday's cute furry troll.

The funny thing about the Incursion drama is that I think it's really the long-time incursion-runner's first introduction to real null-sec style drama.  To understand it, though, I'm going to have to explain the mechanics of the agreements in place between the two public Incursion channels.  If you're familiar with how the mechanics work, you can skip the next three paragraphs.  For the rest of you, I apologize: this is a little bit complex (yay CCP), but you have to understand it to understand the drama.

As I've mentioned on this blog before, there are two public Incursion channels, BTL PUB (for shield tankers) and THE DITANIAN FLEET (for armor).  As I've also mentioned, these two channels are generally cooperative, and they have an interesting agreement in place.  When a new incursion spawns, one third of the time, the new spawn will be designated as a "shield" incursion, one-third of the time as an "armor" incursion, and the remaining third are "contested" incursions: an incursion where either armor or shield fleets can operate.(1)  Each incursion goes through a life cycle, indicated in the Incursion Journal entry.  Incursions that have been running for a while are "Established".  Then, over time, the incursion shifts to a "Mobilizing" state.  Finally, the incursion goes into a "Withdrawing" state before disappearing entirely.

When an incursion first appears, a red bar indicates that the Sansha have a large degree of control over the constellation in which the incursion appears.  As incursion fleets operate, that bar is slowly changed from red to blue.  Eventually, in the HQ system that is part of the incursion, a new site will appear representing the leader of that particular incursion.  This is referred to as a "mom site", and I've talked about running mom sites on this blog before (here and here).  The mom site will usually appear while the incursion is in an "Established" or "Mobilizing" state, depending on how many of the lower-end sites in the constellation have been run.  Once the mom site appears, that site can be run and if it is run successfully, the incursion will immediately de-spawn no matter what state it is in, taking all of the lower incursion sites with it.

As part of BTL and TDF's agreement, the mom site will only be run when the incursion reaches a "Withdrawing" state.  This allows incursion-running fleets to continue farming the incursion until the last possible moment.  When a particular incursion is "contested", both an armor and shield fleet will gather as quickly as possible.  If it's a contested incursion, often, fleets will begin forming a bit in advance in anticipation of that moment when the incursion goes into "Withdrawing".  The anticipatory fleet will usually run HQ sites in the same system (requiring 40 pilots) while they wait, gathering additional people into the fleet to wait until that moment, when the HQ fleet becomes a mom fleet (requiring 65-75 pilots).

OK, understand all that?  If so, you're ready to understand the drama.

This morning, there were three high-sec incursions: one in Amarr space, one in the Sanctum constellation owned by CONCORD near the Gallente-Amarr border, and a third in Minmatar space.  The Amarr incursion was expected to be contested, and as such, a shield fleet under the command of a pilot named HTIDRaver was gathering in anticipation.  From what I understand, it was a good long wait.  The agreement between BTL and TDF says that you don't "punch the gate" on the mom site until the incursion goes into "Withdrawing".  This incursion had been in "Mobilizing" for several days (unusual in itself).  Raver (as he's known in BTL) is a very experienced incursion-running FC.  In fact, he'd run one of the first, if not the first, mom fleet to go into low-sec.  As such, he was a well-respected member of the BTL/TDF community.

Except that Raver decided to have himself a little blow-up this morning.

What caused him to blow up, I'm not sure yet (maybe someone will fill this detail in in the Comments), but Raver finally decided not to wait for the incursion to go into a "Withdrawing" state.  My understanding is that he went off about "BTL/TDF bullshit", but that might just be exaggeration.  What's known for sure is that he ordered his fleet to punch the gate with the Amarr incursion still in a Mobilizing state.  Maybe if it had been a shield-owned mom, this wouldn't have been a problem.  But it was a contested mom and the TDF fleet wasn't ready yet.  And they objected.  Loudly.

As I understand it, that caused a conversation throughout the midst of the Amarr mom fleet, distracting Raver from the job at hand.  While the BTL fleet was working the mom, the Amarr incursion went into a Withdrawing state, but it wasn't there long.  The BTL fleet finished the job and killed the mom.  From what I understand, Raver was completely unrepentant.

The BTL/TDF leadership responded by black-listing him from the BTL/TDF public channels.

Being black-listed means that you're barred from entering the two public incursion channels, which greatly diminishes your ability to recruit for incursion fleets.  You're left with your own channels or the public channel created by the incursion itself.  In addition, there are a large number of incursion-running pilots that keep track of those that are black-listed and refuse to fly in Incursion fleets with them at all.  Being black-listed is a very big deal.

And the BTL/TDF leadership had just done it to an experienced Incursion FC.

HTIDRaver responded to this... badly.  He ordered his fleet to the Sanctum constellation to kill that mom.  A lot of pilots abandoned his fleet, knowing the rules and not wanting to get caught up in Raver's actions.  Raver filled his fleet back in with members of his own alliance, which is made up primarily of Incursion-running corps.  That fleet successfully destroyed the Sanctum mom, ending the Sanctum incursion prematurely.

The BTL/TDF leadership responded quickly: the TDF armor FC was given permission to finish filling in his fleet and take out the Minmatar incursion mom before Raver's fleet could get there.  The BTL/TDF leadership then not only black-listed Raver, they black-listed his second-in-command, then proceeded to black-list Raver's entire alliance!

Several of Raver's alliance-members reacted to this... badly.  They shipped into suicide battleships, followed the TDF fleet into the Minmatar mom site, and proceeded to attempt to grief the TDF logistics pilots by ECM Bursting and smart-bombing them.  It wasn't particularly successful.

But it was enough to get all of those pilots black-listed, too.

Yeah, I know: there are a lot of you giggling like fiends right now.  Is it bad to laugh at the troubles of some high-sec bears?  Probably karmically so.  That's OK, though.  I'll give you a special dispensation: go ahead and laugh.  Get it out of your system.  ;-)

So, that's where we sit this morning.  Get into game and look, and you'll find that there are no high-sec Incursions at all this morning.  The drama is still roiling around BTL and TDF.  This morning, one of the TDF leadership sent out an EVE mail to the public mailing list for Incursions filling in some of this story.  The mail ended, somewhat ominously, that some people had "asked permission" to war-dec HTIDRaver's alliance (Screaming Meercats), and that people so inclined "didn't need permission."

"Do what you will," the EVE mail ended, even more ominously.

Raver is still unrepentant.  He has promised to close all future high-sec incursions with members of his own alliance the minute the mom sites appear.

There are a lot of bored high-sec incursion-runners, many of them ex-pat null-sec PvPers, with nothing to do this morning.  All of them are talking about this little drama.

One corp has already dropped Screaming Meercats.  It'll be fun to do a WITL post about them in 6.5 days or so, I think.  ;-)

(1) And yes, incursion-runners, I know that there's more to it.  In particular, I know that it's the order that sites go into Withdrawing that's important for determining what order things happen in and whether an incursion is contested or not.  I also know that incursions aren't necessarily "owned" by shield or armor fleets.  But non-incursion-runners don't need that level of detail to understand what happened this morning.  :-P


  1. File this under "Why I <3 EVE Online"

  2. Wasn't it just a matter of time before a resource worth as much (if not more) then many resources in nullsec, the incursions, would become some thing that people are willing to fight an even go to war over?
    Incursions may well be the only resource in hi-sec fighting over actually, coming to think of it.

    Anyway I don't run incursions and am a total outsider to them but I do not believe from what I read here this HTIDRaver has anything he has to repent for. Yes he apparently broke and agreement, but if he has the skills, know-how and backing to get those incursions done without the help of others from 2 public channels... then why should he share their wealth? If the agreement no longer serves him or maybe even hold him back why should he keep honoring it?
    It's not like the leadership of these channels 'own' the incursions is it now?

    If they want them their way let them put up the muscle to protect them if the don't want others cleaning them out before they get around to it.

  3. "it's really the long-time incursion-runner's first introduction to real null-sec style drama. "

    I think thats a good way to describe it :D

  4. interesting story.
    and good point by Kaeda.

    so now there will be protecting the mom sites in the future?

  5. Would be good to see some substantial warfare going on in high sec, away from supercaps, capitals, and interdiction capability.

  6. @Kaeda
    While it's true that neither of the groups "own" the incursions, it was an agreement that had been reached for the benefit of the highsec carebears, and one that was breached.

    Yes, EVE is full of liars, scammers, and otherwise dishonest people. But HTIDRaver was part of the incursion-running community and had honored the agreement in the past. By ending the incursions the way he is doing it, and has declared to do so, he's costing the highsec incursion community billions of ISK per incursion. I'm not at all surprised that things will work out through highsec war. It may even be fun to watch.

  7. Really fantastic MMO drama. Bravo Eve!

  8. The kicker here is that I don't think it can really be argued that the rules were "holding back" HTIDRaver or anyone else. Killing moms is somewhat profitable, but given their rarity, it's much much more profitable -- for everyone, including HTIDRaver -- to keep farming the incursions til the end, as had been agreed. So killing the moms early doesn't really gain anything, it only deprives others, making it a pure griefer's move.

  9. Lol nice job Raver, carebear tears best tears. "blacklisted from chat channels" Oh noez.

  10. The downside, of course, being that Raver is just cutting off his nose to spite his face. He too will lose out in the end, as there is no financial benefit in killing the MoM sites early. In fact, it is counter productive to everyone, including Raver and his alliance...

    So in the end, it is all about hurt feelings on both sides that is causing the drama. But then, what do you expect from carebears, lol (I include myself as one btw).

  11. you know that corp that dropped ravers allaince?
    watch the allaince they are joining............

  12. well, what i see though not a cheat or a scam, farming the incursions to the last possible moment is exploiting in ways and i find it funny that after the first 2 moms fell that the BTL and TDF decided to make an "Executive" decision to go destroy the last mom prematurly. The way i view it is they are mad because it just show how little control over the sandbox they can have. If you dont like it go play WOW.

    anyone with a clue if people kept farming the incursions making all the money they would just nerf them to the point that it would not be worth anything which is what happens on every exploit in every game.

  13. Just a heads up, those "suicide battleships" were not a part of Raver's fleet, Raver's fleet disbanded after the concord incursion, the suicide battleships were ACTUALLY a channl of people who THOUGHT they were attacking Raver's fleet xD if they actually went through with it and got banned. HOLY SHIT the lols

  14. Be interesing if BTL/TDF Leadership pay mercs to WarDec griefers thereby keeping them out of Incursion systems.

    Whats it worth to them? How much do they get from incursions?

    Do I smell an oportunity here? or is that Ravers "Brown" pants?

  15. I'd like to point out, that Raver's reasoning had NOTHING to do with the order of who takes down the moms, or anything like it.

    He was venting about how elitist Incursion bears are with their ships. Essentially, if you don't x up with a ship topping a billion ISK and T2 large weapons, you're likely to get either ignored, or flat out laughed at. You see it every day.

    The same elitist twat faces will then suddenly fall silent when he asks for people to fleet up to go run the lowsec moms.

    The QQ has been going on now in the chat channels none stop. Some are even filing petitions with CCP.

    Incursions were never meant to be 24/7 grind content, and I hope Raver gets the support he needs to kill them all early.

  16. My take on this....

    Stop crying talk with yer guns... that's why you bought them after all.

  17. @Anon1722: you bring up an excellent point, one that I'll blog about in a few days.

  18. I'll believe a bunch of high sec crying carebears doing war dec true pvp with each other when I see it.

  19. Perhaps CCP should alter the profit of incursions so that the faster they're completed, the better the reward. End the farming.

  20. Who bloody well care,,,raver sounds like atypical old toon fart,,RIP.snd get a life,,TW

  21. Actually raver tried to make a name for himself and his allaince. He somewhat succeded too. And then got bored, so took down the mom (his own words)
    I say somewhat cause as stated before he is not all that good. If you loose 14 ships in a highsec pocket, your doing it wrong, just my take on this

  22. They have declared war on us, I doubt they understand how willing we are to fight. How can they battle if they have already sent fleets to destroy us and have done nothing but, attack their own forces?

  23. This is simply awesome. From what I've read about this incident (mostly here), I see Raver's side in all of this. I mean, if BTL and TDF banned him, why not take down the MOM? I've never been in a MOM site, but aren't there some pretty nifty drops? Sure, it "hurts" the incursion runners overall, but like anything else in EVE, those affected will have to put up or shut up about it.

    And the commenter above is right...the BTL and TDF fleets are often ridiculously snooty. If you're not flying a logi V, then you'd better have a nice pirate ship or you'll often be ignored or laughed out of the channel. It's pretty stupid, really, the people flying the canes and drakes need the ISK the most.

    This is good stuff, I love it!

  24. 2011.09.23 23:00:19 ] BlackPearl DeMonique > HTIDRaver will get you all killed - he's war target :)
    [ 2011.09.23 23:00:20 ] Massive Cahones > need one logi scimi or basi
    [ 2011.09.23 23:00:26 ] HTIDRaver > not yet im not
    [ 2011.09.23 23:00:28 ] HTIDRaver > :)
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:06 ] BlackPearl DeMonique > so how many ships did you really lose then?
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:21 ] HTIDRaver > I counted 4
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:27 ] BlackPearl DeMonique > not too bad i guess
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:36 ] HTIDRaver > but I was more concerned with it not being anymore than that
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:37 ] Weasel Juice > We didn't lose one :-)
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:42 ] HTIDRaver > than counting the losses
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:58 ] Weasel Juice > Well ok we did, but that's another story.
    [ 2011.09.23 23:01:59 ] HTIDRaver > it was an unfortunate mistake but the logi got re imbursed out of my pocket
    [ 2011.09.23 23:02:27 ] BlackPearl DeMonique > not like you weren't expecting it i'm sure
    [ 2011.09.23 23:02:39 ] HTIDRaver > BTL claim they fucked me
    [ 2011.09.23 23:02:42 ] HTIDRaver > they didnt
    [ 2011.09.23 23:02:52 ] HTIDRaver > they claim the logi's stopped repping
    [ 2011.09.23 23:02:55 ] HTIDRaver > but they didnt
    [ 2011.09.23 23:03:09 ] Milli J > AMG-T1 lfaf
    [ 2011.09.23 23:03:12 ] HTIDRaver > so people can troll all they like just fuels this and makes it seem much more than it is


    [ 2011.09.23 23:05:14 ] Anvs Maximus > so who is your enemy now, the btl head honchos? or everyone
    [ 2011.09.23 23:05:34 ] HTIDRaver > good question :)
    [ 2011.09.23 23:05:40 ] Anvs Maximus > sorry not quite aware of this drama
    [ 2011.09.23 23:06:00 ] Anvs Maximus > wait btw who are the btl head honchos, i know only of hardin
    [ 2011.09.23 23:06:00 ] HTIDRaver > BTL and TDF have their knickers in a twist because apparently they "own" incursions :)
    [ 2011.09.23 23:06:08 ] BlackPearl DeMonique > you could just confine activities to gallente and keep some of us on your side
    [ 2011.09.23 23:06:32 ] HTIDRaver > I have plenty of people on my side as it goes

  25. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=13763&p=2

    nuff said

  26. If you are going to do an update, thought I'd give you some material:


    Looks like at least 36 Screaming Meercats down on the first day of the war... Dunno if anyone else has open wars going against them.

    Personally, I find the drama and ensuing giggles to be fantastic.


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