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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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fly casual

There's a phrase that's been in the EVE lexicon for a while: "no shits were given".  Like all slang, it's a phrase that has a lot of meanings depending on who you ask, but the general sense of the phrase is flying one's ship casually, with no concern for any potential losses.  Once "no shits are given", any losses you incur are disregarded and even the smallest win counts as a moral victory.

With that in mind, check out this part of the latest RvB "ganked" video:

The action I want to talk about starts about three minutes in, when the RvB fleet lands on a PL Erebus sitting just off a station.

What is a PL Titan doing on a station?  Who knows.  The RvB fleet, mostly in tier3 battle-cruisers (the person who made the video is apparently flying an Oracle), decides to go ahead and engage it.  And here's the amusing thing: the PL Titan pilot decides to engage back!  No shits were given, apparently.  The RvB fleet totals 70 pilots.  Is this enough DPS to kill a Titan?  In a word, no.  Not if the Titan has even minor support, which it soon does, in the form of a pair of carriers.  The two carriers alternate undocking from the station and repping the Titan just enough to keep the RvB fleet interested and aggressed.

Sov in the combat system (GE-8JV) is owned by PL, so the carriers can rep until they get into deep armor, dock, repair for free, then undock and repeat.  Meanwhile, the Erebus starts popping battle-cruisers, volleying them with its no doubt tracking-enhanced guns.  About half-way into the fight, a Nyx arrives to provide permanent repair support (and its 20 fighters).  BCs start popping faster and faster and faster.

Still, it's risky: for the entire duration of the fight, the Titan is well-bubbled even with what are apparently only one or two bubbling ships in the RvB fleet.  The tacklers do an outstanding job.  I don't want to imply at all that PL was in a risk-free situation here.  It's a situation that could have theoretically turned against them in a hurry, with the loss of an Erebus and a Nyx.

But for most of the fight, there were a grand total of three or four PL ships on field.  Against 70.

No shits were given.

When PL thinks RvB is going to run, do they bring in sub-caps?  Nope.  They bring in a half-dozen more caps, including a second Titan.  By the end of the fight, a RvB BC is being alphaed off the field every three seconds or so... more than thirty of them die before the FC finally calls it.  Other than a cyno ship, the RvB fleet gets exactly zero kills.

Long-time EVE players have gone from being able to personally afford Titans to casually -- almost negligently -- taking on 70-man fleets with them, and this without an old-style doomsday, or even a new-style doomsday.

Granted, I'm sure the RvB fleet had a grand time.  But it feels like a corner's been turned.  Even in a game that's already sometimes disparagingly called "Super-caps Online", the number of them on display this week and how casually they're being used is a little bit shocking...


  1. Thats the one ganked night in ages I've missed.... I feel like Tackleberry at the end of Police Academy :(

    Dracoth Simertet
    RvB Red Federation

  2. With the amount of funds those guys have at their disposal, losing a titan to them is like losing a t1 frig to us.

    I gave no shits when I lost my 60misk Vengeance, client froze and got my 60 misk pod popped also. I gave shits when I had to make 20 jumps back home though =P

  3. Riptard, you know that PL has used their finances from being "elite PVP" mercenaries, and multiple titles at the Alliance Tournament to have virtually a 1:1 Super:Sup Cap fleet. They are also some of the best at what they do, and they can afford Titans like you buy battlecruisers with the wealth provided by hundreds of Tech moons over the last year.

    EVE isn't supercaps online unless you are on the side without them, and with possibly thousands of characters 7 (pushing 8) years old, the number of pilots who could sit in a super capital is quite large.

    It's a lot like the guy down the street with the tricked out 2012 BMW convertible. If you have the money, you often flaunt it. They do. The difference is, they can back up their attitude with action.

  4. Honestly, I think that Mangala paid PL to give them goodfites like this, because I still refuse to believe that they stayed on the field willingly otherwise.

  5. "What is a PL Titan doing on a station? Who knows."
    You must not be up on Stain news. They spent a good portion of both Christmas Eve and Day camping us into a station with nothing but a couple tracking-fit Titans and an interdictor. And they spent most of that time sitting inside their own anchored bubble just to show how much they cared. They'd been doing it on and off for at least a week, which we had actually formed up for once...but it's too easy for them to just blob in to be able to do anything about it. Felt like the Tribute war for a few days.

    That's after they reinforced all of our towers and customs offices using only two or three ships, doomsdayed a few people dumb enough to try to rep them with carriers on Christmas, and destroyed the snowman Macabre Votum had built outside the station with bubbles. I don't think they ever found the Christmas tree made out of them...it's probably still there.

  6. Why should the PL titan pilot have been worried? He had 2 carriers in support that never had to leave the safety of the docking ring. As much as we would have liked to pretend otherwise, the titan was never in any serious danger. We would have to have been the vanguard of a much more powerful fleet to be a serious threat.

    I'm a PvP rookie, and this RvB ganked fleet was the first engagement I've been in with capitals involved. Could someone explain to me what I'm missing?

    ~Val Arkan

  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_creep

  8. @OOZ662: Ah, interesting! And no, I haven't been keeping up with goings-on down south.

    @S.W. That's the thing, though: up until recently, PL *hasn't* been flaunting their super-caps all that much, except to hot drop things (like CCP fleets :-P ). This was kind of the opposite of that.

  9. anon1946 you are pretty much right. i was in that engagement myself and i've been in quite a few capbattles or stationshannanigans myself. there never was a chance for the titan to die to us. PL also has enough support there or rdy with a jabber alert that even if we would have called somebody in PL would have defended that easily.
    its true that PL doesnt have to give a shit about losing a titan or nyx. but in this engagement the RvG Ganked fleet were the ones with "no shits were given". Pretty much everyone knew we would be popped fast with no chance of killing a single cap but we engaged anyways because who gives a shit and engaging a titan in a ganked night is a lot of fun. we died horribly but the fun was worth it

  10. If you think that's giving no shits, you should have seen the second fight!

    I was on that roam with RvB. About two hours later, we met the same titan again plus another titan at a safespot in a different system. There weren't even any other PL in local, other than the cyno pilot who we had killed, and it was a hisec entry system where any old fleet could have easily come in without warning. By this point the roam was over so we all just started killing each other, but the titans were perfectly happy to just join in and sit around in the middle of our fleet for ~10 mins. No shits were given by anyone at this point!

  11. Reminds me of one time with Eve Radio the DJ took a bunch of frigs and destroyers into nullsec just to fly up to a POS that had a -A- titan in it and bump the shields while yelling in local 'We just want to hug the titan'.

    Naturally we all got popped and podded but damn it was fun.

  12. With the saying that eve is super-caps online. I kind of agree in a way. I was reading over the goon branch battle and I thought the use of super caps would be the defining moment of who would win it. But super caps are hard for me to deal with and cant get past them so I cant tell who will win in a war when they are put in the field really.

  13. One detail that might be worth knowing is that the titan in the video is piloted by one Elise Randolph, chill dude and the creator of those Taylor Swift battlereports.

    RvB has a lot of fans in PL (my time in red 1.0 is one of my fondest eve memories) and I'm glad everyone involved had fun.

  14. "ohhh NO AVATAR on field!" (british accent)


  15. The game is less than a year out from total, complete stagnation (or at least the threat of it). The combined super-cap might of NCDOT and PL could hold the majority if not ALL of null-sec hostage. Sov mechanics are broken, and encourage low-risk engagements, and the aforementioned no-risk mentality of most cap pilots means that a decided fight of supers-on-supers fleets will not happen unless one side is able to secure a victory through numbers, essentially negating the possibility of such a fight ever happening.

    This is the way EVE ends...

  16. Rodrigo I've been playing for almost 6 years and people have been saying that eve is stagnating and dying due to reason "x" for all of that time.

    Eve will be fine, and in a year or two people will be saying the game is ending for a completely different reason.

    (Not to say that titan proliferation isn't a problem and that tech doesn't need a nerf. It is and it does.)

  17. Confirm, PL has no shame when it comes to deploying supers. If I had to guess I would say that the titan in question was never really in that much danger. Knowing PL, they probably had world class intel on all the systems within jump range as well as multiple cap/super-caps on the log-in screen just in case. Most likely just dragging the fight out hoping it escalated into a few cap kills for them.


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