Sorry. Too soon? ;-)
OK, for those like myself who couldn't make it to today's EVE live event(1), from what I've been able to piece together from talking to a lot of people that were there, the idea behind the event was essentially this:
- There were two high-sec staging systems. There were two target "pirate" systems -- 8V-SJJ and RMOC-W -- both in null-sec, one under control of the Serpentis in Syndicate, the other under the control of the Angel Cartel in Curse. Both target pirate systems had nearby high-sec entry systems.
- The two high-sec staging systems seem to have been chosen for the fact that they were mid-way between the two target pirate systems: they were about 25 jumps from either one.
- EVE players that wished to attack the pirate systems were gathered in the two high-sec staging systems under the overall command of what appear to have been four NPC actors playing ships from each of the Empire factions. All four Empire NPC actors were killed, Gallente, Amarr, Caldari, and Minmatar. They directed traffic into the target systems.
- From what I've been able to gather, the EVE players that chose to attack the pirate systems were overwhelmingly biased toward high-sec players, many of whom who had never PvP'ed before. They came expecting a CCP-run live event.
- Late in the proceedings, EVE players that wished to defend the pirate systems were invited to form up in two other staging systems quite near the two target systems. From what I've been able to gather, the EVE players that chose to defend the pirate systems were overwhelmingly biased toward null-sec and FW PvP corps and alliances.
- This second group came expecting an op. And they treated it like an op... with all that implies. More on this in a second.
- For the group that left Sarum Prime and traveled to RMOC, the fast ships that made up this lead group soon formed a rolling ball some several hundred ships strong which rapidly reduced about two-thirds of the systems along the route to 10% TiDi.
- Because TiDi didn't affect the target system, this gave the "defenders" more than an hour lead time to do two things: thoroughly infiltrate the "attacker" fleets, and set up an enormous kill box around the entry gate to RMOC in the system of Doril.
- This TiDi and the long delay associated with it had another effect: it caused a number of the heaviest ships in the "attacker" fleets to abandon the event before reaching the target system.
- Even before the heavy ships that didn't abandon the event had arrived, the attacker fleets were ordered by the four NPC actors to jump the entry gates into null-sec. Where this didn't happen, null-sec infiltrators among the attacker fleets ordered them into the most dangerous scenarios possible. For instance, one high-sec fleet was ordered to warp directly to a bubbled beacon by their FC who then promptly abandoned that fleet to its fate and joined another fleet to kill them. In another example, Goon infiltrators told the attacker fleets the entry gate into Syndicate was clear when it was in fact heavily camped.
- And there, the attackers were more or less roundly slaughtered before the defender fleets turned on both the 40 or so pirate NPC actors I've been able to identify (about 20 each of Angel Machariels and Serpentis Vindicators) and each other.
- The end result? In Curse as far as I can tell, some 1500 ships and 1000 pods died in Doril. Several hundred made it to the target system, RMOC-W, and died there instead. I've not found any evidence that the "goal" of the event was accomplished; most of the ships that died in RMOC were quite light.
- In Syndicate, instead of heavily camping the entry system of PF-346, the "defenders" instead grouped together and elected to hold the line in 8V-SJJ where about 1000 ships and 700 pods were killed. I can't find anyone who can tell me whether the "goal" was met in Syndicate either.
Anyway, needless to say the "defenders" had a fantastic time; many got several hundred easy kills out of the event. But while a few of the "attackers" are being good sports about it, the more general opinion from them is that CCP... let me find the appropriate colorful metaphor... here it is. As one post about the event put it, "The event was basically CCP ramming a cactus up the asses of the [high-sec players involved in the event]." Does this event have a threadnaught? You bet it has a threadnaught. And it's up to 18 pages so far in just nine hours. I've read every single post in this thread. It's the source of the quote of the week, from the null-sec defender perspective:
High-sec player: Waste of my time. Hours of TiDi traveling around to not be able to actually get to the event due to a massive gate camp.That's Kismeteer of Goonswarm, cheerfully expressing the null-sec perspective. Mix in a little bit of "HTFU" directed at the high-sec players and that's the defender's perspective in a nutshell.
Null-sec player: Welcome to our regular Tuesday night.
The attacker's perspective is quite a bit more nuanced. If I had to pick a single post to represent them, it would be this one written by Anubis Aureus. Go take a minute and read it. I'll wait.
Back? OK. The attackers expected a CCP-run live event. Instead to net it out, the attacker's position is that they...
- were left by the event organizers to fend for themselves;
- were not given adequate instructions on what to do;
- were not organized into effective fleets;
- were not led by trustworthy FCs; and,
- that CCP in essence led a couple of thousand EVE players into a deathtrap from which there was no escape.
In short: CCP expected them to organize themselves and to play EVE the way we null-sec players have been doing it for years.
Unsurprisingly, they didn't like it, they didn't have fun, and the thread is full of people saying "first live event, last live event." And by that what they really mean is "first time in large scale PvP, last time in large scale PvP" without really realizing it. Was this event intended to get more high-sec players to try out null-sec? Because if it was, I think it backfired massively. Remember how I said the other day that the community is going to become more divisive and insular over the next couple of years? Yup, this. Today's live event made it worse.
Entertainingly, one of the best "good" ideas to come out of this is "next time, let's let the attackers bridge to the target system from CONCORD titans!" I personally find this rather amusing because this is the exact solution that null-sec alliances came up with so that their pilots wouldn't have to deal with the drudgery of actually flying in space.
I hope CCP Eterne and the rest of the organizers of this event take a long hard look at what went wrong and what went right here. I fully support the idea of more live events! I was a big fan of the last one and I thought that was a good example of a live event done right. This one, though? The ball was dropped, and dropped badly. I'm glad those of you who had fun at this one had fun! But a few more live events like this one will kill live events.
(1) Insert obligatory "USTZ live event? LOL, GTFO noob" joke here.