Goldilocks and the Class Five: Part Four, “Eviction”

For part Three of this story, click here.

Three Bears killed after break-in. Goldilocks wanted for questioning.

With the gloomy silence of the rolled and evaporating wormhole behind me still ringing in my ears, I quickly set about finding my way back to known space. It was a fairly boring but quick hunt: the likely static was a high-security exit, and I found it with little trouble and jumped back to k-space (“Known Space”) within about ten minutes of my arrival in the C3.  The wormhole dropped me off in little-traveled space about ten jumps from Amarr — a major trade hub, with typically lower prices than many others — and I began the process of fitting a couple of Harbinger battlecruisers for the coming settlement of our target Class 5 wormhole.

The Alliance channel was abuzz with talk of preparation to settle in our new Class 5 wormhole. The words “liberate”, “conquer”, and “invade” would all also be equally-valid terms for the plan under discussion! Our forum thread, “C5 Planning”, looked as if it was host to the hottest discussion in Illusion of Solitude history.  Arguments were made, trashed, brainstormed, refined, and solidified, often in just the space of a few minutes to hours.  Our alliance’s industrial & logistical support corp provided valuable insight into building dreadnaught-class ships in the new wormhole, and I learned a lot by reading insight from those much more experienced than me.

By the way, if you ever want to run your own wormhole corp, an allied corporation of industrialists for whom you provide a loyal base of repeat customers and a ready market for their mining products is a HUGE asset to your alliance.  Keep them happy, keep them productive, find ways for them to be involved in the supply-side for all your corporations, find out how you can help provide security for their logistical operations, and be glad for what they do for you.  For their part, it seems most industrialists enjoy the steady business that being on the supply-side of an alliance provides, but war declarations are certainly an inconvenience when they occur.  People who enjoy providing logistical support to a wormhole alliance — rather than seeing it as a necessary evil — are rare.  Treasure them!

One of our alliance commanders named “Lin” placed a forum post announcing the target Class 5. It was simple and to the point:

Gentlemen,

We have our final C5/C3 target in-hand, held by a small non-pvp gas-mining corp, with the best C5/C3 PI we’ve seen so far, after many collective hours of searching and watching the markets.Here’s the next-steps to take the Hole and establish operations.

  1. Plan.  Selecting a date/time for attack.  If you plan on joining the alliance in the C5, we need your help to take it from these fools.  The attack will likely begin around 02:00 Eve-time, given the length of time needed to bring a POS into re-inforced mode.  What days are you available around this time?
  2. Breach. Get into the WH either the day before or in the hours prior to attack.  We will have folks on rolling entrance holes as needed be to make sure everyone gets in.  You must be in the hole at least 1-hour prior to the attack itself, as the fleet will be engaged and may not be available to get bookmarks to you at the last minute.
  3. Fight! In our highest DPS ships, we’ll be slugging away this currently UNARMED Pos for likely around 4-hours, the more people we bring, the quicker it gets.
  4. Mop-Up.  Once we bring the POS into reinforced mode, the timer will come up that will let us know when within the next 24 hours or so we’ll need to finish it off.  We’ll make sure to oblige.Ammo, refitting services, a and Defensive POS shield will all be provided to make this as smooth as possible.  Start with item #1 on the list and let me know what days/time you can likely join!

We were well into Part 1 by the time I extricated myself from the chain of Class 5 holes I’d been stuck in.  While a Battlecruiser-class Harbinger is a decent tool for a starbase bash, the combined damage-per-second of a pair of Harbingers was nothing compared to that of a Battleship, much less the siege-oriented Dreadnaughts some were planning to bring to the party.

Nevertheless, when I voiced my concern about my paltry contribution to the alliance, the response to me bringing my two tiny ships was overwhelmingly positive. “DPS is DPS”, said some. “More eyes are always welcome,” said others.  Without exception, the alliance supported anyone fielding anything they could to this event, from tech 1 frigates to the biggest, baddest classes of ships you can stuff through a wormhole.  That kind of support is darn cool!

The only real requirement was that the ship I bring to the wormhole be equipped with a cloak to conceal our numbers, and carry ship equipment (“mods”, most call them) in the cargo hold to re-fit to a battle-ready configuration — called a “fit” in Eve — on the day of the party.  With a prototype cloaking device and core scanner probes dutifully equipped beside my Heavy Lasers, I navigated across dozens of known-space jump points, navigated my way into the new anoiki with the help of shared bookmarks in containers, shared those bookmarks with my corporation, and cloaked up for the night.

Dear CCP: Please re-think how bookmarks are shared within an alliance. The current system SUCKS. Regards, TXG SYNC.

One of the challenges of W-space life is that it might happen at inconvenient times. I’d scheduled to be available starting at 18:00 local time — when my date with my lovely wife concluded — but was about an hour late because wife time is far more important than Eve time.

I logged on to a happy surprise.

Overnight, it appeared that with the help of diligent scouts, the God of Wormholes — “Bob” — had smiled on our corporation. A number of routes from low-security and null-security space had opened, allowing us to pack several Dreadnaught-class ships into the target anoiki.  By the time I logged on, the Dreadnaughts had already concluded their bash of the player-owned starbase and started its “reinforced” timer. The POS would be available for our Dreads to finish the job, apparently, at the inconvenient hour of 03:00 my local time.

So I helped knock down a few more NPC-owned customs offices in the system, putting the player-owned ones into Reinforced mode as well, then I went to bed.  I needed a little extra sleep to prepare for the midnight snack we were going to enjoy a day and a half later.  At one point, one of the besieged occupants logged in and attempted to sneak an Orca full of ships and ship mods out of the POS while it was in reinforced mode, and through the massive nest of warp-disruption fields we had erected to prevent his escape.  If the occupant also had only known about the “starburst maneuver” — changing the password to forcefully and quickly eject all occupants — he might have made it out alive.  Unfortunately for him, he made the fatal mistake of cloaking up and slowly trundling back toward his doomed station rather than slowly sneaking away, and the moment his Orca was within 2,000 meters of the force-field it decloaked, allowing us to target and destroy it in seconds.  We all agreed, had he remained cloaked and simply headed a random direction, he would likely have been able to safely relocate his small corporation’s assets and wait a few days to a week for an open hole to get them to safety.

But panic gets the best of all of us, and often keeps one from thinking clearly.  His loss was our gain, but the billions worth of ships in his hold failed to fall out when the Orca was destroyed, leaving us shaking our heads in frustration with CCP’s policy of destroying all possible ship drops upon the destruction of an Orca or Carrier.  It seems a very cheap way to destroy ISK out of the economy and destroy the reward for those willing to engage in PvP. Alas.

Anyway, with my reasonably-skilled characters stuck waiting on a POS timer, I enjoyed a quiet Sunday away from the game. I resumed reading some non-fiction I’d put off for too long. Cooked dinner for my family.  Played some card games.  Eve is fun, but real life is even more fun. It’s always important to keep things in perspective.

I went to bed quite early and set an alarm for about an hour before the expected time for the POS to exit Reinforced Mode. When my alarm rang in the middle of the night, I felt well-rested, snuggled into a recliner in a quiet corner with my laptop, logged into Teamspeak before logging into the game to ensure all was going according to plan, and then virtually entered Eve with my two Harbingers.

Many others had done the same thing as I: getting in some sleep. Only two other players were logged on at the time I logged on, but over the course of the next hour twenty-five players logged in to complete the POS bash, ensuring its fate.  With my DPS fairly low, I ran security “overwatch” for new signatures in the system while orbiting our lone static Class 3 exit watching for hostiles. The POS was quickly destroyed and its arrays looted — very few items dropped, not nearly worth even the cost of ammunition to take down the POS — and our Dreadnaughts moved on to finishing the destruction of all the player-owned customs offices in the system as well, chased by our haulers erecting new Alliance-owned ones in their place.

At one point, I caught a new inbound K162 signature from nullsec before anybody else did. I set a stopwatch; we rolled that hole back into the nothingness from which it sprang in less than 3 minutes from the moment I discovered it.  That’s some hole control!

We erected a new starbase in the place of the one we had destroyed, giving it the same unimaginative name of “HQ”, leaving the two unoccupied tech 1 frigates there as additional bait for our trap, with surrounding warp disruption and webbing turrets to catch any hostiles who might try to log on and escape. Those who built it referred to it as the “flytrap”.  The next day we caught a lone Thanatos carrier pilot in our flytrap, and many rejoiced at the killmail.  The trap was considered a success, converted into a permanent starbase, and houses members of our alliance today.

In short, our eviction of the small corporation holding our target system was quick, effective, and mostly hassle-free.  It was, in fact, such a non-story that I seriously considered not writing this entry. However, I wanted to wrap up the loose ends.

As for me and my characters in Eve?  I looked forward to the prospect of C5 life, and even though I knew I’d be woefully under-prepared for the Capital Escalations likely to happen in the system, the prospect of a readily-available Class 3 anoiki next door with frequent Null-Security inbound holes opened by other explorers seemed likely to allow me to contribute meaningfully. I transferred my corporation membership from Broken Wheel to Outer Ring over the course of a couple of days — with a brief stop-over with Estel Arador Corp Services for a few hours to install more jump clones at various spots around the galaxy — and began the process of moving in my bare-bones personal fleet to support corporate operations.

From this point on, my stories will no longer be about my adventures as the rookie working a Class Two wormhole with our training corporation. My stories will be coming at you from the perspective of a rookie in an alliance clinging to life by our ragged fingernails in a Class 5 wormhole deep in unknown space, struggling to bring in sufficient resources for self-sufficiency while engaging in the harsh and unforgiving world of player-vs-player combat for scarce resources in Class 5 Wormhole space.

Welcome to Eve.

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2 responses to “Goldilocks and the Class Five: Part Four, “Eviction”

  1. Dear CCP: Please re-think how bookmarks are shared within an alliance. The current system SUCKS. Regards, TXG SYNC.

    ZOMG!! Oh man O man… I don’t know how long you ahve been playing EVE Bro, but you shoulda been here when we din’t even have CORP BMs… LOL! You wanna talk about a pain-in-the-ass…

    Very very good story, an excellent write up… [pray you don’t see SYJ in your skies…] BUAHAHAhahahaha… =]

  2. As long as you carve my name in the side of the bullet you use to shoot me down, we’re good 😉

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