Sochicon – Part 4 (the end)

Alright, time to bring this story home.  Just to recap

One one of my mindless Wormhole Excursions, I found a C2 with a faction tower filled with floating ships. The locals in this hole evade my attempts to gank them, or, to be precise, I never get the chance.  My alliance mates decide that the POS is ready for taking and we bring a short team of Vexors out to blow it up.  We fail miserably.  Not to be discouraged, we set up a training camp on SiSi and optimize our fits and fleet composition.  Now its time to bring the hammer down.

On Wednesday, infiltration started with teams slowing bringing in their Vexors and other ships and logging them off for the weekend bash.  Our little alliance has a peculiar benefit that we didn’t realize – we have pretty much 24h coverage.  Several of our key FCs are on the other side of planet earth, so when the US fleet shuts down, they open up and close when the EU guys log in.  During normal alliance activity, this is not that useful since we have hard time getting everyone online at the same time but during this operation it was absolutely vital.

So, while I am at work, I follow our jabber channel and see coordinated fleet movement toward Sochi with proper scouting, intel and locator agents.  In the evening, I log in and guide a few more people in before everything goes quiet again for the next push.  I know the target has seen my out-of-corp alt but we don’t think he has really caught on until I hear the bad news on Thursday.

All the floating ships disappeared, other than a Iteron or something. The parking lot of shinies is empty giving the indication that the target has caught on possible invasion plans.  By now, everyone in our Alliance knows about it and while I trust the leaderships of our corps 100%, I don’t know all the line members personally.  The danger of someone in our Alliance having sold us out can not be neglected.  But other than the ships disappearing, there is no sign of increased activity or defense.  The target is in a PvP alliance, if he knew we were going to invade, he’d bring in friends to defend. And we’d know about this.  But no sign of cavalry.  Our target floats in his usual Anathema inside his empty POS field now.

Anathema Floating

Thursday night, FCs are calling for the shooting to start.  This is a day ahead of schedule and it finds me a tad unprepared and at work.  Add to this a virus that uses my biomass as host and I barely get my Vexor into the hole and watch my team bubbling up the POS.

Bubbled POS

Shooting starts with nearly 40 guys in our fleet and by then my body rebels to the thought of an all night gaming session with work in the morning.  My memory is hazy, drugs and virus are using my body for their own battleground. I distinctly remember being part of the cap chain and shooting stuff but I don’t remember logging off.  Overnight, the team shoots the POS mods into re-enforced.

Friday morning finds Jabber chat ecstatic.  Apparently, our target pulled a Revelation from a crate and moved it outside the POS shield.  Its not clear what he tried to do but the team thinks that he may have tried to shoot a few bubbles in order to blaze a warp-out path.  But whatever the plan was, it didn’t work.  Unless the plan had been to be melted by our sentry drones….

Revelation

(image courtesy of Oreamnos Amric)

I log into the game after I called work and told them I need to work remote, the virus is winning against my immune system and while it sounds like a great opportunity to play EVE, other than sitting in my Proteus on a bubbled-up and mass-critical hole, there is not much going on.  I actually get RL work done while listening to the Wormholes.

One of our fleet aims to evacuate an Orca and warps to the highsec hole.  This puts him into our bubble and we are a little apprehensive that our target has bombers in the system.  A lost Orca will be nothing compared to the loss of the POS but our target may even suicide a bomber for a chance of a little revenge.  So, why risk it.  I decloak my Proteus and let my flight of Warrior II out for a stroll.  All of the sudden the High Sec WH flares and in comes an Anathema.  Even bubbled to crap, should never be able to catch him, all he has to do is to jump back out.  But he doesn’t.  He motors away.  My targeting lock is slow, slow slow while this guy tries to burn away from the hole.  But he doesn’t make it.  My lock is solid, the Warriors are on him like flies on a turd and my fleet mates decloaked and add to the carnage. Bomber Covops and Pod are swiftly dispatched and high fives are exchanged.  If this was indeed the entire local response, we are golden and riches are ours.

The hours pass.  The POS is re-enforced and will come out Sunday morning.  We have teams in relays doing sentry duty on the holes and they pop the odd day tripper but the locals are not moving.  We are not sure anymore who is inside the system, who is outside but there is no activity until just before the POS shoot starts.

Our target sits in the POS, surrounded by his ships and one-by-one blows them up.  It is the saddest thing I have seen in a long time.

self destruction

Instead of any negotiation, instead of any attempts to bargain or sue for peace (all of which we would have been amenable to), our target commences his own version of scorched earth.  Rather than letting us fly his ships away, he spitefully destructs everything he has while we watch from the outside in.

Well, back to morals.  Originally, I felt sorry for the guy, he is there all by himself getting ganked out of the blue by a rather substantial fleet.  He has done nothing but being careful and his only mistake was to be too casual about showing his ships.  But my remorse evaporates pretty quickly when my friends show me the local chat from the night before…

(slightly edited for clarity – TXG and Nefteran are our guys)

Envitabus Morbe > yeah it’s me
Envitabus Morbe > what you looking for
Envitabus Morbe > hey I am not going anywhere
Envitabus Morbe > screenshots that it
Envitabus Morbe > everytime I come from back
there , you guys run for your cage. Get bear! I want you too.

<snip – irrelevant gibberish>

Envitabus Morbe > I’ll put you in a collar,I’ll get you a whip

TXG SYNC > You’re too late. I already own a

collection of whips and chains. Come visit some time!

<snip – irrelevant gibberish>

Envitabus Morbe > Now that your back get bear
TXG SYNC > Please tell me more about the
bear. I lost track of the story.
Neftaran > Hasn’t anyone ever told you, Don’t
feed the bears!
Envitabus Morbe > Well I’m not, well I’m not.
You think you’ve got me uipset in nuts. Well i’m not. Must not be ment
for you

So instead of initiating any form of sensible dialog, he plays “tough guy” and consequently loses everything.  Our team gets pissed and reinforces all of his POCOS. The plan had been to settle for some sum, let him have the hole and move on.  But not like this.

His earlier comments were this:

IIPureChaosII > Well at least you all learned your lesson with the number of Guardians needed.
IIPureChaosII > Try not to Jizz yourselves from all these ships in space.

Well, at least he acknowledges that the floating spaceships are a bad idea in a WH.  Lesson learned, I’d say. The “jizz” comment is easily dismissed as a combination of feeling helpless and lashing out (didn’t want these ships anyway) and strong nullsec influence.  Nullsec players can not write a single, coherent sentence without some reference to sex, rape or violence. The simple brains can not process more, likely because they don’t have to normally.

Well, when all was said and done and his ships were all destroyed, he parts with the following words:

Sorross > and with that we thank you for attacking HollowPoint Studios Inc. have fun with the scraps and get poped by sleepers

To be honest, I feel a lot better about the entire operation after these comments.  I had moral qualms, worried that we are really hurting someone but after this, we just evoked the destruction of 15bn (TXG’s calculation) or so of ships and POS mods.  15bn that are not used in Nullsec, 15 bn that are now not in the economy.  Sure, I would have loved to fly away with all that treasure but the chance of this had to happen had always been slim.  Unless you really lock out every pilot (which needs a much bigger crew watching every access route with interceptors 23/7 ) it was nearly inevitable that he finds his way back.

This has been a long post, I’ll likely write something more general about the operation but for now, enjoy some images from our alliance leade Oreamnos:

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6 responses to “Sochicon – Part 4 (the end)

  1. Looking at the exchange from the other side.

    He trashed talked “Envitabus Morbe > I’ll put you in a collar,I’ll get you a whip”. I think that this was one of his mistakes. I don’t know of a single time where that kind trash talk has ever worked. Unhelpful.

    He played his capital ship, his ship that was going to solve everything, or at least appease the PVP gods. It failed. He is now expecting that everything is lost, including his pocos.

    His choices now are limited. He is on by himself? Does he negotiate, and establish a precedent that PVP groups can extort ISK, or does he take time to establish a ‘no profit to be gained here’ reputation?

    When we were given the ‘opportunity’ to buy our way out of trouble by paying ‘them’, we chose not to.

    Given the trash talk he is prone to aggressive actions. From reading your account, exposing his Revelation may have been his method of appeasing the PVP gods, and he may have thought that was the ship you were after. Instead he sacrificed it, and you kept attacking.

    Blueballs is an action recommended recommended by many groups in Eve. One wormhole equivalent is self destruct.

    You state that he did not initiate contact for a deal. If you wanted one did you offer to purchase his ships from him? By you asking/offering that gives him a bargaining chip, one his ego probably needs. Instead all he has left is ‘I didnt want that ship anyway’.

    I note that Envitabus Morbe was involved in a POS bash as aggressor back in Dec 2012 https://zkillboard.com/detail/27024370/ I wonder if that influenced his decisions.

    Did you put a flytrap POS up in place where his old one was? That is a bubbled online POS, lots of guns, but no password, so no forcefield. I would expect that his last act would be to fill a ship with the most expensive but smallest volume loot he could and log out in it. Our flytrap POS picked up a 500M bestower. I suspect that you would pick up more.

    You also mentioned re-inforcing his POCO’s. One option is to buy them out at say 1/2 price, and then sell the wormhole on wormholesales.com.

    • Looks like you have a lot of experience 🙂

      Wrt fly trap, can not comment – for obvious reasons. We would have liked to sell his POCOS but he did not see to be interested in a real conversation…

      I’ll hit you up in EVE. Lets see what mischief we can come up with…

  2. Great read, as usual. I was even thinking about applying to you guys before the second half but oops, too late. 😦 Anything else interesting planned for the future? I’m out of content…

    Two minor comments: You called the Anathema a bomber, you meant covops. And the guy would have gotten mails that his pos was under attack the first time, so there’s no espionage or betrayal involved in him moving the ships out.

    • hey thanks! Do apply, or at least hang out in our public channel – Illusion of Solitude. We generally have people there from all WHs so you could find out where you would fit most. Our C4 crew is likely the least PvP oriented at the moment for example. All recruitment have full API checks and interviews before they go anywhere.

      Other than that, yeah, he got a main, heck, he looted one of our wrecks and scooped up discarded sentries when we bailed out on the first attempt. But between the first and the second attempt were 3 weeks or so, during which no alliance toon could have been seen by him.

      I also don’t think that we had betrayal but when we didn’t see his ships anymore, the question of Op sec did come up. The good news is that we have a actually large core group of folks who have flown with each other for ages.

      • Ah C4? Yuck… I never picked up on that, but I just kind of browse until something catches my interest. You guys have a C2 branch that is more pvp-focused? I got accepted to a C5 corp but now I’m having second thoughts since all they wanna do is kill nullbears…

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