Monday, July 29, 2013

I Was There - The Big Fights



It's a bit of a meme in EVE: "I was there".  I can echo this promotion that real small/mid scale PVP, when done right, puts you at the edge of your seat and can give a rush like no else which lasts for days.  So when news comes out about "The biggest fight in EVE (and MMO) history!" the question always comes up, "were you there?"

For the 6VDT-H fight, I was there.  Representing GENTS, the CFC, and my new corp Paxton Industries against TEST and friends on their home turf.  I was providing logistics for one of the 7 "Baltec" fleets: 200+ Rail Megathrons with logistics support per Baltec fleet.

Though I could do a battle report, I'd rather talk about the experience of flying in such a massive battle.

First, nullsec fighting is not at all like lowsec fighting.  It's not about the skills of any individual pilots, instead its about the mass of the legion being commanded.  It all comes down to the skills of a few commanders and the lurching hydra beneath them.  Under normal circumstances, I'm all for taking up my position as line-grunt, but as TiDi reaches its peak and multiple 256 man fleets collide in hour-after-hour slow motion, fighting loses its novelty very quickly.

There is much applause to CCP for facilitating a 4070+ person fight in a single system while keeping an additional 45,000 served, and it's well deserved.  Though playing through 10% TiDi tends to extend fights into the hours.  Where the brawl might have peaked and ended in 45-90mins, the biggest fights in EVE crawl forward in ultra-slo-mo for 4-8 hours.  Though it would test player stamina to remain focused for all those hours, the actual result is a confusing pile of frustration as commands get botched, modules remain in unknown states, and you watch helplessly as targets rise and fall seemingly without any individual participation.  Don't get me wrong, TiDi beats the alternative of black-out full freeze... but it's not exactly "fun" to be on the field when your participation might as well be near-null.

I am quickly finding the limits for my PVP patience.  Where the 20-60 man fleet gives me the space to shine in specialty roles (hictor/dictor, recon, logi), the extremes outside that number quickly fall off as far as fun.  Where I was bemoaning QCATS for their focus on solo PVP and elite KB stats, this other side of the spectrum is similarly bad or worse.  It is extremely rarely I have the time to commit to this kind of fight, and once it's over, I am hesitant to answer any other call to arms (CTA).

If you're interested in more words on the topic, my friend +Jonathan Stripes/@CecilArongo just started up a new blog and talks about the 6VDT-H battle in more direct detail.