Now, this happens all the time, of course. Doctrines change and ships become obsolete. This time, though, the problem was the kind of ships. We weren't talking about a few frigates here.
This is how things typically go when you decommission a doctrine. You somehow get your ship to Jita (typically contracting or hauling it), you repackage it, and sell the components on the market for either whatever you can get, or you set up sell orders to move it at the optimal price, if you don't need the isk quickly. Then, you pick up the new ship and make your way (or ship it) back to your staging.
Of course, there are complications. Maybe you're deployed in deep null with camps along the way, and you need to use a courier service and alliance contracts. Or maybe you want to repurpose the ship and just need a few modules to retrofit it. I've certainly done that more than once. In the latter case, that involves inventorying what you have and what you need. There's nothing more annoying that going through the effort of hauling modules in only to realize you forgot to bring the T2 rig that makes the whole fit work.
But with capitals? It's a giant headache.
I had two Naglfars the alliance really doesn't use anymore. Because I tend to fly very light, I decided to just sell them. Even if we would use them in the future, the fit will likely completely change, and I'd just be delaying the hassle. So, I had to sell them.
I now have two characters able to light cynos with un-expanded noob ships, so off they went, one to Aunenen and one to Okagaiken. I decided to split up my contracts so I could maximize the chances of finding a nearby buyer. While they're only a few jumps apart, they're both in different regions and two capital jumps apart. With caps, saving even one jump can mean the difference between a sale and an unfulfilled contract.
But before I could jump them out, I had to keep an eye on what I was replacing them with. FAXes are all the rage now (and boy, I do mean rage!), so I picked up an Apostle that would look lovely with one of the new Purity of the Throne skins I looted. Task finished, right?
Oh, my dear friend, no, no, no! First, there was the poring through what modules I already had so I understood what I needed to buy to complete the fit. Then there was the hauling the old stuff out; cap modules are big. But that was the easy part.
You see, when you fit up a capital, you aren't just fitting up the ship. That's easy to do with multibuy. You also have to bring along refit modules to address any of a number of scenarios you might face - spare modules for a couple different scenario-specific fits, different rigs, mobile depots, needed implants - none of which the Eve client populates in an imported fit. So, it's a lot of manual work of buying each module in turn, work made more difficult by the need to cross-reference against what I already had from the Nalgfar fits.
Suffice to say, I was feeling the pain from the fit import tool not populating cargo modules. It seems like a stupid oversight that, if fixed, would make the life of every capital pilot a lot easier. All in all, moving, stripping, outfitting, and contracting those two dreads took about six hours to fully complete.
When I sat back and thought about it, I really started to question the necessity of all that. Under normal circumstances, that would be three days of play time for me. Is that really how I want to be spending my time? Now, I can understand wanting to structure things in such a way that losing a ship requires some time to replace either before or after the fact, but this seems a bit ridiculous.
Six hours to allow me to get back to square one. Really?
We tend to do a lot of things in the game that are an absolute chore, but I start to wonder whether all of it is really necessary. Are we conditioned to view Eve as a grind of tedium so much that we fail to recognize the unnecessary annoyances that they are?
I'm not sure there's a way to overcome the tedium and exhaustion that comes from something like swapping capitals without breaking the balance of factors that goes into capital combat. For instance, when capitals were easier to move for sale, they were also easier to move for combat, leading to a small, intimate universe... where every supercap fleet was on your doorstop. What's the alternative? NPC capital transport through low-sec routes that takes one RL day for every two capital jumps?
Regardless, that was three days' worth of playtime spend on administrative garbage that isn't engaging or interesting. Nor was it risky, offering the chance of content for other players. I jumped station to station twice, docked up immediately, and moved my modules through cloaky hauling.
Is the 1% chance of content for a hypothetical passerby worth six hours? Put another way, is a single 500-mil kill worth 600 hours of grinding boredom?
I don't think so. If our standards are that low, everyone would mine.
Regardless, I'm left taking a lot of steps and doing a lot of boring "things" just to get to square-one with participating in something engaging. There has to be a better way to structure it.