Thursday, November 7, 2013

Razor Alliance Welcomes You to Null-sec!

Step 1: Announce a battle.

Step 2: Have a battle on the way to the battle.  (all of those losses were suffered against PL when we warped to attack their navy apoc fleet).

To set the record straight, I know of no devs who are in Razor, and we didn’t receive advance notice.  Razor has been deployed in Doril for about two months now, and it was pure coincidence that CCP’s event ran right through our warzone.

But, Razor was the first null-sec alliance on the field, camping the Sendaya gate in Zealots to take out anything that jumped through.  Goons came in with a sentry doctrine, probably to prove yet again that drone assist needs a nerf.  In fact, the only frustrating thing for us about the whole day was when the Goons were stealing our kills by assigning drones to a fast-locking target caller!

At first, it was a trickle.  Then the whole fleet came out.  By that point, PL, NC., Darkness, and many, many more null-sec alliances were on the field, and we were all popping anything shiney that came through the gate.  T3s, navy and pirate ships, T2 battlecruisers… it was an orgy of destruction.  And it was delightful fun, at least for us.  There were so many high-value targets that we couldn’t lock and kill them fast enough.

Here are my observations about the gauntlet that was Doril:

1) Did you note the alliances on the field?  Both sides in the nearby war were there, but none of the null-sec alliances shot each other until the quality of high-sec targets was heavily diluted (ie. Not worth killing any longer).  We in Razor were there for the whole fight, and weren’t shot by a single null-sec alliance we were involved in an active war against.

When the quality of targets did decrease, then we turned on each other, along the same battle lines as in the war in Catch.  Razor noted the arrival of PL’s navy apocs very early in the fight, but didn’t go after them until the flood of meat from the Sendaya gate was running low.

It’s interesting to know that all this was done without any coordination at all.  We didn’t talk to PL or NC. to coordinate our attacks.  We all simply operated the same way… attack the weak, then go after each other for fun.

2) The event participants from high-sec stood no real chance, unfortunately.  We in null-sec are very familiar with gate camps, fighting in bubbles, and coordinating the actions of our entire fleet as a single unit.  When Razor was orbitting the gate at 500, we were all shooting identified primaries, repping each other, and shared a common comms.  Goons had literally assigned all their sentries to a single pilot who was choosing and blapping targets.  PL, NC., and Darkness were all fighting as individual units, but only 3 units, not 300.

I suspect most folks who warped to Doril gate in Sendaya did so in smaller groups, with no real coordination or common comms, let alone any way to manage logi.  I saw no efforts to focus fire, and only very few ships who actually managed to pull reps from fleet members.  In two cases, we had to change primaries because they were being repaired.  That’s it.  I suspect this was the first time many high-sec folks have every been in a situation like that, whereas null alliances are ready for that with every 100+ fleet.  It really wasn’t fair, by any stretch of the imagination.

3) CCP really should have known what would happen by identifying target systems like they did.  Seeing that Utopia was a staging system, we knew the Sendaya gate in Doril would be a great place to obliterate the Grand Army of the Empires.  It was obvious.  And, with the empires drawing players from high-sec for a null-sec fight, it didn’t take a genius to see what was going to happen.  Keep in mind, the null alliances are the ones who instantly know when a Titan or supercap is bubbled.  We have intelligence networks that identify big fights from 30 jumps away.  To drive cattle through a narrow valley to a dozen packs of hungry wolves was reckless by CCP.  And thank you for doing it!

Why didn’t the empires us titans to bridge their volunteers to the battle area?  Empires have titans, don’t they?  If they had, it’d have been a great way to introduce high-sec players to a mechanic they wouldn’t otherwise see.  And that might have induced some players to try null-sec out.  As it stands, the only lesson they learned is, “Stay out, or join the dogpile.”  That’s not cool.  A little forethought could have created content and reinforced another way for them to play the game.

4) That said, come on high-sec players… who brings a 3.1bil clone into a null-sec fight like this?  Or a faction-fitLoki with a CN adaptive invuln?  A Tempest FleetIssue to a CCP event in null?  Did you think CCP would protect you?  Nothing was stopping even your fellow empire pilots from killing you, you know.  I don’t get the ship choices some of these pilots made.  A Dominix?  That makes sense.  A bomber?  Even smarter.  Surely you had to suspect that at least the pirate-aligned pilots were going to shoot you, and PvPers like to kill T3s.

And, yes, the Naglfar loss was a deliberate move on our pilot’s part, as a sacrifice to the killmail gods to commemorate the event.  It certainly didn’t fit into our doctrine!

Pro tip… there are two ways to join in fleets like this.  Either you killmail whore, piloting a cheap ship you can easily afford to lose, or you join with a fleet and fit a tight doctrine that operates as a group, warping in and out as necessary.

But I’m very happy I was able to participate, and I thank everyone who tried to show up.  My killboard is up 17 billion because of that fight.

Please know it wasn’t personal… we kill everyone we come across, even our friends.  I’m sorry CCP dunked you with the slow-moving, obvious route, and I hope this doesn’t turn you off to null-sec.  Living out here makes you smarter, tougher, and more comfortable with situations like this.

And CCP… titans, man.  Titans.


  1. I think I can answer why people showed up in expensive fits and noob ships. Most people were under the impression they were heading to a Sansha event based on various forum speculation about what the event was going to be. They showed up in mission fits because they thought it was a mission.

    Many pilots had no idea what they were going to be doing, but followed along to see what the event looked like anyway. I think the clearest example of a post was in rookie chat. " Oh wow! we're going into 0.4 space!". Many in the NPC corporations also had no idea it was a pvp event. I would venture the vast majority had no idea about this. Null had no problem since they're pretty much always in pvp fits unless farming npcs.

    The TiDi left the high sec side trailing out over at least 10 systems even after the "event" was over.

    Apparently, ( I never even made it anywhere near the event do to the TiDi) CCP had the high sec side jump into known perma-camped systems. That was also a surprise to the high sec side.

    The vast bulk on the high sec side squarely blame CCP for an absolutely crappy event that consisted of nothing more than feeding some kills to null sec pilots.

    As Baarhyn over on FHC said "Wow, way to make people reject the idea of PVP forever in one single action". Well put.

  2. Lets be honest here.
    A titan in highsec ?
    It would have been hilarious trying to see a whole fleet of high sec players to attempt to get on range on a titan instead of approaching it and bumping it all over the place.

    1. Yep, there's no way that couldn't have been handled by, I don't know, setting up fleets lead by NPC actor FCs who fleet-warped the players in at a comfortable distance? Or maybe setting up a deadspace pocket which drops players at an acceleration gate that flings them close to titans, but not in bump range. Hell, CCP could just cheat and make Large Collidable Objects with Titan skins that aren't actually mobile.

      The point is that this event would have been hugely improved if players with no experience of TiDi or Null hadn't had to slog through 20+ jumps at 10% TiDi to die in a fire at the end. At least if they'd been bridged straight to destination and still walked into a massive killbox there'd likely have been a lot more "Well, that was different at least" rather than "I want the last 3 hours of my life back".

  3. CCP did drop the ball here, I was one of those pilots coming from Sarum, but I did bring a Harbinger that I knew I was going to lose.
    I was still about 10 jumps out when the events had already stopped but I wanted to lose the ship. Mostly because I was 30+ jumps out of my home system and didn't want to fly back.
    I did what any pilot who has no clue about pvp does. I jumped into Dorill knowing what would happen, made it out and then got my ass kicked in the next system. It was fun though since it took them a while to kill my ship and pod ^^

    Unfortunately a lot of high sec will now stay even further away from Null and Low

    1. You're right, and that's the worst result of this adventure. On the other hand, it doesn't get any worse than flying in a poorly organized fleet into a gauntlet!

  4. Good points.

    0.0 guys ran their end to perfection. CCP on the other hand just discouraged thousands of people from wanting to get involved in PvP. That can't have been the plan.

  5. Leemings. Serves you right.

  6. I've been a hisec player since I started about a year ago but lately have decided to crank up an alt to dive into nulsec. Thing is, I haven't the first clue how to do that in a way that even approaches something called "right".

    My time in hisec has been mostly mining & industry with occasional mission running and ratting because while I know many would disbelieve this, I happen to find the whole mining/industry/marketing thing to be a lot of fun. It suits my creative side.

    The only actual pvp I've been involved in is being on the recieving end of and occasional suicide gank. An experience that I find especially galling when the ganker drops a "gf" in local. Where the hell is the "good fight" in killing somebody that is incapable of shooting back? IMO that's not even a fight. And don't even get me started about the overly self-righteous "new order" zealot types.

    Questions abound such as How to find a nulsec corp to join that isn't just out and out scamming n00bs/carebears?

    I've spent some time looking over corp recruitment and in most cases either a corp's description just doesn't look like it suits me, they want a full access API key with no expiration (sorry, that sounds more than a little invasive from my admittedly paranoid-ish point of view), Or on inquiry, some reveal that a prospective new member is expected to fork over a crapload of ISK before even being considered (not gonna happen, period).

    Others require things like being a member of certain forums or websites, none of which I'll ever join. I'm in too many forums now.

    Also, would you recommend a good pvp overview setup (and how to set it up 'right') ? Mine is pretty much the default with a couple tabs that I added for mining, looting wrecks, and watching for players to appear in-system so I can (hopefully) avoid a gank. I know without even asking that this isn't going to cut it in a pvp situation.

    I've been thinking about this move for a while and reading your blog has made me decide to go for it. The only problem is figuring out how to do it somewhere close to "right".

    Personally I think that there's quite a few in hisec that would be interested in getting into a low/null pvp corp and the reason they don't is it's like there's a barrier put in place on the low/null side because of anti-"carebear" attitudes.

    If null corps want to see more people in null, how about they open that barrier and encourage people to step away from being a "carebear". Remember the adage about flies and honey.

    1. I take "gf" to mean more than just "good fight", but rather to salute the other pilot involved. In essence, I see "gf" to mean, "I recognize that you're a human being, not just a red cross, and I salute your playing and generating content for me." It's more of a respect thing than a legitimate "gf" statement. When I get in good 1v1s with people, I'm usually a lot more verbose about it. "Awesome fight, you almost had me!" or "Awesome fight... I if I'd overheated sooner I'd have popped you."

      As far as finding a good null-sec corp, if you join any of the renter corps, you shouldn't have any problems with scammers. Northern Associates, Greater Western Co-Prosperity, Brothers of Tangra... you should be okay with those. They're into business, and scamming people is bad for business.

      Yes, there is some anti-carebear attitude out there, but it's going away little by little. CCP is almost certainly going to change sov to move more to a "Farms and Fields" approach, which will highly benefit those alliances with PvE players. Catch, Providence, all of the renter space, and Stain are all good places, too. Just stay out of the CRC, N3, or PL (though, honestly, they wouldn't accept you without you deciding to do PvP full-time) and you'll be able to find a home.

      To avoid scams, lurk in prospective corps' public channels and just listen for a while. If they're recruiting people,but no one's shouting at them about scamming, you'll be okay.