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Bugged wormholes, a crazy chain, losing some and winning others

So I got a bizzare message whilst at work yesterday. Apparently our static wormhole had broken. “Broken?” I ask. “Broken how?”

Turns out it had broken quite severely, resulting in a mad chain that resulted in multiple kills & losses across several fights. How mad was this chain? How dumb were our losses? What exactly broke? Read on to find out.

The day started normally, as far as I know. Mick was casually scouting the wormhole chain through our static Class 4 (lifespan of 16 hours) and it had gone end-of-life 2 hours prior, meaning it had about 2 hours left till it died naturally. This lined up with our time of opening it, so we’re all good. Imagine Mick’s surprise when he got a message that the wormhole had collapsed behind him. Not unusual, but still uncommon. Next step was to scout the new static wormhole in our home. Easy!

So Mick scanned the new wormhole (which has a E175 signature) and jumped to the new Class 4 wormhole, which we designate “C4a”. Except he didn’t jump. He got stuck in traffic control followed by a constant system load. His ship in the meantime remained on the wormhole but untargetable by ourselves. The only fix was to relog which dumped you back on the wormhole on our side. Our second pilot to jump had the same problem. So our static wormhole was bugged and we were unable to scout ahead. Fortunately, another wormhole has appeared! It’s another E175. A rarity, but technically possible, so C4b was born. We managed to jump into this one with no issue.

Whilst scouting this, yet another wormhole appeared in our home. It’s… a E175. C4c is the new designation.

Another wormhole appears. E175. C4d.

C4e shows up.

C4f.

C4g followed shortly after. Ohgod. Help.

Each wormhole multiplies and expands as if it were a normal chain, but there just happens to be 6 of them. Probe after probe is launched by my fellow Engineers as we look for fights and glory. A C3 opens into home as well, leading us backwards as well as forwards. before long, it looked a bit like this:

Click to make-big.

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice a wormhole at the bottom right named “we died here”. We did.

Whilst scanning, Mick ran into some difficulties. By “some difficulties” I actually mean “several bombers tackling his Tengu in C5t” so we did what we do and launched our 3 scanning Proteus down his chain to help. A hostile Arazu is here as well so we quickly establish tackle on the remaining ships. The bombers either die or flee but are replaced  by a Talos, Drake and Scythe. The Drake jumps away as we engage the others.

Ed is, as usual, providing key intel in our chat channel

So far so good. The Arazu is slowly breaking and the Talos is taking a fair pounding. The Scythe and Talos jump away and we try to finish the Arazu. The plan works right up until a Blackbird comes through the wormhole and jams me out, allowing the Arazu to move away and jump through the wormhole. We chase through to C5t.

It’s a Class 5 Pulsar wormhole, providing a massive boost to shields and a reduction in armour resistances. The enemy now have a Shield-Talos, Drake, Blackbird and Omen Navy Issue on grid. We have 3 armour Proteus and a heavily damaged Tengu which goes down fast due to polarisation. My Falcon on my alt comes in to support as one of our Proteus bails back through the wormhole. We break the Talos to structure but a Scimitar lands and starts getting repairs in. Whilst we try to kill the Scimitar, a bomber has decloaked and killed my over-worked Falcon. A Dominix lands and we finally choose to bail,  with both our remaining Proteus evading the enemy gang successfully. In the meantime, we have reinforcements in the shape of a Sleipnir but a mistake is made and he warps to the very hostile wormhole rather than waiting for the main reinforcements which are burning down the chain and dies extremely quickly.

Meanwhile, my Proteus is stuck in their wormhole. I jump through to the C3x in an attempt to escape but I decloak too close to the wormhole and am caught by their Blackbird. Our gang is now 2 jumps away. I have to tank 2 Drakes, a Blackbird (which jams me) a Dominix (which neuts me so hard my damage control turns off) and a pair of bombers. I could jump back, but the wormhole halved some time ago and must be low on mass and I’d rather avoid being stuck, so I stay and I cycle as many tank mods as possible when the cap allows it.

Help arrives as my armour dips towards 30%. 2 Absolutions and 2 Guardians land on field. The hostile fleet now realises they are outgunned, if not outmanned, and jump through the wormhole. One of our Absos follows. The wormhole collapses behind them so we lost the brave Abso on the other side.

A pretty major loss on our part, but a good fight nonetheless!

C3x kill report. C5t kill report.

The remainder of the fleet

The remainder of the fleet

So that was fight number one in the crazy chain of doom. It went badly. Shit happens.

We now need new ships. How lucky we have access to a billion wormholes to buy some. We head out through C4g to buy them where my alt’s pod passes a couple of Ravens on scan at a tower that were most certainly not there 30 minutes ago. They could be site running shortly, so ST moves a Proteus down the chain to watch them – only to run smack into them on the wormhole.

Tackle is called and reinforcements are sent from our home system. The Ravens are not equipped for the job at hand and try crossjumping the wormhole to escape but we have people on both sides. Once polarised and prevented from jumping, they are quickly bubbled and killed.

C2PhDnJ

Easy 560m killed.

An hour later another Tengu of ours finds himself polarised and tackled on a highsec wormhole by a Devoter, Enyo and Gnosis. Fortunately he jumps away to safety in low structure and we’re on our way with a fleet. We pile up on the connecting wormhole with 2 Guardians, an Abso and a Myrmidon. The Myrm goes in as bait and kills an Enyo and Talwar. Sadly, he forgets to tell us to jump in and repair him and dies to a bomber as well as the Gnosis and Devoter. Whoops. By the time the rest of us land the enemy simply jump out leaving us a bit red faced!

Battle report.

So a pretty hectic night. Hopefully we don’t have to scan a chain like that again. We didn’t even finish scanning (4f remained unscanned and numerous unscouted wormholes elsewhere). Some stats;

  • One of every wormhole anomaly effect
  • One of every wormhole class
  • One of every kspace security status
  • 110+ corp bookmarks for wormholes alone, not counting sites and tacticals
  • Several very confused Wormhole Engineers

Community Free For All writeup

Last night, the lowsec system of Asakai played host to another fight. This one did not involve Titans, incorrect jumps and swarms of capitals. This one was intentional – a Free For All organised by Xander Phoena of the Crossing Zebra podcast. The idea was a community FFA – we expected a fair few podcasters/bloggers/CSM to show up.

The night started well as we formed a temporary fleet before the start-time of 2000 to break open a camp on the inbound highsec gate.  Of course, the FC was Mangala Solaris who sent me through as bait tackle. In an incursus. Whilst they had a blackbird.

Yeah.

The rest of our gang followed and broke up the camp by which time it was 2000. We jumped over to Asakai, warped to the Sun and started the fun. CSM members Mangala and Ali showed, with ex-member Two Step appearing too. Bloggers like myself, Mark of EVE Travel and more also graced the field. Truly it would be a battle of massive proportions.

Tradition dictates we shoot the organiser first

Tradition dictates we shoot the organiser first

The brawl kicked off quickly, with ships dying left and right. Despite my ELITE PILOTING SKILLS my venture finally died after about 15 minutes, resulting in my pod being smartbombed to structure on the way back to highsec.

How to not smartbomb 101. Step 1: Fail to actually kill your target.

3 Smartbombing BS were killing our reshippers so we fleeted up again to take them out. I had the best squad.

Hello to Bagehi, Mark, Rhavas and Sindel \o/

As expected, the smartbombers warped off with the exception of one which ran into highsec. He died so we went back to Asakai, where a couple of small fleets have shown up – namely a Hawk gang and a Talwar gang. As a result, we swapped the fight to a Caldari Small Stronghold and started fighting all over both the in-gate and the site itself. Amusingly, people seemed to forget my Venture has build in warp core strength, resulting in me warping out of gangs and death several times. I even landed on a stargate, aggressed, with a full 30 man AHAC gang on it. Everything locked me and points went up from 2 of them. So I warped away. So it goes.

The fights continued for 4 hours. The entire thing was, quite frankly, excellent fun. Here’s a whole bunch of screenshots.

Death to CSM members!

Death to CSM members!

Death to sniping Corms

Death to sniping Corms

Death to this random Rifter

Death to this random Rifter

Death to Two Step

Death to Two Step

Death to Two Step The Sequel

Death to Two Step the Sequel

Death to Two Step the Trilogy

Death to Two Step the Trilogy

Seriously. Death to Two Step!

Seriously. Death to Two Step!

So we have my killboard of the event, which only shows a small proportion of the fights that occurred. I am also uploading a short 20-minute video of a portion of it. Not edited/made pretty – just 20 minutes of Fraps and comms. This should appear -HERE- in about an hour, so check back later!

Many hanks to Xander and everyone else who attended. It was a really fun night!

Fanfest, dumb Tengus and engaging the CCP fleet

So I got back from Fanfest a little over a week ago. I actually have a big post prepared to go out on it, but I’ve been delayed by being a) lazy and b) I’m awaiting a lot of photos from other sources. A wall of text is no fun – you need pretty pictures! Expect a more detailed FF2013 post some time this week next week thanks to internet going down. ANYWAY MOVING ON.

I logged on the other day to find two things – our static has less than 20 minutes left, and we had an inbound nullsec. Being the curious git I am, I scout the null until static collapses. As expected, everything docks or runs to a POS when I enter. That’s several drinks right there. After a time, I roll back to our home wormhole where our static has died and begin probing the chain.

C4a? Dull. C3a? Dull. C4b? Two Tengus are on scan as I jumped in and disappear off scan just as quick. A quick scout shows a few piloted ships at a tower – a Scorpion and a mix of frigates. No sign of the Tengus, so I launch probes. Bingo – a wormhole resolves itself in my scan window. It’s a C4. I jump in, preparing to call in allies for a possible trap. D-scan shows a single Sleeper wreck and… one Tengu. Said Tengu is 5km away from me, on the wormhole. I can see boost effects and a quick check of his ship config shows he’s not cloaky. Boosting for his fleetmates? Either way, I’m going for him. As I lock him up, he makes no attempt to flee.

2013.05.03.13.23.41

As he dips into armour, I’m frantically checking d-scan. It must be bait, right?

2013.05.03.13.24.47He’ll jump any moment now.

Oh wait. Nope. Pod too. Hrm.

We throw another scout into the wormhole. There’s 5 more Tengus running Sleeper sites and they are still doing it even though I blew up their booster.

So we drop on them, catching 3 of them. Heh.

Meanwhile in k-space

It’s Sunday. EVE turns 10 the day after. Player events are going on across the universe as we attempt to break the current max PCU (max players online at once) of almost 63,000. We have a Ganked roam scheduled, and we also plan to hit the 1,000 Rifter event by Marlona Sky, involving shooting her Nyx. How bad could it be?

First interesting point of the night was that Ganked was plugged by CCP in a devblog. We usually average about 100 people on a Ganked roam? This one broke 300.  Oh dear.

The good news is that Frigates were the name of our game, so we started out with over 200 to start into the dark depths of nullsec. Gathering in Rens beforehand had CCP Foxfour in local replying, amusingly, to our comms. CCP SPAI ON OUR MUMBLE. Off we went into Null!

2013.05.05.16.22.07

Our glorious trip revealed nothing and we were beginning to lose hope when CCP announced they were sending out a Dev Fleet. We gathered in Amamake as the CCP live stream kicked into gear, showing them 7 jumps away with their destination set as… Amamake. They appeared to be in a Gnosis/Scimitar gang, presumably with dev hax implants. We set our destination for where they are and set out.

We danced round a couple of systems away as CCP kept trying to throw us off. Only a handlful of locals had gotten here and a 20-man mixed fleet had just been shredded. We finally caught up to the fleet as we broke the record for the PCU count.

2013.05.05.18.01.35

We jumped into CCP and engaged, much to the delight of the people talking on the livestream. Many chat comments involved “holy shit that fleet” or some variation thereof. 200 mixed frigates vs a Logi supported, devh4x implant Gnosis gang. Did I mention the Gnosis went 5.5kms+ with their MWD? They did.  As we decloaked, the fight was well and truly on. First primary? CCP Goliath.

CHARGE. INTO BATTLE, MY COMRADES

CHARGE. INTO BATTLE, MY COMRADES

Our frigates streaked towards the enemy ships as Time Dilation began to slow the system to less than half it’s normal speed. We caught a couple of Scimitars as they tried to burn away from our gang so the rest of CCP began to kite closer, allowing our faster frigates to begin tackling them. We piled onto Goliath, ending his logistics career and began chewing on a nearby Gnosis who happened to be CCP Vesna Prishla.

2013.05.05.18.04.51

Busy HUD is busy!

Kaboom, first Gnosis kill… ever? Perhaps! Mangala began calling targets like a pig wallowing in mud (or a chav in a cheap off-license, as he described) as we started on CCP Bella Bee whilst tackling CCP Falcon.

Screaming in Local will not save you now, Falcon!

Screaming in Local will not save you now, Falcon!

Bella Bee falls. Falcon actually lives as we switch targets (he dies later with 170k damage to him, don’t worry). Next is our favourite dev, CCP SocksFoxfour.

Fuck this guy in particular.

Fuck this guy in particular.

Blam. GOOD BYE FOXFOUR. The battle really kicks into gear as some of the first CCP pilots start to reship. Amusing thing to watch was the livestream as we shot the various point-of-view ships they were using. :D

2013.05.05.18.09.18

Death of a thousand cuts

Death of a thousand cuts

Death to Fozzie, nerfer of Dominixes!

Death to Fozzie, nerfer of Dominixes!

Dolan thought he was safe at the edge of battle. No CCP is safe in New Eden.

Dolan thought he was safe at the edge of battle. No CCP is safe in New Eden.

Eventually we realise the last CCP streaming (despite plenty on field) was some distance from the battle. The only CCP more than 20km away? CCP Rise, currently duelling (and beating) a Talos who only seems to have him pointed (not scrammed).

Sounds like a job for an Atron. Overheat MWD, overheat scram. Go.

ohai

ohai

It was quite amusing to watch myself tackle Rise on the stream a few seconds later. I called tackle and for bounce-warps to me as the Talos exploded, leaving me alone against the Gnosis. Fortunately he had no web, and his lasers kept glancing off. As my fleet started to land and establish tackle, I bailed before a lucky hit took me out. Bye bye Rise!

Returning to the main battle

Returning to the main battle

Finally, after almost 40 minutes, the last CCP died and we did the most manliest of things. We ran away, since the Nyx event was in 20 minutes and we had 7 systems to cover under Time Dilation. Also, a lot of neutrals were showing up and we had no desire to be bogged down. Flee!

Field not long before we left

Field not long before we left

EVE-Kill for the fight.

We proceeded to high-tail it to Flosewin, where almost 1000 pilots were already waiting. We spiked it to 1300 and the number just kept rising. Time dilation was already 15%, then Marlona undocked the Nyx.

Oh dear god, the client lag.

2013.05.05.19.08.07

I whored onto the killmail then docked and logged as local spiked to 2,400 and the game became unplayable. Oh well!

The gap

Due to many real life issues, I’ve been rather inactive in EVE – hence the lack of posts.

Expect usual service to resume soon.

2 surprising fleets

Firstly, trading report! I’ve been neglecting the alt over the last few days – not updating trade orders anywhere near as often as I should. The result is ISK in the wallet which really should be in items and a lot of the orders I do have are extremely under/overcut. However, I’m edging in on 270mil after 2 weeks, starting from 5 mil with no skills.

2013.02.20.00.19.53

Back to the more interesting stuff.

Glorious leader Fin, of our sister C4 wormhole, is calling for aid against a possible target or two and we’re trying to scan a way out to her. The C4 calls for aid, and we will answer. Our static C4a lead us into a second C4b before a C3a and finally a lowsec.

Our enthusiasm turns into disappointment when the lowsec turns out to be over 25 jumps to Fin, and her possible target swapped to a Heron, which Fin exploded anyway. Cursing our poor luck, our scan ships begin to head home to roll the chain.

Arrow, one of our new recruits, jumps back into 4b ahead of me and promptly lights up comms. “Typhoon, Drake on wormhole. Orca on scan. Possible rolling fleet.”

I have no choice but to jump back as well and avoid the two ships, recloaking 5km away. Arrow is burning back to home and Mick is attempting to login. Firetruck Man, another recruit, also logs in. I bounce a planet and land back on C4a to see the Typhoon here. Firefly has his Loki on the far side and reports an Arazu decloaking on him. He tackles it as the Typhoon jumps. I follow suit.

C4a and C4b are both Wolf Rayet wormholes, granting a bonus to armor resistances  but reducing shield resistances, so Firefly’s Loki is struggling. I point the Typhoon as Firetruck lands in a Harbinger and opens fire. The Arazu jumps in structure, so Firefly follows but misses it, due to the cloak. A Drake jumps through into 4a but is quickly battered into armour and jumps back. Firetruck hits low armour and jumps to support Firefly. Mick lands in his Astarte and helps force the Typhoon into jumping back to 4b.

As the Abaddon landed. He rewarped before we realised and could point it.

As the Abaddon landed. He rewarped before we realised and could point it.

Now in 4b, we make quick work of the Drake. An Abaddon is here too, but he bails rather quick. An Oracle appears at 50km but burns and warps before we land tackle.  The Typhoon gives up the ghost and that’s that.

We head home and roll the chain.

The new C4a is empty and quiet, as is the connecting C3a. It’s only Mick and myself online, so we both decide to log out since it’s getting late.

The early US crowd log in as we log out. Not 2 hours later, I get a message from one of them. Fortunately, I’m still awake.

“Large fleet in 4a site running”

I log in and get fully updated. There appears to be an inbound into 4a now and there’s an… odd… fleet running the 4a sites.

“2 Basilisks, 2 Rokhs, Dominix Navy, Tengu, Legion, Gila, Loki, Ishtar, Maelstrom, Huginn, Noctis in one site”

For one Class 4 sites? They’ll be making pennies each with that many people.

Regardless, there’s only 4 of us online so we can’t go for full fleet action right now. We decide to use bombers to try and catch their salvaging Noctis. This is a great idea, except if;

a) The entire enemy fleet is following the Noctis or

b) The 2 Basilisks have constant repairs on the Noctis.

Guess what? The enemy fleet have done both.

2013.02.19.02.25.31

We do try to catch anything that’s slow to leave the site, but they all fleet warp together back to their wormhole after the salvaging is done, collapsing it behind them.

Oh well.

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