Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Was R3P0-Z a bridge too far?

You may recall, and have read on EVE News 24 about <PESKY> taking R3P0-Z.

Well, the dream is over. That dream was to go to nullsec, exploit the nascent jump fatigue disruption to the era of instant teleportation and the nulltard alliance's and Blue Donut punchers' inability to adjust to the new facts and the new strategic and tactical constrictions placed upon capital warfare.

The rise and exit of PESKY has been related to me by one ex-member and he's confirmed the alliance (which was only ever formed because they had successfully achieved a system flip) has moved out in one hectic hauling operation of five JF jumps, stripping down their POSs and operations to nothing.

The objective of PESKY was relayed to me as "let's just see if we can do this". Fourteen guys and 38 toons took on the Russian hordes, resulting in the Russians hiring PL to do their dirty work, at great ISK and prestige cost.

So yes, PESKY has been routed. But they were very much like the paratroopers in Arnhem in 1944 - surrounded by an empire of Russians on all sides, shooting wildly from their bunkers, knee deep in drek and bullet casings, teeth gritted and supplied by infrequent wormhole logistics. They held them off but eventually attrition wore them down and it's over.

This included their brief moon goo mining empire, reputedly netting them 30B a month in moon poo - which it must be noted is a significant impost on Shadow of xXDeathXx's income for the brief period of the interregnum. Likewise, losses from the disruption of ratting and botting and renters was put at a conservative 30B a month in lost income for the renter overlords - let alone the personal income damage suffered by the individuals. So we could easily tot up a cool 60B in damage on PESKY's scorecard right there.

The killboard also tells a salient tale of what a small group of skilled (but by no means super-elite) people can do if they are all on-song, on-message and willing to give it a go. 14 meatbods can only do so mucch damage, but it was a fairly good whack of damage, including a supercarrier, bunches of capitals, and hundreds of subcaps. Not bad for fighting outnumbered 2 or 5 to one.

It also vindicates CCP's vision with the jump changes. True, nullsec is readjusting to the changes, as we knew it would. But to say it's back to how it was pre-Phoebe, is wrongheaded. These type of guerilla raids, even if they are a Bridge Too far in this case, show the inherent weakness of the 'long grass' nullsec coalitions - the horde mentality and blob mechanics which incentivise lazy players and venal, bloated overlords forming gigantic region-wide domains (see Cobalt Edge right now - full XWX with a few strategic NC Dot bastions).

EVE needs to see more of the kind of organisations like PESKY getting out there, blitzing into a region, shitting on everything in sight and pulling a quick fade when the swollen monolithic juggernaut rolls over and flails at them.

There is another lesson, too. Maybe 14 guys is too few for the monotonous mechanics of sov grinding, or defending said sov. Prolapse had to decline a few diplomatic overtures, partly because it was honestly a bit late to make a difference, and a bit difficult to defend someone else's POS by exiting a C4 and getting all the way out to Outer Passage. Not very feasible on short notice.

But there's nothing wrong with trying, if you can gain booty and treasure and tears.

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