After leaving the ISS towards the end of 2006 I took a break from EVE for about two years. I mostly kept my main account running to continue learning skills and run a mission or two every now and then, but my main game was Everquest II, which I played very extensively.
After many great folks had left my long-time EQII guild my motivation to play the game took a serious hit though, and I started thinking about internet spaceships again.
It was then that a friend of mine told me about a huge war that was going on, and that his corp, Lyonesse, part of KIA Alliance, was right in the middle of. So I sent an application to the corp’s leadership and prepared to move my stuff out to nullsec again.
That war, today known as The Second Great War, was fought between Band of Brothers, the self-proclaimed “elite” of EVE, and Goonswarm, whose battlecry at the time was “We’re terrible at this game” and who aimed to shake up the established order. They were basically space anarchists.
BoB considered themselves unbeatable. For a couple of years they pretty much were. As if dominating New Eden’s landscape and scoring the first ever Titan kill wasn’t enough they’d also won the first three Alliance Tournaments in a row – which is why there was much rejoycing when they got their butts handed to them by a bunch of Tech I cruisers in AT IV.
In any given conflict I usually root for the underdog, so I was more than happy to join Lyonesse and KIA Alliance, who were allied with Goonswarm, to prove that BoB weren’t unbeatable in the regular game either. Unfortunately it turned out that I was late to the party.
Since its launch in 2003 EVE has always made headlines not only due to huge battles happening, but also with tales about deceit, theft and treachery. The arguably biggest such event happened just a few weeks before I joined the corp and moved to Peroid Basis. The BoB alliance was stripped of most valuable assets and then disbanded by a high ranking officer defecting to Goonswarm. The alliance being disbanded made them lose control of all their systems and outposts, which finally enabled Goons and allies to attack “Fortress Delve”, as BoB had previously dubbed their practically impenetrable home region, in force.
By the time I was combat-ready BoB were pretty much defeated and the first fleets I joined revolved around ‘mopping up’, as it were. We tried to catch as many BoB pilots, most of whom had reformed under the name KenZoku by then, while trying to evacuate their remaining assets from the area. There weren’t many left, but that doesn’t mean we had nothing to shoot.
Goons weren’t the only ones set on taking the now vacant space in Delve and Querious, and KIA’s systems in Period Basis were being harassed by a couple alliances living in nearby Stain whenever we were on the road.
For me this was the first time I operated under the Not Blue, Shoot It ruleset, and it was pretty fun. Overall I didn’t get all that much action due to working in shifts and hence missing many a fleet op, but I nevertheless had many ‘firsts’ during that time.
Firsts like catching a faction fitted Navy Raven ratting in an asteroid belt. We were doing a late night roam through Stain with just a couple Interceptors, an Interdictor, a Harpy and a Vagabond. Whenever we entered a system and saw someone in local we all warped to different belts in hopes of one of us picking the right one and catching the pilot unawares. When I landed in that belt my heart skipped a couple of beats because a Navy Raven was sitting right there. I immediately tackled it, started to orbit it with my maximum non-boosted speed to present as small and fast a target for its missiles as possible and told my mates to warp to me stat.
While they were still in warp I suddenly lost my target lock. The pilot had put his ECM-drones on me, and they’d successfully landed a jam cycle. You can’t tackle what you can’t lock, so I had to do something lest he get away. I hit the ‘approach’ button and fired up my microwarpdrive. Me sitting in an Interceptor meant that I picked up speed quickly, and I bumped into him with like 3 km/s. I don’t know if that really prevented him from warping off in time, but he was still there when my buddies arrived either way. While my Malediction eventually succumbed to the damage dealt by his missiles we got that kill and over 300 mil worth of loot for our efforts. I was as pleased as a punch to have managed the initial tackle and to hold him long enough for the gang to arrive.
I also got to fulfill one dream of mine: to fly a blaster-fitted Megathron battleship, Blasterthron for short, into battle. Blasters are kind of an all-or-nothing weapon system. They deal the highest damage of all turret types in the game. To offset that they have an effective range of pretty much the length of my pinky toe, so if you decide to get into that range you either win the engagement or you die. Those Thoraxes in the AT video I linked above were blaster fitted, which is why their stunt was so risky yet probably wouldn’t have worked any other way. I don’t remember why we even used close-range battleships that day, but the fight we got was just exhilarating.
I even got one of my very rare solo kills. This Huginn tried to slow me to a halt with its Stasis Webifiers but came too close in the process. It literally melted within seconds. Unfortunately the successful op came to an inglorious end for me when I took a wrong turn on the way home and found myself all alone in the middle of a hostile gatecamp. Oh well, another first.
The successful rescue of a friendly carrier I’ve talked about a while ago also happened during that time.
Last but not least I experienced my first big capital ship brawl and also scored my first cap killmails. If I remember correctly there was a fight over a valuable moon going to happen between Goons and allies on our side and Against ALL Authorities and friends on the other. We were still staging from TN25-J in Period Basis and all available pilots were told by one of our directors to board a long-range battleship and make our way to Irmalin, a cool 28 jumps away without shortcuts. Fortunately all of Period Basis, Delve and Querious was covered by an extensive allied jump bridge network by then, so it didn’t take quite as many jumps to get there. I was extremely nervous, but it was a tremendously fun experience.
Although I definitely don’t remember it that way the battle report clearly shows that we had vastly superior numbers, but, yeah, sometimes that’s the way it goes in EVE.
Not long after that fight Lyonesse decided to leave KIA Alliance. I did understand the decision because the alliance wasn’t in a good shape by then. Leadership was mostly absent and there were less and less enemies to fight. It made me a bit sad though because I’d come to quite like a good many people of the other corporations. The overall atmosphere in our new alliance, RAZOR, was much more serious and at times even hostile towards one another. I didn’t feel welcome, let alone at home at all. So after almost a year in Lyonesse I decided that it was time to take a break from EVE once more.