March 29, 2014

Contract Recap - Goblin's Crusade

Gevlon Goblin's crusade against the Goons is well documented. I won't go into his side much at all, other than to say that we were hired to reinforce Lemmings and Marmite in their attempt to kill as many Goons and their POCOs in high security space, namely around The Forge and Lonetrek. We were initially hired for two weeks, our objective: to reinforce one to two POCOs a day. Our personal goals were to take as many of those POCOs as we could alongside killing as many Goons as possible.

This was actually a really tough decision for us to make, whether to accept this contract or not. We had just gotten done with our Tenerifis contract, which was quite grindy for us, where we were at a very high level of mental stress, wondering whether we were going to get this done or not. The contract was offered to us while we were still out there, in fact, and we had to make the decision about whether or not to take it before we knew whether our Titan was going to make it out alive. We were worried that, if we lost our Titan, morale would be too low to take on another contract that was fairly grindy. Would members be too burnt out? If we succeeded we felt confident that we could tackle this contract though. After some discussion, the trigger was pulled and we were committed. Luckily Tenerifis turned out well.

Of course, when you declare war on Goon high sec POCOs, you're declaring war on RvB as well. Sure enough, they joined into the war soon after our initial declaration. We expected this well in advance, obviously, and prepared for it. The last time we fought RvB was when high security POCOs were first released. They were forming up fleets consisting of 100s of people, the backbone of which was the Dominix. We weren't able to fight them last time, and we were expecting them to show up in a similar doctrine this time. To counter that, we focused on a doctrine around sniper Eagles: take out what we can from a distance, survive against their sentry Domis for long enough to displace, and repeat. Plus, we could switch between blasters and rails with a mobile depot with no other changes to the fit, giving us a pretty flexible platform to use on a general basis.

The contract started out ok. We got a few cheap kills on Goon members, but then we lost a Huginn followed by a Talos, and then an Eagle in one day. We were suddenly deep in the efficiency hole in a bad way. I had flashbacks to some of our high security contracts from a year or so back. We've been here before, staring down the barrel early in a contract. We dug our way out, one kill at a time. We were determined to do that again. We put the screws on the POCOs, hitting two POCOs in opposite sides of the contract area, splitting any defense fleet up so that we could kill and replace whatever POCO they didn't defend. We even camped Jita.

Now, I don't want to get off on a tangent about high sec station camping, but I have to talk about it a little bit. I never understood the mentality of station campers in the first place. It didn't seem like fun to me. It didn't even seem sporting, and this is coming from a guy who loves Black Ops. Now that I've spent a bit of time doing it personally (and some of the other guys spent way more time than me doing this), I can say that I hope I never, ever have to station camp again for any contract. It was as horrible as I imagined. Incredibly boring, incredibly frustrating, incredibly unsatisfying when a kill did produce itself. Ugh.
This was our inspiration.

Anyway, as the contract went on, we lost fewer and fewer ships while killing larger and larger amounts. POCOs began falling a lot more often, our fleets were doing fairly well, outside of a few losses on some roams around. We did have  one last true derp, a guy who warped his Ishtar and 200M ISK capsule into an RvB fleet. Other than that, things were pretty solid the rest of the contract. We ended up just over 80% efficiency, which isn't exactly as high as we like, but it was acceptable at least. More importantly, we killed 14 POCOs.

As a mercenary, I don't care about the reasons for going to war. Gevlon's dislike, hatred, anger - whatever you want to call it or whatever it may be - doesn't matter to me. Whether his crusade works or not, I don't care. I'll fly to achieve his goals for as long as he has money. Put ISK in my pocket, point me at someone, and let me go. I'm a mercenary, I couldn't care less what anyone thinks of my employer or what he thinks of my targets. As a player, my goals correspond to my character's in many ways: so long as Gevlon keeps giving me things to shoot at, I'm a happy EVE player.