B-R: The FC Perspective (Transcription)Xander Phoena
A fair few of you have asked for a transcription of the interview we did with Manfred Sideous from Pandemic Legion and Lazarus Telraven from GSF on Tuesday night. As the two key FCs at B-R, the largest battle in Eve Online history, their viewpoints are unique and fascinating. Jeg spent most of yesterday transcribing almost eight thousand (!) words so now you can take the time to read what Manny and Laz said at your own leisure. You can listen to the original audio here
Xander: Welcome to Crossing Zebras. I am Xander Phoena and as you are probably aware by now there was a small skirmish in Immensea over the past 36 hours. Everybody’s talking about it obviously – the biggest fight in EVE Online history in terms of sheer ISK slash dollars. Two of the key players join me today for a little chat. First up we have Manfred Sideous who was the key PL (Pandemic Legion) FC (Fleet Commander) on the night, former leader of AAA and, as he likes to mention now and again, inventor of the Slowcat. Manny, is that correct?
Manny: Erm, yeahh, something like that.
Xander: And then we have my man, my boy from Goonswarm Laz Telraven. We could have had someone else. We could have had Vee on or we could have had Boat on, but HVAC, my boy HVAC told me we had to get Laz on. He was the guy to ask, he was was the first GoonSwarm FC on the scene and called a lot of the shots early on in the fight. So Laz, thanks very much for coming on as well.
Laz: No it’s my pleasure.
Xander: So I guess the first question is – and we kind of touched on it there just before the record – how tired are you guys? I can’t even imagine how exhausting that was.
Laz: Oh I slept about 2 hours the night before the fight. I was up puking and like I was off sick and stuff. I actually took the day off work for illness, but I ended up being stuck on EVE Online for like 20 hours or whatever. So I am exhausted.
So it was like, I don’t know, 18 hours, 19 hours or something FCing straight
Manny: I had been up since the previous day in the morning, and then I started FCing around 07:30 – 08:00 on the 27th (Monday) because I had to go to the drone regions to save a bunch of stuff. Then I was in fleet FCing until 02:30 the following day. So it was like, I don’t know, 18 hours, 19 hours or something FCing straight. So I was exhausted so I went and took a 4 or 5 hour nap and then I’ve been back since.
Xander: Konrad Kane asked me to ask you Laz, how’s that throne of Avatar wrecks working out for you?
Laz: Ha ha, I don’t know, I’ve never sat on a chair of [muffled]
(laughter all round)
Xander: Manny, I was going to ask you Manny, how did it, from your perspective – from the kind of Pandemic Legion perspective – can you tell me how this kicked off? Because we know the story about the sov drop obviously being a failed Nulli payment but how did it all kick off for you when were you first made aware that there was a situation here? I take it you guys were quietly trying to get the system back online without any problems? I mean what, how did that work out from your perspective?
And then, the biggest shock happened and that was it slipped that there was nobody. No other FC. Period. Zilch. Zero. Nada that were available to form slowcats to sit on the undock of the B-R station and protect the TCU
Manny: About 2 o’ clock in the morning I got a text message, or actually it about 1:30 in the morning I got a text message that sov had dropped in B-R and to hop on. So we got TCUs onlining and everything and I considered cancelling going to the Drones [Drone Regions] to make sure that B-R got online, but we started poking around our intel sources and stuff and nobody had really noticed at that point, or at least that we could gather so everybody thought it would be safe for me to go on up to Drones and do what I had to do up there. So I got to Drones, and proceed to do what I proceed to do what I need to do it gets to be about 14:00 and I see that Razor is starting to put together a fleet. So I start poking N3/PL FCs to form slowcats for B-R to sit on the undock and hold the TCU. And then, the biggest shock happened and that was it slipped that there was nobody. No other FC. Period. Zilch. Zero. Nada that were available to form slowcats to sit on the undock of the B-R station and protect the TCU. So then I had to try and get N3/PL back as fast as I can while completing everything I had to do in drones. So, yeahh.
Xander: Ok. I mean the word on the street, I think you said it on Kugu and elsewhere, but the word on the street is that the reason the sov dropped is a failure of the, erm, there is a checkbox basically you hit and as long as there is enough money in the account the bill should come off automatically, and that didn’t happen in this circumstance.
Xander: Which is obviously the kind of catalyst for everything that happened, I mean, do you petition that?
Manny: I can elaborate on that
Xander: Yeah, that would be great.
Manny: How that works is, so when I decided to move PL to B-R, I put a corp into Nulli which was my old corp that I control, its called Havoc, and the TCU and everything was transferred to Havoc. A couple of PL directors put characters into the corporation, and I set the wallet up, double checked it, and triple checked it, that the sov payment was supposed to be automatically coming out, that it was set to the right wallet division, I had enough ISK in the wallet for 4, 5 months of sov costs, like 4 billion in the corp wallet for sov costs. And boom, logged off, never really thought about it since then. And then, this morning, what happened, happened. I don’t really have an explanation about it, other than that sometimes, like when you set a station timer, you’ll save it, and then if you don’t, but it won’t actually take, like it would show you that it took on your UI, but it didn’t actually take. And that’s my only possible explanation, I did the check, and I double checked it again, and it showed everything was fine, but obviously as you see, it wasn’t.
Xander: Are there any grounds to petition this? I mean would you go down that path even if there was, I mean, I take it there is no real comeback from this?
Manny: Yeah, theres no real comeback. I put a petition in when it happened and I am escalating it, not so much because I think they are going to reverse it or anything. I would just like an honest answer of what happened, what caused this. Even if this comes down to Manfred Sideous, you idiot, you didn’t do ‘X’.
Xander: Yeah, you get a definitive kind of ‘this is how it started’. Ok. So Laz, my understanding is that it was the Russians that came across what was happening in B-R at the time, they found that the TCU was onlining there in the system at the time. How were you made aware of that situation? How did it come to pass that you were batphoned and said look, you might need to do something about this? How did that come about?
Laz: Like I said, I woke up that night pretty sick, I think I went to bed at like 1, I woke up at like 3:30, 4 o’ clock and that’s when I found out about it. So I went back to sleep and woke up around 7 and I still wasn’t feeling so hot so I called in sick. Originally I was just going to see if I felt ok, I was just going to go to work, but I didn’t. [I wasn’t] well enough to work, so I decided I was going to form up. The Russians actually were planning on forming up 14:00. I told them that was too late as it would only give them about 45 minutes to kill the TCUs. So I started forming at 13:00 and the Russians started forming shortly after. So the whole plan, at least my plan at the beginning was to kill TCUs just to extend the timer. It was actually Union‘s plan of Darkness and Despair who decided to actually go balls deep with dreads and go ahead and flip the station.
Xander: Ok. And how quickly Manny did it become apparent that this was going to go big, that this was not going to be a small skirmish. I mean, how quickly did it become apparent that this was gonna be a big event?
When I saw them flip the station like that, the intentions were pretty clear at that point. This was going to be more than a skirmish.
Manny: When I saw them flip the station like that, the intentions were pretty clear at that point. This was going to be more than a skirmish. What wasn’t clear at that point is when I dropped everything back into system and warped to the station. I didn’t expect Laz and CFC and the Russian counterparts to counter escalate with their supers and their Titans, I didn’t think that would be the case.
Xander: Ok, and when did you start having, at what point, I mean obviously the battle went on a very long period of time, you know, it was a very extended fight, especially at 10% tidi. But at what point did you start having concerns that this wasn’t going to be your day?
Manny: As soon as they dropped Titans, like I knew it was going to be bad from there on. Because the thing about tidi is while the rest of the server is going along plugging away at normal time, in that system only seconds for minutes of [real] time. So pretty much it allows them, it allows everybody to keep throwing things into the fight if they so choose. I knew that since they had committed Titans already, that they would be willing to commit everything that they could possibly bring to bear. At that point I was simply trying to do the best with the situation that we could and take it from there.
Xander: Laz. Obviously the fight went on for a very long period of time as we just said. For you what was the turning point? A lot of people, and I was there, and from listening a lot of people seem to suggest that when PL and N3 called Sort primary, which I think was roundabout 19:00 EVE – I can’t remember the exact time but it was roundabout then I think – was that for you the tipping point?
I think that was a big deal. I think we’ve dropped 5 Titans while they were targeting Sort
Laz: Oh I think that was a big deal. I think we’ve dropped 5 Titans while they were targeting Sort. And Sort actually lost bonuses for a second, which we thought was going to end him there. But we were able to get bonuses back onto him. It was a little iffy because once they swapped onto our Ragnaroks, we lost them very quickly because we didn’t have proper shield bonuses on them. But my kind of I guess first real upswing in the fight I think was when PL and N3 decided to doomsday dreads at the start. And actually that’s something I learned from the HED fight was that in that much tidi and lag, the real damage was going to be coming from your fighter bombers and your DDs. So I went into the fight thinking we need to clear off Erebus bonuses and their DDs off the field first thing – immediately cut down the number of DDs and they are gonna be able to put DPS on the field less.
Xander: Sort tanked for like, it was like, obviously we are still in tidi, but for like 3 hours. I mean it was ridiculous. How was he able to tank for as long as he did compared to how everybody else was doing at the time?
Laz: He was able to overload his hardeners really early and we also, that’s when we had swapped from cynoing in more dreads to triage, so we were able to get quite a bit of reps on him at the same time.
Xander: We were discussing tidi there Manny. Were you surprised at how well the server held up over the duration of the fight?
Laz played this beautifully, like, I can’t say anything bad about any decision he made – he played it perfectly
Manny: It went pretty good, Laz played this beautifully, like, I can’t say anything bad about any decision he made – he played it perfectly. He kept subcaps out of the system as much as he could, the ones that were in, they weren’t dropping drones. To touch on what he said about DDs, the server was performing pretty decently at first and the dread DPS was more effective at that point so I removed as much, I was removing dread DPS as fast as I can while the server was still performing pretty well. When it started chugging I swapped to Titans. Maybe I should have swapped earlier, who knows. That’s all hindsight now, but we knew that Veritas had said that he isolated the problem that was causing nodes to crash, and he had fixed that, and that had been known for a little while. So I didn’t have fear of the server crashing or anything. But yeahh, going back, Laz just played it perfectly. I mean he did every possible thing you could do right, right!
Laz: I was really surprised that the node held up because as far as I know that node was not reinforced.
Xander: It wasn’t reinforced as far as I am aware. I have actually spoken to a couple of members of CCP to discuss that with them, and the node wasn’t reinforced, which is pretty astounding when you think about it. There were a few points where it got a bit stuttery, but it held up pretty well I thought.
Laz: I really thought it was going to go down at one point once PL regrouped and started smartbombing, every single ship smartbombing. I literally thought it was about to crash.
Xander: Manny, was there ever any kind of thought, suggestion, attempt to do a Boat troll and deliberately try and bring, I mean obviously you would never do this, but let’s talk real, was there ever any attempt to try and crash the node, was that ever a consideration?
Manny: No, because we knew the node wouldn’t crash. They fixed it, and HED was under much more load than B-R was and it, you know, had held up fine, it was chugging but it held up fine. No. In reference to the smartbombs we tried to do smartbombs to clear the enemy fighter bombers off. I’m not quite sure how effective that was, we saw some died, but others were…
Laz: yeahh, we had very few drones take damage during that.
I’m always of the opinion that to get a great fight, an exciting and enjoyable fight, you have to lose your hull, like the ship that you are flying. And that’s the price of admission. And I think everybody gets treated to the most epic fight in the history of online gaming
Manny: Yeah so, we tried it for what seemed like eternity, but was actually only 4 cycles of smartbombs, and then we turned them off after gauging how effective it was or ineffective. So yeah, I’m a firm believer in, I love PVP, I love fleet battles its my favourite thing. I’m always of the opinion that to get a great fight, an exciting and enjoyable fight, you have to lose your hull, like the ship that you are flying. And that’s the price of admission. And I think everybody gets treated to the most epic fight in the history of online gaming. Like there has never been anything that can even come close to a parallel of what happened yesterday, and while tidi is not the most enjoyable experience, it was truly epic on levels that we will be discussing for months from now.
Laz: What’s really as astounding is just the stamina that the pilots that were with PL and N3 from 02:00. Because like I said I went into that knowing that Manny’s been awake, all their pilots have been awake for MTO and they had been in fleet for at least 3 / 4 hours before this point. So I knew there would be some certain point of exhaustion.
Xander: I mean I was in the fight from around about 15:00 EVE to about 22:00 when I was killed, and even by that point as a grunt, just trying to listen in and take notes I was shattered at the end of that. I mean the thought of being an FC and the number of channels you have to listen to at the same time and trying to, you know, with such large stakes on the ground I can’t even imagine how difficult that was.
The big thing is people won’t really understand the magnitude of what an FC has to deal with
Laz: The big thing is people won’t really understand the magnitude of what an FC has to deal with, especially when you are dealing with something like that and dealing with multiple fleets. Ther’es a text message screen cap between me and Vee floating around.
Xander: Yeah, I seen that on Kugu.
Laz: This is literally me trying to run every single fleet while everyone else is trying to give opinion on what they think we should do instead of just letting me think. And I am sure Manny has experienced that as he starts FCing bigger and bigger coalitions, I mean it’s a lot of the process. Especially whenever you are on Russian command chat and some of them are speaking Russian some of the time so you don’t know what the fuck’s going on.
I am connected to several Jabbers, IRC, Skype. I’ve got two or three comms running, I’ve got intel sources from all over the maps giving me feedback. Different FCs giving me feedback, scouts giving me feedback, intel and information. Processing it all, and delegating and keeping everybody informed
Manny: Yeah like I am connected to several Jabbers, IRC, Skype. I’ve got two or three comms running, I’ve got intel sources from all over the maps giving me feedback. Different FCs giving me feedback, scouts giving me feedback, intel and information. Processing it all, and delegating and keeping everybody informed. It’s quite a mental undertaking. At the end of these big fights you’re physically just exhausted to the point that you don’t want to think, you just wanna go sit somewhere quiet and not think about anything.
Laz: At about 2am my time last night I handed the fleets over to other people and let them finish clearing up things and I jumped out and logged off. Both my Titans were out of fuel, I think one of them had like 2000 isotopes left when I finally jumped out. It was a long night.
Xander: I can imagine. Well, I can’t actually to be honest, but I could take a guess. Obviously at some point during the fight Manny, I don’t know if it was yourself or someone else, but somebody would have made the call to extract. At what point did that happen, and how difficult was that call? What’s the kind of thought processes that go into making that decision when you eventually made it?
Manny: I actually didn’t make that decision, I was asleep by that time. But I think it was along the lines of ‘well uh, we’re not killing anymore Titans here, and we’re still losing Titans, well, maybe its time to start looking towards the exit’.
Laz: Yeah, that’s probably the hardest, in a fight with capitals or anything with expensive shit involved, that has to be the hardest call, because as soon as you make that call, you start hemorrhaging ships.
Manny: Yeah, pretty much, so yeah we all agreed as long as we could keep killing we were going to stay. We were hoping that USTZ would shift and we would gain a bigger advantage because CFC didn’t have as many USTZ supers down here. And with short notice we weren’t sure how much of their USTZ supercap force they could move down. Obviously the Russians aren’t going to have a strong force in USTZ. So we were hoping that we would be resurging in the USTZ and be able to shift the balance of the fight. But unfortunately that wasn’t so much the case.
Laz: Yeah, there was a point that I started to worry a bit because we had no more DDs cycling. What really helped us throughout the fight was we had enough Titans where every single primary we were able to fire probably 3 or 4 DDs on em and push em over the edge of the reps. But at one point we were completely out of DDs. It might have been SpaceRanger Joe or something. But he was tanking for quite a long time and we had nothing we could do to him. Then the Russians came in with I think like 15 more Titans and we went from worrying to like thank God.
Xander: That made the difference.
Xander: So Laz, the circumstances of B-R were a little bit different with respect that, as Manny already mentioned, a lot of effort was put into ensuring that there was only supers and Titans in system, to try and avoid the situation we had in HED where the node just simply can’t handle it. As a thought exercise, If we presumed that there hadn’t been hardware and software limitations, in place that we currently experience – you know, the servers and tidi and things like that – how do you think the fight would have went?
Laz: To be honest, if there was no tidi, I think we would have handily won the fight just because with no tidi, and that amount of DPS, it is impossible to switch targets quick enough to rep. So it would be the sheer amount of dread DPS – which I think we had 600 dreads on the field, 600 dreads can almost kill a Titan instantly. Its hard to say just because once you start losing those dreads there is a point where you reach peak reps where the DPS can’t beat the reps, so it would really be a toss up.
Xander: We discussed earlier Manny, at the start of the record, that one of the things you are most famous for is inventing the slowcat which is now obviously omnipresent across 0.0, and one of the recent inventions that PL have come up with is the Wrecking Ball. What does B-R mean if anything about the future of Wrecking Ball as a valid doctrine or fleet formation for want of a better term?
The only thing that beats Wrecking Ball is a larger Wrecking Ball… it’s still the strongest possible fleet comp you can put together in 0.0
Manny: Yeah, its still very valid, the only thing that beats Wrecking Ball is a larger Wrecking Ball, and Laz brought a larger Wrecking Ball! So its still a valid tactic. Weather we will be able to use it reliably in the coming days, weeks, months is very much in question, but yeah, it’s still the strongest possible fleet comp you can put together in 0.0.
Laz: I absolutely agree with Manny, especially in the fact that we never really killed that many supers yesterday, and that’s what makes up the core of the Wrecking Ball is the supercapital reps. And its not going to be every day that the Rus or the CFC are going to be able to escalate and counter that kind of ship comp because N3 and PL are able to put 150 to 300 carriers with just a ping onto the field, and that’s a lot of stuff to jump into if you’re escalating and CFC kind of has a history of not taking that rISK.
Xander: And is this an indication, was this just a perfect storm for CFC to escalate the way they did, or is this a change in mentality, or, its been kind of thought that CFC are perhaps a little bit more hesitant to use supers and Titans because we know how strong N3 and PL are in that regard. Is this a marked change in theory in how we actually use our supers or is this a one-off?
Real talk, definitely, both sides are going to look at things differently from now on. I think for both sides it changes the game
Manny: Real talk, definitely, both sides are going to look at things differently from now on. Laz stepped up to the plate, and that has to be taken into consideration every single operation from now on. And conversely, I mean Laz can speak for himself, but I think they now know what they have to do in order to be able to beat it. I’ll let Laz talk, but yeah, I think for both sides it changes the game.
Laz: Well, like Manny said earlier I mean we have a history of not stepping up to the plate. Our biggest thing, and it’s why we chastise ourselves after every single op is that we have a tendency to hesitate and question if we could win, or if we should do this, and then by the time we are like ‘ok yeah we can do this, lets jump in’, by that time the hostiles or whoever we are fighting at the time have already had enough time to up the force to counter what we were going to jump in. One of the biggest examples is during the Halloween War we’ve actually tackled PL Titans 3 or 4 times by themselves, but we haven’t been quick enough to say ‘alright, lets drop fucking dreads’. Drop those 20 dreads, suicide the dreads, kill the Titan. But we have not been quick enough to pull the trigger and say ‘ok, go for it’. I think this time I actually just said ‘just do it, go for it’ and as soon as he warped the station, we midpointed our supers and went in.
When it comes to this type of stuff, you just have to pull the trigger, and you have to simply believe. And that’s all you can do. You can make educated guesses about things, but you never know exactly how its going to play out
Manny: Yeah, Laz is exactly right. We’re dealing with large coalitions with thousands and thousands and thousands of players. You know, multiple billions and trillions of ISK in ships, and you would think that everything is very, very calculated. But when it comes to this type of stuff, you just have to pull the trigger, and you have to simply believe. And that’s all you can do. You can make educated guesses about things, but you never know exactly how its going to play out and as yesterday showed in B-R, I thought I was going to put everything onto the station, and I wouldn’t be out-escalated. I didn’t even think they would escalate with supers and Titans, and everything was going to be ok for me like it had been 100 times before. But… It wasn’t.
Laz: Yeah, I think everything had just lined up perfectly for me yesterday. I was able to get good positioning on the cap fleet where all the PL dudes undocking in their capitals were cut off. We were able to kill all of the dreads that undocked, all the carriers that undocked, without them being able to support the actual PL fleet. At one point when we were in the early fight while smartbombs were still affecting fighter bombers, we pulled them back so they would quit dying and we used fighter bombers to kill the stuff on top of the station, and then we put them on the edges of the fight to kill Titans. I think we actually lost probably about half our fighter bombers real early which was looking really nasty. If we had lost all of our fighter bombers the fight would have been over there.
Xander: And I mean from my perspective Laz, as like the rank and file dude, you know listening in to the supers channel on Mumble, I mean it sounded to me very easy. I mean it sounded like you guys were very much in control and there was no issues there and, it just sounded simple. It sounded like we were winning comfortably without any problems, but I mean how difficult is the coordination of that fight from your perspective? How difficult is it pulling together all those intel channels and all those different fleets – how much of a mind fuck is it? How difficult?
Laz: It’s extremely difficult, you have people talking in your ear, like for instance yesterday I was on two different mumbles, I had channel command on 3 different fleets talking to me, I had our subcaps, fleets that were camping GXK, fleets that were camping I-N, that had to be coordinated, that had to get bubbles, that had to have dreads. I believe Nulli tried to undock carriers to get into the fight and we actually dropped 20 dreads on top of those carriers, whenever they tried to engage us. So I mean we had fights going on in staging systems, we had B-R, we had logistics guys jumping into midpoints with Rorquals and jump freighters full of fuel so the Titans that were able to manage to get out of the fight they could refuel and jump back in. So I mean you’re looking at just tons of different things going on at once, not to mention since we are working with Russians there is a little bit of a language barrier that we have to deal with. We’re trying to talk with them, we’re trying to organise DDs. The biggest thing we don’t want to do is waste a DD. Especially since that’s the one thing we really got going for us right now, is that we are able to cycle 3 or 4 DDs per target. Because I was watching a video from Burning Napalm earlier showing the reps and, we could see the reps activating and the health going up and down and like, from my targeting, from my Titan, I didn’t really see the reps going off. But its really amazing to see how much those DDs affected it. The only reason Sort Dragon died is because 3 or 4 DDs cycled and they were able to push him down into structure.
Xander: So kind of dissecting things going forward now that the fight’s complete Manny, I mean how big a hit was this for PL? I mean how long do you realistically expect to take to cover the losses received over the last 36 hours?
It will probably take about a year total to get all 30 of those Titans back replaced
Manny: Its going to take quite a bit, I mean nobody has 30 Titans sitting around. We should be able to replace most of them pretty quickly back to the active pilots by shifting them from inactive pilots. And we’ll buy some, and maybe some will be built. But it will probably take about a year total to get all 30 of those Titans back replaced so we have the same amount of Titans we have now to what we had yesterday. So its a long process, and PL is extremely wealthy, but this type of hit to anybodies wallet is huge.
Laz: Its not really the money though, its the build time, its the build time. I mean you’re looking at 6 weeks per Titan. I think according to CCP we lost 16 Titans or something, even though I could have sworn it was at least 23.
Xander: The reports I was hearing were suggesting numbers in the regions of I think the high 70s for N3 and PL and mid 20s for CFC and Rus Rus.
Laz: I estimated 70 or so, or 65 to 70 are losses for N3 and then 23 or something was what I was counting and keeping that in my head.
Xander: CCP’s final reported numbers were 59 and 16 which seemed quite low to me on both sides compared to what I was hearing during the fight.
Manny: Yeah, its like lets just call it 70 Titans we’ll have a final number probably better in a few days or so. And 600+ dreads.
Laz: Which is kind of amazing because if you look at this war in general, I think theres been over 1000 dread losses.
I’d say we’re probably somewhere between 1250 and 1500 dread losses total in this war
Manny: I’d say we’re probably somewhere between 1250 and 1500 dread losses total in this war. There was probably I think somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 supercarrier losses, a couple hundred carriers, probably a good hundred billion worth of fighter bombers. Yeah, I mean this is scales that people haven’t even completely wrapped their head around yet.
Xander: And I mean thats the thing, thats the key point. I mean we talk about events like HED, we talk about 6V, we talk about Asakai as being big events. But this event, you know, B-R was so much more vastly bigger than any of those battles, I mean many, many multiple times bigger than any of those. How much of a shadow does this now put on the game as a whole? Is there going to be another B-R soon, or was this a completely freak event, or has this set a new template? Is this a new footprint on the game now going forward?
Laz: Well, its going to definitely make people think more. In particular in regards to the CFC just because before yesterday no-one would have expected us to jump in. No-one would have expected us to go in and start brawling with everything. Like Manny said, throughout this entire campaign we have made the mistake of not going in when we had the numbers and the ability to.
Xander: And how does…
Xander: Sorry Manny, on you go.
Manny: No, I was just going to say I pretty much agree with what Laz was saying, and its so hard to work as, to predict – I think it would take some pretty special circumstances for a fight to eclipse B-R any time in the next 6 months to a year, but I could be wrong – it could happen tomorrow. And that’s how these things happen. They are usually never planned – Asakai, O-O, B-R. Most of these things happen with no notice, with no way to predict or forecast how its going to go, or what the outcome will be as you’re going into it. You just gotta believe.
Laz: And well, its like Manny said, he was the only person around to do things, and I was the only person for CFC around so it was literally just me and him – fuck it.
Xander: And how does this affect PL’s involvement in this war, if at all Manny? I read your AMA today on Reddit, which was amazing by the way. It was really interesting reading that and checking out some of your replies. But your kind of suggesting there that PL need to take some time to reevaluate and lick your wounds a little bit. Do you remain in this war for just now? Or do you pull back and just kind of leave things for a little while? What happens for PL and the rest of this war now?
PL have been in these situations before where they have taken incredible losses, I mean B-R definately is the largest, but we’ve been in these situations before, so the alliance has learned in the past how to cope with these situations
Manny: I can’t really say a whole lot because it’s OpSec. Our allies, nothing changes as far as who our allies are, and what our agreements are. PL have been in these situations before where they have taken incredible losses, I mean B-R definately is the largest, but we’ve been in these situations before, so the alliance has learned in the past how to cope with these situations. So going forward is going to be business as usual as far as PL. Now whether we are creating offensive timers in the south or so on and so forth, that’s OpSec and I won’t comment on it. But nothing changes as far as who our allies are and what agreements we have, so on and so forth.
Xander: And the age old rule that PL are fucked in Y- Systems, is it B- now? Is it anything ‘tack’? what’s the rules now, how does that change?
Manny (over Xander’s laughter): We’ve gotten over the ‘Y’ part, we just gotta get over the ‘tack’ part now. (Laz joins in the laughter)
Laz: I think, I am the guy that gave the order for the dreads to jump into HED, and I think from watching HED it definitely gave me a huge advantage when it came to yesterday. Like I said, from watching HED and learning from HED, I knew that the priority was to be getting the DDs off the field and blapping the Titans.
Manny: Laz is a very good dear friend of mine and so, I gave him a pretty good walloping in HED, he returned the favour in B-R. I can promise you that I’ll be trying to engineer or plot a situation where I can pay him back and no matter what we’re going to stay friends.
Laz: EVE does, you don’t have to hate your opponent in EVE. I mean, I know I get along with most of the people I’m fighting right now, and you don’t have to hate them, you don’t have to have some grudge – it can be fun.
Xander: Its a game after all, when you drill all down, its a game
We been to Fanfest with these people, or EVE meetups, we’ve shared a beer with them, we’ve sat and played other games with them. It’s impossible to hate people, you know its just, its impossible
Manny: And most of us, especially at Laz and I’s level, we’ve been playing so long that we’ve got to know these people, even the people we call our worst enemy. We been to Fanfest with these people, or EVE meetups, we’ve shared a beer with them, we’ve sat and played other games with them. It’s impossible to hate people, you know its just, its impossible. The other guy or girl on the other side of the side of the screen doing the same thing that you’re doing.
Xander: Progod and Sort might argue with that but we’ll leave that for another day. Erm, the next question is for you Laz, and I didn’t make this question up, HVAC from Goonswarm sent me this question so, a little bit of a warning. He says a lot of the media are reporting this as a strategic win for the Mittani, but most of the on-field decisions, especially the key ones on the day, were made by you. Does that grate at all? A bit of a :shotsfired: question from him a little bit I think.
Laz: No, Mittens likes his news reports, I’m not too worried about it.
Xander: So theres no animosity there or…?
Laz: I actually woke him up yesterday because I needed somebody to bang drums, and he is the best at banging drums. So I called his cell phone, woke him up, at that point he had only been asleep for two hours. But he got up and started beating on drums, got people showing up and all that.
Xander: Some of those fucking pings were amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Mittens is pretty much the Stiffmeister. He’s the grand fucking facilitator
Manny: To quote somebody famous, Mittens is pretty much the Stiffmeister. He’s the grand fucking facilitator.
Xander: Ah, ok, we are almost done here gents, and I’ll let you go away and do your stuff but, Manny, the kind of last question. Obviously last week we had the kind of re-announcement, the reaffirmation of the OTEC agreement and the kind of BotLRD agreement that goes along with that. Does B-R change that in any way?
Manny: No, not in my mind. It was fair game, B-R was fair game and had CFC been living in a conquerable and the same thing happened to them happened in some region, that’s fair game.
Laz: I mean the big thing to point out though is the agreement was signed pre-HED, that way anything that happened in HED or anything after HED, shit was signed.
Xander: Yeah ok. Final question then, and this is to both of you. It was obviously a huge event in the history of EVE. It was massive. How does this change the shape of 0.0 politics moving forward? I realise this is a big question, but what are the long term changes that this could develop into?
Laz: I don’t think your going to see much change in politics. I mean you’ll probably see a big morale boost for the Russians and you’ll probably see a lot of sov structures reinforced by the Russians in response to that morale boost but politically I don’t see anything changing.
The sov system really needs to be reworked and force projection really needs to be reworked
Manny: Yeah, I agree. I think if anything everybody sees, from both sides, things like the sov system really needs to be reworked and force projection really needs to be reworked. Because right now we are all playing the game that CCP is handing us and we’re going to continue to do that. But if we could somehow change the paradigm to where we are not trying to shove every warm body into a single system, or its harder to shove every warm body into a single system and fights are more regional or localised then it would be less of a tidi situation. More enjoyable experience for everybody and more dynamic I think.
Xander: Ok, so I wasn’t expecting the conversation to go down this direction, but I’m quite interested. You’re both obviously two of the most experienced FCs in EVE Online full stop. I mean what is the solution to the sov mechanics? Is it trying to split the force up so there is different objectives in different systems for example? I mean obviously the hardware simply can’t do what we are wanting it to do, I mean HED-GP proved that. How do you, using game mechanics, how do you solve this problem?
Manny: Well, I’m not a game developer by any stretch, but I would think like, this idea has been suggested a lot about multi-system objectives and things like that. If they can somehow change force projection so maybe it’s harder for capitals to travel across the universe in as short a period of time, or jump bridges could only go half the distance, or things like that. Or if you are away from your space it is very vulnerable and harder to get back to defend. Things like that where people have to make very conscious choices and its not just where the current status quo where everybody just comes from one direction and piles everything they have into this one point and expects the server hardware to just magically allow it to happen in a way that’s not soul crushing.
Laz: Yeah, the force projection is kinda a big thing. That’s probably been our biggest thing, biggest subject of, rather biggest problem in this war. We have people hitting things in Feyth and Omist and stuff like that, and you have PL and N3, they jump in their carriers, they’re instantly there. They need to go up to MTO, they are there. Whereas us, we are all like where’s our Titan bridge, let’s go 7 jumps with our Titan bridge, meanwhile they are jumping regions. You just can’t keep up if you’re trying to cover that with subcaps.
Manny: Yeah, we are both old school players, and I can remember back in the day. There would be a huge war, like I originally started out in Querious, and there would be a huge war in Fountain. My alliance went to Fountain I think twice and it was an all day affair to go there and come home, and fight. Just for one fleet battle. That kinda localised and limited the scope of those wars to where they were a little bit more manageable for server hardware and more enjoyable for the participants in that localised regional conflict.
Xander: Ok then gents. I think the thing that surprised me the most in the aftermath of B-R is how chill everybody’s been about it. Everybody seems to have been pleased to have taken part in such a huge event. Ok, some guys lost and some guys won obviously but the fact is that even guys like Grath seem to be relatively chill compared to what I was perhaps expecting. I think that everybody is just pleased that we had a huge fight and tidi didn’t ruin it too much. I think a lot of that is down to the fact that you two showed an absolutely ridiculous set of balls between the pair of you so, I guess I just want to thank you guys. a) for coming on the show and talking about it, and b) having the guts and balls to kick off the biggest fight in EVE history, so thanks guys for coming on the show.
Laz: My pleasure it was a lot of fun I mean anytime I can shoot the shit with Manny I am more than happy to do it.
I think thats why most people are ok with what happened yesterday. Everybody brought what they could, put it all on the field, fought like lions and let the chips fall where they fell, and that’s that. Tomorrow is a brand new day
Manny: Likewise Laz is a good man, a good friend and you know I think the reason why everybody is satisfied with yesterday was it was an affirmation for both sides. Our side had been saying for a long time that should the day come that they drop everything we are in trouble. For CFC’s side and the Russian side they have affirmation in the fact that they dropped everything and it worked so we can do this. So I think thats why most people are ok with what happened yesterday. Everybody brought what they could, put it all on the field, fought like lions and let the chips fall where they fell, and that’s that. Tomorrow is a brand new day.
Laz: Next week we will lose all of our supercaps because of the hubris of us knowing that we won a fight with them.
Xander: Just don’t give Boat, just don’t let Boat FC supers. Just don’t do it. Under any circumstance.
Manny: Boat’s a good man.
Laz: Don’t pick on Boat, I like Boat.
Xander: Ok, ok. fair enough.
Laz: Boat’s a good FC.
Manny: I like that guy, he gets a lot of shit, he’s a good guy.
Xander: Yeah, he gets a lot of shit. But that outfit at Fanfest. C’mon to fuck. Seriously.
Guys, Thanks again for coming on the show. You must be exhausted. I appreciate you’ve both had very busy days I’m guessing. You’ve taken an hour out of your time to come talk to me so I appreciate that, and thanks very much both of you!
I’ve been Xander Phoena, you’ve been listening to Crossing Zebras, until next time, fly safe o7