Unpleasant move ops have been a recurring event in Eve since early in the game. The ones that stand out, having taken hours upon hours, are likewise a repeat occurrence. This past weekend, Pandemic Legion completed one of the first large scale move ops in the post-Phoebe Eve and I had the pleasure of being part of it. It was exhausting. Jump fatigue has been incredibly effective at limiting mobility, making the Eve cluster the massive place it was before the runaway prevalence of capital ships. It gave me plenty of time to reflect back on past move ops and how they have evolved over the years.
I’ve heard people speak about the horrors of transporting materiel in the early days of Eve. My experience during that time period was running smack into the learning cliff a few times, further complicated by CTDs, before rage quitting. So, I’ll fast forward to my first experience with relocating as a group in Eve. From the campfire-esque stories shared over alcohol at Fanfest, it is a pretty good example of moving ops of that time.
I was part of a low sec pirate group who decided to try our hand at living in and camping a null sec entry system. It was a two day affair, and we ended up losing our Thanatos to The Arrow Project (pre-Morsus Mihi) while onlining our POS. That was my first experience and it was a devastatingly painful one. Carriers were a pretty rare thing at the time, having only recently been released, so it wasn’t used for hauling anything but the tower out. Iterons by the scores moved POS modules, fuel, ammo, etc. When the carrier became tackled, we “rushed” back to low sec in our haulers to switch to combat ships, flew back by gate, and attempt to save the Thanny. The move op had been going on for hours by that point. The fight over the carrier lasted at least an hour. The time commitment to accomplish things in Eve was significantly longer then than it is today.
Flash forward two years to the next major relocation I remember. It was during the Second Great War. Haargoth had just pressed the button and a massive train of carriers and dreads were moving across the south towards Delve. POSes were slightly broken at the time, so the convoys were repeatedly halted to save random capital ships that were suddenly and unexpectedly attacked by alliance/blue POSes. It was a multi-hour long nightmare fraught with unexpected roadblocks, but also a far sight easier than it had once been. The sheer number of carriers moving ships and equipment to the front was a dramatic shift from move ops during previous years. It was the beginning of 2009 and the suitcase carrier was becoming a phenomenon, however, other broken mechanics were still a constraint.
The following years saw capital ships became increasingly prevalent. Power projection increased, as did the number and capabilities of super capitals, coalitions rose and fell. Suitcase move ops became a near perfect science for some groups, while others struggled.
2012 saw yet another op, commonly referred to as the Trail of Tears, where CFC forces moved from the north to the south, over a period of many hours. It was a trail of tears primarily due to stupidity and drunkenness. However, their constraints were primarily their own, not based in game mechanics. Other groups were making a habit of moving across fairly wide swaths of space in under an hour of time.
Much to the delight of CCP Greyscale, no doubt, this recent move op has shown that there is now a significant risk to move operations. Black Legion slowed Pandemic Legion’s move to a crawl by harrying the fleet the entire 19 gate distance. Significant levels of metagaming were also used to create stragglers that could be pounced upon and killed. What would have taken 30 minutes at most in the past, stretched for four hours and cost half a dozen capitals and much patience.
So, assuming you aren’t in one of the Legions and haven’t had the pleasure/misfortune of a post-Phobe op, the suitcase carrier isn’t dead. It is significantly neutered, but it remains the best way to relocate your assets. Mission successful, CCP Greyscale. You jerk.
Tags: Bagehi, nullsec, phoebe