Got home from my doctor's appointment and checked mail, then checked the GoonFleet Forums where I noted a big offensive op was being laid on for Monday night. Finally, a chance to shoot something! I went out and ran an errand for Detour, came back, sorted though mail, and finally started making my way from 1v, where I'd been planning to wait for my new cruisers (and had stashed some weapons & ammo against the happy day) down to 77s where the gang was assembling. No, I didn't wait for anyone else. Yes, I got podded. There went the last of my freebee newbee tackling frigates. However, since I'd moved my clone to 77s, it was all good, since there was a used Caracal missile cruiser sitting in the market. I bought it, fitted it with four missile launchers and a railgun, and loaded up with what I thought would be enough ammo. The fleet rolled out to trash the shields on an enemy station, and the ammo turned out to be insufficient. So I went back for more missiles and -what, they're out of railgun ammo? Well, let's see...they have a rocket launcher and a ton of rockets. Let's get those. Back on station. Station falls, nothing worth taking from my viewpoint, and we roll to the next station. More bombardment. I run out of ammo AGAIN. Back to 77s for the last time. This time I buy 2000 missiles and another thousand rockets. Just in case. Back to catch up with the fleet, and shortly thereafter the second station falls. On to the third station. By this time more dreadnaughts and battlewagons have shown up (the first two stations fell to a force of cruisers & destroyers, mostly, which is why it took so long to pound the shields down) so the third station went pretty quickly. I got in, replaced the crappy rocket launcher with a missile launcher, and added a ballistic control unit, so I felt ready to rock on back to 77s, solo if need be. There were about a dozen other guys heading back, so I didn't have to -and thank God they were, it was around midnight by the time we started back, and I was almost too tired to scout. Fortunately there were no hostiles, and I finally logged off around 0030 and crashed.
I have to say, getting 70+ ships in a system blasting away at a station makes for horrendous lag, but it's beautiful. Can't wait to see a major fleet action.
The stations being abandoned made me wonder if our enemies are trying to pull the same stunt Conrad Mazian was running against Union in the first part of Downbelow Station. If the GoonSwarm were a normal corp that does everything itself, that trick might work as players get diverted from the hot nasty PVP action on the front lines to relatively boring PVE (mining, ratting, trade) action in the new stations. However, Remedial and his brain trust who lead GS (to say nothing of our Russian allies) aen't stupid, and they've probably read that novel too. Thus, the Free Trade Zone that entices players out of empire space to do PVE stuff in 0.0 space, working out of GS stations in return for supplying fuel for those stations. No tax, no levee, just fuel the stations - which in fact is the major expense of running a POS. Thus the Unexpected Lovemaking Locomotive (to use one of the SFW euphemisms) is enabled to keep running on and over the remnants of our enemies and into the territory of the Main Enemy. Which keeps all the newbees who joined to blow stuff up happy, not to mention those older Goons whose main pleasure lies in PVP as opposed to embodying the Hebrew Nation In Space. I'm not sure what category I fall into, really; my character was optimized to kick butt at EW, but the lure of making money and selling stuff to help support the Swarm is strong.
Okay, enough blather about EVE for one day.