EvE – Null sec…lag city

Before whine mode is engaged and I begin to write about EvE online I am first going to set out how the network we are using here works. It is quite possibly the most complex network ever devised and makes my previous internet connection in my previous address look very basic. I lived in a huge city with a T1 line, never had lag, perfect FPS, everything was instant, no wait times…it was like heaven. And then we moved to a rural area and things became quite different.

We built our small apartment on land next to her parents house, where the switch is located. Our 2 PC’s go to a router, which goes into our wall, where a long cable runs underground from the apartment to the house to the wall of the room with the switch. Then a cable from the wall to the switch, then 2 cables from the switch to 2 satellite TV boxes and 2 further PC’s, then of course the ADSL cable to the wall where the internet connection to the house runs to the rest of the world. Sounds fun yes?

Here is a diagram.

All those lines are cables to/from something to another something.

Now that we have established that my internet is not the best internet I can start attacking things.

Zoomed as far as I can from this fight, it still looked really impressive.

I have no clue how large alliances deal with lag in EvE online. No clue at all. If 500 people are in the same system, the game can’t deal with it. So many things going on, drones, different rates of fire, different ammo types, different ships, different types of modules, ship movement, and about 100000 other things all wanting to happen in the same period of time. If the game can’t deal with it, how do the FC’s of large battles deal with it? Call a target, tell your fleet where to align to, and hope for the best and that lag is on your side.

It seems like an exercise in futility.

With titans being shot at, the field started to look a bit bsier as more and more people piled into the system.

Part of the reason large battles happen is the strategic value of certain systems at any certain time. And then there is the “shoot the shiny shit” syndrome where fights over super capitals are valued above other fights because the ISK/death ratio is much higher. When titans are involved with a battle, it’s like flies on shite. Everyone X’s up from several different alliances and we all rush there to shoot at it. In our scenario in these screenshots the culprit’s were not 1 titan, but 3.

The 3 amigos. Erebus, Avatar and Ragnarok.

When the chance to form up for a battle such as this, I joined as soon as I was able to log in. No way in hell am I missing a fight like this, no way. That’s the mentality you have to have as well, you can’t be shy to stay away from fights you know are going to draw the crowds. X up and just grin and bear it, take a book, you’re going to need something to do as your ship takes 10 minutes to engage warp or start shooting.

The ship call was for something I can not use so I took a stealth bomber instead, loaded some ammo and some e.w. and hoped that I could at least help shoot something. Our FC was very good, and I tried to keep up with the target calling but after 5 minutes or so my internet just couldn’t handle it. My client was locking up targets that were allready destroyed. More than once had I an Abaddon with 3 red bars locked up, or a Gaurdian that was trying to be locked up for a few minutes. It was quite irritating BUT it was also good, because I knew we were winning.

And suddenly, the fight we thought was in 0.0 turned out to be at the undock of Jita 4-4

1137 was the highest I could see local at. Jita numbers in null sec ladies and gentlemen. I’m not sure if any alliance leader put petitions for more node support like we are supposed to, I think that they didn’t. Also I am wondering about how that system works, I understand as “We say we are going to fight in system X at XXXX o’clock, can we have node support please?”. And then CCP just sort it out for us. What happens when we can’t say where we are going to fight, or have no hope of anticipating where a large fight will happen at such short notice.Or can we just call it in like an air strike, “WE GOT A FIGHT ON HERE GENERAL! GIVE US SOME SUPPORT!”.

I think we can all agree that giving CCP notice of anything from 24 hours is just not happening. Alliances don’t arrange large scale fights like Don King does. We don’t know for certain that 8 months from now we are drawing in millions from across the globe to watch, we don’t know for certain that it’s going to be a sell out crowd at the venue, we don’t know for certain what fighters are going to be present.

So again, I don’t understand how large alliances can work like this. “We get by”, might be the typical answer.

oh really

Interference is why I can’t do anything with my ship. This is much like in American Football. When the reciever of a thrown ball is interferred with by way of, tripping, grabbing onto their helmet grill, pulling down on their shirt, pushing them, grabbing onto their arms or any other way of interferring before the ball is caught. CCP see that you want to perform an action with your ship but before your PC sends the signal to the server CCP swat it away with the lag-bat. Only there is no ref’ to call bullshit and issue penalties.

The greatest overview ever.

At some point in one of my waiting sessions during the fight, I think maybe during a moment where I was cloaked up shooting torpedos, I took some screenshots of my overview. A tab I have set up for supercapitals…I didn’t have that tab before this fight, but managed to make it during because as I keep saying, I had all the time in the world to do things becuase of lag. The overview was AWESOME. It took 3 whole screenshots with my overview fully stretched to capture every ship. That’s 3 columns of friendly supercapitals. Just look at all of those titans!

Eventually though, the only fun I was really having besides listening to the FC on comms were the effects lag was having on my ship. The module delay was so stupid that I was indeed shooting while cloaked. At the same time my MWD was stuck and I was moving at around 3000 m/s permanently for the whole fight. Cloaked or not. And it wasn’t using any cap what so ever. Just zoom zoom zoom all of the time. I made some pretty nice fly by’s of all the titans and took some nice screenshots for my collection.

At some point I was even being shot at. Laser beams stabbing at my ship all of the time, I must have been destroyed 100 times or more during that fight, but lag preserved my ship. Until I decided to leave.

Hey look, my ship has 2 pod's and one pod has yet to be destroyed! It must be the damage control I have installed.

The next system was also laggy as all hell. So like a smart boy I warped to somewhere random and waited for a short while before warping to a celestial close to my exit gate, bouncing from there to my exit gate. Upon arrival I found myself 30 km away, thinking this a bit odd I clicked to approach the gate and waited as my ship crawled to it. After 3000m to the gate I spammed the jump button 3 or 4 times and waited as the jumping message confirmed this. And then suddenly bubbles were everywhere, and a fleet was ontop of me and I was in my pod.

These things were not there a minute ago.

Not only was I in my pod but I was sat on the gate that was telling me I was jumping through it only for it to now say that traffic control is under staffed and would I please mind waiting a moment. Oh and my corpse was there aswell. That was a good moment, something else I hadn’t actually ever seen before. Normally when podded you wake up in a station. And here I was actually next to my own corpse, which I’ve never seen before. It was quite surreal.

If my internet is not like it is, if CCP had solutions to problems like these, if all the planets came into alignment, cats and dogs living together, and if Sonic the Hedgehog making a comeback would all make a difference then perhaps EvE would have one more star of awesome above other games. Large fights though, are not the most ideal with CCP’s current ability.


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June 2011
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