Almost five years of deployments and move ops have instilled in me a need to get in on any move ops as early as possible. In my experience, if you are not on a move op and at the destination in the first 48 hours, move ops quickly start to taper off and getting to the destination becomes increasingly problematic.
With that experience in mind I was up on Saturday morning and in the first fleet op I could find.
As I mentioned last week, we had been told that we would be moving out to a new home come the weekend. That new home is Delve, a surprise to almost nobody. Delve is where Goons go when they don’t know where they should go. Of course, the last time we left Delve, during the great consolidation before Fozzie Sov, I was very diligent in extracting every asset from the region. Another lesson learned; just leave stuff in Delve. We’ll be back eventually.
Anyway, the destination was clear. We would be leaving Saranen in Lonetrek for Delve.
Of course, this could not/would not remain a secret… it was announced on Reddit before we were told officially… and so the path to Delve would be festooned with traps and those looking for stragglers and solo travelers for easy kills. There was apparently a very successful batch of smart bombing battleships sitting on a gate in Aridia that knocked off a stream of Imperium pilots making the run south in interceptors.
Thus, being in a move op convoy was all the more important. So I jumped into Asher’s subcap fleet that was forming up. We undocked after a bit and headed out to a titan for a bridge. We were on our way.
Except, of course, we were not on our way. Subcap move ops to Delve had not yet… and as of this writing have not yet… begun. We were formed up to cover the movement of supercaps as they started their way down south, a necessary if tedious duty. I spent more than three hours in the fleet and the biggest event was when NCDot nearly caught a Leviathan off of a citadel.
We were rushed off the moment that seemed to be a possibility, but by the time we arrived the Leviathan was safely off and NCDot’s Macheariel strike force was sitting about getting hit by the citadel’s gunner.
As the morning wore on into afternoon, I had other things to do and dropped out of the fleet in a station a few jumps from Saranen. However, given how well camped the area around Saranen has been, that ship is now effectively out of range of Saranen unless I can find a fleet to swing by and pick me up.
Later in the day things were still going on, but I remained stranded so eventually decided to clone jump back to Saranen. Since move ops seemed to be picking up for capitals, I thought I might pack up my carrier and see if I could that moved down south. That would be one major anxiety off my list.
I was able to stuff almost all of my remaining ships into it, leaving behind only a couple of combat ships for our current doctrines. Those I figured could wait for subcap convoys and would remain available for any further cover operations we might have to run. I also bought quite a bit of fuel for the run, just to be safe. My carrier, packed up, was ready to move.
Sunday morning I was up in time to get into a capital move op led by Jay Amazingness. The pace for that was… slow. We had to wait for some people to jump their capitals into Saranen, and then wait for their jump fatigue to fully subside before we were able to undock and make our first jump. But the time finally came and we were told to undock and jump to the cyno that had been lit for us.
It was at that point I had a problem.
I had never been in a fleet with other capital ships before. I have had the carrier for almost three years now, and have jumped it to various locations in the past, but that was always in a two person fleet. So I have always just right-clicked on my alt in the fleet window and selected “Jump To” from there. But now I was in a fleet over 150 players strong and had no idea who had actually lit the cyno.
So I had to speak up on voice coms to ask how to jump to the cyno the fleet was going to, and immediately became “that guy” in fleet once again. Jay, after asking a couple of questions to determine I was in the right ship in the correct location, told me to right-click on my capacitor and select “Jump To” from there. With that bit of information, I jumped successfully to the first waypoint. Jay was quick and efficient in his response, leaving the mockery for after. Even a few hours later he was complaining about the sort of people who were in his fleet, citing the fact that he had a guy who didn’t even know how to jump to a cyno.
We jumped, docked up, and then we waited. As it turned out, we were going to sit and wait for everybody’s jump fatigue, the blue timer, to run down after each jump. That wasn’t made clear, at least not to me, for the first two jumps. So the first time around I sat there patiently at my desk for the 54 minute timer and then while longer as people got back together and we were cleared for the next jump.
The second time around I asked if we were going to wait down the timer again, but got no response as I think Jay had already wandered off for the timer. I didn’t sit there the whole time, but I kept an eye on things, lest I get left behind. By the third jump I was fully aware of the process. However, we hit a point where the move op was halted, just over a dozen gates from Saranen. We were going to hold there while other move ops got people up to that point. After that, further ops would move forward from our current location.
That left me committed to moving the carrier, with my jump clone timer still many hours from letting me shift again. As the day moved on, more pings went out for fleets and move ops, but nothing from my location. Then, during the evening, after a couple of pings for caps to form up in Saranen, I saw a ping in the evening that announced that caps from my location had successfully moved closer to Delve. I clearly missed an opportunity to move on.
That is where the great move stands for me right now. I am still in Black Rise, an awkward number of jumps from Delve. We have gotten the word that these move ops will keep going, so I hope to get end up down south this week. On the other hand, I don’t want to clone jump away from my carrier, sitting at an early waypoint station, lest I miss the ping that announces a move forward. So I am sort of stuck where I am.