If you are a hardcore miner, the following blog post will probably set your blood on fire or make your lacrymal glands overflow. On Friday July 9th at 0000 evetime was the start of the year's most pyrotechnical event in EVE, Hulkageddon III. And right from the start the carnage has been nothing short of spectacular: as I'm writing this over a thousand capsuleers, both human and cybernetic, have had their exhumers taken away in a most violent fashion. Just over 500 mining barges have also been turned into space-faring molecules, and just shy of 25 Orcas have been on the receiving end of artillery volleys massive enough to finish the job before CONCORD had finished wiping the powdered sugar off its mustache.
As much as the most carebear of EVE's capsuleers hate it, Hulkageddon is nothing but a huge spoon to stir up the economy. Industrialists who saw the event coming are at this very moment making a fortune by supplying new ships not only to the miners who lost ships, but also to the event's participants who sacrificed countless ships and modules to the wrath of CONCORD. So yeah, if you are one of those miners who do nothing but mining in order to make your ISK, this is a very bad week for you. But two kinds of miners are getting hit the hardest: macro-miners and those that care for nothing but themselves, who do not read the forums or pay attention to the news articles when they log on, those who basically do not care that there's a world going on around them. Sure some newer pilots are getting hit because they put too many eggs in their basket, but the loss of their ships should teach them two things: to fly only what they can afford to lose, and that New Eden can be a dangerous place even in 0.9 security space. Nothing stops anyone from ninja-mining though; all a miner has to do is treat space as hostile, and watch Local and the D-scanner like any good pilot should. But mining is so boring an activity that most people do it AFK the majority of the time. Please don't come crying if stuff happens and you aren't paying attention.
For the first time since its beginnings two years ago, I decided to take part in the festivities as much as my limited schedule would allow, flying mostly solo at the start (and failing a lot!) and getting together with one small gang yesterday. But even though I know I am nowhere near any of the prizes, it was extremely fun to give suicide ganking a shot, even though it's not the most glamorous form of The PvP. But among the ships I participated in ganking, none of the victims (or even attempted victims) gave me hate-mail or even a bit of Local smacktalk. I was even thanked for informing a pilot that Hulkageddon had started. If that is not ganking failure I don't know what is !!! Most of my failures come from going solely for solo kills; I was either in systems where security was too high, therefore getting CONCORDOKKEN'd before my target blew up, starting my damage from the wrong range so not doing enough, or just plain flying solo and not getting together with gangs. Oh well, it was my first experience so I was bound to mess up here and there!
One thing that's undeniable, and quite amazing and fun, is the camaraderie that Hulkageddon creates. At any time during the event you will find a rather large amount of people in the event's channel with a mix of pilots from gankers posting their most recent kill, gangs trying to form up, scouts giving intel about mining ships left and right, and the occasional victim crying about how unfair this is and how evil we are. Some of the pilots are from pirate corporations, some are guys like me doing this just for the occasion, and some are even miners trying to fight the macro-miner competition. People who are usually at opposite sides of the EVE spectrum are now united in a common goal: bringing mining to a screeching halt for a bit and seeing lots and lots of pretty explosions. Those who think we do it for any economical reason just do not get it!
So here I am now, -1.16 security status for the first time in my EVE life, and I'm proud of it. Though I have to slow down because W-space life requires me to have the ability to fly everywhere, I will be keeping an eye on everything Hulkageddon until Sunday evening, and I wish all the luck in the world for the pilots who are in a position to win the fabulous prizes that are up for grabs.
To Helicity Boson, my hat's off to you for creating such an amazing event, and I hope there are many more to come!
Fly like you are immortal... cuz you are !!!
Edit: This is my entry for EVE-athon I: The Hulkageddon effect