Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Luminaire Live Event - Titan Faceplant

So at the weekend the NPC Caldari Navy titan that was sat in Gallente space got kerb-stomped in the live event on Friday! For those of you who don't know why there is a Caldari Navy Titan sat in the middle of Gallente high security space or even why there is a planet called Caldari Prime in the middle of it's enemy's space, there is a reason. Whilst I think the commentators did a good job on the stream overall, they didn't really appear to know the background story. The actual background is below and contains spoilers if you haven't read the book "The Empyrean Age" by Tony Gonzales. I'll stick the spoiler explanation bit between two pictures so if you don't want to know the full background, just don't read that bit! I'll do a quick non-spoiler background recap after the screenshot of the titan before the event.

Why the Titan Was There (CONTAINS SPOLIERS):- Originally the Gallente and the Caldari originated from separate temperate planets in the same solar system of Luminaire. Space travel was invented and they said "Hi-didlly-ho neighbourinos!" to each other. As stargates were invented, rapid expansion took place and tensions between the two space-faring civilisations rose. I think the Caldari were part of the Federation at the start but cannot remember. If you really want to know check Mark726's Lore Guide. Either way, a Caldari group attacked an under-sea Gallente city and killed a couple of hundred thousand Gallente. This promptly kicked off the first Gallente/Caldari war. In the end the Gallente kicked the Caldari off Caldari Prime and out of the Luminaire solar system. This forced them to head off into space and to eventually form the Caldari State. As a side point, it was this war that cemented drones as a favourite weapon of the Gallente as they had to invent something to counter the Caldari one-man fighters that were winning the war for the Caldari up to a point! Now fast forward to 5 years ago or so.
Tibus Heth was a grunt at a Caldari factory. He was planning a demonstration/strike. A shadowy and powerful capsuleer known as The Broker helped him and turned his strike into something a bit more. With some clever media manipulation, a bit of blackmail and some underhand dealing, the Broker got Tibus Heth installed as head of the Caldari State! Not bad for a lowly factory worker! The Broker then helped Heth plan a surprise attack on the Gallente Federation after "parking" a Nyx super-carrier into the Ishokune HQ station and making it look like the Federation Navy did it to rile up the Caldari masses. Disabling the Federation 'Tripwire' detection network, the Broker allowed Heth to get a capital strike fleet deep into Federation space, into orbit around Caldari Prime in Luminaire and to land ground troops. Heth then had all the dreadnoughts point their weapons at the Gallente cities on Caldari Prime. This forced the Gallente to accept the invasion or risk the slaughter of millions of their citizens that had settled on Caldari Prime since the first war. The Caldari left the titan in orbit as guarantee of mutually assured destruction should the Gallente try and retake the planet. Basically "You try to take back the planet, our Titan will blap the cities where we're holding millions of your citizens as hostages.". So that's basically the background from my memory.

Non-spoiler background - Caldari and Gallente came from separate planets in same solar system, Luminaire which is now in the heart of the Gallente Federation. The first Gallente/Caldari war resulted in the Gallente stomping the Caldari and forcing them out of the solar system. Years and years later Tibus Heth rose to power and conducted a surprise attack on the Federation. The lightning fast Caldari invasion managed to get sufficient fire-power in orbit around Caldari Prime that the Gallente had to accept the invasion after Heth threatened to nuke the Gallente cities on the planet if they tried and take the planet back (apparently it IS the only way to be sure)!

What has happened recently in the story is that a DUST514 bunny tried to assassinate Tibus Heth. Hethy baby is "a bit crabby" due to his miners disease and has spent the last month or so trying to wipe out the DUST bunnies. This fighting spilled into the Federation and onto Caldari Prime, lots of fighting ensued planet-side. CONCORD came in to inspect what was happening on the planet and the the Caldari blew up the CONCORD ship. This caused escalation and the Gallente brought in a capital fleet. The Caldari got back up in to protect the Titan and that started it all.

This was the live event that CCP warned players that even in a 1.0 security system, you could die horribly. The Caldari cap fleet and Gallente cap fleet piloted by CCP kicked off, then the players kicked off and all hell broke loose.

As a dirty -10 pirate all I could do was watch the live stream as the Caldari titan went down.

Now there are calls that the outcome of this live event was already preordained and the Caldari Titan was going down in a blaze no matter what. Is this right?

Do camels shit in the desert? Abso-bloody-lutely!

On Thursday, as reported over at Poetic Discourse, CCP made a small derp and released sets of DUST maps a day early. These show the Caldari Titan wreckage in the map background, face-planted in the planets surface. The maps also apparently featured bits of burning Titan scattered around. In fact, with the burning Titan in the background, it looked so close to a movie I had to make this.....

Firstly, yes CCP had the story planned. So what? I do think they were a bit cheeky to imply the players in space had chance to influence the outcome (as the commentators suggested several times), it appears that Titan was going down no matter what. May be the DUST battles on the surface may have influenced some other outcome but that titan was going down no what I suspect.

It would have been interesting if the majority of the 1600 players in system had turned up in gank tier 3 battle-cruisers and attacked the Gallente. Two million DPS would have cut through the Gallente fleet in no time! Also did you notice the Caldari titan went down exactly 60 minutes after the first shots were fired? Convenient!

With the above commentary you might think I had beef with CCP for these things. No. Bravo to CCP for doing this. I'm a firm believer that we need CCP to keep pushing underlying story-lines through Eve. 2012 was a very bad year for this and its great to see 2013 is shaping up to be the exact opposite. Sometimes the story needs to be pushed in a certain direction for the greater good, if we let player actions determine every outcome the stories could go nowhere.

Many people shout that its the players that make the content in Eve not CCP. And many times they are right. But how regular and how interesting is our player-created content? What makes the headlines? The Asakia event is the stand-out player created content so far in 2013 but what else do we have? Not a lot. Null-sec is very blue, recent large thefts might be EULA breaking hacks or account sharing, nothing really massively interesting. In fact there are only so many alliance thefts before the story gets boring. Actually apart from Asakia the last six months+ have been a bit boring on the player-driven content. The biggest political story recently, the CFC/HBC were going to have a fight, then they weren't!

We need CCP to keep pushing the main New Eden background story-lines  The live events, the news stories, the chronicles. All these serve to improve and deepen New Eden, especially for us sci-fi geeks! It's good publicity for Eve rather than the more usual "Socio-paths playground" that we usual get.

So yes, player influence on the live event Friday was marginal at best but to be fair if an equally numbered fleet of Wyvern, Chimera and and Phoenix came across a fleet oy Nyx, Thanatos and Moros' in low-sec, what would be the expected outcome? The Gallente capital fleet would pound the Caldari capital fleet as Moros are the best dreadnought, Nyx are the best supercarrier and remote armour reps are more efficient in fleet fights.

So well done CCP and keep it up. But........ still......... imagine what 1500 players in gank tier 3 battlecruisers might have achieved. They could have seriously mixed up CCP's plans!


  1. "This forced the Gallente to accept the invasion or risk the slaughter of millions of their citizens that had settled on Caldari Prime since the first war"

    "You try to take back the planet, our Titan will blap the cities where we're holding millions of your citizens as hostages."

    So what does this mean for the storyline progression? Is a great war of the empires in the works, or does the broker have other plans in mind?

    1. Full on war was stopped last time (at the start of the 2008 expansion The Empyrean Age) by CONCORD after they used a dreadnought to power their HQ after the Minmatar blapped it before invading Amarr. Since then the Empires used capsuleers to further the war without direct confrontation (Faction War and the four militias). Now the Caldari destroyed a CONCORD ship which will be interesting to see how they respond to that.

      The Broker started the war for one reason. To get his hands on Insorum. That appears to have failed and there is a suggestion that the Broker is now dead. Not sure if that was eluded to in Templar One or one of the CCP chronicles.

      Hoping CCP put out a chronicle soon (tm) :)

    2. The Broker is gone and we are all better off for it.

      He was a walking Deus Ex Machina.

  2. Caldari don't come from a temperate planet. Caldari prime was never terraformed properly before the Eve gate collapsed and they spent a lot of time living underground only to emerge into a frozen waste once the there was a breathable atmosphere. When the Gallente obtained space travel the Caldari were still in the industrial age and Caldari Prime was promptly colonized. This lead to the animosity by many Caldari and the terrorist attack on the Gallente city.

    The differences in their origins plays a big part in the different cultures and attitudes of the Gallente and Caldari. Or at least that was the case before they got dumbed down into cartoon good guys and bad guys like the Minmatar and Amarr.

  3. the story was half assed the system shouldnt have been capped how it was either. The titan and other caps should have been wartargets to each other and stargates set to only allow military personel in (militia) and let the factions fight it out with the actors imo. Also the sec of system should have dropped when concord switched off allowing us to jump caps in to make it a nice royal rumble and a good spectacle for all including the dust payers who could watch what eves really about.

    Im not a Rper but and didnt go but if it was set kinda how iv just described i probably woulda and commited a cap ship or 2 just to make it a good show