Dal..because it has a pink sun.
Going into Inferno last year, the Minmatar controlled all of the systems around our non-faction-war home system of Egghelende. In the very early days after Inferno, we were just looking for good fights, it was almost impossible to actually take a system with the hordes of Minmatar farming plex alts swarming about.
Eventually things balanced out a bit after some CCP tweaking, and most of the farmers left for greener pastures.
We were then able to start focusing on capturing nearby systems, Siseide, Lantorn, Vard, and Dal.
Dal was one of the hardest to take because there were Minmatar who actually lived in the system and were keen on defending it.
Dal is also one of those star systems that has little meaning to the Amarr but is very important to the Minmatar because it is a missioning system.
Sometime last week the Minmatar decided to make an offensive push for Dal, bringing in fleets to plex from downtime well into the USA evening time zone.
In response, the Amarr started last Thursday running defensive fleets, mostly in the USA time zone under the watchful eyes of FCs like Almity, Pinky Feldman, Xolve, Digby, and Rommell Drako. When they tire out they pass the torch on to other newer FCs who are willing to step up and keep things rolling.
The Minmatar are at their best after downtime with the Russians plexing nonstop followed by fleets lead by Annah Kitheran.
Things have been exhausting and yet this push has spawned some of the best pvp we’ve had in months.
Over the last six days we’ve had fleets over 80 strong. We have had moments of glory where we have made them bleed, controlling every FW plex in the system, bringing the contested level down to 12%, exploding billions worth of ships in the process.
And then the pendulum has swung back in their favor and we have had to sit back and witness them claim every plex for their own, watching as they dominated the skies for hours upon hours.
Everyday the contested level rises and falls like the tide of the ocean, a steady back and forth.
It’s become a battle of wills.
At times Dal has become the most dangerous system not just in low sec but all of EVE.
It has drawn the attention of outsiders like PL and Goons. There have been many neutral fleets drawn into the fray, into a war zone where we really don’t know what, or who, to expect next.
My favorite fight so far was on Friday. Just as I logged on, I was told to get in an Augoror and undock. I barely had time to let my game load before I was already in fleet and headed to the gate.
We get to Dal and engage. After the first target dies, the system goes into TIDI and I got the white screen of death, and then booted off. My computer decided it’s a great time to install all the updates (grr!) and so I didn’t even get back onto the game for another fifteen minutes or more. Most fights don’t usually last that long, however this one was still going strong. I had lost my ship while I was dc’ed, had to go get another, and as I was warping back to the excel gate, the system goes into horrible TIDI again.
We have a thing in FW that’s called ‘gate sliding’, where you warp to a plex and as soon as the excel gate shows up on your overview, you click warp in. 99% of the time you’re not going to get caught on the gate because of game mechanics.
In TIDI, everything happens in slow motion. As I tried to gate slide in, I was furiously clicking the warp but stayed on the gate for what seemed like an eternity. There were at least ten hostiles on the gate trying to lock me and with the TIDI I don’t know if gate sliding was going to work or not. It was so nerve-wracking!
I made it in though, thankfully, and regrouped with logi, got back into the cap-chain, helped save all the things and we held the field.
It was over an hour-long brawl! I swear my heart was racing by the end of it! It was the most exhilarating fight I’ve been in lately.
There’s been almost every possible type of fight in Dal these past few days, I’ve seen everything from frigates and destroyers to battleships and even dreads.
We have had hours worth of battles followed by hours worth of plexing, of waiting, anticipating what they were going to bring next.
“Why do we care about Dal?” someone asked on comms last night. Why not? We are getting good fights. We are having fun. And because it has pink sun, g’dammit.
As I write this, I’m still uncertain the outcome. Holding Dal over the weekend was easier because people had more time online. Through the week our time zone dominates maybe eight hours, but that leaves them the remaining time for them to grind the occupancy back up.
So will we be able to hold it? Probably not. It’s hard fighting a war against our time zone plus the opposite ones. We can hold the field at night but not around the clock.
But that’s okay, our corp has always cared about PVP first and sovereignty second. Of course we want to hold systems to help the militia overall, but at the same time, we are more than happy to just have the fights. And Dal has certainly brought that by the droves.
So the pendulum swings…but where does it stop? At this point I don’t care because it’s been one hell of a ride and I’ve had so much fun… no matter who ultimately wins or loses.
Cheers to you Dal, and to everyone on both sides who have made the last week awesome.
ps. Almity is in the top ten on EVE wide kills. Tyvm Dal!
pss. (he made me say that :P)