EVE University at the A Band Apart Frigate FFA 2021

This year’s historic FFA in Ouelletta was attended by many pilots of EVE University. Three of them share their own stories and impressions of the event as well as screenshots of pretty explosions (all embedded pictures done by the respective pilots, if not otherwise stated).

Fudster’s story

Low Security space in EVE is dangerous: death awaits you in many ways. Pirates and well trained pilots await your entrance into their protected lairs. The flashing yellow skull of a suspected pirate on a pilot’s name is a badge of honour. You live by the pirate code or you die.

Promotional Graphic by Rixx Javix

There is a myth that many living pirates in EVE become worshiped icons. The gods of Amarr are secondary to these monolithic leaders of looters and vagabonds, and none more so than A Band Apart’s central figure of low security piracy, Rixx Javix. The nicknamed “King of low Sec,” Rixx rules with a gentlemanly efficiency of killing any pilot that ventures into unprotected space without protection. You’ve been warned!

Every now and again, King Javix shows mercy on his subjects. He toys with his fortune and feeds us poor mere mortal capsuleers with events in his honour. To mark the year YC 123 of his rule, Rixx Javix announced his annual frigate free for all in Ouelletta and welcomed New Eden in for spoils and kills. Each pilot would be fed copious free ships for use on the battlefield, where everyone was a primary target until none remained. At 16:00 the lawless feast would begin with fireworks, but end in death.

So here I was, a high security pilot with little solo pvp experience, navigating through copious wrecks and discarded drones, targeting anyone that was untethered and in range. We’d only been at it for 2 minutes and already the battlefield was filling up with aspiring pirates. Many had died already and reshipped while Ouelletta had swelled to over 600 pilots in the system, growing as the word had got out over New Eden. The gates into Ouelletta were flashing with bursts of new and veteran players entering, including the prestigious CCP, looking for targets and killmails.

Within those quick minutes, I managed to get my first target in my Punisher. Brawling them, I swung in underneath, manually twisting and diving to keep range, but also trying not to get hit. I broke my victim’s shields and armour very quickly, but then it became apparent, I wasn’t fighting them alone and I was also now being targeted… by many pilots! As soon as my target went down, I too became fodder and was stripped of my victory dance and left naked on the battlefield in my pod. After having to wait out my naughty pirate person timer, I docked up and was promptly handed another free ship. Like a gazelle, I leaped back out into space and… died before I could even get a reasonable hit on an enemy. Confused and bewildered at how quickly I had died was soon explained when I looked at my screen to see a little circle ⭕️ appear. TiDi (Time dilation – a server slow down mechanism to prevent server crashes) had appeared to curb the pilots in the system and my ability to fight back. Docking back up and receiving a new free ship, I promptly found this event was like no other and I was having one helluva time.

Punisher tethered up at the beginning of the event, ready to engage

With Ouelletta swelling to 900+ pilots, it was time for the King to announce his presence in system. Flying out into the middle of Ouelletta in a Naglfar dreadnought class ship, Rixx Javix ushered in his minions of admirers and objectors to shoot their webs and many weapons at him in his honour. We appeased with gusto, however, our meager weapons were only scratching away at his shields. After a few more pilots arrived, including many from Eve University, Rixx succumbed to Bob and lit up the system with a beautiful orange explosive salute. The first big capital ship in Ouelletta in the event had been taken.

An overview look at the carnage of debris lying on the battlefield within the first two hours.
Rixx Javix’s Naglfar begins to explode after defeat

Meanwhile, CCP members were playing their own part of sacrificial duties by enticing the event’s participants to come and play. Many obliged, including our own Unistas. The glorifying kill of a CCP pilot is one thing, but to scoop their dirty unwashed corpse from the clutch of the void for exclusive bragging rights. Eve Uni’s own Hikaru Sakai was eager to the cause and scooped the CCP corpse from the many other pilots burning to get their cargo bays filled with this prize. Hikaru’s excitement was hard to contain on mumble comms, justified and commended by his fellow envious Unistas. Hikaru had joined the illustrious group of owners of a CCP corpse. The trophy cabinet had its coveted prize.

Even though TiDi was still prevalent in the system, many more capital ships were taken to the slaughter. A sacrificial Revelation capital and Kronos marauder fell in the carnage while almost 6000+ frigate ships had been handed to eager capsuleers. The seismic destruction was relentless in the 4 hour event. The death toll of ships sinking in the seas of piracy kept rising, eventually topping 10,000. Wrecks and abandoned drones littered the battlegrounds in front of the Astrahus Toothpaste Fish like offerings to the monolithic leader.

As the event closed and ship supply ran thin, the seas of piracy still ran thick with the explosive sounds of battle. Rixx announcing the end of the event was endorsed with the salutes of over a hundred pilots and victims alike. The beautiful destruction was a complete success and will be discussed at length in many a corporation’s comms channel for weeks. As a pilot with limited experience in low security, I have a reignited confidence and respect for entering low security. Pirates are dangerous and destructive, but united with chivalry and respect to their enemies; the pirate code seems both welcoming and terrifying in paradox. Rixx Javix proved this within his wonderfully crafted event and I can’t wait to be a part of it again next year.

A Test Alliance Revelation receives damage as it is sacrificed in aid of the event.

Hikaru Sakai’s Story

The Frigate FFA on March 6th was my first FFA and the first time I experienced time dilation. It was a struggle to move around – but I actually enjoyed it. It gave me ample time to pick my targets and maneuver, preventing me from tunnel visioning. Throughout the chaos, I was able to get myself on 35 killmails and only lost 14 ships while also having a 0.5 drop in my security status. 

Rixx’s Naglfar from a distance

It was nice to see so many people in one system, as lowsec tends to be a ghost town. Many Unistas attended the event, and were having fun as well – Mumble was always lively. I arrived in Ouelletta 2 hours early, but there already were more than 100 people in local. It was heartwarming to see new players asking questions on the details of the event, and other players answering them to the best of their capabilities. 

When I first undocked in a Tristan, my client lagged. It was trying to load hundreds of frigates, drones, and wrecks – and I could feel my frames going down. My overview felt like a mess because so many neutrals had clogged up the “combat” tab. While tethered to the Astrahus, I took a look around my ship to find who was close by – and found a Merlin to shoot. After destroying the first Merlin, I found another – but was blown up soon after. The next ship I flew was an Atron, and killed two Kestrels in it. 

Local was an important tool during the event, as intel of ship traders and locations of valuable ships were given. Without that intel, I may not have realized there was a Naglfar or a Providence in system. Somehow the Providence made itself more expensive than the Naglfar by having more than 3 million copies of the Amarrian bible.

Hikaru’s Kestrel engaging Rixx Javix Naglfar

The Naglfar was piloted by none other than Rixx Javix, the organizer of the FFA. The first time I attempted to engage, I warped in about 90km away from the dread – with my prop mod on, I burned as fast as I could hoping that I wouldn’t be shot on the way. There were many others who made the same mistake I did, and we all zoomed in a straight line to Rixx. Unfortunately, my frigate was blown up – but with a quick reship into a Tormentor, I returned to the fight and was able to take some sweet screenshots of the dread explosion. 

Boom!
Boom #2!

Once the Naglfar went down, a Revelation became the new primary target. I shot the dread for a little bit in my Rifter, while dealing with a pesky Punisher that made an attempt to take me out. However, I decided to leave the area for a much more valuable target – CCP. After shooting CCP Convict’s Nergal, I was close enough to take out the pod and snatch the corpse. My hands were trembling as I spammed the warp button. I knew my cargo was valuable and was lucky that nobody scrammed me before leaving the grid. I quickly docked up and stored the corpse in an NPC station before yeeting the Rifter into PvP once more.

Hello there, CCP Convict 🙂

I don’t remember much about what happened after that – according to zkill I had reshipped into a Merlin and blasted a Rifter out of space – but the FFA soon came to an end. I learned later that there were an Orca and Moros that I had missed out on shooting at. There was so much going on, my brain needed a break from constant PvP and I relaxed inside a station. 

I’m so glad that I was able to participate in this event and get to say that “I was there”. The community is what brought me back in 2020, and ties me down to the game. Once again, thanks to Rixx and all of Stay Frosty for the production of all of these ships – from hulls to ammunition – and hope to participate again in 2022. 

Hideo Date’s story

What an event!

I was pretty hyped when Rixx Javix of A Band Apart announced the 7th Annual Frigate Free For All to take place in Ouelletta, just two jumps away from the EVE University Highsec Campus. As more details were published in the week leading up to the FFA, I got more and more pumped. I prepared a stash of ships in the freeported Astrahus as I had loads gathering dust anyway.

When the day came I knew I would only be able to jump in for a little bit at the start and maybe some more towards the end. So the plan was to quickly get all my little frigates killed first and maybe undock a few meme ships later. My first choice was the Atron.

The undock of the Astrahus Toothpaste Fish early in the event

I undocked and marveled at the astonishing amount of ships all over the Astrahus and observed the TiDi kicking in – which never was too bad throughout my time at the event.

Then I scanned around for flashy or criminal targets as I wanted to avoid tanking my sec status too much. I shot at a bunch of other frigates but nobody shot back. For a solid five minutes I was able to basically sit at the undock and kill with impunity. Didn’t get much in the way of last hits, but got on a few killmails. Only after going on to ten minutes was I finally killed. Shame, I was really hoping to burn through my ships faster 😉

Punisher Vs Revelation

After dinner and family time I came back and undocked the Punisher. A Revelation was getting tickled to death on the Astrahus and I joined in. As it seemed to hold for now I decided to try my luck at a couple plexes. Surprisingly there wasn’t much going on. I had really expected there to be more fighting throughout the whole system but it seemed heavily concentrated on the Astrahus and 5-5 station.

But in the end I managed to die. As I reshipped I decided to go directly for my cruisers to get back to tickling the Revelation. A Moros had joined in as well and I was able to see both Dreads break apart. Lost my first Rupture just as the Moros spiraled out of control.

Revelation exploding with Moros in the background

Looking around the huge mess I decided it was time to help with the cleanup, so I undocked my shiny salvaging Magnate and looked around for valuable wrecks to vacuum up. I was mostly ignored – again to my surprise – and seemed to also be amazingly safe within the tether even when salvaging. The only thing worthwhile I was able to get was an elite battleship wreck, otherwise a few elite frigates. All in all I managed to salvage about 10M… sadly no one blew me up in the process.

After tidying up the place for a little bit I undocked a Griffin which I used to annoy a Hecate gang and a few others. Again to my surprise, I was ignored for quite a while until some random frigate finally put me out of my misery of flying a despicable ECM ship.

Smartbombing Thanatos

My second Rupture was used on two Thanatos’s, one of Rixx – who cowardly docked back up, running away from the might of the rust – and one of WER4, our good ol’ wardeccers. After I was able to do the obligatory “cool kids don’t look at explosions” shot I was really expecting to be immediately focused on, as I had the slowest and biggest ship on grid at the time. But I had to beg a Flycatcher to take notice of me and show my dusty arty Rupture how to clean up.

Rupture giving the Thanatos the cold shoulder

To round out the evening I took out a Rifter, a Tristan and ultimately a Thrasher. I was again looking for fights around the system.

My Rifter found a few people engaged around a Plex and there was a lot of flinging of ammunition in all directions.

I generally find the Tristan to be overpowered, but in my hands – as someone helpless with droneboats – I found another pilot who showed me how to dispatch this mighty little ship.

My Thrasher was heavily outclassed by kitey ships, so that I couldn’t actually fight back.

At this point, the local and general activity had died down significantly, and looking at local chat there weren’t any more ships available to give out. So I was expecting most pilots to not be able to continue fighting.

It was a shame I didn’t get my neuting Maller into action or my arty Claw…now I have to find some other way to blow them up gloriously.

It was a great change of pace and a wonderful event, I deeply enjoyed taking out so many ships one after another and experiencing so many different engagements. Though I really expected to die a lot quicker than I did. Maybe I overestimated the bloodlust of my fellow capsuleers 😉

Huge thanks to Rixx and the wonderful ABA crew for organising and preparing this FFA! Looking forward to next year! o7

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