AU History chapter 3

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Original text by Rells
Copyright Agony Unleashed

Chapter III: A Crisis, Near Disaster and Recovery

The second great crisis in AGONY happened when the targets began to run thin in the Syndicate area. The big alliances had begun to leave syndicate alone and soon you could run an Iteron 5 through PF-246 without a scout. To AGONY this was practically the kiss of death. Although the classes were still running, it became harder and harder to get new targets to give the students practical experience. On top fo that, the bored AGONY pilots were drifting off to low sec at their mission alts to make money. The weekends were times of possible fight but otherwise the fertile ground of combat that had been Syndicate was dry. The directors met and decided that it was time to move.

Since Rells' old stomping ground with BSA was the Great Wildlands, and he knew the area well, that region was targeted for the move. Advance pilots were dispatched to map the area, prep instas and create tacticals for dissemination. A huge bookmark campaign was underway. Some weeks later the corp was more or less packed up and began to move -- at least partially. Some in AGONY did not want to go to Great Wildlands and for the first solid month in GW, the corp was split in half. People were reluctant to change where they fought and some were just plain lazy. Bickering had started to develop in AGONY on the forums and elsewhere. Once in Great Wildlands, the pilots there had a tough time. The NPC stations in GW were locked up tight by numerous massive and co-NAPed alliances and they were willing to camp for years if necessary. At that time AGONY lacked the moxy to take space or construct outposts so the situation developed where AGONY was now based out of lowsec and had to traverse gate camps to enter 0.0.

There were some really spectacular fights on that entry gate, one in particular had agony pilots going back time and again for new ships to try to finish off the ships tackled and immobilized. Although the carnage was spectacular, agony continued to learn about intel, teamwork and tactics. The fledgling corp learned how to traverse hostile space and the value of good intel. The fleets became good at using a new concept called Skirmishers. A skirmisher was a tackler pilot racing sometimes several jumps ahead of the fleet to find targets. The skirmisher could move much faster than the fleet and skipped through empty systems in the route quickly, giving him time to look for targets in occupied systems while the main fleet caught up. The fleet movements became more fluid and deadly. Agony fleets could cover huge expanses of space quickly with very little stopping and waiting on gate. With several skirmishers the fleet could probe alternate branches and even pull rear guard to allow them to double back on hostile forces.

However, times were tough in AGONY and antipathy was high. People hated living in lowsec and they hated even more dealing with opponents that seemed to only show up in fleets of 400 and were all NAPed together. People drifted off to mission agents to recover from combat losses and AGONY was spread out all over the universe. At this time AGONY was in mortal threat of becoming one of many corps that just didn't make it in the hostile world of Eve. Although Rells was trying to keep the corp together with the other leadership, the whole PvP situation simply sucked. Squadrons came into being in order to manage the issue and try to put people closer to their commanders and that had some good effects but it didn't recover things. Furthermore, the more problems the GW people had, the harder it was to get people still in Syndicate to move. AGONY was, quite simply, dieing slowly. People were peeling off AGONY to go elsewhere and Rells was pained at every departure. It was becoming clear that moving to GW was, well, dumb. It was time for another change.

The second move was agreed to by leadership and was met with a howl of protest. After all the first one wasnt so fun so it was little wonder the membership was reluctant to embrace another. Many wanted to go back to syndicate and pick up the AGONY stragglers (some of which never left there to this day). Many were just not happy. So the question was, where do we move to. All sorts of 0.0 regions were out there but had problems. Curse was rich in rat loot but occupied by rats that were a pain to kill. The regions of Catch, Outer Ring and Venal were considered but discarded because of their relatively tight pipes which favored huge fleets because they allowed few alternate routes. Pure Blind turned out to have potential. It had NPC stations, it had many alternate routes to limit the amount of trapping that can be done by large fleets. Pure blind also had the ability to access other regions as well as a high-sec to 0.0 gate which was active.

Torrinos was owned by ISS at the time. ISS was, at one time, the largest supplier of Tech 2 in the game at a time when tech 2 was made only by those with BPOs won out of a random chance lottery. ISS had collected dozens of BPOs but they were, in the end, carebears. Living in 0.0 was something they had to do, not something they wanted to do. At the same time x-70mu, the target system for the move, was owned by a shaky alliance. To facilitate the move, Rells negotiated the first blue alliance in AGONY's history. At the time Rells was training empire control 5 to establish his own alliance but Rells really needed the inhabitants of x-70mu to mostly stay off his back while he got his corp back into 0.0. The move commenced, advanced pilots plotted instas and tacticals. Agony scraped together a run of two freighters which contained 90% of the corp and player assets. The freighters docked back in x-70mu and AGONY was once again back in 0.0.

Once in 0.0, AGONY based out of the only kick-out station in the system and warned pilots to spread their gear to other stations. That was a safe warning because the inhabitants of the north took on an instant air of hostility. AGONY's overtures of peace were rebuffed possibly because they set only one blue alliance and believed peace was best established by wiping out everyone else. Alliances and corps offered NAPs one after another but Rells had boiled down diplomacy to a single word, "No". The hostiles swarmed in and AGONY learned how to use a kick-out station to their advantage. Docking in Sisters of Eve Academy was pure suicide. AGONY pilots would log in to hit a kill in the system if necessary and they were quick. Some tried bubbles but met with Flyby snipers for their trouble. AGONY was starting to come back, like a vampire, fueled by blood lust.

All things must come to an end and so did AGONY's first NAP. One corp in the NAPed alliance was especially hostile and some of their members were downright rubes. One day they took it in their head to fire on and destroy an agony pilot while he was still blue to them. The resulting political controversy ended up ripping apart the fragile alliance and the aggressive corp remained, set AGONY red and devoted their existence to wiping out AGONY. AGONY rather enjoyed the fights, taunting the opponent, executing flybys on the bubble camps and otherwise making their life miserable. At one point AGONY managed to catch a freighter in space and pilots appeared out of the woodwork for AGONY to take it down. It didn't take long before the aggressive corp in question was spewing obscenities daily in local. However, there were a few bright spots in the opponent. A pilot named Roccinante was very good at what he did and was pretty respectful. AGONY began to solicit him to drop his corp and come over to the dark side. Another pilot named Beef Hardslab was well regarded as a worthy opponent as well. When the other corp broke up, AGONY acquired Beef and Roc and several other pilots.

In Pure Blind, AGONY acquired skills in using POSes, researching tons of tech 1 BPOs and created a logistical nightmare that was perpetuated by the desire to keep basic equipment on hand for pilots in the corp. The logistics consumed the playtime of many AGONY pilots including Rells and was massively boring as well. However, there were bright spots in the skills department. Flybys had been perfected and AGONY was more often the hunter than the hunted. Beef Hardslab, borrowing on ideas from Heikki (a well known player at the time) invented the modern durka trap and incinerated tons of unwary ships. The hunting was good and so was the fishing. After a while enemy interceptors refused to engage single agony pilots. Also Pure Blind was the heyday of PVP university classes with BASIC, WOLFPACKS and COVOPS beign refined and ADVANCED being invented. AGONY upgraded the Vent server and fielded massive packs of destroyers and frigs. The classes once scorned were filling literally within minutes of announcement. AGONY also began to get into heavier ships and complimented those with extremely well trained skirmishers.

AGONY was well on the way to recovery.