The whole time I was in null sec I totally forgot it was going on. Also I have a friend who just started playing the game. Hes been doing industrial missions for a couple weeks, and hes never even heard of Jita yet. So the suffering is really from a small subset of players. And as long as you dont play Eve as a single player game I think you would have heard about burn Jita and stayed away.
After an extended weekend of freighter-sized explosions, today the guns are silent; Burn Jita II is officially over. There was an amazing eleventh hour effort to push the official toll to over 600 billion ISK in damages. Several Goons fraudulently posted that the event was over, trying to get freighter pilots to come back into the system. The tally kept by Miniluv shows 142 frieghters and 13 jump freighters killed, and the total damage count stands at over 573 billion ISK. The actual count is likely over 600 billion, and if the ships destroyed by CONCORD in the ganks are counted, the total ISK value of all ships destroyed - in almost all certainty - tops 700 billion.
The count kept by Miniluv:
For non-Eve players that might not understand the game's complex economy, the in-game currency is easily compared to real dollars. Players are able to buy a PLEX, an in-game token that gives thirty days of game time, for twenty US dollars. That in-game token can be sold to other players on the open market for in-game ISK. The current exchange rate for those tokens is right around 515 million ISK. Thusly, over 27 thousand dollars worth of ships were blown up this weekend. That’s the MSRP of a well equipped brand new Volvo C30.
Burn Jita II is not something that just happened. It takes planning and coordination. Powers Sa singled out one man:
Warr Akini made this happen. Warr Akini pitched the whole thing to the directorate, game-planned, carried a lot of the logistics. He made all of the big pushes to get this done, and he did a lions share of the effort. He is the heart and soul of Burn Jita 2.
I caught up with Warr Akini to find out more about this scourge of Highsec. In the party of Highsec, Warr Akini is the Red Death, infiltrating and killing the unsuspecting victims. He is the Director of the Ministry of Love (Miniluv), the group of Goons and other alliances of the CFC that pillage Highsec. Under Warr Akini’s leadership, Miniluv has killed over 4.5 trillion ISK (175 thousand dollars) worth of freighters.
Alizabeth: Currently you are a GSF Director and the Minister of Love. How did you get to this point?
Warr Akini: I'm a little fuzzy on exactly which pieces were in motion at the time, but just after the original Burn Jita (where Miniluv was conceived), I went to a few directors and Mittens with the idea of a dedicated empire gank squad. I'd burned myself out a few times on corp ice interdictions and other sundry highsec business, but found that I burned out a lot slower compared to other operations in null, at least. Shooting red crosses isnt exactly the pinnacle of fun, and stratops or even roams are very plodding and slow when it comes to finding action sometimes.”
Alizabeth: How did the Illuminati [the people in charge of Goonswarm] respond to your idea?
Warr Akini: “I think that some guys in Top Goon were also percolating the idea, but I ran with it and pitched the idea to Mittens and others, and so the Ministry was born. After causing a few ~diplomatic incidents~, they decided to promote me so I could be less of a renegade. If a space renegade is a thing. I think there was a pretty big impetus for this kind of thing after Burn Jita, so I think for a lot of people it seemed obvious that we make one. The issue was coordination, leadership, mechanics, and teaching Goons how to function in highsec. Goons, as it turns out, are terrible at EVE. They're even terrible-er in highsec, as I found out this past weekend.”
Alizabeth: How was that, starting up a major SIG [Special Interest Group], only being in the alliance for half a year?
Warr Akini: A lot of folks outside of Bat Country didn't know who I was, so there was a little pushback when a 'new guy' was looking to wield the power of a SIGC [SIG Commander] (which is the power to be endlessly overworked). Mittens was great about it though, he gave me backing and showed off our corp ice interdiction work. That gave me enough cred to get off the ground.
Alizabeth: In the early days of Miniluv, it seemed to me, at least, that Miniluv was going to be focused on hitting unpersons, rather than the indiscriminate freighter ganking we see now. How did that happen?
Warr Akini: The initial idea was to hit certain idiots who had either mouthed off a lot or were otherwise 'enemies of the state.' These people were very secure in their highsec ivory towers, right up until we awoxed their freighters. (Oddball Six being one of those guys, we awoxed his freighter twice.)
Alizabeth: And then you realized people flew around with freighters worth as much as supercarriers?
Warr Akini: Right. You can probably surmise that targeting ten or twenty people in a sea of highsec can get kind of boring. Sure, we send awoxers to get in and do things. And we'll make a guy ragequit by attacking his POS in highsec, but it's very slow waiting for rats to pop out of their rat holes. So, we got to thinking about what else to do. There's miner ganking, that's fun.
Warr Akini: “Surprisingly enough, it was Deadtear that had been shouting at us to do freighter ganking in 0.5s. If you don't know Deadtear, he's a gigantic pain in the ass and usually useless in EVE. But enjoyable at times. Like DurrHurrDurr without the Mandozer. . . . And thus began the crusade that, I think, has put us at a minimum of 4.5 trillion ISK killed.
Alizabeth: That's what the killboard says, yes. Alright, so, you've been ganking freighters, sowing terror, was it always assumed that Burn Jita would be repeated?
Warr Akini: I think yeah, we knew we were going to have some kind of huge event again soon. We weren't totally sure if it would be Burn Jita, but it was going to be Burn Something. A lot of us in Miniluv leadership (Powers and myself and others) had been tossing it around for ages.
Alizabeth: Was it you that finally decided to go back to Jita?
Warr Akini: I actually took it to the rest of the directorate in the end and said "look, it's about that time, let's get on it."
Alizabeth: And once the decision was made, what did you do then? Miniluv naturally took the lead, I assume. So, in terms of planning what sort of things fell on your shoulders?
Warr Akini: I'd sold it as 'bigger, better, cheaper' to the directorate; we had lots more highsec-experienced FCs and we'd be able to do a lot more damage for a lot less. Which generally has been the case in terms of efficiency versus sheer number of freighter kills we've gotten. Although our ISK numbers aren't THAT much higher than BJ1, BJ2's number of hulls killed is leaps and bounds beyond.
The Goonswarm finance directorate allocated around 150 billion ISK for the Burn Jita effort. With the changes to insurance, each ship destroyed by CONCORD would be a total loss. Goonswarm self-describes itself as space communists, so no costs would be borne by the line members. Reimbursement for ships lost in the Burn Jita effort would be paid out from the funds allocated.