Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

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Titus Tallang

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Post 2014.10.31 12:31

Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

So.

A weekend of hellcamping a wormhole lies behind us, and at the end of it all only one thing remains. Call this OP a success, write up everything that happened, give newbros some insights into how OP Command works for this kind of stuff, list the lessons learned so we don't have to learn them again next time, and award some pretty medals.
Let's dig in.


The preamble: Through a wormhole darkly
So, OP GriefSeed was originally conceived about two months ago targeting a system different from the one that we ended up in. The setup was similar - POS belonging to previous war targets' alts, etc etc, and we ended up seeding logged-off scanning alts of trusted members over the next week or two.
(If you're a spai, some of those alts are still there. Be afraid.)
Some early lazyplanning for an eviction began, but because we had some potential ~other things~ to amuse the masses potentially coming up (that ended up not happening) no actual hardplans were made.


The find: Sharp eyes, burning like fire
Then, the night of the 11th of October happened. As I was about to head off and call it a day, at 04:42 EVE time, the familiar sound of a slack notification stopped me. The message was simple. "There's a POS with a public-enemy Sabre in this C2. What do we do?".
The correct answer, of course, was to not tell anyone else and bring scanning alts in. My own alt was the first, racing to scan for a way out of the previous target system and make it to J144739's current end-of-life highsec connection before it collapsed. By 05:37, I had made it to the target system, through the wormhole and logged off in a safe spot without being noticed. The connection did not even last another hour, but it mattered little. We were in.


The planning: Smoky Gentlemen's Club
That day, planning began in earnest, especially as it was becoming increasingly clear that the ~other amusement~ wasn't happening anytime soon. A date was fixed, pretty spreadsheets were made, the initial corp mail was sent, and we started procuring vets' skilled alts to fulfill support roles. WHC was also pinged to be ready to form up on Friday at 1730 in the most awesome armor ships they could bring to form the initial bridgehead. A week before the scheduled date, we finally released the fact that this was going to be another structure shoot - though opsec mandated we'd still not give everything away; for example, the announcement thread referenced "deep wormhole space, where k-space connections were rare" while the actual target system was a C2 with a highsec static. After all, it wouldn't do for our targets to pack up and leave before we could burn it all.


The WHC invasion: Glorious glorious T3 gang
The day of the invasion came, and the WHC formed up at 1730, and what a glorious formup it was. In the end, we left campus with six Logi V Guardians, an ECMgu, three neuting Legions, a HIC and over 15 DPS, most of them in T3s, accompanying the two Orcas and two DSTs carrying the requisite bubbles, control towers and the like. It was a sight to behold (and I sincerely hope someone took a screenshot).
The trip was quite eventful: Kivena and the orca DCed on a lowsec gate, I found out after five jumps that some of my bookmark copies (copied from the scanning alt to his corporate bookmarks, then by another alt from that corp's bookmarks to personal, then jettisoned in the WHC, scooped with Titus, and copied to my personal bookmarks) had fallen prey to :ccp:, leaving my second alt (the only one with access to these vital remaining bookmarks) stuck in the WHC (which was deserted) probe- and bookmarkless and us a good ten minutes away (we ended up inviting one of Lelira's alts to my alt corp and pulling a fresh copy of these bookmarks), and also one guy got himself banned from mumble for swearing at us when we asked him to leave the channel - but eventually we reached the highsec connection.
A few jumps prior, I had already copied the current chain bookmarks (there were four outgoing connections - an EOL wandering wspace, the EOL C1 static, a wandering C3 and the HS static - at the time) and tacticals into the E-UNI corporate folder - any spies would now know exactly which system we were hitting. The race was on.
I jumped the fleet in and immediately warped the combat part plus my DST to the C3 and launched the first T2 large bubble for corp. Siernan began the anchoring process and the HIC bubbled. Everybody except the HIC warped off to the other connections one by one, beginning to anchor a T2 bubble on each one. We dared not roll the EOL connections as they could collapse on thier own at any time, but the HIC was tasked with beginning to roll the non-EOL C3 once the bubble on that connection had finished anchoring. We didn't find any resistance, and the connections remained quiet. The first important step was done - we had established control of connections leading to the system.
Thus, Kivena's Orca, which had waited in a safe spot, decloaked and began anchoring our own staging tower on a moon next to the targets' own tower. Meanwhile, the WHC fleet landed on a tactical bookmark on top of the first cluster of POS defense structures and, being greeted by autocannon fire and heavy jamming, began the long and tedious process of grinding through the modules' non-negligible shields and armor. Yet the Logi cap chain did not break, the reps held, the DD did their thing and the modules were dying. At the same time, my own alt's DST (an Occator) began establishing the bubble wrap on the target POS - one bubble on each side, centered between the battery clusters, one at the top, and one at the bottom. Siernan began the anchoring process for each one, and it completed without a hitch a few minutes later. The targets were trapped. Step two was a success.
Now, our only job was to not die, grind modules, and obliterate any resistance that cropped up. Oh, and as it turns out, towers do shoot anchored bubbles automatically, so keeping those alive would help, too. We failed at that one once (and redropped it straight away). Nothing more happened, and at 1930 the first travel fleet left from Aldrat, though they'd take a while to get here. Melkor can do an AAR of that one - I'll just skip straight to the arrival.


The Uni arrives: Drrrrrrooooones
So, the travel fleet got to the (wandering, it had spawned in the meantime, and we figured we might as well have the travel fleet roll it) highsec and was sitting on the other side. I jumped out to see what we had and what we'd bring in first, and was quite frankly shocked by the turnout and the quality thereof. Upwards of 20 VNIs, double that number in Oracles, and numerous Vexors, as well as a light spattering of tackle frigates. The frigates were told to go in first, as we were sorely lacking in fast tackle, and followed by the VNIs (best DPS to mass ratio). The connection collapsed, leaving the travel fleet to move on to the static, while the VNIs landed on the tower (whose entire defenses had been incapacitated at this point) and began hammering the shields. Not much happened at this point, and about half an hour later the tower had entered reinforced mode, timed for the middle of Sunday afternoon. Step three had gone without a hitch, and better than expected. (As our targets hadn't logged in before the tower entered reinforced mode, all the items in the various hangar arrays wouldn't be able to be removed.)
We left some frigates to keep watch on the tower and alert us of any movements and moved the bulk of the fleet to the first customs office, joined by the remaining travel fleet that had managed to come in through the highsec static without collapsing it. It did not last long, and was swiftly followed by the other customs offices, netting multiple reinforcement timers for Saturday night, as well as one for Sunday evening. Step four of the initial operation had been completed. What came next was the long wait.


Watch and wait: Entertainment Optional
Saturday was a slow day. Fleet chat and comms were filled with empty chatter, as pilots shuffled between the starbase and the wormholes, keeping watchful eyes on any that would bring aid to the besieged foe while looking to pass the time with other games in the meantime (#rekt). Connections collapsed and respawned, and we made sure to keep the C1 static crit to prevent any hostilities from that end while rolling any wandering wormholes that appeared. The highlight of the night was the destruction of the first four customs offices to exit reinforced mode - or so we thought. After that was taken care of, it seemed as if not much would happen anytime soon...


Loki-re what I found: Peeking into death (I regret nothing.)
Suddenly, our cloaked scout on the highsec side of the static connection pipes up on comms. "Gnosis on grid with A1H. Another Gnosis. Loki. Stabber Fleet."
Huh.
Well, there wasn't much time for consideration, but admittedly also not much to consider. "All DD to the A1 hole. x up if you can fly guards, I want logi. OK, you guys who x-ed up, reship to guards." What seemed like mere moments later, we had three Guardians and a token Augoror on the hole, combined with increasing numbers of DPS ships and alongside them the trusty tackle frigates that had been picketing the hole so diligently. Suddenly, the scout speaks again "Loki no longer on grid. Loki jumped, Loki jumped." Moments later, the call of "Activation. Tackle get ready."
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Why you would ever sent the most expensive thing in first to check out the hole you're blindjumping into is, I fear, a thing I'll never quite understand. Nevertheless, jump cloak only lasts for so long, and with numerous tackle frigates waiting to pounce, our oh-so-sudden prey wasn't going anywhere. Cloak ran out, and the Loki made a token effort to burn back towards the safety of the wormhole - so close, yet oh so far. Webs went up, scrams went up, bumps were applied, and the Loki lasted about two cycles of Oracle and sentry fire, and due to the anchored bubble we also collected the pod.
As for what the Loki and his three friends were trying to do, no-one knows for certain. Some say they were looking to shoot some red crosses to make ISK. Personally, I prefer the version where they were highsec gamers looking to play silly highsec games on the wormhole, if only because doing so carries a certain irony and sense of satisfaction. Oh well.


Sunday Night Fever: This Is Why We Roll
For this one, I can only give a word-of-mouth representation of what happened, but I feel I should include it regardless. Mere minutes before downtime on Sunday, the fleet was experiencing the typical pre-EUTZ slump, with USTZ pilots having already logged off but not many EUTZ pilots having yet logged on. In addition, the new C1 static connection that had respawned during the wee hours of the morning had apparently not had its mass reduced by the standing fleet FC at the time. These two factors combined when a small gang of three neutral pilots entered through the connection (precisely the thing that critting the connection is meant to discourage) and proceeded to eliminate the defenders immediately present before leaving the way they came (something that critting the hole would've almost certainly prevented) as reinforcements arrived from other parts of the fleet.
There's a few things to be learned from this. One, if you're actively defending a non-crit wormhole, especially in well-tanked cruisers, you want to be as close to the wormhole itself as possible. This gives you the option to jump through the wormhole as your armor starts to dip low, and would've in this case almost certainly prevented losses long enough for backup to arrive and drive off the aggressors. Two, if you don't have the numbers to swiftly respond to any incoming threat, keeping connections close to collapse is a critical part of hole control.


Gun Meets Control Tower: Waiting for a POS to fall
Then, at last, Sunday afternoon was upon us. For two days, we had watched, been vigilant, and successfully prevented any significant assets leaving the target tower in ways that could've been avoided. Now, at least, the final minutes of the reinforcement timer were counting down, the fleet was assembled ready to shoot, and the spoils were to be collected.
The final killmail serves as a show of force. 130 pilots, 130 of you awesome people, made it to the tower kill. Many more helped, in small ways or large, with the success of the OP, pilots mere days old working alongside pilots who already need more than one hand to count the years.
And we will strive to turn this final killmail into even more of a show of force, nay, a show of unity, a show of all who contributed to this. Every single pilot, every single one of you that contributed to this OP will be added to this killmail.[/color]
But for now, it would seem I have a story to finish - for with the tower destroyed, what remained was to collect the spoils of battle. As it turned out, quite a large number of ships had survived the destruction of the ship maintenance array, so while poor Kivena in the Orca still struggled to wade through the remainder of the loot collecting everything valuable, those ships would be put to a better use...


Guns For Auction: The Shitfit Sale
Ejecting all the ships from the SMA, I surveyed the mess. Multiple battleships. Numerous battlecruisers. Mining barges. Moving these out and to a place where they could be sold would take an enormous logistical effort. Then suddenly, the answer came to me. Who ever said we needed to haul them out to sell them?
And thus, with the help of a ship scanner and a cargo scanner, I began auctioning off the unpiloted ships one at a time. As I was surveying the fifth ship to be sold - a Harbinger-class battlecruiser - something caught my eye. Tech 1 Quad Light Beam Lasers? Mixed with regular Focused Medium Pulse Lasers? A combination of a 1600mm plate and a Tech 1 Medium Armor Repairer? I could not allow such an abomination to run free, could I? And, as it turns out, people are just as eager to buy the right to die in these fits as they are to live in them...
From this point on, every time I found a horrible fit on one of these ships, I mandated that whoever purchased it would then have to also die in it. As it turns out, some are willing to pay 105 million ISK to be the last person to die on the OP.
Other highlights include mixed-gun Oracles, Trimarked Small Shield Extender WCS Procurers, Double Trimarked 1MN Prop Procurers, Triple RCU industrials with a 1MN prop mod, triple 200mm plated WCS double trimarked 1mn prop mod Miasmoses, Double tanked double WCS unrigged Epithals, and 200mm plated exploration frigates. It was quite a sight to behold, indeed.


The Not-Quite-Final Tally: Pecunia Non Olet
We don't actually have exact numbers just yet - some parts of the loot are still being collected together and put up for sale. However, here's one number I can give you. The auctioning-off of the ships in the SMA brought in a grand total of 1,426,000,000.00 ISK, all of which has been forwarded to the corporate wallet. As for a total count, I can't say - but initial projections would probably be somewhere around 3 to 4 billion ISK on the low end.
Also, as is customary for coordinators on these kinds of OPs, I've recommended multiple pilots that I feel have excelled beyond the ordinary in their contributions for the Star of Valiant Duty. While I haven't heard anything on that front, I have a feeling there may be an official announcement about that in our near future...


Closing Words: Thank You All
And thus, we come to the end of the story. It's a story of two days in which we showed the world why declaring war on us means you always need to watch your back for the rest of your careers. We do not forgive. We do not forget. A Unista always pays his debts.
It's a story that was made possible by all of you. By every single one of you that joined this OP, that diligently watched a wormhole for hours on end without knowing if it would ever pay off, that looked at the spinning sphere of the POS shield until your eyes were spinning too.
Here's your payoff. This is your story. You made this happen. And it was awesome.


Chomp chomp.
~ Titus
Last edited by Titus Tallang on 2014.10.31 17:34, edited 2 times in total.
Scientia potentia est.
If a statement I made seems offensive to you, please be assured that this was not my intent.
If I am mistaken about something, please tell me about it. We improve through sharing knowledge.
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Rashar Arji

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Post 2014.10.31 12:44

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Sexy :)
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Jeff Kione

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Post 2014.10.31 12:45

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

\o/
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Melkor Gengod

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Post 2014.10.31 12:46

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Do you feel safe taking your Orca through Losec?

How about if you have a 40 man T2/T3 fleet as escort?



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Last edited by Melkor Gengod on 2014.11.01 00:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Azmodeus Valar

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Post 2014.10.31 12:48

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

The following medals will be awarded later today for performance during this operation.

Star of Oustanding Service- Titus for organizing this operation. It was a tremendous undertaking, with several weeks of behind the scenes work happening beforehand.

Finder of Lost Toys: Ancalanna for scouting, finding the pos, and having the insight necessary to realize what they had found.

Valiant Duty: Kivena, Siernan, Fae Toledo and Melkor Gengod
These individuals all made sacrifices to make this operation happen. Some were instrumental in the logistics of the invasions, while others sacrificed their own playtime to lead countless fleets.

Thanks to everyone who was involved.
Former:
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Kermit Pental

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Post 2014.10.31 12:58

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Azmodeus Valar wrote:Finder of Lost Toys: Ancalanna for scouting, finding the pos, and having the insight necessary to realize what they had found.


:D if I remember right that makes Ancalanna only the 2nd or 3rd person ever to get that! Gratz!
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Titus Tallang

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Post 2014.10.31 13:11

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Kermit Pental wrote:
Azmodeus Valar wrote:Finder of Lost Toys: Ancalanna for scouting, finding the pos, and having the insight necessary to realize what they had found.


:D if I remember right that makes Ancalanna only the 2nd or 3rd person ever to get that! Gratz!


I just braved the load time on the corp members tab to look this up - Finder of Lost Toys has been awarded a grand total of three times, this one included.
Scientia potentia est.
If a statement I made seems offensive to you, please be assured that this was not my intent.
If I am mistaken about something, please tell me about it. We improve through sharing knowledge.
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Richard Otomeya

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Post 2014.10.31 13:30

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Congrats!
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Vukae Dhoul

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Post 2014.10.31 13:37

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Azmodeus Valar wrote:The following medals will be awarded later today for performance during this operation ...

Congratulations guys :salute:
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Jeff Kione

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Post 2014.10.31 13:39

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Azmodeus Valar wrote:The following medals will be awarded later today for performance during this operation.

Star of Oustanding Service- Titus for organizing this operation. It was a tremendous undertaking, with several weeks of behind the scenes work happening beforehand.

Finder of Lost Toys: Ancalanna for scouting, finding the pos, and having the insight necessary to realize what they had found.

Valiant Duty: Kivena, Siernan, Fae Toledo and Melkor Gengod
These individuals all made sacrifices to make this operation happen. Some were instrumental in the logistics of the invasions, while others sacrificed their own playtime to lead countless fleets.

Thanks to everyone who was involved.


Congratulations!
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SabersKunk Dallocort

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Post 2014.10.31 14:44

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Great write-up of a very enjoyable weekend Titus, a weekend when we did a freakin' WH eviction! :)

One of my first experiences in WH's was joining a previous WH eviction as a Eve\Uni nub, and for a whole weekend I sat in a POS grabbing hundreds of screenshots, listening in to comms and when called killing the enemy POS. I had so much fun that weekend I got my Sophomore title and joined the WHC shortly after.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and the mail for Griefseed went out, followed by a WHC only ping, it's an eviction and the WHC is the invasion force, establishing bridgeheads and kicking arse! Oh my giddy aunt.... For the next 7 days I eagerly awaited t-0 and blinged my Proteus a bit (lol).

Day1

The fleet that we formed in the WHC (+ a handful of NSC members) was a sight to behold. Sitting in HS on the LS gate while Titus got his bookmarks sorted out we saw ship after ship land at the gate, see a huge T3 fleet, then turn around and flee. Fear teh eUni T3 blob! Then we gazed in amazement as a autopilot capsule slow burned to the gate and jumped into LS LOL! Unfortunately we had other plans and getting aggression timers in LS was not appropriate, so for a few jumps we shadowed this capsule with the pilot never knowing how lucky he was.

As we jumped through LS we were escorting 2 Orcas and 2 DST, again a sight to behold. I dare you to gank our industrials!

After jumping into the target WH it quickly became apparent that OPSEC had worked well and we quickly locked the place down and set about the POS guns with face melting deeps. Once the place was stabilized and the fleet had arrived I logged for the evening.

Day2

I got back online about midday eve time on Saturday and moved my Proteus to the high-sec static (A1H) to assist with hole control. It quickly became apparent with every activation making people jump that we needed cloaky eyes in A1H so we could tell friend from foe. My alt was 5 jumps out so I fired up some dual-boxing action and moved my alt in a cloaky into A1H and stuck him on the WH, where we sat for the next 14 hours. Picketting A1H was loads of fun, dual-boxing with one character on the hole in A1H in a cloaky, one character on the hole in Seed with the deeps. I spent the time spamming DSCAN, looking for probes\invasion fleets, monitoring traffic and calling activations to keep the fleet pulse steady.

Among the traffic I watched there was a certain fleet of Gnosis, Loki, SFI etc... that were frequently in and out of the system. They spent the evening scanning down combats and running them. I didn't expect them to run WH sites but lo and behold they jumped in a 2b isk Loki and died to our glorious fire, awesome. (shame I had logged at that point tho... :()

Day 3

I only had a couple of hours to give but thankfully they coincided with the POS take down. I relieved the current A1H cloaky eyes and moved my main onto the POS to kill it in glorious hellfire...... cue the best moment of the weekend for me:

40 mins from POS timer expiring WHC member Curant Thanger (Dave to all in the WHC) was on comms asking how it was going. I don't think he'd been able to make the main event but had an hour or so to get involved. I told him that his timing and luck was great, the POS was out of RF in 40 mins and A1H was only 1 jump from Eggs, the high-sec entrance to the WHC. Fully expecting him to jump into some DPS ship and join us I didn't give it any more thought...

...The POS timer expired and the fleet went to work. The POS went down really quickly. First the shields melted, then we churned through the armor in quick fashion. Once we hit structure it was clear that it was going down at 1% a second, so 100 seconds to go.

...60 seconds to go and wait, what is this, it's Dave and he's just arrived in A1H on the WH. I call his activation and tell him to get a move on as the clock is ticking. He jumps and warps to the POS.

Back at the POS on my main I see a ship land, it's Dave..... but he's 200KM off the POS at a tactical (40 seconds to go....). OK, he's got time to move... but he's launched his sentries.. NOOOOOO. (30 seconds to go) OK he's spotted he's way off the POS, pulled drones and warps (15 seconds to go). He's landed on grid (10 seconds to go) he's dropped drones !! (<5 seconds to go) tick tick tick tick BOOM! POS explodes in all its glory and I'm sitting wondering if Dave landed a shot on the target....

....well, did he? Did he land a shot on the POS? You bet he did, he only went and got the FINAL BLOW! LOL! What a fecking legend.

http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=ki ... _id=217009

Dave, you're a star! :) If it was up to me he'd get a title, 'last second shooter' or something like that ;)

Once the POS went boom my time in the fleet was up. I handed over to another set of cloaky eyes for A1H and moved my main back to the WHC.

All in all I had a great time on the fleet, despite the lack of PVP. I really enjoy large fleet OPs, can't wait till the next one!

Thanks to all those involved, Ancalanna for the intel and Titus and the guys for the planning. I hope to be able to get more involved in the future.

So... when's the next one :)
Last edited by SabersKunk Dallocort on 2014.10.31 21:09, edited 4 times in total.
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Dama Arishe

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Post 2014.10.31 15:07

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

It was a fun weekend :)

I flew a Neut Legion on the WHC's initial incap fleet and I was hoping for a bit of a fight -- but we didn't really get one. So I incapped structures with my drone.

Over the course of the weekend I came into possession of (another) Zealot for hole defense and (my first) Oracle to sit around and bash structures.

Wasn't able to make it for the actual POS bash, sadly. But I got there for the cleanup and the return fleet to the WHC.

Fun weekend all in all, but my structure bash fatigue timer needs another 4 months or so to fully recharge :p
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Lonestar Shwartz

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Post 2014.10.31 15:34

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

I greatly enjoyed the experience.

It provided some opportunities to learn about things that may have been a lot time in coming otherwise.
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Melkor Gengod

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Post 2014.10.31 15:36

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

So when do we take down the other WT alt POS?
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Mattikus Astronomo

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Post 2014.10.31 15:57

Re: Law of Cycles: GriefSeed no more

Gratz Guys!!! :D This OP was a blast...in more ways than one! :lol: Looking forward to the next one.
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