Inevitably once or twice a week someone will post on the Eve Online forums something along the lines of "I can't log in, all I get is a black screen" followed by the question from users in the know: "Are you in Jita?" If they answer yes, the answer is simple: "GTFOOJ".
Five thousand system in Eve, lots of space for 30-40 thousand online players, right? But in any commercial arena sellers and buys congregate in market hubs to simplify the act of finding the best deal for both sides. Every region has a hub system, sometimes more. But Jita is the uber-hub, the system where the most buyers and sellers congregate. During peak times it can reach over 600 players in that one system, even in off hours it rarely drops below 200.
The problem is that Eve is not designed for 500+ players in one system all the time doing hundreds of transactions that spam the database. Fleet battles of hundreds of players stress a system temporarily but only for hours. Jita is busy 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its the system that never sleeps.
And sometimes it can't handle the load and players get stuck. Can't log in, can't undock, can't do anything. A quick petition and a GM moves you from the system to a neighbouring one. Pity the fool who has assets in there that he needs and can't get to. Of course they go to the forums and whine prompting more experienced or smart players to respond "Get the FUCK out of JITA!" After all, Jita doesn't lag because the server is insufficient, Jita lags because players keep going there until they can't go there anymore. (Shamelessly stolen from Crumplecorn's sig)
The point of this post? Guess who had to go to Jita?
I needed some parts for the Widow build (as I chronicled earlier) and the only place I could find these parts, Capital Jump Drives, for a reasonable price was in Jita (8.5 million compared to 100 million in Rens... stupid price gouging opportunists). Even worse, I bought nine of them and they are each 10,000 m3 in volume requiring the use of the Freighter of Doom! Freighters, as you might have heard me rant before, are slow to turn, slow while warping, and generally a pain in the ass. And in the traffic jams near Jita's stations and gates, a freighter can become dead weight. And that is ignoring the possibility of black screen of frozen doom.
So I planned my operation carefully. I took the freighter to Perimeter system adjacent to Jita earlier in the week and left it there. Then this morning, 10 minutes before downtime, I jumped in the frieghter and sped to the Jita gate, jumped through, warped to station, spammed the dock button, docked, loaded the parts, undocked, hit the warp to Perimeter gate button, watched for like forever as the freighter turned to align (stupid Jita 4-4 station facing opposite from all gates!), celebrated with a naked dance when it hit warp, agonized as it warped sooooo slowly to the gate (stupid 0.7 AU/sec warp speed), and jumped into Perimeter with 3 seconds to spare before the server went offline for downtime.
Whew, made it! Now tonight I can set up a leisurely route to the corporate office and prepare for building the Widow on Friday.