Friday, October 29, 2010

A Discussion on Loyalty

I've not yet been invited to Blog Banters, but a little initiative never hurt.


Welcome to the twenty-second installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month topic is brought to us by L'Dene Bean of Nitpickin's who asks: Why, and how did you pick your corporation? Is your loyalty solid or just until a better placed organization "recruits" you. The shorter version: Who holds your Unshakable Fealty and why?


Actually, it hasn't been so much that I picked my corporation as it's been just going with the flow.

My first capsuleer corp was Crimson Light Horse Brigade. I was brand new to the wide open Galaxy, and had been essentially mission running for Quafe in Eystur for over a month. I'd had no idea what pilot corps were like, much less how to join one, even less what I could expect.

Unlike, apparently most people, I did zero research into my new life off world. As such, I had not a clue. So when I was asked to join a pilot corp, I thought to myself, "Why not? What have I to lose?"

So I joined.

Things were relatively good for a bit. Until halfway through my career there I'd mostly continued mission running, not knowing what else to do, if there was much else to do, and making friends in the corp comm channels. Space was  wondrous place at that time. About halfway through, enough of us pooled our ISK and went to W-Space for three months, where old bonds strengthed between those of us that went in and stayed in, and for the most part frayed with the rest.

Obviously, this literal corp division was causing a corp breakdown. Upon leaving W-Space for EMPIRE, I had assumed things would knit back together. This was not the case however, as those of us who lived in W-Space felt the desire for combat while the EMPIRE dwellers by and large wanted to stick to the productive citizen routine.

The corp split. I had a choice to make: Do I stay with my old corp, and my old CEO, who's interests were not aligned with my own and appeared to be in fact blocking my interests? Or do I leave for greener pastures with those I had the strongest bonds with? Or, do I toss it all into the wind and go elsewhere to seek my goals?

Down one road laid blind loyalty to a construct. Down the second lay friendship and trust geared towards my goals. Down the last lay a new beginning, an end to everything I'd built up.

I opted for the second path. I joined my W-Space comrades (the main group I associated with, since we all pooled our money to make W-Space residency possible), and the new corp was Spartan Guard.

The moral of my story is this: loyalty is fine, to a point. Being loyal when it interferes with your life is another thing, often called blind stupid loyalty. You've only got control over your own life, and you can only live it to the best of your ability. If something is prohibiting that, you need to get by it in whatever fashion does that best. But you need a group you trust also, because without it, you're a solo vagrant earning ISK and forever on the run, always isolated, and in the end, tired of it all. Suicide may result.

My loyalty lies with those I trust who will also help me achieve my ambitions, not to a construct created to "join pilots together". Any more or less loyalty than that is a disservice to myself and those I associate with.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm for PLEX for remaps

What I wouldn't give to be able to remap. In fact, I'm certain I would give a PLEX.

"But True! People will abuse the system! People will skill faster than me, and besides, what else comes after?! Skillpoints?!"

Ok, so people can train faster. What if, because of a lack of this functionality, you train SLOWER. I bet that changes your perspective. Buying skillpoints? I doubt it, it's already easy enough to just BUY a new identity, one that comes fit with Cruiser V or some such silly thing. Buying Skillpoints would ultimately fail.

But let's return to the first point. What if everyone else trains faster than you? How does that make you feel? "BE MORE CAREFUL WITH YOUR REMAPS NOOB!" people will say. Nevermind that training anything becomes even more brutal than before.

Once long ago, I used my first two remaps. My first remap went for Intelligence and Memory, so that I could get my core skills down, and that was great for a few months. Then I wanted to expand into different roles, thus needed to train spaceships, and guns, and missiles, and drones, and I had to remap. And thus I set forth to remap at perhaps the worst time, but I did it. Partially due to my fatigue, and partially to the mishmash layout of my attributes (why the hell is Willpower above Perception? Isn't the Perception implant the first one?), I screwed up my brain for the next year after that.

I had successfully remapped into a fail-map. Intelligence-Willpower. Groan people, give yourself a facepalm, and then laugh.

Go ahead, I'll wait for it to die down. It needs to to drive home the point I want to make.


Now. Repeat after me. "What if that was me?"

Think on it.


Let me tell you the consequences: Currently I am training Battlecruiser IV, and then V. With my remap, this training queue takes 35 days. Yes, 35. How long would it take if Willpower was instead Perception? 26 days. 35 minus 26 is...OH! IT'S THE SAME AS IF I WASN'T TRAINING ANYTHING FOR 9 FRIGGIN' DAYS!

Go ahead, clear out your queue for 9 days. Let's see how long you last until you scream at me inflammatory words and slurs. I bet you won't even last 2 days. I doubt most would last but a few hours before deciding that I was an idiot and dismissing me.

It is in this sense that I approve of PLEX for remap, because essentially, I'm the kid with the dunce cap, and sure it was my own doing, but there's no redemption for it either. It's like you lost your first Battlecruiser and were never allowed to fly another for a year. It's pretty cruel, isn't it? I'm not saying life is fair, or that it should be, or that I even deserve the remap, but if offered the chance I'd jump on it before it got taken away. If you can't go 9 days with nothing in your queue, do you have any reason to refute me?

Remapping, however, ultimately, does not make you more dangerous. It gives you the chance to do more sooner, but it does not make you more deadly. Some skills cannot be trained via injection and brain massage. Let's list a few off.

1) How to approach a bigger vessel in a frigate, and then kill it.
2) How to survive attacking a larger vessel than yourself
3) How to fit your ship
4) How to avoid gatecamps
5) How to bait
6) How to track targets, scout for a fleet
7) How to determine which ship is the bigger threat
8) How to pick your engagements
9) How to avoid bubbles
10) Staying unprobeable via safes
11) How to be an effective FC

The list goes on. Clearly, there's much a person can train but cannot make use of without the real experience. "Oh, but anyone can learn these!" Yes, but first you have to know that you need to learn about them. First you have to have the desire. First you need see combat as something other than, "I put out X damage versus yours, and I have Y hitpoints versus yours, so I kill you 1.5 seconds before you kill me, so I win." (Obviously that last is almost never true for anyone who's done real PvP)

And how is skill training any different? Anyone can train anything to max sooner than someone else. I can max out my gunnery long before my buddy of an equal age simply because I've stuck with it while he wanted to try some research and invention. Shouldn't we have the same skill levels? No, that's absurd. So what's the difference? In the end, resolve decides what skills you have, and style of course, and the remap to train faster is just a nice little bonus that makes life much easier, simpler, less frustrating. It'd leave me, and no doubt many others, feeling less like retards because we no longer need to suffer under the yoke of bad remaps.

I'm all for PLEX for remaps, and if I have to do some shady things out in pirate space or trade human lives and illegal implants to get to it, I'd do that too. I've already missed out on 1.2 million skillpoints due to a bad map, how much more must I suffer?

I'll probably be 2 million short by the time my next remap comes round, and it pisses me off. Some people would ragequit you know, and if it were you, I bet you'd be just as impotently furious as I am about it.

Addendum : I do understand that Real Money Trading is a serious problem, however, it's probably safe to say that powergamers and real money traders aren't likely to mess up neural maps like mine very often, and to implements this new remap feature, it would probably be best to force in game items with ZERO real money exchanged, and make them rare items at that.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Overviews and the Trade Profession

For the last few days, maybe last week, I've been having this issue: I add someone to my contacts list and hit them to my watch list. Almost never do I see what standing I set them as, unless it was red bar (Terrible).

This had of course prevented me from taking down war targets until I figured out that I could only see red bars in local. I was further hampered in not being able to group them by corp this way until I discovered the fix.

Discovering the fix was another issue. It had occurred at the same time Anjali created her own corp. It also occurred recently when my CEO set corp standings against other corps. It also occurred around the time I started saving old contacts in notes (linked contacts). So, I destroyed the notes, then dissolved Anjali's corp...and finally, with no other idea what was going on, I reinstalled EVE.

None of these fixed the issue. I was so frustrated, and given the crap optional patches that have been deployed I reasoned it could very well be due to that. If that was the case however, nothing I could do would fix it. So, I went to fill out a petition. "Please attach your dxdiag output". No, screw you and your optional patch, I don't have time for this mickey mouse ********, to quote Gary Oldman.

So I decided to make do, and set everyone to red bar, and live with it.

And then I'm playing with the overview, and find the fix. ugh. Go to Overview, appearance, and states. Deselecting any of those prevents them from showing in any chat. Any selected will show. Thus the answer was to reselect the orange bar, blue plus, deep blue plus, etc.

I had messed with these about a week ago because I wanted to create an overview where the only ships I would see were red bars, or orange bars, or blue pluses. This was supposed to help Anjali track targets as they moved about Empire. It affects all characters on an account though, so I'd rather not reset it each time I switch characters, especially as I sometimes rapidly change between them for killing or diagnostic reasons.


Anjali's trade experiment in Oursulaert went about half and half. All of the 200 mm Autocannon I's sold for the new price, hence, she made a buck. The Warp Disruptor I's however are not selling. More accurately, I've sold 2 in the last week. They are being bought, but barely.

So clearly the question isn't solely just "What price range will the lazy factor take advantage of?", but also "How often do people really need/use said item, and this is relation to how often they are lost in combat or missions?"

Like I said, this is an experiment, and in terms of experiments, it's going great. I'm building upon conclusions to reach a greater understanding of how something works. In terms of ISK generation, it has a ways to go before I can start supporting an intense PvP habit, possibly with the inclusion of no longer needing to pay CCP to enjoy EVE.

Once Anjali does get to use the training queue however, she's training interceptors. Since she's Amarr, a Malediction seems reasonable. The goal is to use Truen1ght for most things, like wars, griefing, pirating, null/low sec if/when we make the move. Anjali's goal is to join the Gallente faction war, because as far as I know the Minmatar Faction Wars are largely against Final Agony in Ammamake (Pirate Corp for those not in the know). And Morrdack, I'm not sure, maybe just PvP hilarity, with t1 fit throwaway ships. When the new character creator comes along though, they're all getting a face lift. This will be hard for Anjali I think. Making a good looking girl look better with an unfamiliar creator will probably be a daunting task. I expect to spend many hours and several attempts getting it right. There can be no compromise for Anjali. Truen1ght and Morrdack though can be improved easily however, It shouldn't take long. Given how I'd prefer not to pay CCP to try again however though, there's likely to be no compromise for either of them either.

In other news, I just saw the Dronelands War movies (youtube), and I thought they were awesome. Plus, it's cool to know history like that that still gets talked about today or you see references to in signatures and such. Like when BoB died apparently. Apparently it was a great day, so great that it was in fact reported by the New York Times at some point.

And speaking of signatures...*sigh*...I need to make a banner for this, my own personal flair instead of a regular title and description (which also needs updating, because it seems I am not redefining player vs Gang as Player vs Gang). I had a cool idea though, a modified Stabber (made to look sort of like a Hydralisk) swooping down and smashing the bejesus on some unsuspecting ship as yet to be decided upon. I draw my inspiration from Star Trek VI, where Chang's Bird of Prey swoops in towards the Enterprise, uncloaking and launching torpedoes at the same time, then swooping off again while cloaking. Maybe I can also wear a patch, go bald, and scream over local "CRYYY HAAAVOC! AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR!". Now that would awesome. I need to rehash that movie and find some more excellent Chang quotes. Practice will of course be in order, as I have a spinning command chair I sit at, and at night there's nought but an orange light, very dim at that.

*Addendum: awesome chang quotes to shotu in local while pwning someone:

1) I am constant as the Northern Star! (when you're really messing someone up)
2) I can see you *name*, can you see me? (when you're taunting someone to start)
3) Oh, be honest *name*, warrior to warrior, you do prefer it this way, don't you, as it was meant to be? No peace in our time, "Once more unto the breach, dear friends." (when you're about to start shooting and are taunting)
4) Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war! (when you're winning)
5) Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we not revenge? 
6) Our revels now are ended *name*!

As an aside, I think any EVE player can watch this video and immediately see how closely the space battle connects to EVE.

1) Cloaked ship attempts gank on other ship while taunting. ( I can see you *name*, can you see me?)
2) Cloaked ship appears to be winning (CRY HAVOC! And let slip the dogs of war!)
3) Cloaked ship attempts ransom of victim while shooting, or possibly just taunting.  (..Wrong us, shall we not revenge?)
3a) Victim's buddies jump in system and swear up and down to warp faster (Sulu: "Fly her apart then!!")
4) Victim's buddies warp in ("Now we've given her something else to shoot at!")
5) Ganker becomes victim, gets primaried, and goes up in flames.
(Kirk: FIRE!, Sulu: Target that explosion and FIRE!)
Note: Chang should have kept his transversal up and reduced the damage from the torpedoes ^_^ )

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Skill Training

As I lay there groaning with a dull headache, the door hissed at someone's entrance. Judging by the lack of Klaxxons screaming in my ears, I assumed it was one the few people I associated with. What can I say? I have a healthy distrust of other capsuleers as it were. I know how often I come close to abusing my power, and I've got a fairly strong willpower to resist the urge too (literally, 24 points without implants because I screwed up my neural remap). Even so I find myself slipping from time to time, and I had no doubt that many other capsuleers did too, if not more often and with more glee than I.

I lifted my head and opened my eyes ever so briefly to be greeted by Anjali's stunning figure. Amarr she might be, but racially discriminating and all religious fervor she was not, unlike most other Amarr. As always, she dressed for business. Of course, for a woman of her charms, business for her was using her charms on poor suckers like me. It was, after all, how I'd been convinced to throw Oleysa Petrov down the biomass recycler and take on Anjali as a partner.

I let my head fall back against the cushions and closed my eyes. As pleasing as she was to look at, my head wasn't having any of it. "What do you need, Ms. Subranni?"

She sat down on the couch next to my hips. Resist the charms True, resist. I could picture the seductive yet conniving smile that was her trademark for taking advantage of us males. She leaned across and supported herself with another hand on the other side of me. Her hips pressed gently but firmly into mine, and no doubt she was looking down at me. I knew better than to meet her eyes if I could help it, my hormones would go out of control.

"True, I was just wondering..." she started in that innocent voice of hers, "...I was wondering when I'd get to use the training bandwidth."

"Well, Ms. Subranni, that depends on a large number of things going on, and you know how indecisive I can be sometimes," I replied. "For the time being however, I need to get some weapons training under me, as well as some survival training in relation to shielding. After that, it's a long month of Battlecruiser training." I practically groaned that last one out.

"Why so long?" she whined. It wasn't an annoying whine either. How did she make everything sound appealing? And I had to agree with her: how could something that reshapes your brain and neurons take a whole month to train something? It was absurd that nothing better was available, but it was better than doing it the hard way, which would likely take decades.

"The headaches are getting worse. Every time I get podded, the headaches come back stronger, even if they are only for a few days. At the same time, I can't ignore the recent thirst for combat. So, with that conclusion, I have to train myself to be more combat effective."

Anjali exhaled rather unhappily. She remained sitting next to me however, no doubt concocting something.

Trust me, concocting stuff is what she does. She's brilliant, and devious to say the least. Her sex appeal only highlights those aspects.

"When would you be done training Battlecruiser five?" she asked almost absentmindedly.

"Roughly a month and a half," I replied. "However, depending on how things develop with the 54th, I may require some queue time for my alternate body as well. Don't worry, most of that training will be to three and four, almost no fives, none if I can help it."

"That's only a maybe though?" she asked innocently.

"Only a maybe," I conceded. I had to throw her a compromise, lest she come up with something less pleasing in my favor. She leaned in closer to me, laying her other hand on my neck, massaging it gently and easing some of the tension away. After a minute, she told me to roll over onto my stomach.

I complied. A few seconds later I felt her straddle my lower back as she put her hands to work on my neck, back, and shoulders. Bliss was something I had never known before that moment.

"So in about a month and a half I'll get to use the training queue?" she asked gently. Truly she was a miracle worker with those hands, I felt as if I could pass out from the pleasure.

"Yes," I confirmed. After few moments I thought to ask, "What will you be training towards?"

I felt her weight shift, her long luxurious hair draping around her face and around my head. I felt a light pressure and moisture on my neck. No mistaking it, I wasn't going to get a straight answer with her kissing me. 

Hell, I preferred the necking to straight answers anyways...

I didn't feel the need to continue talking.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A lack of war begets attempted lunacy

Our wars have officially been over for about 2 days. It feels like it's been a week, but I'm constantly sleep deprived, so it might only be me if time feels like it moves at different rates that reality.

So, during our downtime, I attempted to recruit a new guy. It hasn't gone so well, and chances are that since he has some buddies that got him into the game I think it highly likely that he'll end up joining them. Seems like a good guy though, maybe he'll join us for a bit at some point. He is however, extremely new, and I taught him about fitting where his friends appeared to have left him in cold on that.

Also during our downtime we've some initial scouting. We've come up with a short list of targets, the kind that can fight back, but won't crush us, and probably won't kill us in any solo fight. Then again, wars should be fought in packs, right?

After the scouting out potential targets, Dread and I went for a low sec roam. For a good half hour we found a whole lot of asteroids and not much else. We eventually jumped into Hulmate (next door to Arnon). Initially, yes, we were looking for a new player out ratting in low sec. And we found him, or rather he happened to warp to us looking for rats to kill after we figured out what area he was in.


"Ugh, where the hell is this guy?" I cursed. Patience was increasingly becoming something I was bad at. It was fine if I was doing something, but trying to find an elusive target was beginning to frustrate me. Drakes were not supposed to be hard to pin down. This Drake had gone to somewhere within a three belt range.

Dread and I had checked all the belts and found nothing.

As we sat there twiddling our thumbs, trying to chat through the static-ridden comms about what to do, the Drake warped in on us. My eyes went wide with excitement. Between my Rifter and Dread's Merlin, we would crush this five month old capsuleer's Drake, and hopefully his pod afterwards.

"ATTACK the Drake!" I called out forcefully over the comms. Still static-ridden, I hoped my forceful tone would file in any gaps.

As I got close to the Drake, a Wolf warped in. Of course, a Wolf.

I suppose it was bound to happen. I mean, we were only killing people that the pirates surely wanted to kill themselves. Why wouldn't they come looking for us as well?

"...a....bail..." came Dread's static communications.

At that point, I felt it only natural to assume to he said he was going to bail, rather than asking me if he wanted to bail. At that point, I made my exit from the stage while Dread attacked the Wolf. "He' me down!" came Dread's voice again. Apparently he had not, as I assumed, bailed.

Groaning, I waited impatiently to exit warp and immediately warped back to him. Halfway through warp his communication came through, "They got me!"


Exiting warp, I found myself greeted by three flashy red ships on my overview: a Wolf, Taranis, and Ishkur. I attempted to warp out immediately to something that was pretty much inline with with my direction of flight.

I expected to warp, and found myself not warping, yet not under fire. I checked my overview, and, without a doubt, the interceptor, designed for catching ships, had me disrupted. With no choice but to fight and probably die anyways, I opened fire on the Taranis while the three pirates attacked.

I gritted my teeth, overheating all my weapons. I  orbited the Taranis as fast I could, shooting it with everything I could muster. Its shield vaporized in four seconds, the armor was breaking apart somewhat slower, but still breaking rather fast. Not blinking, I willed the Taranis to die.

It was not meant to be. My shields failed completely when the Taranis hit about one third armor down. My armor was pithy at best, and my hull lasted longer, albeit only by about two or three seconds. It was enough for me to get the Taranis into structure, but that was it.

I ejected in my escape pod, trying to select a station to warp to as my ship reset all of its data. I smashed the buttons in a futile attempt to lock onto SOMETHING so that I could warp out in time. It was, of course, the Taranis that caught me, and the three of them sent me back home the short but exceedingly painful away. I got a quick glance at my frozen corpse floating through space before I was pulled into my new body.

Elated at the combat, but a little downtrodden at the defeat, I rested somewhere between extreme adrenaline high and utter depression as I fit out another Rifter almost exactly the same way. This would one put out ten more damage per second, but had a little bit more of a range issue than the previous Rifter. Thinking about it though, I realized that if someone was kiting me, I'd have no hope anyways except to do some fancy flying, which might or might not make the difference in time. It should at least allow me to escape, let my shields recharge, and give me the chance to trick my pursuer into a close range fight I would be sure to win.

"Right then, off to Dodixie..." I mumbled grumpily to myself. I was in no mood to fly the ship manually however.

I set the autopilot and stalked Rifter's food storage area for a strong alcoholic beverage. A really strong alcoholic beverage.


Looking back on that combat, I found myself wishing I had never attempted to run and had instead opened fire immediately on the Taranis. I would have killed it, and quite possibly the pod. At the very least, I would have cost that pirate gang as much ISK as my ship and Dread's ship combined. It's a lesson for the future: when you warp into a gang with an interceptor, don't even bother trying to escape, just destroy the Interceptor, then think about escape, the other guys might not have a warp disruptor or warp scrambler.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Markets, Killing, and Door Prizes

I was talking with someone the other day about whatever, and he told me that one of his corpmates created an alt in Jita. This guy then studied the market, figured out all sorts of things, like how much people are willing to pay for pretty much any item they may need/want to buy, and then went about fulfilling it. Within a week the guy had made 300 mil ISK. His second week he doubled his profits to 600 mil ISK.

And this was a trail account character. -_- that guy could play for free on his market account and his main account for FOREVER on 600 mil a week, and then buy all the fancy ships and towers he wanted after that! He could also hire a permanent goon army, something I think would be really fun for that kind of ISK making.

"Hey, paid goons, go shoot that guy." "Yassuh!"

So, Anjali is now tentatively training in that direction. I find myself curious if the same concept would work in other trade hubs aside from Jita. Probably, I would assume, since, trade hubs are where people tend to congregate to buy and sell things. Anjali is experimenting with some market thievery, and by that I mean buying some items at trade hubs, and selling them for slightly lower to slightly higher prices than nearby. I'm playing off the lazy factor of people, as well as the time factor. Let's face it, when you have to go buy groceries, unless you're going to save a good chunk of change, you're almost certain to go to the nearby more expensive grocery store just for the "I don't have to go as far" factor. Hell, I do it myself all the time just to avoid making two jumps to buy something, nevermind 4 or 5.

So, she's testing it out on some items that probably get bought during wars for the victims: Warp disruptor I's and 200mm Autocannon I's. There seems to be an upcoming price spike in those autocannons too, so that could work out well in Anjali's favor.

If I ever figure how to manipulate this market effectively, I'll write about it, as I'm sure quite few people read this blog, and hence we'll make lotsa money. I'm pretty sure though, that, since I'm not anywhere near to physicist smart, it might be a while. I have a decent amount of math behind me though, maybe I can figure out what's going on.

As her primary job, Anjali has been doing very well. She's a dedicated stalker now, chasing targets around, gathering intel, and generally setting people on edge when she's being obvious about what she's doing. Being circumspect is going to be harder without a Covert Ops ship. The only way I can think to do it without that is to work as part of a gang, ie several trackers keeping ahead of the prey but never sticking around for too long to be pinned down as a  tracker.

Anjali is recruiting, by the way. She needs dedicated trackers for tracking targets, doing research for other corporations looking to go to war, and providing warp in support with real-time feeds of target whereabouts. Interested in making money without grinding missions or hoping to understand the market? Send in your application to Anjali Subranni. (corp currently dissolved)


On my main character, Truen1ght, I scored another kill.

Lately the victim corp has been banding together, flying in packs, watching each other's backs...all good fleet tactics. But they've gotten a bit cocky just because we wouldn't walk into their trap the other day. They had some neutral buddies there to remote repair them while we shot at them, and we knew it (even saw it with spy characters). 3 or 4 versus 4 with invulnerability doesn't work out well for us, so, no, we didn't engage.

So, because of that, at least 2 of them, Vistus and Dodd, have both gotten very cocky. Vistus has been trash talking us, and Dodd I'm pretty sure bought an older character to use against us.

Unfortunately for my comrades, they're a bit sketchy on taking on gangs of 2 or 3.

I on the other hand, flew in guns blazing. It's probably a mental defect. I guess throwing defeat into the jaws of victory a few times in wormhole space has given me an appreciation of taking on odds that don't appear to favor me.

So I jumped into Bereye from Mies. Vistus and Dodd were sitting on the gate. Let's pretend this is you. Do you:
1) attack the rifter
2) attack the caracal
3) burn for the gate and jump
4) run (ie warp out out)
5) sit there while your pal gets riddled with bullets

The answers for me were 1 and 2, in that order. The answer for Vistus was 5. I'll never understand why he sat there while Dodd got the living crap kicked out of him, even while I was trying to pod Dodd. He didn't engage at all until I attacked him.

The first engagement with Vistus didn't go. I was at range, and hitting with Barrage against his shields, which, as we all know, doesn't work out so well. Sure he got me into half armor, but it's not like I was worried. I warped out, repaired, came back, and repeated. He launched drones, I shot them down, warped out and repaired again, and came back. Clearly I did the same thing again. The last thing I wanted was to get into webbing range of him and become a sitting duck, so I kept at range, not knowing if he had a web or not. I warped out again, came back, and found Dodd now waiting for me in a Rupture.

I'm not a fool. Two cruisers versus Wolf = not this Wolf. I jumped out and went about my daily business while waving my kill in front of Riddick's face. Riddick had been on for a while, but had not felt like jumping into a group to fight them. He's had bad luck getting kills this week. Me stealing them isn't helping his case.

Looking back on that combat though, I should have bit the bullet and orbited at 11k and attacked with EMP rounds. It's technically in range for me, and he wasn't going any faster than I was. I could probably have ripped through his shields with ease (2x faster) if I had done that, and probably would have landed the podding on him as well, which, if I must say so, would be nice payback for the trash he's been spewing at us. Arrogance must be fought at every turn where it isn't deserved.

After this Rifter kill, I noticed something strange about an hour later when I engaged Dodd and someone else. Dodd was in another Rifter (that would have been funny to blow up another Rifter of his just then), and someone else was in a Thorax.

Naturally, I attacked.

Dodd got away somehow almost into structure...I thought maybe I had just let him slip out of warp disruptor range. So I engaged the Thorax, and when he went into armor, he warped out too!! This was despite my warp disruptor on him!

At this juncture, please place your face in your hand and groan.

They were using warp core stabilizers. In case anyone has forgotten, they seriously screw up your ability to fight period. They cut your targeting range in half and your targeting speed in half. Probably something else too, they're that bad. So, clearly these guys are feeling the edge a bit in that they're stabilizing Rifters and Thoraxes.

Seriously, I may be in a Wolf, but I'm not suicidal. Attack me instead of sitting there like a doofus and maybe I won't get away, or at least won't get that kill next time.

Because I got the most kills for every war our corp had this week (3), I got 15 mil ISK in door prizes, 5 for each war. In the war against the Crimson Hellhounds, I scored the only two kills by destroying then podding The Garantine. In our war against Starhug, I scored the only two kills by destroying SkyDragon's Punisher and pod. In our war with the Black Merc's, I've scored the majority of kills, which would be 7. All in all, I've had a fairly decent week of PvP.

And with that, our war with the Black Mercs draws to a close. After a few hours after that (27?) we shall redouble our efforts!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Finding a Target

Having never been in a war before, I never realized how painful finding a war target could be. The target might be docked, at a safe spot, or wingin' by in a shuttle (little buggers are hard to catch unless the pilot is being careless). This on top of the fact that it can be easy to lose a target in one of those transit hub systems.

You know the kind, they have 5+ jump gates in them. Unless you're right on the guy's heels, you might never find him, much less catch him.

Enter Anjali Subranni

She's going to be the head of a corp with a rather singular focus towards solving the above problem: she and her corp will find your war targets for you. The details have yet to be worked out, but I'm initially thinking of fees in the area of 1 million ISK per target, delivered in advance of the destruction of the target ship. Targets not destroyed will of course be refunded. Right now she's sucking up my training bandwidth, but the idea is for her and her corp to be in covert ops ships, Cov Ops cloaks and expanded probe launchers included to pin down those mission runners.

Given the choice between tracking down a target, or killing it, which would you choose? Well, the choice is mostly obvious isn't it?


Without the aid of a tracking corp, I did manage to snag 10 kills today. That includes pods however, so only 3 involved an actual explosion.

The first kill, or rather kill plus pod, was a ratter. That's right, he was ratting, but at a celestial beacon which I rather stupidly forgot to check, and thus had to wait at a likely exit gate for him to come to me. As luck would have it, he did! And in a Catalyst no less versus my Rifter. He SHOULD have been able to smash me into dust, but given his age, he likely has not seen much combat, and that led to his downfall and subsequent mental transference into a brand new body. He was on autopilot, and I orbited him tightly, raking into his shields, armor, and hull with fiendish rage. When he appeared in his pod, it suffered the same fate.

After this fight (or more aptly put, omgwtfpwng), I joined a fleet with Mr Delgarth and went about searching out more targets.

Now, I'm not blowing them up entirely for the fun of it. That's only 99.2 percent of the reason. The other .9 percent is money, ie their lootz, ie I make money from blowing up their spaceboats.

So, after some fruitless searching, Mr. Delgarth manages to lure out a Battlecruiser, a Drake no less! He had had an unfortunate run in with the pilot of this cursed Drake earlier and was nearly blown up.

"You see I was fit for killing frigates, so I had removed two of my shields for sensor boosters. Well, when I undocked, he was sitting out there 50km away and starting hitting me. Well I thought, 'Ok, I'll get in range and then I'll take him', and so I Microwarped over to him, since I was short range with Heavy Assault Missiles, and overloaded my weapons. Now, normally I don't have this problem since I always forget to overload them, but I remembered this time and as we were fighting, my shields were breaking, but his weren't going down. I had forgot to stop overloading my weapons and I burnt them out! Thankfully I managed to get out as he got into my hull, don't want to give them a kill!" - Delgarth

Naturally, this had encouraged the enemy. So, this Drake pilot he had fought earlier was feeling like he could take on Mr. Delgarth. Delgarth had, of course, changed to a more traditional Drake fit, and could easily outclass the other pilot on his own. As they began the engagement, Delgarth gave me the go ahead to jump in system and engage.

I of course warped to the wrong station

I warped to the CORRECT station this time, outside of which the engagement was taking place, and opened fire in my Wolf on the aforementioned Drake.

This is where the situation would have gone badly for Delgarth had I not come in: The Drake pilot had friends, and they both warped in as well. One was in a Stabber, one in a Bellicose (two cruisers for those not in the know). Even though Delgarth was more than capable of destroying one or even two of them by himself, the combined forces of three would likely have cost him his ship, undoubtedly more expensive than the Drake which we toasted earlier.

But since I was there, we made short work of the Stabber, then the Bellicose. The Bellicose pilot had the misfortune of being the last to blow up, and had the misfortune of also being podded.

We looted the wrecks as much as we could, with their spy ex-corpmate Manik something-or-other holding position in an industrial ship right near one of the wrecks. I took what I could, then destroyed the wrecks. I'm not leaving bullets behind to be shot at me!

We took a short break. Or rather, we meant to. On the way back to base, I came across another war target.

A little history: I did in fact take this war target under my wing before he became a war target. Before the split from my previous corp, he joined a pirate corp that was loosely friendly with us. I taught him a little about PvP, but he joined a pirate corp my corpmates want nothing to do with and were declared war on by. Hence, he can never join due to bad history.

So, I came across him via looking at local. I knew what he could fly somewhat and not effectively, so I waited at a gate for him, wondering if he was actively participating in the war against us. As it turned out, he did not exit the system via my gate, which led to his corp's staging area. With my little history with him, I reasoned that I knew where he lived and that I should head that way in the hopes of catching him for another kill.

I tracked him. I had to follow him for four jumps before I managed to get just enough ahead of him that I could destroy his ship and take his lootz before he could leave. And so, without hesitation, I opened fire on his SHUTTLE!? WHATZ!!!? , which was on AUTOPILOT in a time of war, and then his escape pod.

We had a convo afterwards, and it turns out that he had no idea we were at war. His CEO seems not to have told him. That sucks for him, and his corp, since first blood was drawn in self defense. Second blood as well. Gloves off baby! This of course comes just before the war ends because his corp, the Crimson Hellhounds retracted their war with us because they, at that point of retraction, had four groups of people out to get them. That's perhaps a bit too much in most cases.

After this rather vindictive yet unsatisfying kill, Ranger reported that he had maneuvered nearby to some miners and a hauler. On an high, and in my Wolf, I asked where.

"It's in Amarr space."

Of course it is. Of course. I can't fly into Amarr space without the Amarr navies trying to roast me on a spit. Feeling a bit drugged on adrenaline though, I bite the bullet and go for it. I fly deep into Amarr territory, outrunning the Navies at every turn. Warp, jump, warp jump...twelve times. And our targets were spread out 3 jumps prior to the system I needed to get to, so of course, the targets were warned, and they got away, and docked up.

So there I am, deep in Amarr territory, constantly warping around, staying ahead of the navies, and then I jump into the target system seeing a war target go through.

I had no idea what was waiting for me on the other side, but I didn't fly into space where my head is worth untold fortunes to turn back! I jumped through and immediately attacked the man that went ahead of me, a war target. I pummeled him even as the Imperial Navy assaulted me. I took him and his silly escape pod out while under fire, and warped away to evade the navy yet again.

After this, the kills ceased coming in, and after hunting rather fruitlessly for an hour, my corpmates and I made our way back to base. I made sure to loot wrecks that didn't belong to me on the way, trying to get someone to shoot at me so I could blow them up. Alas, it was not to be.

All said and I done, even though they were relatively new capsuleers, I cost one corporation at least 60 million ISK. This estimate does not include lost implants from poddings, which no doubt numbers in roughly the 100 million ISK range (assuming a decent set of +3). And for hi-sec miners and industrialists and missioners, it ain't easy replacing those things.

There were plenty of opportunities for them to get me killed. Like when I jumped in to attack that last frigate. If three out of eight of them had shown up and attacked me I would undoubtedly have lost my ship, and it would have been a well deserved victory. The first batch of killings was close, except for me being there, but another few of them would have made all the difference and probably done us in.

But this is how I learned. Through failure. The resolve to become better is what gets you through and makes you more able, more experienced, and in this, more deadly.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Train Wreck that won't be forgotten

Despite parting ways with CLHB and Crimson Hellhounds, this train wreck refuses to be shoveled away.

Today we planned on declaring our wars against our war targets, only to find that we have had war declared on us by the Crimson Hellhounds. Long story short, their CEO was the "friend" of our old CEO, who recently quit the game forever. This may play a part in it, though it's more likely that since we think he stole all kinds of fake internet money from our group, he's probably just got a hard on for being a pain in our ass. Unfortunately our CEO persisted in trying to be this guy's friend, despite our reservations.

On to the present.

So, with war declared on us, it's been determined who most of them are, and that they are staging at or nearby our system. We are a bit outnumbered, something like 14 to 6. They also have more skills and the ability to fly more kinds of ships and configurations. However, they are all almost solely EU timezone while we're split mostly between US and AU timezones. We also have the advantage of having lived in W-space, whereas they are reliant on their stations and trade hubs.

I most assuredly am not. I am quite capable of living in space with nought but my cargo hold for supplies for a month or more. The trick is to not get blown up, and not waste ammo. Also, to not get blown up, that's very important.

Mostly we suspect they'll bring their heaviest guns to bear and camp our stations. This is pretty much, well, sucky, but not alot we can do about it short of not being stupid.

Then again, I've been thinking about training me up another alt. I suppose that as long as these tards are trying to play a 14 vs 1 game, I may as well.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Bloodier Life

After...however long it's been since I last wrote...the old corp has dissolved.

And Thank GOD. Now the new corp has formed, the Spartan Guard.

What do we guard? Well who cares, we're killing you because we're effing guarding it. HEY! YOU! Get off my asteroids I'm GUARDING THEM!


My alternate persona is a guy named Morrdack. He recently joined the 54th Massachusetts out around Amarr territory, and has been having great fun. He's taken over the skill training queue for a bit, to provide some ewar cover for the militia heroes in trasher thrashers.

Our first night (which I largely missed), we killed a Apocalypse, one Myrmidon, and one Ferox, all were at least tech 2 fitted. We lost some number of tech I thrashers, but the point is out efficiency was well over 90 percent. since that streak of kills we've lost ALOT more thrashers, and a falcon ( >_< ) and a hurricane.

We did wipe the floor with a Tempest Fleet Issue though!

That's me there in the Merlin at the far right corner, almost off screen. I'm doing that Webbing on him, ie the spatial distortion thingie. He was trying to make a run for the station, and well, I let him, just at 48m/s instead of 100 some, and that rifter (the 2nd highest ship, wide engine flare) was scrambling him, keeping him from making the run to station at 1000m/s and down to 100 something :D

That is, until all his buddies warped in. We had him at 1/4 armor too, he was almost gone!


And that's me going kaboom, as you can see by my armor gone-ness and my 3 seconds later hull destroyed-ness. Naturally I had been neuted to hell, so I couldn't shoot, or web, or disrupt, and his buddies were repairing him.


I could blog more at this point, but I want to leave out the corp drama that ensued ending with the CEO deciding to quit the game forever. It's for the best, trust me. We're better off without drama and definitely better off with more lulz.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Learning what DIAF means

Yesterday I logged in to the sound of boredom.

Some corpmates, Aelith, Moph, and Riddick, in particular, were rather bored. So bored in fact was Aelith that he was actually considering just going to work.

We REALLY need to war dec someone. I have no idea why it hasn't happened yet. As promised, I got my yellow skull before the week was out, and I'm doing my best to not wreak some violence on some poor soul, or even some of those pirates I enjoy reading about so much on their blogs just for the thrill of combat (fighting them probably means them wreaking it on me, but that's how it goes).

Anyways, after Aelith mentions he's so bored he might just go to work, I announce that I'm planning to go roam low-sec. My plan? Act like a newbie, rat, hopefully get someone to agress me so that I can attack them without losing anymore standing, and generally have a good time or die trying!

With a plan like that, it can't go anywhere but wrong.

Aelith, Moph, and Riddick joined me. We were all flying cheap ships. My Thrasher, completely fitted out, cost 700k ISK tops. Quick number crunching shows it'll smash through any frigate sized vessel willing to get into scrambler range. I hoped anyways. I haven't actually TESTED it to see if this is the case, but in my guess, 7 200 I's should at least approach Jaguar DPS. (addendum, with my skills it was 300 DPs, roughly double jaguar DPS and 3/2 Wolf DPS)

After putting together our crap fleet of 2 Rifters (1 artillery, 1 autocannon), 1 Merlin (probably Rail/Missile fit), and my Thrasher (autos, MWD, scrambler), we jumped into Hagilur.

Unfortunately for us, we did more ratting than actual killing by 100%. Which is to say, zero killing, because no one would agress us, despite the 9 other people population. In fact, no one so much as warped near us.

We repeated this trend for a few more systems before deciding that null sec was a better opportunity. Surely we would find blood, a victim's or ours, splattered in red mist across empty space there!

We arrived in EOA-ZC, and the whole trip we saw practically no one and no one in local. Entry into that first null sec system was the same. It was nice to see two warp bubbles leading to the gate from any celestial body though. We hoped to take advantage of it later. Until such a time however, I flew off grid and made a safe spot for varying reasons, one of which was to avoid flying into the bubbles in an attempt to get out.

After that, since there was no one in local, and we ALL needed to make some headway into sec status in case of pirating in Ebodold again, we went ratting, and encountered some belt rats, one of which was an Obliterator.

"Dude, they're going to chew us apart!" groaned Riddick. Thankfully, I had a bit of null sec ratting experience in small ships and knew that this would not be the case. We hence proceeded to obliterate the Obliterator, with me cawing at the end, "Hey, I thought he was supposed to Obliterate us!"

Immediately after said rather pointless and time wasting ratting, a hurricane pops on local. We make our way to the gate, but are confused because the pilot, Vile Plague, is blue to us. After a minute, he makes up our mind for us and locks us.

At this point we should have run. If someone agresses you on the gate, it can't go well for you. Then again, we were there for bloodshed, his or ours, and blue or not, it was going down right there.

I would like to say that it all went well from there, that we smacked him hard. It's really the reverse though. Hobogoblin II's literally tore Aelith's Rifter apart while I downed 2 or 3 of those nasty little buggers, and during this a Falcon piloted by his alt, also named Vile Plague, jammed out Riddick and Moph completely. An Ishkur who was also blue apparently jumped in, but I don't think it participated in the fight as it didn't show on any killmails.

Aelith imitated the big bang, and I played follow the leader maybe 15 seconds after that. I'm pretty sure Moph followed soon after, though I was a bit busy trying to preserve my pod, so I'm not entirely certain. I know for a fact that Moph went out in a blaze of glory, and Riddick was the only one to get away with his ship intact, which, incidentally, was my ship, since I traded it to him at Hek so that he need not lose his more expensive Hurricane.

Our killboard doesn't look particularly good, even with the fudging of some losses not being reported because not everyone uses whatever the hell company we are, so there's no need to make it worse by losing a 40 mil hurricane. 4 ships that cost a total of less than 3 mil is a much more acceptable loss, especially when you're planning for it!

That all said, we all got away, all but Riddick in pods since he was flying the loaner Rifter. Even though we got owned REAL bad (so would think 3 rifters and a thrasher should be able to smash a hurricane, right?), we still had a much better time than we would have running missions, plexes, or mining. Ugh, call for it anywhere for us EXCEPT in w-space, and we won't be going there again. Been there, done it to death.

Maybe next time we'll snag a kill. When Battleclinic lets me log in again, I'll add in the killmails at appropriate points.

Monday, October 4, 2010

All for Laughs

More study of thermodynamics today. I have a test tomorrow.

And I had to write a lab report for Materials and Science Engineering. A complete waste of a class, but there it is, required to get a piece of paper that says I'm a computer engineer!

But, it wasn't all work. I did this work mostly while sitting in port, in my ship, watching old replays of the last alliance tournament, because, well, I was hoping I could glean some tidbits of fleet composition from them. Between actually studying, and talking with my corpmates, I had some good times.

And speaking of good times, it appears that three of them had a GREAT time the other night! My night is their afternoon, but essentially Ebodold is rife with transport missions for pretty much brand new players. Why they get sent into low-sec is beyond me, but Riddick, Aelith, and Moph messed up at least 6 industrial ships at the Tongofur gate in Ebodold.

I took it a step further. I attacked a Bestower on the a tech 1 fitted Rifter. Any guesses as to what happened? KABLOOEY! I had a good chuckle and learned something important from it! A tech 1 fitted rifter is not going to blow up and industrial before going kaboom...unless I fit a massive tank somehow, which, I'll have to work out eventually. But after getting my junkyard Rifter blown up, I went and got my Scythe still left in port then, and exited to Tongofur.

Where Concord immediately robbed me of my lulz boat! DAMMIT! I had been in w-space for so long I had forgotten how criminal flagging worked. I COULD buy another scythe and arm it to the teeth....but why? As long as I already had it, I was good for it, but now? bah...

So, I waited out my criminal flag for sure this time, in my newly acquired reaper, in Tongofur, then made my way back to base, ie Hek. Naturally the trade hub is home, since you can buy everything there you'll need.

After a long pause, I fit out a cheap as dirt thrasher. All 200 I's and a rocket launcher, followed with an MWD, J5b scrambler, cap injector, and two tech 1 small armor repairs. Now, when I go tech 1, I don't get the best named, or meta 4. I go meta 0. If you're gonna skimp, you may as well skimp on everything. I think the premise behind my fit is MWD up on an unsuspecting target, scramble, and pound away, and if you lose your ship, you've spent 800 grand tops for max punishment. I could see this Thrasher busting a jaguar, maybe even a wolf, if it can manage to keep up with either, and keep both in range. The perfect companion ship would probably be an Artillery fit thrasher. One close up, one for far away, whala! It is a tad slow though, I have to admit, and any arty fit Rifter would likely obliterate this thrasher. Hence the Artillery fit Thrasher companion.

At this point, I was invited to a low-sec roam with some allies. I think I was the only one from my corporation, other than the CEO, who went out to low-sec with those guys. We moved around Bosena, Heild, those places, even a dip into null right there, but there was nothing and no one to shoot, which, I kinda expected given our fleet was about 10 guys ranging from fast tackle like me to Battleships, and two guys in capitals.

Having no one to shoot at, we called it quits and returned to wherever we came from. I went back to Hek, and watched some more Alliance Tournament 8, since I didn't want to play with equations about pressure, volume, temperature, and entropy.

A little later, I came back, and made another jaunt down to Ebodold. I went in my cheap Thrasher, and this time there was a little population! I warped to a safe spot, quickly d-scanned, the system, and found only a thrasher on scan. It didn't seem like he was working at an Asteroid Belt, so I warped to the Angel Creo Plex and entered it. To my surprise and glee, the thrasher was salvaging and shooting the enemy Angel pirates. I locked him, approached, and laid into him with my guns. He never managed to shoot me back and his ship made a lovely fireball. I made to blow up his pod too, since he was just sitting there.

I came awful close to being banned from 1.0 space though. So I waited out my 30 minute criminal timer by shooting rats...and they were all dirt easy, because it's a 0.4 system. Gonna take tons of those rats to get anything done.

I am looking forward, however, to testing this out on a corpmate's jaguar and wolf

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Today, between studying Thermodynamics, napping, and watching a movie about a hitman (The Professional), I managed to do something constructive today besides teach my understudy stuff about EVE.

At some point, I have no idea when because I was too sleep deprived to remember the time, one of my corp mates DarkMasiah tells me that he's headed down to Ebodold to kill someone in his wonky fit Rifter. He doesn't have much faith in it, but he goes with it, because he wants some effing action, just like I did and do.

I swear, I'm this close to becoming a pirate. I'm probably going to get my Yellow Skull before the end of the week.

So, I roll down in good "follow the leader" style, and on the way find out that he's beat the Basgerin Pirate in 1v1 Rifter combat. Dark was, if I remember correctly, flying with 200 II's, a scramble, an invuln and a med shield extender II. Dunno bout the lows, but they're kinda unimportant. So the Basgerin rolls up, and they dish it out, and Dark FACERAPES the Basgerin, who's flying a rather typical Rifter setup. You know the type, it looked like this.

Ok, so it's not quite typical. I admit never having thought about using DUAL REPPERS on a rifter.

So, the Basgerin gets another Rifter, and I challenge him. We go out to X belt 9 and do our thing. We land about 70km apart, and I'm thinking to myself "FML. What if he's artillery fit!?" Thankfully, that was not the case. We began orbiting each other Afterburners on full, and basically trading blows on the Autocannons. We hit each other for a good while....enough that I ended up using 3 cap charges and then realizing I had forgot to bring the rest, and hoping that I killed the other guy before he killed me, because I was quickly approaching the end of my cap. I was swearing up and down at a) my stupidity b) my stupidity, and c) the fact that he just WOULD NOT DIE!!!

Without further ado, and a match too close to call, I overload my 150 II's filled with regular ammunition because I'm too cheap to buy republic fleet, and I whack him with naught but 75 percent of my structure remaining. His ship went the way of the dinosaur, and I emerged bleeding fire from the back of the cockpit, but victorious!

After the adrenaline rush left my system, we had a short chat. It turns out that he actually didn't have the ability to overheat because he hadn't trained the skill. Between that, and him only shooting republic fleet emp s (it still hurt like crazy). He might have won, or I might have barely's pretty difficult to say. Then again, there I was using regular emp s and fusion s. Not exactly pirate killing guaranteed as opposed to deer in headlights killing quality, but hey, I came out on top didn't I?

That was essentially my day today. Remind me to get FACTION AMMO for my guns instead of cheap bullets, and bring extra cap charges!

That said though, I think I'm going to be packing an artillery rifter for Frigate smashing in low sec.