Monday, June 27, 2011

Of Rage, Quitting, and Community (OOC)

If there was a way I could address in character, I would. It's not going to work though, simply because the issue goes beyond just being a capsuleer.

NOTICE: This is about the rage currently going on related to EvE. Now is a good time to close the page if you are not interested. There will not be another post about anything related to this on this blog however.

Of Rage:
There are a lot of people out there who are angry. Undoubtedly, everyone and his pet dog have heard about successive attempts to break the Jita node by players. Most people probably heard of similar attempts happening at other major hubs such as Amarr or Rens.

I have also heard that some unspecified thousand number of Goons attempted to break the Jita node for the sheer hell of it.

There are multiple parts to this, so bear with it.

1) How 0.0 views this rage: Juvenile, irrelevant, somewhat funny. 0.0 really doesn't give a damn. You think any of us are going to be spending ISK on clothes? No, we blow up spaceships all day, raid enemy territory, cause grief and extract tears. We make our living costing other people time and ISK, possibly real money, of their own. It takes a fool of a 0.0 pilot to bother with NeX items. For the price of one monocole, we're likely to blow through an equal amount in real money for ships and modules in a week or less, depending on how active we are.

2) How I view it: It's like real life politics. Special interest groups proclaiming to be the voice of the public in attempt to control the government. How is this different? The only people stupid enough to believe this to be the case are in your special interest group. People, by and large, can't be bothered.

Of Quitting:
So, did you rage-quit over this? Over the 'leaked' CCP documents? Over the NeX? Over the bulkhead if you disable the Captain's Quarters? Over not being able to play on the Mac? Over not having an Nvidia card, so ATI graphics suck?

Good Riddance to you. If you quit for another reason that doesn't have to do with rage, you're ok in my book. The guy at Jester's Trek is a good example of someone who's ok in my book.

If you've rage-quit (further known as RQ) over the CCP document, well, why? What in that document has come to pass to make the game NOT fun anymore? Was it World of Darkness? Buying faction standings? Money Trade? If it's money trade, you really are an idiot, and thank God you aren't playing anymore. If it's the other stuff, you've clearly overreacted, maybe you'll come to your senses, but if not, then the game is better off without you.

If you've RQ over the NeX, well, why? All you have to do is ignore it, because it has no effect on your gameplay. If you did RQ over this, get over yourself and get back to playing internet spaceships you prick. Want to make a statement by never playing EvE again? I ain't listening: you made your choice when you quit, and because you quit, you aren't relevant, so get gone. Someone who loves watching TV isn't going to be dissuaded to quit watching TV because you've quit and now prattle on about its evils.

If you RQ over the bulkhead, why? It, again, doesn't affect gameplay. You want to spin your ship? Open the fitting tab, and start spinning. Don't lie to yourself or me about it: it was never about the bulkhead. What the hell was so good about spinning ships anyways?

If you RQ because you can't play on a Mac, well, you've only yourself to blame. Microsoft has well over 90% of the market share, and it's only good business for a PC gaming company to make sure Windows works first. All you had to do was put a virtual machine with a Windows guest on it and you would have been fine, but you didn't, so quit whining. You weren't smart about it, and it's your fault. I'm sure you've been told that Macs don't get viruses too. If you believed that, you're pretty naive. Why would anyone bother writing a virus that's only going to affect 4% of the world's computers when you can write something that hits 90% or more? The only reason is the one that currently spurs virus writing for linux and mac: personal grudges. In terms of raw security power, Windows is miles ahead. In terms of assailants, Windows is miles ahead.

If you RQ over the ATI/Nvidia graphics issue, tough shit. I got lucky and had Nvidia, and it easily could have gone to ATI cards. I sure as hell wouldn't have quit over an issue like which graphics card was supported first though. If necessary, I would have gone and bought a cheap ATI card, because even the 1GB cards are cheap these days. If you can't be bothered to spend $20 dollars to be able to use your computer, you shouldn't have it, and so if you can't bothered to spend $20 dollars to fix an issue you knew was coming, that's your fault too. You're like someone I know, who has a computer, but never actively seeks to understand anything she does with it, and so anytime something goes wrong, someone else has to help her. Don't be an ostrich.

Here's the most important part: If you have an EvE blog, or EvE podcast, or EvE anything, and you've ragequit, quit posting about EvE. You're the one who decided to leave in a ball of fury, to cut yourself off from anyone having anything to do with the game. Don't be that crazy ex that bitches about you to everyone she knows and makes your life hell. Have some grace and exit stage left already. I don't care what opinion you have about EvE or anything related to it, because, quite frankly, it's obvious at this point how you feel about it and how you got there. You're a biased, untrustworthy source of anything related to EvE, so nothing you say about it is of any value.

Of Community:
Believe it or not, there is a problem with the "EvE Community". This will not apply to everyone.

Have you ever read through the entirety of these blogs by those who so proudly proclaim themselves as "part of the EvE community"? How do they start?

They start off as entertainment. Then there appears to be a point where they become meta-gaming blogs, analysis, off-forum discussion threads. Perhaps this is when these bloggers started getting "followers" and wanted to provide something useful to these people they felt indebted to. It's conjecture when and why these changes occur, but they happen. Funnily enough, it is these same people who by and large are raising the biggest fuss across the EvE blogosphere about this issue.

Excuse me, but isn't there a massive threadnaught of rage about it already? How much more input and analysis do you think we need? At this point, it's masturbatory to blog about it, never mind for several entries in a row. What service are you providing? Nothing worthwhile, I'll tell you that. Anything you write about it has already been said, already been speculated, already been raged about, and it's far from entertaining.

I can only speak for myself, but I'm not interested in rehashing the rage and speculation (I am aware of my hypocrisy at this point, but it's this or bottling the anger, this is healthier). If I wanted any of that, I'd visit the forums. If I wanted meta-gaming tips, I certainly don't want methods that are no longer zero-day. I come by for the entertainment, for the occasional tidbits of knowledge that crop up in these lengthy analyses I find from time to time.

Quite frankly, parts of the EvE blogging community have become like the local and national news: completely irresponsible fearmongering. Yes, you are selling fear, I understand the meaning the of the word. You aren't making money, or ISK, or fame off of it, but you are getting attention, and though you may not realize it, you are attempting to set yourself up as a "voice for the people". Or at least for your followers anyways.

There are some voices out there that offer good analysis. There are very few voices out there that DO NOT SPECULATE on the meaning of the analysis. Speculation of analysis breeds bias via author of one side or another, and its very rare that such does not happen. If you want to provide an analysis, do not speculate: provide the facts, along with similar historical outcomes. People are smart enough to think about things themselves if they aren't pushed towards one side or the other.

I need to temper what I said, however. 1) What I've done is pretty hypocritical, as I've engaged in masturbatory raging about this (mostly on the other side of the coin however). 2) It is not just the bloggers out there that speculate, but the podcasters as well as the regular players. Speculation MUST happen at some point, because that's how people are, but if you want to provide a service, it quite frankly does not mean you need to sway people into your line of thought.

I've been so frustrated by everyone out there raging about this shit. Why are you making it more complicated than it has to be?

Here's an easy solution:
1) Do I want to play the game? If yes, go to 2.
2) Can I afford to play the game? If yes and 1 go to 3.
3) Can I physically play the game? If yes, play the game
4) If any of the above are not true, is there anything I can do to resolve these issues? If yes, resolve the issues yourself and then play the game.

As an addition to this, there was an interesting I bit I read somewhere: "EvE no longer deserves its community".

If you can say that, you are making you and your special interest group to be more important than it really is. We're here to play a game, not be a community. We're here to enjoy ourselves, not be supportive of the "community".

It might just be the case that the community no longer deserves EvE.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Revenge Never Tasted so Sweet

Entry: four hundred nineteen.

Yesterday, Cascade Imminent space was choked with enemies. RAZOR, Borg, Aquila, Morsus Mihi, all of them were there in our space making a mess out of things. Our pilots, however, quickly became accustomed to random hostiles running around in our space, and resumed ratting and plexing even when hostiles were in the same system.

They were literally killing us left and right. I refer you to June 23rd, 2011.

When I logged in, the intel channels were blinking so quickly I barely had time to make sense of any of it. I'd heard that some of the hostiles were coming out of a wormhole in N-M, so I boarded my Cheetah, went to the destination system, and set about scanning.

It took about ten minutes, but I found three wormholes. All of them were class five or class six. It's pretty obvious when you see black and red through the transit bubble. By sheer dumb luck, just as I was about to warp away from the final wormhole I scanned down, something came through from the other side.

It was a Drake. I quickly looked at the corp ticker before he warped away, and I saw that he was from Aquila.

While I'd been scanning, a revenge fleet had been formed. Someone else, aside from me, had gotten so fed up with our guys being retarded and getting killed while we let hostiles run rampant through our space that he formed up the fleet. I joined and camped the wormhole, providing intelligence for the rest of the fleet.

For a while, friendlies camped the 49-U gate in 5V-. And then we got word that a Machariel was tackled in N-M on the 49-U. The fleet quickly made its way over, and after some maneuvering to get a warp in on the Machariel trying to let his Drake friends on other side get through the gatecamp, the fleet got a warp in via StonerPhreak and made short work of the Machariel. The pilot ejected before being destroyed, managing to make it back to the wormhole. It appears the comments were deleted from the killboard posting on Aquila's killboard, but there was much trolling and laughing to be had at Rengas for ejecting, nevermind orbiting at snipe range with autocannons.

The fleet resumed camping the 49-U gate while the two stranded drakes attempted to work out the alternate route with a cheetah that came out of the wormhole. They seemed to have decided against that route however, as they later came into N-M via 49-U. Neither the first or second had a chance to escape to w-space.

Our revenge didn't stop there, however. I and the fleet entered the wormhole. I set about scanning down every site I could and triggering it, only learning after I triggered all of them that the system wasn't actually their home. Nevertheless, Aquila came back for a fight twice, once with a lone hurricane, a second time with a pair of hurricanes and a scimitar. I participated in both battles, bringing both of my tracking disruptors into play, but we only managed to kill the one hurricane.

We camped a little longer, before much of the fleet disbanded. A few of the more vindictive ones, like myself, proceeded to track them to their system, only one wormhole jump away, and entered. I scanned down and triggered every site they had present, and they cut off our route back to Catch. Unfortunately, two comrades were stuck with me, and now relying on me to get them out. Both were in stealth bombers: M3phisto and Sweet Bitterness.

I scanned out another class five, and we entered. Aquila attempted to ransom us for the exit several times, and we kept our mouths shut. I scanned out two more class fives in addition to the one Aquila came though. Aquila was keeping tabs though, bouncing between the class fives with a Sabre equipped with a cloak, just waiting for us to make a mistake.

After some time, a new group appeared, closing one of the class fives by jumping a Chimera and several other ships in. I scanned down another class five, and observed as a Revelation closed it. I scanned down another class five, and, at last a zero zero connection. It appeared as Aquila had left though, though Dotlan wasn't yet reporting their jumps.

We observed the zero zero connection for a short bit, then decided to jump through.

We ended up in Vale of the Silent: White Noise Territory.

Suggestions went around for getting into higher sec system and scanning. Being back in k-space, I felt the best course of action was a twelve jump burn to high-sec near Yrmori.

Every system was empty, with the occasional single resident. We encountered no threats at all. Once back in high-sec space, I was given ten million ISK from each of them for getting them out safely. Sweet Bitterness managed to make it back in time to recycle his ten ten DED site, potentially worth a billion, and he invited me along on what is, excepting for me, a corp only bomber fleet training series. I must admit, I'm pretty excited in finally finding a group of people interested in that aside from me. The first session I'm able to attend will be today.

Revenge has never tasted so sweet.

Computer: terminate recording.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Electronic Warfare

Entry: day four hundred and ten.

The Neocom service has been glitchy all day, mostly off, sometimes on. There's a group of idiots out there than ran Distributed Denial of Service against the Neocom service across all of EvE. As we know it, ships don't work unless connected, and generally doing anything out of a station tends not to work.

Some people, however, tend to think that DDoS is equivalent to data theft. This is simply not true. Let me run it down, as I usually record these logs with the knowledge that someone else will pay attention eventually.

DDoS has nothing to do with stealing data. It's all about domination, forcing someone to submit and crumble under the pressure you put on. DDoS works by essentially spamming the target with so many request packets that the target no longer has any ports to accept new connections. When it does drop connections, those open ports are immediately filled again by more spam request packets.

DDoS fundamentally does not work with theft for several reasons. The first has to do with objective. If your objective is to effectively isolate the target, you don't give it a way out, so you don't try to take anything from your target, you just isolate it. Imagine a prisoner being thrown into isolation, and then letting a random person come in at any time and talk with the prisoner. It defeats the purpose. Further, attempting to extract the data is impossible, as the target itself is overloaded and dropping as many connections as it can, its processors so loaded down with network protocols that it doesn't have time for data retrieval, and with the connections constantly being filled by the spam request packets, there's no chance for the data to make its escape back to the thief.

The second reason is stealth. DDoS attacks are run by botnets, no surprise. What may surprise you is that the bots themselves are usually hidden from view by spoofed packets, that is, packets with incorrect route-back information. Even if these packets are not spoofed, the bots are owned by people unaware that they have in fact become bots because of the stealth employed in maintaining a bot. You can't just roll up to someone's residence, confiscate/wipe their terminal, and say, "Now you're safe," people won't stand for it.

The third reason DDoS has nothing to do with theft is pretty basic: stealth. DDoS doesn't have it except to protect the bots, and in every other respect it's the equivalent of a gorilla: big, dumb, powerful, and no stealth at all. Stealing requires subtlety, which DDoS lacks by definition.

Assuming you were going to steal data, DDoS is quite simply the worst move you can make for several reasons. The first, you're cutting off your flow of information. Second, even if you have your information, you had to get it from a stealth software package, usually a really nasty rootkit, and DDoSing the target exposes your rootkit as the white hats start poring over logs, looking through the Master Boot Record, checking BIOS images, things of that nature. Naturally, if anything is even suspected of being discovered, an isolated copy of the target is made, and the target itself has its BIOS reflashed and the drives wiped before restoration to pristine condition.

In effect, this destroys your chances for getting new data, and allows a strong possibility that the white hats discover your rootkit, dissect it, and figure out how to defend against it, making the rootkit you spent months and months to develop a piece of garbage. There is no hacker that would be so irresponsible as to waste his life's work with a DDoS. Inventing new rootkits, with new infiltration and stealth procedures, is incredibly difficult. Most of the black hat/grey hat/white hat community don't invent their own, but use builder programs that exploit known weaknesses. Only occasionally are new techniques developed, and it's rare enough and special enough that there is a yearly black hat meeting, of which only a few techniques are shared with that community AFTER those weaknesses have been shown to the vendors that make the hardware and software everything runs on.

I won't discount the fact that the Neocom DDoSers could have stolen data, but it goes against their M.O., which is essentially for fun and because they can. They're not concerned with helping people, or hurting people, and they aren't stupid enough to make use of what they've stolen if they want a chance in hell of getting away with it. They're in it for popularity, and nothing else.

Unfortunately, they've shown an ugly face to those like us, no doubt millions have turned against them with this blow on the Neocom. There's no doubt that the grey hats will rise up to at least attempt to destroy them, because grey hats do illegal penetration for good purposes, and a group of black hats that shallow is risky for everyone. I wouldn't be surprised to see other black hats attack them as well, if not for their own safety, then surely for the prestige of being the group that brought them down.

It's a dog eat dog world out there in those catacombs of computer architecture. Only time will tell how long they survive.

Computer: terminate recording

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bashing and Kiting, in that order

Entry: day four hundred and nine.

Since the deployment, we've been pretty busy. Timers to hit for every type of sovereignty structure you've ever seen, capitals to kill in Delve, raids into TEST space.

I don't think I'll bother to link the killmails. There's a lot of them.

To start, we took our FailDong fleet and raided TEST space. We had to mill around for a good bit before they finally got together to fight us. I was a Claw, which I lost because the enemy fleet felt destroying tackle was imminently necessary when they were going to sit on the gate, and as the fight progressed with us winning, literally alpha striking ships off the field as they attempted to kite artillery fit Abaddons, I jumpcloned into a hurricane, and arrived a few minutes too late to actually fight, instead getting dragged behind a gate on our frantic retreat and beaten to a pulp.

I was podded both times. The headaches have been incredible since then, and are only now abating. Thankfully, no implants were lost, as I don't fly with learning implants by and large. I'm specced for Perception and Willpower, so I make short work already of most of the things I learn.

After that, timers. I had a few tackle ships set up, and surprisingly haven't lost one of them. I sat on gates and whored on killmails of bastards that jumped in, possibly trying to light cynos.

Following this I came online only to notice a fleet had left to attack Morsus Mihi. I burned to join them and arrived just in time to go home. Friendlies had apparently whacked some capitals and a fleet. Halfway back, we got word that triple A had tackled and were killing a carrier. We burned back, and again arrived too late. I'm glad the fight went in our favor, I'm just a tad miffed that I didn't get to share in on the fun.

After that, we've done little but timers for two days. I've shown up for just about every timer I could, because as tackle there are inevitably the neutrals who jump in or attempt to escape, and at this point killmails are killmails. I got a recent communique from a Vanguard Imperium member who said he helped wreck my Scimitar. Bastard, I paid for that out of pocket. I don't envy your situation though, and look forward to finding out where you're going.

I was slightly miffed last night at not getting to attend a final timer op. It was a POS destruction operation, with looting of ships promised afterwards. Not yet being able to fly a dong though, and only having tackle ships, I didn't want to be one of those scrubs that brought a tackle ship and tried to claim an expensive ship, so I just didn't go, and in fact logged off. It's times like this it would have been good to be on Anjali's good side. She's a fantastic lover, but we're only on speaking terms until she can train again.

It's going to be a LONG two months.

Anjali did fill me in on some limited success for her newest Punisher fit. Basically, it's a cheap Slicer, with less DPS, less speed, more capacitor. She engaged a Rifter that was your cookie cutter fit: armor, repper, afterburner, one fifties, etcetera. For a while, she was able to completely dominate the fight by microwarping at range and nibbling away with Scorch. Thirty to forty seconds into the fight, the Rifter pulled a slingshot, and being inexperienced at both the Punislicer and dealing with slingshots, she was taken in, webbed, scrammed, and raked to death by Fusion ammunition in close.

Suffice it to say her tank was her range, which she mismanaged.

She had a conversation afterwards with the enemy Rifter, and he explained that he would always fight a Punisher because as a Rifter, he could always dictate the range and terms of the fight. This was perhaps the one Punisher this would not have been true of, but he managed to win it out despite that. The opponent suggested a Slicer, which Anjali is already working towards, but practicing with Punishers that are roughly twenty million ISK cheaper before risking those slicers she bought at Amarr.

Computer: terminate recording.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Surprise, bitch.

Entry: Day four hundred and five.

In the log previous to this, I discussed plans for making tactical bookmarks surrounding areas of strategic important, namely stargates. I underestimated, however, the length of time even setting up one stargate would take.

Setting up one stargate, with the aforementioned six tacticals in face centered cubic fashion took roughly twenty five minutes per gate. I see the importance of having the positional advantage, but for this to work in a reasonably short time, there needs to be no less than three pilots working in conjunction with each to develop these bookmarks. Optimally there should be six pilots, as they could establish tacticals fairly quickly across many gates, then share the bookmarks later.

I did discover another problem however: I had no idea which system we'd be likely to engage in. I realized this perhaps three gates in, and stopped created the tacticals. After all, what use would they be if we weren't going to be in the immediate vicinity?

That said, I spent the rest of the time that day fitting and moving my tackle frigates out to 9CG. Several are fit long range shields, several long range armor, and one or two are fit for close range. It should be interesting to see how they perform. I think the fit I'm looking forward to testing most might be the long range shield though. They have an optimal plus falloff of about 12km with autocannons and barrage, and while tracking suffers, it's not a real issue because of the range.

Yesterday I spent some more time moving ships. I did later get in on some fleets. Nothing terribly remarkable except that for the first time in a long time I was a tackler instead of a logi pilot. I've grown bored of always being logi quite honestly, and it feels good to dish out some hurt for a change. I was in my Jaguar, and although I only managed to get onto a few kills, we wiped out perhaps six or eight guys.

Kill 1
Kill 2
Kill 3
Kill 4

After that scuffle, we bubbled a station for a bit while allies wasted a jumpbridge and onlined an SBU. Thirty minutes later, the fleet disbanded and joined another shield roam that was going up.

We made our way to Wicked Creek, the trip being entirely uneventful except for Kill 5. We did eventually get to where we wanted to go.

We saw a Rapier on gate, and we engaged. I hit the microwarp and rushed at him, past him, point engaged. Too late did I notice the multiple bombers spewing bombs our way. I unfortunately couldn't deactivate my microwarp, and was already rushing back at the Rapier.

It took three bombs to vaporize my Jaguar and send me packing.

I learned a valuable lesson there: There's no need to activate your microwarp to catch someone who's at the gate you just jumped through.

I know, seems obvious, but the heat of the moment struck, and that's how it goes. I think next time I won't make that mistake, even in the heat of the moment. I keep replaying how I could have survived, maybe wrought some additional havoc, but the lesson remains the same.

Had I been paying attention however, I could have zoomed well out of range of those bombs, snagged at least a bomber, and wrecked it. Such things were not to be however, as I'm sure the bombers would have begun torping me. There was most likely no way to come out ahead of that situation.

Computer: Terminate Recording.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dying, Tacticals, and Lacking Skillpoints.

Entry: Day four hundred and three.

My new and current group of null sec combat pilots is rather competitive. It's definitely a different bunch than I'm used to, something that will take a little time to acclimate to no doubt. Your typical bunch is nice and helpful at the start, eventually getting you into the jokes and jibes on each other as you get to know eachother. The group I joined pretty much skipped all that nice stuff and went straight to the jibes.

It's also a little unsettling when you sign into a combat corp that prides itself on efficiency, and your third day in the corp the headman says to you, "Hey True, stop fucking dying! GAWD!"

I could sense the joke, but it's unsettling in that way. I felt a little better however when the next day the bossman told someone else to stop dying.

That third day in the corp, I'd lost two ships. The first was a Wolf, the second a Scimitar. I'd lost the Wolf tracking a Morsus Mihi band, attempting to catch stragglers. I had the bad luck of warping to the wrong gate, and stupid decision to warp to zero on it. There was a bubble, and a Dramiel to catch me, and an AHAC fleet to melt me. My egg was crushed too, they were too fast.

The Scimitar I'd lost a little later. We were roaming about, managed to kill a few targets, then went in after another enemy fleet with half of a previously battled fleet behind us on the other side of the gate. My fleet primaried their one Scimitar, and then after our FC went down I got tackled and was done for. At least I got my pod out that time.

Thankfully, I'm on a Pilgrim killmail from the previous day on a roam, on the first ship I'd brought into friendly space (the Wolf of course). Given that, I'm at least pretty close to even on ISK. Definitely need to be more on the winning side of that equation though.

Since those last combats, I've mostly avoided combat, and stuck to the task of moving more ships in. Deployment starts in two days, and I need to get all my tactical bookmarks set up for the immediate region. I'm thinking seven for each gate: six tacticals approximately two hundred kilometers along each major axis direction plus one spot offgrid also just off dscan from the gate. Since safe spots also need to be made, I'm thinking of combining the offgrid staging points with the safes, so that I don't need to make thirty bookmarks in every system.

The concept behind the seven tacticals per gate seems sound to me. Using the tacticals in this fashion, they function as rolling safes, where you warp, land, fire, immediate rewarp. That in itself will be invaluable to bombers. In this fashion, normal fleets can also control range on the gate in question. Being two hundred away from the gate at any bookmark, a pilot can warp to the gate at any range within a hundred kilometers of it, and can warp to any other bookmark as far as a hundred from it.

Thinking on it however, I've decided that two hundred kilometers may be too far. I'll have to include two additional bookmarks along each major axis direction: one hundred fifty and one hundred. The one fifty can land a pilot within fifty of the gate from many bookmarks, and the one hundred can be used to fine tune the range to thirty or forty kilometers, even ten to twenty if a scram-web tackler can prevent the target from reaching the gate, but I would think a Hugginn could accomplish this at great range. It won't be much additional trouble to install these, as I won't need to stop to make the bookmarks. So that brings the total to nineteen bookmarks per gate.

In other things, it's come to my attention that even with twenty two million skillpoints, there are some fits I still cannot fit even for the Minmtar. In particular, I'm talking about a shield buffered artillery cane. I can come within two powergrid of it by switching from an LSE II to a meta four LSE, but I can't cut powergrid anywhere else, and a tech one reactor control unit doesn't provide enough powergrid to accomplish this. I do need an RCU II, or Advanced Weapon Upgrades IV or V, I'm not sure which would be better either to be honest. In the end, I'll have to get both, but after this large tech two guns need training, followed closely by a Guardian, some capacitor skills that I've never gotten up, and then finally to Amarr Battleship.

Anjali is pissed. She was getting pretty close to being able to fly that Cruor of hers too for Dramiel hunting. I have a feeling I'm not going to be getting any anytime soon. I'll make it up to her though when I've got all the necessaries trained, as I won't need to train anything for a while after that. Still, that's two or three months down the road.

Computer: Terminate recording.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Anjali's Night Out

Entry four hundred and one:

Before we get into Anjali's latest killing streak, I'd like to mention that for the most part I've finished moving. I've left the Deklein Coalition and joined Cascade Imminent. It's a small alliance that rents out space, and in return we get all of our ships reimbursed. All we have to do is PvP, which is what we want anyways, and that comes down to home-defense quite a bit as the region seems fairly active.

On top of that, my new corp, Militaris Industries [UDEAD] is getting deployed in a week for a week or two. I'm not sure where, or in what, or what the goal is, but I know that constant PvP with the corp is involved, and that strikes me a particularly awesome thing.

So, a few days ago Anjali met a group of pirates in a corporation called R U D E. She went out and met them, then went roaming with them. She got on three killmails: a Drake, a Rupture, and a Fleet Issue Stabber. She got destroyed twice, both times in a Griffin. Other ships were destroyed that she was not able to get onto, but her security status is plummeting quite quickly anyways, I don't imagine it'll be long before she gets banned from a place like Jita.

The Drake:
The Drake was the first target of the night. They hadn't been roaming very long before they managed to tackle that Drake ratting in one of the top asteroid belts. Boy, was that a mistake or what? The squad warped in on him and pointed him, and dropped his tank like it was a sack of bricks while Anjali jammed the living daylights out of him. Just before the Drake exploded, a hostile Falcon warped in, but didn't seem to attempt to save the Drake. The Drake's pod however did escape, and they surmised that the Falcon had been there to save that pilot's pod.

The Fleet Issue Stabber:
Shortly afterwards, a Fleet Issue Stabber was spotted, and then pointed. The squad warped in, and Anjali went to work on the jammers. However, an Arazu warped in, and began scrambling people, and the group began to panic. Anjali focused her jams on the Arazu, and might have gotten a few jams off. It wasn't long before a Sabre and a Falcon warped in. The squad managed to get away, with no losses.

The Roam to Villore and Back:
Following the failed gank, the squad decided to get down to Villore to join up with some new people who wanted to roam with them. After about an hour, most everyone was formed up in Allamotte on the Vifrevaert gate. The roam then proceeded to head to Dantumi, with a few systems on the avoidance list that were to bring the squad through Hevrice.

Things went horribly wrong at Hevrice. Three ships were destroyed in a failed attempt to take out a Dramiel: Ishkur, Slicer, and Rifter. The Tuskers also fielded some additional ships, namely a Zealot or two. With half the squad dead or destroyed, and the Tuskers out in force, the roam was cancelled, and they members of the group made their own ways back to Dantumi.

Once Again and a Rupture:
Having regrouped and reshipped quite a few jumps from what appears to be Tusker occupied space lately, the gang was ready to head out once more. It didn't take too long to find the next target, who was also ratting in low-sec in a somewhat active system. Tsk Tsk, make sure you have support next time bub. Also, next time make sure you offer to pay ransom, offer more than 15 million when faced with a gang of four. The offer was a little insulting to them, and they made sure you felt the pain.

Cyno Ships:
Anjali wasn't able to join in on these next two, as she was forced to wait out GCC, and the station would have fried her Griffin besides. The rest of the gang wiped out the Kestrel and Rupture however. Question is, why did the Rupture fit webs? What he really needed to do was double tank it, or not tank it at all.

Fleet Issue Stabber plus a Sabre:
The fleet had been going for quite a bit at this point, some four hours or more. After some bouncing around, they managed to land on the evasive Stabber from before, and pin him down. Anjali warped in and did her thing with the jammers, and then a Sabre and another ship warped in to help the Stabber out. The gang stuck it out, and got away with killing the Stabber. Anjali however had been targeted by the Sabre and was summarily destroyed. The enemy Sabre was too slow on the take however and was wiped out by the R U D E squad.

A End even to Good Times:
With it getting pretty late, and the roam having gone considerably long, the fleet finally disbanded. Anjali podded out to Jita to buy some more Griffins, which I'm sure she'll be using again soon. Unfortunately for her, it'll be a while, as I need to train up some things myself. The Guardian in particular, followed closely by a projectile artillery fit Abaddon called a FailDong. Once I get that stuff out of the way, she'll be able to resume training.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 396

Computer: Begin Recording.

Entry three hundred ninety-six.

Since the previous log entry, there's been little interesting enough to merit a report. I've attended various operations that were meant to aid the NC in the war against the DRF and PL, but quite literally speaking, nothing has come from those operations. On each and every of those operations, we formed up, sat on a titan, then disbanded upon learning that the NC fielded less than half of what was required for an even match, even with CF forces included.

There was one fleet, in response to having to stand down, that occurred, that does bear note. Half an hour after disbanding the war fleet, an AHAC fleet was formed to raid IRC space. This was my first time flying in an armor fleet, and I was fairly excited. I strapped up my one and only armor cane and headed out with the fleet. We gated down, approximately 15 jumps, did some running around, and were flying engaged by a similarly sized IRC fleet fielding a shield fleet. Knowing they knew we were coming, and knowing that they fielded the exact counter to our fleet, we engaged anyways.

We took multiple losses, inflicted zero losses on IRCs part. Nevertheless, we got the action we were looking for, and left feeling ok, a good roam stunted by a completely one-sided fight.

Said fleet has forced me to rethink my Fleet Issue Tempest fit that I was planning to execute. I had been planning on an armor fit. It would have moderate range on the autocannons, a little less damage output, a good deal deal less speed, but more effective hitpoints. Given how the shield fleet tends to be faster, more maneuverable, and output more damage despite less tackle, I've decided to fit it up with a shield buffer fit, similar to the standard auto-nano-cane minus the nano. The range nearly doubles, the damage output increases drastically (one hundred a second), and although the hitpoints drop by ten thousand, it is far more maneuverable and capable of inflicting death. Also, with a shield fit, it is easier to switch to an artillery setup than would be with the armor version.

After that, I took a few days to visit with some planet side friends. I don't normally associate with those lower-echelon folk, but some exceptions can be made.

Upon returning I almost immediately joined a DBRB op, which was supposedly to raid IRC space in a semi suicidal fashion with a shield fleet. It turned out that we were attempting to save one of his friends in a supercapital or titan, I forget which. Apparently this friend had been trying to escape to Goonswarm Federation Space for a week, and with no luck and with Pandemic Legion seemingly with no way to intercept the escaping pilot at the time, we attempted to break him out. It did not go this way however, as a cyno-HIC lit a cyno, and unable to alpha the cyno-HIC down in time, several more HICs and forty or more supercapitals and titans jumped in on top of the escaping ally. The enemy HICs tackled him down while the supercapital fleet filleted him. Our subcapital fleet mostly escaped, but the most important ship did not. It will undoubtedly take a month or more to replace that ship, as well as a good chunk of the monthly profit of Goonswarm Federation.

After that failure of an operation, I paid attention to intelligence as per normal. A failed attempt at engaging a Hurricane who logged off in space in TXME led me to testing my armor cane's mettle against what was clearly a bait Dramiel.

Clearly I've overestimated my ability to take on bait Dramiels. I've tried once before in an auto-nano-cane and again in an armor-tackle cane. Both times, the Dramiel has taken armor damage and no more while holding me down with time to spare for a fleet to land on me and evaporate me. Also, both times I neglected to launch my attack drones, but at speeds exceeding 3 kilometers a second, even drones won't catch them. Clearly, a Hurricane has zero chance of killing a tackling Dramiel, and zero chance of killing a combat Dramiel (as it can no doubt dis-engage at will, even webbed and scrammed by the Hurricane). Also given my fight with the Daredevil, who needlessly died in combat against my Hurricane, it is clear that a battlecruiser is a very poor choice for killing frigate sized craft unless specially fitted with 180mm or 220mm autocannons, and even then, the fight must occur at a strategic exit point such as a gate whenever possible, as escaping a faster frigate will be impossible.

That said though, I've moved my remaining Hurricane to Serpentis Prime. All that remains in friendly space is a scimitar, a Claw, and a Jaguar with some ammunition and various valuables which will leave friendly space tomorrow. I'll be moving corporations soon, because being the only corp member interested in PvP when I'm awake is a waste in my eyes when I could be enjoying myself with friends.

Alcohol is better with friends around, and so is blowing up spaceships.