Sunday, 15 December 2013


I haven't updated in a week, simply because I have been both IRL and EVE busy.

In Real Life, i am moving house. Despite my basement troll nature, I have a wife, no kids, and have just purchased a house. Well, 34.6% of a house. It's a big and exciting thing, but it also is very disruptive of life in general. Not that it has really overly affected my ability to slack off and play EVE for hours a day.

I don't have a formal job at the moment, just a few things I am working on with various people, in the field of opal mining and so on. This has also allowed me to skive off and play lots of EVE.

In EVE, a temporary fetish with tractor units has taken over both myself and my corporation (or at least the other most-active members). Sure, we are softcore C5 folks (no blobfleets, no 30 man gank squads, just all-round risk-taking bad-assery) who live by the cloak and die by the sword, but we get to hisec and what do we do? D-scan for Tractor. This is how we see hisec:

Two days ago, we went out and ganked a Mackinaw. Just because. Because we almost seem to have a Nullsec static at the moment, with the amount of inbound N432's spawning into our C5. This gives us plenty of opportunities to go scalp a battleship rat every 15-20 minutes and claw back security status, which you really may as well burn.

So we burn a Mackinaw and note an Orca and two Covetors in the belt. The Orca deploys a tractor, as one does, to scalp the wrecks in the belt (including the Mack wreck, the cheeky bugger) so when our criminal timers expire, we ship into MWD cruisers and bump him off the tractor.

Then we aggro the tractor, and because the orca and Covetors are either retarded or just have drones out and set to aggressive, we pull aggro. This results in my first Orca kill in 3 months.

All hail Tractor.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Little Tractor That Could

I must say, i am rather fond of the new Tractor Unit.

Tractor provideth. Tractor Taketh Away.
Tractor is bountiful.
Tractor is wise.
Tractor is good.
Tractor is munificent.
All hail Tractor.

To be a good Tractor Daddy, you must shepherd and protect your tractor, lest it fall into the hands of the evil molesters who lurk, ready to pounce on its 50,000 EHP and fat, juicy belly.

Good Tractor Daddies scoop their Tractors. They do this wisely, and regularly, and may indeed dump out the meta-1 and meta-2 crap, lest they run out of room for Tractor.

Bad Tractor Daddies leave one Tractor per room, and abandon their Tractor like a lamb in long grass in the high meadow, where the wolf lieth in wait.

Don't abandon your Tractor! Keep it safe!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Destroyed Self

We are involved in a siege this weekend, which came about because someone found a C3 with D845 to hisec inhabited by carebears. Similar to the situation with GT Network, our man has been camping for 4 months, bringing people in to have a crack at the inhabitants in their pimped Sleipnirs and Rattlesnakes. However, the view was always towards a siege, as these people had left a Rorqual and an Archon sitting about in plain view.

We got the thing going post the Rubicon de-nerf of SMA drops, some with starry eyed enthusiasm for getting their mitts on a shiny ship or some faction loot. To be honest, it was slated for last week, but we were burned out after the eviction of GT Network, so here we are.

The tower was a long, but easy, pushover. Cruise missile batteries are pretty much useless at defending a POS against anything. I was tanking a set of 6 batteries, cycling on and off, in my Oracle with a single medium armour repairer. We even destroyed a warp scram in incapacitation, because we had the time to spare to burn through 10M EHP's.

However, the problem with sieging a corp which is "mostly AFK"and "mostly in highsec" is you don't get a fight. This has been borne out by the mass self-destruction of the ships in the POS by the two toons who appear to be in the hole. We suspect there's a few others who haven't logged on yet, but enthusiasm at camping for maybes and likely SD's is waning.

I have seen my fair share of slash and burn in the various sieges which I've been involved in. In fact, Sudden Buggery was a prolific siege instigator and content creator, which can be seen way back at the beginning of this blog. We would often see people pugnaciously declaring how much of a waste our efforts were while they were self-destructing their ships, which of course only filled up our tear-buckets. Few sieges we did even had a whiff of the looting about them. Well, aside from the one we actually made bank on.

This siege really is just confirming what I keep saying; you have to have a reason to siege, and the enemy have to have a reason and at least see an opportunity to defend themselves, for there to be any goodfights and less than 48 hours of basically wasted effort. Getting those fights, or indeed even getting the loot, is a skill which has many facets.

Target Selection
The key to getting a fight is finding people who are capable (enough), organised (enough) and have something they want to fight for. A plum C3 with hisec is attractive to some, especially if there's a few caps thrown in with the sale, and decent PI.

The problem with this siege is the AFKness and dissipation of our targets, I think. Trapping your foes out one by one is of course an objective of any siege, forcing them to stay behind and face the doomsday clock and make a last stand and a last-ditch run through to give the rescue blob a way in, only to have the door slammed in their faces.

A corp which comes pre-trapped out, which is mostly AFK? There's not much fight in them or fight left. It becomes a rationalisation exercise, stripping mods off ships, packing them in one last Orca, and logging it in a safe for a week. Then, again, the rational choice is to take the insurance payout from self-destructing, and deny the aggressor kills, glory and tears. 

Leaving Hope
People will only fight is they believe there's even a little chance of success. They need to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Often you have to provide them that light at the end of the tunnel, via apparent ineptitude, keeping the main bulk of your forces hidden, or "careless" hole control.

Doing this properly is difficult when you can swiftly be on the end of a blob of wormhole mercs like SYJ, TRECI or, basically, anyone who is bored and feckless enough not to have anything else to do with their time. If this happens, and the batphone goes out, you may as well give up IMO, unless you want a 200 a side fuckfest. When you have starry eyed notions of getting your mitts on shinies, you don't want a blobphone event.

Negotiation and Mindgames
CEO's or leaders of corps often resolve their differences via negotiation. Certainly when the alliance i was with got dealt out of Delve the scrubs were lied to about the fact we would be fighting, right up until the Alliance XO's and leaders collected their blood money and sailed off into the sunset on boats loaded with treasure, flipping the bird at the guys who contributed to the whole sham by actually being the alliance. Bitter, much? Not really.

Part of the leader's job in sieges and conquests (and in being sieged and conquered) is to accept surrender or offer it. There's been some very interesting books written on the subject by military historians, and negotiated peace is the result in the vast majority of conflicts. In EVE, this is not so much the case, because of the immortality of the avatars and indeed, the corporations and alliances which can, often, rise anew from defeat. Take Nulli Secunda, for example; kicked out of various areas multiple times and still a strong, coherent and potent force - and indeed, it is so because it has survived and not failcascaded.

In the case of w-space sieges, where eviction (for sale or occupancy by the victor), destruction (due to bad blood), or boredom (why not?) dictate the majority of cases, the maths are a bit different again.

In the case of this siege, we have invested days (and months of alt-camping) already, hours of F1AFK Oracle sieging, bubble camping and so on. The goal is perhaps confused or poorly communicated, and certainly revolves around loot pinata and not goodfights. Thus, diplomatic efforts weren't really ever going to result in a less than total eviction outcome.

However, my point is that in the case of any siege my readership may find itself in, there are a lot of things you can do to create hope, albeit falsely, and engender fighting spirit in your foes, and indeed increase your chances of loot pinata. You have to be sly, cunning and disingenuous to your foes to do it, but if you want a fight or loot, you have to use social engineering to get what you want. After all, once you've warped on grid with your logis to start the siege, you have already won the shooting war. Or at least, you ought to have.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Bitch bitch bitch

I previously wagged my finger about the Interceptor warp speed changes. I shall now state, the BS and capital warp speeds are fucked up.

I'm not talking about BS's going 2.0 AU/s or Black Ops going 2.2 AU/s. That's fine. It's the acceleration into warp which is really getting me, and more specifically the deceleration out of warp.

Anyone who has flown a dread since Rubicon will know the feeling. Not only does it take a century to align, but when you get into warp you seem to hang there for 5-10 seconds on grid, getting in to warp. The same is true upon landing on grid.

This has relegated BS's to a further fuckedly state where you cannot tackle anything. Not even other BS's, let alone anything else, simply because by the time you are on grid, you have to wait 5 seconds to even begin to lock something.

It's like....enter grid, wait 5 seconds, begin locking with your stupidly slow lock time....oh, right, that BS which was at 0m/s is now in warp.

I get that ceptors should warp faster than BSs. I get it that this is a cooperative game. But honestly, this is all reducing the list of stuff you can actually PVP in and the scenarios you can actually get into PVP, by a significant factor.

Incidentally, it also ridiculously buffs hotdrops. When you hotdrop onto someone, you get no 5-10 second slide onto grid. You are just there, at zero, ready to lock.

I wouldn't worry about making Black Ops warp cloaked now. If they don't warp cloaaked, then you can only shoot something with a hotdrop.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Bemurder Triangle

There are some people, and some corporations, usually containing said people, who ought not to be in wormhole space. The entire cast of GT Network fits this bill.

We came across them via a Z647 off our static C2, and extracted a Retriever and a heron, plus pods. inspection of the Wormnav history for J163804 showed a consistent 1-2 ships per day being killed, which we ascribed correctly to these guys being complete idiots.  There was also, it would turn out, another reason on top of that. nevertheless, we rolled away and left a scan alt behind, who reported on a daily basis he was seeing Mackinaws mining, dying, and being replaced in the belts minutes later by Retrievers. Who would then also die.

J163804 is a J244 static C1, so it was a bit of a mission getting a good connection. All week it was 20++ jumps from our exits to the entry. Then, on Monday our exit was only 8 from the entry in kador lowsec, so off we went for what we intended to be a small pop-tent camping setup. We all brought a spare cloak, probe launcher (T2 core), probes, and a Mobile Depot. Because, fuck getting stuck.

So, we anchored our depots at a sorta-deep safespot, stripped off the warp-stab travel fits of our DPS boats, put on our cloaks, and got to camping. We had only an hour to wait, and we killed a Retriever. Then minutes later, a Hurricane.

Vengal Seyhan professes to hating on POS sieges, but when he found out the setup of their Caldari Large tower, namely 6 cruise batteries, 2 ECM's, 2 webs and 2 dissy's, and found out they weren't actually set to shoot, he dropped his Ishtar outside their POS andd began working on a disruptor. "What idiots." he chuckled. Then, 20 minutes later "We need more DPS to drop this dissy."

Somehow, this sentence mutated an operation camping for 1-2 days for Macks and Hulks, into a full-on siege inside of an hour. On a Monday, which is the worst possible time to start.

Suddenly, we were all reshipping for Oracles and sentry boats, and the POS owners signed in with the last disruptor deep in armour and 4 of the cruise batteries neutralised, so when they turned on the defences (finally) it couldn't even beat the passive recharge on my Talos.

We began a conversation, aiming to perhaps ransom. We knew they had hulks, two Ravens and at least (we reasoned) a Tengu to steal. 5% into the shield after an hour, it was looking like a long, long night, so the negotiations got going in earnest.

GT Network's CEO was signed out, so their representative at the time, Andrew anderson777, got down to business. We had him so demoralised with the fecklessness of his organisation he ejected all the ships from the corp SMA, which was a good array of haulers, Drakes, Ravens, a Hulk, 3 Retrievers, etc. All up, around 20 ships. We offered for him to become our Russian mining slave, paaying us tribute of one Raven per week, and we were haggling over whether this was in advance or arrears, when GT Network's CEO signed on.

It is never a good look, I think, when your CEO gets killed hauling strontium in to the wormhole mid-siege.

Eventually, after far too many hours, we reinforced the POS. it seems they had stront after all, but oonly enoough for 10 hours. This suited me fine, as it was 1:30 a.m. and the POS would come out at 11 a.m., and I don't have a job. So I went to bed comfortably, although with a bad premonition of rapefleets decloaking when we started on the tower.

As i said, there was a reason GT network was losing ships every day. Well, aside from being noobs and fools. It seems a collective of lowsec pirates had stumbled into the wormhole as far back as September (or earlier) and were camping the Russian miners for easy kills. It was a good wicket, and our siege was going to end it, so they set up to stop us. Their problem was they were impatient, lazy, and couldn't resist having a crack at us as we camped the hole. They claimed a Curse, and alerted us.

When I woke up, we got down to business, signing everyone's toons in (or, in my case, decloaking, depot up, and swap fit), hoofing stragglers to the entry.

I flushed out our pirate friends by warping the alt to the exit, and got convoed. They tried to set up a gank of an ROA ship using me as the bait, and a bomber to destroy the target Oracle when he doubletapped. I of course played along with a charade of cross-jumping and play fighting, and nearly ganked the bomber alt by "mistake".

the entry collapsed, and we raced the pirate guy to the exit; 8 jumps away, so we set up bubbles and cans and began jumping our fleet back and forth to effect a collapse. We left it crit, then waited to see what would show up from the inside and out. 20 cruisers rolled up in lowsec, and nothing inside, so we collapsed and re-rolled to 28 jumps away. We'd basically won; there was now no way opportunistic pirates would go 38 jumps just to see a hole slammed shut in their face. We ignored the smack and threats in Local, and got down to dealing with the tower, and destroying all the ships inside and podding out the owners.

The butcher's bill: Caldari large.

We then moved on to the Minmatar small. it turns out that the small had a full stront bay when this kicked off, and the Russians had stripped it all out to put in the Large. 40 hours for a small is 10 hours for a large. So the denousment was a strontless small and a few stragglers who signed in to a cloaky HICtor trap. Total carnage: 1.4 billion.

Then, I went to sleep. A hectic 24 hours in the Bemurder Triangle. And sorry Ishbaul and co. you'll have to find a new bunch of idiots to camp for 3-4 months.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Hauler roam

I had organised a Haulergeddon Thunderdome the day of the Rubicon patch. Which was a bit of a mistake, as no one bothered logging in to EVE that evening two hours before downtime.

Therefore, we turned it from a Thunderdome into a hauler roam. Turnout was still light (exams eating people's time) but we got 5 haulers and a Scythe along.

our fleet consisted of a battle Tayra (passive tank: 400DPS), one Miasmos (ECM, drone DPS), one other Miasmos (blaster, smartbomb, twin MASB and ECM burst), a Wreathe ("fast" tackle 1000m/s web+scram), a "DPS" nereus and a Scythe. We went out looking for trouble when a Gnosis started camping the gate.

It didn't take long, we jumped from Stacmon into Osti, derped about faking PI to bait the Gnosis unsuccessfully, and went nextdoor to Loes, and on to Agoze. We saw a Caracal in a medium plex, so i parked a Miasmos out the front door, and warped to and from the Medium and a Small complex a few times. The guy bit, and warped back to the plex gate, whereupon I got point with the Wreathe. 

He eventually died.

We kept rolling down the road towards Tama, eventually washing up in Ouelletta outside a small which contained a Thrasher. The strategy was for everyone to just derp about at a celestial near the plexes and see what bit, whether the Thrasher would come out to play. He did not.

However, an Ishtar and Ishkur landed, and pointed up our bait Nereus. He went down just before the Scythe landed (he only mentioned being pointed when already dying) but by then I had the ishkur pointed with the Wreathe, and ECM drones on the Ishtar.

This wasn't quite as easy a fight as you may expect. The DPS from an ishtar is pretty fierce. I mean, the ishkur was fucked, no two ways about it, but it was some pretty hairy moments for the dual MASB Miasmos as a flight of Curators ripped through its shields and armour.

Then the Wreathe got picked on, put into armour before reps could land. The Ishkur went down and we swapped to the Curators, the Ishtar kiting at 40km. He came to burn back in towards us, and I hoofed it for him with the Wreathe, overheating the MWD. Sadly, a bug got in the way, with autorepeat turning off on the MWD mysteriously, and the Scythe out of rep range. I was in structure and only 11km from the Ishtar with a web on it and a scram.

The Ishtar got a lock on the Scythe, and put it into structure, but with no one pointed and fleeing my Wreathe as fast as his little legs could carry him, we elected to disengage.

We roamed up to Tama, and did a U-turn to Stacmon for downtime. All in all, some good fun was had by all, including our victims.

The Scythe + Blarpy roam thereafter was also a considerable success, with 600M ganked for the loss of a couple of Blarpies and some accusations from the Calmil resident retard, Damar, that we've been paid off by the Frogs to come shit in their weeties.

I can neither confirm nor deny it, but the fact we killed a lot of squids is just the facts.Maybe if calMil paid us better, we'd be more inclined to shoot frogs?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dealing with Loss(mails)

There's been a fair bit of discussion about killboards within the corp from time to time as we rummage through the KB history of the various entities which we encounter from day to day in the depths of Anoikis and of nullsec.

We don't really care about highsec griefers (or "PVP"ers) and most lowsec guys are either pirates camping gates, FW guys thrown through the meatgrinder, or just randoms no one cares about.

You can tell a fair bit about a player or his corporation via their killboard, even if it is incomplete. The typical gang sizes, compositions, and so on. Efficiency is a good attribute, but as said previously, it can also be a good indicator of the degree of butthurt he's going to feel when, for example, he cops his 11th loss ever.

It is the sting of loss which is interesting, and in many ways, is why KB efficiency and history and forensics are so unique to EVE. Hell, even the simple fact you have killmails to brag or troll with is pretty much unique to EVE. All other games, like World of Tanks (which I no longer play) etc, you have measures of efficiency, damage dealt, and so on. But you never really have someone link a killmail to you and troll you about the fact you fit a mixed tank.

Trawling through a corp's KB history is essentially unique to w-space. You need to know who you are up against, how old the toons are, how hardened they are, and how blobby they are. This is the only intel you may get (aside from fleeting d-scan readings or lurking a hole for hours) on what level of threat your foe really presents.

I have pondered the response of Rootie Golden and pals, which went as predicted, and the fact one may predict this from what was essentially a cursory glance over his KB and that of his corp (and, obviously, knowing who Adhocracy is).

Alts can be extremely efficient on killboards. My alt is. In the latest corp, it's currently 8.85 billion in 56 kills, to 2 losses for 40M (being a covetor). Overall, however, due to the stint in FW and many, many hero tackles with the Cheetah of Doom(tm) it isn't quite as spectacular as that.

But, by the same token, when I finally lose the ship I've stuck my aalt in more or less permanently for the past 3 months, it won't sting. This is because I have more or less achieved my goal of a 10:1 ISK efficiency with the ship already, I've had at least 6 bullshit close shaves already, and I've lost well over 4.3 billion in ISK in 74 losses since 2009 when she was born. that's close to 10:1 and well in excess of 10:1 ISK.

On Trinkets friend, I'm not quite holding 10:1 kill:deaths. The advent of killrights requires you to shed them with alts for 1 ISK a pop. This shows, to the forensic examiner, I'm ganking Macks and Hulks and gaming properly. So, as we do, if one excludes all these losses, the analysis changes slightly.

Nevertheless, do i regret any losses? A few. The CNR I lost to 2/3rds of a bottle of whisky while playing on sattelite modem from a mining camp near Paraburdoo. A couple of Rapiers where i screwed the pooch badly.

But overall, I'm happy to haave played the game. I'm happy to take the Augoror navy in 4 v 1 on a hole and killdozer / brick tank like a bawss knowing, since I'm purposefully shunting myself off the hole to get a fight, shit may go bad. it might show up on my killboard.

I think the key to dealing with loss in EVE is to learn to fit your ships respectably. Then, even if you die because you suck as a pilot, or have no situational awareness, or just get blobbed, you not only avoid people trolling you on Battleclinic and elsewhere, but you eliminate fitting as a contributing factor.

Secondly, you need to realise no one is perfect. People rolling ridiculous killboard stats and claiming they are better than everyone, they are gaming it somehow. Or, like quite a few people in big corps, they are hiding in the long grass and will suck hard when taken out of their context. For me, it's 100MN ships and station games. Null, low, w-space, I do OK.

For many, it's not having 20 guys backing you up. or not having off-grid boosters, snake sets and pimp and Falcon. Get them away from those advantages and they fall apart. So, when you get pwned try to work out what their edge over you was. Often it's the fit, sometimes it's OGB's and pimp, sometimes it's finding that he's got your hard counter. But some times, it's just being better than you.

Thirdly, when faced with a stinging feeling upon getting your spacepixels assploded, you jjust have to realise it's a game. You pay to play it, and sometimes you pay to fly ships. If you haven't got enough enjoyment from your money (and, at US$15/mo this is cheap entertainment, lets be honest) then find ways to do that. Often, it involves downsizing your risk to frigs or cruisers or T1, and just getting used to blowing up.

When you get over it, you'll be happy when someone smacks in Local and says they've got a 90% efficiency and a 10:1 K:D ratio and you suck because you rock only a 80% and 8.6:1. So what? Every lossmail was purchased with time and/or money, and you had fun.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Annotated Chatlog

EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Manatirid
Kage Noctis > ah, how i have missed Eve these past few months...feels good to be back :D
Nuke Cherenkov > Ok, I'll bite.  Were've you been?
Kage Noctis > haven't gotten on due to RL issues
Miskoranda > Looking forward to Rubicon?
Nuke Cherenkov > That damn RL...
Kage Noctis > have no idea Misk, haven't read anything on it XD
Miskoranda > Some pretty cool stuff. Salvage thingy will be awesome.
Kage Noctis > it's kinda ironic, RL i can't stand still for more than a few minutes without going nuts, but in Eve if i'm not mining i'm not content
Kage Noctis > something about the music and the atmosphere just makes me feel at peace when i'm mining
TriKsta Omanid > Allahu Akbar
Catalyst Azizora > Alllllllahhhhhh
Trinkets friend > 21 Virgins Be praised!
Trinkets friend > may your goat live forever!!!!
Kage Noctis > really?

 Welcome back, dude.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Mea Culpa

I have previously expounded on risk management, proportionality and various other themes in my blog, where I use the art of expository cogitation and a hefty thesaurus to describe the shape of my mental map of the game and how I navigate through it without losing all my toys.

This is a roundabout way of saying, I have thought long and hard about what I'm good at in EVE, and learned my lessons when I've strayed outside my comfort zone. I even have a few lossmails to prove it. I share these meandering ruminations with my readership in order to give them some inspiration, if not warning, about trying new things.

One thing I haven't got the hang of are 100MN T3's (or indeed any 100MN cruiser).

We've all seen the videos of the Russian dude pwning whole fleets of people. You can even kinda count Kovorix's Navy Omen exploits in this category of video - amazing to watch, difficult to replicate. We have a guy in corp who has inspired us with his highsec war history of using an expensive 100MN Tengu to blow up legions of foes. This prompted another guy to get his own 100MN Tengu, for his new Tengu toon he bought off the forums, the fit of which you can inspect here.

I, for one, know I'm more or less useless at making those kinds of videos, and I don't try.

As with everything in w-space, something like this always has a build-up. It started 4 hours previously when a collapse went badd and I got another guys Orca lodged firmly in highsec. The new static was a C2 with E545/N062 statics (null/C5). In the ten minutes before downtime, I probed it out and noticed a Loki and probes kicking around.

Downtime occurs at dinner time here in Western Australia, and being married, I devote 2-3 hours of QT's most nights to the wife. Which is why I am married, and not bitterly describing my ex-wife as a mosquito harpy. So, i was delayed in my return, but in the end it didn't matter.

I went to nullsec to sniff around for ratters to kill, and cross-jumped a Tengu on the E545. This was enough to get the guys faffing about with Marauders on Singularity to sign in for reals, and mass up on the static.

The Loki exposed itself on the static, and got unlucky. Our mate with the 100MN Tengu was sitting on the inside. The Loki spawned right atop a Falcon and couldn't cloak. He thus had to jump back, and got doubly unlucky, spawning within 2000m of the Legion. While we were shooting him, I noticed the ticker [ADHC] and thought, oh shit, we're gonna be blobbed. Sadly for Rootie Golden, he was well down the rabbit hole, and lost his ride.

Time pased, during which I pointed out to my corpies that Rootie Golden was on his comms, whining and wheezing like a basement geek andd demanding blood. Adhocracy would be out for revenge, and they would be back. This was based on the fact that someone like Rootie Golden doesn't get 230 kills and only 10 losses (now 11) soloing or taking fair fights, Adhocracy has a lot of pride and face to lose, and there are 240 of them. My risk management bells were going off.

Nevertheless, I found their home system up a chain like this: Our hole -> C2 -> nullsec -> C5 -> C5. I parked my alt in nullsec, where their numbers would be exposed while enroute to us, and waited.

They slid an Anathema into our hole, and therefore our fleet comp was compromised. They stayed, primarily, out of nullsec, and I wasn't revealing myself more than strictly necessary, so whilst we knew they had a fleet, we didn't know what. It was safe to assume it would be more than enough to blow up a few of us. So the decision really was, roll the static quickly, or try to outwit them?

We chose the latter.

There was an attempt to bait with an Osprey Navy Issue, which got an Exequror Navy to warp in from their side. he retired to the E545 to bait, and Fornicis obliged with the 100MN Tengu.

Now, I've tried to fly these things, but they really need the proper implants, and a blue pill and decent boosts. The old style Loki boosts were the duck's nuts as far as 100MN Tengu is concerned, with ridiculous sig radius, speed, agility and point range boosts.

None of this works well when you have to get within 30km of a wormhole to do damage. This is what Javelin HAMs and T2 launchers will give you (we'd been regaled with the better DPS application of the navy launchers as he couldn't yet fit T2's). We also didn't have any boosts in the static C2, so the 100MN was going 30% slower than it ought to have, and 30% slower to turn and align. He also began orbiting the wormhole (you always fight aligned) so, no surprises, a Proteus jumps through and points him and it up and is on his arse inside 10 seconds. With a 25 second align time, that's a long time.

This is where my alt in nullsec fails. Faced with a 2 billion Tengu loss shitting up our killboards, I prepare to burn my Rapier to web the Proteus off the Tengu. I am 145km away, unable to warp to 50km to web the Proteus and give our guy a chance of getting his burn going. ADHC chooses the time I'm not looking at my screen to move the rape fleet through the nullsec. Suddenly our guy is drowning in enemy ships, so we uncloak our Falcon and break him free (cost: 1 Falcon).

ADHC warps direct to our static. Fornicis doesn't warp directly, and gets caught. Our other Falcon pilot could have broke the takle from the Execquror Navy, but was afraid of being raped and losing his ship. It's arguable we should have gone down 2 Falcons versus 1 Tengu,  it was the right thing to do, but for some people a Falcon is a large investment, and for others it's not.

Lessons learned? Not sure any have been. It's easy to spread the blame to scouts, but buying a toon and a 2 billion ISK 100MN Tengu and using it in a situation it's not built for, is asking for trouble. I did tell him it would be an expensive lossmail when he bought it. I did tell him 30km isn't enough range to play silly buggers on a wormhole. I did call the +1 in Local which was the Proteus. Mea culpa.

100MN works best in k-space. I've seen them in w-space before, but unless you really try, losing a ship to one is hard. It is a kiting ship, and as we know, kiting ships in wormholes aren't that great.

Nek Minnit

Timing, as always, is everything.

Two days in a row, i've logged in about 5 to 10 minutes too late. Yesterday it was a pair of Thanatos doing C4's. Our guys felt they were a bit light on DPS, so they were waiting for a friend to come down the batphone chain, and the Pilgrim lurking the caps in the anomaly got decloaked a few minutes too early, so...blueballs.

It happens. A lot.

Today, I was ten minutes too late to a fight on our static wherein we lost a Cerberus and a Tengu. The Tengu was an unlucky decloak, and got vaped. Then everything started going to shit, for both sides.

Our foes had jumped in a small gang, including some battleships, for the ganking. They were halfway through some smacktalk when they brought in a Noctis and collapsed themselves in the hole just as I signed on to comms and logged in.

I heard they were sitting where the old wormhole was, and having Local minimised, I was oblivious to a one-sided negotiation on behalf of the other guys to arrange a bookmark out. Having realised the other half of their fleet was stranded in their C2, I just hopped in the Nidhoggur (Mr Lucky Hull Tank 5%) and warped atop them, and spat out some fighters and started shooting the Scorpion.

[23:29:11] Ilaister > can we have it?
[23:29:28] Ilaister > we'll just scan it if not.
[23:29:52] Evan Roc > sure one sec I will drop a can
[23:29:56] Evan Roc > dont kill me ok
[23:29:58] Ilaister > ty man
[23:30:06] Ilaister > nah honour now.
[23:30:18] Ilaister > we got a massive hostile fleet next door now. :(
[23:31:37] Ilaister > your nid?
[23:32:15] Evan Roc > come on
[23:32:20] Evan Roc > we fought you
[23:32:21] Ilaister > ....?
[23:32:25] Kezei > lol
[23:32:26] Kezei > yeah.
[23:32:28] Ilaister > that's a fucking nid mate.
[23:32:51] Evan Roc > yeah
[23:32:56] Ilaister > we just agreed to get the hole from you
[23:32:56] Trinkets friend > I'm On A Fucking Boat
[23:33:01] Evan Roc > lol
[23:33:08] Ilaister > 0_o
Meanwhile, apparently, back in their hole, the other half of their fleet was having its donut punched by another fleet on the other side. They'd been lurking, and saw the connection get blown, and made their move. Not sure of any kills.

Back in our hole, the Task Force Proteus guys scattered from the Nid, and we chased the Vagabond to the sun. He was probably a little preoccupied on his alt in his home wormhole, because he warped back to the old position of the wormhole, and got scrammed. 

They found their way out the back door via nullsec, eventually. We snagged their Noctis as it left, though the guy was very adroit at ejecting the salvage from the Tengu and Cerb which we lost, and we fucked up the dictor tackle on his pod. 

So, I am sure that inadvertant dishonour Niddy is the least of the confusion around that series of unfortunate events. Maybe next time, I'll turn comms on  ten minutes before I normally do. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013


Friday's lowsec roam was week two of our new Blarpy + Scythe concept. It is basically similar to the Harpy leets that do decimated the TEST/N3 fleets in Fountain recently, except with Scythes for more rep power and survivability. Gate guns and all.

I got to the form-up system ahead of time. The SWIFT guys, who form the backbone of the fleet numbers, had their wormhole fortuitously connecting in to the staging system that day, which assisted in us forming up. Except, not being mandatory, we had the guy with the sec status fetish (5.0 and unwilling to GCC because hes afraid of having his Incursions privileges revoked) alts, and one guy mining in another channel on comms and in another fleet. Well, aside from the miner, who wasnt in fleet.

Anyway, literally a minute before the roam starts, the miner guy hops in our channel and calm as a toddler on Aderol, announces a Tengu has him pointed in the grav site.

The alts go back to the POS and reship into Proteuses and a Geddon, and the roam fleet gets me a warp-in on the hole in hisec. As the Tengu is pointed (being bait, ofc) half my fleet drops and joins the home defense fleet, which isn't adverted for me. I eventually just get the grav site name and warp in when the hammer falls - Proteus, Rapier, Cyclone and Falcon come to bail the aggravating Tengu.

I hoof it for the Rapier as it's closer, and standing away from the enemy fleet, so we need tackle. I tackle him and begin gnawing away on his tank. I slowly solo him, with Falcon jams dropping off me much to the chagrin of the Rapier pilot. Well, I say solo because someone's drones whored onto the mail.

We manage to clean up the Tengu, Proteus and Cyclone, and a Kestrel of fail fitting drives the Falcon off field. It takes a lot of effort to soort the situation out; two concurrent fleets, in comms, with various people not having their overviews set up. Like, who is in that Harpy named Colon Cancer?

Colon Cancer kills 1 in 12 men, you see.

The B274 to our staging system has collapsed by now, so we have to probe ourselves out, and leave the Sec Fetishist behind to nurse his connections and lurk. Of ccourse, by now the non-SWIFT guys are all massed up in the staging system and the SWIFT guys and FC (being me) get dumped 17 jumps away in Koraka. We decide to meet in Abune, and roam the Nennamaila to Tama pocket.

I won't go into excrutiating detail, but suffice to say we scalped a total of 17 kills. We had three lossmails, all by the same guy. Humang has a skill at getting fights, the only problem being he's always 1-2 jumps behind the fleet reshipping and decides to randomly jump into a medium plex and takes a figght vs a Vexor, for example, and we are a bit too slow to get back to him.

The interesting part about is the pod loss to good old Santo Trafficante. This time, a smartbombing Panther. He has a skill, that guy, which unfortunately eclipses Humang's skills - and in this case was the skill of picking the gate to which someone will warp their pod.

The other interesting thing about Santo is that he is actually apparently making a lot of ISK now that Retribution has dropped. Bounties on pirates are now eminently more collectable because now you just need to kill the ship. previously, podding pirates in lowsec was basically impossible and hence bounties stacked up. Since there's seas of butthurt washing about EVE, people are putting bounties on one another and collections are escalating. Santo seems to be collecting his fair share of bounties.

Overall, we are having a lot of fun with the Blarpy/Scythe doctrine, as we can confidently send in the Blarpy to gain tackle and it will survive long enough to get reps. It's just a shame we haven't yet got to take it toe to toe with a decent small gang.

Sunday, 3 November 2013


This is a tale of two themes.

First there is a corp of 4 Canadian roommates, who have a 19 toon wormhole corporation and made a boo-boo moving in to one of the few C2's with Y683/B274 static combinations which are not owned by the Russians.

As we all know (or should do) these holes are either owned by Russians or Germans. Russians love them because Russians, not being racist or nothing, have a hard-on for the Tengu (come on, Starbridge, deny this) and the Tengu is the pre-eminent pre-Rubicon chariot for smashing C4's and making bulk silly ISK in C2 space. Inevitably, because there's nothing else to do except smash back horseradish wodka and your womenfolk, Russians can get up at 0300 GMT and blow up 3 POS's with 30 battleships.

Germans, well, they are just efficient western Russians. I call them the Stealth Russians of w-space. You notice the Russians taking over because they do Blood Union and Starbridge style shit, and everyone gets onto the EVE-O forums and cries and wrings panties about them. You never suspect the Germans until, bam! they're up your Maginot line and crossing the Meuse and its all jackboots and discipline.

Anyway, our new peripheral mates in Canada took 3 POS losses in stride, and being recently evicted, we went on a lowsec roam with them to Derelik.

Yes, Derelik lowsec roams.

That's what shit has come to.

Some immature pirates later who, according to Local smack had "remapped F1 to 'dock'" because they ran from every fight, and then followed us around in a covops jumping ahead of us and screaming in local "dock up! bad men on the gate!" because, fuck our roam in particular...

Well, you can see why it's a forgettable shithole of nowhere, where I strongly suggest one goes in order to find empty lowsec static wormholes and assloads of exploration content which will make you buttloads of ISK. But don't undock anything scary, or you'll scare the local pirates away.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Out of the Wilds

Forgot to update yesterday, but got out of the C4, after 3 days. Made a new friend, too.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Goat Sects in the Goat Track

Days stuck in the goat track: 2.
Personal best: 7

Today's efforts involved probing a K162 to C4, no help there. The X877 to C4, which had a C6 exit. Again. Then a K162 to C5, which had no other exits, but whose gassing operation I interrupted.

Spawned all the sites, and moved on. Because fuck that C5 in particular.

Meanwhile in K-space...

I found my way into some dead-end lowsec system and saw a Tayra on scan, eponymously named for its owner. He waved in Local, so I waved back, hoping to get him at the POCO. Then he told me his tale of woe, about how he warped his Tayra full of 236M of POS crap to the wrong moon and someone else's POS vaped his ship. Now he couldn't find it, and only had a Tayra, and would get blapped, so sobbing ensued.

I wonder how much dropped?

So I found the wreck with my collapsing alt, and the POS popped him. I guess I should PLEX up and drop dual character training into him and actually train some rudimentary navigation skills. Nah.

So i came back with TF in a Prowler, and yoinked 223M in fuel, labs and ammo assembly arrays. Expenses was 11.75M in 100MN Omen, leaving 212.25M in profit.


Monday, 28 October 2013

Road Closed

There's one reason people will form gigantic blobby w-space corporations - when you finally, finally interrupt a C6 farming operation mid-site, you can do something about it. Us? We were but two players and 7 toons versus a escalation quad of Russian bears in a C6/C4s. No chance.

We were hoping that they would re-start after downtime, so we could get the batphone running. We were confounded in this effort by them rolling the entry connection after downtime, and our static expiring which required us to probe it out afresh.

It also doesn't help when it is dinner time. Eating dinner saw my alt's exit rolled by a Moros and 2 dominixes, stranding me up in a C6 with a C4. As we know, wormholes come in three basic flavours, best analogised via reference to roadways.

C5 Superhighway
C5's get one static, and mostly it's a C5. This means you often end up with a H296 exit into a C5 with a h296. Ad infinitum. A long single-connection chain of C5's with, most likely, a bunch of nullsec entries, the odd lowsec. The Superhighway ends with a C1, C2, C3 or C4 connection. C6's are like the high occupancy lane of the superhighway.

Traffic on the C5 Superhighway can be rather light. As per above, a lot of C5s and C6s are inhabited by bears. The Russians for example were living out off a gunless un-hardened small Minmatar tower. They were just making money - lots and lots of money. So I spawned every sig in system and left - a hearty fuck you to farming.

The C2 Expressway
The majority of C2's are in the B274 plus (O477/Z647/Y683) pairing. However, a significant population are the D382/A239 static pairing, and these often form daisy-chains where the D382 leads into a C2 with D382/A239 and so on and so forth. This is known as the C2 Expressway. Commmon exits off the Expressway include K162's to highsec, lowsec, nullsec and other inbound C2's.

Traffic on the C2 Expressway is often heavy. Not only are C2's easier to solo and more prone to PI alts to gank, miners to gank and so on, there are plenty of itinerants and vagrant drifters who are happier being one jump from k-space than not.

The other good thing about the C2 Expressway is you often get highly branched chains. Because C2's have 2 statics, even if one terminates in k-space, the other keeps the chain going. You can often follow the chains for a half-dozen connections, each with a fork in the road and a chance at fucktards to blow up.

C4 Goat Track
The final chain type in w-space is the C4 Goat Track. A large population of C4's have the X877 static to C4. You can often end up with a moderate daisy chain of C4's connected in a line. Given C4 space is fairly empty, this is like turning off the nicely paved road of the C5 superhighway or the well-lit Expressway and driving down a rutted backwoods lane. You often run into hicks.

On the C4 Goat Track, your exits are as likely to go up as down. So when you exit your farmville C6 into a C4, it can go back up to a C6, thus ending your hope of at least getting a down exit from the Goat Track. You also never* get a k-space exit, which shows you what w-space needs in CCp's reinvigoration of the arena.

So, last night, where did my alt end up? Well, after she left the C6 I had a short drive on the Goat Track and ended up with a C6 upwards exit. Choice: go back up to C6 space, or go back and hope the X877 expires and connects back onto the Goat Track, or at least a C4 with an inbound K162 from a C2. I chose the latter.

Days stuck in the goat track: 1.
Personal best: 7

Lets see how this pans out.

Meanwhile, in k-space, we camped some gates and killed some haulers in Syndicate. Go us.

* - one of my corpies got an exit from a C4 to highsec. Or so he says - seeing is believing. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Ratting during PVP

Today I bought a house midway through collapsing a K162 to nullsec. It was Perrigen Falls, and there was an Incursion so it was no ratting, no going through gates, cyno jammed, fucked six ways to sunday.

So, i rolled it and it got replaced by Bob the Wormhole God instantly with a k162 to Brothers of Tangra space. I hopped out in a Vigil to go have a look-see. 2 oracles, Nightmare, procurer on scan and a shitload of anoms.

I warped to station and saw an Oracle and the Mare dock up. Began hunting the second oracle and it, too, docked. But not really very fast. That left the procurer somewhere at planet 8. So I warp belt 1 (natch) and nothing. Still on D-scan, so I track him to belt 3. i warp and land within 6km and he's doing 54m/s.

I am faced with a choice: Vigil vs Procurer with 5 Hobgoblins, or warp off like I was just kidding, and hope he hits the belt again after his 15 minute cooldown from panty-twisting panic.

After YOLOing an Execquror Navy into a C5 Data site vs 2 Tengus (and cloaked prot, Rapier, Falcon) and escaping alive, I figured it was worth a shot. Besides, i'd instapointed his arse upon landing, so Alea icta est.

Thus began a 15 minute exercise in 54 DPS versus a Procurer, the owner of which was very annoyed at his buds for not helping. He had a point - the spawn of BS and 3 frigate rats which came to the belt and shot me did more than he did. I made a bit of ISK killing the rats, midway through his hull.

His whingeing in Local is displayed below;

EVE System > Subspace communication beacon unreachable. Channel list unavailable.
Artem Radionow > 8 - 1 помогите
Artem Radionow > на белте 8 - 1
Artem Radionow > помогите
Nova Ernaga > )
Artem Radionow > <url=showinfo:3766>Vigil*</url> поймал выносит
Artem Radionow > пожалуйста
Artem Radionow > Помогите!!! пжлст
Artem Radionow > ау люди!!!
Artem Radionow > 8 - 1 белт
Artem Radionow > пацаны ну х шип же помогите
Nova Ernaga > умри тихо
Artem Radionow > HELLP 8 - 1
Artem Radionow > да б.. у него х шип прилетите вынесите пжлст
Artem Radionow > все что накопал отдам
Trinkets friend > gf
Artem Radionow > спасибо за помощь!!!

I am sure that Google Translate is unneccessary to interpret that all. But I did pull out his mate's response in Local:
Nova Ernaga > Die quietly

With friends like those, who needs enemies?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Worst Carebear Nominee

I have been pretty busy with work, so this exculpatory exposee is a bit overdue.

As you may be aware, gassing is kind of a staple standby activity for wormholers. When you are essentially alone, or the chain is dead, or your signature load is just getting on top of you, then getting rid of some sigs by sucking gas is something you can do. You also make some ISK; usually not a lot but you can make a little.

Mining isn't really a smart thing these days, what with ore sites being warpable off the system overlay. However, if you keep on top of new signatures and have a spotter on the static (or just leave it closed and un-warped) then you can, more or less, mine in safety.

The ISK/hr yield of mining is pretty low compared to quad escalating C5 sites. However, it doesn't need preparation, teamwwork, combat boosters, etcetera. You can just warp a Covetor to a ore site and suck ABC's or HGD's and Bob is your Wormhole God, you at least make something. Also good for people who cannot fly or afford capitals.

This is all known to me, via experience at telling everyone else how to do it, and theorycrafting. However, when it comes to actually making ISK and not dying horribly? Nope.

Last week I burned 2 Covetors and 3 Ventures in 2 days on TF and alts, via exploding gas clouds, warping alts to POSs and fucking the passwords (blap), and via dying in PVP. Total cost: 160M ISK in blown up spacepixels (ships, modules and implants). Yield: About 98M.

Fuck this. Carebearing is too hard. I'll stick to blowing up miners and gassers (yield last week: 70M in loots).

Friday, 18 October 2013

Tickbox - I'll take shitloads

The general shape and size (so to speak) of the Mobile Siphon Units for Rubicon has been released.

I shall be purchasing....buttloads. I would also expect that other people would also be buying buttloads.

They tick all the boxes for making nullsecan interesting place for raiders and itinerant scab pickers.

Easily deployed with a Covert Ops frigate? Tickybox.
No anchoring time (or indeed, any need to right click aand select anchor)? Tickybox.
Tough enough to deter casual attacks? Tickybox.
POS guns don't automatically cleanse the POS? Tickybox.
One hour cycle time? Tickybox.
Automatically does its job if it is in range? Tickybox.
Multiple units can be deployed? Tickybox.
Wastes a good portion of the shit it's stealing? Waitwhat.

This has some interesting ramifications if it is deployed as I would expect it to be deployed - in huge quantities and in vast areas. 20% of the moon goo production could, theoretically, evaporate. The rest, depending on whether you set up enough Siphons, could be stolen. or at least gacked from the POS and left floating in openly accessible tubs around POSs.

The features I like the most are, well, all of them. But especially the one hour cycle rate, which means when we get a nullsec connection we can drop a shitload of these around a moon goo POS (or if they exist already, just steal from them) and make bank before the hole disappears inside of 16-24 hours.

This, my friends, is why the K346 will become popular again.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The era of teleportation hits EVE

We've all been there. Well, we should all have been there, cloaky camping that POCO in a C1 with your trusty covops, when Numpty McFuckbags lands in his Mammoth, and you watch where he aligns. You figure it out after a few seconds, and align yourself, and warp. It's a, oh lets just say 30 AU warp.

You land AFTER him, and have to attempt to point his fat ass before your decloak timer wears off and he hits warp.

You eventually wonder how this shit works, I mean, really? Your warp speed is 13 AU per second (or more if you rig for it) his is 3. his align speed is 13 seconds, yours is 7. Yet, always, all the time, you are chasing him around and failing to get to a planet before him.

Hence, Rubicon will change all that. CCP in its infinite wisdom has decided that ships should accelerate to top warp speed faster, to more closely approach the quoted top speed. This is fine; they already tweaked it a little (which was barely noticeable), and certainly it should be done. After all, you never really reach your to speed except when traversing Oicx.

So: bueno.

The problem is...I think this is a bit too far.

Example gacked from Bam Stroker

That was 16 AU's in 14 seconds.

"What does it mean?"

Well...not much for Russian bots who clear the anoms/belts/whatever within 1 second of anyone entering Local. Not a huge amount for nullbears on their toes and looking at local in some fashion, who can probably be aligned out within time and entering warp by the time the interceptor is on the belt - though there isnt much room for error.

For wormhole folks? RSi of the index finger. You can be well and truly within 1 AU of a target between mouse clicks. This has made wormhole space inherently much less safe.

I am not entirely sure that this hasn't gone too far. Let me explain.

The majority of changes to the game thus far have involved tweaking ship statistics, numbers, abilities and the like. The physics engine behind EVE has stayed relatively (or, publicly) unmolested up until now. Ships may go slightly faster or slower, they may do more or less DPS, have more or less tank, and so on. In the main, medium neuts have behaved like medium neuts, cruisers have behaved like cruisers, etcetera. Things have turned the same, moved the same, and entered warp the same.

Now that's all about to change. It is arguable this is for the best. Frigates should, intuitively, be faster than battleships. This may or may not, depending on your intuition, carry over into warp speeds. I'm not so sure that warp needs to be dependent so much on mass, but that's an argument for physicists and concepts of going trans-light speeds (ie; mass becomes less relevant as you approach and indeed, exceed the speed of light).

Nevertheless, it is what it is. Battleships are slow on field, and slow to align, have fucked guns with fucked tracking and fucked DPS against speed+ low-sig meta, and are going to enter warp slower, accelerate to their mediocre top warp speed slower, and get somewhere slower.

The problem I have, which may be rooted in my bitter-vetness, is that this just seems too fast. This is essentially teleportation. As I have said before, battleships are mostly obsolete in the small gang sphere due to the sig + speed meta and the ridiculousness of larger guns equaling slower tracking. Now your ship will not even be able to align out of a belt before an interceptor is on you - let alone a carrier.

The good thing is obviously going to be the period of adjustment while people work out that align time is their key defence in nullsec against ceptor gangs. In're just going to be boned. if someone knowws where you are, they can have a ceptor on you before it registers on d-scan.

I remain to be convinced.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Rules of Omnomnom

It seems that my corp spends the majority of its time on comms talking about food, because we are all foodies. Today we discussed Mexican food. Taquitos, Tacos, guacamole tips. We shared recipes on how to make a picante aioli sauce with pequino or chipotle chillies (a serious debate which took 15 minutes). The lamentations of using dried versus fresh ingredients, and the virtues of growing your own.

Sometimes it's hard to get scouting and PVP done because of the cooking discussions.

Of course, our resident Southern fellow once discussed how to make breakfast, and mentioned he had a great recipe for squirrel. "Ain't nothing like squirrel gravy breakfast."

Friday, 4 October 2013

Barleguet Conjugal Visit

This week's Friday roam we went somewhere different - sunny Barleguet.

Roaming lowsec is fun. You get to set your safety red (if it already is not, in which case, you are a sissy), shoot whatever you can shoot when you or they jump gate, and maybe die in a fire. However, you can spend four or five hours roaming around to die horribly for no kills, or get no kills. The former is as much down to Titan bridges and derp as skill, and the latter is down to luck, the phase of the moon, or whether or not a football game is on.

As Johnny Twelvebore said, often the 'élite' of EVE will roll about in a T3-AHAC-Guardian blob and hug a gate or station to avoid Scenario 1 altogether and preserve their precious killboard ratio.

This is why we chose Barleguet - we could guarantee a fight, because Brave newbies play the game to get fights (even if they get a drubbing) and the philosophy of the corp is not to sweat their killboard ratio. Which is actually a really good thing considering what it is. Brave Newbies removes from the roam the disappointment of spending hours looking for non-existent fights, or getting blueballed by chickenshit elite PVPers (looking at you Hagilur).

The other intriguing thing which drew me to Balreguet was that Brave Newbies aren't completely newbies any more. They don't all just grab the first ship they can afford, right-click hangar, select all and choose 'fit to ship'. They are rolling a Rail Thorax / Scythe fleet comp, and it is pretty beastly especially at a ratio of 1.2 Thorax per Scythe (plus cutlery).

We brought a Gold Fleet comp with a few hangers-on; 3 Augorors, 3 Omens, 3 Arby, 4 Ruppy, BB Vengeance, Keres, Wolf, Lachesis for tackle and 'heavy scout' provided by Goat Sects in the Tempest.

We met in top belt and did OK. We were facing 6 Scythes, 10+ rail Thorax, a couple of Caracals and a couple of BB plus frig tackle (which was irrelevant) and a Dram pilot who was at pains not to get within 57km of my Lachesis.

The problem we faced was really the Ruppies. They only really push out 270 gun DPS versus the 400-450 of the Rail Thorax, which also gets better tracking and maneuverability (shield fit). If we'd gone solid Gold Fleet with the beam Omen, we'd have doubled our DPS. Beams and Rails, overpowered? I ask you.

Secondarily, we can do our EWAR a bit better. They use Scythes because, for noobs, setting up cap chains is too hard, confusing and time-consuming. Therefore, Ospreys are out and Scythes are in.

However, the tally of kills would have been significantly higher but for a period of really, really shit lag. We'd split their fleet on a gate and landed just after the bulk of their 35-man blob had warped off, and were in position to catch their stragglers stumbling through. But do you think we could get our points to activate even after 4 seconds of lock? No. A major frustration.

At the end of the night, we came out about even, if a little ahead. A few tweaks with our fleet comp, and maybe a little more numbers, and we'll be saying 'gf' more.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Leap of Faith

Yesterday we were connected to The Last Chancers. I hear tell that they recently got a bit of a drubbing by KILL, but the corp which was most active through the K162 to C6 was Merchants Trade Consortium [MTCU].

I am not sure if they are moving out, but they were certainly making a lot of jumps out through our static C2 to highsec with all manner of things. Being mid-week and a school night for our US TZ people we didn't have a lot of active pilots, so we couldn't completely interdict their logistics, so we were restricted to skirmishing. We were not going to let them use our hole without at least havving a crack at them.

I demanded, cheekily, a hooker tax for each jump they made; one Exotic Dancer (female). Without lice; an important stipulation. I got no reply.

Late, late AU TZ the boys from SWIFT were bored after closing their holes, and located only 10 jumps from one of our highsec exits. I had been spotted and likely put on watchlist from a few skirmishes before downtime, which was us nearly bag a Zealot and Brutix, but the SWIFT guys were an unknown force. We would try for some pods coming back from hisec, so they brought recons (Falcon, Rapier, Arazu),4 bombers and a Sabre, in via the O477.

The plan was to set up on the C2-C5 connection, and I would watch the k162 to C6 which was by now mass reduceed and end of lifetime. If something juicy and killable came through, we would bubble up, murder it, and then likely just go to bed. 

Unluckily, our Sabre got cross-jumped while landing on the connection between our static C2 and our C5. Just a bit of shit luck for him to get spotted, but the remainder of the force remained on the QT, so we began camping. Being well past midnight, every time one of our guys would start heading home, something would jump.

Suddenly, an Archon jumps from the C6, collapsing the hole. I pointed it immediately; a static C2 exit means no exit, practically, for trapped capitals. The SWIFT guys came through after a few seconds, having to have me confirm that yes, I did in fact have an Archon pointed.

We weren't prepared for this apparent derp, so things were a bit rushed, which would come back to bite us about 25 minutes later. We landed an Archon and me in a Niddy to prop the subcaps, and began the arduous process of shipping people into neut BS. Confusion, and too many bubbles from the Sabre preventing warp-outs, prevented us crushing the static. But nevertheless, the guy tanked like a boss and his cap began drying up.

Sadly, the batphone had been rung, possibly a significant time earlier (who knows) and old nanna in the form of Sleeper Social Club turned up to put a stop to proceedings, save the MTCU Archon and drive us from the field with a Devoter, Deimos, neut legion, 3 Guardians, and eventually, a handful more Protei and Lokis. There were some losses (+ 2 Domis + Mega).

I say nanna turned up, because we got our Archon and my Nidhoggur back to the POS in one piece, as did most of the lent-out Domi ball and battleships we'd shat out of our SMA's. We honestly all should have been back in hisec, but it is what it is.

Chaos kicked us in the arse in responding to a totally unexpected situation when most of the toons in fleet were from a visiting corp and couldn't reship.

Az Anyosod however, was very sporting, and offered to sell his Archon. I apparently drive a hard bargain. It was past midnight, and I have super-important IRl shit to do today, so I had to leave the negotiations halfway through. Negotiations were concluded and a corpmate bought the Archon, though I am unsure for how much.

I'd like to obviously thank MTCU for providing us with hours of cloak and dagger, and a decent fight, and the SWIFT boys for copping the majority of the losses (sorry lads), and SSC for following their FC's orders. Also, Az Anyosod for jumping his Archon in and giving us some content. May your puckered rectum eventually relax.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Alt Time

Every so often in w-space you get a K162 from someone else's wormhole and that someone else has a lot more guys online than you do. In those situations, what you do is you fire up your faction warfare alt and go hump buttons.

Monday, 30 September 2013


The Rubicon is appparently a small river in eastern Italy. Caesar crossed it, the river being a line beyond which he was in insurrection (according to Wikipedia, at any rate). In crossing it, he made a hostile act towards the Senate under Pompey and uttered aelea iacta est - the die is cast.

So what is the point of no return for CCP with Rubicon? What line have they irrevocably crossed?

It could be the revamp of the utterly mundane, boring, trivial and assinine Certificates system. I think this is great; new players will be able to plan their EVE career without having to pester older players like me for skill plans, and we won't have to be forced to say, as always "EveMon". Anything which brings more people into the game is, I think, a good thing. Even better are things which make people stick around. However, this is hardly a daring act.

What is a daring act is the Interceptor re-balance. I knew something would crop up when the humble, if pissingly annoying, Condor outshone the Crow and Raptor (let alone basically every other interceptor).

The new deployable structures? The jury is still out, as most of these seem to be thought-bubbles.

The Cyno Jammer is a great idea. It is a fillip for the small alliances and lowsec corporations who cannot field a super and want to, perhaps, protect a dread or capital sieging a POS. Lets be brutally honest - PL's fishing fleet is a giant bogeyman which prevents small-scale force projection because, not only do your 3B ISk dreads get blapped in seconds, you cannot protect them from even a fucking cyno velator. I've been there with a cyno velator on field in a Niddy and it's pretty much bullshit for the dread pilots. Hell, even for a subcap fleet, all it takes is a cyno velator and a Titan bridge and you are swimming in 40 AHACs (or, these days, Harpyfleet).

It is of course open to abuse. I can imagine that larger entities willl deploy these to protect their supers during a gank or POCO takedown. You would probably pack them into a carrier's fleet hangar and just anchor the fuck out of them the moment you cyno in to a fight. But either way, it is going to be down to planning, tactics, strategy and situational awareness - not who can log in a super and take a cyno, blap some shlub, and zoidberg their super away. Just light a cyno 150km away, and warp the super down to the fight, gank the dread(s) and zoidberg away.

Is this a Rubicon step? Not really.  This provides a few people the ability to do a small amount of damage without fear of being blobbed. It will all come down to the size of the jammer in the hold (expect bubble volumes), the EHP of the structure, the life of the structure, and most importantly, the anchoring time. 120 seconds is going to be too long....instant activation will be too short.

The Siphon is another good idea. It will truly create chaos in k-space....and in some w-space systems where people are creating 50 POS refining factories in C1's to process their moon goo. Being able to find, for example, -AAA-'s C1 refinery system, invade it with a fuckton of haulers and siphons, and take their rent from them will be awesome. One thing shits me more than anything, it is C1 refinery empires owned by the null blocs.

Again, volume, online time and docking radius will be the key here. Perhaps the deep space transpport will come into its own, able to warp away from a POS where you've anchored a siphon (+2 warp strength ftw) and tanky enough to survive the POS guns....if you are quick. But if you cannot effectively leech a deathstar, if the siphon is >4,000m3 and not deployable by cloaky transport, if you cannot quickly and efficiently Loot All its contents before the POS blaps or scrams you, it won't be long before it is as useful as a Target Painting battery. The null blocs will respond as soon as people hit up Dotlan and track down the moons with the good goo and steal all the shit.

In fact, I expect that the moon goo POSs will be getting guns this week, just because. And possibly a shell of protective large bubbles, for good measure. Either way, at least there will be some additional cost and annoyance involved in collecting the cash machine rent from nullsec. It will no longer be a free lunch, but I doubt it will cause failcascades.

The deployable Depot is another good idea. Again, volume, size, scannability and life span will be the key balancing issues. The module itself will be perfect for sieges, camps, itinerant ratters who can deploy a depot at a deep safe, refit, store loot and ships (including the ship that carried it) and harass, annoy, ninja rat or run siphoning rackets.

This will also be awesome for wormhole campers and itinerants, depending on the lifespan...which is OK. After all, most wormholes are deserted 90% of the time anyway, so reducing the need for a POS to a Depot isn't going to reduce target availability. Much. In fact, if you can combat probe these down, it will probably give you loot pinata.Assuming CCP ever fixes the SMA 'bug' ala 'this keeps the economy rolling' bug.

Perhaps the intention of Rubicon boils down to the dissolution of imperium via the devolution of hisec POCOs to players. This will be great for war decs, and will see some interesting shit going down as people roll POCOs in the busy areas near the hubs like ferrets on meth for the first few days, and then fight like rat bastards. Eventually the Goons will own them all, but either way, it'll be a fun ride.

Recommended Reading: Fragmonkeys

I will put a shout-out to a mate's blog: Fragmonkeys.

Johnny Twelvebore, if you look at his employment history, is a former minion of mine, a BUGRY alumnus and generally an all-round nice guy if you don't happen to meet him in Top Belt.

When he came to us in BUGRY, he was painfully new to the game. He had no experience with wormholes, no experience with PVP, and was almost baffled by the idea of griefing, though he would catch on pretty quick. He wanted to learn, and we wanted malleable young flesh to form into bait - after all, you see Trinkets friend derping about at Top belt, you might look him up and reconsider. A week old nub? Om nom nom.

Within a couple of days of joining up, we had sorted him out a training regime: "Covops frigate, assault frigate, battlecruiser for sites, oh, and train remote repair systems level 3 while you're at it, we do this thing caled "RR AF's" and it is fucking awesome."

A couple of days later one of our spais was in Greywolves Alliance. We had seen them in Asesamy jetcan mining and had got a fight or two by nicking their cans, going flashy (as one did, at the time) and trying to bait fights with neutral RR. They were slow learners, but eventually they learned who we were, who of us was active in their timezone, and who was just too painfully annoying for them to PVP.

So, we send in Johnny, in a Punisher. You can see his fit here. He lifts from their can, bold brass. "So what do i do now, boys?"

"You wait. They'll send some drake out to shoot at you."

Somehow, our spai alt points him, and begins aggro. He also reports to the Greywolves guys that he's pointed (which he is not, as Johnny didn't fit a point...for the last time ever, I think) and needs help. 

Sure enough, out comes a Drake. We jump in our RR AF gang and warp to Johnny, who is swiftly tackled and under heavy fire from the Drake. We leech aggro off him, as one does when RRing, but the Greywolves had learned their mistakes of the past. They didn't spread aggro.

However, even considering the T1 ANP, no rigs, 200mm plate, the repper and T1 guns, with five RR AFs (3 Vengeance, 1 Ishkur, and a Harpy) repping him, he begins wearing down the Drake, who can't bust him. So they bring in an Onyx, a Scorpion and a Harpy of their own. After about 4 more minutes, Johnny goes down, taking 40K damage in the process.

"Guys....I'm shaking from the adrenaline." was all he said.

"Welcome to EVE." someone said.

Thus began the career of Johnny Twelvebore. You can read his own exploits in his own words on his own blog.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Nidhoggur - a discussion of rebalance

The problem I have is that I have Minmatar Carrier trained to level 5, and a Nidhoggur, and i live in a C5. I tend to be the shlub who warps his carrier in for the second carrier escalation, when there are 2 dreads on field already and it is just a mop-up operation.

Due to the power of the Archon as an armour triage carrier, it is basically the best and most easy-mode of all the carriers for C5 escalations.This is because of several factors.

Firstly, it has the highest base capacitor of all the carriers. I believe the thinking, in EVE's early days, was "Amarr ships use lasers so they need the highest capacitor." and thus the Archon got it, even though there's absolutely no reason for this.
Archon: 64.9 GJ and 36K GJ/s
Nidhoggur: 55K GJ and 36GJ/s
Thanatos: 60K GJ and 36GJ/s
Chimera: 56.3K GJ and 36GJ/s

This impacts on triage because, for example, you tend to fill your mids with capacitor rechargers and lows with capacitor power relays, and rigs are CCC's (T2 in wormholes because, why not?). To compare the utility of armour triage (because, lets face it, no one does shield) we will fit the carriers for C5 sites; DCU, 2 metalevel local reps, and one slot pimp tank and the rest capacitor mods. Highs are 2 metalevel capital RR's, triage I module, and metalevel energy transfer. Rigs are two T2 CCCs and a T1 memory cell. The toon is all level 5, no implants, no boosts.

Due to slot layout, of course, the mix of capacitor rechargers and CPR's changes.There is also a need to bung in power diagnostics on the Nidhoggur and a reactor control Thanatos to make the fit work.

Comparing the stats, as before, with the above philosophy, and just based on capacitor (without which you are useless) the following becomes apparent;

Archon: 97.9 GJ and 524K GJ/s
Nidhoggur: 83K GJ and 497GJ/s
Thanatos: 86.3K GJ and 433GJ/s

Running one armour RR, the cap transfer and one local repairer out of triage, as one may normally do in a wormhole, the cap stability of these three carriers is: Archon 54.7% cap stable; Nidhoggur 51.7% cap stable, Thanatos 40.8% cap stable.

In triage, cap stability drops to Archon 4m 7s, Nidhoggur 3m 15s and Thanatos 3m flat.

This is where the other attributes of the three carriers begin to weigh in. The Thanatos gets more DPS out of triage and buffed energy and armour transfer range. The Archon gets better resists, which flow through to better local rep efficiency, which in effect allows the Archon to tank longer on its triage cycle. It however suffers from short cap and armour transfer ranges, which is only a problem if you get bumped off your friends.

The Nidhoggur has a beastly RR capability. With metalevel reps in Triage you repair 4400 armour every 2 seconds - this is nominally a 15K DPS tank for the lucky sod getting the reps. It is just a pity you cannot use that rep power to sustain your fleet mates due to your weak capacitor - you can cap yourself out almost instantly. It is much more useful to rep sustainably for longer versus provide a glorious 3 minutes of burst tank and then be capped out. likewise, your local tank is weaker and capacitor is weaker, rendering you a softer target than an Archon.

The differences in the carriers aren't really well thought-out. It comes down to capacitor more than anything; the Archon gets a double-whammy bonus due to the resistances and higher base capacitor and higher capacitor recharge, which combined is synergistic towards being the best armour carrier in terms of tanking, remote repair and providing capacitor to fleet mates. 

True, the Nidhoggur has a potential remote rep capability which should make it the go-to carrier for small-fleet engagements, hot-drops and the like. Sadly, you can see why it is used for repairing POSs and the like; it repairs a hell of a lot very fast, but you want to avoid tripping the triage button because you may very well die inside 3 minutes.

This is symptomatic of a balance issue. People train into Archons because they are more effective, not due to the racial bonus philosophy attached to the ships, but due to an arbitrary capacitor amount built into the hull which has nothing more to do with carriers than some vestigial concept early in the history of EVE where Amarr ships just simply had the best capacitor. True, extra armour resistances help, but you would still be more effective at your job than a Nidhoggur simply due to capacitor, and that's taking into account the Nidhoggur's massive rep bonus.

It gets even more ridiculous when you consider the Thanatos. When i were a lad, before supercarriers, Thanatos were the DPS gank carriers. You used to fear half a dozen Thanatos dropping on field, with their 25% DPS buff to fighters. The Nyx has proliferated, and the availability ot T2 rigs increased until you rarely see Thanny drops like you used to - but at least with some Archons providing the RR backbone you are the DPS wing of a Slowcat blob. But aside from Slowcat, you'd be best retraining to an Archon than bringing a Thanny to a wormhole or trying lowsec small-fleet triage. You've got less triage use than a Nidhoggur, due to 37.5% less RR strength, and less capacitor life.

I think the solution is to flatten the capacitor differences between the carriers, and differentiate them more based on their racial bonuses and design philosophies. This would see the base capacitor of all the carriers raised to close to Archon levels, to allow more sustained triage operation. Note, also, the above is based on T2 CCC's; you would be fairly mad to drop a T2 rigged capital in k-space.

It is clear that with T1 rigs, no carrier is cap stable through a triage cycle. That's fine, and indeed it may be how it should be, requiring compromise and restraint from the pilot, versus just hitting perm-running everything forever. Nevertheless, the Archon gets a full minute more capacitor than any other carrier, and under Triage, a minute is a shitload of tanking and RR, and a world of difference in terms of micromanagement and stress for the carrier pilot.  It is far more problematic to be managing your capacitor on a second by second basis while RRing than to have to fidddle more with your stront bay than your reps.

Rooks and Kings have a few triage carrier videos which show what a capable, cool-headed, experienced carrier pilot can do. But they use the Archon; swap that for a Nidhoggur or Thanatos and I would argue the video would be at least one minute shorter and far less glorious.

If all carriers could, with T1 rigs, get 3m 30s of capacitor with 3 mods running (2 RR & Cap or RR + Cap + Local) then the differences in the ships would be down to pilot skill, racial bonuses, and hull bonuses.

I would argue that this would still see the Archon king of the hill for most armour triage, RnK style. However, for raiding style hot drops you'd pick the Nidhoggur with its stronger RR, or the Thanny with better DPS.

The Chimera and shield capitals, or a shield Nidhoggur? Totally different debate.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


It is becoming apparent that one reason I find EVE so enthralling to play, and demanding to play, and exhausting is that i pay attention, constantly, to lots of things. Some of the things are what is being said by others on my comms; my problem is assuming everyone else has even a tenth the capacity to multitask and parse information.

Example, after last night's abortive ISK making adventure, we wanted to run the same site again and quad escalate it again before it de-spawns. This got interrupted by a hole collapse failure, resulting in a Leeroy Jenkins run from Darkspawn territory through Curse in a Geddon (now stranded), which morphed into a retardedly complicated shopping adventure, not only for ship bits but for implants.

I stayed on comms and opened up Pyfa and worked through theorycrafting Rail Tengu (meh, better but not prizes below 2.5B), Rail Proteus variant of my alt's current 128K EHP 150 DPS blaster Proteus which looks good, and recreting a HAM-AC shield Loki with 800 DPS and 88K EHP for 420M ISK. Which looks like I will do it, because fuck it, people expect half the DPS, shit's gong to get wild.

So I'm suffering through inane debates, people blathering and blathering about whatever the fuck, people not able to understand what a CCC is or what a Memory Cell is - the typical shit where you ask people to go shopping for you while you're halfway out of deep shit in Nullsec and want to save time.

I do this theorycrafting while pumping D-scan and keeping tabs on where everyone is, what ship names and types I see are known and familiar, etc. We already had a venture come mine - blithely - in our hole already without anyone noticing it, and me only twigging that it wasn't ours because the name wasn't 100% right. 90% right, coincidentally, not 100%.

So when I, bizarrely, see 8 sisters combats shitting up my overview, and call it, I would expect people who are otherwise engaged on market alts and minutes away from getting their dicks deep into shithole in cap escalations, to just trust me when I say "combat probes in the C5" and to know what that means.

It does not mean "I probed down an instance of combats in a C5". It does not mean "this is happening in a random C5 down the chain" (we don't have one). It means, this is a piece of vital information you all need to act upon immediately - including people browsing the rig catalogue in Amarr and not parsing CCC = capacitor control circuits.

Having to repeat myself two times, to clear up it is in our C5, it was a set of Sister's Combat Probes, yes I definitely saw them even though 3 seconds later you do not, is where fatalities occur.

I am not sure if it is just because we're all so old and jaded and full of ourselves, or people are distracted or we are accustomed to having the sole static being a C2 which we often totally dominate and control from the instant we get it.

Whatever it is, when I was last with people who dismissed fleeting glimpses of probes, who did not report oddly-named ships with names which were 90% similar to a corp ship (or even 100% similar but the owner was offline, hence, a false flag), who debated even for a second whether the intel was false - they lost the farm. When it's 8 Drakes in a C3, its laughable. 4 caps in a C5 is not.

I'm sure I pissed people off when I said "There are questions, and then there are retarded questions. This was a retarded question." but the fact remains, a C5 spawned into us, our escalations were cancelled and the shoppers in hisec had a choice - scuttle home or risk being trapped outside the bunker while a gunfight's going on inside. Asking whether the smoke grenade tossed in the door is going to blow up? That's retarded.

Surely my elocution isn't to blame?

Monday, 16 September 2013

Your hourly rate is...fuck all

There's a lot of talk made about the mountains of ISK to be made by escalating C5 wormholes. Well, I can tell you that it's in many cases a load of hogswash.

Jack Miton (who multiboxes these) has posted the recipe online. Now, I won't say he's misleading anyone with the methods he has posted on the Eve-O forums, but certainly he's missed a few key ingredients:
  1. Everyone must actually have the ships, the skills, the fits, the capabilities that they advertised. If you need two web Loki's, you better have them. If your carrier doesn't have rigs...well, we won't even go there.
  2. Everyone needs to know what everyone's roles are. It's pretty disheartening to hear "does your Loki have target painters?" half an hour into the first escalation wave. If you aren't sure, then why did you drop your carrier into the site?
  3. Be aware that the guys in the second dread and the second carrier are having their time wasted too; if you can't get this right after two weeks of fuckassing about on the test server then it's probably worth fuckassing about for 2 more weeks to get it right. 
  4. Don't change your plan. If you were set to double escalate, don't drop a BS in "to deal with the frigs". If you do this, make sure it can actually deal with the frigs.
  5. Budget for closing holes. If you are going to plan to do sites and you've got 4 wormholes to close, then you clearly need to nut up and close them and not be afraid of potential nasties.If you are going to close them, then you need to be efficient.
Clearly the ISK yield and ISK/hour varies greatly, depending on player competence, player acuity (don't be stoned, please), and the materiel availability. The key points?

It takes money to make money. If you can't afford the T2 rigs for your Archon, at least put the T1 on there. Nothing shits me more than the "T2 or go home" crap. Especially if it's a 55 day train for, eg, a T2 triage module. people were doing C5's with T1 rigs and T1 triage for years, what is with this attitude nowadays?

Be prepared to be unprepared. If you've scheduled a ratting sit-in and there's too many holes, with too many potential hostiles, then just give up on it and go run Incursions. They need no teamwork, no preparation, no risk.

I hope we get better because we aren't going to make any real mountains of ISK on the real server this way, just lose lots of fighters and waste 2 hours closing up the wormholes and debating amongst ourselves what ought to have been sorted out on the test server already.

Secondly, this has really revealed that the nerfs to links have made Loki webs a little less awesome. it might be enough to actually render web Lokis inefficient for nubs. So maybe we need an armour Rapier or two web Lokis.

It has also revealed that the Nidhoggur is, as advertised, sub-par as the primary carrier. This isn't due to the capacitor (you can fix that, even with T1 triage and T1 rigs), the tank, or the remote reps. It's merely the shit energy transfer range.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Marauders = Eunuchs

So, the latest update on the marauder rebalance shows the power of whiny incursion bears to sway CCP's balance team (team flip-flop).

I agree the idea of 4500++ DPS solo active tanks for marauders in bastion mode was, well, probably a bit stupid. That came about from the egregious 30% non stacking-penalised resist bonus given out with the Bastion module (ie; a free DCU). 

Instead of 30% free DCU, now their active tanks have been ripped out, castrati style, leaving them with wimpy active tanks unless you have a Bastion module. With the bastion module, you'll get a 100% rep bonus for your Eunuch Marauder. So, given most single LAAR/LAR fits tank about 580 DPS cold you'll now have close to 1200. This is faction BS level tank, no more, no less.

Suddenly, your PVP options have narrowed. Sure, no hella tank undock game ruination (unless you go stupid pimp) but also no realistic MJD tactics. You can't solo tank enough with 1200 DPS active tanks to make it worth flitting out to 100km and sniping.

The T2 resists help most for incursions, where it's a buff to RR. This does move against the tide of resists being nerfed, which is odd. However the only real RR PVE is incursions, and most incursion bears deploy Vindicators for uber DPS and 90% webs, and occasionally a Kronos when someone actually knows what it is. The Kronos in bastion mode was going to break the RR gang milieux of Incursion armour BS. Now they get to just not fit the Bastion module and get better T2 resists, so they can fit less tank, more gank, better damage projection and voila, the ultimate Incursion ship will be born.

That's what EVE needs, is a way for Incursion bears to eke another 5M per hour out of Incursions.

The cost of this is a smashed crab of a PVP concept now. I admit, it was a little OTT before, but they could honestly have fiddled down the Bastion module's resist bonus or just scrapped it and kept the local tank bonus, aiming to put it in the 2-3K active tank field all in (links, implants, ship). Webs were going to be fitted anyway in PVP (you need to knacker scramming frigs) and it was always going to be a small-med gang ship.

I'm not sure about the marauders anymore. There was a while there where finally we seemed on the path to a T2 battleship which didn't have problems at doing its job. I am preparing myself for Black ops ships to blow goats when they get touched.

Refresh, damn you

Aside from the surprise joy of hearing people whine about the command ship changes (didja read the patch notes, fucktards?), the mega-eyeroll at the admittedly poorly telescoped name changes for energy transfer arrays by people crying about EVE being "dumbed down", I am hanging out for EVE-Kill and z-board and Battleclinic to kludge in some gorram Bastion modules into their database so I can see some gorram fragging marauder killmails with 1M damage taken.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

What's in a name?

Sudden Buggery got name petitioned (aka 'support ticketed' these days) when we deprived someone of a shiny ship and the only way he could respond was to game the name. We spent 6 weeks in discussions with devs and game masters as EVECorporation158356234. It didn't stop EVECorporation158356234 functioning as a coherent unit and depriving even more people of shiny ships. The conclusion of the discussions was that Sudden buggery retained its name and proud history.

I got another of my corporations ticketed today. This time, I don't think I will be 'discussing' the name with anyone, and will take my sugar lumps and move on from Minmatar-Amarr Man-Boy Love Association (MABLA).

It was a wild ride with 42 kills and 4 losses and 97.3% ISK efficiency. RIP offensive corporation name!

On to the next off-piste corp name.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Marauder Theorycrafting

For the past 2 or 2.5 years there's been a nebulous coalition of shitpoasters and theorycraft wizard adepts on the EVE-O forums who've been running with a bunch of zany ideas. One is an escort carrier based on the Orca, the other has been mini-dreads.

As a w-space denizen, both are attractive possibilities. Escort carriers would allow smaller triage-capable reps, Orca refitting, small-scale ship hangar and the like. Mini-dreads are attractive for w-space for the interminably boring POS sieges which we get subjected to in lower-end space where you cannot feasibly import a dread. Having something tanky which can siege up and blat guns or RF the stick has been pushed for a while.

Marauders are being buffed and at least the theorycraft adepts pushing for mini-dreads have been satisfied. There are, however, some other ramifications which a mate and I have been discussing which should see Marauders turn from a third-rate PVE boat into a top rate PVE boat, and no doubt, soon see some pretty epic videos drop on YouTube.

Gate camping
The resist and rep bonus (coupled with another 15% buff to local reps coming with Odyssey 1.1) will see marauders used to bust lowsec gate camps. I don't have EFT or Pyfa, but it's obvious that with a free EANM or 1.5 Invuls worth of resists in Bastion Mode and insane tank, you'll be pulling around 3500 DPS tank, EWAR immunity and ZOMG falloff. Vargurs can already fire capless guns to 120km with Falloff and pull close to 1,000 DPS. There's going to be some pirates for the first week or so who really, really wish they had read the patch notes. Epic.

Station camping
Undock games, I hope, will forever be ruined by the bastion module. A 3500 DPS active tank and ridicu-mass for hard bumps, and you can play docking games all day long and make everything stupidly boring. I suspect, in this case, the king will be the Paladon or Kronos, who can fit up se-bos to catch stuff on undock, turtle up, gank the enemy and then dock in utter safety. Not so epic, but I won't miss station gaymes.

One further point to note is that this will result in some pretty stupid stuff for FW griefers in, eg, Hek. I wouldn't be surprised to see marauders on undock tanking the Police and the hapless players trying to GTFO station. Not so epic.

PVE-ness Mega Penis
Right now the kings of missioning are Machariels, Rattlers, Scorp Navy Issue and Caldari Navy Ravens. The Macha in particular can perform as well as the Vargur in most situations, although you do have to typically drop twice the ISK to make it work. For people who like to kite, the Macha will stilll be favoured. But why would you, when you can MJD mission more efficiently with a Marauder or any flavour, and get an easy permatank justby clicking on your Bastion module?

It will take a little while for people who do missions to move over; after all they've probably got pimped CNRs with A-type boosters and other bling. They also have to train into Marauders, which isn't as simple as getting racial battleship 5. But it won't be more than a month and a half before Marauders really squeeze out their competitors in the Level 4 mission scene.

Similarly, Marauders will have plenty of use in Incursions, assuming they don't get neuted to hell and back and fail to tank.

We should also see Marauders soloing C3's easily, and probably also C4 sites in wormholes. Which is great news for people wanting to hunt them. Being stuck in the same spot for 80 seconds will make them horribly vulnerable...but busting a 3500 DPS tank isn't going to be easy, either. You will also need scrams to stop them blinking away and EWAR immunity means no TD's to keep you safe from their guns, no Falcon's going to be brutal. Epic.

Siege Green
You'll also start seeing a lot of shit fit small POSs in w-space come under threat from Marauders. Without the need for logi, and with total EWAR immunity from the typical temporary camping dickstar small Caldari tower, your options in w-space for safe POS fits which will deter attacks have narrowed significantly. Given enough time a gang of Marauders could...well, maraud all sorts of POSs.

The initial theorycraft idea of mini-dreads saw the solution as a 500% damage modifier so that POSs could be dropped faster. What we got, however, was something that is immune to shit fit smaller POSs and their ECM batteries. You only need watch out for the neut, and you're fine. Epic.

Elite PVP
It will be interesting to see the way the MJD bonus pans out. I've got ideas, and certainly they should be relatively obvious to most people, but it will be interesting to see what, eg, RnK, Shadow Cartel and AHARM do with Marauders and their MJD. I expect some niche adept epicness.

The metagame had been shaken up by a magnitude 8.0 epic drop. I admit I read the stats on the Bastion mode and bought 2 hulls immediately. The price went up 30% inside 4 hours. People are speculating wildly, as they do, but in my opinion this is just the beginning. What impresses me is that these ships have exceeded their prior role as PVE chariots and expanded into all forms of PVP as well. That's a neat trick.

Next stop? Black Ops, or maybe the escort carrier. Cloaky-warping HICs, I think, might be a little ways off as a solution to supercap proliferation...