Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Black Dog

Yesterday was a very low day. I don't think I could have got much lower.

Today, i went to get some happy pills from the doctor. We will see how this goes. last time I had depression and took pills for it, I ended up with a weird Tourette's like head rolling, nervous tic. I don't think anyone noticed me swearing more; I'm already charming as it is.

So. Not a very EVE-relevant post today, but I am basically headfucked. Logically, I know its not that bad. But nevertheless, I can almost feel my mind in 2 or 3 pieces, with the rational part floating above, watching incredible anger erupting over inconsequential setbacks, or soul-crushing despair that lays me out for a whole day, unable to do more than weep and breathe.

The power of the mind to rule the body is something that is awesome and terrible to behold, when it is your own body and your own brain on the fritz, or punching walls till you nearly shatter your hand, or throw 50 kilo things about like scraps of paper. Or, to cut your strings like a puppet and leave you gasping for air and drained of energy. 

So, logically, I think this is a brain chemistry thing, a feedback loop of some kind, which drags me down again and again. So, we will see how this goes as a circuit breaker.

Till then, I will restrict my EVE to training armour honeycombing, EWAR comp skills, forum trolling and repairing 6 months of being a bad boy in lowsec via doing level 4's for Krusual Tribe, which has the most awesome LP store evars. And maybe joining Brave Newbies as a mentor; but more on that later.

Wish me luck. TF.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


I always love a good name in EVE. BJ Titsandass, for example, is an hilarious pilot's name. Same with Fisty McBumbasher. The list inevitably goes on and on.

Hilarious corp names are also important. Sudden Buggery was as much an advertisement of purpose 9delivering high-quality supririse buttsex in wormholes) as it was just a good old amusing name.

In choosing the name of my new alt corp I had some difficulties  in topping both my own and other efforts.

I am a serial corp starter. My first ever corporation I started on my alt - Beggars Can Be Choosers - a ninja salvaging corp. This swiftly merged with Sudden Buggery as ninja salvaging and wormholing go hand in hand with the skilllsets needed (namely incessant probing, trolling and PVPing).

Next was Vogon Demolitions [F1AFK] - an afk POS bashing corp we used to farm towers in hisec for labs and faction guns for great profit. How much profit? Well, my share was around 3B ISK, about a third of it from one faction small which had 20-odd small true sansha pulse laser batteries and so on. F1AFK peaked at like, 6 members or so, and was full of scrubby alts barely able to make a Geddon capstablee. it was intensely useful for Sudden Buggery's trolling of POSs in w-space because i could literally drag in the alt, set him on a POS or POCO, and press F1 and go AFK. I lost only 2 Geddons that way. Eventually though, the wardec mechanisms changed and it became too stupid to dec offline towers in hisec owned by 1 toon - you'd be stuck in endless wars and unable to traverse hisec.

Then when BUGRY left w-space last year, no one wanted to buy the wormhole off us, or the POCOs, and so i ditched F1AFK, and started Ballsack Teabag Trading LLC [SAQUE] to warehouse the POCOs. Some bright sparks shot them andd ignored my overtures to transfer the POCOs to them if they wanted them, gratis. Way to waste 12 hours of your life, fuckheads. So, my F1AFK alt sold his Geddon and became a trader alt, and SAQUE made me about a billion ISK humping frequency crystals from Amarr to Dodixie.

Which brings me to MAMBLA. Or, since you can only get 5 character tickers, [MABLA] - the Minmatar-Amarr man-Boy love Association. Since Minmatar Gay Rights League was already taken, and is a classic of the genre, I rolled MAMBLA over in my mind for a few weeks and thought...well, why the fuck not? Its only offensive if you are easily offended, and plays into the whole "Amarrs are child molesting priests" kind of thing.

As far as it goes, I am intending to make sure EVE knows that it is quite OK for Amarr men to get to know Minmatar youth. Via killmails. Until i find something better to do with my time.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Circles in the metagame

With every new expansion of EVE, with every new ship and module and skill, people do the same things: buy it, try it, run wild with it....and come back to the core of the metagame concets which are tried and tested and true.

This happened with ASB's. They launched broken, seeing a massive proliferation of dual XL-ASB Cyclones, Maelstroms and Rokhs, dual ASB Merlins and Hawks and Harpies, and even ASB Thrashers, Myrmidons, Prophecies.

It got pretty crazy for a while there, but now, post nerf? You hardly ever see ASB ships anymore, at least in Faction Warfare. You might see them on undock in market hubs, some gatecamping situations, etc. But the nerf was pretty severe, and killed ASB shield tanking off in a single stroke, aside from the occasional ASB Merlin or Harpy.

Players have abandoned ASB's for the usual meta. This is, either buffer-gank or kite (preferably with boosts). Active tanking is still a niche held by the Incursus and the dual or triple-rep Myrmidon. Everything else can't active tank for shit, shield or armour, without boosts and pills.Oh, you will see the odd adept and practitioner unload a clip of charges in their ASB, but it isn't very effective.

There's good reason for this dichotomy of the metagame. Buffer-gank brawling is a recognition that sheer attritional simplicity is easily understood mathematically by almost anyone, is easy to pull off assuming you get a warp to zero (or near enough), and your enemy is pinned down well enough. You just pile a big enough buffer on, and the biggest guns, and you go at it.

The key to buffer-gank is the warp-in and getting the tackle - if you miss it or are stupid enough to put yourself on grid with something that can kite you (and your drones), you will die. It may take 30 minutes, but you will die. You therefore have to master the art of positioning yourself in space, on gates, and on the grid to achieve the tackle - and get the gank calculation right so you can blow them up and GTFO with a fucked buffer to rep or regen.

Kiting favours those with implants, boosts and well focused and trained toons. The advantage of kiting is that, if you have an edge in speed and don't get pinned by warping at zero and getting scrammed, you can basically kill whatever you want and disengage from whatever you can't, if you understand slingshotting, radiusing and manual piloting. You also have to factor in your enemy's boosts and implants and ship class, so it isn't terribly simple, but it is also not terribly hard. Invest in the Loki, the Snakes, and a double-damp Hookbill, and you are basically set for life and will be a PVP God in no time.

Nanogangs are of course, a subset of the kite meta. 

So, we are on the eve of getting the ancilliary armour repairer (AAR) and the overheating rigs (maybe) which is apparently the way to fix active armour - because active shield is apparently sorted with the introduction of ASB's, despite the evidence that no one is really carried away with it anymore. So the question is, what will the meta be, in the short term? It will inevitably go back to buffer-gank and kite concepts, but there will be a cycle of introduction, discovering how unbalanced it is (I'm looking at you, Incursus), nerfing, and abandonment.

We will see armour tanking philosophy of one AAR and one normal repper paired up; for example, an Incursus will have AAR and Small Armour Repairer II, and will have effectively 3.25 reps loaded. It will then get 7.5% per level of Gallente Frigate, or 37.5% bonus, for a total effective 4.46 repairer's worth. Add heat, and you will get 5.13 repairers worth of tank until your lows burn out or you run out of nanites. Given that, without Legion links, one repper at 10% bonus gives you 82hp/s active tank, that will drop to 62hp/s per repper - so a 5.13 repper equivalent will be 317 dps active tank before legion boosts. With legion boosts you will get to about 663 DPS active tank overheated - without implants or drugs.

The secondary effect of moving to an AAR+Rep setup will be that the Incursus will be even less reliant on capacitor. With the current dual-rep Incursus fit you run a small cap booster to make yourself reasonably cap stable till your hold runs dry. Of course, if you don't have a gang backing you up, you can eventually die (typically after taking between 28,000 and 43,000 damage) even to a pissy low-dps kitey frigate. But if you are playing the Incursus as it should be played, you have a gang. After the introduction of AAR's you will be able to tank about 663 DPS with overheat - and that is assuming a 100% efficiency of transfer to damage upon your ship. With your sig radius at 47m, cruiser sized weapons, poorly-tracking guns or rage missiles, your effective active tank will be in excess of 1,000 DPS.

This is unacceptable and bullshit. So, like with ASB's, the meta will glom onto this brokenness, everything will become incredibly broken incredibly quickly, with hordes of unkillable Incursus and Myrms and Brutixes (think 1100 DPS active tanks with a 180 DPS coast tank while your ASB reloads) flying around baiting, ganking everything. Then CCP Fozzie will wake up to the complaints, and nerf the AAR in some way and everything will be abandoned - and we will be back to the buffer-gank and kitefag metagame.

At least till links get fixed. That is what is required to make this all sensible. Because, although I have used max legion boosts to illustrate how ridiculous this is going to get, without those boosts working magically across 2.14 billion kilometres or space (or more) things won't be so terrible. 5.13 times 80 DPS tank is 320 DPS, which is still fucking retarded, but not OMGWTFBBQ retarded.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Space, according to the grand unified theory of the cosmos, is basically flat and empty, with gravity acting like balll bearings on a rubber sheet about collections of matter. In EVE, where gravity is a nonevent, space is essentially flat and empty. It really should have no benefits to the attacker or defender.

However, this is not the case. Terrain in EVE is a concept I have to take into consideration when FCing. EVE Terrain within a system consists of four elements; distance, cover, obstacles and effects.

Distance is fairly obvious. If you have an opportunity to attack a foe and you aren't soloing, you have to weigh your tank versus his gank versus the time it willl take for backup to arrive. Likewise, distance impacts upon Cover, as distance is itself a form of cover or concealment - being more than 14 AU away from a foe renders you practically invisible.

Cover is not simply governed by the limits of the directional scanner, although this is obviously a huge factor, especially if you are launching combat probes to scan down an enemy. If you are beyond d-scan range, say at a deep safe, you can assemble a gang which is far superior to the enemy, without his knowledge of exactly what you have. Similarly, stations work like cover, concealing the ship you play in the fight until it undocks - and if a fight is going on, often people aren't d-scanning, which allows you to undock a trump card. To a lesser extent, a POS with an SMA works like that, too. And obviously, cloaking is the ultimate in cover, even in k-space, but obviously in w-space.

Obstacles, particularly warp disruption bubbles, are a key element in nullsec and w-space battles, although in the latter it is often as dangerous to the defender as it is to the aggressor, who will be just as caught by warping into a bubbled wormhole as the guy who has just jumped through.

Effects, particularly wormhole system effects, and incursion effects, are considerations which you also have to take into account. Likewise, the local rats in lowsec or nullsec are important if you are trying to, for example, gank carriers which are ratting anomalies, as you have to tank for their damage, and deal off-spec damage to an enemy who is most likely tanked against the rats.

The interplay between these elements give particular systems a different  terrain feel.

For example a 120 AU diameter system is much harder to PVP in than a 8 Au diameter system, because you can have up to 3 minutes to wait for backup, and the enemy will have 3 minutes to react to a new presence in local. This favours the defenders in k-space, but in w-space, with so much absolute cover around for uncloaked ships, it favours the attacker - who can only reliably be detected in the inevitable safe spot he will spawn the moment he hits system, with deep space probes (if you have them).

Likewise, various constellations in k-space haave different terrain feel. Some constellations in perrigen Falls are all +60 Au systems, making it slow to move around. Some ring-road routes through some regions are faster with some jumps than others, due to shorter warps.

Two nights ago we ended up in Oasa in the D4J-PP and 4ZX-C8 constellations, which are in the Jokers sov space. These guys are massively bearing it up, and every gate in the dog-leg constellation had a minimum of 6 tech 1 large bubbles. This presented extreme difficulties in roaming around, as you had huge obstacles to traverse in order to get into warp. However, it would be great BLOPs territory, as the locals are fairly naive and ignorant about neutrals in Local. Our roam sputtered out, as we realised that the terrain was against us, with too much boggy ground, and our BLOPs capabilities were minimal.

Thus, as previously mentioned, a good general should study his maps. Part of that study is to understand the terrain;  the interplay of constellation-wide terrain, the in-system terrain, and so on.

The best part of EVE terrain? Wormholes, which break the terrain. A wormhole in system allows you to hide in a fold in space, utterly invisible behind a crease in reality, and leap from nowhere to deliver sudden buggery. A wormhole allows you access to regions and constellations and security divisions of k-space you would have to spend 60 jumps to go visit. Wormholes allow you to bypass the gate camps and death spots (Rancer, Amamake) and the interface systems between low-null and high-low.

Wormholes are like tunnels under the walls of the great fortresses of nullsec, or the great border fences of the mighty empires, allowing you to smuggle in arms and drugs and ships, or just go muck the place up a bit.

Understanding them is key.

About The Vigil

The humble Vigil is a ship with two potential tasks. Tackle. EWAR.

It has the highest base speed of any non-pirate frigate, and a surfeit of midslots and a target painter bonus. In fleet situations, you would load it up with EWAR - TP's, TD's, damps, etc. You would use your idiotic speed to keep out of tackle range of your foes, messing up the enemy, and that is about it. Like all Disruption role frigates, it is more cost-effective to use this boat than any other ship, if you want to TP stuff. 

For tackle, you want to put on a web and scram, and run down...well, basically anything. You also have a base scan res in excess of 1200mm with one sensor booster - basically an instalock. So you can use it for gate camping. It excels as a tackle frigate.

It is not a DPS boat - even with 2 rocket launchers and a drone, you get about 58 DPS. Enough to take down a buffer armour Harbinger, lets say, at the extreme top end - assuming you have the luxury and time to do pull this off.

A third task presents itself, mostly as a subset of the Tackle genre. In an era where people use boosts as a way of, I quote "levelling the playing field of the small gangs versus the blobs", the Vigil is the only frigate which is both innocuous and - without boosts - capable of catching enemies such as Hookbills with boosts.

Fit right, the Vigil is a dangerous way of stopping kitey nanofag dampy frigates who try to peel off the enemies one by one from the group, or kite at 28km with light missiles, picking them off one by one. With 5.3km/s overheated, you can be a real threat to these guys, all for 8.5M ISK.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


I have been battling with depression for at least a year now. This has affected my life and been affected by my life in a myriad of ways - from mood swings, to crushing despair, irrational behaviour, bad choices, introversion and bad physical health - weight gain, drinking too much, etc etc.

I am at a pretty low point right now. I know it isn't anyone's business, nor would I expect anyone to care, but I guess, you have to say something to someone when you're sitting slumped in front of your computer in the middle of the day, unable to muster the energy to get up and do anything.

It hasn't helped that we got robbed yesterday. So replacing your life one ID card at a time never helps.

So...I haven't been on EVE much. I haven't been updating Trinkets Friendly Advice Column, because I have nothing to say, and responding to petty children online is about as exciting to me as fucking myself in the earhole.

I've been here before. You have to wait this out. Nothing much seems to turn this round but time.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


I admit, I got it all wrong.

Here I was, thinking I could blog, write down my opinions and thoughts, to provoke discussion and provoke some thought amongst EVE players in and out of FW and wormholes. Sadly, I misconstrued the nature of writing blogs!

You see, blogs in EVE are about vaginas and sand. Everyone in EVE has a vagina (it comes with your first noobship). You collect grains of sand, one per ISK you earn in-game. After a while, your EVE vagina fills up with the sand, and you have sandy vajayjay. This then makes you into an insufferable cunt, and you then spend your time shifting ceaselessly on your milk crate in your mother's basement, your clitoris rubbed raw from the scratchy angular grains of sand you've accumulated, and you find anything which isn't along the lines of "zomg u r da bestest spacepilot PVPer of ausum!"an insufferable insult.

Thus, I must apologise. Here, in public. On my public vagina of extreme sandiness.

You see, I didn't realise how skilful and awesome, and how much of a bunch of totally super-awesome sexy hunks with bulbous elephantine phalluses my fellow Militia were. Or, indeed, if they are female, how elephantine their labia must be - as this is an equal opportunity blog!

How had I mistaken them for prideful dickheads with no social skills and immense hubris? Was it my own mental defects, hidden behind a facade of civility and phillosophy? Was it perhaps the things that they say and do, which could easily be misconstrued?

I must have got it wrong when LNA said they didn't want to go 2 jumps away from the Kamela gate, that they admitted they were lazy, said it to me directly. You see, that must have been my poor English skills. What they really meant was something else. Something, perhaps, like "we solo titans on a daily basis in our velators or whatever"or "too drunk to click jjump"- which is fair enough.

No. I got it wrong. I admit it now. I had not realised how full of sand the vazhin of Militia was, how scrubbed raw and bereft of natural mucosal discharge their vulvas were, that what one dude says on one blog is somehow traitorous and intolerable.

So, to all I have offended, I offer you this, my apology.

Get the fuck over yourselves, you children.