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.