Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Enjoy your shitty CCP gifts, and less shitty IRL gifts.

Christmas can be a pretty hard time of year if you're feeling down, like me. But remember - you could have Ebola or live in Syria. So fly dangerous and enjoy the spare time to ISK up for the new year. It promises to be a good one, I think, for EVE, as long as people cast of the shackles of cowardice and live life a bit dangerously.

Next year, I am sure, will see my first cap loss.

Monday, 22 December 2014

On Cojones and Cowardice

We got schooled. Apparently.

But first, let me hand out some props to Fakadakalaka, who we tried to kill in his Proteus. He's living in J145610, a C4 W-R, and he has a classinc old-style Dickstar, just a bunch of ECMs and some scrams. An odd choice for a POS, but a key ingredient to the tale, for we saw him leave j145610 in a Proteus and go scanning down in his chain and we wanted a fight, so we set him up the trap and attacked his POS guns, to generate a mail and call him home into a bubble set off his POS, where we would hopefully murder him.

This worked, right up to the point where he warped to a safespot instead of direct to POS, and missed our bubble. But, obviously encumbered with gravid testicles of clanging steel, he convoes our Deimos pilot (the overly loquacious Leonnoran Haddrak) and declares he is up for a fight and will bring it to us forthwith.

He undocks an Aliastra Hyperion and brings the fisticuffs, monocle firmly wedged in his baleful right eye, swinging and jimmying everything in range with stabby motions - he clips our bomber alt and blaps it. The Deimos struggles to tank, but he has no real luck with the rail Proteus, and I tank his drones long enough in the Rapier. He's unlucky because we get half a dozen people randomly sign in and trickle in to the fight.

His shmexy-looking Hyperion goes down and he goes back to POS. Goodfights are exchanged, and we exchange some intel on each other's chains and bid him good day and leave him be; fight had, content generated.

Then today, we hear about a Broadsword, Harby and Coercer camping a friend's highsec which connects to Lanngisi. We get an exit 5 jumps from the other side of his small wormhole chain and in we go, Nereus first of course.

I attempt baiting. But it seems a DPS battlecruiser, a Broadsword and a Coercer don't buy the whole Planet Dollaz guise. They sit on the highsec, wedged there like a dildo in Elton John's arse, immovable and cowardly. I get a scout to set me a ping 40km above the Broadsword bubble and drop the nereus on grid. They continue to orbit their hole, even closer in fact - I see the Harby and Coercer close up on the hole, no doubt packing their pants with prepubescent foamy shit.

So I launch drones and sic them on the Coercer. He gets whipped, and sent packing back to hisec. We then play drone blapping games as I orbit the wormhole at 40km in a fucking hauler of all things, terrorising the Broadsword and Harbinger. The Broadsword hops out, and they've called the batphone - they jump in a Sentry Ishtar and a Tornado and try blapping me, but at 29km range they fail, and I warp off. Yeah - they were literally at zero metres and couldn't put a point on me even with an oerheated disruptor because they are giant suppurating cowards.

We blab in and they run the instant anything appears on d-scan. We exchange pleasantries in highsec. Megan DeMonet's claim to have outsmarted us is particularly amusing. Yeah, man, you outsmarted us by not killing a thing, not facing a single decent piece of DPS, and jumping through a wormhole the instant you got threatened.

So, my readership, you know who has a set of clangers and who has a sloppy vagina. If you're feeling festive Fakadakalaka is out of pocket, and Megan DeMonet still has a mouth on him and his ships.

Friday, 19 December 2014

The curse of IRL strikes again

If you were wondering why there are lost arrays in the Prolapse. combat log this week, it is because my winning personality and charm offensive managed to get some hisec miners interested in pushing the boundaries of k-space living and come explore the exciting (and exceptionally dangerous) world of wormhole living with the alliance.

They moved their operation - POS, orca, retrievers, etc, into the C4, set up the refinery arrays, etc etc, and got stuck into a few rocks. They got bubbled and killed by  Doom Generation on day two, losing four Covetors and pods, due to a variety of factors, including having absolutely no idea what they were doing. Undeterred, they got themselves a few more Retties in, sucked a belt dry, compressed a bunch of shit and refined other shit, and made a little bit of money - hardly more than a month's fuel worth of mining, because they didn't fully exploit the belt when it existed, and only mined for an hour or two at a time.

They went quiet about 2 months ago, and a month ago I knew something was up. i sent a few mails, and checked their POS every day, knowing that one day it was going to run out of juice. it did that nearly two weeks ago, leaving a compression array, medium ship assembly, refinery array and a research laboratory floating in the breeze.

We debated farming the labs ourselves, but they industrialist CEO toon finally signs on, and lets us know that someone in his family is in hospital and he's been out of town. We organise a fuel delivery, but they guy signs out 5 minutes before it arrives. We can't put it in the POS and online it, so we all shrug and get back to twiddling thumbs, waiting for the day it gets farmed.

LZHX, Sleeper Social Club, various people have been and gone without spotting the Pinata, but today it got found and farmed. We caught them as they were about to evac the contents of the arrays, and salvaged what we could, but hats off to the guys.

Is it annoying? A little. Five minutes more dedication and it would have been avoided, but probably only for a little while. But that's what you get with alliances - you are allies, not their boss. You get to shrug and not check the alliance killboard and instead focus on your own performance and goals and ideas, and be around to support the alliance corps.

I suspect our industry and miner guys will probably back out to highsec, a bit poorer and a bit wiser, but hopefully stick around. Guess it depends how IRL kicks their arses.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

API Skunking

I may not be the best at API checks, but every so often trawling through someone's mail as they apply to corp unearths a real gem. Before I share this gem, as TL;DR as it is, i guess a short discussion about management and propaganda style.

I am not one for the stirring speech, the ode to unity which is declaimed poetically prior to joining battle or tangling horns in a sov battle. I keep my corp mails short, factual, to the point and probably a bit impersonal; not to seem aloof and saturnine, atop my alabaster throne of skulls and frozen corpses yanked from imicuses in relic sites. No.

I figure, we are adult men, playing a game. We come home from work (if any of us do; I'm a bit unemployed at the moment) to escape email drudgery and administratum. More fool me running a corp and alliance, i know, but it's like an employment simulator i suppose. Nothing to do? Blow 3 days rejiggering your corp structure, POSs and sending out mails to your 8 new recruits!

So it always surprises and amuses me when you encounter a corporation run by the oratorial type nerd man, who really does invest overmuch in wear and tear on his keyboard. This provides material for EVE Skunk, though reputedly that is done by people who submit firthand. I just trawl API keys of prospective recruits.

So, here you are. Get energized and get patriotism flowing as you read the silky smooth prose of Cheterfield Fancypantz as he leaps atop his soapbox in his Captains Quarters, hand thrust gallantly into the breast of his Field marshall's Jacket, tricorne hat proudly atop his head and addresses what remains of his troops after a falling out in the alliance which saw much Q.Q. and the split up of the WHORE assets. Fear not - later on, they disentangle their wormhole living situation in a gentlemanly fashion, because it's just not done to siege out your alliance mates.

My family and soldiers.

We have been provided with an opportunity that has come with great cost. We have lost the support of the alliance and they have left us. With this opportunity we have been granted a chance to reform our ranks and solidify our core. All of the strife, arguments, and petty problems have chosen to leave the alliance and remove these problems off of our shoulders and we will be better for it in the long run.

Our leadership has spent the previous months reworking our corporation and solidifying our core infrastructure. We are prepared to take the next step in this venture. The loss of these corps at the end of the day may impact our numbers on the short term but in the long term we will be stronger for it. This gives us an opportunity to really focus on what made RAPE great, Discipline, Teamwork, Professionalism, and Dedication. Our latest stumbles were because of the lack of standards alliance wide because of the dilution of skill and our leaderships focus on building an alliance rather than a focus on building a solid core in RAPE. We need to focus on making RAPE the cornerstone of the alliance/wormhole and to do that we need everyone to buckle down and work together. Take this not as an opportunity to break and crumble, but instead an opportunity to thrive in the face of adversity and show who we really are. Proud acolytes of Bob, and proud Amarr pilots. We have always focused on tight family environment where everyone works together to accomplish goals, and we will continue to pursue those goals. Treat this not as someone chopping down our tree, but instead separating the wheat from the chaff. What is left will be stronger for it, and will grow even stronger than before.

Aiden and Deadly are prepping for training operations for logistics. This will shortly expand to all operations across the board. We are actively working on new smaller and elite fleet comps , acquiring and training both new and experienced FC’s and overall expanding our knowledge base corporation wide. We will continue to recruit quality pilots, and instead of focusing our efforts on training disloyal corporations who are selfish, we will instead focus on building up our own house. Rather than fall apart because some quality pilots left, we need to use this as a stepping stone to greatness. RAPE has had these situations before and grew stronger because of it.

In the short term while the leadership communicates about our goals and how to go about them, I encourage anyone who has unaired grievances or problems to raise them directly to leadership. If you do not feel comfortable bringing them up to me, I encourage you to voice it to any of the directorate or officers. I cannot stress it any harder than I am now. RAPE has, and always will remain strong. We have a strong core of great pilots, and a team that continues to work together not for themselves, but for the family and everyone else. RAPE has some of the best damn pilots I have ever seen, and now its time for those people to step up.

What we lost today was the individuals only interested in what THEY want, rather than the betterment of all. RAPE is better for it, and the future will only show that. The corporation will be having a meeting on sunday night to cover a lot of these issues and how we move forward. Dont hesitate to contact me about issues and concearns.

I am dissapointed in the choices made today by the corps that left, but it is hardly a death blow and instead presents an opportunity for us to rise to greatness.

Praise Bob and Victor Amarr

Chesterfield Fancypantz
CEO of RAPE, Executor of wh0re.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Salutary lessons in the core probe

I have been responsible for picking newbros up, showing them a thing or two, patting them on the arse in a totally non-homo way (not that homo is bad, but I just keep my hand flat and non-grabby) and setting them loose into the world of EVE with no moral compass and an appreciation of metagaming, piloting and evilness.

I won't name names, but this EVE news article about the fall of R3PO-Z contains elements of the Sudden Buggery disapora, and I've been following the tale from before it was even a tale, as a member of the Disapora has been there on the ground floor. Yarrdy Yarr Yarr started in lowsec, terrorising Suddenly Spaceships and the Russians, out-flying, out-playing and out-chutzpahing their gutless risk-averse foes by reinforcing their moon goo empire in lowsec, and skirmishing the cap and supercap bullshit these alliances have presented to defend their assets.

Pre-phoebe, this kind of shit was an everyday occurrence. Some clown RF's your cadmium moon, you are PL, etc, you drop 60 triage Archons, with 60 Titans in backup, you rep the POS, stront it up, job done. Everyone goes home from the op inside of 5 minutes and sits n their jabber client, playing LOTOR, LOL or DOTA and waiting for something to hotdrop halfway across the map.

Phoebe's jump punishment has meant that, yeah, Suddenly Spaceships and similar entities can respond to one moon being bowled over. Two, three in a night? Every second night? Your jump fatigue will begin to rack up, you will begin to have to take gates in capitals. You begin to see your cap ship fleet fray and dissipate as people's fatigue balloons. Also, you can't really deal with the tactics used - assigned fighters on a 10MN AB Hyena, taking POS guns out. Can't do shit about that with 60 Archons or a Nyx.

This is the concept Galaxy Rangers took to R3PO-Z, to fight a predominantly carebear alliance consisting of 10,000 Rattlesnake-spinning instadocking streaks of shit-stained toilet paper hanging off the arse of the former BOT empire. They put a POS in an undisclosed location, hauled in via a wormhole, and hauled in enough Ishtars, ceptors, Dictors and the like, and began a terror campaign, roaming the dronelands for fools and cockbags too slow to dock. Every day, one of my guys who is with them, would spend 30-60 minutes probing for a wormhole.

A week or so ago, they bagged a Nyx kill. This happened because the Russians they were terrorising deployed two of them, and pulled a logoffski outside of a POS shield...and got probed down. The major force of bombers which killed it came from Triumvirate - again, via a wormhole.

They RFed R3PO-K and deployed the TCu as a joke. Made quite sure to let everyone know they had no real interest in taking a station, knew it was reputedly Deadzoned, though diplo efforts were expended in sounding out PL about how serious they were about maintaining the Deadzone. I talked with our guy and said they'd be unlikely to show up - Curse is a fucking long way from the Dronelands.

So...they persisted, they fought off 40 guys, including carriers and a Nyx, using their "Deathstar" POS, and POS gunning. 3 guys versus the horde.

Commentary surrounding this revolves around SOLAR, what they will do, will they get their shit out, will they fight alongside Galaxy Rangers, or is it now too far and too hard? People are claiming SOLAR has no hope of assisting, or defending the system 7 regions and 6 constellations away. What bullshit - this whole thing only happened because of wormholes, it was supplied via wormholes and, if SOLAR has one guy with probes and a Siggy account, and talks to the right person, they can be from their regon into R3PO-K inside of 10 jumps (wormholes included). They'll have docking rights already, clones sorted, ships ready to go.

It has been interesting watching nullsec waking up to wormholes post-Phoebe. Some of the smarter, more daring, ex-wormholer types like BL's Rolled Out, or Triumvirate's V0LTA are right onto it. Others are either ostrich-necking it, are too lazy, haven't sorted the IT and intelligence infrastructure out, or are still scurred little fuckbats cowering in their POS shields whenever a new sig spawns in Local. The former are roaming frig holes with ceptor gangs, the latter are victims. The former are subvertting and dodging the jump penalties via wormhole logistics, the latter are moving out to hisec in droves because it's now "all too hard".

Adapt or die, really. The Core Probe I is your friend. Use it or lose it.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

It's Cactus (a tale of unfortunate providence)

Ever since the advent of the Dick Virus, our corp policy toward sigs in the chain has now changed. Whereas previously we would just log the data, relic and gas sites and ignore them (probe to 25% to identify as such ad ignore) we now have to spend the extra time to probe them down to at least 75% to identify which of the relic and data sites are the nullsec type sites, and bookmark them in case of hackers and archaeologists comng through at some undefined point in the future.

Yesterday we did this, and because it was a PVP and logistics day, and our chain was big (25+ holes), we left the two in our C2 connection alone, but BM'ed them for future use. I am no longer the sole person in the Sudden Buggery POS to have a Dick Virus, it seems, for Daldaman had decided to shell out on one and was patiently lurking a Habitation Coils while shuffling planet shit with his alt.

Midway through an API check, he pipes up that a Legion was running the site. We have the Legion in site, and we've seen an Anathema - presumably the hacker.

We assembled the blob on the N766, but the legion was burning through the stuff super-fast, and we were a bit slow. We made a decision to wait for him to start the next, or maybe we could snag the salvager, or wait for him to come back for more hacking. I hopped into the Dick Virus and jumped into system, warping to site and setting a pounce.

Then the Legion warps out and there is an Orca on scan, and .he swaps to a Proteus, and warps back to site. The Anathema swaps into a Catalyst. The Orca is in the direction of the POS at planet 6, and we all agree it is at the POS. wasn't on scan before, I'm thinking. Who cloaks an Orca at their POS? Or is he running in and out of hisec, and can we bubble trap him? So I warp over to the POS bookmark (I now have circa 1,800 POS's bookmarked in w-space) orca. Orca on d-scan, within 1 AU. 1 + 1 = 3?

The penny has dropped. I know who this is.

I scuttle off to the farthest planet, off d-scan, and place the probes over planet 6 at 2 AU, ready to go. I declare we are waiting for the salvaging to finish. We're now hunting whales, not Legions, nor Catalysts or Anathemas.I warp back to P6 M25, and see for a brief second, a Catalyst on grid, and the orca disappears from d-scan. The Catalyst has warped to site, and I'm pretty sure I am on grid with a cloaked Orca which contains a legion which eats C2 relic sites for breakfast.

The Catalyst takes forever to salvage. Literally the slowest and lamest salvaging attempt known to man. But we wait, and a couple of people sign in and wander in to serious business comms and are told to STFU and get on the N766.

After a good ten or fifteen minutes the Catalyst finishes and sure as sunshine, lands 438km off us at P6 M25, and the Orca decloaks. I hit the probe button and align to the Orca as the probes cycle. 100% returned, and I squad warp in, dropping cloak as I go. Bex decloaks in his Legion and we point the Orca.

The Catalyst swaps to an Anathema. "Tackle that anathema!" Bex says, obviously thinking what I'm thinking - the dude is hoofing it with the blue poo or something. Instead, I just stab F2 to F6, and blap him back to hisec. He doesn't even have a chance to initiate warp before he's a freeze dried deep friend corpsicle.

We beat the Orca down, farming an ejected Venture, and Daldaman beats me to the Orca pod with his own Proteus bombs.

I had seen this guy before, running his cloaky Orca setup before. I'd come close to nabbing him, but he disappeared through a wormhole to another C2, collapsing it behind him, and disappeared into the ether for a good 12 months or more before today. He had a good plan -  decloak yourself at the same celestial as a POS, and most people will assume that if they see an Orca scanning toward the same planet as a POS, it must be at a POS. He also picked a planet with 25 moons - he was just unlucky I was on the same moon as him, and had the POS bookmarked so I could tell he wasn't at it.

That is how you gank 2.38 billion ISK. But I am sure Cactus will recover - he's been at it long enough, he must be making good bank.

Friday, 12 December 2014

I Solo Mio

Can you do a C3 radar site in a pair of Enyos and a solo inquisitor?


Why would you do this? Because a dude lost two Sacrileges trying to do it before you, and his shit was likely inside the tractor unit you probed down. Plus your only connection is a frigate hole.

Of course, he will reship and come at you in a Stratios, which you nearly kill before going down, but fuck it. Enyos are cheap. 10MN inquisitors are cheaper.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

He who casts the first stone

Tonight there was a rather amusing experience had by me.

I found my way down the chain out the X877 into a C3 wormhole with one sole Relic site and an Imicus within it, doing hacking. I could tell it was Zehbox doing the hacking because his Imicus had his name all over it. He was having a torrid time of it, with Core Scanner Probe I's out for a Pharaoh's age. It took me 5 minutes to pin the relic site down and set a 200km perch off it for the Dick Virus to lurk. I had recently upgraded her to faction smartbombs at the cost of 800M ISK, so I wanted to do this right.

Zehbox however, has a lot of practise yet to be had at probing. Eventually I decided to drop combats and ninja scan him as I knew he was within 1,000km of the K162 from highsec from whence he came. I got him first time, and warped at zero. Blap.

I then went back to the entry from the C4 and saw a Sarum Magnate on scan. I cloaked up and slipped back to the perch at the Relic site. Sisters Core Probes came out. Then a Probe came on scan, named for a Nature Valley Skord, from BRAVE.

[ 2014.12.10 07:27:25 ] Nature Valley Skord > 7o

The Probe pilot sees the Sisters Cores out, and the Core probe I's, and says hello in Local. Genius face in the Sarum Magnate sees him on scan too, and sees the Core Probe I's out and about. He pipes up in local, which i quote below.

[ 2014.12.10 07:29:22 ] Dosntpvp Amilupar > o7
[ 2014.12.10 07:29:30 ] Dosntpvp Amilupar > Hows it going?
[ 2014.12.10 07:36:57 ] Dosntpvp Amilupar > So why arnt you using sisters yet?

Hang on a minute. This is a guy who is a month old, riffing on a guy who is two weeks old, about using bare bones basic probes. I can barely maintain Local silence at the arrogance of this mewling shitheel dissing a guy for not using faction probes. This is what's fucking wrong with the game culture if noobs are dissing noobs on not using enough pimp.

[ 2014.12.10 07:37:59 ] Dosntpvp Amilupar > Had to refit one too many times or just bad skill planning?
[ 2014.12.10 07:38:25 ] Dosntpvp Amilupar > Either way its not impressive for two months.

What the actual fuck am I reading? Here i am, 6 years in the game, watching a shitstain smacktalk another noob over probe choice - and getting it wrong because you don't need any skill to load Sisters Probes, just money. This is, I declare, utter bullshit. There will be a reckoning.

Of course, Mr Elite Genius here hasn't noticed the Imicus wreck on scan and questioned it. Nor why there's 16 Sisters Probes and 8 Core I's, nor why there's only been 2 sets of Sisters Probes when he was the one to launch the second. He also misses nature Valley Skord's Probe blipping on d-scan for 20 seconds as he warps to the D845 and scoots off to highsec. I bide my time, declaring my burning need to collect this douche turd's corpse.

He duly obliges, warping to the relic site at zero and MWDing toward the nearest can just as the Dick Virus slides creepily into position, silent and sleek like a giant Dencorub coated barb-wired dildo and blaps him back to highsec instantly.

Guess what the irony is? That's right. Dosntpvp Amilapur was loading Core Probe I's when he died like a fucking scrub doing scrubby scrub shit in a Relic site.

Zehbox's probes dissipated 20 minutes later, leaving nary a trace of anything awry for the next explorer to be afraid of. Dosntpvp Amilupar's frozen corpse adorned the Altar of Bob until downtime 2 hours later. He also got a pointed evemail from me pointing out his failures.

Remember guys - no warp core stabs, nor nanofibres, nor i-stabs will save you when the Dick Virus comes to collect your pod goo and, hopefully, teach you some humiliation. Or should that be humility?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Balkanisation of nullsec

It was quite predictable - the changes to jump ranges and the addition of jump timers would remove the universe-wide overwatch ability of the big nullsec coalitions. This removal of ultimate retaliatory force via Jabber ping CTA fleets jumping 4 cynos to blap a siege fleet, rep a POS, rep an outpost, blap an enemy POS and be back at the staging base inside of 30 minutes has stifled the business model of pre-Hyperion nullsec.

We are seeing the Nullsec blocs and Nullsec entities (renters and landlords alike) sorted out into two types. First are those who have high-level metagamers and strategic thinkers and wargamers coupled with strong discipline, command structures and internal political cohesion. Second are the alliances who lack this (predominantly renter alliances and the like), or one element of it.

The former responded early - like PL's rental alliance, Brothers of Tangra, hiving off 80-odd systems within a week of Hyperion dropping. This was a response to the impossibility of the threat of PL's annihilatory force being deployed against transgressions into the BOT farm. PL's planners, metagamers and logisticians worked out pretty quickly they were unable, unwilling and unlikely to protect everything, and rather than risk brand damage via an erosion of their demesne by small predatory groups, they carved it off to Shadow and now Shadow suffers death by a thousand papercuts of ultimate humiliation.

Other entities like Northern Associates and their affiliated smaller arse-limpet hangers-on tribute alliances dealt with this a bit differently. Reputedly, NA. (which is of course NCDot finger puppet) told their tribute alliances and hangers-on they were on their own. This has resulted in, for example, Mostly Hammered beginning sov flips, terrorising the weakling, coward shitstains in Cache. You know the people - the guys who dock up or POS up at the drop of a hat, and PVP by linking your lossmails in Local and sending petitions over phrases like "Do you even lift....your balls off your boyfriend's backside?"

It seems that the jump changes are having their desired effect. Sov nullsec is beginning to Balkanise - when renter alliances show signs of weakness like NA - as pragmatic and realpolitik as it is - then this empowers the predators. Shadow is suffering strategic defeat at the hands of perhaps two dozen pirates because they cannot skirmish. They are losing ships, POSs, even perhaps an outpost, to half a dozen guys in Ishtars because they are just terrible pilots who've eked out an existence ratting in giant domains with impenetrable intel channel defences all held in place by instant teleported cap fleet blobbing.

As the Balkanisation continues, the intel channel Skynet coverage will begin to degrade. Whereas now you can jump from a wormhole and everyone in a region, if not three, will see yu reported and pinged in system after system, allowing people to dock their Rattlesnakes or pre-align their carriers to POS, in a few months the granularisation of sovereignty will result in fractured intel. This will favour small gang and small fleet combat, and small entities holding their own space.

This is all a Good Thing for the game, if you play the game for PVP. There's a bit of debate around the need to keep an ecology in nullsec open to keep the nullbears breeding and farming and AFKtaring their Sanctums and Dens. if it gets too hard to live in nullsec, the argument goes, people will QQ and unsub, and go play Elite Dangerous or $tar Citizen$.

This may occur, of course, but I think that the old gif of the EVE learning Curve is a bit misleading if you end up living in sov null as a rentboy shitlord. It's not that hard to go onto Reddit, read about how ishtars and Rattlesnakes are EZMode Ultimate Edition, train your toon for 2 months or 3 months, join a renter corp, and bang out Sanctums and get 12M bounty ticks or more, hours on end. You shortcut the skill, you shortcut the school of hard knocks, and you end up perpetuating a game culture of risk-aversion boring toy-seeking ISK accumulating assfucked uselessness.

How exciting is that, then? Not very. Sure, there's a lot of guys learning right now that they really are unskilled sheep, they are horribly bad PVPers, their corporations are just edifices for ISK skimming tax accumulation, their alliances are tax aggregators which provide no real services or protection, that they are toothless tigers which exist like monolithic ego accumulators for the elite.

Yeah, it would suck to realise the game is being played better by other people, who are kicking your arse and your corp's arse, and alliance's arse because you suck. Maybe the free lunch is over and you have to fight for your space. The thing is - fighting for your space is playing a game. AFK ishtars is not. EVE can lose them in their droves, and be better for it, and hope they stop reading bad Reddit how-to's and learn how-to themselves.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Frig hole fun times 2

We connected to a C5 from our home wormhole via a C008 frigate wormhole. The C5 had a Vital Core Reservoir, a Q003 to nullsec, and its V573 static, with no towers, nada. We had it for 8 hours, and went in and out a few times to the nullsec on the other side, went for a small trip around, found a few other wormholes, nothing much going on.

Then, just by happenstance, I warped over in my Astero to have another look, went in, hit d-scan and saw
Primary The Rev - Moros -
Meepo - Mobile depot -

Immediately I considered the possibilities that presented themselves -
  1. The Moros was crushing the C6
  2. He perhaps had fucked up?
  3. ???
  4. Profit
I got Darth Bex to drop everything and come over with an Anathema, and combat probe the Moros out, and I repeatedly had to assure people i was not hallucinating. Of course, I was thinking - dafuq are we going to deal with all the shit that tackling a capital will rain down on our heads when we do get a warp-to it. I had barely begun to form the #YOLO, fuck it, go in and die trying plan that always suffices for BUGRY, when Bex had the warp-in for the Moros, but had no point.

So, dual-scram Astero, and more jibber-jabber, and the Enyos began to get reshipped and landing, and we swapped Sabres for Devoter and struck up a short but ultimately futile negotiation with the Moros pilot and his alt. A billion ISK it was at and we were figuring out if any of us could actually fly the Moros, when the self-destruct timer went off (apparently that was a mistake) and so there you have it. Frigates killing a Moros.

Eventually, I am sure, with enough Sentinels and time to probe through the C6 to the C1 to hisec. Which, incidentally, we had to do to lug out the 550M in loot.

We then found our way out our X877 to another nullsec where, earlier in the day, i had warped to a random Haven and landed on a Tempest at zero metres by happenstance, which was as shocking to him as it was to me, no doubt. We had previously scalped a Skiff at a belt, so the locals had clearly forgotten us in the intervening three hours and the new shift of rent-seeking peons were unaware that when a BUGRY Sentinel pokes its nose into local, it was only to save the Forlorn Hub you are doing in your Rattlesnake, and they assuredly will be back.

So we mopped the floor with the Rattler and got into a brawl that escalated from a Deimos, to a supporting Guardian, a Loki, a Domi, a Manticore....etcetera.

Our 10MN Afterburner inquisitor fit proved a wee bit unfortunate in the handling department. Toboggan weighed down with lead bricks comes to mind. Dualboxing frigates and frigate logi is also a bad idea, i can confirm. So we lost a handful of cheap ships, but came up ahead on the ISK war.

The take-homes?

Well, firstly, all it takes is being in the right hole at the right time to do the d-scan to catch the Moros. Secondly, frig holes can get you content. But they require more than one or two people, and you really need to hit and run nullbears, just come out, grab something, shoot it up and then fade away.

Thirdly, frig logi is a very, very difficult thing to get right in small gangs. You need to sacrifice at least a third of your gang to logi, and you really need to have a frig gang in excess of 6-8 people. probably 9 or more, and 3 logi frigs would do it. I wouldn't really recommend the 10MN AB Inquisitors so much, without links, in a mobile fight. The fight can zig, but you can't zag.

Finally, going forward, I do query whether the new T3 Destroyers will bring enough to the fight beyond what's already on the table. Even a laughable gang with single Guardian proved too much - just a few sentry drones, and you blow up like popcorn. In frigates - let alone stupidly sig-bloated destroyers. In a decent gang, if you don't hit and run, your logi will be the easiest targets, and then the rest is just a mop-up.

Caveat emptor,  guess.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Now NoHo knows, you can all know

Never have one of those pesky exploration relic hackers escape you ever again!

[Proteus, Dick Virus]
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II

Warp Scrambler II
Medium Capacitor Booster II
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Imperial Navy Large EMP Smartbomb
Imperial Navy Large EMP Smartbomb
Imperial Navy Large EMP Smartbomb
Imperial Navy Large EMP Smartbomb
Imperial Navy Large EMP Smartbomb
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Ancillary Current Router II
Medium Ancillary Current Router II

Proteus Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Proteus Electronics - Emergent Locus Analyzer
Proteus Propulsion - Interdiction Nullifier
Proteus Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Proteus Engineering - Power Core Multiplier

Thursday, 4 December 2014

A slight remodelling

That sludge green was a bit sludgy. I hope you like this darker, more Minmatar theme a bit better. if you find anything illegible, sperge at me.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Flights of the Planet Dollaz 5

December has rolled around and we kicked the month off with a Russian guy who was crushing an entrance to his C5 with a heptaplate Higgs Geddon. It's the new meta, seriously. But that was the 1st - yesterday was the 2nd, and once again the Planet Dollaz came to the fore.

First cab off the rank were some nullbears in AP9-LV who were bemused by my inability to dock the Planet Dollaz at their heavily bubbled station. We struck up a conversation where the 2 month old expert of EVE attempted to educate me, after I claimed to have bought the account, about how I didn't have docking rights.

The CEO of a corp. Is a noob. And doesn't know about docking rights.

So mr 2 month old zygote man undocks a Coercer and somehow catches me as I derp into one of the bubbles set 100km off the station. He plays it smart, staying at 14km jus outside of web range as I zig-zag drunkenly deeper into the bubble (no reason, no reason) and somehow my shield stays at 95%. I mean, that's not suspicious at all!

Eventually, he drops the hammer, being a Thorax, Caracal and because of extreme cowardice, a solo Osprey. The Thorax isn't quite as smart as the Coercer and comes in at 0m and as soon as I have scram we drop our kitchen sink fleet on them and educate some noobs.Solo Osprey escapes by the skin of his teeth.

Dinner time and downtime come and go and I roll the N766 and X877. The N766 has Sunspot Manufacturing and C1RCL3 0F M157 living in it; Heron, Corax, Helios on scan. Heron proves to be a 2 day old nublet from the attached noob system via the B274, and doesn't take the Nereus bait which I warp to him at the sun. He probably doesn't even realise there is such a thing as PVP yet, so he warps off and goes to highsec.

I derp the nereus to the Z647, and the Corax warps out of POS almost immediately. I get it scrammed and webbed a couple of klicks off the hole and am about to decloak the Astero to finish it off when a Gila and a Stratios land and deploy the rape drones. I bail the Nereus into the C1, followed by the Stratios, and they begin camping me in there. A bit outmatched by the Gila and Stratios, I ping the only other guy online for some backup, and reship TF into a Protar.

I pull the Nereus back through from the C1 and get pinned down off the hole by the Corax and Gila. Overheating the Invuls, Humang decloaks and sics his Geckos onto the Corax, which basically vaporises before it can align out. The enemy Strat jumps home, and they get stuck into the Nereus, while we prime the Gila. Good old Planet Dollaz tanks for 4 minutes against the Gila and Strat before the tank blows out. Both the Gila and Planet Dollaz are forced back into the C1, the former out of shields, and the latter in hull. I bounce the nereus off to a safe immediately, to get some shield mojo back, and we begin pounding the enemy Stratios into half armour.

I bounce the Nereus back and the Gila doubletaps himself to catch it, and dies. The Nereus is doubletaped in the C1, but the Stratios stays cloaked - not that it could break the tank on the Planet Dollaz anyway.

Later, I find some angry Italians in a C3, and lure an ECM Imicus out to kill it. The amusing thing is the response to an Imicus being ganked on their highsec by a hauler - instant rage logon Abbadon, Brutix, Malediction and Tengu.

I go to bed.

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Curious Tale Of CEO X

let me tell you the Curous Tale of CEO X.

Alliance X and Corp X were until recently a decent bunch of guys, kicking heads quite effectively and efficiently in w-space, keeping their heads down and off people's e-peen radars. The CEO had been away from game for 18 months, so a Director had taken the reins over and was doing his thing in a relaxed, laid-back manner, and all was well.

Anyway, the CEO of Corp X comes back to the game and re-subs his account. CEO X, we'll call him, walked back into the office and saw that the corporation wasn't what he had left 18 months ago. It was now split across 3 wormholes - one guy and his 5 alts were in a C5 bearing it up with capital escalations. There were others running reactions in a private C1. The main group were in a C2 with Y683/B274, which was different than before (in fact, they've moved 3 times in 18 months and he missed all of this) and this didn't suit what CEO X thought of as fitting for the corporation.

He laid down some edicts within a couple of days back in the game. The director who'd been running the show for 18 months was pushed aside. Edicts were handed down about moving wormholes, moving in with another alliance or corporation, changes to the way things were going to operate, what people would be doing, etcetera.

This didn't sit well with the people in Corp X who were used to the way things had been running for the past 18 months, just humming along, doing their thing, no dramas and no one demanding too much of their time and efforts for grandiose plans and misguided power play follies.

The disaffected members of Corp X decided they had more in common with each other than with CEO X. They formed their own corp (Corp Y), moved out of the wormhole and settled in Derelik of all places.  Oddly enough, they rejoined the same alliance as the corp they were just in, I guess in order to fly with the same guy they apparently didn't really ant to fly with anymore. Others in Corp X left for Lazerhawks, BRAVE, or various other entities.

CEO X has apparently gone AFK again, so all he achieved with his miscalculated and misguided attempt to wrest control of his creation back from the guys who kept it going when he was absent is to destroy the corporation, drive everyone away, and ruin his own game.

The salient point here, having done this myself in the past and learned from it, is that if you go on a long hiatus as CEO, when you come back either your corp has shrivelled and died without you at the helm and you need to rebuild, or it has moved on beyond what it was when you left. You may think your corporation is what it was when you left. This is erroneous. If your corp has been functioning without you for 18 months, and there are now 20 people who you don't even know, it is not your corporation anymore. If no one knows you from a bar of soap, then you aren't even a bottle of handwash. Coming back, hairy-chested, and pushing people around won't work. 

The moral of this story is a cautionary tale for CEO's and wannabe CEO's. I learned a while ago that being CEO doesn't make you a dictator, not in w-space. You rule by consensus. You create a corporate culture, which you have to live and breathe, and you attract and maintain people who fit in. Your people are your assets, not in the manner of being chattel you order around and dispense with, but in terms of being a pool of resources to call upon to get you, the CEO, the content you want.

You have to have standards, but you also have to ensure that you make them realistic. You also have to judge when a wormhole move doesn't suit your guys, because nothing kills a wormhole corp faster than moving wormholes when no one but the CEO wants this to happen.