Saturday, 28 February 2015

BRAVE but stupid

Getting a fight is sometimes as easy as asking. BRAVE is renowned for taking used to be that they would welp anything versus anything. However, when BRAVE moved into wormholes, they seem to have lost their ability to take fights. They will ask if you want to take a fight, and promise all manner of sweetness like "we don't want it to be unfair" and "no podding".

So you deploy 2 Execquors, a Prophecy and 5 Sacs vs what you are told will be "8 to 10" of them, and you get 11 Brutixes, a Blackbird of shame, a Prophecy, Deimos and 3 Guardians.

So we tucked our tails between our legs and declined to welp our ships.

The point of this?

Well, the BUGRY / TF philosophy is to get the fight first, and make it fair second.

First order of business is to get tackle - and if you don't do that, you have nothing. If you aren't willing to risk losing a hero tackle something - Astero, Cheetah, even a Lachesis - then you deserve to get no kills because you are bad.

Second order of business is to at least try to make it fair. We will often take fights not only with tackle Asteros vs multiple cruiser and battlecruiser foes, but drop in a few ships with solo logis, and prevail by small margins, with white-knuckle tanking and withdrawing the tackle Astero at the absolute last moment (see the carrier gank video, for an example). The purpose of this is to not only make it exciting for us, give the foe a chance, draw out support or rage undocking, but to ensure people will keep taking fights with us and not just go back to POS and use International Bear Semaphore to signal they won't fight. 

Sure, bring an unfair fleet to fight us. Trick us, out-play us, out-fly us, outnumber us and/or just plain out-DPS us. If we get tackled and pinned down and you roflstomp us into the ground, that's my fault as FC, leader, devil-may-care flying fool.

It's the old adage, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

But you didn't even fool me once.

Hence, we won't be taking arranged fights with Catastrophic Overview Failure. I would in fact go so far as to say that no one should. Which is ironic considering the reputation which is being tarnished here - since when do people have to #YOLO against BRAVE, and not the other way around? Sure, the alliance has grown and matured and moved past the Atrons phase and flies bigger ships better, but it has gone straight to overwhelming coward mode. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

RIP Skynet

It's no real secret that wormhole corps, even in C4 down, build capitals and use capitals for running sites (mostly escalations in C5-6) and in home defense. Home defense use in low-end wormholes is a fairly rare event, and in my experience, doesn't really work. By the time your POS is fucked, your caps are being trolled out, or are generally useless, especially if you've done a good job of making your POS a decent POS (thereby requiring unfeasibly large numbers of attackers to get to a position requiring a capital).

However, there have been a fair few low-class residents using Skynet carriers. For example, there was the Skynet War Library example, and some others recently where people have built a few Thanatos and just "PVP" on highsec wormholes using buffer Proteus with assigned fighters. We recently found an Epta Team C4 W-R where they were using Garmurs with assigned fighters to rat, and we thought, what a great idea. Conjoin two of the most broken things in the game and use the Skynet to harvest the home sites for alliance income!

Fortunately, our massive build-out of C4 caps is now halted due to the end of Skynet thanks to the proposed balance passes in Scylla.

Overall I agree with the balance changes. It stands to be seen whether their second soft-nerf to ishtars actually does anything. Let's be honest, a 25% HP buff to sentries as opposed to the 50% of now, isn't going to do diddly squat. 25% DPS bonus versus 50% is good...but this drops from 620 (ish) to 530-ish. This means you need 25% more Ishtar to achieve the same level of OP.

Comparatively, the drones of Ishtars alone will still out-DPS Zealots, Vagas, Sacrileges, Eagles, Munnins. Deimos will still be a formidable death toboggan, but won't have any damage projection so it isn't a fleet ship.

The real nerf is to the Bouncer drone, not the ship, which is odd. The Curator II will just replace it as the Drone Du Jour. The Ishtar will just have to sit 10km closer to the enemy....oh wait, no it won't because the drones will keep attacking regardless. it shifts the balance between optimal and suboptimal tracking of close targets to equally good tracking but more random damage in falloff - and as we know, the whole ishtar doctrine relies on fighting in falloff against microwarping enemies with giant sigs. So...yay? Soft nerf is soft.

This also, comparatively, nerfs all other drone doctrines and nerfs most POS bashing setups. So we will see what the upshot of that is. 

I mean, have a look at this. The colours, as far as I can tell, from the left is drones, lasers, projectiles, rails...something, something. Not really sure. But it's pretty clear that HACs are doing well solely from drone DPS. Wonder which one that is?

CCP's explanation for keeping the warp speed, align and slough-onto-grid behaviour of battleships as they are is pretty weak. Yes, battleships do a lot of DPS when they get used. But they are far and away being used in large engagements not for roaming. It would also be interesting to see a breakdown of that damage graph by security status, and by target - do battleships just do most of their DPS versus structures?

The T3 changes are good. We will see less bricked to the nines 150K EHP buffer Tengu and Proteus. It will now be closer to the 80-120K range. Which is fine, lets not get too het up over this. Plus, you get (mostly) lower signature radius, and given these are cruiser hulls which can use the wake limiter, you can't really complain about more sig tanking.

Thursday, 26 February 2015


2 shield fit Svipuls and an Ishtar doing an Integrated Terminus in a Class 4 Pulsar.

Ishtar got to low shield versus the BS and warped out when my scrams finally got the BS to cycle its point off him. 10 minutes from go to whoa, 78M ISK, hit button get cookie.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Frig Hole Fun Times 3

Batphones are an essential part of wormhole life, in my jaundiced opinion. Aside from the ability to multiply your forces via inviting along a bunch of apparently random people who only one or two of each corporation or alliance may know one another, it is often how content can be created and shared....and tactical disadvantages addressed.

In this case, a Q003 out of our C4 led to T0DT-T in the back end of a dog-leg pocket deep in Outer Passage. I jumped out in an Astero and checked the map - nextdoor showed 12 active in local and over 8,000 rats killed in the last 24 hours. The gate was not bubbled - the choke point systems of 8-AA98 and NKHO-4 were bubbled nine ways to hell and back to slow down intruders, but if you made it this far then it was plain sailing. So i jumped into 2ULC-J, as expected 10 in Local and I hit d-scan before decloaking. Nidhoggur on scan and only 2 anomalies he could be at.

In using a batphone I am always aware that quite often the engagement comes to nought. The batphonees have to often trudge dozens of jumps to attend a fluid situation or something where you don't have tackle or a fight going on but can reasonably expect to get one. In this case, even a ratting carrier can provide a rather deadly threat to a gang of dessies and assault frigates, and you cant bring effective logistics through. So I hesitated a bit in ringing around, knowing it could amount to nothing. But fuck it, I thought, I'll just see if anyone's close.

So I picked up the batphone and someone answered, 13 jumps away in nullsec, out of their C5 chain. The situation was explained - we have 15 toons in fleet in T3 dessies and assault frigs, we can't bring logi but we're willing to tackle if you can come.The guys from Haywire. dropped their socks and came, bringing 6+ T3's and 2 Guardians and burning hard.

So we formed up, jumped out into T0TD-T and went to the 2ULC-J gate. i jumped in, so they saw a familiar face, and confirmed the Nid was on scan. Drone Horde and Drone Patrol on scan, so of course I warped to the horde. Problem being, the Nid was blasting the Patrol, and he warped off as I landed on grid. So I called for everyone to jump in and spam the 12 or so Hordes hich populated the sig list. Almost immediately, Nox52 called tackle on a Chimera.

Our support was 6 jumps out, bogged down in bubbles. We had no logi, and our plan was to run a rolling tackle - whoever got yellow-boxed just warped to the nearest celestial and came back. If fighters chased, you just kept moving. We had 5 other carriers on d-scan at less than 6 AU, mostly toward a POS at planet 8. I instructed no local chit-chat in case the Chimera was AFK or we provoked a response we couldn't actually deal with.

So we shot him, he tanked as best he could, and the Haywire. guys began arriving as the Chimera dipped into hull. Not a lot of them got on the kill. In the end we wouldn't have needed them, but the Chimera didn't really have a lot of drones fit for shooting frigates and fast tackle, either. Wisely, I suppose, the other caps didn't get involved in the fight, though that would have been and interesting proposition. I guess they saw the thrashing Hard Knocks et al. gave the Brothers Of Tangra capitals some months back and wisely kept themselves hugging their POSs.

NYLA Powers Chimera

The mop-up after the kill was also noteworthy. You will note that a Crane dropped. We had no way of getting any of the capital loot back to the wormhole, or highsec without that ship. So it was duly launched from the Chimera wreck, a hauling alt toon signed on and scooted out the Q003, loaded up with the Drone Control Units and various odds and sods, and probed its way back home via a pair of C5's to Curse, 9 jumps through nullsec exiting via Doril. The Crane was escorted through, arriving in highsec an hour before downtime, but 38 jumps from the other end of the chain.

Frig hole fun times!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Station Camping Hero Tax

Don't you love station camping heroes? You know, the guys in the Svipuls / Thrashers / etceteras, sitting there ready to buy a cheap killright and blap a pod or shuttle. Sometimes they get both, in the second where you hit grid, you get your killright activated, get popped, and then your pod gets popped in the same exact second. Seems legit and totally not an exploit at all, right?

I mean, I know it takes me zero seconds to activate killrights (and make sure I'm not paying a billion ISK for them, too). it's so easy to filter everything except guys in shuttles and pods off the overview, then show only people with killrights. And then, obviously, clicking on them, then clicking the target, and moving your mouse to the button and accepting the killright. Couldn't be a macro, no, never.

Anyway, enough wild speculation about that. There's a new form of Hero Taxation.The method goes something like this.

Attack yourself with an alt. You may also, for example, attack a bunch of your corpies with a smartbombing noobship piloted by your alt. Why farm only one killright when you can farm 20?

Everyone with a killright sets the killright price as per the following formula;
Pk = Ps - Pi

Pk is the price of the killright.
Ps is the price of the ship. Let's say, an expensive ship, or at least a faction frigate like a Comet or something.
Pi = price of insurance.

Insurance price is, for example, 20% of the hull price and pays out 80%. So, lets take a Rattlesnake at 340M, you set your kill right at 302M. If anyone buys the right, you make 302 + 302 - 34M = 580M.

Of course, Rattlers are probably up at the extreme end of the scale - certainly this will work quite effectively with cheaper ships on undock from 4-4 or EFA. Your decision is whether you want yield or profit margin - do you go for something which is cheap and will be picked up almost instantly, and make you a little bit of money, or do you want to go for the big score? Or do you want to set it at a couple of million ISK and "dock" your shuttle and pod at EFA and get blapped by a hero?

Either way, you get money from a trivial killright event, being a harmless attack on you in highsec by an alt, from which you and your corp mates can farm almost limitless amounts of ISK from station camping heroes.

It's good that the kill rights and bounty system can't be gamed. It would undermine confidence in the punishments meted out for suicide ganking.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Batphone of Oddity

Three nights ago, 11:15 p.m., I resolve to just check this C3 one last time before I go to bed, there was probably some explorer from nullsec which I might be able to gank. I jump in.

Packrat Mobile Tractor unit.

"Oh shit." I say. RUS Hour is a bit late.

We have 3 meat bods, 5 toons, one of which is basically a dedicated booster toon / T1 logi bitch at best, and one toon (TF) is stuck in a scouting Astero until the engagement drops, and must reship via our connecting C4. We quickly thrash out that there's no way we have enough numbers. Maybe a lone carrier, but two carriers which can possibly RR even a bit, we are shit out of luck.

We pick up the Batphone and begin a ring-around. Nada. No one is online, no one I trust or who responds at all. Except Johnny Twelvebore, who just happens to wander into channel as he signs on for the afternoon. I begin pestering him, and he pokes a few people...ho begin moving fairly sluggishly to make 8 jumps through hisec as the Russians finish their business, go back to POS, get out of their carriers, then back in...start aligning to the last radar site (handily ninja probed by myself, where I lurk). I start chivvying people - it's getting on past midnight now.

"The thing with wormhole batphones, gentlemen, is you make the 8 jumps before you know what's going down, because if it does there's no use being 8 jumps away. So just get in your ships and get over to Vittenyn."

Complication: Shadow Cartel and Johnny are pirates. This means nothing too fat and slow. "Bring your confessors, don't worry, first step is to get the fuckers tackled, then we'll sort DPS out once we've got the Guardians on field."

So, I provide warp-ins and a small gang forms on the inside of a wormhole in Vittenyn - 3 Confessors, 1 Ishtar, 1 Sacrilege, 1 Vigilant, 3 Guardians. Add a boosting Astarte, second Vigilant and a hull-tanked Barghest in the home C4, plus a hero tackle Astero and that's all we've got. That's all we're going to get, so we move the pirates through the chain (4 holes deep) and I get tackle.

Roll footage.

Araikas obviously needs to stack his windows better to make mega-pretty footage, so we will take this as a kind of learning video. You can stop watching when the Chimera goes down, some editing is in order.

Firstly, you will note we lack a bubbler. This is both a blessing and a hindrance. With such small ships on field, had the carriers deployed 23 Warrior II's against the Confessors I doubt the Guardian reps would have cycled fast enough - the Confessors needed to be able to GTFO. So we missed a few pods, big deal.

Secondly, we begin drone control. Initially these guys fielded about 13-15 Geckos, which is an avalanche of DPS. But we clue in fairly quickly that we are tanking the DPS quite handily and stop shooting the valuable loot drones. We forget to blap the Tractor, though, so it steals a few from the wreck of the Thanny and we lose them. You can see how quickly the drones get blapped early on; tactical dessies are very good at drone control.

Thirdly, the third Guardian of Brian Gragg, we find out fairly quickly, is actually travel fit. Being a dirty pirate he has opted for 6 stabs in the lows, to avoid being tackled in highsec. So we really only ever had 2 Guardians. Miskoranda's is MWD fit (heresy, i know) with an 800 plate. This is far faster and only 12% less buffer than a 1600 plated Ironclad fit, because you don't drop T2 ACR's and can go for twin T2 trimarks. it proves very effective, kiting the Geckos and Fighters of the carriers.

Finally, a note on hull-tanked Barghests, as flown by Araikas. I reship from an Astero to one as well. When looking at the situation Araikas gets into, keep in mind he has 100K hull EHP (total 138K) and my Guardian gets out of position due to pilot error. Sadly you don't see the tanking mine does at the end, which is quite extreme cycling of the armour buffer. Plus you'll note the speed achieved, which is 1800m/s. Luls fit? Yes and no.

It was a good fight. It goes to show you don't need 30 Legions, or 20 Ishtars or, it seems, more than 2.25 Guardians, to take on capitals. Just stay cool, take your balls out, and work your way through them. It helps when the carriers are ratting fit, of course, but you wouldn't have got the engagement if they weren't, neh?

Battle report.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

CCP's Black Bond Moment?

The dynamic between author and fan is changing a lot due to social media and the general increase in interaction between authors and their audience.

In the past one bought a game, which we will call Hungry Hungry Hippos for argument's sake, and the rules of the game were straightforward, fixed and immutable. A good game with staying power had a good mix of rules, chance, challenge, strategy and competition. People played the game and found it enjoyable as a defined instance - it only went as far as the limits of its rules and you just played it for what it is.

Likewise, with TV shows like Doctor Who, the fandom grew up in a time when the show's writers and producers did what they could with scraps of carpet, old paint tins and silver face paint and you had Daleks, Cybermen and slime monsters from prehistoric alien invasions or whatever and the Doctor did his thing and you watched it if you liked it and you didn't watch it if you found it naff.

Episodes just appeared on your set every week, amid Days of our lives, Dallas, A Country Practise, East Enders and The Bill, shit you never watched and still to this day wonder why theypersisted for 21 fucking seasons for Christ's sakes. no one dropped spoilers, because no one had seen this season the year before in the UK when it aired, except for one chick, Briony, who spoilered a whole season of DeGrassi for us after a student exchange in Canada. Which was a blessing in disguise, because ::DeGrassi::

Similarly, in the olden days of computer games, you bought Sonic the Hedgehog, and if you liked a shitty game constructed around some stupid rodent then you played it. Sure, you debated the relative badassery of Sonic vs Mario vs Megaman, but that was between yourselves around a Mega Slurpee and a bag of Doritos in your mum's basement with a fat pimply nerd with coke bottle glasses (who would later grow up to be an investment banker with a private jet) and some scrawny guy with buck teeth and a receding pair of testicles (who would grow up to run a badass rockabilly panel and paint shop).

Nowadays, its quite different.

Fans debate whether James Bond can be black - there's quite a lot of debate about whether idriss Elba can pull off the role, not only from a suave sex maniac killer spy pastiche perspective, but because he's black. Some people find that impossible, because we all know black people aren't smart enough to spy and shit, and who'd let them into casinos? Which seems to be the basic and utterly racist premise behind saying no. 

Fans are bitching because one of the actors who used to play Doctor Who says he can never see a female playing Doctor Who. Feminists have become outraged, baying for blood. Serious neckbearding fans debate endlessly whether it's in Gallifreyan DNA to change sex, like a bloody tropical reef fish, in order to get around the fact that the lore has made Capaldi the last incarnation of the Doctor. Fan pressure is going to force the show's writers and creators to make a choice - maybe have the Doctor get the cut-and-tuck and get ten more lives, or nix the show (which sucks thanks to Steven Moffat who is the Fozzie of Doctor Who) or do some bullshit omega option like discount the show's lore and get on with providing terribly written seasons of the show to the fat, pale fangirls who store Cheezels in their belly fat rolls while debating feminist imperatives.

Computer games are moving toward fansourced content more than ever - the latest Smash Brothers has quite a few new characters which more or less are fan favourites which have been added because of fan feedback and demand.

So, looking at EVE and the CSM, it's clear that CCP's social media strategy (aside from aberrant Lockageddon issues) is focused on crony dictatorship lipservice representation. my experiment with running for CSM has shown me a few things not only about how CCP runs the parody, but how the player and fan base ppercieve the whole thing.

Firstly, yes I got rejected due to unnamed indiscretions. Some say you have to have a spotless account history - which sounds reasonable if you believe politicians (EVE or IRL) have to have an utterly flawless character and criminal history. But this is the real world, people make mistakes, and in a game like EVE where the whole objective is to gain an edge, to metagame, to swindle, cheat, steal, lie and be a bastard, and where exchanges in Local get heated, it's also utterly ridiculous to my mind to get sanctimonious about this.

Yeah, I played the game, I have a half dozen raps on the knuckles for offensive language because some people choose to petition this as a way of PVPing. I had the whole jewish Bullshit ninja episode - didn't get banned, because i did nothing wrong, but it seems an accusation is as good as a conviction with CCP. or maybe it was the fact Sudden Buggery had it's name revoked for 3 months for being offensive, despite bugger being a common vernacular term in Australia. We petitioned, and got it back. Regardless, CCP exercised a veto on me and several other people who coincidentally are all known and ardent critics of CCP or particular developers.

I am on record as being a harsh critic of Fozzie's work in ship balancing. his work is haphazard and sloppy, but this is the crux of the matter, isn't it? this is where the CSM, being a so-called council of fan representatives elected to represent fans, runs up against CCP in its role as developer.

This is where CCP has to decide if the CSM is really just a figurehead sock-puppet regime, an expensive PR cost to fly people to iceland to circle-jerk and be ignored, or whether it really is an organ for constructive fan feedback into the developer / authorship side of things.

As some of the questions fielded in the CSM candidacy show, people really do believe that the CSM has no impact, and never can have any impact upon the authorship imperative of CCP. Which is an interesting collective opinion and one CCP needs to look at; some people may want a female Doctor Who or a Black Bond. But there's a real opportunity to develop content people actually want, versus fucking up ship balance time and time again and blithely carrying on.

So, as we move toward another swipe at nullsec, amidst this lore-based Drifter / Jovian / Sleeper / Sansha ultimate threat from beyond space-time-wormholes story arc, we players and the CSM sock puppet regime representing us need to divide the game balance issues (where player input is vital and CCP needs to listen and take cues from players) from the lore and game development issues. In the 21st century fandom meta-life, we have power and influence over the first, but we should not expect to influence authorship of new content.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


I scarcely bother keeping up with nullsec politics. It is like an episode of the Kardashians - rich, spoilt whiny princesses having pretend spats over who gets to drive the Swarovski-encrusted Bentley to the ball and lots of huffing, eye rolls and bullshit.

last week, chief Prolapse. diplo Leon got a convo from a nullsec alliance diplo who wished to discuss a proposal. After some to-ing and fro-ing (and unblocking this guy, who I'd blocked due to his spam in recruitment) we got down to tin tacks and i got to see the offer on the table.

They live in the periphery of the Dronelands. I'm going to say insmother, because i wasn't really paying attention; I was only there to listen to the plan, and see if it was worth the bother before really giving a shit. Considering my diet is corn-free that seemed unlikely, but I also believe you have to give every opportunity a chance.

The founder of the alliance in question was 6 months old, he ran a corp, it had sum total less kills in 6 months than i had in the past month personally. most of them were from 3 POSs his dudes blew up. However bad this sounds you cannot discount these people off-hand. Look at BRAVE - the founder was a noob, made a noob-friendly corp for noobs, and now you have thousands of people kludged tgether owning sov and even dropping caps. But, yeah...nah.

These guys had some rental space, basically, under the wings of some mysterious and unnamed Russian overlords who were vaguely bankrolling the operation, or at least letting the nublets live like slime mold between the arse cheeks of their botting empire. The plan was to assault NA renter space (oh shit son, secret's out) with, it seems, hordes of wormhole corps lured out to the arse end of Insmother by the promise of....wait for it...access to industry, a decent market hub (stocked by the Russians at great profit for Space Putin, no doubt), ratting, blah blah.

My question was "How are you sorting your logistics?"

This is key. I mean, as we've seen from R30-PZ a small band of dedicated PVPers can turn the tables on large mobs of bloodthirsty RUSbears, but the other lesson which I tried to provide some advice on in that case, was to sort the logistics first. PESKY tried to sort out some reinforcements fa too late in the piece, when the sov warfare grindfest of timer defence was already under way. You can't simply walk into Insmother for a war of attrition on 24 hours notice, and turning up to white knight one timer won't win the grind. So, wth this in mind, the answer to the above question was vital.

It seems that the Russians handle all that. Or something. By stocking a market hub. I mean, OK, but what if I want to run old-school Drake blob and there's only 3 Drakes in system? Who's going to make the JF run or probe a route via wormholes to bring this shit in? Not the nublets, not the Russians, and certainly not me.

The other thing which Nubcakes and Alliance didn't really appreciate was that in exchange for docking, ratting and build rights in nullsec (tasty, eh?) we had to  attend CTA's. This is like telling someone you have to get into porno and by the way, here's a cup.

Jump clones are fine, and the skill which you can train to level 5 that cuts the time down to 18 hours is fine, but you aren't getting my guys out of our C4, docking up, JCing out to some fuckass useless place in the bowels of the Dronelands, to attend a CTA with no SRP, no free ships, no guarantee of hulls and modules, no organisation and the prospect of what? Humping some pathetic moon goo tower or ten or fifty of which we get none, and would want even less.

I mean, I wish them luck. I would hope no wormhole PVP entities would go in for that idea, but I suppose someone might be stupid enough to make their corp implode from trying to run a nullsec sov war from inside a C4. But it won't be me, and it therefore wont\'t be my guys.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Sleep quietly, valiant prince


When ten dudes spend at least 45 minutes cloaked in the relic site to gank you (and the cloak doesn't work for some reason) there's not much you can do.

I think the scorecard for the Dick Virus is at least 8 billion killed, 20+ rage mails and convos, over 100 murdered relic and data hunters (and probably at least 80 pods) and a hell of a lot of fun.

Plus profit. Just the last week I sold 350M in loots. So i shall be back on the hobby horse with that one, keeping the terror real.

Well played, 10 guys. Well played.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Shine on crazy diamond

So, for unspecified reasons my account did not pass a security background screening check, so i am out of the CSM election race. no reason specified.

Censorship? CCP deciding who they want to run, and blocking those who don't? or a legacy of swearing a few too many times in local and having people metagame at me by petitioning me for abuse? Who knows? But it certainly shows that the CSM is indeed a bunch of pets of CCP.

This is Hong Kong style democracy, where the devs decide which candidates get up and which don't. Which is fine -it's their game, after all, and they have to deal with the CSM over the course of a year so if they object to a candidate and think she is a bit deranged or he's a douche, it's their prerogative to see them face election.

Either way, if you read this shitty blog and can see where I am coming from, you should vote for Corbexx first, and bane Cortex second. The former has pedigree and the second is better as a wormhole candidate than Chance Ravine. It takes more than daytripping in a bomber and killing haulers to be a wormhole CSM.

Oh, and remember, your vote doesn't count. CCP will fiddle and fudge the stacked deck however they want. More on the fan/author interplay later.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

o/ TF

It is good to be remembered - even if only because a guy killed you.

I think, win or lose, the CSM election experience has been interesting at least so far. There's a lot of mails; surveys, invites to debates, to live streams, EVE Radio shows, etcetera. Partly this is because you're just a candidate - but also, you get them because people know you and remember you, either via forum interaction or via encountering you in space and pwning/being pwned by you.

Today's interaction was with Bandit's whisper, who we had interacted with many moons ago and had claimed a rare Astero kill. I vaguely remembered them, and given we had 3 guys on most of the day we left them alone and stayed cloaked and skulky. Then, in checking a few wormhole connections late in the day when a fourth guy had signed in, I saw an Ares and Wolf orbiting a wormhole. Perfect fodder for the Planet Dollaz.

So I YOLO'ed in the Nereus, drawing them into a handy double-tappage, and uncloaked the Astero once the Manticore was hard-tackled and, so I thought, the gank Catalyst and Stratios were inbound.

It seems I gave some confusing orders, so there I was, with an Astero facing off against a Wolf, and Ares and a Manticore with a Nereus' drones on field. I made the best of a shit situation and tackled the Wolf, assuming the Manti was going nowhere (wrongly, he cleared off).

Wolf vs Astero wasn't good, so I heated the reps, webbed and scrammed, and kept my range. With one nanite paste left in the AAR I ducked back into range from 25km and got a scram as he entered hull.

Then of course, it was "Hi Trinket" in local and gf's were exchanged.

There's many an occasion when the Nereus get deployed and someone guffaws in Local "nope, Trinket." or someone from corp is spotted in a hauler somewhere and I get a convo "We aren't biting." even if it's Rens undock.

For someone like me with an almost elephantine memory, it's good to see that they guys I remember tangling with or being ganked by remember me. There are tens of thousands of people in wormhole space, and some personalities. I guess I cut a particular figure.

I will see about uploading our video of us being hotdropped by Spectre Fleet in a Procurer vs Procurer mining deathmatch.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Hustings

I am buying CSM votes. Yes, I put that out there right in public, right now, no mincing my words. it's fucking #metagaming motherfuckers. I have ISK, wads thereof, and you have votes. Capitalist market theory dictates that according to needs and desires we ought to find one another, like star-crossed ships in the night, and bump transaction uglies.

It's only 1.01 ISK, paid up front, with good e-honour expectations that you will carry through with your threat to vote for me. I mean, I live in wormholes, we have a Code and everything. maybe it doesn't extend to bribing people with comically small amounts of ISK to vote in imaginary space game fake democracy, but whatever, I'll stretch that far.

Realistically, there's no picking winners. I'd like to see Corbexx getting up. He's been a good CSM member the past year, in a CSM which was to all intents and purposes a better CSm than the year before. There were some deadweights but more members than ever seemed to have their shit together.

But Corbexx was outstanding. He fact-checked (bodychecked) CCP on the blue poo issue with low-end wormhole PVE, resulting in a significant buff to income, and a significant buff to low-class wormhole activty. having a N766 C2 static went from a disappointment to a viable way for people to bang out a few ISK when solo.

That came at great cost to the man, as he used what can best be described as the freight train approach to the issue of what was the ISK/hr rate for each PVE activity level.This has actually spawned a series of questions on the forum thread about anyone's ability (specifically mine) to devote enough time to being CSM, as if being CSM is something which requires brute force solving of problems.

The TF approach to this is to maybe not actually spend 3 months on SiSi putting theory into practise.

Take C4 sites. I took an hypothetical gang size of 6, knuckled down on 2 Guardians, took into account the spawn distances of the rats, the need for damage projection and tank to be balanced out, and spent 2 days in PYFA fuckassing about with options. I looked at T3's, command ships, everything, and voila, we have our Cruise Typhoon ratting doctrine. 6 guys field 3800 DPS with 118km range, MJDs, etc. For a given gang size of 6, leaving aside wormhole effects, that's the ideal setup. It took some proving to the doubters, but now we've settled the issue.

I may not win, but I really wonder about a community which expects their CSM representatives to do things the Corbexx way.

Looking at the other candidates, some have their shit together, others really don't. The highsec candidates positions are lopsided and myopic at times, but what do you expect? Highsec isn't going to change anytime soon in the PVP arena, it'll be guys "PVPing" on undock and running ever more ludicrous amounts of war decs for 50M a pop. PVE will still basically be dominated by incursions and semi-AFK miners.

The lowsec guys seem OK but a few seem to have vague and half-formed plans and misty ideas. Which is to be expected - the consensus of everyone seems to be that lowsec is fine, don't fix it. Maybe having a clear position on something here might hurt, but I doubt any pirates are looking to wormholers for leadership, and the FW guys won't want to hear the 'nerf FW missions' agenda.

Nullsec? Well, again, the consensus is that the urgent action needs to be sovereignty. What that is seems badly defined. But we do need sov mechanics looked at, and I think it's pretty poor form if you can't adopt a position coming into the CSM even from outside nullsec.

This is where i would lay my criticism of Corbexx down. he's avoided answering lowsec questions, and is steering clear of anything not related to wormholes. That's honest and clearly he's focused on not sticking his finger in pies he doesn't understand.

it would be a great game, EVE, if everyone could just stick to one corner of space and do nothing, think nothing beyond their next roid or mission or anomaly. But it would also be good to think that someone on the CSM would be able to consult widely, be able to get their head around any proposed changes to sov or lowsec, and devote their talents to it.

I've done a bit of everything, and kept my ears and eyes and mind open, and kept talking to people and debating with k-space people, even though I'm buttoned up inside a C4 in Siberia Gula mode. Why? because in a year or two, if there's an opportunity to be struck, I want a sov mechanic where I can take prolapse. out and shit in someone's cornflakes in nullsec and have fun dying trying and know that everyone elected to the CSm gave that cornflake shit and didn't decide to hold back on an opinion - and boy, have I got opinions!

Vote TF for max cornflakes.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Fun and Fungibility

Sudden Buggery and, indeed, Prolapse. haven't been shoehorned into many structure grinds yet. This is because no one seems to think i'm serious about the corp "no siege" tithe of 100M ISK a month to stop me planning these oh so exciting ops.

Nevertheless, one unintended consequence of Lycosa Syndicate moving out of their C4 RG (named Solitude, apparently, because that's not confusing) was them leaving their POCOs behind. I would have found someone's one man shitty alt corp and transferred them in there but everyone does things differently, the upshot of this being that a few days ago we got pings from the POCOs being attacked by Jager Bombed. The only person allegedly who may or may not have an alt is on holidays in Canada, so there was no way in and we shrugged and wrote them off.

Then, a few days ago, we found our way through a frigate hole into a C5, another C4, another C4 and into a C3 and killed a Venture. On the way back I scuttled off from the second C4 into a K162 to Dangerous, and found "Solitude", though I didn't realise it until i had d-scanned a pair of ishtars bashing a POCO, and as the AF gang did a u-turn, I realised it was Lycosa's POCO. Total bullshit happenstance.

So, we warped in, murdered both Ishtars (after me burning 68km in my Astero to collect point on the second) and began diplomatic initiatives as I seeded some alts in the hole and prepared the Ultra omega Skwerl Top-Secret Trashcat Doctrine and set a time to begin the siege.

On the diplo front I deployed our, and I'm just being brutally honest here, least skilled negotiator to handle the demands. One billion ISK for 8 POCOs and the system. Leonoran Haddrak is renowned for not being a nuanced, subtle and patient guy when discussing the delicacies of demanding payment to transfer POCOs in a wormhole which, reasonably enough, the Jager Bombed guys could assume we had no real interest in, and presumed incorrectly, could not defend.

The problem for them was, I had Trashcats burnng a hole in my pocket for 5 months, the alliance needed to go through the discipline of fleeting up, forming up and exchanging titty pics in comms and, diplomatically, I wasn't about to let a 7 man corp dictate to a 130+ man alliance whether or not they should pay ISK.

Basically, if I were them, I'd have paid or paid in kind (like, that Vargur we saw logoffski out of POS). A megabrick is a bit over the odds for 8 POCOs, but these guys took about 5 hours per POCO to achieve an RF with their paltry couple of Ishtars. They'd already dunked 700M in Ishtars, so they were behind on the equation. Their POS was shittily defended, with 8 cruise missiles, 3 ECM's, 3 dissys, a web, a neut and some assorted crappy guns and low resists. They could have made the billion back by running the 11 combat anoms in their hole, saved a shitload of grief in having a totally incapped POS (now either abandonable, or dozens of hours of dangerous fun AFK repping 60M armour hp), let alone another 35+ hours of grinding our POCOs which, if seven toons went mining, they would make a billion ISK. Totally idiotic not to take a deal like that.

Their refusal gave me hope that this wasn't just plain stubborn pride and idiocy at work. Maybe they had friends, and we could fight said friends, after an investment of a few hours yiffing structures? There was 7 of them, and were once briefly part of Task Force Proteus but i can tell a third-class numbers-maker-upper from a full member and i knew they were hopelessly outmatched. I was hoping TFP would be batphoned, it would have been a nice fight, but after seeing these guys drop the ball on hole control, that was unlikely.

So, TL;DR version is we came in, Trashcats worked flawlessly, and we incapped the POS guns and Leon got himself blocked by the CEO so Iyokus Patrouette had to play Good Diplo in counterpoint to Leon's Bad Diplo, and we came to a deal with the enemy POS in 36% shield. 1040M ISK and we would transfer the damn POCOs. So we called a cease fire and off we went just as Querschlaeger came into the chain and it was Tengus, Proteuses and shit vs luxo-bash bombers and assorted F1AFK boats - a fight we just avoided because of 6 hours of extreme fun equals joy overload. Perfect timing.

This illustrates that, firstly, total bullshit luck. Second, don't misapprehend your  position and abilities. Take pride out and do the maths, and for fuck's sakes, include the opportunity cost of you being a prideful dunderhead versus just paying and getting back to peaceful ratting. I'd pay a billion just to avoid having a half dozen probing alts of Prolapse. lurking your Vargur.

Bob's Second Coming?

Bob is coming! Best fanservice for wormholes, ever.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Billy Made Me Do It

My CSM Campaign Starts and Ends Here

Please don't vote for me, if I win my wife will give me the evil eye and the folded arms and the stamping foot of "You are such a nerd."

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Dick Virus

Welcome to the Dick Virus class of Proteus Strategic Cruiser, as i school you maggots on how to murder relic hunters with the ultimate terror weapon.

Yes, I do get tears, and I value all of them intensely.

Welcome to zkillboard!

Research is a large part of stalking in w-space. You have to take names before kicking arse.

The way it goes is, you hop in, find the POS (or have one already BM'ed), check if there's 30 Lacheses and Curses idling there, take some names, fire up zkillboard if you don't know them well already (an elephantine memory helps keeping track of who's a farmer and who's a hunter) and check out what their threat level is.

Every so often, though, your research throws up a blank. Some people manage to avoid getting on a killboard - and some for an amazing 6 years. Either they just don't ever leave highsec for years, they are damn shit-hot at being careful, or just incredibly lucky.

Last night we found our way into a wormhole, spotted a Proteus on d-scan, who changed into a Helios and logged out. We pinged him as Jirist and he had achieved this amazing feat of never dying (or, not to players). This automatically flagged him as a bear.

So when he signed in after downtime (in what's becoming known as RUS Hour because we seem to bag a Russian every night these days) I sent over a Rapier to have a gecko. He was in POS, in a weird-looking Proteus (ie; ratting subs), and soon warped out to a combat anomaly. I anded a second late and he'd bounced back to POS. So, dutifully I followed and saw him immediately bounce off to Forgotten Frontier data site.

This is ordinarily a Smart Thing to do, since people generally have to probe the site (or your ship) down in order to get a warp-in on you. In the day and age of the new Combat Recons, this is also about as safe as it gets in w-space bearing, so we began to see why Jirist had avoided dying to players for so many years.

Luckily for me, I had probed this all out a few hours before RUS Hour, and had a Curse ready to jump, and hence when a close warp-in presented, we piled in on top of him and put him on zkillboard for the first time.

Greetings, Jirist. May your killboard history grow long and green.