Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Pendulum of Nerf

Well, it seems that the Pendulum of Nerf has swung back the other way on the Confessor. not quite so much the Svipul, although the easy to fit MASB / 10MN arty fit 650 DPS tank, 450DPS gank instalocking gate camping uberfag Svipuls are a thing of the past. You can still do the LSE fit, although the fitting gymnastics are a bit more contortionist than before and it loses 8K EHP. Still doable, just expensive.

The Confessor just all round sucks now. The Svipul is a better armour T3 destroyer than the Amarr one.

So, my prediction is that the Jackdaw won't turn up any time soon. If it had turned up prior to Mosaic, no one would fly anything else. I mean, think about it.

6 light missile launchers, or 4 with a 50% damage bonus.2 ultility highs? Dual-wield core probe launchers, who gives a fuck.
5 midslots. What do we put there? Let's see. 
  1. MWD? Check.
  2. Long point? Check tha shit.
  3. Phased Muon Damp? Check
  4. Another Phased Muon Damp? Yeah, why the hell not. 
  5. Um. Well. Who cares? Cap recharger? Something with as little CPU usage as possible, cause we just blew something like 2 x Coraxes worth of CPU on this thing already and we know CCP doesn't give Caldari ships CPU.
2 Lowslots.

3 Rigs
T2 Processor overclocking or T1 Overclocking rig, as neccessary, to make it fit
Some kind of core defence field extender rig?
Maybe a second? Will you have enough CPU and calibration?

So you'll end up with about 163 DPS out to at least 63km, double-damp superfast 2,000m/s who-cares-about-tank doucheboat. Kinda like a double-damp Hookbill with about 6,500 EHP. not that you'll need it with your links and shit which will make you go about 2500m/s with a sig the size of a peanut and point to 38km.

Would not want to be a Garmur, let's be honest.

The nerf to the tacical destroyers was fair enough, but it really illustraes how "difficult" it is to create new ship classes for a system which is already bloaed with role specialisations and a vague promise of tiercide resulting in even more ships. Like, you know, EWAR battlecruisers, etcetera.

Instead of that, we are seeing Fozzie's attempt to force more people into smaller ships result in the mathematics of ship balance breaking down. When he has to remove 19 powergrid from the Svipul (20%) to prevent egregious fits which obsolete all T1 and T2 frigates, all T1 and T2 destroyers and most T1 cruisers, all for a 45M hull (and 300M in fittings, a few pills and link alts) all it says to me is that the whole design philosophy is fucked and he needs to start again from the ground up. Especially before double-damp jackdaws blot out the sun with their aerial-like ugliness.

I like the role switching of T3 destroyers. But for instance, the resist bonuses on the Svipul are stupid. It gets both armour and shield. Why? Because Minmatar have ADHD tanking, so you can fit 10MN AB's, ASB's and AARs to the same boat and it gets resist hardened reps in both shield and armour. Smart.

How about turning the defensive bonus for the Svipul into a rep bonus for shields, like all other tanking ships of the Minmatar heritage? Sure, you'll see egregious ASB or faction small booster abuse, but one is limited by cargo (which is a balancing point) and the other by cap warfare. 

I think the nerf is a bit harsh on the Confessor. It was already shit compared to the Svipul. You can't fit an 800 plate on a Confessor but you can still squeeze an LSE on a Svipul. It's a cruiser or BS sized module for fuck's sakes. Same as the 10MN prop mod - powergrid is structured around basically preventing the 10MN fits, which get ridiculous speed in propulsion mode, stupidly low sig for ridiculous speed in defensive mode.

Again, the capacitor may be the place to hit these ships versus anything else. If you make them cap out faster or tweak the size and regen such that a 10MN prop mod fucks them badly, hen you may also balance the active tanked god mode Svipuls.

Or maybe it's down to the role bonuses. 33.3% resist bonuses are too much, perhaps. Maybe trimming it to 25% will knacker the tanks on these things enough. Maybe reduce the sig radius bonus, or replace it with the ECM bonus from Sharpshooter mode. Sharpshooter mode is useless for the Confessor anyway, so that could be tweaked with 33% optimal and tracking, with scan res. You don't need EWAR hardening as a sniper, who the fuck drops alpha fleets with BB's and Falcons?

The nerf pendulum is going to keep swinging here until something gives.

Saturday, 25 April 2015


I am never usually one to fall for a pretty paint job, but I do admit I have a healthy shot of anticipation for the new skin system for EVE ships.

I think, however, the Minmatar have got a rather dud deal. The Minmatar skin options, as opposed to the Quafe Megathron or Quafe Vexor, for example, are rather...meh. Nefantar Stabber? Oh, so fancy, it's all cream coloured. Mehfantar, more like. Krusual skins are rather bland, too. Dull metallic red. Justice Edition Nag? What is his poo green tower of bleh?

Like, seriously CCP, I get it. You can't make everyone have Inner Zone Shipping everything or Quafe everything. But Minmatar are too poor to afford paint? Can they not do some awesome desert camo colours? Something a bit racy? Something that looks cool when draped across a Typhoon hull or a Nidhoggur hull? Something almost Ferrari red, with black camo patterns for Brutor? Anything. Help the brothers out. What we have seen so far is shit.

The Khanid skins are going to be pretty boss. I riek. But it's not hard to be awesome looking in black - just ask Edward.

I don't mind the Wiyrkomi skin on the Phoenix, it looks rather Zentraedi. Pity it can't go on the Hyperion. I do rather like the idea of a Nugoehuivi Phoenix, too, or even a Raven.

Tin tacks time. The prices you pay for the skins better mean you get permanent skins, truth be told. 3500 Aurum is about US$15, which represents about 800M ISK. I don't mind grinding 8 hours of C4's to get a pimp skin for a ship I fly a lot. So there better be a boss skin for the Nereus coming. Or the Astero. Bt paying $15 for a destructible skin for something won't see very much income for you, unless you extend it to Rattlesnakes and marauders so the mission-running carebears can have a Nugoehuivi Golem or a Vargur justice Edition (yuck) or, phallus engorgo time, a Khanid Paladin.

Not that we Aussies can see the skins in the browser. Seems that our CCP brothers can't figure out how to unlock conent in WebGL for antipodeans to preview.

I guess I'll build out my Quafe Tristan and leave it at that, for now.

Never get involved in a land war in J160739...

I am unsure how we gained a reputation for being good at POS bashes. The last two were hardly our doing - we just mopped up the crippled sticks after someone else began eviction proceedings. Prior to that it's been months and months. Except for farming a faction stick for 380M in faction guns.

So, OK, we don't suck, and we have our secret weapon.

A friend of friends contacted me with a proposition - help bail out their eviction attempt on some Goon allies, for 5 billion ISK. My contact was in The Bastards (alliance), who were involved with Illusion of Solitude (the alliance) evicting Illusion of Solitude. (a corp - note the dot) of Praetorian Directorate, from a C3 Pulsar. The initial push didn't go well - the defenders dropped 7 Rattlesnakes and assorted crap on a bunch of Ishtars, cleaning up 2.8B in kills. Hence the batphone.

I didn't say no, but my contact was pretty much fucking useless. Details were incredibly sketchy, there wasn't any intel given, teeth needed to be pulled to get an entrance, and worst of all he was UK TZ and thought we would turn up at 0300 local time to have a fight. He also had no idea, or didn't give any clues, as to the shitstorm he and his friends had unleashed on themselves.

So I found my way in, logged for the night, and got up. I had two options - attend an ANZAC Day public roam at 0700 local, or take a roam out with Prolapse. at the same time and get into the target wormhole. When I logged in 30 minutes late, our alliance was hardly numerous - 8 toons and 5 meatbods, plus 5 toons from another alliance who were interested in batphone, but were wet behind the ears.

I opted to get the guys into the ANZAC Day roam, and left Miskranda monitoring developments in the C3 Pulsar. Soon it became clear that the situation was wildly different than the limited information given to me. There were 6 corps present, judging by the smacktalk in the wormhole local. The defenders had at least 14 online, so we were outnumbered right there, and the contact was asleep (it being midnight in he UK). So nothing was going to happen, and I needed a voice chat before I was going to YOLO over there in any fashion with masses of unknown people shitting up the wormhole.

It proved to be a wise move.

The defenders dropped a Phoenix on the aggressor's medium POS, so I sounded out a few people about maybe joining the batphone. Then Sleeper Social Club turned up with about 15-20 toons, Ishtars, Gilas, Huginns, Scimis, etc. and as I jumped out the highsec to find a destination system, in jumped about 30 or so Goon Ishtars, Scimis, Huginns, etcetera.

The batphone was called off, and I warped off.

Xrend called it cowardice, but from my perspective there's no point whatsoever in helping out people who can't even get you the right intel. I'm not jumping in blind into a situation like tha. It's not by concern if illusion of Solitude (alliance) is pissy that some guys are trying to bleed recruits off them for wormhole space by naming a corp illusion of Solitude(dot).

Sixty to eighty toons is too much to YOLO into with anything, blind. I also find it ironic that you're a coward for not fighting with one toon in the target system. If you want a fight, maybe not to be dropping shit onto grid before you see if anyone's actually there?

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Treasure Hoard

You may have noticed a little hiatus was had there over the weekend. Well, that was because one POS bash planned for the weekend turned into three. This was entirely unplanned.

The first was, of course, the Operation Fondled Cumquat excursion. The second was stumbled upon over downtime the next day by associates - S0RTA had found a POS coming out of reinforcement on Saturday night, and we were invited along at the last minute because the three guys involved had been up all night long and were incredibly tired and verging on the edge of collapsing.

It turned out to be an Australian corp, living from an undefended small stick, that some enterprising German corp had reinforced. The POS came out just after downtime, conveniently enough for all, so we turned up, shot a few domi's, somehow managed to club up with Grm Makentor of Oruze Cruise who - shockingly enough - turned up in a triple damp Caracal to toss a few shots into the tower.

 The defenders had managed to evacuate a few things, but the SMA was still a rather decent pinata - 1.7B total, 550M or so dropped, mostly a Dominix and a Scimitar. We evacced the ships and the small amount of stuff from the CHA, and everyone contracted it to me. No problems, I said, I'll sell it all tomorrow and we'll be on our way.

Roll on Sunday night, around downtime. I find my way in to J203753 and see a Vexor navy issue, Stratios, Brutix and Gnosis on scan. I find the POS, and unlike the last time where we turned up and didn't do the intel, this time I ran them through zkillboard and discovered they had shot up a POS a mere 6 hours before. There was a POCO exiting reinforced in 8 hours. There was evidence of a rape cage in the centre of the system around a moon where there was no POS. Something fishy was up, so I set to work and scouted the remainder of the system.

Lo and behold, another POS exiting RF in...2 hours. or, 15 minutes after downtime. It was a French corp, being sieged by a Finnish corp and the POS was exiting in prime time AU. Bueno.

So we rang around and Haywire picked up, 9 jumps away. We inserted everyone prior to downtime and logged at a safe. We rolled pretty heavy, as the defenders had used a dread to kill the last tower, and had up to 15 in gang. We brought 19, including 4 Guardians because we couldn't guarantee they'd all be able to sign in after downtime due to the hour.

An hour passed after downtime with not a single twitch from the Fins. Being bored and it being later and later on a Sunday night, we decided that a small advanced force would sign in and begin blazing the target tower, hopefully to draw the Fins out to attack them. This worked like a charm.

The rest of us logged in, joined fleet, and proceeded to murder the Fins. I even managed to ninja up a stop bubble back at their POS with my Astero, catching the lone Dominix which had managed to MJD out of our Phobos bubble and warp off field.

Then we set to work killing the tower and the incapped faction guns, which was exciting work. Then we looted the SMA and two dozen enormous freight containers within the POS bubble, that collectively contained around 4.5 billion in ships and crap. We left about 750M for the Fins, because it was mostly high-end ores, isotopes and PI shit which we just simply could not be bothered looting.

I had to buy a freighter in Amarr, hoof it 13 jumps to Badivefi, take 541 individual items back to Amarr, flog them off, buy a Bowhead and take a trip back to Badivefi to collect the stolen hulls, haul them back to Amarr, dismantle and sell them. Then I built out 12 faction POS gun BPC's which were in the loot pile, and 24 T2 BPC's also in the loot pile, and put these all on market too.

Good thing I have Tycoon 4 and 329 maximum open market orders, because holy shit, no word a lie, it tok me all day to do that. Then I spent the whole of yesterday sorting Alliance diplo, Alliance siggy, killboards, Alliance logos (well, sort of), refreshing the API library to eliminate a security hole, rejiggering my alts in their camping spots so that my nominated dread sitter toon could begin seriously training toward a gank dread (whee, hello 4 months of training), and finally, moving a guy's 1M cubic metres of shit out of our C4 to hisec because he's been AFK 2 months and that's policy.

Not much time to get on for 9 billion ISK in capital kills.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Operation Fondled Cumquat

Associates of mine had identified a POS in J104704, a vanilla Class 5 with E175 static to C4, wherein a dozen ships belonging to Wingspan Delivery Services were floating. The corporation was Church of Emacs, and after a bit of digging, I recognised a name of a known Wingspan associate, newbus.

Do I want a way in? Sure. Alts are deployed, and as the Goons would say, I start the process of hurfing (viz. agitating to gee up numbers for a boring structure grind).

Like any gentleman, I prefer to grind structures on a Friday night AU TZ so that the structure comes out roughly US prime time Saturday night (AU Sunday morning). This is a gentlemanly time for everyone involved and ensures that if there's to be a fight, it will be as big, brassy and clanging as it can be. Usually it's not.

This time though we didn't even get the stick to RF before the fight turned up. I had managed to get my Naglfar in from Thakala where it was essentially stranded since the jump changes. Luckily (in a TF Effect manifestation) a wormhole in Ussad presented itself and I cynoed it in and brought it in to help neutralise the guns. Being a C4 static wormhole it could be a few days till it got out, so I left the Ussad connection open and crit, and kept a C5 connection open but crit.

Either way, when you drop a dread on a POS and go into siege, you are balls deep and it either lives or dies. That might seem a bit obvious, as it's really a binary choice excepting surrendering the dread to your attackers or something, but you know what i mean. I figured #YOLO. The fucking thing got bought when i lived in a C5 with Rules of Acquisition and the skills got trained when I quit playing for 6 months from depression (Cap Projectiles 5, Dread 5) and it has never been used since. This was, really, a good way of getting it out of Thakala and off to market.

Of course, we got dropped on by Spectrefleet who were batphoned by the locals and brought in via Ussad.

"Well, looks like today's the day I lose my dread!" I declared when the wormhole blew up and ~20 enemies jumped in, clobbering our cloaky Proteus scout (RIP a ship which has claimed 23B in victims) and a VNI who'd been transiting in. They then warped in to POS piecemeal.

We had 2 x Rattlesnakes, a sniping Barghest orbiting at 190km, Drake, VNI, Ishtar, Rapier, 2 Basilisks and 2 bombers. Plus the Nag.

Spectrefleet and the defenders had: Machariel, Cerberus, Ishtar, Arazu, Curse, Rapier, Heretic, Sabre, Coercer, 10 bombers and 3 Asteros, Archon, Moros and Revelation. The caps were in the POS and had to warp out to a ping. Dictor bubbles didn't help that, really.

So the obvious thing to do, besides shit your pants when this all blows up on grid?
#1 kill the interdictors
#2 kill the neuts
#3 kill the tackle
#4 kill the DPS
#5 ?
#6 moonwalk your Nag out of there

What really happened? I call for the heretic to be blapped, which duly happens. The Sabre dips in and out of the POS shield and proves more difficult. I call for bombers to blap bombers. I then lock the cruisers, Machariel, whatever stays in range and on field and then call for it to be webbed and die.

The Machariel gets sent off after 10 seconds, in hull. Guess he didn't have enough transversal. Rapier dies instantly, nixing the enemy FC. Champion effort, landing at 22km at the edge of a bubble and not moving for long enough to be blapped. Ishtar is sent packing, likewise, thanks to the Barghest. The Curse is called webbed, and gets blapped, which eliminates any real threat to the Nag. Arazu is dispatched, courtesy of Rattlesnake. Coercer gets sniped. Then half the bombers get raped.

This half of the battle report, the fight at the POS, only Bex lost his Drake, which was the first drake he ever bought way back when. RIP dear Drake, your time had come. You will not be missed, you nerfed to irrelevance piece of shit.

Once the dust settled I moonwalked the Nag out the C5 connection, collapsing it, and we extracted the fleet via the C4 to lowsec, and considered the content had been created.


Well, i shall treasure that RiotRick killmail always. In his own estimation he's God's gift t hotdropping, EVE, everything EVE related with hotdrops, etc. but landing in a bubble at perfect optimals from a tracking dread and not moving for the 25 seconds it took to lock him? Best FC ever.

Secondly, i don't think any of them had a tanking module. I think they believe that getting dropped on a capital is easy money because often it's a hotdrop onto a cap in lowsec with no support fleet where you aren't expected. Bubbles, sniping Barghests, Rattlers at 60km and logi on field put paid to that.

They had no logi.They were droping onto a heavy, logi-assisted high-DPS fleet piecemeal, with no logi. The Machariel, Ishtar and Cerb couldn't stay on field long enough to even get a shot off. Our Rattlers were just picking bombers off at will, at range, with sentries. They were dying so fast that the nonexistant FC calls to focus damps (which died with the Arazu) were meaningless. They couldn't even kill out bombers, though they did try. Our logi had their shit down pat - it is actually Sudden Buggery's strongest skill set I think. We have some top shit logi.

Finally, the Nag found it's way to NPC Curse, via backwoods trails and gate-to-gate half the journey, with Nereus loads of extra fuel and cloaky cyno ceptors. The Apparatus of Kwalish did, in fact, moonwalk out of there.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Frig Hole Fun Time #5

Here's a hypothetical situation.

You get invited to a party. The party involves 3 ratting carriers in the depths of Oasa and someone offers you the amazing deal of, viz. flying 15 jumps through highsec to get in via a frigate wormhole. Please bring bombers and Dictors.

Do you go? It's Hard Knocks, but it's a frig hole. 3 carriers versus a mob of bombers, T3 destroyers, dictors, maybe the odd HICtor if anyone's thinking straight. Debate focused on whether they could survive and whether if we turned up we could make a difference. I settled the debate - all that we needed to do was keep the carriers tackled, even if it took an hour or two.  Hard Knocks was going to drop a dread. It would be a Swaglfar. Shit was going to die. We were going to turn up.

We happened to have a large sized exit to Oasa anyway, via our chain, and could go 14 jumps through nullsec. So we elected to do this. From our experience the previous week with Haywire's batphone, where all that was lacking on field was logi, we boarded every single Scythe we had in our POSs, and set off. Our noob recruit brought a Crucifier and Daldaman brought a Moa for DPS, having run out of rep ships.

It was smooth sailing, except for one gate which was bubble fucked 120km in every direction. A lone Jaguar harassed us as we burned through the bubbles (750m/s on AB) but he backed off when we deployed 25 Hob II's. It's not like he could do shit all.

We joined the HK fleet, but stayed on our own comms, where it was calmer no doubt. We dropped on to grid at the edge of afield of bubbles and spammed fleet chat with "Broadcast for reps!" a few times, set up an orbit, and deployed the whore drones. When we arrived there was a Chimera, Archon, Thanatos and 2 Svipuls. HK had a mix of T3 dessies and faction frigs, WH0RE had a mess of bombers, and there were a couple of DICtors YOLOing past to keep bubbles up.

The fight went more or less as expected. The HK Swaglfar got on grid just before we arrived and entered siege, pounding on the Thanatos.Then the locals dropped 3 dreads, obviously thinking it was going to be easy to punch the date of the Swaglfar. This wasn't the case.

With the 3 enemy dreads on field HK needed to refit, so their Swaglfar pilot kicked a depot out to refit from gank to tank. Depots are vulnerable until they some ALL CAPS requests were set to the Prolapse logi squad to keep the depot alive during it's anchoring cycle....which we achieved with 2% hull and some judicious heating. Phew.

We did our job, keeping the brosufs alive. The Cruor of Highlan Chamberlain was probably the least liked ship on field and kept us busy. We failed but once, the only death after our arrival being a WH0RE manticore who got shot by the Svipuls while aligning out away from us. RIP.

Primes were switched to the enemy Nag, then the Revelation, and finally the Phoenix.

Thereafter, the only real notable thing was the enemy Chimera had an heroic tank. 3.8M damage taken. He tanked like an absolute boss. Props to him.

We even managed to gank an Anathema on the way home, in Scythes with no points. Podded as well, and corpse thrown on the Altar of Bob.

Battle Report P-ZWKH

An ominously silent youtube video

The analysis?

Well, firstly, Hard Knocks has dreads logged off in certain regions, "because of reasons". I knew they would have one nearby, which encouraged me to get my guys moving. It is a fortunate byproduct of, as said in the preceding post, having a corporation focused on PVP, and rolling in ISK, that you can afford to seed dreads deep into bumfuck nowhere nullsec right nextdoor to major ratting hubs, with the intention of YOLOing them on to tackled capitals. That's worthy of respect. 

Failing that, the backup option available to them, and again this comes from having an army ant approach to chain probing and rage rolling, is that they can smash their statics every 10 minutes and probe their C5's looking for nullsec connections which enable them to bring out 3 capitals close enough to cyno them in. Like I said above, 1 or 2 hours is all it takes. Turd Destroyer isn't boasting when he says he's got 20 Sabres fit up in his hangar. You might need them if you can only access the target system via frig hole, but you'll burn them while you are rage rolling hard for an exit.

My third point revolves around the ratters. They lost 16.8B ISK in caps not only because they didn't just leave the tackled capital to die, but for a whole mess of reasons. Even accepting that the defending dreads may have refit during the fight, their fits were atrocious. Only one of them had triage, and he was the one who tanked like a boss. Arguably with refitting, and a second triage carrier, he'd have possibly stayed alive for a greater time.

Aside from the capital fitting problems, the carriers didn't have enough drones. The fight kicked off sometime around 05:30 and finished at 06:30. With 3 carriers on field it's inconvievable they should have run out of drones if they had the proper amount, which is shitloads. Even 5 Scythes would struggle to keep the T3 dessies up versus 30 Acolyte II's, and no hope with the bombers. Yet 2 of the carriers got defanged entirely.

The Hyperion was a good idea, but better yet given the presence of a triage Chimera on field, would have been a RLML Cerberus or two. We had trouble keeping up the Cruor at times versus infiltrators and Svipuls. A couple of RLML Cerbs and it would have been lights out for one after the other of the bombers.

The ratters batphone was that Jaguar, and probably only because he trailed the Scythe squad into system. There was no hornet's nest response fleet, not even a gradual building-up of manpower and resources. Nada.

Realistically, as much ISK as you want to make in nullsec and as safe as it generally is, if you are in a carebear ratting corporation you are only as safe as your corporation makes itself. You can't always avoid being tackled by ceptors, and certainly against an organised outfit like HK which seeds dreads just for occasions like this, even projecting their limited force through a chokepoint frig hole, you're probably fucked. But when all your mistakes and omissions and crap fiting, crap logistics and crap allies goes spectacularly badly.

Monday, 13 April 2015

To C5 or not C5, there is no question

The problem with approaching the apogee of corporate evolution in EVE online seems to be that the faster you reach the zenith, the less people actually play actively and the more people log in once a week, or only when a Jabber ping goes off.

This is why BUGRY never has and never will go up to C5 space.

There are so many corporations in C5 space which reach 100-200 members where (even counting the fact 1/3rd are alts, 1/3rd are inactive) no one signs in, or only signs in in order to talk shit on comms and POS spin until a scout gets something going and then they wake up, ship up and follow primaries. It's either that or they log on to run escalations, make their billion for the week, and sign off.

Hard Knocks and friends have the right idea, to some degree, with their 'rental' program. The main corporation is made up of peak-level players who are in it for PVP. They cull the inactive, the dullards, the lazy layabout shitheels regularly. People bear in their bear dens, solo escalating or using a smaller alt corp with a few other HK or other members, to make their money outside the main HK wormhole. This efficiently separates the carebears from the PVPers. The main wormhole is never locked down for sites, people don't have to have a bearing capital or dread, or even refits for them.

Likewise, because people are split off into their own individual bear holes, they get to access a better average weekly site spawn rate per toon, maximising income. They can log on for 3-6 hours a week with their bear toon, roll themselves into their hole and smash their home sites in relative safety and be paid up for the week, and some.

Why do i mention this model? Well, aside from the fact it is a sensible response to income management, and also excluding the fact that if a bear hole gets sieged then HK can rage roll to "defend" the bears AKA 'get content' defending the alts, it focuses the main corporation on PVP and ensures activity levels are high.

The problem with the way the majority of C5 operations are run is that they eat where they shit, PVP and PVE wise.

Now, not everyone can technically or financially afford to find an empty C5 and jack a tower up, bring in a solo dread or a small group of alts to escalate....but this is true of basically any corporation anyway. C4-C5-C6 PVE is a group activity, requiring multiple toons online (usually) and requiring multiple people online, to make the billions. If corporate numbers and activity dips particularly low you can often find yourself unable to field the minimum escalation fleet, or not the right toons and not the right ships, which sees the active members stranded for things to do.

Likewise, mixing PVE and PVP means that your PVPers are frustrated because your have home fleets escalating and quavering at the idea of an inbound connection opening up and putting their 25B ISk escalation quad at risk.

Finally, C5 life to the uninitiated is a golden brick road lined with hundred dollar bill lawns where diamond encrusted unicorns graze and shit rubies. People want to be space rich and will readily join up to C5 corporations and sign in only to do sites, or sign in and constantly ask to do sites, why can't we do sites, come on come on. Siiiites.

When the sites don't happen, or there's not enough people online, when chains are full of probers and transients and inbound holes, when the logistics run needs to be done and time is tight, and you can't do sites and make billions...they aren't interested.

So, that's why we haven't and won't go up to C5 space. Sure, C4 ISK isn't spectacular, and you often suffer a fair amount from the lack of numbers to run C4 PVE content anyway (unless you Marauder up, but that's like running escalations as far as hole control goes) but because it isn't spectacular ISK you don't get the carebear element as much.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Pinata Interruptus

This tale began before even our Batphone Partner (tm) realised. it seems that Archangels Inc had found their way through from J101331 (their C2) to J145715 and had found a Loot Pinata. It was quite a Pinata.

Absolutely Certain picked up the batphone when their 5 characters (including scout) were faced with 8-10 foes camping a wormhole. They don't seem to have realised that there was a Pinata extraction op going on at the time. Neither did I, but I wasn't doing research, i was hoofing it 14 jumps.

As we were coming through Molden heath, which is full of excessively long warps like Magiko, Teonusude, etc,  Archangels looted the POS in an orca and extracted the Paladin, causing a bit of puzzlement from our friends as to what was going on. Were they rolling? Were they going to YOLO the Paladin? If we'd realised what was actually going on, it may have been possible to yoink a few ships ourselves. Oh well, good luck to them.

Prolapse brought a Gila, Vaga, Huginn and 2 Scythes. SORTA had a Cynabal, Gila, shield Curse and swiftly murdered Helios. We sourced a random Onyx for interdiction. Mitchellion was lagging 3 jumps behind in his Scythe, but I was confident enough of solo Scythe that I called ready.  Our entrance was from Appen, into J145715 and we got a warp to on the connection, jumped through, and got down to business.

The initial stage of the fight, solo Scythe was fairly vital.  When I jumped in the enemy Ishtar had been blapped already, but we faced 2 Legions, Loki, Zealot. Initially we only maintained tackle on one Legion, the rest having successfully extracted before the Onyx bubbled. The rest came back in short order, concentrating fire on our Cynabal. Except the Zealot which made a beeline for the Scythe as i tried to keep the Cynabal up with heated reps, to no avail. I then had to try keeping transversal and range on the Zealot as we began picking apart the Loki. Although Iliaster was calling primaries, I had to override and call for the Zealot to die in a fire - without even a single Scythe we were going to get Fritzled. It didn't take long to blaze him down when the Gila drones got a hold of him.

However, dualboxing and trying to keep ahead of the Zealot had it's cost; I burned the AB on my Scythe, effectively turning it into a stationary asset. This caused some complications at this point as our Huginn began taking heavy fire from 2 Legions, and my heated reps weren't cutting it. Mitchellion, however, arrived on scene just in time, saving the Huginn in 65% hull. Thereafter, I had to call for our guys to reapproach Miskoranda's scythe when they were under heavy fire. There were quite a few close calls with the Curse and Huginn and the Scythe buddy, but despite what the enemy had on field, our reps were very stronk.

The Zealot was downed just in time, too, as the enemy had reshipped and the first of three Guardians began landing. Initially we tried blapping the first to land, but we didn't get him before reps from the second landed (20% armour) so we swapped to the Loki and finished him off. Then we blazed through the Legion of Malcador Oksaras despite the two Guardians best efforts. The third Guardian landed and it became a game of swapping primaries and trying to tip the Guardian's cap chain out of whack with the neuts from the Curse. This went on for about ten minutes until we managed to blindside them and with a bit of judicious overheat HOOCOOH went down. Lurker Akiga tried extracting along with his buddy, but he failed....just as a Vindicator dropped onto grid like a bawss....and swiftly died in a fire. Again, just a bit too late.

The analysis? We had stuff just in time for everything except the Cynabal, and they landed the components of their gang just a bit too late. Their Guardian fits weren't spectacular either, with only 800mm plates. Judicious use of T2 ACR's there would allow 1600mm plates to be fitted and up the buffer considerably. That said, if you are going the 800 plate Guardian, you have to get T2 Trimarks, and MWD fit, and then it has equivalent buffer and great maneuverability....but isn't for dualboxing.

Finally, on dualboxing, burning out a prop mod is a sad reality of split attention and being under pretty dire pressure. If we lost that initial Scythe we were fooked, and it was pretty close on the Huginn (pulsating rectum for Herpy), so your gang has to be flexible enough to respond to a call like that. Your logi bros sometimes have to be protected - if they ask you to get a tackler off them, it sometimes serves your interests to do that.

Finally...we dunked 4.7B, but I'm pretty sure Archangels inc. made out like bandits from that POS, so we'll call that ISK neutral for them. Good fight!

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Structure Problem Deux

My previous gripes about POSs dealt with the problems with the proposed Fozziesov mechanic for POSs and a quick by the numbers on the Keynote structure talk.

It is worth, however, reiterating what is actually currently wrong with the EHP/DPS game and the current meta of POS warfare and structure grinds. Mostly this is so you are all aware, if you've somehow missed it, what's wrong and why it needs fixing. The how of fixing it is the contention.

EHP Walls
Firstly, EHP is too high. Consider a small POS with minimal hardening. 10,000,000 Shield  @ 25% = 12.5M EHP minimum if you aren't an idiot and you shoot for the lowest resist. If you pick the highest, 15M. The reason you even see blocking towers in wormholes (viz. offline towers anchored on every moon) and squatting towers in highsec (as before) is purely that it is the cheapest EHP in the universe. 55-80M ISK and 10M EHP. That's at least an hour's work for ten guys to pop one stick in high-DPS ships in order to clear away a blockade object that's preventing you either, respectively, putting up a siege tower or accessing a moon to anchor an industry POS in highsec. Plus if it's a squatting tower in highsec you need a wardec, which telescopes a threat 24 hours out, allowing the squatting tower owner to go so far as to potentially toss fuel and stront in all his sticks and prolong or prevent the whole shit show...or in fact call in "highsec PVPers" to assist the 1 man corp owning the towers.

If you start looking at bigger structures, such as a Dullstar fully hardened Dread Guristas Large with even 50% omni resists, 60M base shield HP becomes 90M EHP. To the majority of groups, that becomes a big fat nope even considering it goes into reinforced at 25%.

Our large tower has 80 sensor damps, 23 small beams, 8 ECMs (faction), 2 scrams (faction), 2 webs (faction) and flat 50% resists. Added all up, to incapacitate the guns is around 160M EHP and another 45M EHP to RF the tower. Sit down with 40 guys and waste a day, please. Therefore, basically impregnable only because of EHP.

This is an elephant in the room for keeping the current POS mechanisms and architecture - conflict is prevented entirely outside of building a dread in our wormhole (good luck) because I can cheaply pile on insane EHP. So, yes, the current system should change to some degree to prevent such egregious EHP walls (and that's not even getting to the heart of the defensive philosophy).

Infinite Defences
Remember where I mentioned you could anchor and online POS guns infinitely, even when your POS was reinforced? Well, that's just fucked. But it is apparently working as intended. The philosophy behind it is barking mad - to illegally quote a GM, it's to "allow the defenders a last ditch chance to defend their assets." by anchoring 50 large pulse batteries around a reinforced, crippled POS and online them one after another until the cows come home.

So. You take our 80 damp batteries, spend a shitload of wasted time incapping them, and then I deploy my strategic reserve of 40 large pulse batteries and 20 more ECM's and more damp batteries during the witching hour when you're mostly asleep. You wake up in the morning to a fully functional deathstar yet again, and have to contemplate reducing all of the guns to rubble again.

The new POS fitting will hopefully stop this. it depends if you can refit the guns on the fly using an orca, a DST or a Nestor (or some combo thereof) to fiddle-faddle the POS fit while it's deployed. It also depends whether the POS guns can be shot away or whether they cannot. But either way, the current system of infinite defence is just bullshit retarded - in my opinion, if your POS has been shot to pieces, your choices should be to let it burn or to repair the guns for defence, not just tack ever more guns on. This is why you see the Deathstar POSs with, no shit, 200 guns anchored around them. I honestly don't know why you'd bother - just keep the guns in a hangar array and deploy them as needed.

The solution is not Entosis
Sure, this sounds rightly bullshit. There is a reason we don't siege people out much anymore. Not only is it often unprofitable no matter how spendy the POS, how blingy the ships they fly and how idiotic their defences, because 90% of the time they just drive everything into a puddle of petrol and toss a match out the window - the whole process rarely results in a good fight. You maybe gank a couple of bombers, the odd Drake or hauler, and one weekend later you shoot up a few things and the POS, and if you're lucky make 250M from the deal. Sometimes they batphone and you get a good fight, most times the batphone is overwhelming and you scuttle away, time wasted.

Plus, more prosaically, if you siege out your prey completely, they may not come back and you can't gank them later. Tragedy of the commons.

So there are two ways it goes at the moment, barring a grudge match or mouthy cunts who make people angry. First, the idiots who you waste time sieging and get no fights from, even badly fit POSs have masses of EHP which turns a content generation exercise into a chore and a grind. Secondly, you have the professionally fit Deathstar, Dampstar and Dickstar POSs are too much of a PITA to attack, and Dullstars can go hang because....meh, boring.

The game balance problem is finding a level at which the new POSs, with their lesser numbers of guns maintain the same deterrent firepower and threat to an attacker, also become less egregious in EHP than the current ridiculous maxima achievable by cunning or half-informed people.

The new structures must be defensible enough that they aren't complete ten minute pushovers, whilst also not being impregnable due to massive EHP walls.

Entosis mechanisms will certainly resolve the EHP vs DPS problem, but it will make the POSs far too vulnerable, especially if the POS guns don't auto fire. Arguably, even by simply removing the guns themselves, you remove a huge chunk of EHP from the equation. In the case of my POS, it's 160M EHP. in anyone's book, that's a fucking huge amount of EHP which will just disappear. Sure, the POS itself might have 45M EHP, but that's achievable for most organisations of an equal size to Prolapse. who may consider attacking us for pew pew content creation.

It is also a huge barrier to casual faggotry and trolling. You have to invest some time blazing away at my POS, defenceless or not, before i become concerned. You have to be organised and committed and want a fight, versus just being bored.

To my mind, merely removing the POS guns and nixing the infinite defences, will pull POSs a lot closer to being in balance and less of a boring content creation exercise.

Friday, 3 April 2015


I guess it must seem strange and perplexing, if you have only played the game for a year and a bit, to be confronted with the fact that people can metagame.

I know it happened to me, all those years ago (so many I feel, er, old) when FRICK was moving into hisec wardeccing. We had decced some guys, had you beaut locator agents to track them down, using alts, and we would set up on the pipe from whichever dog-leg highsec bear den they inhabited. They would rat for a few hours and then one of them would make a break for jita and we'd log on....and they would logoffski instantly.

Holy shit, they had added us to watchlist! Our log-on traps on gates leading to/from the mission hubs had to go next-level complicated, with tackle logged on both sides of a gate. then we needed probers with combats deployed on the gate to provide warp-in to their Ravens when they'd pulled an insta-log. This was the time before rat aggro timers prevented your ship disappearing from space for 15 minutes. So we managed to burn one Raven down after a logoffski on gate, but mostly we were thwarted by them having all of us on Watchlist.

Did we Q.Q and hit the forums? No. We sucked it up and considered that the efforts the war's victims had to go to in order to avoid being ganked were equal, if not maybe a little bit less intricate, arcane and ridiculous, than the rigamarole we had to go to in order to gank them. It's fair to say that we got outfoxed by carebears by them simply adding us to WL and logging off when we logged on.

The same is true of jump clones. Is our vaunted CSM going to come onto the forums and Q.Q that jump clones allow people too much leeway to avoid combat? Like when I ran Beggars Can be Choosers, and we got decced by Gravediggers, they would track us down and we simply jump cloned 45 jumps away to Solitude for a day and spent a few hours ratting in lowsec in Wolf AFs. Cocks successfully blocked because we had jump clones which took 10 minutes to set up, thanks Estel Arador Corp Services, you helped us avoid being actually griefed. A bit one-sided isn't it, all this free intel, free jump clones, free gank-avoidance?

Look, the problem is that neophyte Ravinne is suffering in his own jocks. He is experiencing what i experience now and then. I grab a Nereus, begin allegedly running PI in somebody's hole, in front of the locals or the people camping the locals (or maybe up to 4 individual groups), and then someone private convos me or just pipes up in Local "Sorry, TF, not taking your Nereus bait."

Yeah, well, fuck. I got recognised because either I've been seen before, they read my blog, they read the forums, or they've just somehow heard of either Trinkets friend or Sudden Buggery, and aren't falling for it.

It wrks the same way, especially so, when you are a semi internet-famous mediocre noob bomber pilot. The thing Chance and his protege's don't get is that "hell camping" fails to work if people know you are hell camping. Bobers have no persistence. You have to get surprise and numbers in order to actually kill something, otherwise you get run down, drones kill you or people avoid you.

Gigi McQuaid or AnalogTom Rotineque are fond of dropping depots with YOUR HOLE IS MINE or similar stupidity on them in the wormhole they are camping. It baffles me why you would think that this is going to get you any kills. it just puts a flag out that says "some dickhead is trying psyops" and "I'll drive my arty Svipul for a while, bomber threat neutralised".

It also says, "add these dildoes to watchlist". So how do you deal with being added to a watchlist, if you are a noob flying a tankless bomber, and someone knows the instant you log in to their system and reacts accordingly? i mean, it must suck to have played the game for a year and discover people have figured out a simple step to detect when you are around. But remember, these are people who put depots out, so the gig is already up anyway.

Maybe instead of whining about watchlists because you haven't yet figured out you have to get a kill and relocate, if watchlists get you down and are being used against you....just find a new set of numpties to "hell camp" and don't have you on watchlist, and be secure in the knowledge that your previous targets are probably sweating in their POSs for a few days because they have you watchlisted and you aren't even there.

People need to deal with this and move on.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Smacktalk Awards 2015

So we were just dicking about, and one of the guys cross jumps an Abbadon which is rolling our N766. being as he was in an Anathema, he speaks up on comms and we deploy bait into the C2 static. Then, back in the C4, Smacktalk Champion 2015 nominee from Choke Hold opens his dick trap.

pullyourpantsdown Enaka > dream on if you think were intested
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > in being baited
Iyokus Patrouette > oh noes you're so clever
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > i watched you the whole time
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > i knwo
Iyokus Patrouette > to clever for us
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > yeah i am
Trinkets friend > What about a fight then, Mr Smarty cock in brain?
Iyokus Patrouette > how to be like you?
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > suck my balls
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > lol
Trinkets friend > You sound gay
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > you fancy a hs war
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > ?
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > off my alt corp
Iyokus Patrouette > oh.. he's one of those trash talkers from the safety of cloaked ship/pos shields.
Trinkets friend > OMG how the fuck will we deal with a war dec, guys?
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > you want to use a trade hub for the next few weeks ?
Iyokus Patrouette > whats a war dec?
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > thought so
Trinkets friend > Which is your alt corp? And which trade hubs? All of them?
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > all of them
Trinkets friend > Hey, guys, does anyone have an alt?
Iyokus Patrouette > if we show up with a fleet, will they even undock?
Iyokus Patrouette > have they found that button yet?
Trinkets friend > That's schrodinger's alt corp, iyokus
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > <url=showinfo:16159//99003634>Forsaken Asylum</url>
Trinkets friend > You never know if leet PVp is dead till the war targets fag it up and dock
Iyokus Patrouette > lol
Trinkets friend > Aahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Trinkets friend > Aahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Trinkets friend > Aahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > you were as covert as fuck gettign your fleet together
Iyokus Patrouette > EU/US TZ.. lol sure go and war dec us.
Iyokus Patrouette > you'll all be asleep and we'll use the hubs anyway
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > so skill full i thought i ws i na c1 for a sec
Iyokus Patrouette > omg can you use english
Iyokus Patrouette > i'm starting to not understand you at all
Iyokus Patrouette > ws na having a stroke. cll ampoolance
Loken Adoudel > thats because your an idiot
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > <url=showinfo:33468>Astero</url>  <url=showinfo:1373//565638997>Darth Bex</url>
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > you other socute needs to jump out
Darth Bex > congrats
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > i have them all watch lsited
Trinkets friend > Wow, you win at eve
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > i am so good
Miskoranda > Watch out guys, he's got a atchlist
Darth Bex > we've been outplayed guise
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > your so noob its why you never caught a bs
Iyokus Patrouette > like i said at the start... to clever for us
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > yes far to clever
Darth Bex > too*
Trinkets friend > I thought it was because your BS was too noob to fight
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > tkaes a bow
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > takes
Miskoranda > Hey guys, he's learning grammar and spelling
Darth Bex > give up on correcting your grammar, that ship has sailed
pullyourpantsdown Enaka > your boring me now i will leave you to my minions to watch while i go for a smoke
Trinkets friend > it sailed, hit rocks, and sank
Darth Bex > you're*
Iyokus Patrouette > better batphone Forsaken... what ever i already forgot their names first.
Darth Bex > omg L2WATCHLIST