Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wandering through Darkness

With the quickness of Red-Fog Freight moving by stuffs through Black-Frog Logistics I put everyone into rookie ships and ran them across the game yesterday afternoon to settle into their new home.

I've been flying around in the darkness, absorbing how different a place can feel from home. I'm even minorly homesick. Evemaps are my new, constant companion behind my game window. Normally, at 'home' I never needed to have it up until we ventured afield.

Space is different here and no one knows me. It is amazing how comfortable familiarity is, even with those that will cause you explosions. Now each system is full of people I do not know and have never seen before.

It's not been a fun time so far. My new home system has people in it already. I've not come into conflict with them yet, but I am sure it is coming. Most seem to be missioning. Interesting, that. I've been hunted and chased down most of the places that I have yet found something to do. The skys have not been overflowing with sites and plexs, despite my dreams. I did finally complete a 4/10 to be rewarded with nothing.

The Alliance Tournament also looms on the horizon. Tomorrow, the alliance will go off and do whatever it is they do to play in it.

The Tournament is something I had tried to write up a few times and failed and deleted each attempt. The posts turned into nothing more then hate filled rants about my dislike of sports. I have tried to be supportive to the alliances desire to participate in it. I donated isk to the cause, I've participated in the practice sessions for the past two months, I've herded people to practice sessions and encouraged participation.

Now, that the first round is tomorrow, I've detached myself. My positivity was very hard to maintain. I maintained it simply because I like the people that I fly with. Now that the chat channels are swarming with it and it has gone live, it now is on the tip of everyone's fingers. People are excited about this.

I can be a total, raving bitch about sports. Instead of freaking out all over everyone that mentions it, I've decided to just withdraw while it is the popular event. I'm not playing in it. I find myself in a true case of 'if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all'. I rarely believe in that saying, but for now, considering it is with the people that I hang out with the most in the game, I am trying it out. I don't need to darken their pleasure due to my disinterest.

Which led me to thoughts about validation in gameplay. So far, I have not yet been able to piece together anything coherent about it.

Dark space, dark thoughts, dark mood, they all meld together today. My chat channels are closed and the darkness mine to ponder.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Logistic: Love It, Live It, Loathe It

I've often heard and answered the question, "How do I give someone stuff?"

It is a truly deep question, deeper then the asker may realize the first time the question comes up.

Eve is made of Stuff. Stuff runs our Eve life. In Eve, stuff matters. Stuff is tangible and stuff is destroyable. Stuff also has mass and size. Stuff has cost. Stuff needs to travel from one place to another.

That early question of "How do I give someone stuff?" may have another form such as "How do I get stuff?" and "How do I move my stuff?" The last often brings up the question, "Can I mail my stuff?"

No. You can not mail stuff.

Eve does not have magical mail where you can place your battleship into an envelope and send it to where you want it to go. No. Eve has logistics. You want your stuff from Point A to Point B you have to figure out how to get your stuff there.

Logistics matter. They matter a lot. Not all ships are made to transport stuff. Some ships are made to only transport stuff. Ships have stuff limits. Some stuff is bigger then other stuff.

Stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff.

The most basic way is to get into your stuff and fly it. However, not all stuff is getintoable and flyable. That means you shove it into flyable stuff (such as a spaceship) and then pilot said spaceship, full of said stuff, to said location.

Contracts are a secure way to exchange stuff. You can exchange stuff for stuff or stuff for isk or stuff for nothing. I use them when I buy things for people and they are not there. I write up a contract and they will have it when they next log on.

However, contracts are limited insofar that the person must come to the station the contract is set at. The contract does not turn into magic mail.

Enter courier contracts. You can pay someone else to move your stuff for you. You write the contract, the game puts your stuff into a magic box, and they move your stuff, drop it off, hit finish, and you have your stuff for a fee.

Anyway, moving stuff in Eve is a major part of how the game works. Items have a tangible mass because they can not just be magicked around the galaxy. It requires the player to actively cause the item to be moved. Moving in Eve takes time. Jumps are not hard but they quickly become time consuming. A run to a trade hub makes a lot of sense, but for me its a half an hour trip in each direction.

Moving ships can become tedious when your destination is half an hour in each direction and you can move one ship. There are haulers that are easy to train into, but the lower levels carry very little when you start shoving ships into them. A cruiser takes up 10k m3 of space. That's my entire Viator shoved full. It's irritating.

When I was brand new I ran between Gallente Space and Derelik (24 jumps) daily for about a week before I moved my stuff down. After I moved my last frigate, I decided that perhaps, what I had done wasn't the smartest thing I'd ever thought of. That was when I learned about selling cheap, common things and buying them again on the other side.

So, no magical mail. Freighters take a while to train for. Their skill books alone cost 67.5mil for each racial freighter.

67.5mil is nothing! Sure its not that much but, well, isk. Plus the freighter alone is going to cost a bit over a bill with current prices. Then you have to have a toon that can fly them. Then you worry about war decs so you want an out of corp alt. Oh, then you want a jump freighter.... lets start looking around 8-9billion for one of those beauties.

So, moving stuff, when it gets beyond your own personal stuff is a bit of a task. Then add in dynamics such as low sec and that whole 'everyone trying to kill you thing'. It is minor, but I'll bring it up. It makes moving stuff just to move stuff a bit of in game misery.

That is why today, I am writing a contract to black-frog. I am about to spend 50million for them to move a stack of stuffs (about 6 ships and all the fixings) down to a place in low sec for me. It would be a total bitch to move that many ships of the various types I am moving.

Black-Frog is a subset of Red-Frog, one of the games largest logistic services. In Eve, you can have a career as a hauler. They make moving stuff for players much easier.

I debated the entire thing, but since I decided to have a road trip I decided, why the fuck not. I'd spent most of the month spending money, I might as well spend a bit more. My wallet still seemed to have some pocket change in it, so I shook out the fits for a few canes, some jags, a few covops, and an oneiros and wrote my contract o black-frog.

Like an idiot, I cheerfully ran in and out of rens about six times putting together my package. The reason I ran in and out of Rens is because my builder dropped my ships off at the wrong station. I am currently going to have to create a courier contract just to get them from one station to another. Sugar, my cane pilot, can not fly around Rens happy as can be. Something about the -3.3 sec status. In general, I can't run around as happy as can be with Chella either. Something about the 2 active war decs.

Sigh.

Anyway, I got everything (I hope, I'm sure I forgot something), packaged it up, wrote up the contract and sent it on its way. Shopping in Eve can be so time consuming. It's crazy. It's an in game task all in itself.


"What are you doing today?"
"Fitting ships."
"Oh. Yuck."
"Yah."

I also have 200mil in sell orders sitting on the market now. Hopefully they will sell in good time and my wallet will regain a bit of plumpness.

[EDIT: UPDATE]

My stuff was moved in under 12 hours. Go, go Frog!

I forgot lots of stuff.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On: Cloaking really does stop game play?

I love the Eve Online Forums. I love them with a simple, clean amusement that comes from the amount of chuckling I get from them. While they are filled with trolling and terrible ideas, the amount of wit, sarcasm and snappy responses that fill them make up for it.

I came across this gem tonight and was amused by it for much of the evening.

AFK Cloaking is botting.

I've been reading AFK cloaking threads off and on. I realized, as I read this one today, that people really are under siege by this.

I couldn't understand why. There are neutrals in the systems that I go into all of the time. I try to scout myself, avoid gatecamps and watch for combat probes as I do things.

I understand that I may explode/will explode at any time. Its all part of daily life.

I don't live in nullsec. I venture down there sometimes to rat and sometimes to roam. I don't pretend to understand how nullsec works for people, how the large alliances work, and etc.

It just never occurred to me that it would really shut people down.

I've had my days when I fret a bit. There are six stations in my home system and I can't be bothered to check them all to see if a neutral party is docked up on not. Plus, they may undock at any time. So, I go about my day.

It puzzles me that people cannot/do not.

Some comments about lockdown orders when there is an neutral in system. Everyone is to dock/pos up.

Lockdown orders... hmm... why?

The risk is that a ship might be lost. That is a common risk, so why worry about it until the attack happens or the ship is lost? Sure, it could be a cyno and then they hot drop and all that type of thing but that's part of the game as well.

So, it seems it cloaking in a system and causing the residents to slow to a stop is a popular tactic. I thought it was mostly an Intel type of situation. See who comes and goes, what they fly, where they live. Yet it is truly a tactic that can shut down an entire systems operations. It is taking the risk that they are there and able to hurt you and deciding that the possible loss is worth more then the actual lost productivity.

It just would not occur to me to stop everything. Maybe if I had blinged out ships or something. Still, there are reams of people that are being camped into their systems by someone that may or may not be there.

When they know the person is there will will probably be to late to not have an engagement at hand. I think I assumed that anyone living in nullsec expected that type of thing at any moment.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blue on Blue Action

I lost a covops the other day. My poor covops alt gets ganked about once a month. So far, each situation has been different.

This time I undocked and got nailed on the undock. The covops frig is made of kisses and hope. I had a 'wtf' moment as her pod warped off. Then I saw red and undocked Sugar to beat some ass.

However, they were gone and my wreck was unlooted. I pulled my sisters launcher out of the wreck and kissed it. The damn things are expensive to lose as often as I lose them.

I hopped to my home system and sent my alt off to buy and fit herself another covops frig. I'd run out of them at home (paper, sneezes, etc). I then thought about why I'd gotten ganked and what I had done wrong.

Or more, specifically, how I missed the dude that ganked me.

As my alt made her way to buy her stuff her mailbox flashed. Puzzled, I looked at it.

How cute. A survey from the people that had popped her asking me how my ganking went.

Then I noticed the tag line at the end with their corpname and I laughed. It explained why I had missed the ganker.

They are blue to me. They are blue to my alt. My alt, it seems, was not blue to them.

We have an interesting balance with this corp. It is one of two that we are blue with tha tis not in our alliance. They normally run level 5 missions but of late it seems they have developed a piracy division. I support this.

Ganking happens. I opened up a convo. I think he was hoping for tears. Instead, I answered the survey, blew him a kiss and asked for them not to gank my alts anymore while we were doing the blue thing.

In my other window, one of their members in system with Sugar goes 'Oh."

Whoops.

I wasn't angry. Ganks happen. I was pleased that I figured out what I had missed in that situation. In that situation, my own blues were the only ones in system when I undocked. We try not to kill each other. Because they are blue to my corp and not my alliance, sometimes things happen. Both sides understand this. However, we never purposefulness hunt them and the alliance ignores them when we are in fleet with them.

Still, shit happens.

They set my alt blue and apologized. I told them no worries and no apologies needed. Exploding ships is what we do. It hadn't occupied to me that they didn't realize the toon was mine.

Plus my launcher dropped.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Eve Is Cruel: Corp Scams

Eve is not safe.

Eve is harsh.

Eve is cruel.

Yet, all of these reasons are why I, and many others play. The frustrations, the irritations, and the moments of sheer splendid joy are all built from the fact that the game itself is not built around kindness.

These are common, common terms that are tossed around about Eve Online. Yet, dispite them, people still fall prey to some in game scams for the simple reason that they would not be scams in any other game. What we have played often molds us to what we will play. While many people are told to flush other gameplay down the toilet when they come to Eve online, the simple fact is that habits are habits.

The one that I have been watching for the last few weeks is a corp enrollment gank scam.

The corperation is Missions and Logistics Incorporated.

There are these threads:

Do not join "Missions and Logistics Incorporated"

Epic Fail in EVE

First day of subscription and I got this.....

I have personally watched two people fall victim while they were in a chat room I was in and listened to a thirds story.

The story is simple, as detailed above in the threads. They make offers to enroll people into their lovely missionbear happy high sec corp. They also mine. The new person then comes and meets with them at a local and they kill them.

One of the simplest reasons that this scam works, is that many people do not realize that corp members can kill each other. Also, the false safety of high sec and the presumed security of being 'in' a corporation with people gives a false sense of security.

Then they die.

It is all very legal game play in Eve.

The people that this group go after seem to be somewhat experienced to experienced players. There was a lot of noise about them ganking noobs. Yet, noob/newbie is a very subjective term. Eve kicks you out of the warm hands of the training missions pretty damn quickly. You are then subject to all the spaceship violence that the games has to hand out. No opt out. Some may not be very experienced and some have been playing for years. All accept a corp invite out of the blue with little to no research.

Some of the casual belief that everyone cares about their kill board. Killing corpies does not look good. It would not be considered something to brag about to strangers. But what a killboard is to a person/corp/alliance is very personal.

At its very base, it is simply a log of PvP activities. Various other bits of information are pulled and pooled in it and from it. However, it is a log of the pewpew a person has done.

Corpmate killing is very common in Eve. Sometimes people get into corps and then kill the members and take all of their stuff. However, these recruitment scams are also there. They may ransom the player, pewpew the player, try to take the players items or any mix of various activities to fill their wallets and souls with game play.

Eve lacks a consensual PvP button. Pewpew with corpmates is a fantastic way to practice pewpew without negatives such as sec status loss, Global Criminal Countdown and being concorded. Its a very useful mechanic that, like almost everything else, Eve's players have perverted to their own uses, needs and wants.

If you do a goggle search for the corp, the first link is the thread from the forums.

That does not stop people from accepting these corp invites. The players are friendly. They lure their mark in. The one that I heard about this afternoon, they tried to get him to eject from his Hyperion. I've heard them demand ransoms and get people to trade them ships as well.

Then the target is destroyed.

Some go down fighting.

Some go down confused.

Some rage.

Some accept the learning experience.

Some put up warnings.

Yet, as many people as have fallen into this trap, not enough people read this.

There are many people that wonder how this can happen. It triggers yet more discussions about consensual PvP and PvP flags and other such game mechanisms that exist in other games. The majority of the Eve player base rejects these things.

Evil Eve is why we play.

The only valid argument is what can be done to protect new players. In general, it has been agreed upon that the explanation of this happening is not anywhere that the average new player can easily locate it. They don't know that their corp mates can kill them. Many expect CONCORD to save them and explode in a brilliant burst of puzzlement. Blanket 'newbie' protections are something to be cautious about in Eve. The player base is to creative and too devious for many normal methods to not become abused within 15 minutes of the patch.

And then there is the question of when hand holding just has to stop. Player retention is important. Yet, how often does one hear, "Someone blew me up?" and you ask where only to find out they were in low sec. "You ignored the warning."

"What warning?"

"The popup window that you closed without reading."

One must learn to balance trust with paranoia. Not everyone is out to get you but normally they are. It does not mean that one should hide in a NPC corp till the end of days to avoid a possible gank. But think, look, use the in game browser for a few minutes before joining.

In the immortal words of Kazzcop:

Com'plex' Theft

Around an hour ago, I noticed a group hanging around in system that our alliances co-corp calls home. Most of them are off in high sec hunting war targets. Why high sec? I still don't understand the appeal.

But none of them were around when I asked wtf was in their system. I think I planned to scan the system and then promptly forget.

Its been a rough day.

So, I wandered into the next system to hear one of my corpmates lose his thalos to a random gang he had decided to fight. Ender kinda asks him he if is willing to wait a few moments before he goes and tosses another ship at them.

However, the wait was to long and they vanished. Which happens. Wormholes make for an interesting flow of people sometimes.

I joined the fleet. I was floating around, scanning for some sites. While we sat on the gate I found and bookmarked a radar and mag site to do later.

However, Ender noticed the group in the alliances home system and decided to go probe them down to see what he could see.

He found them sitting on a 5/10. I was wondering why I had missed a 5/10 in the system. That is when I realized that I had forgotten to scan the system. I'd jumped out when my corpie was fighting the other group and had just forgotten to go back in at some point.

He tackled a fleet issue tempest who just sat there and let a drake tackle him. The Raven and Tornado fled before we landed. Our suspicion is that they were all one player triple boxing. The others ran back to a wormhole in system. We followed and the wormhole had POCOs up with their corp name on them.

Oh well. One less Fleet Tempest flying around.

And then there was this nice 5/10 plex all untouched and full of goodies.

So our reward for the nice 5/10 that we did all socially and carebearingly came to be a Gistum B-Type 10MN Afterburner, Gistum b-Type, Explosive Deflection Amplifier, and a Cynabal BPC.

One of my friends asked me, "Find any complexs?"

My answer, "Yeah. We killed someone and took theirs."

Monday, June 25, 2012

The slow, unproductive chase

The other day I was feeling rather down. Stuff has happened, wars, pewpew, talking, more random war decs, a bit of WTF, some other stuff, whatever.

I was debating running off to live in Derelik for a while. A change of scenery.

But I doubt it will happen.

Anyway, as I was rejecting an invite to a roaming fleet I heard a counter call from a corp mate that there was a battleship fleet floating around the other side of the Molden Heath Ring.

While I can say no to a big (IE 10 ships) roaming fleet I can't say no to a corpie calling me to come shoot at some poeple.

The roaming fleet reshipped a bit haphazardly into an armor battleship fleet. We normally roam in battle cruisers and cruisers. But for a local battleship fight all sorts of stuff comes popping out of the hangers.

So that and some hurricanes (me being one of said hurricanes)and the obligatory drake went chasing after this 5 tempest, curse, falcon, claymore, something else x2 fleet.

We moved with a slow, sluggish quickness that can only come from an armor fleet.

Two gates out we sat on the Aedlad gate and debated jumping in. They were in Bosnia on the Heild gate. Then their scout jumped into us. He was in a fleet stabber and he somehow managed not to reach the gate before *pop* kill #50 of the month. Maybe it was being webbed by everything in existence...

Achievement unlocked.

Not really, but it was a random personal goal.

Well we were scouted. The gate into Bosnia is enormous. Not the best thing. We debated it for a few moments and calmer heads were overruled. The fight wasn't coming to us fast enough so off to it we went. Then, our scout told us they were warping off.

"Go! Canes try to grab something, go go go! You'll die before we can save you! Sorry hurricanes! Try to pin them down!"

*yay for being disposable*

So, off we ran, leaping like fat, broken legged gezelle who had eaten to much, through the gates and into Heild.

"Hi Eve Uni!" we waved. We still had a count down until the war dec.

"Hi!" a few said back. As I said, count down, everyone was behaving.

"We knew you where there. Good bait." We were told.

"Bye Eve Uni!" I said as I jumped out.

So, as I ran (slowly) through the system I opened up a conversation. I felt chatty I guessed. "We're honestly just running through," I told him. "After a battleship gang."

"Ahh, good luck!"

"Thanks!"

And off I went, slow as all fucking hell.

We finally caught up with them 5 systems later. I almost landed on one and just started locking my target as he entered warp.

Damn it.

They went to the station.

So, sulking, the fleet decided to break down, reship, get some logistics, and continue its roam. Those of us not roaming broke off and headed back home.

That was when I catch Ender killing a cyclone that had strayed from the group. He was about 130 off the gate when I landed. I went to help but the claymore exploded when I was still 70 out. I couldn't even whore on the kill mail.

Oh well.

Back home. I had stuff to finish selling and buying in Jita anyway.

[Edited: Correct Claymore to Cyclone per Ender]

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekly Ship Lose Quota: Met

I really don't get PvE. Its rather sad and a bit embarrassing that I am so absoutly terrible at it. To compensate for my vast inability, I normally avoid it and spend my time finding other ways to make ISK.

Today, I decided to be bold and try to do some of the anomaly hanging around the system. I scanned one down that had no escalations. I pulled up the guide on it and it seemed like it was something I should be able to do with a battle cruiser and a logi.

Frigs, cruisers, battle cruisers a few battleships. They were in 5 spawns. The spawns were triggered by killing the highest bounty/biggest ship. I figured with spawn management I'd be fine.

It didn't work out that way for me.

I landed in the anom, got aggro from the NPCs and landed my logi. I rolled my logi off of me to keep her out of the way of future spawns. With reps running I puttered about popping frigs -> cruisers -> battle cruisers and as I popped the 2nd to last battle cruiser with plans to clean up the battleships from low to high, the 2nd spawn hit.

I was mildly worried. I cleaned up the battle cruisers and turned to the frigs that had just reached range. Happily, I popped a few. The DPS was rather high but my reps were steady and rolling in. Then I got webbed. I webbed and popped the webbing rat and then got scrammed.

Oh.

Then I got webbed again.

That is when I said calmly to my corp, "I am going to die."

I webbed and popped the stuff holding me down. I broke free, hit warp, and blew up just before it disengaged.

Sigh.

In corp chat, "Damn. I went to make a sandwich. Do you need me to tank it?"

"No. I'll just try to get my wreck."

Not my smartest decision.

So, down two ships, I swallow my pride enough to ask him to clear the anom for me. My pride does get in my way. Normally, I just die quietly in the depths of space and slink away, embarrassed at my inability to do PvE activities. Sometimes, some people (Ender) are sweet enough to laugh at my loses from looking at the corp kill log. Pleasant really, when that happens.

It seems the anom did not agree with the walk through about how it was going to spawn.

Ahh well.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Encouragement Story

I've said before that I rarely give away isk. Today must be a different day. I've dropped a few hundred mil on Somer blink and I had an interesting interaction with a new player.

In a chat a new player said that he was scared to leave the station.

"Why for?" he was asked.

"There are pirates out there. They are -10 and they will kill me."

It turns out that he had needed a skillbook for Heavy Missiles. He found it at a discount two jumps into lowsec. He decided to be brave and go for it.

He made it to the station and had his skillbook. He was in his destroyer fit with everything he needed to mission. The only problem was that there were two people sitting outside the station, waiting for him.

"If you die you die. Don't let yourself be held hostage."

"This is three million worth of stuff! I know its not a lot to you but it is to me!"

He was three days old.

"Okay. Here." I deposited 5 mil into his wallet. "You can now replace your ship. Undock and do everything in your power to make it out of there."

"Oh wow! Thanks!"

"I've removed the isk loss to you. You have 200k skillpoints, no clone issues, no implants and nothing to lose. Go take hold of your game undock, escape, and flip them the finger."

"Okay!" He undocked. "They are locking me!"

"You can only escape or explode!"

"I'm out! I got away!"

"THen you are fine."

"I'm sitll in low sec."

"Jump the gates and get back to high sec."

"Okay! Thank you!"

"Yup. Enjoy your isk and don't let anyone dictate your game to you."

The Cyno Story

The other day I was puttering around seeing what there was to see. In the back of my mind I had ideas of finding something productive to do with my time and sec status. I had wandered afk, my attention span resembling that of a gnat.

I wandered back and remembered that I was trying to be productive. There was only one other person in system with me. I was in a deep safe and scanned a few times. I was about to reposition myself when I noticed that there was a cyno beacon in my overview.

Oh... hmm... I went to see. "Cyno Up," I told my corp mates as I warped to see what there was to see.

With one ship in system, it had to be the cyno pilot and me. So I was brave and warped to zero.

A Tristan sat upon the cyno. It was so tiny and brave looking, frozen in place. It was right off of a station but the chances of making it through an entire cycle are hit or miss.

I stared at him for a bit. I had no desire to shoot him. I've sat atop my share of cynos, protecting my corpies from people. I know cyno alts are considered disposable. If not, there is often a fleet sitting on top of it to defend it.

Yet, there is sat, alone.

And it was very sad for some reason.

The pilot finally asked me, "Don't you want to shoot me?"

"No." I said with raw honesty. "No, I don't."

"Oh." The cyno went down and he docked. "Thanks."

"No problem." I warped off.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wormhole Rescue

[I asked permission before I wrote about this]

I got a private message from a corpmate. I was a bit surprised because we normally chat across our private channel and only a few other people were on. However, I answered it to have him beg me to get him out of a wormhole.

"I forgot to bookmark the exit."

I could only shake my head. I'm sure it has happened to many and will happen to me. I'm guessing he scanned it down, saved it, changed ships, and took two toons in both in combat ships and just forgot to bookmark.

"What system were you in?"

He told me. I logged on my scanning scout and headed over to scan him out.

"Do you remember where it was?"

"Somewhere near the middle of the system. There are only two wormholes there."

Okay. Scan I did. I found one in the middle of the system, pulled my probes and jumped in.

"Here?"

"No. :("

"Okay." I hopped back out. Before I did, I glanced around and was amazed at how beautiful the space was. I didn't take a picture and for that I regreat. It was a dark, mottled blue. Enchanting really.

I scanned down the second wormhole and jumped in. "Here?"

"Yes!" and he warped to me.

I took a moment to look at this one becuase there was a flickering near the sun. I realized the sun itself was pulsing. So, was this system a pulsar then? How pretty it was.

I didn't realize that they were so gorgeous. How no one has ever brought that up, I don't know. It almost makes me want to try it out. Almost. I'm still having issues with it and want someone to hold my hand. I've become more comfortable in null but still...

Whatever...

So wormhole space is pretty as is the rest of eve.

Gallente Space

Minmatar Space

Amarr Space

Caldari Space

Down the bottom side of emprie in Derelik.

The darkness of null.

PewPew, Pop, Reship, PewPew

http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_related&kll_id=36570

That is the end. Later, we collected all of the drones. We looted the wrecks that the Eve Uni members did not get. The cans were an idea by Hatchery it seems. It makes for an interesting dynamic around the field.

Oh, we died... but so did they.

Our side was cyclone, drake, drake, cane, drake, cane, cane, oracle, cane, cane, cane, cane, oracle,. The catalyst and punisher were from earlier things. Later, we added a drake and one cane reshipped to a stabber.

When I jumped in, all I saw was ships and drones and cans and a mess. It took a second to clear everything up but from the battle reports it looked like they had Mega, Raven, Rapier, cane, drake x6, thrasher x3, naga, cormorant, moa, punisher, thorax, vexor, purifier, rifter x2, omen, incursus, tristan, rupture x2 and merlin x2. I think I have them all but I'm a bit tired now and typing. I used Eve Uni's killboard because the fight is spread across three separate killboards on our side.

So, we have 11 on the pirate side and 26 on the university side. It looks like 32 died on the uni side (including pods) and 7 from our side. We all reshipped and came back, effectively breaking the fight into two rounds. I believe the Uni was also doing some reshipping but I have not cross checked the name. It seems like a small group were also nailing people in high sec as well during the same time.

Oh, and the Eve Uni Thanatos that jumped in a bit before the fight was very, very cute. However, it was not on field at the time. I still am amused enough to comment upon it. We kept watching for it to pop out.

The entire event started with a handful of Hatchery members said that they had action in Heild and if anyone could send some ships over. We had a few people in low sec and a few people in high sec. It is interesting how differently people fight. There are a few alliance members that absolutely adore war in high sec. I have no idea why but it tickles their buttons in the same way it tickles others to sit on bubbles like spiders in a web. I don't understand it but the beauty in it is that I don't have to understand it.

We gathered up what we had and kind of caught each other up around Heild. Hatchery managed to engage and we jumped in and warped to them.

In retrospect, landing at 0 wasn't the best idea. It landed us right in the middle of Eve Uni's fleet. However, communication and figuring out who wants what done can take a minute sometimes. We didn't pull the range we needed to. The side effect of being on top of them was that we could unleash the DPS.

Ships started to explode. I had that 'damn this is a lot of people' thought as my overview filled with red. Targets were called, we tried to burn down frigs to take care of scrams and ecm. The battle cruisers were soaking up the damage and the battleship on scene was ruining people with the missiles.

Our canes started to go down but the oracles were ripping into people. Explosions abounded on both sides.

I should have warped and reset my location. The containers that hatchery had set up gave tons of warp out and warp back in options. I'm so used to being into slugging matches. It gave me food for thought later as I went to reship.

When I got primaried I remember deciding that I'd start warping out at half shields. However, I was then webbed and scrammed by the time that half shield point hit. I said fuck it and just poured on the DPS until I exploded. When I went to reship I debated grabbing a frigate but decided to bring back a battle cruiser. I'm glad I did because we entered round two.

For me, a huge fight is hard to describe. On one side, everything is happening around you. On the other, its your small world focus on the targets you have locked and the damage you are taking. Sometimes its hard to know how well everything is going. But primaries kept changing and people were staying out to fight instead of playing docking games with us.

I ran off, reshipped and ran back. Primaries were still being called. People on the field were bouncing around. Then the field cleared and our handful of people were left, panting and eyeing their almost dead ships. Did we have a the field? For a moment, we thought it was over with. Then, ships disgorged from the station again and we all warped in and went at it again. We had managed to pick up someone that had logged on as well, which upped our number to 11.

This time we played with range a lot more. Our communication had smoothed out as well. We used the cans to move ourselves around. The raven was tearing into us if we got within range so we didn't. Barrage was loaded and we lobbed damage and bounced around. With the battle being a bit more strung out this time ships started going down at a steady rate. A frig or two tried to bounce in for points. We were watching for that and they'd get all the attention for the few moments it was needed.

We managed to take down the Raven. We were ready to sacrifice ships for that one. He took 64k damage. It was nicely done. We had him cause more then one ship to have to leave the field and come back in. He almost ate one oracle who slipped away in 3% structure. Pods were popping all over the place.

After the raven went down we started to pick off the drakes. We worked at them one by one. They absorbed beastly amounts of damage. We kept pouring it on. Guns were getting toasty by this point from overheating. We played range games and chewed at the drakes from all angles until each exploded. Some cruisers died, some frigs died, and groups of drones lurked about, their owner no longer there but their red flashing a reminder.

In the end, we held the field again and this time, it looked like it was for good. Some looting had already been done near the undock where everyone had been crowded. Hatchery called for Cap Punishment to look since we had lost ships. We cleaned up and chased a drake around when he landed in the general area.

I just got the notice that the week is up with the war. We'd gone back and forth about extending it. Some are for it some are against it. However, there are a few other things on our plate that will occupy the next two weeks.

Nice to end it with a real fight. It will be interesting to see how the sides react and what words of 'winning' and 'losing' will be heard. I don't think Gunpoint and Hatchery will be stopping just yet.

Its been disappointing that we've spent so much time going and sitting on their station waving our hands for the battle that was supposed to be brought. However, nights like this, when people engage and give their everything on both sides you can only give that heartfelt 'good fight' in local and feel bad that they can not return it. They did a damn good job. They stayed on the field. They fought. They blew up ships. They transcended beauty for moment when they turned into explosions.

This is what we do.

I've managed to lose one ship and directly shoot 18 others during the week.

We'll see what the future brings.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Medicore Fleet

Today, we took the Mediocre fleet out and tried to do the pewpew.

One of my alliance mates had an interesting tangle today where he had a fleet of Eve Uni members attempt to take on his Maelstrom. It did not go that well for that fleet, although he said that two of them did make it off the field.

For others of us, here we sit in a familiar scene. This is station camping I guess. It seems to be the inevitable outcome lately. We are sitting here. Now and then the station disgorges a frigate or cruiser. We try to kill it. Because we are terrible at station camping we don't have an instalock anything with our fleet. It is a rather hit or miss practice with lots of cheering and booing as we lock and miss.

This is not how the mediocre fleet started or why it was formed. The fleet name was in fact given birth by a comment after it was formed. Before this moment, it was just us logging in and fleeting up to go visit the war front for a little while.

Today, we are defined as a medicore fleet because of this:

http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=36417

Comment:
Engaged a harbi that agressed on the station, undocked, cyno lit up, deagressed, mediocre fleet jumped in had roughly 20seconds till i could dock, was unsuccessfull and went popped soon after. At least we stopped the pirates from getting their spin counters up! :D

The mediocre quality consisted of four drakes, three canes, a harby, a keres, and two scimies. With twenty four people in local we decided to bring along logistic to help extend the fights and balance everything. However, one of the Eve Uni rifters also shot the Eve Uni Talos so I guess we had a rifter on our side as well.

It didn't quite work that way.

The War has not been as eventful as expected after the chest beating and 'come at me bro's' tossed around. Of late, we jump into system and they dock up. We've been cutting our fleet in half sometimes. They have taken booty shaking classes in an attempt to up their appeal. We were told that we come at the wrong times to fight. Sadly, our lives can not be dictated and I'm unable to avoid going to work so that I can log on at a more convent time. We work with what we have.

I'm not sure we are doing this right. We keep having to wander off on our normal roams to find fights. In fact, business is as normal, if not calmer now that they won't come out of the station. I'm a little puzzled.

Anyway, after the fight we were accused of dropping 12-24 ships.

http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=36419

Comment:
LSC undocked on command to engage harbinger WT. Cyno followed to drop 1-2 dozen, I was primaried, scrambled, and dropped before I could get range.

While amusing, no, we dropped 4. The rest of the fleet warped in. We did burn him down. I'm not sure what is expected when you are running around in an ewar cruiser. We keep trying to jump into system and get fights. If we spike local, we are not getting anything. The 'battles' are all being played on top of the station these days.

Why did we drop anyone?

Why not is really the question.

Also, we had ten people counting the 4 that dropped in.

However, as we landed on grid people started to scatter. Grabbing points and shooting whatever could be shot became important. We had a ridiculousness moment when the Talos was called a Naga and people kept going "What Naga? What Naga?"

The blackbird was immediately taken down. Then the Naga aka THALOS was shoot as was the Tempest. The Tempest deaggressed so we put a bit of focus into it, losing a handful of frigates we might have been able to shoot.

Ahh the moments. After we were done, we tried some frigate chasing. They'd often just warp off or dock. We also tried pod grabbing, but the damn things are hard to lock and fast.

We stayed however. After all, someone else might come out. We chased the people sitting off of the station, probed out and popped a blackbird, nailed a thorax, and in general attempted to have epic battles.

Some Tuskers were also in system and managed to have a little fight near the Bosena gate. We also tried to hop into that but they took care of business before we could get on grid.

Thanks to our incredibly short attention span we heard that there was a Reha next door so we ran that way to see if we could find it.

Edit to add:

We didn't get the Reha, but we were able to steal the large caldari tower that they were unanchoring and pop the mammoth. :D Win!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Million Skill Points and Diplomacy

I reached a milestone in my young game life this weekend and crossed the 10 million skill point mark with Chella.

It was unexpected. One moment I was at 9.8 and the next at 10.2. I'm sure some things passed between those points.

Now I have a toon with 10 million SP. Sugar is close behind with 8.9. I'm a badass, yes indeed, lookie, lookie.

One of the more amusing things is that 5 million is a mental hurdle for me. When introduced to things, you pick up the oddest points of refrence. When I was into my second or third day in the newbie systems, I came across an anchored can. That can was an advert for a corp. It said that they had a 5 million SP minimum. At the time I had around 600k and I remember thinking that I would never have 5 million.

Somewhere along the line, the idea of 5 million as being my first point of being 'wantable' anchored in my head. Now I am double that and I am still absolutely terrible. Poor Chella's skills are cleaning up but they are still all over the place.

Ender asked me a few days ago how I was doing with my Scimi training. I blinked at him and reminded him that I had an Oneiros. I then told him that I'd start Scimi training next month. I have a few more nav skills that I want to get together for her.

I think I will remap her into spaceship command and drones. This way she can get her drone skills out of the way and her advanced star-ship command out of the way along with Minnie cruiser V. With my vaguely plan here, she will be able to plant herself into her carrier by the end of the year in suitcase mode.

Then the carrier can be rendered into a glorious explosion trying to do something amazing.

Beyond that, my alliance leader decided that my love of ~~~~words~~~~ was such that I'd get the alliance diplomat title. He told me to go forth and be diplomatic to people. So, yah, whatever that is going to entail... yay?

I have chatter V trained but I fear that social butterfly is only up to III on the way to IV. However, the support skill of good natured has been at V for a while now and I believe that with an implant or two I will be able to bridge the gap while I wait for social butterfly to finish training up.

In celebration of these two glorious events, I shall make my own chat channel!

Amazing.

Yet, I have no idea what to name it. Right now, its closely tied between something about cupcakes and something about cupcakes. Hopefully, with some sleep I can come up with a creative and interesting idea that is easy to remember.

I'm also really liking Tilde as the channel name. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On Rambling Thoughts Fueled by Cupcakes

[TL;DR Pirate players do not automatically equal terrible people and below is a long wandering meandering babble about it.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~WARNING: WORDS BELOW~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(power of the tilde)

I made cupcakes a few days ago. I'd been craving cupcakes for a bit. So, after a week I decided to hell with it and made a batch. Part of the recipie for cupcakes called for butter and another part called for water.

Don't oil and water not go together? You can stir and stir and stir but they will still separate and reject each other.

But, when you add eggs and flower, sugar and seasoning and continue to mix, suddenly everything starts to come together and form the base batter for a cupcake.

Cupcakes are awesome.

My weekend wound up mostly being about talking. I fielded a lot of conversations, many of them good. A few were in the middle. Now and then they were just puzzling. A consistent theme cropped up, time and time again. I tried to mold it into a concept but I'm not sure how well I did.

The concept was culture. On one side is Eve University. It is an old, established culture in the game. Along with that, it supports the weight of Eve Uni's culture is high sec and what can be defined as carebearisem (without meaning it in a nasty way).

Across from it you have the low sec pirate side of things. They to have a culture. It is a fluid and flexible one that expands and contracts, flexes and twists at need, but it is still a culture. Most of the inhabitants are as deeply ingrained into it.

(I'm not saying that these are the only two cultures in the game by any means)

I was having a conversation with someone about it and while we both understood each others side we still both had many disagreements on points. I said, "We can not experience the same thing the same way because we have different things affecting us as the experience happens."

Some people have been surprised to hear the pirate side. It made me realizes that part of the cultural differences was how the groups defined each other. Having left high sec so early in my game, I had forgotten that pirates were stereotyped by many people who had never known anything but the autocannon fire of one. Due to rumors and the endless stories of jumping a gate to wind up in your clone station, many people who had never entered low sec or beyond had a preexisting concept of what the pirates were.

Then, I remembered when I first met a few members of my pirate corp. I was extremely nervous around them. After all, I was a noob who flew a catalyst poorly. I was nothing more then prey. If they looked at me too hard I might pop. These were some of Eve's PvPrs and they were not the ones defending their land they were the ones that found shit to blow up just cuz.

During my reading about the game before I started playing and as I was playing, I kind of expected to be turned on or killed. Yet, I hung out with them for a bit and they seemed like very cool people. I made the decision to trust them.

It's a decision I have had no reason to regret on any level. In fact, as stated before, I was drawn to them. I had some offers in high sec at the time. None of those offers tempted me. What the pirates offered me was everything they could teach me and teaching me to do what they did. They were the only ones that I knew who offered to just teach me without asking me to do anything other then learn.

So my perspective is skewed. If I had stayed in high sec I might have still considered the pirates to be 'bad'. Instead, I joined them and considered pirates to be 'normal'. My game life is normal, with normal people who are fantastic and loyal folks that I'd do whatever I could to help with at any time. These people make my game better.

So, my perspective is skewed towards what I know and find familiar, safe, and productive. I don't think anything is wrong with that. I like dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate as well.

Eve is full of cultures. Cultures that are different from each other are not bad or wrong, they are different. Sometimes we do not understand them. Sometimes we can not comprehend them. That does not make them wrong.

I find myself talking with a friend and we can not reach and agreement although we could clearly see each others side. To a point, we can not reach an agreement over some things. We can come to an understanding and acceptance but not an agreement.

Our game worlds are different and that difference molds us. But even if our personal game cultures are oil and water, the rest of the game is all the other parts of the batter. Stir it to bake the delicious game coated in butter cream frosting...

Wait... wandered off for a moment...

The image above is not a fight. It is a fleet ops with RANSM and THC2. They were going to pewpew at some folks and expected a fight to come that was about 3 times bigger then their fleet. We were able to add a glorious three people to the battle that never came. That corp was very angry that RANSM got 'help' and refused to fight.

RANSM had wardeced Cap Punishment a bit after TEXN moved back into the area. THC2 had not yet rejoined Cap Punishment so they wardeced us both because we flew together and acted as one unit. Unlike almost every other pirate corp in the area, TEXN and THC2 were blue to each other and had been close friends for years. We were also two groups that did not fly -5 as a majority. So RANSM leveled the field and Wardeced us.

At first I was angry and I did not understand. War seemed so personnel. Yet, nothing in our interaction with each other changed. Well... we did get to giggle about the flashing war targets in fleet. In short, I got over it. Their reasons made sense to me after I spent a bit more time learning about the game itself. Also, it wasn't personal. I found that the entire 'declares war' aspect made it seem as if they wanted me and would hunt me down for it. It was a misconception that was alleviated with time and experience.

It was not personal. It was two groups coming to a balance inside of their games. Mixed in to combine the differences are layers of mutual respect, friendship, interest, communication, dislike, harassment, interests, lack of interests, and everything else that happens when many people deal with other groups of many people.

None of that was evil. I do not worry that RANSM will turn on me if I fleet with them. I can fleet with them even after they have caused me to explode. The earlier explosion, it was the game, not a personal attack. The next explosions we will cause together working together. The ones after that, who knows... we may each have explosion experiences away from the other that the other never knows about.

Because we are all experiencing the same game in different ways. Differences do not make it wrong. it is our game as much as it is anyone elses. That is not to be confused with agreement. One does not have to agree with the way another group plays. However, an automatic assumption of the 'evil' of another group is saddening.

The loyalty and brotherhood where I play is so strong that it is tangible and interacts with everything we do. The only thing faceless is the ships that are exploded. It is not 'a person' it is a ship being exploded. That is all.

I was told by someone... "Now that everyone knows who you are you will be primary." That made be blink and I said okay. If someone wants to have a terrible fleet plan and spend all of their time making me the primary just because they recognize my name... okay. It seems silly and wasteful to me but okay. I'll take whatever tactical advantage I can get.

And I won't take it personally.

I know I should have used sand, and sandcastles, and sandboxes for my ideas... but cupcakes are awesome.

Monday, June 18, 2012

When Bait meets Bait

To my surprise, my CEO got a hold of my blog link and decided to finally read it. He then told me that "We have names". I told him that I had tried to dance around the name thing. Everyone then gave me permission to stop using vague references. Although, it was suggested that Ender be called 'Grumpy Bear'.

We tried to play with Eve Uni. They all docked up. We sent one ship in again and kept the rest of our massive fleet (9 people) two systems away. One of our members was out of town but able to log in. He did not have coms. Therefor, myself and another did a chat to text translation to keep him up to date on fleet commands and general coms discussion.

We sent in our bait ship, but everyone avoided him and docked up. He tried to do some bumps on a Raven but he was not successful. The entire time, we're sitting a bit back and we have a local corp smack talking our two backup drakes for our bait drake and asking them to come fight them. Irritating. They blamed us for gatecamping the other day as well. We corrected them on that one. If we are ignoring every single ship that comes through, I do not think that we qualify as a gate camp.

Since we had a fleet up we decided to head out into deeper low sec and see what we could find. Sunday nights can be hard nights to find a fight during our time zone.

We eventually came upon a system with some active people. A tornado and Ishkur were on scans as well as a Machariel. Two of the drakes hopped through to try to get aggression. Everyone hit safes. They went to the next system and tried to lure people to them. That didn't work well and they were called back to wait on their gate while the scanner tried to find a Machariel. Just as he nailed him the warped. Irritating.

We moved on.

A few systems later we found a gatecamp. Seven people on the gate. Our drake landed in the middle of them and they tried to nab him. We jumped the rest of the fleet in. They immediately started to bail. By the time we made the 30au jump they were down to a drake and a hurricane.

The drake was stuck. He was pointed and aggressed. Why the hurricane did not leave, we're not sure. He eventually tried to burn away. That didn't work out for him. Cane down. Drake down. Rest of the fleet was gone.

Scoop loot and we moved on.

Our bait drake was wandering around the system. There was a cane floating around said system. He wound up at a planet. The cane landed.

It was a situation of bait meets bait. Both were obvious. The question was who was it going to work for the best.

They played aggression games and interacted. Local spiked by 4. We jumped in. They landed, turned around and ran away immediately. We nabbed the Tengu. Chase, chase, burn burn. Hurricane down. Burn, burn, burn, holding the point as it changes off from different people and finally... Tengu down.

We made it another two systems into our roam when we got word that there were a few more people logging into Heild and sitting out on the undock for us to attempt to engage.

A few more Eve Uni folk logged in so we turned around and made speed back.

We jumped a tanky ship in and were trying to get some warp ins but it all didn't work out and they all docked up again. Earlier, one corp member was camping them by being there with only 13 people in station. We tried to nab a few but there were too many random distances involved. A member from Team Liquid was also on scene. Their war dec has not yet gone live but that has not slowed them down from starting to fight.

Sigh.

So we jumped into the station and were told to go sit on the station.

We sat there.

This was our conversation from the time we jumped into system to the time we left. Our smack talk and all. Smack talk and its pros and cons and it terribleness and nonterribleness has been a bit of a hot topic.


[07:02:54] Diziet Thomas > warp to station
[07:03:29] Sugar Kyle > channel fail, whoops :D
(it was not a channel fail, he was just letting them know we were there since we had failed to grab the earlier engagents. Might as well come in with a sound.)
[07:03:30] Heribeck Weathers > load ammo
[07:03:48] einbahnstrasse > obviously not an eve uni graduate
[07:03:59] Sugar Kyle > /emote shooes everyone back into fleet chat
[07:04:01] Sugar Kyle > sorry peeeps :D
[07:04:23] Heribeck Weathers > no we would have to check all 7 hand books before warping if she was from eve uni
[07:05:03] Mane Frehm > hello Eve Uni. We mean you no harm; take us to your leaders
[07:05:16] Mane Frehm > oh wait...they're not here. Pity
[07:05:34] Shirralia > It's 8 in the morning you dumbass, why are you calling so early? -.-
[07:05:47] Diziet Thomas > kettle wasnt hot yet
[07:05:58] Heribeck Weathers > i hear that war decj mechanics are unfair and we should be taking GCC on you, im sorry we are to good
[07:06:11] Mane Frehm > Excellent. Someone who doesnt follow the rules about talking in local. Convo me; you have pirate potential
[07:07:07] Lala Zateki > ^ lol
[07:07:29] Heribeck Weathers > dont talk in local, its how they steal you sec status
[07:07:49] Mane Frehm > untrue (as you can tell by my fine sec status)
[07:07:59] Heribeck Weathers > and i know thats worth more than plex to uni
[07:08:00] Shirralia > It kinda baffles me why you arrive here when we are like 10 people awake in the uni.
[07:08:12] Shirralia > What did you think was going to happen? We would just undock and say hello?
[07:08:12] Sugar Kyle > you do know that eve is a gloabl game right?
[07:08:18] Sugar Kyle > and people like... well... are up at all hours?
[07:08:30] Mane Frehm > oh - sorry...we'll just have to adjust our lives to fit your schedule. No problem
[07:08:32] Shirralia > I do indeed. I just said goodnight to a corpmate
[07:08:38] Sugar Kyle > okay, just curious
[07:08:47] Sugar Kyle > your surprise was rather great
[07:08:50] Sugar Kyle > that people were still awake
[07:08:55] Sugar Kyle > and maybe playing the game...
[07:09:06] Sugar Kyle > but we have more peeps to kill elsewhere
[07:09:11] Sugar Kyle > that are also awake :)
[07:09:13] Sugar Kyle > have a good evening

I got a bit irritated. I have a pet peeve about people focusing on their own little slice of the planet when in game. The reason we are roaming now and out to fight now is because we are awake now. There is nothing stupid about the fact that we come and look for fights.

This irritates me a bit less then people who take issue with others not having a native grasp of English. English is a second or even third or fourth language for many people. One can not immediately jump all over them for poor English abilities when you don't even know where they are coming from. Plus, lets insult people who are fluent in multiple languages. Brilliant.

I also feel that one can not bitch that people come out to play in their time zones.

A cloaky eve uni pilot was hanging out in the next system over. We expected that and warped to our out gate. It was time for a quick brb for people as the fleet broke down and resembled with people who had logged on since we headed out.

Then we noticed combat probes on scan... that led to this commentary...


[07:16:20] Sugar Kyle > we're on teh Audesder gate
[07:16:26] Sugar Kyle > Unless you are just practicing
[07:16:28] Sugar Kyle > at 0
[07:17:21] Diziet Thomas > the really unfortunate thing about that plan is someone has to warp in and get point which is kinda a bad play
[07:18:02] Una Thea > I'LL STAND STILL, I PROMISE
[07:18:11] Sugar Kyle > you are orbiting the gate
[07:18:13] Sugar Kyle > lying is impolite
(he was orbiting the gate)

Fleet commander gave the order to jump.

Oh well... Back to roaming.

Playing with bubbles.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Small PewPew

I just wandered back from making dinner to find out that there were two Eve Uni pilots in system that the boys were engaging. I immediately joined fleet and undocked as one of the guys went down and the other was trying to hold onto the hurricane that they had been engaging but he was jammed to hell and losing the can. My second corpmate had gone down due to an orbit error that sent him into the face of a Myrms blasters. Whoops.

Just as I landed the cane warped off to a safe. Damn it. We bounced to gate and stations to try to catch him. He moved from safes and stations, docked and undocked. However, there are two gates in the system and we had both covered.

It tookk him a few minutes to make a run for it. He headed for the gate. I jumped before he landed and started to orbit the gate. My corpie, in a drake sat on the other side. When the cane jumped, he jumped into me. He was actually twenty away when he uncloaked. That was almost unfortunate for me. However, I had a long point on.

I tackled him and bumped him and set my drones on him. The drake jumped in and my other corpmate had reshipped and jumped as he aggressed me. The cane decided to deagress and try for the gate. That didn't work out for him and he exploded.

A fourth corp mate was in system. He was watching a rupture and waiting for a local spike. I was waiting for the ruppy to land on me to assist the cane, but he decided not to. Ahh well. We gave it a few more and then jumped back into the system to clean up the wrecks.

The boys gave GF over local. To bad Eve Uni is not allowed to respond back. We give them props for coming down in a small group like that.

For Loyalty or for Lulz?

Betrayal is a major fact of Eve gameplay. There is an entire forum discussion about a new player (see a month old) who accepted a random corp. He was turn blown up. It seems that this corp has been doing the same with others. He did not know that corp mates could kill each other since he had never been in a corp and I suspect he might not talk to others at all.

He received the general dose of non-pity mixed with explanations about what happened and why. It reminds me of when I had to look up HTFU because I kept seeing it and had no idea what it meant...

Corp theft, corp enrollment scams, corp scams, player scams, player theft, spys, lies and broken promises are all a part of Eve's gameplay. People who come from other games are often surprised. I have no idea why. So much of Eve's publicity is built off of the happenings of its world built by players. I'm continually surprised when someone idea that bad things happen in Eve.

One of the latest bits of player chosen betrayal Eve Skunk. To condense the service into my own words, people post an API key and the website pulls the Alliance Mails and posts them for all to read.

Some are interesting, some are hysterical, some are a piece of an alliances life.

We learned the other day that one of the null sec alliances in the area is moving out. It created some sadness. We've enjoyed tangling with them for the last month. We've had small fights and big fights and camp crashing and hot drops.

Now they are moving out per their alliance mail.

Which we so should not be able to read.

Maybe it is for the betrayal maybe it is for the lulz... maybe people are spys, I don't know. Eve is built as much from trust as it is from paranoia. From reading some of the alliance mails, there is horror in some groups that someone opened them up in that fashion.

It is worth noting the large alliances that are not up there. On the Eve Online forums there is back and forth about who Eve Skunk belongs to and what they are. The lack of several large alliances lead to accusations, finger pointing, and general tinfoil hat conspiracy theory paranoid.

However, it can be understood. Betrayal is one of the special flavors of Eve. Alliances have fallen due to internal betrayal. Eve is not always a game about the power of the pewpew. The social aspects are so thick that they are tangible. Playing Solo is a way to miss most of the game for the simple reason that the game is not all about the red crosses and menus on the screen.

I had to look up metagaming when I started playing. I'm shocked that it does not also link to Eve Online.

One of the big questions that flashed over about Eve Skunk was "Why".

For the lulz?

For the spy?

For the screwage?

Spies are a common theme in Eve. Information gathering is essential on many levels and for many reasons. Trust is earned and kept or destroyed. However, there is another emotion lurking around.

Distaste. I won't use hate because it is far to powerful an emotion. However, some people dislike their corp or alliance. Yet, for numerous reasons they are trapped there. Their reasons may or may not be valid. They are truly the only ones who can make that decision.

However, they are trapped and unhappy. Unhappy people can quickly become highly destructive people. In a way, they are worse then board people. In a large group, unhappy people are almost unavoidable.

When I was downloading Eve, one of the things I read was a blog somewhere about not getting trapped in your corp. It discussed the fact that many players feel an intense loyalty for their early corporations even after they need to leave them. The negative feelings for their corp can eventually ruin the game for them and cause them to leave. Yet, they could have corrected that all by selecting, "Leave Corporation".

I was sure that I'd not have that problem. Yet, it took me about a solid day of being pissed before I clicked the button for leaving my first Corp. I felt that feeling that I couldn't/shouldn't leave. I knew it was bullshit but the pull was still amazingly strong. I left anyway, and for a few days I felt bad about it, as if I had done something wrong.

Loyalty is powerful. Joining a group is a tremendous pull. I'd hand my corp mates anything I owned (in game) if they needed it without thought. Now, take that emotion and twist it into the other direction. In a way, I can understand why people betray their alliances.

And unlike many other games, its a totally acceptable thing to do int he game mechanics. I won't touch on the morality of it. Everyone is going to feel different there. There are constant cries that things 'should not be allowed' in a game where almost everything is allowed. Just because it is the darker side does not mean that it should be quenched. Find a game where you can play an avatar of light or go become one in Eve and try to crush the darkness you detest. It is up to the players, not the game makers here, that's another thing that makes it so great.

We're sad to see our neighbors go. It was the good fights. Maybe whoever dropped their API into Eve Skunk will feel a little better or leave the alliance or continue to enjoy their life as a spy...

The Machariel's will miss you.

Every. Single. Time.

Also: I apologize to black frog for blowing up your cyno during this. We also are sorry that we may have terrified your Reha pilot who landed into the middle of that spar. We have only love for black/red/green/orange/taupe frog erryday.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Career Decisions?

Doing something I almost never do, I was on YouTube and found this: Fanfest Trailer from CCP.

Unlike many of the other trailers that CCP has created, it focuses on the character customization process and entering the world. There are some pretty ship bits. As always, I'm amused when I see the Noctis shown. However, its a rather good introduction.

The information screens were very pretty. I wonder if that is what they are going to from our pop up windows that we currently have. In some ways, their new Unified Inventory structure would work better in those overlayed, startrek-esque sci-fi information 'windows' then the current box thing we have.

This dragged my wandering mind to the fact that CCP has also (accidently?) created the concept of assigned careers for new players. On their front page they have a section about the 'sandbox' and how you can find your path.

While they explain that every action creates a reaction that affects the game as a whole, they have classes listed. New players are logging onto the forums and asking how do they become a Fleet Commander or what is the best way to become an industrialist.

Most MMO have you select a 'class' or a 'profession'. It is a very in grained idea. While many activities in Eve fit into a titled catagory, the catagory itself does not limit you. The nice windows and information pannels that the website contains, makes people think that they choose 'miner' and that is what their character does.

They also have a personality analysis. To help people decide what path will be best for them.

These things create a very pretty, clickable website that draws people into the game. But, inside the game, they are plunged into the flexable textured world that is actually Eve Online. They do make note of their unrestricted universe in another section.

I think that it may be creating some of the confusion it attempted to alleviate.

The lables however, draw people and the unrestricted aspect has to be explained, often when they are floundering around not understanding why they are not set as an indulsterlist.

The pirate on the website has a camouflage shirt and arm tattoos. He looks pretty bad ass. I wonder how many people are disappointed when they are not available in the charater customization window.

Friday, June 15, 2012

On: The Fires of War Burn Across Space

[TL;DR - Alliance War Decs Eve Uni. Third Molden Heath Pirate Corp to do so due to Massive Eve Uni Low Sec Camp in the area.]

My wallet burns.

CCP has changed the War Decliration system. It has had pros and cons on both sides. I, with my limited knowledge of the game, have considered the changes to be good. The main reason is because it removed dec shield. Large alliances no longer cost billions to declair war on. However, a down side is that the base cost of war raised from a few million isk to 50 million. Personally, I don't consider 50million to be much but many people have complained.

The removal of dec shield was seen as CCP supporting people who wanted to PvP over people who wanted to PvE. People swore that the war decs would multiply beyond the numbers of stars in the sky and Eve would burn with the charred wrecks of high sec.

So far, that has not happened. In fact, a loop hole in the new system is being closed. That loophole allowed the corporation that was wardeced to have an unlimited number of allies to help them fight the war decliration.

It's all a tangled mess with two main sides and a dozen shades of grey being debated over the forums and blogs that focus on Eve Online.

I had planned to let it settle down and pretty much ignore the situation in my little low sec bubble doing my little small gang PvP thang.

Then, a few weeks ago, Eve University's Low Sec Camp (LSC) moved in next door.

From their Wiki, linked above is their Low Sec Camps Mission:

------------------------------------------------------------------

Low-Sec Camp (LSC) Mission Statement:

“Provide an educational environment where newcomers to Low Security space can learn the skills needed to not only succeed, but thrive under constant threat.” Goals of low-sec camp:


A) Teach students how to navigate low security space safely with both a solo and team-supported environment.
B) Introduce players to the benefits of Low-Security space. Provide the opportunity to run Anomalies, Signatures and wormholes.
C) Teach survival, home-defense and offensive PvP tactics associated with living in potentially hostile territory with aggressive neighbors.

These goals will be accomplished by: A strict set of procedures which must be adhered to if you intend on participating in the event.

Event Liaisons who will assist in the management of the event and ensure adherence to procedures.

Volunteers who will run drills and mini-classes periodically.

------------------------------------------------------------------

They now live a handful of systems away. It is between myself and high sec. It is also next door to two of the three larger pirate groups that live in the system.

I've discussed before that we fight to fight. Low Sec is called lolsec and I know that some do not understand why we fight without a 'point'. Enjoyment of that type of game is not enough for them. We are silly becuase we throw ships at each other endlessly without any bad feelings throwing down.

Then Eve University moved in and things got complicated.

First, I will state that as far as I know, everyone welcomed Eve Uni. It brought more targets and a different type of fight to the area. Lots of people downshipped into frigs and destroyers since that was the size ship flown by many of the new players getting their first taste of low sec. Many explosions have happened and much has been enjoyed. Many conversations about PvP, ships, and fitting happened.

However, fighting people that are not dedicated pirates/PvPrs comes with a cost. It is a cost that we are willing to absorb and normally does not matter one day to the next. However, with the numerical weight of Eve Uni's fleets, game mecahnics that are accepted by the residents of low sec began to become detrimental.

These mechanics are the gate and staiton guns and the fact that Eve Uni does not take GCC. With half of the pirates already -5 sec status outlaws things became a bit unbalanced from the normal ebb and flow.

Gunpoint Diplomacy [RANSM] decided to war dec Eve Uni to remove the gate and station guns from the equation. Fleets were fighting out numbered every battle. It brought some balance back. They are there for the good fights, not just to be targets and punching bags.

Then things really started to get strange.

Eve Uni responded to the war decliration as if Gunpoint was one of the many corps that has declared war against them in the past. Eve Uni has a long history of people declaring war against them to have easy pickings of new players and weak targets.

This was not Gunpoints goal. Gunpoint rarely goes into high sec. Now and then they go next door and blow up a miner when they are bored. Most of the time they are in null sec and low sec fighting. But, with Eve Uni next door it was a relentless flow of people. A flow of people who were in low sec to PvP... just like we are.

This was not a 'fail dec' as I read on Poetic Stanziel's blog. In fact, Gunpoint was quite happy to have targets and introduce people to PvP. They did not mind talking to people and discussing fits. They down shipped into smaller ships and they took on enormous blobs for the sheer joy of it.

The response from Eve Uni was that they would camp Gunpoint into their station with a massive blob until they dropped the War Dec. They will irritate with unending waves of ECM to demoralize.

Gunpoint's response was 'bring it'. There were many words in between. The general flow was that Gunpoint was tired of having to take GCC and Gateguns and Station Guns as well as fight outnumbered in huge blobs who only fought them on gates and stations.

It is a clash of culture.

I was told that Eve Uni would crush Gunpoint. That they would bring down a massive blob of hundreds and beat them with the whelp bat to the point that Gunpoint would never think to touch a member of Eve Uni again. They will camp them into their station and use as much EWAR as they can to ruin their day. Their War SOP is about denying the 'enemy' pleasure and deny it they will.

That made me blink.

1) Gunpoint is Wardecing the corp that moved next door for good fights. Not to try to destroy the Uni.

2) Pirates gonna Pirate

3) Where is the line between Eve Uni as a neutral teaching corporation and Eve Uni as the whelp stick for their low sec camp ripples?

I still think I am missing an important emotion in the 'war' thing. The war is not being taken to high sec. It is not being used as an attempt to kill noobs. It is staying where it was brought.

The other side effect, the lovely butterfly effect is that now it has expanded. The Black Rebel Rifter Club [R1FTA] also wardeced Eve Uni. Then, last night, my Alliance, Capital Punishment. [LYFT], did the same.

I had planned on debating the aspects of Eve that leaves one hovering on the edges of 'things happening' but instead I found myself swept into one of those things. It is not huge in the global face of things. However, it is going to be interesting.

I was told, today, that we will be owned. I was told that Eve Uni won the RvB war and will roll over us as easily. I was told that they will strip any pleasure we could possibly find from the war decs because that is their SOP. I was told that they are good at what they do and we will be taken care of.

It's interesting. I have friends in Eve Uni, a lot of them. I chat with them. I've laid it out that its nothing personal. I'm not going to avoid a fleet with my peeps however. If we shoot each other we shoot each other. That is part of the game. From them, I was told that we will not have our relationship destroyed over this. I certainly did not tell them that we would crush them. I simply said we'd bring the same fights we'd already been bringing since the Eve Uni Low Sec Camp moved into the area.

I was asked what our rules were during war. That made me scratch my head. "Fleet up when one is made and have fun?" was the only thing that came to mind and that is what I said.

But, I'll be damned if I will be anyone's victim. I will be damned if I will be camped into a station and frightened to death. I'm not stupid. I can't take on a 200 person blob alone. I know that. That is not destroying me.

I was asked why I am staying in my corp. I was told how, I'm not flashy red so Eve Uni wouldn't even bother me. I tried to explain that it is not about *me*. I'm not going to bail on my corp or my alliance. I'm not scared to fight. I'm not scared to go GCC. My sec status is trashed, just like almost every other pirate in Molden Heath due to tangling with Eve Uni and taking global first.

My spirit? It's going to take a lot more then that to crush.

That's why I just dropped 800mil isk into ships and fitting. I had planned to have ships. Now, I will make sure that reshipping is easier then sneezing. I've been running stuff around all morning.

"You are going to waste a lot of battleships."

Oh no, I won't. Frigs, cruisers, destroyers, battle crusiers... I'll bring them all and put them on the field. Its not just about the blapmobiles.

I won't be a victim.

Before, I was kinda indifferent. Now, while having nothing against Eve Uni and not a single trace of animosity or aggression, I'm rather eager for it. Exploder or Explosion. I'm going to bring it.

It shall be an interesting weekend.

(Blog written while tired)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Motivational - Transcendence

Anyone wanna fight?

I was being super lazy in station when someone from Eve Uni came in and asked, "Anyone wanna fight?"

The boys were down in null ratting. I had worked my sec status back up to a -3.8. I say worked but I admit that the last handful of days have been random and crazy. I haven't had the time to play or the energy to do something like rat and make sure no one comes and kills me. I undocked a ship and almost fell asleep before I landed to launch probes the other night. I decided to stop trying to play Eve and go to sleep after that..

Anyway, its today and I'm kinda puttering around chatting with my peeps as they work on their sec status. Lots of fighting has driven several people flashy red. Tactically, its just a bad position to be in.

That was when an Eve Uni roam fleet jumps into the system with 13 or 15 people and ask if we're looking for a fight. I suspect the answer is yes on our side. I'm not one to make assumptions.

I decided to find out. "Give me a second to see if we can pull together a fleet." I dropped the question to the boys.

"Yes," came back instantly. "Tell them to give us 10 minutes to get back into system and we will meet them there."

The fleet started to jump out and someone told me to convo them if we were interested. "Okay," I told the boys. "Do I have to broker this deal?"

"Yes. Broker it. We'll be in system soon"

"Gah." I was tired and just not in the mood for it. I worry a lot about it. I don't want to pick unacceptable terms. I pulled in some help. One of the boys joined me in it and I opened a group chat with the one Eve Uni member who said to contact him.

The basics came down to this. Come to system, fight on a planet, we won't loot T1 wrecks. Anything faction fit or t2 is fair game for the winner of the field. Bring whatever blob Eve Uni wanted to bring.

The request to loot the field was asked on their side. Normally, we'd say no. However, trying get the fight going, one has to make concessions sometimes. Our concession was that we'd not loot T1 stuff.

The boys turned around and burned back towards our home systems. Ships were switched and everyone burned in a few minutes in front of the Eve Uni fleet. We got ourselves settled and arranged and eyed how many people we had. We were running about 15 peeps counting everyone. We decided to cut logistics out, no duel boxing and drop all the battleship ideas.

Their fleet, I don't remember the full comp. A cane, some vexors, 2 or 3 blackbirds, some thrashers, some rifters, a coercer, rupture, drake, thorax, griffin... I don't remember exactly. I think there were 13 or 15 of them in the end. They bounced around the system for a while from one planet to another. We finally had them at one point and decided to undock.

.... and someone says in local "Lol I just saw your fleet"

We decided to leave our logi at the station and roll with what we had. What we decided to undock was hurricane/hurricane/sleipnir/sleipnir/drake/drake/drake/drake/drake/brutix

As we undocked we saw that they had moved again. A growl and a scan later showed that they were at the sun. "They are at the sun."

"Want to go to a planet?"

"No, just go to the sun. Fuck it. Engage them."

"We're at the sun," we were told in local. To late. We were already in warp.

We landed on them at zero. Our FC called primary on their Hurricane. The drakes engaged. However... our hurricanes went for the blackbirds. I started to grab targets as I landed. The one blackbird I landed on warped off just as I started to establish lock. I grabbed a thrasher, that turned out to be the fleet commander, and started rolling for a blackbird 68k off.

Behind me, I heard ships starting to go down and primaries changed. "Point everything!"

On one side, of course, I want to shoot some of everything. However, its not about the killmails its about the fleet itself. So I burned for the blackbird. The thrasher that I was lobbing rounds at blew up and then the blackbird jammed me. That wasn't the best idea.

I was to far away to hit anything else so it was me and the blackbird. He had me jammed to hell. However, I was watching missiles fly past me and hit him from the drake and sleipnir closing in. He jammed me some more, I stayed on him. He kept me jammed. Every-time I got a lock I got jammed again. I was sitting on top of him. One or two whirls of my auto cannons would have been terrible for him. But I couldn't get a lock... Then, he popped and the Sleipner soared past me at full speed.

I turned and started to head back, but by then they had taken down the two vexors. I targeted the last one as ships vanished off of the grid left and right. The one vexor was not going to get to leave tonight.

Last ship down...

Good stuff. They gave gf (good fight) in local and commented that they were a bit whelped after that.

"Field is yours," we said and went to dock. As promised, they were allowed to collect their wrecks unmolested. They waited out their GCC and one of the boys set up a destroyer fight possibly for tomorrow. I'll be at work but hopefully, it will be a good time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Caring is Sharing

I watched a fair amount of carebears as a child. I didn't like the show all that much and my favorite carebear is the grumpy one with the storm on his belly, so take that as it may.

My work schedule has been a bit crazy this week. I came home last night, consumed a bowl of soup, realized I could not type coherent sentences due to exhaustion and went to bed. I got up around 0630 this morning, felt a lot better after eight hours of sleep, and logged in to find that my boys were having a bit of a day.

Or more like the alliance had somehow managed to get one of my corp mates killed almost half a dozen times during the night. I don't think June is going to be out month. However, that may change.

Anyway, during downtime I made breakfast. After downtime I settled down to consume my stew and get to some serious isk making. I'm still behind and I have about 500mil I am about to drop on ships to my building buddy. I'm also supplying him some of the datacores and build productivity dics that he needs as well. It is a good relationship that we have, productive on both sides. It is also a lovely example of Eve's market and player to player relationship on ships.

So, I was out scanning. Someone was scanning in a Helios. I ignored them and collected up a few Radar sites. Next system over I found a 5/10 DED Complex (plex). Last time I tried that I felt like I could handle it. I had to move my logi pilot down from her selling trip in Rens and reship a bit. But in about ten minutes I landed on the gate with an armor hurricane and a oneiros.

I had about an hour and a half before I needed to run off and do some stuff for work. I didn't do badly and cleared the first room in about 20 minutes. However, I landed in the second room and had my ass handed to me. It was terrible. I bailed and looked to see if anyone wanted to help.

Two of my alliance mates offered to join in.

This was much better. I also needed to get changed for work in about thirty minutes. With a battleship in the lead we cleared the plex in about fifteen minutes. The effort was deemed an acceptable effort by the drop gods and a Gistum B-Type Meidum Shield Booster dropped.

Nice. From my price check on it it is about 550mil. Plus, the overseeers effects. The total of 600mil was split between the three of us for a total of 200mil a piece. Not bad for a bit of scanning and effort and help. I paid everyone their piece when I got back from work and hauled the item up to Jita. Hopefully, it will sell quickly. Prepaying a group instead of making people work is a nice, effective method. I like it.

I'm so often asked "What do you do to make isk?" and all I can tell people is things such as the above scenario. Sure, I'd love to have the item all to myself. But, it is not feasible yet. I don't resent the sharing. Without their help, I'd not have been able to clear the plex. If the plex had not been cleared, I'd not have 200mil.

That circle of need is a very important aspect of Eve to me. I'm one to go on the forums and tell people, "Find a corp". I can't stand the entire isk per hour = don't run level 4 missions socially concept. As greedy as I am (and I am greedy) I like that hte game makes so many demands like that. I can find things to hard for me to do on my own but with a little bit of help it becomes easy and everyone benefits.

The 'boss' at the end of the Sister's of Eve Epic Arc is too hard for most 1-2 week old players to do alone. It is designed that way so that people ask for help, form fleets, meet other people. Yet, some think it is broken if they can not solo it. Many never think of playing with others.

I have a hard time believing that I'm odd for these thoughts considering social nature of the game.