Friday, September 28, 2012

Vengeance – Part 5

OK, I’m setting this to auto-post on Friday as I’m having a long weekend on the Indian Ocean undertaking my other hobby, scuba diving.

As always, if crap fan fiction is not your thing, I’d recommend this post at "Where The Frack Is My Ship" for your reading pleasure.

Fly deadly and have a good weekend o/

Vengeance – Part 5

"This belt looks OK, we'll sit here see if anyone turns up."
Antoine "Nutz" Tannor and Davad "Sinner" Shorner manned the helm and tactical stations of the Moa class cruiser ‘Darkness’. Theirs was the first job, if anyone came into the belt they needed to get the ship into range and disable it's warp drive before it could escape. They didn't need to wait long. Unbeknown to them, an assault frigate had been chasing them for the last three jumps.
"Harpy class assault frigate on scan. It's on short range, get ready."
The Moa class cruiser went to battlestations.
"Nutz, Sinner! I want this ship in range and pointed within seconds of it landing, if you frack it up you'll be sorry." the captain said menacingly.
"Harpy landing sir. It's a pod jockey!"
"I don't care, go for it. We're bigger!"
"Yes sir, approaching and locking target."

As the targeting computer locked onto the capsuleer’s ship and tactical data flashed up on the bridge’s main view screen. Nutz and Sinner looked at each other in shock when they saw the name of the capsuleer.
"It's coming for us! We're being targeted. FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" screamed the captain.
The asteroid belt lit up in a blaze of hybrid blaster fire. Anti-matter charges were being fired from both ships. Whilst the smaller guns on the Harpy were not having a huge effect on the Moa’s considerable shields, they were dropping slowly. The big problem for the Moa was that it's larger guns were struggling to track the small and manoeuvrable frigate. They were having great difficulty landing a shot on target.
"Sir, we cannot hit it. Most volleys are completely missing. Our shields are down to 30%. The guns cannot track it at that speed this close."
"Keep firing!"
The Harpy continued to fire on the Moa in a fast, close orbit. The Moa's heavy neutron blasters simply could not hit such a small and fast target whilst the smaller blasters on the Harpy continued to damage the Moa.
"Armour failing captain. We’re taking structural damage. Damage control is holding us up for now but we are detecting hull breaches. The Harpy is at 90% shield. We've lost this fight."
"OK, all crew abandon ship." Sighed the captain pressing the required codes on his console to sound the evacuation.
The bridge crew calmly moved to the escape pod and strapped themselves in. Whilst the ship was clearly lost, the small guns of the Harpy were taking time to finish off the crippled cruiser. The bridge escape pod seated all 15 bridge crew and gently accelerated from the burning Moa. They felt the shockwave as the Moa exploded.
"Fracking Eggers!" the captain moaned. Murmurs of agreement circulated around the escape pod.

Suddenly the pod lurched and the bridge crew hung onto their seats as the pod tossed and turned. After a few seconds of violent movement there was a loud metallic crash as the escape pod landed with a jolt onto the deck of the Harpy's cargo bay and settled.
"What the frack is going on?"
The captain unfastened his safety belt and went to a view port.
"Well, obviously we're in the Harpy's cargo bay but I don't see anyone about..... wait.... what the…….. are those dogs loose in the cargo bay?"
"No!" said one of the Minmatar bridge officers "They are not just dogs, they are Slaver Hounds, and they look hungry!"

A sharp crackle broke the silence as the escape pods communications system activated.

"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. As you've probably noticed, there is a pack of starving Slaver Hounds loose in my cargo hold. I'd like to ask you for a favour. Could you throw Nutz and Sinner out so my hounds can be fed."
Everyone in the escape pod turned to the two looking quizzically. Nutz and Sinner had both gone white in fear. The captain shook his head.
"No chance egger and how do you know those two officers?" he yelled.
"That's not important. You are not going to throw them out then? Oh well, that's a shame. I have no issues with the other 13 of you in that pod. I suppose you ARE all pirates in the end, and that justifies your deaths, I suppose. Mak, doesn’t look like are going to do it, you can get started."
An eerie silence descended over the crew. It lasted a few seconds before they became aware of a rhythmic pounding. It started to get louder and closer. The crew rushed to the side of the pod it was coming from. Out of the gloom of a dark corner of the hanger a MTAC emerged. A hulking exoskeleton used mostly in construction works. The man strapped into its centre looked insignificant against the bright yellow metallic limbs of the four metre tall walker. One arm flared brightly with a plasma cutting torch. The MTAC approached the pod and placed the torch against the hull. The crew stepped back as they watched the metallic wall blister from the intense heat from the cutting torch.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!" screamed the captain.
"Opening a can of food up for the puppies. As you won't feed them, I have to." the voice boomed through the comms system.
The MTAC had soon opened a two metre long slit in the side of the escape pod. The flame now turned ninety degrees as the operator continued cutting an opening.
"Captain, no offense but I don't want to be eaten alive." said one of the bridge officers.
"Yeah, especially as he only wants those two!" said another with panic in his voice.

“They’ll be through that bulk head in minutes!” screamed another.
"Nobody is sacrificing anyone!” the captain knew he was in a tricky situation. These were pirates he commanded and as that MTAC opened the hull, sacrificing two of their crew mates to save their own skins would likely be the preferred option to them. “What we will do is........" the captain was silenced as another officer smashed him over the back of his head with a fire extinguisher. He fell to the ground unconscious.
The MTAC deactivated its cutting torch and backed off as the crew overpowered Nutz and Sinner and threw them out of one of the emergency escape hatches.

The capsuleer floated in his pod savouring the combined sounds from the cargo bay of animal growls and screams of pain.
Over the course of the last few days Vian had covered the entire hanger array. It was just as he had been told, they were well catered for, but there didn't appear to be anyway to escape. He'd looked at the various outer doors and hatches from afar, and just like they'd said, automated sentry guns covered the escape routes, a large red line painted on the floor identified the limits of the safe area. The ones that didn't have room for a sentry gun, for example hatches in engineering access crawl-ways, had suspicious holes in the walls and floor. The older residents of "Hotel Egg" had assured him they were laser traps. Getting too close activated a spinning beam that would, and had previously, cut someone to pieces. The red stains on the deck with splatters on the walls and ceilings made Vian think twice about testing the theory.
The stores were well stocked and there was food to last them a long a time. Each sparsely furnished quarters served as well as any ship bunk that the majority of the residents were used to. It just didn't make sense to him why the capsuleer would capture some crew and hold them here.
That night he joined in a card game and the topic of conversation turned to "why?".
"I says he's working with the Blood Raiders. He's collecting us and when he has enough he'll sell us on!" said one of the captive crew.
"I say he's Amarrian. Once we reach 200 he'll sell us to a Holder as slaves and we'll be working plantations high on Vitoc for the rest of our lives!" said another.
"I say he's out for revenge."
That comment drew silence from the table. Vian turned to the old man who had said it, he was studying his cards.

"Interesting theory. What makes you say that?"
The old man didn't look up from his cards.
"Each time he's asked about the same six or seven people. He's tried to avoid killing anyone he hasn't had to. In fact just look at this place. How much do you think this is costing to run just in fuel? Three hundred? Three fifty a month? And that's millions of ISK not local credits. The food here is better than any ship I've served on. Why treat us like this? He could have dumped us somewhere much harsher and less stocked. Hell, he could have just flushed us and saved himself a cool billion over the last three months. He doesn't want to hurt us or kill us, he just wants to keep us quiet and out of the way until he's caught up with the ones he's looking for. We'll be released as soon as he's finished what he needs to finish."
Vian looked thoughtful
"Interesting. And what do you think his end game is?"
"Death. Clear as plexi-steel to me. No man does what he does unless he is out for revenge. I don't know what those men that he’s looking for did, but I's a guessing it wasn't nice. Whatever the reason, that eggers out for revenge. Anyone in his way will be sorry. For us, it's just a waiting game until he finishes."
The card game continued in almost total silence as the other players reflected on that.
Gantor flicked through the file on his datapad again. His free hand went up to his forhead and massaged the tense skin. He was getting nowhere. It was no surprise that the investigation team deemed the story circulating at that time a lie. Nobody told the same version. They were all on the same theme but different. A capsuleer engaged by the Guristas and pointed. That was generally the same in each story. But then they went from one extreme to the other. Some said they brought the capsuleer onboard and tortured him, some said it was his wife and daughter that they hurt, others said it was his favourite pet furrier. However, there was a common theme running through the stories. The same capsuleer had been caught, some wrong had been done to him whilst he was trapped in his capsule, and then the pirates had podded him. Was there any truth in any of these? A bleep sounded on his communicator.


“Sir, you still awake?” asked his aide.

“I am, what is wrong?”

“I’m on my way up to see you now sir, about that capsuleer!”

“What is it?”

“Well sir, there’s been an escalation.”


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Expansions - WWJD?

So the Winter Expansion is coming, what are you looking forward to?

The mining frigate?
The ship stat changes (aka balancing) for the cruisers/remaining frigates plus some BC nerfage?
The four new destroyers?
Roll out of sleeper AI for most NPC's?
The new Tempest model?
Fixing of Factional Warfare (2nd go at it)?

And....... erm............

What else is coming?

You know what I'm struggling to think of anything else that's been said (just off the top of my head) that will be in the expansion and we're about 12 full weeks from Christmas. This post here from Through Newb Eyes lists all the stuff thats coming but when you look at it, most of it is mechanics tweaking. Changing of numbers, that's all. Powergrid up, CPU down, this moved here, that moved there, range increased here, range decreased there.

Yes I'm sure CCP have more to reveal, but what is the chance it's going to be planet shattering? What have we got to REALLY look forward to? This is a major problem I feel. As far as I am concerned the winter expansion has minimal content currently. For the first time in my Eve Online life, there is an expansion out in less than three months and all I can say about it is - meh!

Following the summer of rage, CCP committed to concentrating on "flying in space" and that the era of the "Jesus feature" was dead. Now the first one is debatable (DUST514 appears to be more of a priority and what are all the devs working on right now on Eve Online other than fiddling with numbers?) and the second one could be a mistake.

If you look at any graph of average number of logged in pilots over the years you'll see peaks and troughs. The peaks usually coincide with expansions releasing new content which tempt ex-bitter-vets back into the game or encourage new players to try Eve. The troughs are usually the summer lull and major competing game releases like SW:TOR and Diablo III etc. I'm sure Guild Wars II has caused one this month and Mechwarrior Online, Planetside II and XCom:Enemy Unknown will also hit Eve numbers hard when they are released. Out of those I cannot wait for the latter and know it's going to hit my Eve time harder than anything in the last 54 months of being an Eve Online fanatic! Yes, XCom is going to be far too much of a temptation to resist!
However, since CCP's decision to change expansions with no "headline/Jesus" feature type content, where are those peaks in numbers going to come from? How are we going to tempt people into (or back into) Eve Online? Crucible and Inferno will have tempted some players back with the multitude of fixes and improvements. But how long can these sort of expansions keep tempting players into the game? The most annoying bugs and problems have been addressed in those two "expansions". What is there now to boost numbers?

Vet - Mate! You should come back to Eve! We've got a new expansion coming up!
BRQV* - Oh cool? What's new in this one?
Vet - Stat changes to frigates and cruisers, the 'cane and a heavy missiles getting a nerf, new mining frigates and a new destroyer for each race, oh and war iterations. Plus Sleeper AI is being rolled out to other NPC's.
BRQV* - Eh? That's it? What about new content?
Vet - Oh we don't get that anymore.
BRQV* - Right, Thanks but no thanks.
Vet - Oh! Wait! The Vagabond has got it's frills back!!! Mate? You still there? Hello.......? THE FRILLS ARE BACK!
Without headline grabbing features giving new content with new things to do, how are we going attract new players, bring back the disillusioned and retain the vets? How is the gaming media going to react to the Winter Expansion? The way I see it they aren't. There is nothing new there, no real news, no potential coverage.

How long can we go on without an expansion that doesn't contain "significant content". How long before the natural bleed of players overtakes the aquisition of new blood?

There is one future expansion that has been talked about that I do see having the potential to reinvigorate the game, and that is the POS revamp. Personally I've never owned a POS but the concept of a "space house" is one I could see people getting excited over. That's the sort of content that will bring players into the game and tempt ex-players back. Think of the towns we created in Star Wars: Galaxies!

So lets not forget whilst fixing and iterating stuff is great for the game, without new content we are on a slippery slope as the game stagnates and new games try and tempted us away...... like X-Com:Enemy Unknown...... released in only twenty thousand and one hundred and sixty minutes**....... but I'm not counting......
As a final thought, of course CCP could have all the devs held in a small room and are poking them with pointy sticks to make them hurry up the top scheecret surprise for the winter expansion that will blow our socks off. But for now, all I see is some tweaking of numbers and some new small ships. Come on CCP, prove me very wrong...... please.......

* Bitter Rage-Quitted Vet
** Just over two weeks.
P.S. Off for four days at the beach tomorrow. Sun, sand, sea, scuba and something else beginning with 'S'. Hopefully the usual Fan Fiction Friday post will reveal automatically if I've set the automatic thingmajig poster thing right! Fly deadly and enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simple Rules for a 1v1

There appeared to be some confusion last week, so here are my personal rules for a 1v1 in Eve Online.
First of all a 1v1 MUST be EXPLICITLY agreed before it can be considered a 1v1. For example:-
12:34:02 Mr Bigglesworth > Hey Drackarn! 1v1?
12:34:14 Drackarn > Sure!
Now that is an agreed 1v1 in my book. An offer was made, and it was accepted. In a 1v1 verses me personally the following steps will be performed.
1. A fleet formed between us so that nobody has a booster giving them an extra edge.
2. A burnable safe spot will be made and one person will go there for the other to warp to them so we are not distrubed.
3. A fight will occur.
4. Win or lose, gf's will be had, and said, at the end.
I think that is all sensible. Nothing onerous there. Certainly do not require a leather glove and a "Sir! I challenge you to a duel! Pistols at dawn!".
I myself have an alt with max leadership skills (other than FC V, they've got IV) and a mindlink with a selection of boosting ships for fleets. Number one in the above list protects you as much as it does me (when I've not got him logged on ofc).
Providing you stick to those points above, so will I. I do not dishonor agreed 1v1's.
The main point is that a proper 1v1 has to be agreed. If not, then it's just random fighting. In which case all bets are off and all legitimate tactics are allowable. If I have an alt in system I can bring them in, if my fleet mates are next door, I can bring them in. If I have a cyno fitted....... well it might be a big surprise for you!
This is Eve Online, not Queensbury Rules Boxing!
Lets take an example. Mmmmmm let me think of one....... If I'm plexing at the weekend and you enter the plex to find me engaging half a dozen rats and I'm already in two-thirds shields and attack me, that is NOT a 1v1. Therefore any backup I bring along to the party is fine. You don't really have the right to say "gay" in local if you started the fight when I was already under attack and had already lost a third of my shield in a shield tanking ship and have six angry rats hammering me. Neither is it the best way to get a mention on here either, mate! ;) I would say 80% of the time when I roam solo, I am really solo. I love a good 1v1 and winning a fair fight is a real buzz. But there are times, for example when I'm plexing, that I may have an alt with me. The main reason for that is if you attack me whilst I'm neck deep in rats, at half shield and you think you've got an easy kill.... you haven't.
Following that encounter, Quake590 turned up wanting a 1v1. I wasn't in the ideal ship to face his Thrasher and that guy kills me every time I face him. But I thought screw it, by law of averages at some point I have to kill him just by getting get lucky (his PC crashes, his cat knocks a glass of water over the killboard, his area experiences a 7.4 magnitude earthquake etc etc). The fight was his Arty Thrasher vs my Blarpy (blaster Harpy). On paper if I got him at 0 and under his guns then I should easily win. As always with that basta..... erm I mean player..... there was more to his fit than met the eye. He had an interesting web and bounce tactic which kept putting him at 10km which is optimal range for small arties with high-damage ammo and well out of range of small blasters. Was like we were connected with a big elastic band! Going back over his losses I see he uses an oversized 10mn AB. Cunning bar steward, scram makes no effect and web means he's still going very fast and more than enough to make 10km range! Oh well may be next time there will be that PC crash/cat and glass accident/earthquake......

Friday, September 21, 2012

Vengeance – Part 4

Special word of thanks to mark726. I knew I had read that one of thee two Guristas leaders had a podding accident that had left him "different" but couldn't find the reference. mark726 led me here - Ah the good old days when CCP gave us stories like that.

As my suggested alternative for those not into fan fiction I suggested you check this out at Through Newb Eyes which lists the current developments that are coming in the winter expansion. When you look at it listed out like that, there are a lot of changes!

Vengeance – Part 4

"Oh crap. Look at the mess she's making!"
Pitiful sobs.
"Well you did give Slasher a turn! Where do you think he gets his name from? The way he pisses?"
Laughter echos.
"Well I ain't cleaning all that up! OK who is left?"
"Just The Bull."
"Ooooo saving the best until last! Bull! She's all yours! Best be quick!"
More screams.

The capsuleer woke sobbing. He slammed his fist into the wall at the side of his bunk in rage. He rose and showered before walking to the pod gantry. A look of determination on his face.

The tactical screens in his quarters showed his targets locations. He didn't bother to review them again, only two of the pirates where together. The other five were on separate ships or in separate stations. However, they were all a distance away from his current location before he went to sleep and it was unlikely that had changed over the last few hours.

He stood on the pod gantry and activated the capsule sequence. He stood with his back to the pod, waiting for the snake like connections to interface with his body, waiting for the blackness.

Once he was in his pod and inside the assault ship, the Harpy undocked from the station and warped to the stargate. He had moved down from Jita into Nourvukaiken in the last few days. This was a major staging system for those capsuleers who ventured into low-sec, but preferred to live in hi-sec. Once he was into the system of Tama and into low-sec he made a number of jumps, putting some distance between himself and the higher security systems. Finally he decided he had gone deep enough into low-sec and went to work. He warped from asteroid belt to asteroid belt. Every pirate ship he found he destroyed. This time not stopping to capture prisoners, there was no need, he had what he wanted from the crews. This time he simply wanted to destroy their ships. In his mind every one of those ships he took down meant another pirate ship out of business and the chance of someone else suffering what he went though was diminished. He'd pause before the final volley on each ship, giving them the best chance to evacuate before annihilating the ship. After three hours he'd destroyed over 20 Guristas vessels and headed back to hi-sec.

The capsuleer docked back in station, showered and changed before heading down to the lower decks. With his rage subsided, he needed a drink, and to forget.


The miner sat in front of Gantor in his office in the Guristas headquarters station. The small man looked terrified. Gantor pulled the bottle of whisky out of his desk and poured him a drink.

"Have a drink and relax. I'm not going to hurt you. You simply saw something I was interested in. A capsuleer saved you from one of my ships. All I want is for you to tell me about that and then you'll be returned, unharmed, to your own station."

The miner just stared at Gantor in terror. Slowly he reached for the drink almost spilling the contents with his shaking hands. Gantor supposed he couldn't blame the man. After Jirai "Fatal" Laitanen's cloning "mishap", Korako "The Rabbit" Kosakami had taken over the running of the Guristas pirate faction almost entirely. "Mishap" was the nice way of putting it. In truth Fatal had simply bought a cheap clone as he was of the opinion he'd never get podded so why waste the money. The memory loss and mobility problems he'd suffered after he had been podded following the Crielere incident meant he was in no state to lead the faction and the Rabbit had been promoted from joint to sole leader. Gantor was the Rabbit's right-hand-man and therefore was seen as the second most powerful member of the Guristas faction currently.


"I.... I don't know what to say. I was mining and suddenly this Kestrel of yours warps in and gets a point on me. I'm ready to jump into the escape pod as I thinks I's dead. Then this Harpy turns up. Moved like plasma lightning it did. One second its dozens of clicks away, next it's on top of that Kestrel and destroys it."

"Did he warp off afterwards?"

"No, I assumed he was salvaging. He got right amongst the wreckage and then he grabbed each of the escape pods, but I didn't hang around to see what happened next. I learnt my lesson, you guys own the belts. I got out of there."

"And what was his name?"

"I don't know, he was an egger. Wait, let me check the ships logs on my datapad." the miner pulled his datapad out, brought up the logs and slid it across to Gantor.

Gantor read the warp scramble notification and felt a glimmer of recollection as he saw the eggers name.

"Thank you. You'll be returned to station, oh, and do I need to tell you that if you ever make mention of this meeting, we'll kill you."

The miner just swallowed hard and nodded several times, he was escorted out of the office by the guards.

Gantor’s aide, who was stood in the corner, approached.

"I saw your face. The logs show something. Who is it?"

"The transponder on that ship must have been faked. Apparently, our ship was destroyed by a fiction character. It's crew taken by force by somebody from a story, some make-believe. In fact the official line is that egger probably doesn't exist."

"Sorry sir, I don't follow."

"Our faction and this egger officially have never crossed paths. That is because that entire incident was suppose to have been found to be a fictitious story. Lies, we thought, spread to instill animosity against us by another faction. It was about a year and a half ago. We were negotiating a protection arrangement with a megacorp at the time. There were other parties also looking to 'help' them. This story surfaced towards the end of the negotiations, making us look very bad. An internal investigation was conducted, no evidence was found that the event actually occurred. The file was closed, concluding one of our competitors made it up to harm our chances of winning the work. A smear campaign apparently and that was the end of it."

"And now sir?"

"Well, I think we need to reopen those files."


"Hey egger. We've popped your family back in their escape pod and set them adrift next to your pod. Your wife is, well, at least she's still alive, currently. Your daughter is in one piece, although not as innocent as she arrived thanks to our Melissa. Anyway, we'll reactive the comms so you can chat"
"Dad! Dad? Can you hear me! We need help. Moms hurt badly. Dad?"
"Oh yeah sorry. We only reactivated one-way comms. They cannot hear you."
"Dad! Are you there. Please. I cannot stop the bleeding. The things they did to her! The medi-kit isn't here!"
"Oh crap! Righto..... which one of your filthy pirate scum stole the medi-kit from that escape pod whilst it was here?"
Lots of laughter.
"Right. Let's reactivate the comms fully so they can speak and they know that daddy didn't abandon them. Anyone know which button we mapped it too? It's one of these two..... I think. One is activate the smart-bomb, the other is activate two-way comms. Neither button is labelled! Bloody pirates! Always doing half a job Let’s try this one here! Oh..... whoops!"

The capsuleer woke screaming in rage. The woman in his bed cowered back against the wall in fear, clutching the thin white sheet to her chest. He swung his feet off the bunk and staggered to the sink before vomiting. He was only partially aware of the young woman grabbing her clothes and payment and leaving in a hurry almost half dressed.

As he regained his composure he saw a red light blinking on one of the view screens. The sight made him quickly recover, anger flashed in his eyes. Some of his targets were near. Captain Vian's decoded datapad had given him much more than just a region. After his contact had bypassed the security protocols he'd been able to access the personnel files and he had tracked his targets to specific ships. He'd then been able to access the transponder list of those various ships. He finally had eyes on each of them.

The Capsuleer showered and entered his capsule. The Harpy was in space within seconds of his pod docking with the assault frigate. His prey was near and he wasn't going to let this opportunity go.

After seven jumps he was close. He started scanning the asteroid belts assuming that the pirates would be laying in wait for some unsuspecting prey. On the 4th belt in the system he got a hit. A Moa class cruiser. It was time.


Captain Vian felt the shuttle drop out of warp. He pressed his face against a viewport. He could see a capsuleer structure ahead in orbit around a small moon. Vian saw the configuration. It was popularly known as a "death star". A large control tower surrounded by heavy defences. He could see multiple hardeners within the shield and a single habitation module. Outside of the shield were multiple gun and missile batteries as well as electronic warfare modules. Any ship warping to this location that wasn't seen as friendly by the automated defense systems would be cut to pieces. 

The shuttle passed inside the shield and approached the hab-mod. With a jolt they locked onto a docking arm. The internal communications of the shuttle crackled into life.

"Now hear this. In thirty seconds we will open the starboard hatch. It will remain open for 60 seconds. More than enough time for you to exit. After that the starboard hatch will close and the port hatch will open. Hopefully you can all see there is nothing but the vacuum of space that side of the ship. Therefore, anyone left inside the ship at that time will be flushed into space like a turd. I hope I've made myself clear."

Vian knew the voice over the comms wasn't the same as the capsuleer. It must be a pilot on his payroll. As the starboard hatch opened, Vian waited at the side and counted his crew through. Once he was sure everyone had left the shuttle he exited as well. He followed the two dozen crew down the docking arm until it opened up into a massive room. It reminded him a bit of a low-cost Caldari beach apartment block, but he could see what it was, a prison. A large central plaza surrounded with multiple levels of walkways with doors equally spaced around the edges. People were milling all around and stopped what they were doing when the new arrivals entered. Vian pushed his way to the front.

"Who's in charge here?" he asked loudly.

"That would be me." a short man rose from a table, he wore a Guristas officer uniform. "Lieutenant Commander Biggs. XO of the Moa class cruiser Super Nova."

"Captain Vian. And my ship was ripped to pieces by that egger. What is this place?"

"Sir, good to have a captain here. I guess you're in charge now. We call this place Hotel Egg and that's as much as we know. All the people here are Guristas, captured by the same capsuleer. This is the first time so many crew has arrived at once I have to say. Usually it's between four and six, you know from a single escape pod."

Vian looked at the people all around.

"Four to six per ship? But there are so many people here. He must have taken down dozens of our ships!"

"Aye sir. Tale is always the same. He takes down one of our ships. Scans for the highest ranking officer. Captures them alive. Forces them to help him try and locate a number of our comrades and then dumps us here on our own."

"On our own? No guards?"

"No sir. It's a self contained facility. We've got quarters, mess halls and galleys with stores. There are holo-vid suites, games rooms, even a zero-G sports hall. We're self sufficient. The stores are well stocked and that includes proper drink. It might be a prison, but we're got food and entertainment to last us a life time. To be honest, the living conditions here are better than the average cruiser, but its still a prison I'm afraid."

"I assume you've at least tried to escape?"

"Not me personally sir. I can introduce you to some of the older residents who have been here a few months who can explain the situation to you. There are automated defense systems, a few of the first arrivals tried to escape. All the exits from our areas are covered by sentry guns, laser traps, fly-mines, that sort of thing. Even if you could get past all that to the outer hatches, there would you go? A ship would need to dock here to pick you up and you'd need a large capsuleer fleet to get past the POS defenses. I know it sounds bad sir, but you might as well accept we're stuck here for now."


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Tuesday Night Slugfest With Ev0ke

I logged onto Eve last night after getting to the flagship in FTL and getting WTFPWN by it. Well technically the flagship ran away when heavily damaged, but my ship was so badly damaged with lifesupport down and the crew trapped by fires, they all died..... slowly..... and horribly. Apparently I need ion weapons to make the flagship easier acording to the #tweetfleet. Will try that tonight!
Anyway, back on Eve Online, and after logging in I saw I had a corp mail saying -FU- were planning an op. For once it was at a reasonable time for me! 17:00 Eve Time is 21:00 for me, so a couple of hours before I need to turn in. Plenty of time. Wife wasn't home from work so I undocked a throw-away Thrasher and went for a roam. Unfortunatly I got snagged by an Atron who is kite fit. My AC's cannot hit him out at 18km and even overheated my MWD isn't fast enough to either catch him or get out of range. I tried some creative piloting but to no avail. He had got me good and proper! I pod back home, jump in a T1 frigate and go back out but I am unable to find anything. Better luck later I hope!
After dinner with the Eve Widow (aka the wife) and a Micheal Cain movie (Demi Moore is still smoking hot) I have 5 minutes until form-up. I returned to the computer, turned on comms only to find the fleet was already underway! WTF? I'm here 5 minutes BEFORE form-up? A quick listen and its clear that they are POS bashing in system, so thats OK!
I jump into a gank tier 3 battlecruiser and join in, blasting POS mods with my big blasters! Then I notice the tower is coming out of reinforced mode in 50 minutes which must be the main op, this current one is just taking out the last of the online defenses. Then I see it is a Ev0ke POS. Interesting!
We take down the last of the limited onlined defenses and head back to station. Intel is coming in, they are coming to defend their POS. And by the sound of it..... there are hundreds of the buggers! We're waiting to get ship types before deciding what to reship into. I'm feeling fairly confident on ship selection, as now back in Nisuwa I have a very well stocked hanger. I can pretty much bring anything to the party from faction battleships to HICs to Recons. I'm not saying I can fly them well, just saying I can bring them!
FC calls for T3 armour cruisers which gets me twitching. It is only a couple of weeks ago that I lost my last armour Loki and in this blog post here I wrote how I was not going to fly Loki's in armour fleets anymore. Thankfully I've been training hard since that last Loki loss and my Gallente Sub-system skills are now 5/5/4/4/4. Best of all, I have a certain curvy green spaceship in the hanger - my new shiny Proteus.
Our fleet is ready, but we're outnumbered by the enemy. Our fleet will be facing off against a horde of Zealot heavy attack ships with a reported 22 Guardian logistics ships backing them up. This should be "fun". We're hoping the 1200 number that was quoted as what they could bring was an error. If Evoke do batphone and bring over 10 times our number, it'll be a short fight!
We undock. Time Dilation instantly kicks in. We warp to the PoS, they warp their fleet to the PoS, and it kicks off, big time! At the start of the fight TiDi is running well and we're punching into them as they punch into us. This is the first time I've had TiDi at a very noticable level, rather strange the first time you experience it!
All is going well, then, suddenly, Archons!
Evoke dropped about 20 Amarrian carriers onto us and they deploy sentry drones. At that point the TiDi system decided it was time for a pint and buggered off down the pub or something.
Whilst the TiDi symbol was still there, we were reduced to the bad old days with the lag monster. Mods wouldn't stop cycling, the guy I'm orbiting apparently died 2 minutes ago but is still 80% shield on my watchlist and the primary and secondary on my target list apparently are no longer around even though my Client insists they are 6000m off my starboard bow, are into armour, and are well worth shooting if my mods ever stop cycling red over and over and over and over.
The combined weight of the Archon's sentry drones and the Zealots mean we're buggered with our logistic ships unable to stop the reppers quickly or switch targets. Whilst their Zealot and Guardian pilots are probably having the same issues as us, those Sentry Drones from the Archons are probably not as effected by the lag. Whatever the case, we're starting to get hammered and the order to bail is called.
I select a safe and hit 'Warp to 0'. Nothing. Try again, nothing. Finally after what felt like 10 minutes my ship starts to move. Then I get a message "External factors are preventing your warp drive responding to this command".
Why does it have to say all that when a "You're pointed numbnuts!" will suffice?

Now the last thing I want is to lose another expensive T3, so I quickly look who is pointing me. It's a single Flabber 6k off. OK crew, new orders..... FIRE EVERYTHING!
I lock up the Flabber..... eventually..... and open up with everything..... eventually. Blasters, TP, point, drones and harsh language. In response he moves out to 16km which is well outside my blaster range, but also well outside his scram range.
"Warp drive active!"
My warp to the safe takes an age with TiDi still running at a high level (I think whilst the proper TiDi system has gone down the pub, he left a janitor or someone in charge). By the time I land everyone at the POS has either died or got out. The Archons pull their drones, people dock up and time starts to return to normal. My warp to the station is much faster and I dock striaght away. The fight appears to be fairly even, with Evoke just winning on ISK with us at 46.66% efficiency. We have more kills, but we've been trading T3's for HAC's so the actually number of kills is secondary to ISK.
However, it could have gone a lot worse with 149 of them against 88 of us (on the killboard anyway, both sides had about two dozen Guardians each!).
Personally I managed to get on two Zealots, three Flabbers and a Guardian kill. Might have been more if I had been able to activate my guns rather than watch the red ring go around and around and around and around and around and around. Next time may be I should assign my drones to assist the primary target caller?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Red Hot Sec's (aka is Low-Sec REALLY broken?)

Certain CCP comments have got the forums and blog-sphere rumbling. I refer to CCP Ybettrium's comments about "nerfing high sec" to encourage people out of hi-sec and into low-sec.
As others have pointed out,, CCP's idea's are well off the mark. Changes to manufacturing slot cost and the like are going to make little difference even with a big multiplier. These costs are tiny in comparison to the materials cost. If you double the cost of the factory slot and that cost makes up 1% of the overall item manufacturing cost, then you are increasing the cost negligibly.
It is said that low-sec and "risk vs. reward" is broken in Eve currently. Rewards should scale from low to high depending on the risk and work required.
Can it ever work like that?
I used to think that is the way it should be, actual risk running from low risk in hi-sec to high risk in null-sec with the rewards for playing running low to high. But it will never work like that because low-sec is, in Hans Jagerblitzen's words, "Fight Club". It is where the PvP'rs go to PvP. Null-sec can be, and often is, much safer than low-sec. Owned systems with bubbled gates and intel channels warning of non-blues from 20 jumps away. You can happily rat in carriers out there (yes I have)! But in low-sec? Now that's a different story.
Let's look at the most popular types of money making in Eve.
Missioning - Level 4 missions will get you bigger rewards if you do them in low-sec. Go on, fly your officer-fit Marauder class battleship around low-sec for a while. Try it, see what happens!
Mining - The roids are bigger, juicer and tastier in low-sec. Go triple boxing with your Orca and two Hulks in low-sec. Try it, see what happens!
Manufacturing - Currently there is no reason to manufacture in low-sec other than the factory slots are less used in NPC stations. But there is a reason for that, materials are hard to get hold of. You could always bring a freighter full of minerals into low sec though. Try it, see what happens! Or you could always mine your own in low sec (see above).
Ratting - OK, this is clearly better in low-sec than high-sec. But the money you make is minimal compared to the above three.
Low-sec and high-sec are completely different. You cannot encourage your average, run-of-the-mill carebear into low-sec. No matter what pointless buff or nerf you try. Low sec is just too risky and the risk vs reward situation shows that high-sec is much better for these activities than low-sec.
There are profitable carebear things you can do in low-sec. Exploration and PvE can be very profitable. At the end of 2011 some extra DED complexes were added with some nice loot drops. I know several people who make a nice "Eve living" from running these sites. Level 5 missions in a carrier can be profitable IF you are very careful. Those with a jump freighter can make a tidy profit supplying us pirates with ships, modules, ammo and drones. But generally, you will not be able to get carebears into low-sec by minor tweaking of mechanics, manufacturing slot prices and taxes. You need to ask the question, is the risk vs reward worth it?
I've had a think about how the risk vs reward could be fixed. How we could encourage more people into low-sec. Obviously I want this. And there is the overall problem. Why do I want more people to live in low-sec? So I can blow them up!
The risks in low-sec are huge and outweigh the rewards that are available when you compare the risk/reward in hi-sec!.
What are the specific risks in low-sec? Well they are..........
And unfortunately those lot will always put the "risk" in "risk vs. reward" in low-sec!
*Yes, you CAN do carebear things in low-sec if you are really careful and get yourself a nice quiet system, off the travel routes, full of blues. But for the majority of people this doesn't happen and if lots of people moved into low-sec then your system is no longer nice and quiet!

**Yes this blog was rushed. I'm busy! And I hate the bastards on Tweetfleet that introduced me to FTL!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Vengeance – Part 3

It's Fan Fiction Friday time! As normal there is an alternative blog post/website for you here if you're not interested in Eve related fiction and you'd, in the words of Edmund Blackadder, rather French kiss a skunk, then go here. It is a new Factional Warfare news site and worth a visit. Otherwise this battle write-up is another option.

Vengeance – Part 3

"Whey-hey! We've got a live one here!"
No! Not like this. Please, anything but this!
"Where do you think she thinks she's going?"
Soft female sobbing.
"I dunno, but it’s going to take her some time to get there crawling on the deck like that! Anyway it's my turn!"
"Hey egger. Listen to this! This should be fun! Its Horse's turn!"
Another scream.

The capsuleer woke with a shrill female scream of pain filling his ears. However, his quarters were silent. The Gallente dancer he'd met earlier was laying next to him asleep. Sweat dripped off him even though the temperature in his quarters was ideal. He got up and washed his face. He looked at his reflection in the mirror, he didn't look good. The stress had taken its toll on him, he looked like he'd aged 10 years in the last 18 months.
He walked over towards the viewport. He'd paid extra for some quarters on the exterior of the Jita 4-4 station facing the undock. These short-term rental quarters came with a view, and a hefty price tag. He only envisaged staying here a few days, he needed to upgrade his ships weapons and this was the best station in the cluster to do it. It was also close to the low-sec region of Black Rise. He viewed the undock for a while, watching the ships slowly glide out of the station and align before vanishing into warp. It was relaxing.

How many of those ships were piloted by capsuleers? How many of those didn't have a care in the universe. The freighter pilots with holds full of goods heading off to make their fortune, the militia pilots returning to the low-sec war zone, the missioners going to take down a pirate base or rescue a damsel in distress in return for a fistfull of ISK from some corporate agent?

Finally, he looked over at the table and its hologram projector and considered the AI councillor program. May be talking about it would help? However, he knew he'd likely just get another lecture about the path he was taking and who was in his bed. He couldn't be bothered with that so he sat down at the table and looked over the three view screens. He had them set up to show currently reported pirate activity. He looked around the systems in the Black Rise region, there was a lot of space for his targets to hide in. None of them had shown themselves yet, but his data was limited and soon became old. He needed the datapad from a Guristas captain. Only those pads were able to access the main databases of the Guristas network.
He picked up his own datapad and keyed in a few commands. The Black Rise regional map zoomed down to the northern area, whose systems were only a few jumps from his current location. The pirates were busy today. He really should head out, he needed that datapad if he was going to move forward. He stood up and walked forward to the screens scrutinising the nearest systems.
He sensed movement behind him. He looked over his shoulder and saw the Gallente dancer with the sheet wrapped around her. She was smiling.

"Couldn't sleep?" she asked.

"No" he replied "I rarely can these days"

"Lets see what we can do about that. Sit back down."
As he did she walked around the sofa and let the sheet fall to the floor before climbing on top of him, kissing him deeply and pulling his hands up to her chest as she lowered herself onto him.

An hour later they were both asleep in the bunk again.

"Yo! Fingers you want a turn?"
"Nah. I'm OK watching the entertainment with this 'un. We're enjoying the show aren't we babes? She must be enjoying it 'cus I can feel her enjoyment."
"Ha! Hear that egger? Apparently your daughter is enjoying the show with our Mellisa, we'll let you work out why we call her Fingers! We've still got a couple of guys to go so don't go anywhere will you?"
External factors prevent your warp drive from responding to this command.

For the second time that night the capsuleer woke in a cold sweat. However, this time he was not upset, he was angry.


"Missile salvo away, flight trajectory is A-OK, 5 seconds to impact."

Captain Vian watched the scourge missiles streak towards the helpless miner. As they struck home, the kinetic energy of their warheads slammed into the mining barge's shields making them shimmer against the blackness of deep space.

"Idiot civilians trying to make a fast buck in low-sec" he muttered.

"He is at 45% shields sir. Another dozen volleys and we should be able to begin negotiations."

The light missiles from the Kestrel frigate were not ideal against a tough mining barge, but Captain Vian had taken the risk. It had paid off too, the drone bay of the barge had been filled with mining drones. If the miner had stocked defensive combat drones they'd have been in serious trouble.

"Sir! New contact! Assault frigate on field! Thirty five clicks at one-eight-five mark two-ten."

Vian looked at his tactical display. A capsuleer. He'd be in range in within a minute, probably less.

"Hold position, keep firing on the barge. We've got time before he's got us in range. I want that barge......."


Vian watched his tactical read-out as the velocity of the Harpy jumped from 300 metres per second to well over 2000.

"Shit! He's got a micro warp drive on that thing! Helm get us out of here!"

Before the frigate could align the Harpy was on top of them. It's warp scrambler sending a graviton beam straight into the heart of their wrap drive disabling it. The neutron blasters of the assault frigate cut the Kestrel to pieces before they could even fire a single rack of missiles in self-defense.

It was almost ten minutes later when the captain started to come around. His head was throbbing and he was disorientated.

"Captain? Captain Vian! Are you OK?" the familiar voice of his XO sounded echoy and disembodied. The captains head slowly started to clear and he struggled to his feet with the XO supporting him, he realised he was in an escape pod.

"How'd I get here?"

"We dragged you sir. The initial volley from that Harpy disabled us and bust up the bridge pretty bad. A falling cross-beam hit your head and knocked you out cold. We were just able to get you into the escape pod before the ship was lost."


"A few sir, we're picking up several other escape pod beacons around the wreckage site. I'd estimate no more than two-dozen or so souls. We've had an automated message from the Sisters that says they've detected our distress beacon and ships are on the way. ETA 4 hours. The Harpy is still out there. We assuming it's looting or waiting for our backup to arrive so it can attack them too...." the XO was cut off as the escape pod lurched.

"What is happening?"

One of the crew rushed to a viewport.

"The Harpy! My god! Its pulling us in!"


The capsuleer was sat at a dining at the table eating when Captian Vian was brought in. Two guards escorted him to the table and he was pushed into the chair opposite the capsuleer.

"Good evening Captain." the capsuleer said in greeting.

"Same to you, egger. Got to say this is a first. I've been taken down by your kind before, but the first time I've been 'invited' to dinner after. You've got it completely the wrong way round. You're suppose to buy me dinner before you fuck me!"

"Did you buy the crew of that mining barge dinner before you attacked then?"

Vian stayed silent.

"First time I've actually got a Captain." The capsuleer pulled a small datapad from his pocket and tossed it at Vian who caught it.

"There are seven names there, comrades of yours. I need to find them"

Vian put the datapad down on the table without looking at it and sat back in the chair and folded his arms.

"No way!"

"Fine!" said the capsuleer "Computer! Security camera drone, cargo bay 1!"

The big screen in the room activated and showed the view of cargo bay one. Over two dozen people were stood there in Guristas uniforms. Vian looked at the screen nervously. He recognised his surviving crew.

"Computer. Cargo bay one. Open outer doors."

"Life forms detected in cargobay. Please evacuate before issuing command." the robotic voice of the computer replied.

"Override safety protocols. Command code - gamma, four, eight, two, delta."

"Override code accepted. Outer door opening sequence commencing."

Large orange strobes started flashing at the far end of the cargo bay at each corner of the massive door. The crew members started to panic as the alarm went off. Scrambling desperately for doors and hatches only to find them all locked, sealed and secured.

"Warning. Outer door opening. 30 seconds before seals are released. Evacuate cargo bay!" the robotic voice of the computer flooded the small dining room along with the terrified screams of the Guristas crew.

"You fracking animal!" Vian tried to rise from the chair but a guard place a heavy hand on his shoulder and forced him back down into his seat. The capsuleer just sat there, cutting another chunk off his thick bloody steak, glancing up at the screen between bites.

"Warning. Outer door opening. 20 seconds before seals are released. Evacuate cargo bay!"

Vian picked up his datapad and looked at the names the capsuleer had provided. He quickly grabbed his own datapad and accessed the Guristas network.

"OK, OK. I've got a few systems where each of them have been recently from recent kill-reports. Now deactivate that outer door!"

"Warning. Outer door opening. 10 seconds before seals are released. Evacuate cargo bay!"

The capsuleer just turned to the screen and sat in slience.

"Warning. Outer door opening. 5 seconds before seals are released. Evacuate cargo bay!"


"3, 2, 1.... Doors opening!"

The guards had to pin Vian down to the chain as the cargo bay door opened. However, there was no hiss of escaping air, no blackness the other side of the door, just a brightly lit hanger and a number of armed guards.

"We really need to get the pressure sensor on the outside of cargo bay one's door fixed. It keeps thinking its a vacuum when we're safely docked in station"

Vian just sat there, deflated. He'd been played.

"Thanks for this." the capsuleer said whilst scooping both datapads up. "Put him with his crew and ship them to the facility." he said to the guards.

Vian left with the men in silence.


"Sir, we've caught a break!"

Gantor looked up from his desk, his assistant was stood in the doorway.

"We've had another incident with that capsuleer. However, this time there was a miner at the belt where the engagement took place. He was shooting his mouth off in a bar later that day how the egger saved him from one of our ships and even saw them take the surviving crew alive. One of our agents overheard him and got a positive ID on the miner."

Gantor smiled. A break at last.

"I want that miner tagged and bagged and brought here ASAP" Gantor said. If it was all true, may be that miner could give them a name. May be he could find out what the hell was going on here!

"Yes sir!" the aide quickly left.

Gantor pondered if he should mobilise one of the Guristas special forces units he commanded. Taking a capsuleer down in space was difficult, and it was certainly impossible to kill them. They'd just reclone in a secure facility. He'd not find out what had happened to all the crews. He'd need to capture the capsuleer on a station when he was out of his ship. An almost impossible task, but it could be done. They'd trained for this sort of thing. However he decided against it for the time being. Something about this whole thing just wasn't right, and he wanted more information before bring others in on it.

"Lets see what this miner has to say for himself first." he thought.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Y So Sirius?

Now this must be the one of the best example yet of how badly factional warfare is broken.

The Gallente Militia Corp, Sirius Fleet, is getting incoming war decs from a number of other Gallente (and.... erm.... Minmatar) factional warfare corps!

Why? What did they do?

Did they shoot blues? - Not that I know of.
They been smacking in local? - Not that I've heard.
Are they a Caldari alt corp? - Don't think so.
They been griefing other players? - I don't know.

So what have they been doing that necessitates numerous war decs from corporations who are supposed to be fighting with them on the same side, within the same/allied militia?

They have been capturing Caldari systems!

OH NO! Oh the utter basta....

Hang on a minute, this is war. Isn't it supposed to be about capturing the other factions space? Isn't that how victory is usually achieved in war? Conquering? Well yes and no.

Currently owning space in Eve Online Factional Warfare gives you very little bonus. In fact owning space makes it difficult to make oodles of cash! You want to own the system you live in so you can dock in the station. But other than that, there is not much point. Better to be surrounded by enemy systems, as in enemy controlled systems you can farm loyalty points and save them up. Then once a month (or sometimes twice in one night) the whole militia dumps LP into the systems you do hold, upgrades all your space for a few hours, hits tier five for and everyone cashes in.

The actual bonus' for owning space are pretty laughable. Firstly it's only station systems that really count. Reduction in clone costs? This is low sec, podding is relatively rare. Extra factory slots? Erm do we look like industrialists? We're PvP'rs not carebears! The bonus' for conquering space are all fairly pointless other than the bonus LP's you get for high tier's and of course the LP store discounts. But it is so easy to knock the enemy down to T1 even that cannot be counted as a proper bonus as it's just a bonus for an hour or two per month.

So what you really need is just enough systems owned so that when upgraded you can hit war zone control level 5, but there are still lots of enemy systems to grind LP's in.

Apparently Sirius Fleet aren't "playing by the book" or whatever. They are capturing these systems making it difficult for members of the Gallente and Minmatar Militia to farm LP's.

Sad state of affairs currently. Roll on Winter and the "fix" for faction war. I say "fix", look what happened last time FW was fixed/itterated on......

Got to say I'm not happy about the situation. Yes, I'm a FW bitter vet. I'm here for the PvP.

Before you ask, yes I am plexing and taking advantage of the ISK faucet.... but.... and it's a huge but.... I do it in a ship with guns. I kill the rats and then swap to T2 ammo and hope for some WT's to come and try and interupt me. But it doesn't happen often, because they are all flying around in ships with no guns. But I'm ready to fight, even when out plexing and milking the FW cow for all its worth!

CCP are looking to fix it. But I'm still not sure they "get" faction war. They are going in the right direction in some respects, but they are well off the mark in others. For example offering industrial/manufacturing bonus' for war zone control. 99% of FW players get their goods from high-sec either directly or JF'd in. Not a lot of industry goes on in the warzone as far as I can see. For a start you need to get minerals and who mines in low-sec war zones????

Currently FW is about milking a mechanic with no heart or soul in the core gameplay. It's Farmville, it's a grind. I'm hoping it is fixed in the Winter expansion but I have my concerns. Hopefully Hans Jagerblitzen is shouting at CCP his pre-election mantra -

"Low-sec is fight club!"

More of this please CCP!

P.S. Yay! The revised Vagabond has its frill back

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I've Adapted. Resistance is Futile.

The start of this month was not a good one for me PvP wise. The Loki I lost really p155ed me off and generally I was dying more than I was killing. Grrrrrrrrrr! My efficiency was under 50% for the month, not good at all. Sometimes when on a losing streak you should just give up and go for a pint! Trying to break that losing streak will probably only get you killed even more! In these cases - Stop. Think. Adapt. Don't Leeroy.

Anyway at the weekend (weekends for me are different days to those in the West, Sundays are a working day) my PvP has put me in a better "Eve mood". Most of it is due to two engagements I had.....

I'd gone afk a bit and came back to find I still had Drack logged on. I was about to log him off and do something else when I quickly checked local. I saw we had a single war target in system and thought I'd just give him a quick try. I undocked and warped my Hawk class Assault Ship to an open plex.... and there he was.... sat on the acceleration gate...... in a Megathron. My immediate worry was he might be a smart-bombing battleship. I mean why else would he be sat on a gate that he cannot activate with that fat-arsed BS. But a quick look at his hull showed he wasn't smartbomb fit, he was blaster fit! Phew! (Also not sure you can activate smart bombs when sat on top of an acceleration gate anyway).

I got onto comms looking for help but given the time it was very quiet. Luckily a member of SoTF was 'there' in more ways than one. He was not only on comms, but also in a Recon cloaked off the Mega also wondering what to do about it! As we discussed what we could do he warped off. We watched him go to a cluster in Nisuwa with several gates, so we each warped ourselves to a different gate to see which way he was going.

"He's not at these two gates."
"Odd he's not at this gate either."
"Mmmmm he's on D-scan to the station?"
"Warping to station, but he must be safed as he cannot dock at the station."

We never thought he'd warp to station! Why would he? The Gallente Militia own Nisuwa and as a member of the Caldari Militia he won't be able to dock. I warp to the station at zero but he's still 40km off me as I'm the other side of the station having warped to a stargate first. I dock and instantly undock and now he's only 15km off me. I hit the afterburner and get point. He does nothing. The SoTF guy undocks a neuting Abbadon. The Mega does nothing for a while. I'm slamming rockets into him as the other guy neuts him down. Finally he launches a flight of EC-300 ECM drones and sets them on me. That is a major problem as I'm the one holding point and ECM drones generally work well on frigates which have lower scan strength than bigger ships. Thankfully my Hawk eats drones for breakfast with its stasis webifier and rockets. I keep the scram on the Mega whilst killing the drones with the web and rockets. As the last one pops he launches a fresh flight of EC-600's and starts to neut me. Another SoTF toon has undocked a gank Naga now that we are sure he's low on cap and as I'm popping his drones the Mega goes. I originally thought "Why didn't he neut me from the start as he could have warped off when I dropped point when capped out?". Then seeing the kill mail it was a NOS he had, not a neut.

He had a bit of a moan in local that for some reason he couldn't dock. At a wild stab in the dark, but you are new to Factional Warfare aren't you?

A couple of days later and I'm on early evening so I go sit on the outside of a plex in Hirri and wait on the acceleration gate. My plan is that in a Caldari owned system the squids that I get coming to the plex will be looking for a fight, not just running the plex down in speed-tanking ships with no guns. My first PvP "client" is an Incursus. I think its a solo kill but after he pops I see someone else had been fighting him since his last session change. Damn!

Next up is a Merlin. I get moaned at in local for flying a Thrasher. I'm used to being moaned at in local for flying a Falcon, but never a Thrasher before! Sorry for not being inside the plex with all the rat agro too! Should I swap to an Ibis as well? Mr Picky or what!

Then a Hookbill lands, but he immediately activates the gate on landing and warps into the Plex before I can get point. I'm spamming scanner to see what he does. He disappears just as a Cormorant enters my 200 million KM scan. Now, I love a threesome as much as the next guy, but can I acheive satisfaction with these two partners, a Cormorant and a Hookbill (assuming that the Hookbill bounces back)?

What the hell, its only a Thrasher and who dares, wins eh? The Cormorant lands and engages, as expected, the Hookbill is not far behind. Tracking disruptors are the name of the game in Factional Warfare currently and I'm utterly fed up with them. Those are what caused my "generalised dying" that I referred to at the start of this post. Squid double-teams of a destroyer for DPS and a frigate with TD's are fairly common through the war zone lately. Not sure if these are two people working together or single players that are dual-boxing two accounts. I'm not complaining, its legitimate tactics as far as I am concerned. This is Eve, if someone has a tactic that annoys the feck out of you, come up with a counter and go and MURDER THEM IN THE FACE!!!

This time, I'm prepared. I've changed my fitting. I've adpated to this new squid tactic.

This Thrasher is a test. I've armour tanked it allowing me to fit a tracking computer with tracking speed script in the mid that is usually holding a shield extender module. The Hookbills TD's are not having much effect on me thanks to the TC as I chew through the Cormorant. Thankfully the range we are at means his blasters are not having full effect on me whilst my projectile shells, with the better fall-off, are doing the job. The Cormorant pops and I swap to the Hookbill who goes down in short-order. I assume he thought the TD's would protect him having a much smaller sig radius than the Cormorant. May be he had effects turned off so he didn't see I had a tracking computer active. Or did he assume I was shield tanked and I was about to die as I was in low armour? Whatever he was thinking, he died thinking it.

I scooped the loot and had to GTFO of there before anyone else landed. My HUD was a mass of red. I was at 2% armour and many of my mods were sizzling from my overheating, particularly the autocannons which were particularly damaged.

I wait at a safe to get some shield back before limping back to Nisuwa to unload and more importantly repair. I am pretty sure that if I'd been in one of my other 3 clones I'd have died. Luckily I was in my "Armour tank and gun damage" clone which saved my ass.

But nice to see that there are some pilots in the Caldari miltia up for a fight!