Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why Move Plex & Drack the Squid

Earlier in the week this happened.

54 BILLION ISK of PLEX being moved in an Ibis. Seriously? Two things here....

1. Always Expect Suicide Ganking
If your cargo is worth substantially more than the cost of the ships that would be needed to kill it, then you are at risk. Generally you can work on 30% roughly of fittings and cargo dropping as loot I think? Somewhere around there anyway. So if you are flying with 3bn ISK in your cargo hold the gankers can expect probably 1bn ISK to drop. If they need 500m ISK of ships to suicide-gank you then they may go "Meh, probably not worth it". This dude put 54bn, a potential payout of 16bn if they hadn't been stacked, inside a ship that could be suicide ganked by a 1m ISK destroyer in a single shot. The loot fairy works on single items or entire stacks of items. Eight fitted guns each have a chance of dropping, a single stack of 50 of those guns in the hold will either all drop or all burn. It was crying out to be suicide ganked. To be honest it would have been more of a tragedy if he hadn't been ganked.

2. There is NO Reason to Move PLEX
Well, I guess thats not 100% correct. PLEX prices do fluctuate around the cluster so money can be made buying cheap in Jita and shipping out to other places. However, when we look at the mechanics we can see that actually PLEX prices should be all the same. As there is no need to move PLEX they should be the same price all over. The reason they are different is that so many players do not realise how you can use PLEX without having to move it. PLEX are different prices around New Eden simply because of ignorance of game mechanics. What you do is......

Actually I'm not going to say. I feel its better for the game and the generated publicity to keep this thing happening over and over again. Yes, we more than likely lost a subscriber to WoW over this. However, how many more did we gain when people saw the news stories and thought "I'll give that game a try!". On the flip side I think anyone who reads an Eve Online blog probably knows more about the mechanics than casual Eve players and already knows how to buy and use PLEX in Jita without having to have your main there. So if I spelt out the method here it would make no real difference in the amount of people derping PLEX into suicide gankers. Most reading this blog would just go "Well, duuuurrrr!".

Then again I get a lot of hits from people Googling "how to remove bounty in Eve online". I'll be safe just in case and keep quiet!

Now onto me and my move to the Caldari Militia...

So on Boxing Day I was able to evac all my stuffz (tm) from Nisuwa and join up with CCDM in Hasmajala. So how is my new home? Generally excellent!

Solo Action
Been plenty of opertunity for 1v1 in my new home. The Gallente Militia, erm Frog Scum I mean, have been pushing the area hard and there are usually some war targets about. There are also a fair few pirate organisations about who roam solo. Although with their speeds and scram range I do wonder how "solo" some of these guys are. May be I should be taking advantage of some Link-Lurvin' as I've certainly been handed my ass due to other using them.

Special shout out to Lee Church of Aideron. A persistant Frog who is active solo in my TZ, or was this week. With Christmas breaks all TZ's are a bit messed up currently. We had some good fights together whilst it was generally off-peak for most.

Fleet Action
The number one reason for leaving QCats was I wanted fleets. I'd been solo for two and a half years and yearned for some fleet pewpew. One of the main reasons I joined CCDM was looking at their killboard it appeared they were engaged in fleet action during my prime-time. Was I wrong?

Since joining I've had some great gang fights. Algos drone swarms, suicide Derplins, brawling Thrashers, sniper Corms! In fact I've used up most of my ships I brought and used Black Frog Logistics for the first time to being in two jump freighters of frigates and destroyers.

The fleet action I think is better than usual given that the Gallente had made a push for Hasmajala. DOTLAN showed Has as the top low-sec system for kills after Monday's push by the Frog Bastards (see I'm getting the hang of this 'other side' lark finally!).

Looking forward to a lot more killing in 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Thanks a Bunch QCats!

Whilst I was waiting for my application to join CCDM one of the long standing guys in QCATS took over as CEO and announced he was taking them back into Faction war and trying to get the Corp active again. This made no difference to me. QCATS prime time was always when I was sleeping. I had been happy soloing for two and a half years. I wanted some fleet action and studied the killboards carefully to find a group active (fleet wise) in my prime time. QCATS being out of faction war or being inactive were not my reasons for leaving. Time zone differences/getting bored of solo and a thirst for fleets was.

I had to ask them to delay for a few days as it would be a major PITA for me if the rejoined before I moved. Given faction war docking mechanics if they had joined Gallente Militia before I left I'd have had to drop corp to be able to dock at my new home station. If I joined CCDM then I'd only be able to undock in my carrier and not redock. Meaning if I got pointed on station I'd be buggered.

Anyway, Andre was a very nice chap and I was able to move both carriers and my dreadnought out of Nisuwa and join CCDM before the QCATS rejoined faction war. And rejoin they did, obviously Gallente again.

I expected the "spai" comments anyway when I decided CCDM was the best choice for me. Five years Gallente Militia and moving over to the Caldari was bound to raise some eyebrows. When QCATS said they'd be rejoining faction war as I was leaving I'd knew it would be worse. I started seeing some of the old Caldari guard such as good old GavinGoodRich, one of the Caldari's main FC's back in the golden age of Faction War (09-11).....

Drackarn > GavinGoodrich o/
GavinGoodrich > lol drack what're you doin' here :D
Moglarr > He saw the light, lol
Drackarn > I've come over to the dark side. Something about ruling the universe blardy blardy blardy

Mr Duffo was less subtle...

Mr Duffo > omg you
Mr Duffo > who recruitted spy
Scylus Black > Mr Duffo lol

So yeah, most long serving Caldari Militia who I have fought against are going to be naturally suspicious of me :(

In summary, my previous corp is back in Faction War at the worse possible time for me! I'll hopefully be running into them soon. Running in to them? I mean shooting them in the face and saying GF in local when all (read theirs) ships are wrecks. However, please feel free to leave all "thats just what a spy would say" comments below.  Get them off your chest. I feel there will be plenty for me in the coming weeks. ;)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

SCASSSS - Can't Take the Heat

Whilst trying a Blerin (Blaster Merlin) I was engaged by a Breacher. It was a very close fight and required me to change ammo and to overheat.... a lot! Overheating can win you the battle but you have to be careful, a few more seconds and I'd have been burning things out and would have died in a glorious fireball!

GF Breacher, GF.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Repost - A Very Caldari Christmas

Fiction Friday but... yeah... Christmas. Hope you all had a good time, I know I did and that has left very little time for writing. So here we have one I did last year.

A Very Caldari Christmas

The equivalent of Christmas in the Caldari State is 'The Day of the Secede'. This refers to the day in 23154 where the Caldari officially left the Gallente Federation and the State became independent. Of course this kicked of a massive war, but still, any excuse for a celebration.

It is said that the first leader of the Caldari State commissioned a spectacular robot to celebrate their new independence. The Gallente were seen as masters of robotics at the time and the State wanted to prove it could be better than them.This self-repairing android was years ahead of its time and there are rumours that much of the technology used within the Android was given to the State by the sympathetic Jovians. An advanced AI was implanted in the droid and a powerful reactor positioned inside its core. Using nanobots and Jovian (alleged) replication technology the droid could create objects out of thin air. Well, not thin air exactly, its from its available massive reserves of power and sub-atomic engineering. With this technology the robot could self-repair and essentially 'live' forever.

When the robot was completed, the first head of the Caldari State, asked to be alone with the robot. He sat with it for two days talking of his dreams for the fledgling State. The robot listened intently, for his prime directive was to help the State become great. After the mammoth talk the robot went into a hibernation mode, saying it needed to think. The scientists and engineers where shocked at this, but let it play out to see what happened. For a year and a day the robot slept. The monitors were showing it was processing immense amounts of data. It ran scenarios and predictive models covering countless billions of people and hundreds of settlements.

Exactly a year and a day after it entered hibernation mode, it awoke. It requested to see the Head of State again and the supreme leader of the State cancelled important meetings to meet the robot. The State's advisor said it was madness, as since the robot had been in hibernation all-out war had broken out with the Gallente and matters of State were much more important than a robot mainly built to celebrate the birth of the State.

The robot explained to the leader that it had modelled millions of scenarios for improving the State. It had come to the conclusion that the children were the key. They needed to be taught right from wrong and that hard work and good behaviour would be rewarded and laziness and disobedience would be punished. This would prepare them for adult life in the glorious Caldari State.

When asked what he needed to do to achieve this vision, the leader was told that he need to do nothing.

"Oh great ruler of the glorious Caldari State. In my year and a day of sleep I have learnt that this task is my purpose. It is why I was created. I shall go forth and monitor every boy and girl in the State. I will reward those that have worked hard and been good. But I will punish those who are lazy and disobedient."

And so the robot left, never to be seen again. The next 'Day of the Secede' the news channels were abuzz with the story that millions of a Caldari children had awoken to find presents left for them. Apparently not all children received gifts. Those who didn't try at school, those were disobedient to their parents, they got nothing. Just a simple slip stating their misdemeanour's throughout the year. This is said to form part of their permanent record in the State. One or two 'black slips' was not a problem, but should the child receive three or more, their future job prospects would be bleak.

So, young child of the State, have you been good this year? Have you worked hard at school so you will become a great citizen? Have you put in the effort so when you grow up you can join the ranks of the leaders of the mega-corps? If you have, you can expect a reward as the robot visits your house on Secede Eve. But if you haven't, may be there will be a black-slip waiting for you. Be careful young citizen, you don't want to be a labourer in a dirty, cold asteroid mine do you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Too Young So Die

On Monday I was getting a bit frustrated. My first kill was a trash-fit Tristan. Next was a completely unfit Venture. Don't get me wrong, a kills a kill but I would like them to fight back once in a while! Next up was actually a proper combat fit Atron. He tried to breach the plex and make range but my double over-heated webs managed to snag him, just. My scram dropped but the webs had enough range to stop him burning away.

It was getting late and I was thinking about calling it a night when I got a Federation Navy Comet on short scan. Unfortunately it was a very short scan, given the stargates and stations in close proximity to the faction war plex I was camping, I was only scanning at 1AU range. Just before I was about to warp out I noticed he hadn't renamed his ship. I quickly clicked show info and saw he was a February 2014 account. Think fast Drackarn, he'll be on you in seconds!

A properly trained character could be close or even surpass max skills for a Comet in ten months. Its not like a pirate faction frigate that needs two racial skills. Gallente all the way for the Comet. How likely was this character to be specialised in Gallente frigates? A well skilled Comet pilot should be able to mince my T1 rocket Kestrel. However, if he's been training other things, at 8 months his skills might not be max and I might have a chance. He'll be here any second. Decision time Drackarn. If I'd had time I could have looked on the killboards and seen what he'd been flying. Cruisers or BC's would have let me know he'd not been specialising. However, there was no time. He'd be here any second.

Sod it. Pre-Overheat the launchers and get ready!

He enters and I set up a 6km orbit on him with the afterburner running. The overheated rockets are pounding through his shields and I've not seen any, oh wait, here come the drones! He rips through my shields in short order and then slows considerably when he reaches my 400mm plate. I've tanked for hybrid ammo and Gallente drones doing thermal are hitting my 2nd highest resist. At this point I'm well ahead. His armour is failing fast and he's about to enter structure when his armour bounces back. Active armour repper as expected as there was no buffer there to speak of. So its down to his active tank verses my buffer. The game is indeed on!

Soon things are starting to get a bit hot on my top rack. I'm still overloading and the rocket launchers are turning red. Several of my crew have gone on an EVA to cook bacon and eggs on my sizzling launchers. We're locked in a proper shin-kicking contest here so no need for me to do anything but than monitor the overheat damage to my launchers. I hover the mouse over the modules and watch the damage tick up. I'm loathed to turn off the over-heat as I am breaking his tank with the increased rate of fire it creates. For every cycle of his repper, I'm getting two separate rocket volleys off. The first negates the repairs his repper just did and the second slams him deeper into structure. However, if my rocket launchers burn out I'll have to resort to using harsh language which is not going to work is it? All this time by buffer tank is being depleted. Its going to be very close.

My low armour alarm has already gone off. The rocket launchers are pretty fried. He's bouncing low structure with his repper just keeping him up. Someone pops. Its him! "GFs" in local and I quickly scoop the loot and drones whilst spamming D-Scan. I could take one of those not-fit Ventures but anything like that Tristan from earlier will kill me easily. I have my structure left and the rocket launchers, whilst still useable, are dripping molten tritanium onto my hull! Thankfully nobody disturbs me whilst I'm collecting my booty. I warp to the nearest station to get my ship repaired.

A very close fight and always a favorite of mine. T1 verses Faction leaving me with shaking hands.

Good fight, good fight!

That's where this article should have ended. However last night I saw a Hookbill in a plex. I decided to have a go. I warped to the acceleration gate and paused. I mentally willed the pilot in the plex to change to EM rockets. After I'd given it a minute I went in. It wasn't as exciting and whilst my launchers were almost melted again, I still had a fair bit of armour left when he popped. Looking at the fit... he was firing kinetic rockets at me which was my second worse resist and he was a much older toon than the Comet pilot on Monday. Eve, sometimes you make no sense!

Monday, December 22, 2014

One Man Fleet in Sujarento

I had a fairly good weekend of pewpew. Following my roaming last week to see which corps were living in active PvP areas I found that Sujarento is a good place to violence important internet spaceships. The Caldari Militia are trying to take the space, the Gallente are trying to defend it and SNUFF are in the middle killing anyone everyone they can.

Saturday was a good day with some decent solo action. I had much more an issue on Sunday after getting home from work (weekends out here are Friday and Saturday). Everyone was in a fleet! It was "Fleet Up Sundays" or something. You know, the thing I'm currently looking for. My rocket Kestrel was no use here so I swapped to a 10mn Thrasher hoping to pick a few off. Typical I managed to get snagged first attempt by a dual web Condor! The 10mn can get snagged easy as it turns like a super tanker. However it will beat a frigate even when webbed, but two or more webs and they are buggered. I killed the Condor but his mates where able to get on me whilst I was double webbed. Oh well, at least with expensive meta webs the Condor meant it was was worth more. Yay for ISK war "winning" ;)

I tried some more solo but it was useless. Everyone was running about in fleets of a dozen or more. Time for a different tactic. I went back to Nisuwa and made a Kiting Kestrel. Targets to over 100km, 92km range with faction light missiles. My idea was to stay off and pick at the various fleets from range until I pissed one off enough to come at me. Well that was the plan. I went back to Sujerento and slipped into a novice plex and waited. Soon enough a fleet turned up. A Templis CALSF frigate fleet with eWar and logi. I tried to tempt some of them out of the ball but they were having none of it. Nice fleet discipline for them, but a PITA for me. Got a few shots off on two of the eWar (Griffin/Malus) and a Kestrel that came out of the ball a bit. However I soon realised that the reduced DPS of the sniper Kestrel meant I was not going to get near to breaking them. I reshipped back to a solo boat and went to a different plex hoping someone solo would come past. A few minutes later GF's started spring up in local and CALSF pods starting popping up on my D-Scan as they flew past my plex towards the out-gate. Apparently SNUFF had gone in hard. Later I noticed three kills on my KB that I didn't remember. It took me a minute to realise I had engaged those three from range before moving on. Technically not my kills.

Local sprang to life again a few minutes later with "Round 2?" from a SNUFF player. Thinking there would be another fleet fight I docked quickly and reshipped to the sniper Kessy and warped to 100km from the plex the fighting was at last time. There was a SNUFF Tormentor and Faction Frigate Fleet on the gate and a short ranged scan showed a lot more frigates in the plex itself. SNUFF started to enter so I turned the microwarpdrive on and burnt for the gate. On activating the gate I pre-overheated by MWD and positioned the camera so I was looking down. My plan was to go straight down in a nose-dive with overheated MWD and get range before either side shot me. Sniper Kessys have no tank!

I dropped out of warp in the middle of a space-battle. Thankfully everyone was too busy kicking everyone else in the shins to notice me and I was 60km away in a few seconds. A shiny SNUFF Daredevil caught my attention so I started throwing light missiles up his exhaust pipe whilst manually flying to keep in range of the target, but keep at range from the twenty or so other ships. Whilst the main fight was CALSF vs SNUFF either side would happily end me if they had a chance so it was a three way with me making up a pretty pathetic third party.

The Daredevil was in low armour as the last of the CALSF fleet went down. Then it was then me verses a SNUFF fleet who were probably a bit miffed I'd been spamming missiles at their shiny ships for the duration of the battle. Velocity readouts on my overview started to shoot up, ranges started to drop. This is a very good indication that it is time to RUN AWAY!

I aligned away from the approaching ships hoping to get a few more hits on that Daredevil but he was moving in the opposite direction. I lost lock and warped away as some angry SNUFF ships burnt at me.

So close on getting that Daredevil. So close!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

SCASSSS - All About The Deeps

Seems like everyones doing a parody of "All About That Bass" at the minute. From amazing Star Wars ones to to Eve-O. But all about that tank? Nah, DPS FTW!

Because you know
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps

Yeah, it's pretty clear, I like to pew-pew
I can gank those ships
Like I'm supposed to
'Cause I got them 1600 arty that all Matari chase
And all the right gryo's in all the right places

I see the warriors workin' that EFT
We know that shit ain't real
C'mon now, make it real
If you got pewpew, just light 'em up
'Cause every module could be damage
From the lows to the tops

Yeah, my FC she told me don't worry about your tank
She says, "The enemy fleet's alpha is weak and pretty wank."
You know I won't be no flying no ship like a Drake
So if that's what you're into sod off for goodness sake.

Because you know
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps

I'm bringing gankage back
Go ahead and tell them tanked bitches that
No, I'm just playing. I know your killboards crap
But I'm here to tell ya
Every module is deeps from the lows to the tops

Yeah, my FC she told me don't worry about your tank
She says, "The enemy fleet's alpha is weak and pretty wank."
You know I won't be no flying no ship like a Drake
So if that's what you're into sod off for goodness sake.

Because you know
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps, no tankage
I'm all about those deeps
'Bout those deeps

Yes I was bored this morning and I'm crap at this but its the start of an idea!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Operation Northern Troll

At the very end of November, CSM 9 member Mike Aazariah suggested we should all send a proper Christmas card to CCP HQ. Code name - Operation Northern Troll. It looks like Operation Northern Troll worked with CCP karkur posting this picture on Friday. Yay! Mine arrived!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Matari Kind of Cure

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.

A Matari Kind of Cure

The two men entered the small garden pavillion overlooking the vast farming estate. The sun was setting on Lisudeh III and the golden Amarrian nebula was starting to become visible through the dimming blue sky. As they took their plush velvet seats a young Matari slave poured them a glass of wine each and retired from the room. Pareh and Habi had been friends at university back on Amarr. Habi had gone straight into the naval officers college where as Pareh had returned home. His father was a powerful holder, but old. Pareh was to take over the family estate. Five years had past since they finished university and gone their separate ways. Habi had found himself on shore-leave near his old friends home and decided to call in.

"Well Pareh you appear to have a great set up here. However, I noticed your slaves don't wear glaive collars. I'm assuming you use vitoc, but you are so close to the border. Aren't you worried about Insorium?" one of the men asked as he reclined in his chair.

The other took a long sip from his glass. "No."

Insorium had become a major problem for Amarrian slavers. There prefered method of control was Vitoc. They would inject them with a deadly mutagen which Vitoc controlled. It also was a powerful narcotic. Without regular doses of Vitoc the slaves would die from the mutagen. With it they would not only survive but also experience a euphoric high. Insorium cured the mutagen permanently and halted the dependency on the drug. It was causing havoc on the border systems as Minmatar freedom fighters raided the planets freeing their slaved brothers and sisters. Glaive collars had become popular once again. A metal ring placed around the slaves neck containing a number of hypodermic needles and various chemicals. Controlled by a remote they could cause anything from mild to excruciating pain. There were other chemicals that could paralyse or kill if needed. Whilst Insorium had been invented by the Caldari, it was made freely available to the Matari government.

"Really? You heard about Holder Vari right? Some Matari special forces unit came in a cloaked ship, dropped Insorium canisters all over his estate and then dropped off a dozen commandos? Did you hear what they DID? Once the slaves are gasses and free of vitoc they don't need the numbers of commandos to overrun his security teams and administer their perverted sense of revenge. The slaves help and swarm the palace."

"Yes. That's why I don't use Insorium. Its curable and Holders using it are just asking for attack and full blown rebellion. Idiots."

Habi drank his wine and thought. Pareh was obviously playing with him given his responses by not giving him a straight answer. How did he keep his slaves in line without Vitoc or glaive collars?

"No! Surely you don't use....."

"Transcranial microcontrollers? Of course."

Habi went silent. Transcranial microcontrollers were expensive brain implants. Their use convinced the slaves that they were actually not enslaved and they wanted to do the tasks set by the holder.

"Even the labourers?" Habi asked indicating to the vast fields of wheat that stretched out as far as they could see from their elevated position.

"Yes, all the slaves are implanted. Expensive but worthwhile."

Habi thought about asking what the scholars thought about this. Transcranial microcontrollers where frowned upon by the senior clerics as it went against the teachings that encouraged slave use. However, a rich and influential holder like Pareh wouldn't find it difficult to find enough clerics to argue his case for him. Also Pareh was never a very pious man. On several occasions Habi questioned the strength of his faith during their time together at university.

"So bring on the Matari ships and their coveted 'freedom gas'. I've let it be known far and wide that it would be useless here. They know its pointless bombing me with that crap. Their tactics rely on small, speedy forces which will be supported during the attack by the newly freed slaves. As the gas won't free these slaves their small strike team be no match for my security forces and my utterly compliant slaves."

Habi raised a glass to Pareh impressed and he nodded slightly in acknowledgement. Pareh did indeed appear to have his future secure in an area terrorised by Matari raids.

"Now, for tonight. Would you care for some entertainment?" Pareh asked and pressed a button on a datapad. Half a dozen Matari women entered the pavilion. All stunningly attractive and dressed in narrow silk wraps that covered their modesty but not a lot else. They all stood there smiling and giving seductive looks at both the men.

"You don't mean.....?" Habi stuttered.

"Of course, they are here to serve as we see fit. Here, look at the datapad before you get all high and mighty with me." he said passing it to him "These transcranial microcontrollers can do a few tricks. Pick the girl or girls you like and then make them like what you like."

Habi looked at the options with his mouth hanging open. He wanted to be outraged that his friend would even suggest he'd take a sub-human slave as his bedmate. However, these women were indeed stunning. He took the datapad and looked at the settings he could choose. He soon forgot his Amarrian values when confronted with being able to make any fantasy come true tonight.


The immense stargate at the edge of the system activated. A massive flash of light indicated an incoming wormhole connection. The golden ship was visible only for a fraction of a second. Its sophisticated cloaking device hiding the ship before anyone could see it. Within a couple of seconds it was in warp.

"So can we actually do this?" Ragnar asked leaning through the hatch at the back of the two-man cockpit. The men sat in the pilot and copilots seat turned to look at him.

"Easy. Look!" said Girn gesturing around the cockpit. Everywhere small scraps of paper with Matari text scribbled on them were stuck with duct tape to the various controls. The Amarrian script, unintelligible to the current crew, had been roughly translated and stuck to the appropriate control.

Ragnar gave a grimace. He was used to low tech but this was a whole new level. He'd have much preferred a Minmatar Hound class stealth bomber but this mission required a Purifier class stealth bomber of Amarr design. None of their wing could read Amarrian, never mind fly their ships. After half a dozen training sorties they had decided to go with it.

"Have we had the signal from the drop ships?"

"Affirmative. They signaled that they were in position two hours ago. We're running slightly late but its only 0230 hours at the target, well within the acceptable mission window. In a few minutes we'll be in position and ready to launch."

Ragnar grinned.


Habi stood on the balcony of his palatial room. He couldn't sleep, his faith troubled him greatly. There were some things in the Amarrian Empire that were not up for debate, and there were some things that were. Transcranial microcontrollers were one of those up for debate, especially since the invention of a cure for Vitoc. Sleeping with Matari slaves was not up for debate in any way, shape or form. Habi glanced back to the massive four poster bed in the room, the two Matari woman he'd picked now slept soundly following their joint 'activities'. He lifted up his wine goblet and took another big sip. What had he done? He'd need to atone for these sins when he returned home. Pareh had always been a bit wild, may be he should have known better than to come here. Surely he'd be forgiven this one minor indiscretion over a lifetime of service to the Empire. "Never again" he thought.

He breathed in a lungful of crisp, fresh air to try and calm himself. He hoped it would be a long time before he died and he was judged. Plenty of time to atone for what he had done tonight. The Amarr nebula was clearly visible, bright golden hues in the dark night sky. He watched a bright light slowly move across the sky. A station up in orbit? A large satellite? A small craft? He wondered what it could be as he sipped the expensive wine. The light started to grow brighter and larger. He placed the glass down and stared at the light becoming concerned as it appeared to be coming towards the palace. Suddenly there was a huge flash. A bright bluish-light lit up the night sky encompassing the whole area. Habi covered his eyes as the shock wave engulfed the palace complex and everything else in the area. When he removed his hand it was gone. He looked around and could see no damage. The shock-wave looked very familiar to him. A sound behind him made him turn around, the two girls were awake and approaching him.

"Did you see that?" he asked them. "That bright light?"

One of the girls picked up the bottle of wine.

"No thank you, no more wine for me. Did you see the flash in the sky it looked like a electron bo...."

The girl took the bottle by the neck and smashed it against the table. Habi watched too shocked to react to the loud smash and the unexpected behaviour. He was still frozen in shock when the naked girl plunged the jagged broken bottle into his stomach and twisted it hard. The two women left him laying on the balcony, his bright red blood pumping through his fingers as he begged them to come back and save him. He slowly bled out, under a beautiful nights sky.

On the floor above. Pareh woke with the start. A bright blue-white light shone in through the window illuminating his bed chamber. His wife murmured in her sleep as he quickly got out of bed to investigate the bright light. The shock wave was just dissipating as he looked out of the window into the night sky. He grabbed his datapad off the table and moved out onto the balcony, quietly closing the door. He intended to speak to his head of security about the odd flash in the sky but when he tried his datapad it was dead. He physically hit it hard and then tried again, nothing. He turned around to look into the palace grounds and it hit him. There were no lights anywhere. His palace was always illuminated around the clock. Right now not a single light was visible anywhere. He heard raised voices far below. The raised voices became shouts and then screams of pain.

"Rebellion!" he gasped.

Pareh charged back into the bedroom and opened a cabinet. His wife woke at this point and sat up.

"What are you doing?" she asked groggily. "Are you only just coming to bed? Why isn't the light working?"

"I need my gun. We have a problem!" he said, panic creeping into his voice. She stood up concerned.

He removed the gun from its case hidden in the cabinet. It was dead too. It was one of the best Amarrian laser weapons you could buy, but currently it was useless. More shouts and screams could be heard now inside the palace. Pareh rushed to the bedroom wall and hit the hidden button for his panic room door. Nothing happened. Every powered system in the palace was down. He glanced around looking for a weapon he could use to defend himself with. The small fruit knife on the platter by the bed would be no use against multiple angry Matari slaves.

Pareh looked at his wife in fear before rushing out of the bedroom. He reached the elevator and saw with relief that it was powered down too. He ran to the emergency stairwell and grabbed an ornate chair from the corridor, wedging it against the door handle. They were now sealed on the top level of the palace. He breathed a slight sigh of relief. With all communications lost the orbital station above would send a ship to investigate the communications outage. They'd see there was a problem and send troop ships. He just needed to barricade himself in the top level of the palace for half an hour and he'd be safe.


The mighty engines of the dropships roared as they landed around the palace grounds. Matari crews stood at the top of the ramps and waved in the masses of freed slaves. With their laser-based weaponry, the security forces at the palace had been overwhelmed in minutes. The blast making their advanced weapons useless. Hundreds of freed slaves armed with farming tools over-running the fifty-man security detail with their fried laser rifles with ease.

In a low orbit Girn relayed the scene unfolding below.

"EMP bomb strike was 100% successful. As expected all Amarr scum had been quashed by out awakened bothers and sisters before our drop ships even landed. Ships one to three are already full and en route to the rendezvous. Four and five are seventy five percent full. Just awaiting a few stragglers.

Ragnar punched the air in celebration.

"This will show them nobody who holds Matari slaves is safe no matter what control they try and use. Hows the launcher?"

Girn leaned forward and squinted at the readout in front of him. He shrugged and twisted back to Ragnar.

"I think its re-loaded."

"You think?" Ragnar asked concerned.

"Do you read Amarrian?" Girn turned raising his eyebrows.


"Well neither do I. Therefore I think the other bomb is loaded. If you want to pop out into the vacuum of space and visually check be my guest. Just make sure the doors are shut and take a scarf, its cold out there! Basically our engineers have glued re-entry tiles onto these things, increased the fuel capacity and give very limited guidance. The thing looks a mess. The fact the first one worked is a miracle!"

The other Matari turned his head to address Ragnar "You sure we want to do this? There could be others down there that didn't make it to the dropships. That bomb won't be as effective as in space and the warhead is smaller due to extra fuel, but the egg-heads at command think it'll burn around five to six K's. Unlikely anyone will have run that far in the time available if they didn't go from the dropships."

Ragnar nodded solemnly.

"I know, but we really need to send a message. Using slaves results in your end. Launch it once all our dropships are clear. We have to burn the place down and hope everyone went for the ships or was a fast runner."


Pareh checked the stairwell door was secure one last time and looked out the adjacent window down into the courtyard. He could see two dropships and the masses of his slaves surging onto the loading ramps. His initial fear was now giving way to anger. They were his property! How dare these people steal from him. He stomped back to his dark bedroom, closed the door and propped a chair under that too just to be sure.

"Well this night is turning out to be my own personal battle of Vak'Atioth." he grumbled referring to the infamous battle where the Amarr tried to invade Jove space only to be decisively crushed.

"You don't know the half of it." a voice not belonging to his wife growled.

He spun around. Leaning against the post of his bed was one of the girls he had enjoyed earlier. The other was sat on the bed holding a knife to his wife's throat. She looked terrified. His brain raced to understand how this had happened. It only took him a few seconds. The room he used to take his slaves to at night was located directly below this bed chamber. A secret staircase led up from there into the bathroom off his bedroom. This meant he could sneak back directly into his room after having some fun and if his wife woke up he'd be coming in from the bathroom. They must have used that secret staircase.

The lights of the room flickered on and off again. The effects of the EMP blast finally wearing off. The roar of dropship engines increased for a few seconds and then slowly faded into the distance, the return of partial power signaling their time to retreat.

"You missed your ride." Pareh said sadly. He didn't know why he said it. It just felt appropriate given he didn't expect him or his wife to live more than a few minutes more. "You know historically your rescuers tend to destroy the area after they leave. They probably left a small nuke which is ticking down."

The woman leaning by the bed pole shrugged, smiled and walked towards him.


The naval officer stood looking down at the blackened fields of scorched wheat. The smoke still lingered in the air, irritating his eyes and making him cough. Crews worked all around putting out the remains of the fires that had been burning for days. It was a mess. His Captain had sent him down to investigate the attack on the palace and farms. Their Executive Officer had been on shore leave here at the time of the attack visiting a friend and was missing, presumed dead. As the closest Imperial Navy ship, they had been sent to investigate.

Datna turned to see a small group approaching him. The man in the middle looked official. As they neared he recognised the regional governor.

"Sir. It is a honor." Datna said as they approached.

The governor just nodded as he looked up at the blackened, smoldering skeleton of the palace.

"A terrible, cowardly attack against good, faithful servants of the Empire. Did any survivor? Did Holder Pareh make it?" he asked hopefully.

Datna shook his head slowly.

"It is my sad duty to report Holder Pareh's body has been recovered. There were only three survivors we know about. The Holders wife and two slaves that were in the panic room when the scorch bomb detonated. The two slaves are being hunted now, the Holders wife has been evacuated to the station. She is... unwell."

"Define unwell." the Governor asked concerned.

"Well she was forced to watch as the two slaves carved her husband up slowly with a small fruit knife. She then was dragged into the panic room and watched her husband plead for help as the door closed. We found her embracing her husbands charred remains a day later. So as you can guess, she is 'unwell' even if physically unharmed being in the shielded panic room when the thermal wave hit."

A wing of Amarrian fighters roared overhead causing a pause in the conversation.

"Very well. Continue your investigation. I expect revised advice for holders using Transcranial Microcontrollers by the end of the day. We'd been warning the vitoc users, we never thought the sub-humans would find a way to disabled TMs."

Datna saluted and watch the Governer turn and walk away.

"It is recommended that all rich, smug, useless Holders using Transcranial Microcontrollers wrap their slaves heads in tinfoil to prevent rebellion after the Minmatar drop an EMP bomb on your lazy rich ass." Datna chuckled to himself.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Narrowing Down The List

So I've had a few suggestions on where might be a suitable move now I want to change corps to one with some activity in my TZ. Many thanks for these suggestions readers. Some interesting choices out there. In my six and a half years in Eve with no break, I've had only four corps. Newbie corp, then into Revelation Space which merged into Shadows of the Federation which I left to join QCats. I'd prefer not to start corp hopping to find a suitable home and do my research first and hopefully get a good one.

My biggest issue is finding a PvP corp active in my odd time zone. Whilst I'm GMT +4 I am on early local time from 3:30pm here which is 11:30 Eve Time. There is one way to do this. Spreadsheets and graphs! Gotta have a graph!

Suggestions from players included the following AHARM, BRAVE, Stay Frosty, Aideron Robotics, Templis CALSF, Rifterlings, Knights of Ni, The Bastion alliance, Justified Chaos, PL, Black Fox Marauders and RvB

So lets have a look at some data and have a manual trawl through zKill.

I chose Sunday and Monday which are normal working days for me but of course cover both weekend and weekday for you Monday-Friday countries out there. I can be on Eve from about 11:30 Eve Time until up to 19:00 Eve Time with a break for food in there. Lets see who violences ships in that time period. Its a rough count and I counted both kills and loses as thats "activity". I excluded pods and structures as well as Ventures and noob ships. Carebear kills don't count. Please note this is a ROUGH count. I did it quickly and casually. No need to do it yourself and moan I was 5 or 6 kills out for your uber PvP corp of uberness. Eve players will read this and I know exactly what some of you are like.

Anyway, here is my rough kill/loss count graph. I didn't even try counting BRAVE after the first page. Yes guys, you win!

So lets run through these.

AHARM is not really active in my TZ.
BRAVE. Wow, going through that killboard gave me a headache. So many kills, so much action, so much red. Pro tip, bright red is a great colour for a sports car. It is a really bad colour for anus' and killboards.
Stay Frosty is active in my TZ although on a weekday it does drop off a bit. Looking at the KB stats its mostly solo kills in my TZ and I'm looking for wingmen after two and a half years of solo. I'd love to join Rixx's crew but I'd be same as I am now, solo.
Aideron Robotics don't appear to be massively active in my TZ which is a shame. Good bunch of guys I've met at Fanfest.
Templis CALSF are very active (for my TZ anyway). Sunday and Mondays have the same level of activity and lots of kills as part of gang action.
Rifterlings only have one kill in the eight hour peak for me on a weekday.
Knights of Nii are the same, only their kill was a Badger. Met the guys (and a gal?) at Fanfest a number of times and they are good blokes... but dudes.... one lonely Badger? ;)
The Bastion Alliance have some activity in my TZ but it is minimal in the week. Obviously their mostly active at 6am to 8am my time.
Justified Chaos obviously have some Bruces and Sheilas in corp. I stopped counting when I got to 100 important internet spaceship assplosions within the Sunday period. Whilst the week days are lower, they are joint 3rd.
PL do well in my TZ, but, I mean its PL. Obviously they have the super sexy Sindel amongst their ranks but when I think of PL its "Not there, not there, not there, SUPER-CAP HOTDROP O'CLOCK. Got pissed with PL guys at Fanfest before and they are all sound, just not sure PL would be for me even if they'd were interested in a FW scrub like me (which I would doubt).
Black Fox Marauders aren't bad on a Sunday, but the weekday kills in my TZ drop off a lot.
RvB are certainly very active, they have the most kills/losses in my TZ than anyone else other than Brave. Plus the suggestion was actually in the form of a poster with a lady in fishnets so worthy of attention. Its just.... well..... high-sec..... I like my -10 piwat badge!

Out of those I think there are three possibilities. Templis CALSF, Justified Chaos and RvB. 

RvB is interesting, just no-nonsense PvP an a lot of it, but I'd need to rat or tag up from -10 to an acceptable level for high-sec. Then any low-sec roams could mean more ratting/tagging. Sorry RvB, I guess I'm just a bad guy. I cannot face high-sec at this time.

So that leaves Templis CALSF and Justified Chaos. Both low-sec, both showing decent action in my peak time, both mean-cold killers. Two good choices right there.

As I said, I'd like to avoid corp hopping so I went to pay a visit to Justified Chaos last night. I took a Thrasher and sat in a small plex inside their home system to see what would happen. Within a minute of entering system a JC Algos arrived promptly followed by a his mates in a Vengence and a Jaguar. I burnt away. Bit of banter in local and I left. Yup these guys are active in my TZ. Should have used the Vengeance as bait lads (I would have gone for that) and then brought the Algos and Jag in to finish me off ;)

Next I headed up to Sujurento where Templis CALSF have been very active lately. My Thrasher died to one of their Algos' within a minute of me entering system. 10mn Thrashers vs Algos is never an easy fight but I wanted some pew-pew and I derped it up so an easy kill for the squid (may be I need to stop calling them squids if I want to join these guys in the end, just a thought).

Joined both their public channels and Templis was certainly more active in terms of people chatting. Plenty of talk and I was spotted lurking and offered assistance without me saying anything. Even though I'm not Gal Mil anymore they perhaps thought I was spying! Then again one mentioned this blog so might know I'm looking for a new corp. Justified's public channel was quieter with nobody talking. They were still better than the QCats public channel which had me in it alone. At least these guys both had a dozen or so people.

So pros and cons?

Justified Chaos -
Pros - Gallente FW. I have fantastic standings with Gallente. Old familiar faces and comrades. Providing the squids don't take Nisuwa I can keep stuff there. Entering their system was responded to by three people trying to kill me = Active in my prime-time. Most kills.
Cons - 4 jumps away by carrier! Public channel was very quiet?

Templis CALSF -
Pros - Obviously very active. Friendly, chatty bunch. Probably a direct jump to their HQ by carrier from Nisuwa (is that Hasma area?). Active in my prime-time.
Cons - Caldari, means I'd be locked out of Nisuwa with five years of stuffz stored there. Standings issues (Caldari hate me). Its ze old enemy. I might not be able to stop calling them squid even if I become squid myself ;)

You know, its a really difficult choice! I'm going to the pub tonight so will think about it over a couple of chilled pints of cider. Its me and two non-gaming ladies so unless the barman is a gamer I'll have to hope the cider gives me a moment of clarity as the two I'm with won't be any help in making a decision on who to apply to!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Looking for a New Corp

So, I've started the search for a new corp.

Current corp has gone from 5,000 kills a month one year ago to less than 50 in the first half of this month. That other game, Real Life Offline, has taken far too many key people away. I don't know why, that game is crap and the monthly cost is far too high! 

Whilst I've been fairly happy with doing my own thing (GMT +4 in US TZ corp!), solo PvP our area is also dead. So time for a complete change. QCats has been an awesome home but I rarely see anyone else on. Two other in corp chat at the same time is 'busy' for me. I hunger for some gang action after a couple of years of mostly solo.

'Not yet 40' (tm) Englishman living in the Middle East, so GMT +4 (so thats the very early Euro, Russian prime, late Aus). Working hours mean I'm on usually from just after DT to 1900 Eve time. Weekends here are Thursday and Fridays so on later those days. However, Thursdays are known as Thirsty Thursdays here so whilst I might be on late on a Tschurday I'm not ushally musch usche after scharting drinking at two pm, Hic. Play errrryday generally and only really interested in PvP. I spent my first six months in Eve Carebearing and moved to PvP at the start of 2009 and not looked back. Over 5,000 kills and lots of quality loses too ;). Previously done solo, small gang and fleet action in high-sec, low-sec, NPC null and even had a boring few months in Sov holding null-sec. Done most things in Eve from null sec sov wars (I got the final blow on a station... in a Drake*!) to big cap fights (I was one of the dreads that dropped the PL titan in Amamake). I'm not looking for 250 man BS fleets where you lock, F1, lock, F1, lock, F1. I have done some FC'ing. Pretty terrible at it but if nobody else will step up I'll happily welp the fleet in a blaze of glory/uber fail. Ideally looking for low-sec (as I'm -10 currently) in a PvP rich area. I sell PLEX on market for ISKies so in-game cash is never an issue. Was a director in both Shadows of the Federation (SoTF) and QCats. Run the Eve-O blog Sand, Cider and Spaceships. Fanfest regular. On Twitter as @Drackarn with circa 700 followers. Have decent headset and copies of the various comms software. Full API available further down the line. I think thats what most corps want to know about you in their recruitment ads? Need to know anything else, just ask!

Main Account
120m+ SP combat focused toon. Can fly every combat sub-cap in game (except the Confessor, need to get the skill book yet) with most ship skills at V. Archon and Moros at 4 with T1 triage/siege. All weapons specs etc. Obviously maxed out fitting/tanking. Hanger has everything from Pantheon Archon and Gank Moros, down through faction BS fit to fleet doctrines all the way to T1 solo frigates and even my Battle Badger of Doom!!! Prefer frigate and destroyer hulls for solo work, larger hulls for fleet action.

Alt Account 1
Maxed Fleet Command/Booster/Prober. Flies industrials/freighters for bringing main shiny ships to assplode.

Alt Account 2
My main Logi and Cap pilot. Logi at V, Archon at V and T2 triage. Revelation at V, T1 siege. Also FW deplexing/cyno/scout alts.

Alt Account 3
FW/Cyno/scout alts

Looking For.
An active English-speaking PvP corp with a good bunch of people who don't take their serious internet spaceships too seriously. For example if the designated tackler accidently tackles the gate as they are drunk, there should be raucous laughter and lots of p155 taking. Not rage that they let a lone cruiser escape! RL needs to come first too. I'm lucky that the wife aka "the Eve Widow" isn't too demanding but rare cases of wife agro/"need to go AFK a bit, the cats are apparently destroying the place" should be acceptable excuses! After a long period of solo I'm looking for some gang action so that means decent corp activity and targets to pew-pew in the local area around 1130 to 1900 Eve time. I know, tell me about it, its driving me nuts atm!

If your corp fits the bill or you know of one please let me know!

*I cannot remember the last time I undocked a Drake! Not the sort of ship I'll take to a station bash these days anyway.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Night in Thera

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

So Thera has been discovered. The Sisters have been there for a few years. Mmmmmmmm...... The Sisters of Eve, and I quote the Eveopedia - "a humanitarian organisation based on religion". So thats nun nurses then? Gives you an image doesn't it! However, what image do YOU have, may be not mine. In my dark past I've dated a few nurses plus a girl who went to 'one of those schools'. Nurses are by far my favorite occupation on this planet and add in THAT school background. Well I have a completely different image to what life might be on those stations.....

A Night in Thera

"All crew this is the XO. We are approaching the station and once docked the Captain will stand the ship down. Crew rota Gamma, you have skeleton crew duties I'm afraid. All other rotas, you have 18 hours shore leave. Enjoy."

The speakers cut out and a small cheer went up from the engineering crew. It had been an active day. A new type of wormhole had been discovered leading to what was thought to be new, undiscovered space. However, upon arriving the capsuleers found that the Sisters of Eve had already settled there. The Sisters of Eve was a humanitarian organisation based on religion. They could be found throughout the cluster and all capsuleer's crew knew about them. They would be the ones who would usually rescue you if during the destruction of your ship you were lucky enough to get to an escape pod. How they got there was a mystery but other soon other capsuleers started to arrive in the system. All keen to take commercial advantage of the newly accessible system.

Four huge stations had already been built in this system and the Sisters had apparently been running experiments in this space for a number of years. Questions were immediately raised about the technology that had allowed them to gain access to these systems. The only other organisation that was known to be able to manipulate wormholes was the feared Sansha's Nation. Conspiracy theories had erupted around the crew of how two utterly polar-opposite organisations were the only ones with that technology.

"Cheer up Kibayasu! You get to be one of the first none Sisters on one of these stations!" Marrada said.

Kibayasu gave a half smile. He was a reactor control technician aboard the ship and had only started crewing recently. He was not looking best pleased.

"Yeah, but a Sister's station?" he grumbled to his supervisor. "Its going to be as boring as an Amarrian Cathedral during a service. I was hoping we'd visit Dodixie or Luminaire on my first tour. You know, the fun places. I've never been out of the State and was wanting to explore. Now we're stuck in a distant unknown solar system populated with nun-nurses!"

Marrada laughed.

"Seriously? You expect this place to be dull?"

"You don't?" asked Kibayasu in surprise. "Nun-nurses!"

"Have you ever known a nurse or a someone who went to a faith school? Even better, a nurse who went to a faith school?" she laughed.

"Well not really." he replied.

Marrada didn't reply. She just smiled knowingly and left leaving Kibayasu standing there wondering what she meant by that.


The inside of the station was like a city. In the last few years the Sisters had worked hard to ensure their stations catered for all their staff and their families needs. Kibayasu had already returned to the ship once to drop off the shopping he'd bought. They'd been paid before disembarking and he'd gone a bit mad with his first pay check.

He'd now changed and had arranged to meet his ship-friends in a bar. When he first arrived he was surprised to hear there were bars. His whole nun/nurse view of the Sisters of Eve was slowly changing. He was hoping other capsuleer crews would be there in order to meet some new people, and by people he meant women.

The Flaming Orca was located on deck 10. A leisure deck with multiple recreational establishments. He'd seen holo-theaters showing the latest Gallente blockbuster movies. Sports bars offering Matari ales and the Caldari Mind-Clash premier league on the big screen. Small stadiums advertised Zero-G Hoverball games and upcoming music concerts. Most venues appear to be quiet now which was unsurprising given the late hour. Finally he saw the bar ahead just where the guys had said it would be. A black building roughly in the shape of the huge industrial ship that the bar took its name from. Flames belched from grills along the side. These worried Kibayasu for a moment until he got close enough to see they were in fact harmless holograms.

At the door two large Matari bouncers nodded in greeting as he passed into the entrance room. The heavy beat of Gallente techno music was making the walls vibrate. He pushed through the double doors into the main bar and froze. He had never seen anything like it. Being Caldari he'd never seen the famous Gallente super-clubs whose hedonistic reputation had spread through the cluster. He couldn't believe they could be any better than this. The dancefloor was packed with scantily-clad people gyrating to the thumping music. Dancers on podiums wearing next to nothing swayed in time to the music or spun athletically on chrome poles. He realised that they were actually wearing scraps of clothing that lit up preventing a clear view in the dark room, just a blur of light and a hint of flesh. Several large bars surrounded the massive dance floor with sofas and chill-out areas scatter behind. Compared to the standard establishments he'd frequented in the Caldari State, this was amazing.

Kibayasu spotted his crew-mates at one of the bars and made his way over. A Caldari woman was walking the other way. She smiled at him as they passed. Kibayasu carried on towards the bar but had spun around was now walking backwards keeping an eye on the woman that smiled at him. A hand clasped his shoulder and he spun around.

"Calm down Kib!" Menji laughed shoving a drink into his hand.

"Dammit Menji! I thought you were some hulking boyfriend of that bit of ass!" he thumbed to the Caldari woman. Menji roared with laughter.

"You are late. You have some serious drinking to catch up on!"


Four hours later and Kibayasu was in one of the chillout rooms. He was leaning back in a sofa, a slender Gallente woman called Gryve next to him sipping a cocktail. They had met on the dance floor. She had wasted no time indicating she was interested in him. She was with the Sisters apparently. A trauma nurse on a search and rescue ship who occasionally worked in one of the local medical establishments. The fact she was a nurse uneased him slightly given what Marrada had said earlier.

"So you were one of the first here?" Kibayasu said.

"Yes." the woman replied sipping her drink. "Almost ten thousand of us were the first through. That first year was really rough. We had a converted frieghter as our home whilst the first station was built. Obviously that many of us cramed into a ship like that wasn't ideal. Yeah, that was a tough year. Then we got the station built and things got a bit better."

"Only a bit?"

"Its strange. I don't think I'm breaking protocol to say this was a secret endevor, thats pretty obvious now. Whatever is happening in New Eden at the moment has caused a massive buzz here. Our wormhole control... actually I'm not supposed to talk about that. I'll just say that the technology that allowed us to travel between here and New Eden failed recently. We were cut off for a short while and then suddenly these stable wormholes started appearing linking us back to New Eden without a need for our wormhole technology. Our secret was out, but it meant fresh-blood would soon be arriving as the eggers started to come. Something to rejuvenate what has become a pretty stagnant colony for many of us younger Sisters."

Kibayasu laughed. "You are happy the Capsuleers are here?" he asked surprised. It was no secret that the Sisters of Eve had a complex relationship with the Empyreans. A massive amount of the humanitarian aid the Sisters provided was in clearing up after capsuleers. Rescue missions, aid, emergency medical care, casualty rehabilitation. All normal after a capsuleer had blasted through a pirate colony or their alliances clashed over ownership of solar systems. However, the Sisters also employed the immortal starship captains for their most dangerous missions. It was a "cannot live with, cannot live without" situation.

"Yes and no. You know what we call your Captains? The Angels of Death. However, it also means people like you are here. Its great to have some new blood in the station!"

Kibayasu raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"Everyone on this station up to a few days ago was with the Sisters. Everyone knew everyone elses business. It was like a big unhappy family. There was nothing you could do without someone judging you. When the capsuleer ships showed up it breathed some fresh air into the stations."

Kibayasu nodded. He could guess that it was a bit like a larger scale version of the ship he served on. No secrets, everybody knew everybody and their business. At the point he noticed Marrada walk past arm-in-arm with a huge Matari guy with bulging muscles. Kibayasu felt a bit inferior.

"Someone you know?" Gryve asked.

"Technically she's my boss." he replied.

"Don't worry about her. Ofylur looks like a Dominix on steroids but he's the biggest pussycat around." Gryve giggled. "When do you need to be back on the ship?"

"12:00 hours station time" he replied.

Gryve smiled.


The clock on the bedside cabinet showed 03:30 station time. Kibayasu was panting, his wide eyes gazing at the ceiling of the woman's bedroom. His body was covered in a sheen of sweat and the breeze from the ventilation was creating goosebumps on his flesh. He felt Gryve stretch next to him on the bed.

"You OK?" she asked in a very relaxed voice.

"Erm.... yeah."

"You don't sound so sure?"

"Well. Its just.... are all Gallenete women like you or is to your profession?" he asked.

Gryve burst out laughing.

"What?" she finally said. "Don't tell me this was your first time!" still laughing.

"No!" he quickly countered "But I've only been with Caldari ladies before. You, well you're different."

Gryve continued to laugh.

"Probably a combination of that and the job. We nurses are special so I'm told." she laughed.

"That's what my boss told me before we came on shore leave."

Gryve laughed again.

Suddenly the door to the bedroom opened. Kibayasu grabbed the bedsheet and pulled it up in a panic as a woman stood there and looked in. He glanced at Gryve who didn't appeared phased at the appearance of the strange woman and had made no effort to cover herself. The woman appeared to be Caldari and was just leaning casually against the door frame in only her underwear.

"Hi Clel . Busy night?" Gryve asked.

"You wouldn't believe it. Wait till you get on shift later. The clinics are full. Capsuleers are violencing each other like there is no tomorrow out there. I was hoping to get to the Flaming Orca for last orders and may be pick myself up some fresh meat, but another round of injured crew were brought in just before I left. Talking of crew I assume thats one!" she asked nodding to Gryve only half acknowledging his presence.

Kibayasu looked at Gryve questioningly. These two women were talking like he wasn't there.

"Yeah, he's crew. Gryve  this is my colleague and flat-mate Clel. Clel this is Kibayasu, fresh meat in Thera and first time with a Gallente woman!"

Kibayasu went red as the two women roared with laughter. He'd never known women like this. He'd expected those working for the Sisters of Eve to be even closer to Amarrian nuns. These were more like the equivalent of Matari dock-hands!

Clel bit her bottom lip and looked at Kibayasu.

"Hey Gryve. You think I could, you know....."

"Sure. No problem." Gryve replied.

Kibayasu was just about to ask what meant by that. He was getting more than a bit worried. Clel entered the room and climbed onto the bed on all fours and on top of Kibayasu. He looked in shock at Gryve who was now laying on her side, leaning on her palm watching with a smile.

"Just relax, we share everything." she purred.

"But, but, but..... you are nuns! Nurse nuns!" Gryve stammered.

His protests were silenced three and a half seconds later.


Two weeks later the ship entered the wormhole and reappeared back in New Eden. The blue-grey of the Caldari nebula a welcome sight to many of the remaining skeleton crew. Almost twenty percent of the crew had quit in the last ten days. The capsuleer was heading to the station at Jita 4-4 to pick up more crew. His XO had a list of requirements this time to avoid any further staffing problems when they visited Thera. Crew must be married or in a long term relationship. No single, young and most of all attractive, crew members!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sleepers in Low Sec

I undocked and went to find someone to violence after updating to Rhea yesterday. Everything is so much more shiny now with the new physics based rendering.

Eventually I found another Kestrel in Tama who wanted to fight. Luckily for me he assumed I'd be normally fit and was firing EM rockets into my 400mm armour plate. The 10 seconds he took to reload to explosive rockets cost him the fight. I went back to Nisuwa and docked up, repaired, dropped off the loot and undocked. Then I noticed something on overview. "Unidentified Structure". I had one of those moments... "I have lived here for years. Surely I should have noticed that before? Surely?".

I went to investigate. On arrival I found a brown coloured gas cloud with lightning effects in it along with a normal beacon satilite. Zooming in I found that the lightning wasn't within the cloud itself, there was some massive cloaked structure there. Its not 100% cloaked and whilst difficult to see, its there. The shape and green tinge to it makes me suspect its Jovian or Sleeper or Talonen or whatever. Terran V2.0!

I rammed it. No effect. I shot it with my Thrashers big guns. No effect. A few minutes later I heard the "whump" of a ship warping in. Nothing on overview so not a player! I spun the camera around and saw four cruiser sized red crosses. Rats, NPC rats. Boring! Oh, wait, they are not pirates, they are four Sleeper cruisers in low-sec!!!! Oh..... As I was in my Thrasher I quickly warped back to station and reshipped. I returned to see what a rail Moa would do to them. When I got back they were projecting some kind of light at the cloaked structure.

I decided that as I didn't have a huge torch like they did, I'd fire some friendly hybrid charges at them instead. They did not agress properly, just fired the same white light at me and my drones.

I killed one and as it dropped no loot I went back to station seeing no reason to attack the other three.

A while later I saw there were more players in system than were docked in the station. Hoping someone was at the new structure I went back in a Thrasher. A shuttle was indeed there but warped off when I landed (strangely enough). The Sleepers fired their light thingy at me again and I got a better view this time as I was zoomed in.

Mmmmmmmm. I would guess its some sort of scanner? Someone at CCP a fan of ST:TNG and they've been watching too many Borg episodes? At least the light is white and not green.

So we have cloaked structures, possibly Jovian or Sleeper tech, that the cloaking device is slowly starting to fail. We have Sleeper Drones flying arounf low sec scanning these sites and anyone or anything near. They are not agressive and do not defend themselves when attacked.

I wonder what the future holds with these new sites?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Blog Banter 61 - Online Darwinism

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 61st edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog banter 61 - Origin State

The new This is EVE trailer has combined with a lot of community enthusiasm to generate a massive uptick on new character creation. There has been a lot of buzz about how to help and funnel those new players into fun and satisfying careers in Eve.. For example:

Target Caller blog by Talvorian Dex: Target Caller: What Newbies Need to Know About Eve
EVEHERMIT by EVE Hermit: The wrong way
Lowsec Lifestyle by CSM Sugar Kyle: Rambling: Vestment
The Nosy Gamer: Learning Anti-Social Behavior

TurAmarth asks this question: "What would we encourage ALL new players to do in their first month to get them to subscribe long term, if we had to give out one set of advice for everyone (which we do if we're giving general advice)?"

Blog Banter 61 - Online Darwinism

Origin State? Origin? Origin of the Species? Darwin? Hey, I might be onto something here....

The question of the Blog Banter was what would I advise a new-bro to do in their first month to make them long term players.


I don't know. Is there anything? I ask this because after the Darwin reference I'm wondering if its not what a person does in that first month, its the type of person they are which dictates if they can get on with Eve. What did I do for my first month? I carebeared. I ran missions and fit ships terribly. I did this for the first month, the second month and my third month. I can remember finally having the money to buy the Caldari Cruiser skill book but not enough to buy one of those shiney Caracal cruisers. I was like the child in a Dickensian novel with my nose pushed up against the toy shop window/monitor looking at all the shiny things I cannot afford (yes that is taking some words from Ben Yahtzee Croshaw's review of Eve Online).

I had no interaction with anyone until my 4th month. Thats when I did something differently and that thing is what has kept me playing this game for over six years. I've already mentioned it. Interaction. The social side of the game has kept me here for so long, but it wasn't that which got me into Eve and past that magic 30-day mark that so many fall by the wayside.

Eve Online is a slow game where generally you are not the lead character. You are not the hero of the game. You are you, an insignificant in a massive sci-fi space opera. Eve takes time. No matter how hard you grind you are not going to be sat in that T2 ship any fast than someone who plays once a week. The is no end to Eve, no final boss, no credits rolling at the end. Eve can be very quiet with hours of downtime before battles or potential battles that never occur leaving you with big blue balls. Eve is complicated and above all, Eve is hard. These are all things that other games are not. I've tried to introduce friends to Eve. Some have stayed, most have dropped within that first month.

I say that this Blog Banter is a trick question. There is nothing you can encourage a new player to do in their first month that will serious effect their long term commitment to Eve. Either they are an Eve player, and they'll find that out in the first month, or they are not and they'll bugger off back to WoW, LoL, LOTRO or something else. The only thing that might make a difference is getting them engaged in the community.

Eve is a niche game that appeals to a minority of gamers. Yes I am sure there are some who would get on with Eve but never make it past the first month because of a rage quit or other problem. However I would guess these are the minority. There is no middle ground. You are either an Eve player or you are not. Nothing in the middle. Squish, just like grape!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

SCASSSS - NOBODY Expects the Amarr Tactical Destroyer!

I had a little play with the Confessor on my return from holiday. Here is a terribad animated gif I made of it cycling through its three modes:-

I'm not a big fan of Amarrian ships. I have the BS and the HIC as well as the carrier as these can be some of the best of their class. However day-to-day I don't use much Amarr. One I do occasionally do use is a 10mn Coercer. A fun ship, although I prefer the 10mn Thrasher. So how does a 10mn Confessor work with an oversized AB and the speed mode turned on? Yes it does. Overheat the AB and its silly. Put some Snakes in your head and its.....

My test ship is below. It goes 2600m/s on an afterburner (so scram won't slow it) and does 270DPS..... theoretically. The issue is at that speed the lasers cannot hit the continent where the barn is located, nevermind actually hitting the barndoor.

Adding high grade Snake implants and it does 3600m/s. Over-heat that AB and its FIVE THOUSAND METRES A SECOND!

Lasooooooors are being buffed in Rhea, I wonder if this will make the 10mn Confessor viable?

Friday, December 5, 2014

BFTP - Rocked

Just got back home from holiday but not managed to get anything done yet. One last "Blast from the past" post for this Friday Fiction.


Four of the ships crew sat around the table in the galley. The emergency lighting gave a dim glow to the room. It had been two hours since something had struck the ship and the primary power had gone down. It had over an hour since the captain and the the chief engineer had gone outside suited up to assess the damage. They were just returning. Life-support on the frigate was running on minimal power so they had all gathered in the galley and left other areas of the ship to cool.

"So, is it bad news?" Helena asked.

The captain placed his helmet on the table.

"A small chunk of a roid has penetrated through the outer plating and smashed the primary cooling array. That's why the reactor shut down. Anything more than 5% output will fry us all. To make matters worse, the comms array was also destroyed in the impact. We cannot call for help."

"Will 5% allow us to get home?" Brab was the mining technician. He sounded downbeat.

"No. We'd need 80% output just to initialise the warp drive. That would vaporise us, the ship and anything close."

"So we just sit here?" Helena sounded worried.

"Unless you can build and fit us a new cooling rig or comms array out of raw veldspar, then there is not much we can do but sit here. There are three ways I can see this playing out. Firstly we're in a marked asteroid belt and the next system is high-sec. There is a good chance someone will find us. Yes there is the chance nobody does. In which case, well, it ain't going to be pleasant staving to death whilst drinking our own piss."

"Gee thanks for that motivational speech capt. You've really put my mind at rest!" Gregor was the grunt on the ship. He didn't have an official job title, he was just the muscle. Handy when things got out of hand on low-sec station bars, not much use in an emergency like this.

"Well you've going to love the final possibility then. We're in Blood Raider space."

The room went deathly quiet as the realisation hit them. It had never been a problem before, the small frigate was fast and maneuverable. All of the pirate factions were treated the same, a minor annoyance. At the first sign of trouble the Solar Drift simple warped off. They were a mining frigate, not a combat frigate.

"Oh man!" exclaimed Gregor "So if someone doesn't find us, we're either going to starve to death or have the Blood Raiders drain us dry?"

"That's pretty much the outlook I'm afraid. Now if you'll all excuse me, I need a drink"



The crew all had their faces pressed against the viewports in the galley. Brab had spotted something in the asteroid belt but the slow spin of the ship was making it hard to find it again.

"We're nearly fully rotated, we should be able to...."

"There it is! It's a ship and it's coming towards us!"

Everything went quiet as each person saw the vessel. It was too far away to make out any details, but the glow of the engines and the silhouette of the hull meant it was coming directly towards them.

It had been four days since the accident. Chief Engineer Trak had died on day two. He had been trying to rig the reactor heat exchanger to the small coolers fitted to each of the three mining laser. Not only did it not work, it had fried him alive in the process. The captain had hardly been seen. His quarters were well stocked with drink and he had been busy drowning his sorrows. Maria the cook had been found yesterday with both of her wrists slashed. She had taken what she thought was the easy way out.

Now with four of them left, someone was finally coming. The tension was high. Was it help or was it something else?

"Can anyone see it?"

"No, not this side."

"There.... it's a...... cruiser of some sort. What the hell is that?"

"It's an Ashimmu." said Gregor as he moved away from the viewport and slid down the wall landing on his backside, "It's a Blood Raider cruiser."


The eerie red light flooded the corridor from the viewports. The emergency lighting flickered as the energy destabalisor beam from the Blood Raider vessel kept their capacitor from operating fully. The four sat behind the makeshift barrier of crates facing the airlock.

"How do we know they won't just blow the lock and let us be sucked out into space?" Gregor asked.

The captain was checking the safety on his pistol.

"First off, we'd be blown into space, not sucked. And secondly, they want us alive. They want to drain the blood from out bodies and that is rather difficult from frozen corpses!"

Helena threw up. The fear was clear on her face.

"You OK in handling that?" The captain changed the subject nodding at the weapon she carried. Helena looked down at the huge portable mining laser she was holding unsteadily in both hands. An old relic from back when mining frigates needed people in suits to cut chunks from asteroids.

"Yeah. I think so. Just point at the Raiders and squeeze right?"

"Just don't hit a viewport. That thing is a relic and shouldn't punch through the plexi-trit, but lets not test it eh?"

A beeping sound came from the captains datapad. The outer hatch was being accessed.

"They're coming"

"Right!" said Gregor, heaving his salvaging laser over his shoulder. "Lets do this!"

The captain looked at Gregor and the huge tool he was carrying. It was designed for slicing off bits of spaceships, again an old piece of equipment that had been made obsolete by ship mounted salvage turrets that could scan, cut and tractor beam all in one. No longer did people need to suit up and exit the ship to salvage a wreck. Had he made the right decision giving Gregor a device that was designed for cutting open ships? A man who's solution to everything started and finish with violence.

"The hatch!" Brab was kneeling behind some crates. He too had one of the old two-handed mining lasers. He leveled it at the inner airlock hatch that was slowly opening. The Captain tried to do the maths. The airlock was only three metres by three metres. The inner door could never be opened whilst the outer door was. So they would have to come in groups. Nine or ten at a time. Could 4 miners armed with makeshift weapons hold out against armed pirates coming in groups of 10? The hatch opened opened and the Raiders spilled out into the corridor.

The first three where cut clean in two by Gregor's salvaging laser. The captain winced as the beam scarred the outer wall near the airlock.

"Careful! You breach that wall and we're all dead!"

Gregor wasn't paying attention, he was stood on the barricade now, rapidly pulling the trigger sending short bursts of fire at the airlock. Another two Raiders fell as they leaned out from the cover of the airlock to fire.

"YEAH! COME GET SOME!" Gregor screamed over the sound of his salvaging laser.

Helena and Brab aimed their mining lasers but were waiting for a good shot. Another Raider lent from the airlock and sprayed fire at the barricade. Gregor screamed in pain as a series of laser bolts stuck his legs. He fell forward. The Raiders poured out of the airlock as soon as the fire from the salvaging beam ceased. Helena and Gregor opened fire. The first salvo took down two of the Raiders. The Captain's pistol, the only real fire arm on the ship took down another two.

"Nine." the captain was counting in his head. Another one or two in there. He thought for a moment how lucky he was to have such an old rust-bucket. Modern ships had multiple points of access and wide, open corridors. This position was defensible.

Two more leaned from the airlock and fired at the barricade. Gregor was still screaming in pain but the Raiders were careful not to hit him as the laser fire streaked over his head. The crew returned fire but the captain noticed the only shots were from his pistol and the mining laser to his right. He spun to his left.

"Brab, what's the pro....."

Brab was slumped against the wall, a blackened scorch mark was present where his right eye used to be. His mouth was open as if in a silent scream, the captain could see he was dead. He span around and fired more shots at the airlock, catching one of the Raiders in the shoulder. As he fell out of the airlock he placed another half a dozen shots into him. The Raiders would offer them no mercy, so he'd offer them none too.

Gregor had composed himself and whilst his legs were useless he had grabbed his fallen weapon and was now firing on the airlock. He took out another before a stray shot fired from the airlock struck him in the top of the head.

"Can only be one left, surely?" the Captain thought. He raised his pistol just as the airlock started to close.

"Captain?" Helena looked to be in shock. The Captain didn't know what to say. They had fought off the first wave. But could the two of them hold off the next ten? Would the Raiders bring in heavier soldiers now, it was probable that they underestimated them in the first place. His datapad bleeped again. He looked in disbelief, the crusier was undocking from them. He rushed to the nearest viewport just in time to see the cruiser align and warp off. Helena had seen it too, the relief was visible on her face. As the frigate slowly spun the asteroid field passed their view. Suddenly the viewport was blocked with a huge wall of metal. Another ship. This one was massive, but he couldn't make out what is was. The captain accessed the ships sensors remotely from his datapad. A Bhaalgorn class battleship. The cruiser must have simply called for reinforcements. A battleship would have a much bigger and heavily armoured boarding party. They had no chance.

"Captain what is it?"

The captain looked at Helena. He imagined her strung up by the Raiders, her blood being slowly pumped from her body as she begged for he life.

"It's a capsuleer! We're saved!" he lied.

"Really? We're going to live?"

"Look here." he smiled and guided her to the viewport.

"See up there" he pointed and she craned her neck to see what he was pointing at as he slowly unholstered his pistol and brought it up behind her back.

"There..." he placed the gun behind her neck pointing up slightly, turned his head away and pulled the trigger. He heard the discharge and the thud as her lifeless body hit the ground.

"Better than the alternative." he thought.

He started running. Within a minute he was in the engine room and at the master control panel. For some reason the pirate battleship was not neutralising their energy systems. They must have realised by now that the frigate was disabled. The captain disabled the safety protocols on the reactor and warp drive and plotted a route. He knew the ship would never get into warp. The only two other things that he did know is that they'd never get any of his blood and that he'd take some of them with him. His datapad showed the airlock was being opened. He hit the engage command and the warp drive started to spool up. The reactors containment field instantly overheated and failed without the cooling systems online. The small frigate erupted in a ball of superheat plasma and anti-matter.


"So is it bad news?"

"I'm afraid so. The active armour hardeners and damage control were offline at the time of the explosion. Decks 14 through 31 took the worst of the blast. Engineering was badly hit and the warp drive is offline."

"What the hell happened?"

"We think they overloaded their reactor on purpose. May be in hindsight, rescuing someone from the Raiders, whilst in a ship commonly used by the Raiders themselves, may have not been a good idea. We were broadcasting to them constantly that we were sending a rescue party. They could have thought it was a deception I suppose. May be their comms were down. I guess we'll never know."

"So what now?"

"Our capsuleer has ejected in his capsule and is returning to high-sec. He's going to bring back help."

"So we just sit here and wait for him to return"

"Yes, but the problem is.......... we're in Blood Raider space."