Saturday, December 19, 2015

Who needs a Skiff?

Hulkageddon died with the buff to Mining Barges and Exhumers, but the likes of CODE have managed to keep the Darwinian circle of life going, continuing to be the bane of untanked miners everywhere. Lucky for CODE, there seems to be an endless supply of seals to be clubbed, but the Ice belts probably won't give them much joy now, all because of this little frigate, the Endurance.

If you've got the skills for a Prospect, you've got the skills for this little gem. Intended to be the Wormholers best friend, allowing Wormhole residents to harvest ice from Shattered Wormhole systems, it turns out this little frigate is also as good as a Skiff or Mackinaw, indeed arguably better, at harvesting ice in known space too. The Hulk will remain the king however, but it's survivability is so poor that it's only the foolhardy that still use it.

I'm not one for crunching numbers hard, whether that's apathy or intellect I'll let you ponder, so I thought I'd just compare its performance to my usual Boosting Orca/Skiff arrangement. Without boosts, it takes the Endurance just under a minute to harvest one block of ice but with boosts, it's down to 36 seconds! That's only 5 seconds longer than the Skiff. Take into account my Expedition Frigate skills are at 4 and my Capital Industrial skill is at 4 and it can only get better. Add to that the 15K m3 ore hold, same as the Skiff, and it's mobility orbiting an ice block at 1K m/s, it's just as ungankable as the Skiff. Moreover, the training time and overall investment is much, much lower than the Skiff, giving newbros a way into ice mining very early in their EVE careers.

I really only mine ice when I need fuel, but the addition of this ship will be good for industrialists everywhere. It does beg the question though, do Exhumers need to be looked at again?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Baby Guardian?

Discussion is underway regarding the eagerly anticipated Tech II Logistic frigates and you can toy around with them on the Singularity server now. With the Guardian being the overwhelmingly most popular Logistics cruiser, I thought I'd take a look at it's baby brother first, the Deacon. First off, a disclaimer: Whilst the ship is on Singularity and you can fly it, the skill book is not, so the details as you see it here won't take into account up to 25% more capacitor and 25% more armour hitpoints. Keep that in mind when I start with the numbers.

Visually, it's an Inquisitor with a skin. You will notice the thruster animation is a little different, but that's just one of the visual changes to all ships coming in the December release. Fitting is a lot more versatile than the Tech I counterpart, however. Not so versatile as to allow for oversized repair modules, although you could probably shoehorn one on there, but versatile enough that you could oversize the propulsion module, albeit at the expense of significant amounts of tank. So I've gone with what is a pretty unsurprising fit for the sake of exercise. A 400mm plate with decent resists and an afterburner to keep the signature small. It's not terribly fast, cranking out about 900 or so metres per second but with level 5 skills you should have roughly 10K EHP. That's pretty durable for something only 31 meters long. My fitting window shows a little over two minutes of capacitor with everything going; again, at all level 5 that should be closer to three minutes, but the capacitor booster is there for good measure because a medium neut will ruin your whole day without it. The last item is a Signal Amplifier to increase the ECM resistance. The lack of a third mid slot leaves you little choice, really.

I can see these being a pretty valuable bit of kit with a gang of Confessors, Hecates or Svipuls pouring through frigate sized wormholes and taking fights they have no business to take under normal circumstances. Then of course there are those burner missions in HiSec, although I understand people use the Tech I variants just fine in those too. Either way, a welcome addition, but I'm keen to know how you might change the fit out. Let me know.

Monday, November 23, 2015

You know you've been playing EVE too long when...

Some back story is in order here. About twenty five years ago whilst playing in an amateur soccer match I suffered a pretty horrendous injury to my right knee. It was a sliding tackle to take the ball away from my opponent who followed through with his kick anyway, striking me on the outside of the knee with full force. Suffice to say I screamed like a little girl at a 1D concert. Of course, being young and fit I had corrective surgery and recovered quite well, but an addiction to cricket and in particular fast bowling, took its toll further, degenerating the joint over the years, mostly with me totally unaware other than the odd bit of swelling from time to time. Now well into my forties, the knee is a hot mess with no cartilage left and the sight of gravel sends tremors through me as I know a dislocation is only moments away. I've had several surgeries, the most recent only a year ago, and the next one will be a total joint replacement. As you can probably ascertain by now, it's something that weighs on my mind a bit.

Last night I had a dream. In this dream I was lamenting the shocking state of my right knee and how it infringes on my day to day life, how it ended my participation in the sport I love and how I know I'll never run again. Coincidentally, I took up EVE about the same time I quit cricket, so it's very much filled a time void for me over the past few years. Anyway, back to the dream. It's important to remember that when you're in a dream you don't necessarily know you're in a dream. The abstract is real, no matter how nonsensical it might seem. Which brings me to my inspired revelation.

I had the answer to my problems! When I awoke, somehow knowing I was asleep and dreaming but not able to examine the dream skeptically, I decided I was going to Jump Clone into a fresh body. I'll have a brand new pair of knees and life will be great again! This revelation was even accompanied by the thought "Why the fuck didn't I think of this before?".

Well, because when I woke up I realised what I couldn't whilst dreaming. *sigh*

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rolling Heavy

Once again the Viking Burial didn't exactly go as predicted but the exchange was a glaring reminder of how tough it can be to bring down a fleet with decent capital support. It started off messy with our Archon and Boosting pilots getting the times wrong, leaving us scrambling to find a pilot last minute that could use Tech II Triage. Dropbears were good about it, waiting patiently for us to get our collective shit together and sharing their fleet composition with us just in case we thought they weren't coming. Iyokus saw the fleet comp and muttered "hold me" in comms, but we had Haywire and Wrong Hole coming in support of our feeble numbers so a good fight was on the cards.

We started off with the Archon, Phoenix and a few support Battleships about 250km's off of a POS with the sub cap gang waiting on one of our statics. Dropbears seemed to like the look of them more so the fight kicked off on the static making us scramble the capitals to the hole in support of the sub cap fleet. It didn't sound great over comms with the ad hoc FC doing his best to keep the situation under control and before we'd even landed at least three of our friends had succumbed to the firepower that the Dropbears had assembled. They had a well balanced fleet with brick tanked neuting Legions, marauding Proteus' for DPS, strong Guardian support and a couple of Jamgus that seemed to be rather attracted to my Armageddon. Throw in the Bhaalgorn for good measure and they were a tough nut to crack.

The Triage Archon was really the game changer here. Our subcap fleet's four Guardians couldn't outrep the incoming DPS but that all changed with Capital reps on the field. Add to the mix a Phoenix loaded up with target painters and with a C4 Black Hole effect, application of the Citadel Cruise Missiles was pretty damn efficient. I spread my neuts among the Proteus' early, just to stem the DPS until the Jamgus obviously responded to the cries of the capacitor reliant DPS ships. Despite being ECCM fit and with level 5 compensation skills, they still got regular jams on me, forcing me to switch my attention to them and neut their jamming abilities. I deliberately left their Guardians alone, it was the only thing that would keep them in the fight after all, and the FC did a pretty stellar job in switching the DPS when needed to cut down opposing fleet one by one.

The end result, I believe, saw that we didn't lose a ship once the caps landed. It was a great fight but alas, the capitals live to fight another day. There'll be another attempt to see these caps die soon, all things considered I think we owe Dropbears that. After all, there's every chance a few of us will be wearing their tags before long.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Suddenly Buggered

I joined up with Sudden Buggery well over a year ago which is a pretty big deal for me. Finding AU TZ Corporations with good activity levels is tough going; many promise much, few actually deliver. As such, my Corporation history is a who's who of broken promises. But Buggery has delivered thanks to a core group of members who reliably log in and scout for content. Because that's what it's all about in Wormholes, really. Without content creators you're spinning in POS, too paranoid to do much of anything.

Sadly, it seems that time is coming to an end and the usual suspects are at play. Some of our chief content creators have had issues preventing them from committing to much game time and those who are more accustomed to being the flotsam of the corporation leave for greener pastures where they can continue to do little content creation but still whore on kill mails. Of course there are other factors; our US TZ experiment failed some time ago and Wormhole activity in general certainly feels significantly lighter, but the content creation factor is the primary one. Accordingly, we're pulling out of our C4 Black Hole, for the most part, and considering our options. I dare say most of us will continue on to the next stage together, whether that's part of Sudden Buggery or part of a mass movement to an already existing Corporation or Alliance is still up for discussion. But before we get into that there is a grand send off to be had.

Another Viking Burial is on the cards for our capitals in system. An Archon and a Phoenix will die in glorious combat, and hopefully the supporting fleet too, to give our old home the "so long and thanks for all the fish" it deserves. With any luck my next post will be one where I regale you with capital ship loss mails and tales of Battleships being alpha'd of the field by a blap Phoenix. In the meantime, if you're a significantly active Wormhole organisation with space for a few bittervets, hit up Trinkets friend with the details.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Perfect Crime

Most mornings are pretty brief for me. I log in long enough to update my PI cycles, update Siggy and then log off to start my work day. Sometimes however, you need to make time for opportunities that come up.

A K162 connection from a C5 and probes on D-Scan told me there were actives in system. With a HiSec connection only a few jumps from a market hub I thought there may be the chance to grab a fat hauler before I shuffled off to work. So I waited on the connection with an Astero and at a nearby safe with a Rook. Minutes later there was wormhole fire and two Dominix class Battleships warp off to a combat site. Slightly unexpected, but I'll take it were I can find it. I follow them of course and do some quick kill board research to see how they're fit. A recent loss confirms they are remote repair set-ups with ECCM Casters, warp scramblers and webs. Moreover, the Tech II Ogres they had on the field indicated they were probably pretty well skilled, too. I put the word out for possible back up but no one was answering, the line was dead, I was on my own.

I'm pretty sure I don't have the resources to survive this engagement so I start trying to think of alternatives to disrupt their farming when a Noctis suddenly lands on grid and drops a tractor unit. Now there's a soft target I can exploit if I time it just right. So I bookmark the tractor unit for my Rook as the Noctis warps off to a safe and cloaks up. The Domis clean up the remainder of the site in short  order and the Noctis exits warp right on top of the MTU. As soon as I see the Domis aligning to another site, I initiate warp on the Rook. I landed a few seconds after they have left, scrammed the Noctis and start grinding it down. I jammed it for good measure in case it had ECM drones it felt like using and held on surprisingly long in structure due to the damage control and bulkheads it had fitted. But not long enough, however, with the Domis landing right on top of me as the Noctis went pop. But it was all for naught, having already aligned to a celestial I was in warp before they could even begin their lock cycle. Having paid their dues for farming in my system, I figure they can run the other three sites, I'm running late for work already.Fly dangerous o7

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mystery Depot

Lately I've been too lazy to run the sites in my C3 and I don't envision things changing with some pretty A grade gaming titles on the near horizon. On the plus side, it's given me some ganking opportunities that I don't normally see. There's been some Drakes and of course the Kronos last week but since then it's been kind of quiet. I had some PI housekeeping to do tonight so I logged in right after down time and as I am habitually D-Scanning on my warp to POS I notice a mobile depot that wasn't there an hour or so ago. Curious.

I combat scan it out and find it's owner is still logged off but I kind of got the feeling he'd be back for it. So I got to updating Siggy and ran a locate on the owner whilst researching his kill history. He was logged off in HiSec but only a few jumps from my static and his killboard was quite good with the exception that he hadn't made a kill since 2011 and he was in a one man corporation as of yesterday. Something tells me this is a bought account.

Armed with that knowledge, he logs on a few minutes later. Keeping eyes on the HiSec with a Stratios and the Depot with an Astero he dutifully jumps into system and off to a C2 connected to me. I warp the Stratios over to it and sure enough, two minutes later he's back through and en route to the depot. I was in a bit of a spot here; the Astero I was quite sure could tank the Tengu but there was no way I was going to break his tank either. I also couldn't re-ship as it was in D-Scan range of the POS so I decided to try my luck and wait for him to run sites. Fortunately, he did just that, choosing a combat anomaly well beyond D-Scan range of my POS. So I reshipped to my HAM Legion, specifically designed to tank Sleepers and gank site runners, warped off to a safe and sent the Stratios in for initial tackle. The Stratios is shield fit with neuts, it's a little light on the tank for this job, but it'll do just fine until the Legion lands.

From there everything went like clockwork .There was no mobile tractor unit to deal with and I managed to tackle him with only one Sleeper on the field. For once the loot fairy wasn't a total cow, either. Now I just have to wait 48 hours to crack open the mystery depot and see if there are any goodies inside. =]

Monday, November 2, 2015

You've got a shitty Poker Face

Most evenings when I get home from work I log in at POS in my Astero and get to updating Siggy. Before I could do much of anything I was hailed in local. For those unaware, talking in local in Wormholes is like talking about Fight Club, apparently this guy didn't get the memo. Anyway, I was cordial enough and put eyes on the only way in or out of the system just to get a look at him. It was at this point he informed me he was leaving anyway and D-Scan reported he was in a Kronos somewhere. Curiosity piqued! Moments later, he logs off. Spider senses start tingling...

As I had about a dozen combat sites in system I was pretty confident I knew this guy's game. On the flip side, he knew Apex Bex was a resident in system so I had to make it obvious I was leaving and have an alternative waiting for him when he logged back in. Fortunately, my Sudden Buggery alt wasn't too far away so I made best speed in a Covert Neuting Legion and parked him in a safe, waiting for my quarry to log in. I didn't have to wait long. Only fifteen minutes later the Kronos pilot logs in and I take my time extracting Apex Bex from the Wormhole in another Legion so the eyes he has on the HiSec can see him leave. I left the HiSec system all together and had to wait about another ten minutes for the Kronos to resume his Sleeper farming.

I positioned the neut Legion at a pounce and waited for him to finish the site, warping in on the wreck he was tractoring when the last Battleship went down. Uncloaking just as I was leaving warp he didn't even react and was scrammed and neuted instantly. By this time my HAM Legion had jumped gate and was in warp to the entry when, yet again, my target pipes up in local.

I haven't ransomed anyone in ages, not since the days of capital bumping in Mai, and I'm not so poor as to need the ISK so his offer was not only piss poor, but I'm pretty sure he was holding out on me. It's about now that the HAM Legion landed and added a little more neuting pressure and the DPS required to finish the Kronos. He went down pretty fast without his X-Type repairer going and the loot fairy laughed and laughed and laughed. Bitch.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Maths of Hole Rolling

Collapsing wormholes by exceeding their transiting mass limits is something most Wormhole residents can't exist without. It's an essential tool for helping you to find new content that your current chain doesn't offer, or providing security to your PvE fleet when grinding for Sleeper ISK. Traditionally, Battleships and Orcas have been the go to ship for this job because of their large mass, but the introduction of the Higgs rigs recently has made other options viable also.

The key downfall of using Higgs rigged Battleships is their exposure to danger. They are painfully slow to get back to the wormhole once you've jumped and easy fodder for anyone who may be stalking you. Just yesterday we witnessed Spectraliz vapourize three Higgs rigged Megathrons in one fell swoop when the owners tried to roll away their connection to them. Under such circumstances, alternatives are needed. We've used disposable options like Ruptures and Vexors as they can still get about 130K tonnage but they are still painfully slow and easily intercepted. So it was from a foe that we took note of rolling Proteus' as Trinkets has covered previously here. It's a doctrine we've used to great success, rolling connections from right under hostile noses and using it to disrupt the jump maths of people rolling holes we didn't want them to. Which brings me to last night.

After dispatching a Navy Omen in one of our static connections we were assaulted with all kinds of abuse from the pilot in local chat. He clearly wasn't happy with us and was going to spend his time spewing abuse whenever we transited his region of space. Eventually he had a friend log on and that's when we were surprised to see a pair of Victoreux Luxury Yachts turn up on the connection between our two systems and jump through. They then promptly cloaked and warped off before warping back and jumping through again. They were rolling the hole with them, it seemed. When you stop to think about it for a moment it's a pretty good option. With a Higgs rig and a 100MN Afterburner you can get 120K of tonnage, it's invulnerable to bubbles, it's covert and it's very fast to align. Moreover, it's very skill point friendly so almost anyone in your corporation can fly one effectively and it costs a whole lot less than a Tech III Cruiser. The only drawback however, is its 30 cubic metre cargo hold. You can't get a depot in there and it takes some fitting gymnastics to make it happen, so if you get rolled out of your hole you're going to have to self destruct your Yacht and your pod. So that became our plan.

After several attempts to catch them and failing miserably, we decided to put two rolling Legions through the connection once they had jumped into our system and warped away. We then sat cloaked on the hole, hoping to slam the door shut on them with ships that were much fatter than they had probably anticipated. It ended up working a little too well, on their last pass into our system the Wormhole collapsed, leaving our Legions in their system and their Yachts in ours. But as was suspected, they didn't have the ability to refit and probe their way out so it wasn't long before we saw two Yacht wrecks and two corpses on D-Scan. Op success!

In future, perhaps modify your fit somewhat so you can get out of a jam. Like this one I prepared earlier...

[Victorieux Luxury Rolling Yacht]

Reactor Control Unit II
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II

100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Medium Higgs Anchor I
Medium Ancillary Current Router II
Medium Ancillary Current Router II

Mobile Depot x1
Core Probe Launcher II x 1
Sisters Core Scanner Probe x 8

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bait & Catch

In W-Space, effective baiting is often the difference between getting a fight and getting blue balled. At Buggery over the last year or so we've had great success with the Nereus, but it's become more famous as bait now than a Maller. So we switched it up to the Sigil which, whilst probably not quite as effective, still generates pretty amazing shield regeneration. Generally recognised as a nooby hauler, it frequently gets the cloaky hunter exposed, as this Pilgrim pilot will attest. In case you're curious, this is how we fit it:

[Sigil, Masterbaiter]

Damage Control II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II

Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Warp Scrambler II

Medium Diminishing Power System Drain I
Small 'Knave' Energy Drain

Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I

The small Nos will keep your scram on even if you're neuted dry and the medium helps to keep the hardeners going under similar circumstances. It's no use solo, of course, the Nereus is still king for that, but it's great for luring out cloaky campers.

In my C3 Red Giant I've currently got someone trying to do the same thing to me, albeit poorly. It started off with a Hound and a Magnate. But the owner was careless and allowed me to spot his two ships even after I had rolled all exits. Clearly he was camping the system. I watch listed the Magnate pilot and two days later it was biomassed. Nothing suss! Sure enough, a couple of days later a four day old pilot in an Imicus just miraculously appeared in the system after all exits were rolled. I convo'd him to feel him out but he was sticking with his story, hastily jumping back in system when I tried to roll him out, just like any other lost noob would when faced with two Megathrons, right? Then yesterday, it was a Heron. Again only a few days old and again appearing in system from nowhere when the only way in or out was being observed. Just to add some fuel to the suss fire, he ran only one of three Data sites in system before logging at a safe.

It's safe to assume he's trying to draw out the Disco Inferno. My guess is he's in a Hound, perhaps a Stratios, perhaps both, waiting by his nooby scanner to get popped and putting a long point on the Proteus and grinding it down. It's a great plan and the Hound is the perfect ship for the job, so I'll give him credit for that. And let's be honest, the Proteus has survived far too long already, its time is due. But I'm not going to give it up to a 4 day old Heron anytime soon. You're going to have to do better than that.

Pro-tip to my would be camper: I'm working 60 hour weeks so don't bother on weekdays, I can't be arsed. =]

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Opportunists, engage!

It's funny how intent gets twisted toward selfish gain. EVE magnifies this in so many ways, the latest examples of which have been great fun to observe and participate in.

CCP's latest attempt at content creation has been geared around the Blood Raider pirate faction. Having, by far, the coolest looking skins of any Pirate Faction in the EVE Universe, and possibly one of the most interesting back stories, anything that sees more Blood Raider presence is going to be welcome. Popping up across New Eden without warning, the combat sites that have spawned are immediately rewarding. Successful completion gets you the sexy looking Blood Raider skin for the already sexy looking Abaddon class Battleship and the chance of a 24 hour skill booster that gives you either +10 or +12 attributes to your training. If you're fortunate enough to have Biology trained to level 5, the booster doubles its life to 48 hours. They're proving a popular item selling for over 200 million ISK in many parts, even after the market settling from the initial rush. The Abaddon skins are cheap to buy if you've been unable to secure one, but it didn't stop some early birds trying to sell them for a couple of billion when they first arrived. The only negative has been the implementation. Initially the boosters weren't even working properly; CCP were reasonably quick to correct the error but it's still a pretty poor oversight.

With the boosters being so popular, we've been madly rolling connections looking for as many as we could find, finding a few vacant wormhole systems with as many as seven sites unattended. Some are seeking profit, others [like me] just interested in the training buff, but whatever the motives, we're clearly not alone in seeking them out. Which led us to a nice little fight...

One of our scouts had picked up on a couple of Prophecies that had just started on a site. Knowing they'd be through it very quickly, we formed up as fast as we could and pounced on them just as they started on a Sleeper Combat site. There were lots of sleepers on grid and the remote repair Prophecies were well enough set up that we really couldn't afford to primary their tractor unit, so the loot fairy would decide if we would get their booster or not. As it turned out, the loot fairy wasn't in the mood, keeping the booster for herself. It would have been a rather drawn out engagement without the Curse neuting out the buddy of the primary target. Without his reps landing the first Prophecy went down fast and the fate of the second was sealed.

Regardless, content was created, fights were had and EVE has become a little more interesting, at least for a while.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Playing the long game

I'm quite fond of shinies. Any time I've had the good fortune to scoop a faction or dead space module I take special care to squirrel it away for a rainy day. I tend not to use them very often if they're particularly shiney, any module worth over a hundred million ISK or so gets promptly sold off, but I always hold onto the stuff that looks worthless, for the most part.

I'm of course speaking of things like plating, small remote repairers and faction weapons. I don't see the point in selling them for next to nothing when there may come a day when that module becomes useful, even desirable.

It seems that day is fast approaching. Since the introduction of frigate sized wormholes it has been obvious that a glaring omission from gangs using these routes was a way to bring effective logistics ships with them. As it stands, frigate logi ships aren't bad, but they certainly aren't great, either. They're slow, have a poor resistance profile and are quite fragile. Invariably when a fight starts, they're the first cleared from the field of battle. In that instance it becomes obvious you'd have been better off just bringing eWar or DPS ships.

It's long been one of my favourite doctrines with Sudden Buggery to combine Enyos with Exequrors, so having a frigate wormhole capable logistics ship that doesn't instantly explode when someone looks at it sideways will be great for expanding the usefulness of that doctrine.

Hence, the announcement of Tech II Logistic Frigates recently is a very welcome one. Presumably with a strong resistance profile and the fitting flexibility to enable a reasonable buffer tank I'm sure they'll be widely adopted. If you've been reading my blog long enough you may remember I'd hoped that one of the functions of the Tech III Destroyers would fill this role, but I'm happy enough with this result, too.

Which brings me back to the shinies. If Logistics frigates go down the same road as their cruiser counterparts and are able to fit over sized modules, I expect these dead space modules will be in high demand. I suspect that won't be the case, however. The medium remote repairers have a high fitting cost, even more than that of their tech II variants, which really restricts them to cruiser hulls. I expect it's the small dead space repairers which will really be popular and judging by market influences already, it certainly appears to be the case.

Better start putting some more time into 3/10 and 4/10 DEDs, I guess...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Murderous Reputation

There are some nice changes coming to the EVE Universe, both in terms of game play and aesthetics. The Tech II Logistic Frigates and Navy Faction eWar frigates seems to be all anyone is talking about but it wasn't what grabbed my attention immediately. For me, it was the announcement of kill markers on ships.

Much like the dog fighter aces of wars gone by, when you land the killing blow on an opposing combat vessel your ship will be adorned with a decal displaying your victory. It does come with a catch though, these markers are tied to the ship, not the character, so if the vessel is destroyed or repackaged, the markings are gone forever. Which got me thinking...

My Disco Proteus has gotten me more kills than I care to count. I don't get into killboard heroics and as such don't have my API uploaded on any killboards recording all of my successes and losses, but it must be close to a thousand. One kill almost always turns into two and my blood sacrifices to Bob have been plentiful. Now, I'm told CCP already have the kill logging in place so when this feature deploys it's fair to say my Proteus will be adorned with an unknown number of shiney new decals. I wonder what people would pay for that?

Obviously I couldn't repackage the ship and proving the contract I was selling to the prospective buyer was the actual Proteus in question would be difficult and open to scams. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd even sell it as I'm really quite fond of the old girl. But it does beg the question, what would people pay for a hull adorned with lots and lots of kill markers?

I'm tipping there will be glory hounds out there who'd pay plenty for the privilege.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pay to Learn

It's good to see CCP making meaningful progress towards limiting the appearance of an unclimbable mountain in regards to skill training. For those of us with a few years of constant training under our belts it's probably a little tough to remember just how frustrating the skills system is as a new player. It very much limits what you can do, where you can go and ultimately, who you interact with. I think that last point is the most important one of all.

As someone in the AU Timezone, I can tell you first hand that it's a daunting experience when you set off on your EVE journey. Initially drawn in by the aesthetics and a love of almost all things Sci-Fi, my first two attempts at EVE both lasted less than a week. In those days the tutorials were poor and I had literally no one to point me in the right direction. The third attempt stuck, but only because I got into it with a few friends from a Battlefield clan and together we made mistakes and had a laugh. The concept of the game and it's aesthetics draw you in, but it's these personal interactions that keep you playing EVE, in my opinion.

So now CCP have, at long last, seen fit to buff the skill point donation to new players. Personally I still don't think it's enough, but it's a good start. Moreover, the tutorials and interface to help you become accustomed to the EVE Universe really is top shelf. Along with the best character creator in the MMO world by a very wide margin, the new player must be positively mesmerized by just how slick this game looks. However, I still don't think enough is being done to get those players interacting with player controlled corporations and alliances.

The latest news is the ability to remap poorly chosen skills. I really love this idea. I mean, I spent way too long on mining and industry skills when I came into this game and there was a time during my early forays into PvP when I would have gladly traded them for more appropriate skills. That time has past now, I've gone past 100 million skill points on both of my main characters, but this is the sort of flexibility young pilots need to ensure they don't just table flip when they realise mining is ten kinds of boring and they can't fly an Ishtar for at least a month.

Judging by the head explosions going on at the EVE Online Forums over this proposal, it would appear that I am in the minority. I'm yet to read a cogent argument as to why it's such a bad idea, but the general consensus seems to be a very juvenile one. "I couldn't do that, why should they be able to?" It's an effective way to remove yourself from the discourse in a meaningful way.

I'm not going to pretend I care enough about the mechanics of how they actually bring about the change; I actually trust CCP to do this right. In the meantime, I think I'll grab some popcorn and just watch the fireworks. Instead of getting bogged down by this, let's think about ways to get more newbros into the corporations. It's all good and well to make the unclimbable mountain less daunting, but it's made much easier when the load is shared.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What's a D-Scan?

You really have to wonder what some people are thinking. I know when I'm ratting in W-Space I know exactly where every exit is and pay close attention to every signature that spawns. I'm not interested in being caught out whilst I'm making ISK so I take appropriate precautions. D-Scan is of course a pivotal tool to keeping your shiney ratting ship, too.

We rolled into our new static C3 to find a T405 connection to a C4 Wolf Rayet system. Upon jumping in scouts reported a mobile tractor unit and a Paladin on D-Scan with wrecks but no combat signatures to be had. We assumed we'd probably just missed our chance so the combat probes went out in the hope he was a bit careless. Well, we found his site but upon landing he was leaving and the Relic site he was running had been fully completed. So back to probing we go, finding another Combat Data site in system which was dutifully bookmarked should he be so reckless as to not have seen our probes on scan. We left a scout in system and withdrew to let things cool for a bit.

Not ten minutes passed and our scout reports that the Paladin has just warped to the Data site, incredibly. We were a little thin on numbers so we formed up in my Pilgrim, an armour Svipul and a Heretic, the latter both fitted with scrams as we had witnessed him using a Micro Jump Drive earlier.

As he was finishing the first wave off we made our move, with the Heretic and Svipul providing initial tackle as the Pilgrim lumbered in. Our prey remained bastioned for at least a couple of minutes as we waited for the three medium neuts to do their work, all the while hoping he wasn't cap injected. The incoming DPS from the Sleepers was formidable and already had our Heretic in 30% armour but fortune smiled on us and they switched their attention back to the Paladin, allowing our bubbler to stay on grid to catch the all important pod. With the Paladin now neuted out from over use of his smart bombs and constant cap pressure he quickly went pop and was sent to HiSec via the express route shortly thereafter.

This is probably the gold standard for a Paladin running C4 sites solo these days. A little over blinged perhaps but you won't see me complaining. But it begs the question.

Do you even D-Scan, bro?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Force is Weak Sauce

It's been a long time between blogs. Bob's work has been on the back burner whilst I was dividing time between an hour intensive job and toying around with World of Warships for it's instant fun factor. Working for a living really does impede a disciple of Bob from carrying out His work, but I've managed to make a few sacrifices in His honour with the limited time I've had, the most amusing of which was this exploration Curse I stumbled upon in a neighbouring Wormhole.

The past week has been well and truly devoted to the open beta of Star Wars: Battlefront. It's something I and many of my friends have been eagerly awaiting as unashamed Star Wars nerds. The trailers have been spectacular and the prospect of a Battlefield 4 like experience but within the universe of Star Wars was something I was sure would see my POS run out of fuel from neglect. What you expect and what gets delivered however, are rarely the same.

The postives: 

It's utterly gorgeous and instantly fun. The models for the vehicles, infantry and scenery are all top shelf and very much in line with Star Wars canon. I often found myself just viewing the battlefield from range, watching the AT-ATs and AT-STs stomp through the snow and Tie fighters, X-Wings and and the like battle it out overhead. The ground is alive with red and green laser fire from all directions and it very much resembles the scene from the attack on the Hoth base in the Empire Strikes Back. It's the visuals more than anything that keep me going back.

Playing as Luke or Vader is a blast. Both are appropriately badass and have their strengths and weaknesses. I hate that they're on a timer but they are great fun to use.

The negatives:

I'll start with infantry. The gun play is pretty good for the most part but I am unable to understand why you're able to crouch and look down sights but still get no reward to accuracy for doing so. The result is a bunch of people left-right strafing and shooting from the hip like they're playing Unreal Tournament.

Air vehicles are Bob awful. As someone who sank way too many hours into the X-Wing series of games in years gone by I didn't expect that level of immersion, but this is less involved than Rogue Squadron was. It's very basic, unrewarding, awkward to use and ultimately ineffectual to the outcome of battle.

Ground vehicles aren't much better. I've known for a while that the AT-AT Walker would be on rails and I've made my peace with that. What's so disappointing is that if you're lucky enough to stumble upon a token that lets you control the weaponry of the beast, it only lasts 60 seconds before you're booted out. The AT-ST isn't much better. It initially feels a bit like the Battle Walkers of Battlefield 2142 but you're locked in a 3rd person view and the aiming reticle is inexplicably vague. Your shots never go where you think they'll go so you're forced to just stomp around and spam lasers, hoping for the best. The same applies to fixed emplacement turrets around the map. Horrible to aim with and they do little damage to vehicles anyway.

All that said and done, I'll probably drop the cash on this game but the way the game has been made, to make it really easy to jump into and do well from day one, has sealed its fate already when it comes to long term playability. For instant gratification it's great, but I think the modern gamer wants more than that, for the most part.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Viking Burial Redux

Well, the deed is done. Maythorn and friends showed up for another dip and the two Archons I wanted gone and, in the end, they are indeed gone. It just didn't quite go as expected.

We formed up in a very similar composition to last time, the two Triage Archons, a handful of Armour Battleships, Battlecruisers & Cruisers and clean pods. Maythorn and co probably weren't as prepared last time and we were hopeful of a better showing on this occasion but alas, two Archons just didn't seem to be enough of a lure to get some people to log in. They came nonetheless, in a mixed fleet of armour cruisers, Battleships and a couple of Bhaalgorns, out numbering us slightly but two Triage fit Archons would comfortably negate such a small advantage. As soon as the fight began, it became abundantly clear that the three Guardians were not going to be able to keep their fleet alive. It was a fleet of many corporations however, so it's fair to say communications probably weren't as stellar as you'd find on that of a corporation who fly together regularly. So the dominos fell and our reps held, clearing the field in fairly short order.

Alas, that wasn't the point of the exercise. These Archons needed to die, so it soon became everyone vs the Archons as we combined what remaining forces there were to send these Capitals to their resting place with Bob. It turns out a cap fit Triage Archon is a bitch to neut out so it took a long damn time, but we got there in the end.

Full Battle Report

Thank you to everyone who showed up, it was a blast.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Target rich environment

With my peculiar working hours, Tuesday is to me what Saturday is to most. Logging in on Tuesday morning there was nothing out of the ordinary to be seen in my C3 system, but I went about updating my bookmarks and siggy and started exploring my chain.

It's always pleasing to find some fresh Null rated Relic sites, they're like an iresistable candy for the HiSec explorers dipping their toes in W-Space. As luck would have it I had a couple of fresh ones so I bookmarked pounce spots and kept cloaky eyes in system whilst I went about resetting my Planetary Interaction harvests across six characters.

Before long I had a connection open from a C6 occupied by Haywire, an Aussie TZ W-Space entity that we are blue to when it counts, but all bets are off under all other circumstances. Being alone at the time I waited patiently as I had seen numerous pilots of theirs traversing my HiSec route. I just needed one of them to take an interest in one of my Relic sites. They obliged shortly after, landing a Buzzard in the site I was watching over who quickly made his way to the first can. I wanted to get this over fast, before reinforcements could arrive, so I immediately activated warp to the can he was scanning. Unfortunately, he didn't like what he saw in that can and moved on to the next one, the problem was I couldn't cancel warp fast enough and got decloaked upon landing with his Buzzard beyond the range of my Smart Bombs. He immediately warped off  and I went back to my pounce lamenting my missed opportunity.

Only a minute later he's back and moving towards a can. Spider senses start tingling. He had back up on field now, of this much I was sure. Undeterred, I aligned to his can and warped to 10 km's. I then aligned a celestial behind my target and as I was approaching speed to warp I uncloaked and let loose with all my smart bombs, vapourising the Buzzard and the Pod as a Stratios uncloaks right next to me. I initiate warp to my celestial and I'm gone before the Stratios has even had the chance to yellow box me. It was the perfect crime.

Turns out my day of murdering hapless explorers wasn't over. Over the course of the day an Imicus worth 95m ISK went pop, complete with his Sisters probe launcher and RSS probes, a Magnate, a Cheetah and two Asteros with Warp Core Stabs a go-go. My smart bombs care not for your warp core stabs, heretics!

Attempt number 2 of the Viking Burial will take place this weekend, all things going smoothly. Expect to see me regaling you of epic Archon losses shortly thereafter.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Viking Burial

Since moving into my current home things have been pretty sweet. One rather odd hangover of evicting the old tenants however is what to do with these damn Archons we inherited. Initially I thought they could be useful for solo ratting the Sleeper Radar Data sites as they can be quite a handful in even a Rattlesnake, and indeed I did use one of them for that purpose a few times. But it's tiresome and slow and even with good hole control, you're going to get caught one day. I could just strip them down and self destruct them for the insurance but it's just not my style, I'd much rather use them to create some content for my fellow pilots and see them die gloriously in battle, guaranteeing their path through the gates of Valhalla. I revealed my idea to Trinkets friend and he put the ball in motion, offering the prospect of a good fight to Maythorn. They outnumber us pretty comprehensively, but the goal was to see the carriers die and have a fun fight, not necessarily win the battle.

Time lines were established and The Maythorn agreed to be the meat in our Archon sandwich, turning up on time for the most part, although losing a Paladin en route to a duel in Jita. The two Archons were set up for Triage and capacitor regeneration, predictably. Throw into the mix a support fleet of two neut Armageddons, a pair of Scorpions and an assortment of other DPS Battleships and subcaps, it promised to be a good brawl. Unfortunately however, The Maythorn were a little under represented. They brought along a trio of Guardians, a Bhaalgorn, three neut Armageddons, a curse and a few T1 or faction Armour Cruisers. Honestly, even without the support fleet I think they may have had a hell of a time breaking the two Triage Archons. No fault of the leadership of course, all you can do is make your members aware of content being created, it's up to them to actually log on and make the effort.

Being good sports, they didn't just turn tail and bail out and, without going into the gritty detail, it didn't pan out too well for them. There were some accidental poddings from Smart Bomb spam [it is a Red Giant, after all] and despite the result, it was a good fight that probably wasn't as one sided as it might appear on the killboard.

I was particularly pleased with something of an experimental Armageddon fit for the fight too.

[Armageddon, Neuting Pairs]

Damage Control II
1600mm Steel Plates II
1600mm Steel Plates II
Corelum C-Type Energized Thermic Membrane
Corelum C-Type Energized Kinetic Membrane
Corelum C-Type Energized Explosive Membrane
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Large Micro Jump Drive
100MN Afterburner II
ECCM - Radar II
ECCM - Radar II

Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Large Remote Capacitor Transmitter II
Large Remote Capacitor Transmitter II

Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I

Berserker II x5
Bouncer II x5
Praetor EV-900 x5

Clearly we were expecting some Falcons that didn't eventuate, but the goal was to allow enough cargo space for a refit of Smart Bombs, Nosferatus or Cap Regeneration, should the situation demand it. Being able to refit off a carrier is a rare privilege for me, so the space the cap boosters would take up just wouldn't do. I could've just loaded up the Archons with those items of course, but it felt like I was leaving my destiny in someone elses hands a little more than I'm comfortable with. Paired with another Armageddon of the same fit, you can keep all 5 Neuts going for around 5 minutes and we were able to stress their Neuting and DPS ships throughout the fight without bothering the Archons for capacitor every thirty seconds.

There will be another attempt at seeing these carriers die in glory soon, hopefully the first conflict will whet the appetite of our friends at Maythorn. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Location, Location, Location...

Success with Night Fever very much depends on where my static HiSec leads. If I'm connected to an out of the way system without any through traffic I'll quite often go the whole day without any visitors, so it was with some gleeful anticipation that I connected to Sehmy yesterday, just two jumps from Amarr and one from a Rookie system and several popular mining systems. It's where I was born as an EVE player, so I knew the region well and was confident it was well farmed by the locals. As often happens a couple of hapless newbies wandered into system together, presumably thinking there was safety in numbers. Honestly, I thought the first one would run screaming from system after his friend exploded, but greed is a powerful motivator and he followed his friend out to HiSec in similar fashion a couple of minutes later. Fortunately for them both, Bob does not discriminate who is deserving of His love and as His chosen vector of love, I took great delight in educating our newest brethren on His Glory.

Now, newbies need converting, of that there is no denying, but it's the heretics who deny Bob's existence that I am charged with educating. This morning, such a heretic wandered into Bob's realm.

I had only just finished doing my morning PI resets when I noticed a distant signature disappear. Fairly certain it was one of the two Data sites in system I immediately jumped into Night Fever and headed to the second one. Moments later an Astero landed in the site and started scanning the cans for content. It's not something you like to see, especially in a Data site, the things are devoid of value and most explorers will just pass them by, but this chap had a track record of completing them so I aligned to the can closest to him, regardless.

Sure enough, he began his hack, I warped in on top of him letting the can uncloak me and setting off my five smart bombs in fast succession. The second cycle of the bombs saw his ship detonate and the pod an instant later. Satisfied with the result, I scooped the contents of his wreck and his corpse for a blood ritual at a later date, and returned to POS. It was a nice Astero. The Loot Fairy, damn her to Bob, saw fit to make off with most of the goodies, but the return was a nice one, regardless. The truly shocking part of this particular sacrifice was yet to come.

I'll just leave this here.

Oddly, no Omega hardwiring to get the most from a High Grade Slave set, but in hindsight I guess it was for the best.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Super Size Me!

The latest image from CCP's Tumbler account really gives some perspective to the scale of a Citadel, finally. With an Avatar and a Chimera parked off to one side the sheer enormity of the structure is suddenly brought into stark reality, and it's just a Medium! Unfortunately, it's probably brought a stark reality to a few hopeful capsuleers, myself included.

I admit, what I know about Capital ship construction you could write on the back of a postage stamp with a crayon, but judging by the scale of this structure, an extraordinary amount of minerals are going to be required and a highly skilled industry character to build it. The prospect of having a home base in W-Space that didn't require fueling is a lucrative one and I did have every intention of setting up one for both my bearing entities and with Sudden Buggery for our respective home bases. Now... I'm less certain about it.

For one, it's clearly going to take several weeks just to build it. That's a long time for someone in W-Space to find your Citadel under construction and coat hanger it. Secondly, if scaling is anything to go by, the mineral requirement will be enormous and almost certainly beyond the achievable realms of a small group.

Then you have to consider the cost. If a Titan is worth about, what, 60 billion these days[?] and the citadel is, at least by visuals, four or five times the size of a Titan, I think it's fair to say the ISK you save on fuel may take a while to pay it off.

With any luck I'm being an alarmist and going off half cocked over a few artist impressions. I know CCP want to phase out POS's in favour of these behemoths, and I'm all in favour of that so long as it's achievable for those of us not in the big NullSec power Blocs.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bittervet is bitter

When I set myself to Disco explorers back to HiSec for the Glory of Bob, I don't discriminate. I don't care if you're a day old newbie in your first Magnate or a bittervet who doesn't even know why he's farming ISK anymore, Bob's appetites cannot be sated. From a personal point of view, the bitter vets are certainly the most desirable.

It's a regular Wednesday morning and I'm camping the only Relic site in my system with the Proteus that has served me so well. A new sig pops up and moments later so do the probes. Excellent! The visitor is from an Illusion of Solitude C4 system and after a few minutes he seems to have found what he was after, moving his Viator back and forth through the HiSec. I considered crushing his wormhole home but a scan in system indicated he had friends online so doing so undetected would be unlikely. I resolved to wait and see if his greed would get the better of him.

I didn't have to wait long. A Helios lands in the Relic system and the result was predictable. What wasn't expected was the fury.

Dean Mintar > little faggot
Apex Bex > Bob thanks you for your sacrifice.
Dean Mintar > figures you would be a bob fucker
Dean Mintar > i like fucking people like you
Dean Mintar > :)
Dean Mintar > catch you tomorrow ;)
Apex Bex > unlikely
Dean Mintar > and everyday until i get that proteus

Clearly an alt of the victim, and apparently I've made a new friend. No doubt he won't be the last to try and catch Night Fever, but if he's successful, he will be the first. =]

Fly dangerous. o7

Saturday, August 1, 2015

You'll never take me alive!

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Russian occupiers of our new home had no interest in negotiating their own safe withdrawal, instead self destructing every vessel in their POS. The Rorqual as spoken about earlier and now the only thing of value they had left, the Archon. Numerous smaller ships met a similar fate and they withdrew from system in a Viator and some Covert frigates never to be seen again.

Tactics like this have always confused me. I understand that not everyone who plays EVE wants to PvP, but when you're faced with the certainty of your own ships destruction as they were, wouldn't you take a swing at it anyway? To be clear, this isn't an exclusively Russian thing to do, I've witnessed La Division Bleu do it before on a grand scale and obviously lesser entities in W-Space regions, but I'm at a loss to explain the mindset.

Is it considered a small victory to deny PvP players the opportunity to PvP? Is it just in an effort to deny the attacking force some spoils of victory? For future reference, quite often your attacker just wants control of the system, a peaceful withdrawal can be negotiated.

I know were I in a position that I couldn't negotiate my way out of I would most certainly fight to the last ship, I get insurance payouts regardless and maybe I could take a few out along the way and actually salvage some pride instead of skulking away with dignity in tatters.

It's all mathematical now, of course. The system is ours, the Russians are evicted and the killboard is green.

Friday, July 31, 2015

An Unkindness of Ravens

The move is on. The C4 Wormhole with C2 and C4 statics that has been the home of Sudden Buggery for over a year now is being abandoned, for the most part, in search of statics that may provide better ISK and PvP opportunities. Ideally, we would be looking for a C4 with C2 and C3 statics with a Black Hole effect. Unfortunately, in all of New Eden, there are but two such systems. Shortly after finding one of those systems and seeding a scanning alt into it, plans were put in motion to evict the current residents. They were well dug in, with two faction towers credibly defended, but our chances of finding the other system like it was minimal, so we decided to go for it anyway.

Because of the Black Hole effect, our tried and true Raven POS Bashing doctrine was adjusted slightly for better application of damage and we moved the lion's share of our assets from our old home to staging systems in HiSec. Just two days before the siege was set to begin, Bob smiled on us again, connecting us to the only other C4 Black Hole system with the statics we wanted just two jumps from the one we were about to siege. A little research showed this system to be far less of a bastion and an enemy who operated in a similar TZ to our mob of rascals, so the decision to change direction ever so slightly was an easy one.

The day before our assault a home base was established with an emphasis on eWar. I won't go into the details of it, but it's a handful for any prospective assault. It mattered not however, as our target didn't have a single pilot log in before or during the siege on the tower.

So the siege went without a hitch. The Trashcat™ doctrine once again proved itself more than capable of overcoming overwhelming DPS and eWar and the tower was reinforced in short order. With the hard work done and a 36 hour timer set we went about incapacitating all of the surrounding defences to make the final assault somehwat simpler.With that job complete, our Russian friends finally logged in.

My dealing with Russians in my day to day life has been limited. From what I can recall, they seem like nice people, nothing overtly belligerent about them. But when it comes to EVE I see a very different animal. In all of the POS Sieges I've taken part in against Russians, and there have been quite a number, not once have they ever even attempted diplomacy. At first I thought language was the barrier, but their very amusing tirades of abuse in local chat put that to rest. I put myself in their position and I'd at least want to know why my sand castle was being kicked over. From there, all kinds of opportunities open up. The last siege we conducted saw the previous occupant moving out with everything he owned in tact and the POCOs and two Archons were the cost of that withdrawal. We know the Russians here have at least one Archon, so such a trade would again be acceptable but no, that wouldn't do, would it?

It what can only be described as a last act of defiance, with barely a word being uttered, they boarded a Rorqual from their Ship Maintenance Array and set it to self destruct. No one cares about the Rorqual anyway. We don't mine and they're something of a white elephant these days, but it could have been a useful bargaining chip.

Oh well, we shall see what the future holds. It looks like we'll just be blowing up an empty husk of a tower come Sunday morning, but I'm fine with that too.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Scourge of Wormholes

Anyone who has spent any time in low class wormholes has seen it. It is the scourge of Wormhole space and the crowning achievement of the risk averse PvP pilot. I speak of course of the testicularly challenged men and women of New Eden who choose to sit on a HiSec exit with a Heavy Interdictor, snaring whatever prey happen to jump in. They of course are after the low hanging fruit. Haulers, Explorers, nothing that can actually defend itself or provide a good fight. Should the unthinkable happen one just needs to jump out to HiSec and the protection of Concord so their precious Interdictor and killboard are saved from the disgrace of a loss mail.

It never used to be a problem. To be fair, it's not a problem now to anyone with some common sense, but it is not in the spirit of PvP combat. I know as someone who regularly smart bombs mostly defenseless explorers back to HiSec that might come off as a little hypocritical, but I am still putting myself at risk. A little effort would bring my plan undone in a heartbeat and there's no HiSec for me to safely jump to. I understand no one wants to lose their vessel, but it's important to remember that it's really just pixels and - I really can't stress this enough - no one gives a damn about how your killboard looks but you. Seriously, get over it. Before the jump distance changes on Wormholes this sort of sighting was rare. Even an Orca would land within the 5 kilometer radius to jump back out again, so there was absolutely no danger when jumping into a Wormhole. Now a Tech 1 Industrial will often land 8 km's off the aperture, easily allowing the camping Onyx the opportunity to relieve you of your vessel.

So, in the spirit of eliminating such risk averse tactics from W-Space, I got to thinking. Perhaps some subtle changes are in order?

I think the most obvious solution is a weapons discharge timer. After all, you can't re-ship from your Ship Maintenance Array until a minute has passed, why couldn't the same be said of a Wormhole? I'm not suggesting it to be just for HiSec connections either; personally I'd be open to it being the case for all wormhole connections. If you're going to take part in a fight, you should commit to it.

I would also like to see an increase in the distance you spawn from a wormhole when jumping through. Nothing too significant; indeed you could achieve the same effect by reducing the jump range from 5,000 metres to 2,500 metres, the purpose to make withdrawing from a fight just a little more challenging but certainly not impossible. It makes sense, doesn't it? Star Gates and Acceleration Gates all require you to be within 2,500 metres, I'm not reinventing the wheel here or anything.

Not only would such an action rid HiSec connections of people who have no place calling themselves PvP pilots, it would dramatically change combat in W-Space and certainly make people re-think their doctrines. Frankly, I'd settle for it only happening on HiSec connectors, but I'm curious as to how others might address it. Call me crazy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

System Effects be damned. Again.

I've written about system effects before. It still astonishes me how people just ignore the massive benefits or drawbacks that can accompany certain systems, and tonight's escapade was another shining example of that.

Today had been a pretty good day, not a lot of PvP happening but I got a lot of shit done. EVE can be job-like at times but at least Bob saw fit to reward my hard work and devotion on this occasion.

Whilst I had been shuffling masses of ships around HiSec in preparation for a siege, I noticed Hard Knocks had surprised some guys from Oruze Cruze who were trying to run my sites. I don't think they caught them, but they did knock off all of their MTU's and drove them out of my system whilst I was indisposed. Cheers Lazer Hawks, I owe you one. Upon getting my chores done I came home to update my chain and see what was what. Just the lone Relic site in system, but I was connected close to Jita so I was bound to find an explorer stumbling in at some point. Bob delivered, and a sacrifice was made in His honour.

Although satisfied with the result, the chain needed scanning and oh boy, did Bob deliver. I had a K162 connection from a C4 Wolf Rayet system that I hadn't had the opportunity to fully explore, so I jumped in and hit D-Scan. Popping up I saw an active POS but also a Vargur and a 'Packrat' Mobile Tractor Unit. No wrecks yet, but why else would someone have a spendy MTU out if they weren't about to kill some sleepers? I immediately alerted the guys on comms and got to finding my quarry. With only three combat sites in system it didn't take long. Fortune smiled on us as most of the guys were only a handful of jumps away, making best speed in whatever was handy, bearing in mind the system effect bonus to armour and small gun damage. The fleet very swiftly gathered on the entry as we waited for the Vargur to finish the site. Class 4 sites can dish out a significant amount of damage and we were without logistics support, so going in early would've been foolhardy.

Our quarry finished off the sleepers and started salvaging the wrecks gathered around him. Now was the time. I called the fleet to jump and hold cloak as I warped to within tackle range. Just before uncloaking I called them to warp on me at 0, then uncloaked and went for tackle. Tackle never happened as he immediately entered Bastion and locked up my tackle Astero. I had my repairers overheated in preparation for the Smart bomb I had seen him using so effectively on the Sleepers, but the Smart Bombing never came. It turns out he had refit for salvaging and pulled his Mobile Depot back in already. Well, by now his fate was sealed as the small gang landed and applied neuting pressure. The kill mail will show that despite the system effect, he still tanked pretty strong. In a Pulsar we'd have been there all day. But it wasn't a Pulsar, it was a Wolf Rayet, and he lost his Vargur, his pod and I got a Gecko to throw on the pile of other Geckos I'm afraid to use.

Bob is kind. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What, me exploit?

Playing in the AUTZ has it's ups and downs. For PvP, it's mostly downs as the herd has been thinned out by neckbeards passing out at their keyboard whilst drool pools around their mouse. Of course, there's also RUS hour, as we call it; those hours just after downtime when our non ransom paying friends in Russia log in to stare at you until you fucking cry. On the flip side, it's also a good time to harvest your surrounding W-Space regions for ISK as you're far less likely to be dropped on by a marauding gang of...well...people like me. >_>

It was the PvE endeavours that led me to a profitable discovery recently. I had just dispatched a hapless Magnate pilot from system with Disco Inferno and down time was fast approaching. I thought as it was mere minutes away, I may as well re-ship and finish the Relic site he had started on. So this I did, getting through all but one can before the server closed down. Fifteen minutes later I log in after the restart and immediately warp in to the Relic site that I assumed was now gone, only to find it fully repopulated with cans to hack. Odd. This shall require further testing.

There has been a Barren Gas site in my home system for the past couple of days that I can never seem to finish. I get most of the way through the C50 and a new signature spawns so I go off to investigate, then down time comes around and I don't get the chance to finish it. Being the completionist I am, I went back to it again last night, started on the C50 again and scanned it to find 3,000 units. Again. Moreover, the sleeper rats are respawning after each downtime, despite being destroyed the previous day.

So here's my tip folks. Run everything you can until it's about to despawn. Leave that last wave of rats in the combat site, huff all but a few units of Gas from the cloud and hack all but one or two of your least valuable Relic cans. Then come back after down time and have another crack to double your ISK.

I have no idea if this was intended by CCP but I certainly doubt it was, so you'd better make the most of it whilst you can. Nerf bat will be incoming.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dominate me, baby.

The new Dominix skin has made it to Singularity and damn girl, you sexeh. No longer is it the much maligned space potato or basketball boot of old. It's now far more sleek yet somehow menacing at the same time. Of particular note is the drone bay at the back, a very nice touch to such a dedicated drone vessel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What explosion?

The move to my new Class 3 Red Giant Wormhole has been tremendous. Not only is the ISK flow outstanding for a lone operator, the bonuses in system make it just glorious for my Smart Bombing Proteus. I mean, I loved it before I was in a Red Giant system, now it's a downright infatuation.

Times gone by without the boost of the Red Giant effect roughly half of the Asteros I attacked
would get away in deep structure. All it took was a hardener or two, or perhaps a plate. More and more explorers see the value in the dual rep fit, it tanks very hard and can even defend itself quite capably against similarly sized vessels. The 58% bonus to damage and range has put that to rest, with this particular sacrifice going pop on the second volley of bombs.

Comfortable in the knowledge of the effectiveness of my favourite weapon I sat a lone figure in my system with just a solitary Data site occupying my scan results. I positioned myself about 180 kilometres from the closest warpable object whilst flying my other character in Sudden Buggery, popping a bunch of Prospects detailed in an earlier post.

Not long after that engagement I saw probes on D-Scan. With no new signatures in system they must have come from the HiSec connector. So I waited patiently and was soon rewarded with two Asteros from the same Corporation landing in my Data site. I'd dearly love to get a double header here but the cans were very well spaced apart, making the opportunity unlikely. Resigned to just getting one of them, I aligned to the older of the two characters and entered warp. Upon landing I was decloaked by the can he was hacking and just one volley from my smart bombs relieved him of his vessel. I immediately aligned back to my jump spot and the second volley sent his conciousness back to HiSec. I ignored the scoop and warped to my pounce, cloaking en route. Amazingly, the second Astero was still hacking another can, apparently oblivious to what had happened to his counterpart. I immediately warped to him, again getting decloaked by the can he was hacking and exacting an identical result.

Arse Tear Oh!

The Loot Fairy smiled upon me with both Sisters Probe launchers dropping, easily eclipsing the value of the Data site's contents. Moreover, I have some fresh corpses for Bob, too. =]

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Proof of Bob

There exists in New Eden, in both known and Wormhole space, Heretics and non believers who deny the existence of Bob. Today, I put this discussion to rest.

With the latest round of Sovereignty changes all inactive Territorial Claim Units have been reclaimed by CCP. As these structures double as Sacred Altars to Bob in Wormhole regions, this is a serious affront to Bob and all whom worship him. Countless corpses have been sacrificed at our Altar followed by the recitation of the prayer; to remove such a sacrosanct place of worship is the clearest indication yet that those who follow Bob are under direct assault from CCP.

As a final gesture to Bob, dozens of collected corpses and shuttles were sacrificed only moments before down time. The prayer was said one last time at this holiest of places and we bid our final farewells amongst the shrapnel of bombs and cleansing light of our star.

Bob does not always see fit to reward us for our sacrifices, but surely such a statement of our devotion would not go unanswered? Indeed, Bob saw fit to provide us the content we so deeply desire and, as is increasingly the case, via a low mass wormhole the following day.

A devoted scout of Bob identified a mining fleet of eight Prospects, presumably extracting gas, from a Wolf-Rayet Shattered Wormhole system. Further inspection established that they were in fact mining Pristine Arkonor, presumably oblivious to the imminent danger thanks to the good grace of Bob. The team formed up in our best ships to deal with such a target and warped to the rock being so industriously mined by all eight ships. Bubbles went up and, although scattering to all directions, every last Prospect and their pilot was systematically hunted down, relieved of their vessel and their conciousness so that their now soulless husk could be offered to Bob, in His glory.

Bob's Sacrifice

By no means was this a great hunt or even a win against the odds. It was far more valuable than that. It was the clearest indication yet of how He favours His chosen people. Hail Bob.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Small gang content is what W-Space is all about. In such situations, pilot ability and communication are as much a weapon as the ship you are flying. You don't have to be Sun Tzu to know that. As such, we are always on the lookout for such an opportunity. Sudden Buggery frequently bite off far more than they can chew, such is our desire for that sort of content. Sometimes it goes great, sometimes it goes bad. But it's just pixels and it's always entertaining. If you can't deal with losing a few ships here and there you probably don't belong in Sudden Buggery and certainly don't belong in W-Space.

Sunday morning we get word of a Stratios poking about in our chain belonging to a pilot from Wingspan TT. They're a corporation who've gained some notoriety thanks to their CEO Chance Ravinne's YouTube Channel. I'm not going to link it but if you like to watch someone cloaky camp a system in a stealth bomber whilst he muses about whether or not the Retriever he could disengage at any moment is bait or need tips on how to track down and murder Mobile Tractor Units in NullSec, he's your guy.

Knowing the Modus Operandi of Wingspan such as we do, we knew they wouldn't engage anything that posed a threat, so we deployed the trusty bait Sigil with it's crazy shield regeneration. Upon our bait pilot jumping out to HiSec we were told of a further three Wingspan pilots in local, presumably cloaked on the HiSec waiting for their scout to find a defenseless mule. So our bait warps off to station, then back to the HiSec to jump in and hopefully be tackled. Fighting on a HiSec is never favourable as your enemy can withdraw far too easily, but it was the situation we found ourselves in and maybe, just maybe, our quarry were of a similar mind that perhaps they could kill a ship or two before being forced to withdraw.

The Sigil jumps in and is immediately engaged by the Stratios waiting within. Wormhole fire behind the Sigil saw two more Stratios and a Falcon [lol] follow through. With the hook implanted our fleet composition of a Lachesis, Stratios, Orthrus and a Scythe entered warp. The Falcon was of course called primary but as we were landing he was already jumping out to HiSec. You know where this is going, right? Yep, the three Stratios' all jumped out also, without us even doing so much a a yellow box.

Three Stratios and a Falcon vs a Stratios, Lachesis, Orthrus and a Scythe and your first instinct is to run like Forrest Gump. I'm just glad your members can legally marry now.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Content HO?

It's moments like this that really bring a smile to my face. I was alerted to a thread on the EVE Reddit page by a friend that looks like this...
Wall of text incoming. On July 1st, I returned to my wormhole (J213411, a C3 Red Giant with a high-sec static) after a week of absence, and noticed a new medium POS. Noticing also that the previous inhabitants had packed up and left, I began to dig. Boy did I find something! The new POS had been put up by a corp called Boundless Exploration, an Australian TZ corp with 7 members (of which, several must be alts). Digging deeper into zkillboard yielded some additional information, and pointed me towards the CEO's blog... Detailed in said blog is the story of how their seven man group managed to extort two Archons and a number of structures off of the previous inhabitants only 4 days ago at the time of posting. Having warped to the moon the POS was anchored around while digging, I noticed two Ship Maintenance Arrays. Just the right amount to hold his two newly acquired Archons! Can you believe it? After I found all of this out, I sat back to contemplate the +3bil in assets in that one wormhole... with only seven people in corp. This is where my story turns tragic. Everyone who I know in game wants nothing to do with this content. Either can't do it, or don't really feel like it. So, I'm throwing this out there to all four people who will read this. Get in gear and blow it all up. Current High-Sec entrance is Komo, but I'f you're even remotely interested, ask for the current Static location, and you'll get it. Please make this happen.
TL;DR +3Bil in assets are only one medium POS bash away.

This was of course in relation to the recent eviction I blogged about earlier. What I'm trying to work out is if the guy who posted the thread was the one evicted [although he claims he isn't] or just a squatter calling my system his. Without a single online tower or even a POCO in your possesion I'm not sure how you come to claim a W-Space system, but whatever, have your delusions for all I care.

Most amusing is the level of detective work he's done. Killboard research, Corporation research, even reading my blog, although apparently selectively, finally coming to the conclusion that I'm a ripe target that'll just roll over. Quite the detective indeed.

Whilst I can't know who the mystery stalker is yet, I have my suspicions. Most notably is the Astero pilot I popped during the eviction, the old owners confirming he had been squatting in system for some time. I haven't seen him since but I'll be on the look out, regardless. I do love me some good old fashioned huntin'.

But really, here's hoping for a siege. They're great content drivers and I'll gladly lose those two Archons in a good fight, it's not like they cost me anything. So if you need an entry system, just ask. No need for the cloak and dagger, I'm very accommodating like that. =]

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hole Control

The move to my new home is now largely complete, save for a few more ships I'll need. The step up from a Class 2 to a Class 3 has been much greater than I had expected, but I'm quickly finding it to be a very profitable and positive move. In a Class 2 system most combat anomalies would net you roughly 20m ISK in Data Libraries, so it takes quite a bit of Sleeper farming to turn that into a good income. If it takes ten minutes per site you're looking at 120m ISK per hour if you've got the sites to run. The Data and Relic sites are nominally better at best, so you really have to extract all you can from a Class 2 system to cover fuel costs and declare it profitable. That includes Gas harvesting and Planetary resources, even ore if that's your thing.

It's still early days, but it looks like things will be different in the Class 3. So far I've made 200m from one Relic site, 100m from a Data site and the combat anomalies are paying 45-50m each. They're significantly tougher to do, of course, and it took me a while to best configure the Rattlesnake to best deal with the incoming DPS, but in the end I was able to maintain >1.2K DPS and a passive recharge approaching 700 HP per second.

C3 Rattler

Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Shield Recharger II
Shield Recharger II
Pithum C-Type EM Ward Amplifier
Pithum C-Type Thermic Dissipation Amplifier
Pithum C-Type Kinetic Deflection Amplifier

Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher II
Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher II
Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher II
Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher II
Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher II
Drone Link Augmentor II

Core Defense Field Purger II
Core Defense Field Purger II
Core Defense Field Purger II

Garde II x2
Vespa EC-600 x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Bouncer II x2

The Rapid Heavy Missile launchers might seem like an odd choice for PvE because of their long reload, but with so many mid and low power slots, not to mention rigs, being consumed by tank, the application of Cruise Missiles or Torpedoes is woeful. Moreover, they add over 400 DPS to your damage output without the need for Ballistic Control Systems. If you know your spawns well enough, you can time a reload to coincide with when you're going to need to get a damaging Sleeper off the field quickly and with faction missiles and good skills, they still hit beyond 60 km's, which is usually well within the spawn range of the Sleepers in a C3 anomaly.

That setup allows me to clear anomalies in under ten minutes, effectively doubling my ISK efficiency compared with a Class 2 system. Moreover, the Rattlesnake is very cheap to buy or replace, despite being a massive gank target for roaming W-Space gangs. Which is exactly why hole control is so important.

Whilst field testing this fit yesterday I had an alt parked on my only way in or out of system, from HiSec. He was cloaked with probes out and every known signature was ignored so the moment a new one popped up, it would be populated on the scanning window. Such a level of paranoia undoubtedly saved my Rattlesnake yesterday as, when I was half way through a site of only four in system, a new signature suddenly appeared. I immediately pulled my sentries in and got safe with the Rattlesnake whilst I probed out the new signature. It turns out it was a wormhole from a C4 connector and, after watching it for a while, I saw the Lachesis that spawned it disappear back through it once he realised his quarry had made safe. Shortly after, all manner of rolling Battleships came through that same wormhole, collapsing it as they went on with their hunting.

The D-Scan invulnerability and point range bonuses of this ship make it the perfect scout for catching unaware ratting ships with low levels of paranoia. Set up right, they can sustain a mighty amount of damage until their fleet lands on grid and your goose is cooked.

But once again, healthy levels of paranoia won the day.