Sunday, January 31, 2016

Confess your sins to Bob

We make light of the learning curve in Eve, even after over six years of continuous game play I still learn new things all the time. Those lessons are far more nuanced than they used to be, admittedly, but I still get surprised by some crazy shit I didn't know almost every week.

Which got me thinking. What are the top five most stupid things I've done in Eve? Yes, there's a lot more than five, but for the sake of brevity...

5. In my early days of PvP [cough] I would can flip miners in HiSec belts. It frustrated me when they anchored Giant Secure Containers in the belt so I trained hacking to level 3 to mess with them. Yes, I really did.

4. Warping an alt in an Orca from my HiSec to my POS without scouting it first. Orca lands in a bubble 600km's off the POS greeted by a Hound, an Arazu and a Dominix. I had a couple of months worth of ice related products on board to make POS fuel with, too. Ouchies.

3. Rolling a NullSec connection with a corp mate, totally misjudging the mass limit on the hole and rolling him out in Red Alliance space, over 20 jumps from HiSec in a Faction Fit Abaddon. No, he didn't make it.

2. Tackling an Orca that was scooping a tower but my two Asteros were unable to break his shield regeneration. So I warped one out to re-ship for more DPS and soon discovered the Orca had warp core stabilizers fitted. -_-

1. Offlining modules in a POS in preparation to move out of a hostile system when I offlined the whole tower. Three haulers floating in the force field were killed by one bomb and I managed to online the tower 15 minutes later without anyone noticing. >_>

When have you been gripped by the dumb?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Credit Stealing Bastards!

I've recently resolved to go back to a more pro-active style of hunting. The trapdoor spider approach, whilst highly amusing when it works, was destroying my soul with the endless hours of waiting. I'm going to pretend that I've got better shit to do, OK?

After a long day at the office and under a searing sun I was pretty shagged when I slumped into my plush leather captain's chair last week. I was sure some time spent in the service of Bob would rejuvenate me, so I got to exploring the chain. I had a couple of transient connections which may have scored me a Heron at a Relic site had I been about a minute faster, but I'm really after more interesting prey than that, so I return to my home system and just as I'm about to switch to another character I notice a new signature has populated my scan window. I quickly scan it down to find a K162 connection to a C3. The spawning mechanic being what it is, there's no way for me to know if it was a player jumping the hole that spawned it or if it was a chance based spawn, I'm certainly hoping it's the latter and there is nothing on D-Scan to indicate I have a visitor. So I jump through and D-Scan the new system to reveal an engaging discovery. Lots of Sleeper wrecks, a mobile tractor unit and two Rattlesnakes. However, there is an active force field also.

I find the Rattlesnakes quickly and as I land on grid with them in my Astero they are just finishing the site and both are warping back to the safety of their POS. It's possible they spotted me jump in, but there are very few signatures on scan so I think they may be under the impression that they have no open entries. A quick look at their killboard and my eyes widen; they've lost three Rattlesnakes in the last month fitted with Dead Space active shield boosters, shield boost amplifiers and A-Type Adaptive Invulnerability fields, worth over 700 million ISK on their own. The planet they warped to has only one moon, so I warp in on it at range to monitor their movements. It's about now that it all went horribly wrong. As luck would have it, warping in at 100 km's from my angle of approach got my Astero de-cloaked by the force field. They've spotted me for sure. I warp off and cloak up, cursing my bad luck and apologising to those in comms that I was rallying for the intercept.

To my amazement, even after salvaging the site they had just finished, they started up again. So once again the fleet is forming up, arriving at the HiSec connection as they finish the site. Next time they go out, we strike.

Only they didn't go out again. For whatever reason, they got suddenly gun shy. One Rattlesnake stayed camped in the POS whilst a Helios and Astero buzzed about their chain, never spotting our fleet but not resuming normal activities either. After an hour of this we call off the hunt and I resolve to camp the system with my scout until suitable prey turns up again.

What followed was a week of frustration. For days they'd barely log in at all and when they did, just idle at POS for a while before logging off. I was really starting to regret this idea all together when finally one of their pilots logs in already piloting a Kronos and immediately leaves the POS to go kill some sleepers without checking system at all. I'm not sure if he's brave or stupid, but I'm betting on the latter. My mains are 30+ jumps away so I put the call out in a shared intel channel only to discover my only entry is in the middle of butt fuck nowhere and they are all the best part of thirty jumps away too. With my quarry only having three combat sites to run, we're never going to get there in time. So I silently watch in my Astero and say a little prayer to Bob for a better connection next time.

Some days later, having succumbed to boredom and revealing myself by blowing up an Astero and an Epithal of theirs I was ready to give up on my camp. So I log in, cloak and hit D-Scan expecting nothing out of the ordinary. Suddenly my watch list pings, it's the Marauder pilot again! The connection to K-Space is better now and I put out the call as I arrive at their POS and see the Kronos warp off to a combat site. He's got seven to grind through, we've got time. The fleet comes together as he's salvaging the first site, we're ready to pounce the moment he gets back into the Kronos and starts on site two. As if knowing that, he does absolutely nothing, switching from Noctis to Velator, logging off, logging on some PI alts, logging on again and finally, logging off.

I table flipped. Fuck this! I had a job to go to anyway so, once again, I apologise to my fleet members and go to work. For the record, I had a ripper day and made many PLEX worth of human monies =]. Upon logging into Eve after work I am immediately hailed by Jack Haamilton and linked the following kill mail. The credit stealing bastards! ;)

Op success. Thank Bob that's over.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Coming Out

In my last post I wailed on Wingspan a bit for their seemingly exclusive modus operandi of picking fights with those that are unable to defend themselves. I've received some criticism for this with the argument being made that my killboard and tactics more similarly resembles theirs than I'd like to admit. Despite clearly stating in my last post that I'd be a hypocrite to suggest I don't do it myself, I'd like to address that.

I consider myself an equal opportunity PvPer. Will I gank the Epithal pilot doing his milk run? Yes. The miner huffing on gas in his 20K ISK Venture? For sure. The newbie explorer hacking a Relic site? Absolutely. Does this make me just like Wingspan? No. No it doesn't.

I live in W-Space specifically because of the unknown. The level of paranoia that you have to operate with just keeps it engaging, for me at least. The chief problem I find is content. As an Australian time zone pilot, my hours of operation are conspicuously light on population regularly logging in to find only 15,000 players online and only a fraction of those scattered amongst the over 2,000 Wormhole systems. We down under W-Space types really are starved of PvP content of any significance. Our evenings are invariably spent hunting any pilot we can find, regardless of what they're doing. As such, our best chance of getting a good fleet fight invariably comes from POS or POCO timers. If your enemy has a deadline, you can plan a time to have your people assembled to meet the coming wave. But those instances where you stumble upon like minded PvP groups? Well, they're few and far between for us Aussies, so we satisfy our appetites on whatever falls our plate.

It's not what we want to do, it's what we're forced to do. For Wingspan, it's all they do. But chin up, lads. At least you're not grinding rocks for a living.

For those wondering what happened with the POS siege, well, as expected, when a defence fleet arrived the aggressors faded into the ether. The POS owner was able to safely extract all of his high value items, Marauders, Faction Battleships and the remainder were abandoned in the off chance that the POS owners could maintain hole control when the reinforcement timer came around. Alas, they could not, heavily out numbered they either logged off or went AFK so I set the Chimera to self destruct and passed on the insurance ISK to their CEO. If nothing else comes of this, they learned some important lesson on POS defence. It goes something like this...

1. Always keep at least one hauler in your SMA full of POS guns and ammunition. Even under reinforcement they can be anchored and onlined from the safety of the force field and used to destroy not just aggressors, but interdiction bubbles. They're no good to you in the Corporate Hangar Array, once you're reinforced there's no way to access them.

2. Always keep spare Strontium on hand.

3. Always have Armour Logistics ships on hand to repair incapacitated modules.

4. Always have multiple hole rolling ships on hand and interceptors to run the gauntlet of interdiction bubbles.

5. Always have every pilot trained in Starbase Defence Management. With the low skill requirement now there is simply no excuse for not having it.

Blue Balls

I try to be civil with my fellow EVE players, be they hapless noobs or jaded bitter vets but you can't help but form certain opinions of those you encounter when you see the same pattern over and over again. I was reminded on Reddit about one particular Wormhole Alliance that I've had the displeasure of crossing swords with in the past in this article. La Division Bleu are infamous for never getting involved in a fight that isn't an absolute certainty or only fighting under conditions that will allow them to withdraw to HiSec without risk. You can try to provoke them into a fight and they will blue ball you until you say "Fuck this, roll the hole!" and then try to gank your rolling ships. Truly a class act and yes, that was sarcasm.

In recent times I've spoken of my disdain for Wingspan. The pattern is very similar to that of La Division Bleu, exclusively attacking either weak, defenceless or horribly outnumbered pilots. They make no secret of their tactics, indeed I dare say they wear it like a badge of honour. But really, there's no honour because there's no fight. It's just murder. Now, I don't take issue with this, I'd be a hypocrite if I did, indeed I thought with their expanding numbers there was a good chance they would front up for a decent fight again but alas, my hopes have been dashed. They seem mired in their play style and oblivious to what they're denying themselves.

A four man corporation occupying a Class 4 Wormhole is just the sort of seal clubbing exercise that Wingspan are currently intent on executing. Initially reinforcing and destroying a small tower, they have now also reinforced the remaining large tower. A cry for help was sent out and the promise of content wasn't one I was going to ignore; our player driven MMO needs these sort of events, after all. So our small band of Aussies, and I'm talking four pilots here, committed to come and die in the ships he had scattered around his POS to a force that was far greater than our own. A massive unknown in all of this is Wingspan's intent, however. We don't know if this is an eviction so they can claim the system or just something they're doing to drive content but it's presumed it's the latter, they're very fond of telling everyone "we're not satisfied until you're content" and whilst it's an amusing double entendre it's rarely actually the case, sadly. Either way, let's make best speed and die in a fire, at the very least it'll be something interesting to blog about.

It's upon arriving in the target system that their motives become really fuzzy. They're critting the holes, indeed rolling them when a pilot tries to enter system. They're actually preventing content. This isn't a thirty strong Proteus fleet with Guardian support, oh no, this is Bex in a Crow. I could maybe understand if it was indeed an eviction and an attempt to claim the system but the information I'm receiving is that isn't the case. So what is the point then? You set a timer so you can have actual content but then don't actually want a contest? I really do wonder if they know they're not actual space ships they're flying, they seem that terrified of losing one. The other variable is of course, profit. But anyone who's ever sieged a POS knows the victims won't allow their goods to fall into the hands of the aggressor. Every ship will be set to self destruct, insurance will be collected and the aggressors will get a POS killmail for their week of hard work. Worth it? I can't imagine how. But I guess I'm of a different mind. I'd rather fight and lose than not fight at all.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Flying Start

The move to Aridia has so far yielded many lols and some funny kills; I think I like it here. To kick things off I moved out to the region in an Astero to try and find a Wormhole chain that would aid me in bringing some ships in. We're in a two system HiSec pocket surrounded by LowSec systems so it seemed the best option. With no good connections in our staging system I moved one jump over to the only other HiSec system, drop probes and slow boat back to the gate. I've only just started probing system when a Sabre with a criminal flag jumps in. I don't think too much of it, there's plenty of people with poor security status in an area surrounded by LowSec, but I turned on my Damage Control regardless. Immediately the Sabre burns towards me, tackles and starts shooting. I wasn't going to miss out on a free kill for anyone, so I returned the scram and the Sabre pilot realised his error all too late.

During our move operation Iyokus jumped a gate in HiSec to find a Tengu being wailed on by a couple of war targets. Being a lover of mischief, he yellow boxed the Tengu himself, who promptly fired on him scoring Iyokus a kill with the assistance of Concord. There is no limit to human stupidity. But the real fun was yet to come.

This morning we find a very convenient R943 connection in our staging area connecting us to a C2 Black hole system with a HiSec connection. At first we thought it would be a handy route to bring in more goods but then we noticed a bit of Orca traffic in and out of the HiSec connection. Some new residents were setting up a tower. So of course we proceeded to camp the HiSec, only four jumps from Dodixie to welcome the Orca back on his return. In the process of waiting we had a couple of explorers wander in who we had to dispatch, but one in particular got very angry and came back with haste in a Vexor, only to lose that too. Just as we've cleaned away all of the wrecks and cleared up D-Scan, the Orca's scout Astero jumps in, burns off the hole and cloaks up. We hold our nerve, remaining invisible, waiting for the prize. Minutes later there is wormhole fire and the Orca presents itself. We immediately uncloak and burn for its position. He cloaks up, but his fate is sealed with three ships converging on his last visible position and uncloaking him in just a few seconds. The three of us get tackle and start pounding on his shields and bumping him away from the safety of HiSec. Then there is fire on the Wormhole behind us, reinforcements? Of a sort; a corp mate of his in a Thorax was the offending ship but he wasn't too interested in sticking around, warping off to POS and leaving his stricken friend. The next move was a strange one but the Orca pilot clearly knows he's doomed so he jettisons a Nighthawk from his Ship, boards it and we quickly tackle it and start withering away at the shields. It's clearly not geared up for DPS and poses no threat allowing us to dispatch it and the Orca in short order. Oddly, no kill mail turns up for the Orca, so we've taken screen shots and sent off a petition. No idea what will come of it, probably nothing, so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. =]

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Always bet on Black

Way back when I trained into Capitals I really had no clue why I was doing it other than I just wanted to own a Carrier and a Dreadnaught. I had almost no appreciation of the skills I'd have to train along with the Spaceship Command ones and even getting them done to Level 4 was a significant time investment. An investment that has never really paid off, to be fair. Oh sure, there was that time in Mai when Cracker and I undocked on a pair of NC. Carriers that had "mysteriously" drifted off the Station undock, blapping them mercilessly with the Moros and Revelation even as their reinforcements were cyno'ing in around us, unable to save their stricken friends. Then there was the time I suicide jumped a Moros into a Mate roam with the express intent of blowing up Bam Stroker's Chimera; but other than that, my experience with Capitals has been underwhelming. I haven't invested any skills to level V other than Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration to make the most of Tech II Siege modules, now of course Tech II Capital Weapons are on the horizon and any serious Dreadnaught pilot will be wanting those. It's just... i'm not a serious Dreadnaught pilot. I'm an opportunistic one, at best.

Just when I thought opportunism might come knocking again, the rug has been well and truly yanked from under me. I'm moving to Aridia in the coming days to live out of a HiSec pocket surrounded by LowSec systems and W-Space connections with the hope of finding regular content. I've begun gathering my things and planning my fleet composition when it occurred to me this would be a great time to finally use my carriers to, at the very least, shuttle my stuffs into position. Having a Dreadnaught nearby couldn't hurt either.  So it's over to DOTLAN to plan my Navigation and.... 12 fucking jumps. Do I really want to put up with chaining rookie ships for 12 jumps just so I can move a few ships and maybe a Dreadnaught or am I better off just dropping 250 million ISK on Black Frog Freight and having it all magically show up in station one day?

Black Frog wins that argument, every time. So once again, due largely to the jump restrictions placed on capitals a little while ago, my capital fleet remains unused. Why do I bother?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mad Skills

The recent DevBlog regarding skill trading is certainly worth a read. I'm pretty impressed with how CCP have gone about this; initially floating the idea with the community and taking the best feedback from that discussion to come up with what looks like a pretty efficient model. I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of it, you can read the DevBlog for that, but it does get the mind racing about how one can best take advantage of this new mechanic in the service of Bob.

Rather than creating skill points from nowhere, this system will actually reduce the total skill points on New Eden as space rich bitter vets purchase blocks of 500,000 skill points from other players and then inject only 150,000 into their heads. Frankly, I don't have a problem with that, this mechanic is borne out of making new players more useful early in their EVE careers and all Bob wants, all He thirsts for, is the unwilling sacrifices of more capsuleers. Anything that increases that likely hood is a good thing.

Of course, it also means there may well be a glut of inexperienced players flying ships they have the skill points to fly, but not the know how. How is that not awesome? I mean, don't you just love curb stomping the guy who just bought a 100 million skill point character but has no clue what to do with it? I know I do. I have fond memories of a friend buying a high skill character, fitting out a faction fit Proteus and dying horribly to a gate camp in LowSec. Close examination of his blaster fit Proteus showed Imperial Navy Heat Sinks in the lows! Many guffaws were had at his expense and I now remind myself that it's been years since I brought that up with him. I'm such a terrible friend.

Characters with less than 5 million skill points will of course reap the best rewards, paying no penalty for the skills transfer. As such, sending your low skilled scan or PI alt a few million skill points from your own main, or someone else's for that matter, will be a pretty handy option. Creating a cloaky cyno camping character will just be a matter of ISK and people will have no clue how many skill points your character has based on their age in game. The meta game has lots of potential here. The only unknown at this point is the ISK factor.

Considering a PLEX currently sells for around 1.2 Billion ISK and one month of training should net you roughly 1.6 million skill points, I expect these bundles of 500,000 skill points will sell for around 400 million ISK once the market settles from it's initial over exuberance at the shiny new thing. Of course, a lot depends on how much the Extractors are going to cost and at this stage, only CCP knows.

Depending on the cost, I see myself dropping some pretty serious ISK on short cutting some Leadership skills so I might get the most out of the Command Destroyers. Other than that, I just look forward to the ripple effect. What horrible skill will you sacrifice your hard earned ISK to circumvent?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ménage à trois

Whilst ship spinning in my HiSec base, Willow Windwalker pipes up in an intel channel that he's on grid with a Kronos and a pair of Guardians running sites in a C4 shattered wormhole. The intel channel is conspicuously empty and even though I'm only eight jumps away from the entry, there's little chance the two of us could crack a Kronos, especially with a pair of Guardians keeping him capacitor stable and all repaired up between bastion cycles. Just as I'm resigning myself to the fact we'll have to let this one slip by, Trinkets logs in. Knowing he's comfortable dual boxing suddenly this looks do-able. Meanwhile, Willow is rustling up support from the Wormhole PvP Channel who happen to be fleeted up and roaming about and before you know it, we have a sizeable gang en route.

It's a kitchen sink affair with no Logistics but heavy on the eWar and being so close by I'm the first to arrive on the scene, planting myself on the entry to the C4 for the fleet to form up on. It was at this point that Willow had to log out which is a damn shame considering he found the target, but I suppose real life does come first. With Trinkets on the entry as a warp in I jump into the C4 to find exactly where our target is. I'm flying my Rook so there's no danger of being spotted on D-Scan and after a bit of warping around system I am able to locate them down a 15 degree bearing less than 5 AUs from a planet. Unfortunately, they're not idiots. It seems they're only doing the combat Data and Relic sites so they'll be tipped off about being discovered the moment anyone tries to probe them out. As we're considering our options the HiSec connection collapses, compounding our issues. The new HiSec is soon found but it's quite a trip for most of the fleet, short cutting through LowSec to save time. The delay may prove costly, however.

Just as our fleet are finally coalescing, I briefly spot an Astero on D-Scan with a familiar moniker. I know I've seen the ship identifier of  Æ before, I just can't remember where. Either way, there's a good chance our prey have been discovered by a third party with similar intentions to our own.

We jump our combat prober in to get a fix on the target but we're too late. The other hunters are already in system and shitting up D-Scan with all manor of armour tanked cruisers. The race of the combat probers is on with aplomb with no less than 32 combat probes on D-Scan. With all that going on a Legion lands 100km's from my Rook and starts burning towards me. I was near a celestial so I'm not sure if I was probed or it was coincidence, but Combat Recons are pretty tough to probe out so fast, I think it was just a coincidence. I help him close the gap with the fleet ready to warp to me... 80km's... 70km's... just as he gets to less than 50km's away he suddenly warps off. I guess his gang caught the Kronos. Very shortly after with all those ships still on scan our fleet is en route too, landing in the Sabre bubbles left by the Low Class gang [I knew I recognised that symbol!] and immediately calling primary and secondaries targets of the two Guardians whilst spreading points where possible. It seems the call went out fairly early on with the Low Class guys to bug out as they were sorely outnumbered & that's fine with me, I just want the Kronos. The Guardians were being jammed out and dropping fast when I made the call that the Kronos was in jump range of the Wormhole but it seems only two of us were in range to jump with him if he bailed. As the second Guardian popped, bail he did and I followed straight after, praying to Bob that I might be in scram range on the other side. Bob didn't see fit to answer my prayers however, leaving me 18 km's from my target and forcing me to watch him warp away to safety. I'm pretty sure Bob did this because I was in a fleet with 6 ECM Cruisers. Penance has to be paid, after all.

I jumped back into the shattered hole to find the last remaining Low Class pilot stuck in one of his own gang's bubbles, his Jamgu neuted dry and counter jammed, so I whored on the kill and scrammed what turned out to be a pretty shiney pod.

Back slaps were exchanged and the fleet moved back out to HiSec together, but I can't help feel a bit pissed off that we missed out on that fat Kronos. I'm not blaming anyone, Low Class did what any of us would've done, it was just bad luck. But two Guardians and a Jamgu help to ease my suffering. It truly was a ménage à trois; one way or another, every one of us got fucked.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Greed is a powerful motivator

So much for an extended hiatus. I realise now my burn out was self inflicted. Stalking prey in Night Fever involves a lot of waiting, and I mean a lot. Usually I'd just camp a HiSec hole and check D-Scan from time to time whilst watching a movie but quite often you can go days at a time without seeing a soul. This was even more pronounced in the C3 than the C2 as HiSec connections were much more infrequent and therefore transient traffic was almost exclusively limited to canny W-Space dwellers, less likely to fall for my wiles. Considering my want to do Sleeper sites is at an all time low the system became little more than a PI farm for me.

So a change is in order. My choices are limited because I'm a W-Space elitist. I hate NullSec with a white hot passion so I'm ruling that out. LowSec I've done before in limited style but the boredom game and the ever present local chat still grinds my gears. I've had some generous offers from AU TZ W-Space corps, some really good diggers that I have great respect for, but they live on the C5 Super Highway and that's pretty unappealing for me, too. I want somewhere I can live and fight 'micro gang' style where there aren't cynos or boosting alts, just good pure, fun fights and surprise buttsecks.

On the other hand, I have an ISK flow to maintain and with Wetware Mainframes now making over 2.2 million ISK a pop, that's something I just can't ignore. I don't need the ISK, no... but... I just wants it.

Having moved out of the C3 Red Giant I'm going to find my PI toons a cosy little C1 they can bake Wetwares in. My two combat characters I'm undecided on at this point, but HiSec/LowSec Wormhole diving with a friend or two seems likely at this stage. Where that may lead I can only speculate, but at least it's a start and it'll give me something to bore you about.

Uh, yeah. Thanks Gollum.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Last Hurrah!

In keeping with taking a break from Eve, I had significant assets to move out of the C3 Wormhole that has been my home. It was uneventful, all ships and assets moved out without even a hint of interdiction, so I scooped my tower and warped for the HiSec for what I thought would be the last time.

Habitually smashing the D-Scan button as W-Space types do, I notice three Ventures have suddenly appeared in system. They can only be at either the Gas or Ore sites in system so I set my alt character about finding them whilst I jump out to HiSec with my tower. My quarry are soon located tucking into some Arkonor, conveniently bunched together so they can group mine into a cargo container. You know where this is heading, right?

I re-ship into Night Fever, praise Bob for his final gift and make my way back to the Wormhole from HiSec. Despite being on D-Scan from the entry, they do not react when the Proteus jumps in, continuing to be the hard working industrious types, undeterred by imminent danger. I warp in at 10km's from their can, align to a celestial and hold my cloak until all three are in range of Bob's Divine Pulse.

All three Ventures and their pods are dispatched on the first cycle, and I leave the scene of the sacrifice with a broad smile. Praise be to Bob!

Finding my Mojo

Eve has lost its appeal for me of late. My time logged in has been minimal and my desire to upkeep my PI network is well and truly dead. I'm space rich enough to keep my two accounts training for a couple of years so I think I'll stay subbed and train those shitty long skills no one likes training, but for the most part, I'm on an extended hiatus until I find my mojo for Eve once again. It's not the first time it's happened and it probably won't be the last, but it's safe to say this will be my last entry for some time.

If anyone wants to buy some POCOs in a C3 Red Giant with a HiSec static, Eve Mail Bex at Boundless Exploration and I'll gain you an entry and give you a fair price.

Thanks for sharing in my misadventures, I'll see you guys on the flip side.



Friday, January 8, 2016

That Cloaky Bastard!

It seems baiting out the Disco Proteus is the fashionable thing to do lately. I'm not logging in all that much, but when I do it's invariably a fucking trap. Which brings me to this morning.

I log in to check my connections only to find just the static HiSec open and no activity in system. It's morning so I'm not on for long, I update siggy and decide I'll clear the Frostline site before shuffling off to work. Well, I land in the Frostline site and suddenly there's an Astero on D-Scan. Too late now, he's no doubt spotted me, I may as well keep smart bombing these rats and if he's dumb enough to warp in for tackle he'll get instantly vapourized. He doesn't warp in though, stays on D-Scan and I locate him with an alt at a Data site before long.

I finish the Frostline site and re-ship into Night Fever and set myself at a perch off the Data site. This explorer has a history, although it's a bit of a mixed bag and there's really no conclusions I can draw from it. The fact he didn't get scared off by a Rokh on D-Scan has me suspicious however, could I really be getting baited again?

I decided to try a drive by. The can he's working on has no debris nearby so I can warp in at 10 km's, align to a moon and if a tackler de-cloaks I'll be gone before his cloaking delay is up. So I align, get with 8km's, uncloak and spam F1 to F5, hoping for explosions but expecting something more. Sure enough, a Proteus uncloaks and I immediately hit warp, making my escape from yet another trap. I've really got to stop writing about this shit!

The funny part was the antagonist in this instance was ggnoreTT, aka Cloaky Bastard. If you're not a reader of his blog, do yourself a favour. He gets into some funny W-Space shenanigans.

Turns out I was pretty damn lucky and was saved not by being aligned but by Cloaky Bastard's impatience. His Astero bait was tanked specifically to resist my Proteus and tackle it until his Proteus could get back up tackle. Apparently the only salvo I loosed didn't even make it to the armour whereas in the past two cycles have vapourized every Astero I've encountered in the Red Giant system.

I got lucky, and now my watch list is a few pilots heavier. ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Price of Infamy

In my time writing this blog I've never made a secret of my location, my tactics or even my time zone. I'm an open book in that regard because I've always felt more security equals less content. I know there are others out there who don't see it that way and I can appreciate their viewpoint, indeed their position is probably vindicated by what transpired this evening, but it won't change how I go about it. I'd rather suffer a loss than stare into blank space, after all.

As you may have guessed, one of my readers stumbled across my place of worship this evening. Full credit goes to the pilot, he recognised the system and set himself to do what he's done several times before - snare himself a smart bombing Tech III Cruiser.

As is my custom, I logged in after downtime to update siggy and check my connections. I was only half way through the task when I noticed a Magnate on D-Scan with core scanner probes out. Now, being on a heightened level of alert about such explorers because of another one trying to bait me out, I viewed the character cautiously as he was quite young, had no history to speak of and... something just didn't feel quite right. Moreover, I had unknown signatures in system that I did not know and wouldn't know before engaging the pilot, so it may very well be bait. I sat at a perch of my POS in Night Fever considering my next move. The lack of intelligence sealed the deal for me. I wouldn't ignore the intrusion, but I certainly won't commit my most murderous of weapons to such a feeble task. An Astero loss to a bait Magnate I could countenance, but the Proteus I could not.

Sitting at a perch on the Relic site in my Astero, the Magnate soon landed and made his way to a can. I made my approach, uncloaked and tackled the explorer, only to have a scram returned and "wwwwww" appearing in local. I was immediately pleased with my earlier choice. A Stratios soon uncloaked and did what Stratios' do, neuting my capacitor, adding back up tackle and sending his drones after me. With cap injection and overheated repairs I managed to tank long enough to at least kill the bait, eventually succumbing to the larger version of myself.

My aggressor was a good sport, but I suppose it's easy to be magnanimous in victory, and was gracious enough to commend me for not letting Night Fever fall victim as several had before. As he tells me he visits my blog, I feel I must share this with him...

Just kidding, of course. Well played good sir; may we meet again. Now I have to go fit out another Astero and that genuinely annoys me, consider this inconvenience the salty tears of a bitter vet. I can never seem to get a connection close to my HiSec home base but at least I've got plenty of Sister's Probe Launchers lying about. ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Hunter?

With a few days off over the New Year period I've found the time to spend some time in the service of Bob, once again. Fortuitously, Bob has seen fit to give his humble disciple numerous connections to known and unknown regions and several lucrative Relic sites have been scattered around my home system to tempt any would be explorers into making their ritualistic blood offerings to the almighty one, whether they like it or not.

Amusingly, Captain Obvious paid me a visit today, again trying to bait out my Disco Proteus with a new character with no history and flying nothing more than a Magnate. If you're reading this, let me give you some advice. Try harder. As per his standard modus operandi, he completed a Data site and logged off with still more sites to be hacked, removing any doubt I may have had about his authenticity. Time to make a new alt, my friend.

Moving on, a K162 connection from LowSec had shown no traffic and whilst pottering about in the LowSec system I notice a Buzzard jump in and start probing. The name was instantly familiar to me and whilst I didn't bother to go through the sacrificial archives, I'm fairly certain he had made an offering to Bob in the past; history may be about to repeat itself.

A few minutes passed and sure enough, fire from the LowSec connection sees our friend in the Buzzard jump in, drop probes and go about his business. I was already at a perch on one of the Relic sites and predictably he landed in the site and moved towards the goodies. I liberated his vessel and fleshy husk, sending his conciousness back to HiSec whilst reciting the prayer. Scooping the loot, I cursed the loot fairy and went back to POS to get my clean up Catalyst. Just as I was about to warp back however, there was fire from a K162 C4 connection. It was well off D-Scan so I jumped back into Night Fever and waited.

My new visitor has no doubt seen the Buzzard wreck on D-Scan and the probes he left behind will linger for an hour yet, so I'm not expecting much right away. He scans the system quickly with his Anathema and jumps home, presumably to re-ship. I take this opportunity to salvage the Buzzard wreck and get back into position again just as he re-enters system in an Astero. It would seem the probes on D-Scan have alerted him to an opportunity to gank an explorer, or so he thinks.

After about forty minutes he's had enough of waiting around. The probes are still on scan but he's run out of patience and warps into the site I'm perched at to start hacking. Asteros are the reason I moved into this Red Giant system. Sometimes they'd get away from me without the buff to smart bombs but here they always explode, and this one was no different. Although you have to wonder what was with the pod...

Happy New Year!