Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Lowsec Roam That Almost Never Happened

One Friday the Slaver’s Union (Now slaving at a system near you!) were trying to take some of our newbros and friends. Hopefully lose some ships and have some good lols.

Formup took about 2 hours to get the newbros up to speed and get them basic combat training. At the moment we were aligning to the first gate to head to lowsec I got a message from a capsuleer I did not know by the name o Siegfried Cohenberg saying he was bumping one o our wartarget’s orcas in niarja. Naturally we burned over there best speed and reshipped a couple of frigs into cruisers. We burned down for 20 jumps and I messaged the orca pilot’s riend because the orca pilot (The CEO of the corporation) would not accept my mails. Once we were all on grid and the orca was at half structure the friend told me they needed 2 minutes to get 800 million ransom so we all stopped shooting. Around this point one of their friends warped to the orca in a pod and the orca pilot left their ship. My only answer to why this happened is they thought the other guy could hop in the orca to save it and warp off. This is however not the case as a ship that is targeted cannot be boarded. Even though this seemed like a major win for us it ended up being a little work. There were 6 people on grid that were not us targeting the orca and trying to keep people from boarding it. 

Siegfried being the sexy man he is already had a plan. If you haven’t already I highly recommend reading Grid-Fu ( Got it? Awesome. So what happened is Siegfried had one of our members who can pilot the orca burn just off grid and drop a can to make a new grid that cant connect with the old grid. The mach pilot then bumped the orca past the grid line to the guy sitting in wait for the orca. What this did was make the orca disappear from grid and by extension forced all locks on the orca to drop off.

However the plan did not go as well as we had hoped. The orca pilot we had in place had to burn to the orca as it did not pp through the grid where we had hoped it would. Siegfried being the baller he is hopped out of his bump mach and jumped in the orca for a few seconds so that the pilot could burn within range and board the space whale followed by Sieg hopping back in his machariel.

All in all the orca had 400-500 million in strontium clathrates and was a 1.2-1.2 billion isk profit. Not bad for a 50 million dec fee.

So docking the orca we happily went back to Teonosude to get ready and get in our t1 frigates for another attempt at going out into lowsec. Shortly after we realized this attempt was futile as some wartargets jumped into system looking for a fight.

After a 1v1 at the sun in my buffer fit incursus (Killmail here) they warped a dominix on top of the incursus so I felt it only fair to call in the rest of my fleet of frigates. This dominix took quite literally a dick ton of time to take down as it was hull tanked. Before dispatching the first domi 

A second domi warped right on top of us piloted by the same person on a different account. 

This domi happened to go suspect and all our non Slaver friends began to engage. My first thought was oh shit this guy is going to ruin our day with smart bombs. Luckily I still have my expensive clone as he was not smart bomb fit. 

A full battle report can be found here
All in all the testicular fortitude of this pilot was impressive. 

With all this business taken care of we finally got out to lowsec. This made me very happy as I have not lost a ship in a long time and I was passed due for a loss. After flying around for all of 20 minutes I tackled a dramiel on an acceleration gate in lowsec and waited for his rienforcements while my own fleet warped in. I could tell you it was some amazing fight where we almost came out on top and fought the odds bravely… But that would be a dead. Lie. The logi warped at 0, I died after getting the dramiel to 50% shield, and the next target to be called was an atron that managed to live. We are has leet pvp…. I swear. These were the results of our ‘gallant efforts’

Not a complete whelp by any means but I lost my ship which was my overall goal for the night. Night=(Op success)*3

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Unintelligible Rambling of a Hisec Wardeccer

Recently I have found myself considering the old days when Dexter and I would roll around in our wars basically solo with maybe one other person at most. It may not seem it at first glance but doing solo and small gang wardeccing is often a lot more fun than the mid gang stuff we are getting accustomed to.

For starters there is the thrill of the importance of skill for you and the pilots around you. If you are flying a duo setup you have to rely heavily on the person next to you or go down in a ball of fire. One of my favorite pilots to fly with was always Dexter because even if we got completely dicked (As seen here..) we both enjoyed the content. But is this the only saving grace to solo and small gang? I would most definitely say no.

One of the major advantages of flying in a small corporation for your decs is your small size. Normal logic would dictate that a small size would be less advantageous for combat. Although this is true a small size also allows you the advantage of not being noticeable. Due to this you rarely get wardecced by the larger merc/war groups that run around in large gangs of brick tanked tech 3 cruisers due to it costing them 50 million to actually wardec you. In their opinion 50 million is hardly worth it as it is unlikely they will get anything of value off of you or any good fights. Don’t get me wrong you will still be decced once in a while when they see you waiting on a gate for your target or undocking from jita and other times they will assist against you but you are often too small or them to care about, making operating a lot easier. If it makes it any easier consider yourself an old timey pirate attacking the merchant vessels while attempting to dodge the navy.

So what do you get from flying in a blob? Short answer: not much, long answer: A waste of time caused by the lack of care for the fight. When you fight in a blob you have very little skin in the game and very little personal risk. Blob fighting in hisec with tech 3s is something I would compare to sitting on the undock of a lowsec station in an insta loki with carrier drones assigned. Without that risk factor we all might as well go back to mining. My greatest moments in this game have been the moments I have nearly shat my pants learning what I was about to fight and fighting it anyway. In many ways fights are like music. While a good solo/small gang fight versus a similar sized fleet is comparable to the popular symphonies, blob tactics are more akin to an auditorium full of second graders trying to all play the recorder. 

Small even fights good
Blobbing uneven fights bad

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The omnipresent shroud over EVE Online

As we all know, EVE is something special, it's unlike anything else in the gaming scene and provides around twenty to thirty thousand individuals with an escape from reality, a home away from home, which, if you ask me is pretty impressive. Now, being a unique and complex game it is easily misinterpreted by outsiders and onlookers, mixed reactions come from the media about the goings on in New Eden, as we saw with the battle of B-R5RB - Media either rejoiced over the awesome battle or shook their heads at the wasted 'money'. What I would like to focus on, however, is much more recent, and is much less controversial, in fact it's a promotional article if anything, so why am I fumed up about it? Let me explain.

PC Gamer recently posted an article entitled 'PC's most relaxing games' and you guessed it, EVE Online snagged a spot on the list. I find this odd, throughout my time playing I have found New Eden to be many things, exciting, diverse and even welcoming at times, but relaxing? I just can't place it. It is not, however, the article itself that made me look twice, it was more the content written about EVE. Andy Kelly, the writer of the article has made a little bit of a write up about EVE For us, I'll let you read that before I continue.
"Yeah, really. In the dangerous parts of New Eden, where the space-police can’t protect you, EVE is anything but relaxing. But stick to high security areas and it’s a great place to just float around admiring the cosmic scenery. If you’re a sci-fi fan, I’d say it’s worth signing up for the free trial just to experience the atmosphere. Just make sure you stay near your starting area, otherwise pirates will burst your relaxation bubble."
I have no problem with EVE getting positive attention, in fact, I welcome it, the game is diverse enough to welcome a lot of people and every person has the ability to make their mark on New Eden, however when false information is being spread I can't help but twitch. My dismay comes from a sentence in this write up, which you can probably guess goes along the lines of "But stick to high security areas and it’s a great place to just float around admiring the cosmic scenery." I'm sorry, what? The only safe place in New Eden is in a station, end of story. New players are being encouraged to put all their faith in Highsec and allow it to be that little shroud of safety I have grown to hate.

I feel like I am over reacting, I wouldn't be surprised if others also shared this thought. I do, however, believe that others should also agree with me, at least on some level. Ultimately EVE Online is a sandbox, the players are given an empty canvas and then the means to turn it into a masterpiece. I don't see falsehoods being apart of this masterpiece, it needs to be clear, from the get-go that no where is safe, no where is out of bounds. Maybe then we would see less people quitting because "someone broke the rules and ganked me in Highsec and CCP did nothing about it."

Let's put an end to the propaganda, let's try and make an EVE that isn't viewed through tinted windows, transparency is the key, we need to leave nothing out. And this, it seems, is where I place my call to arms, I ask you, next time you are asked about EVE, or even the next time you write about EVE, don't leave anything out of fears it won't appeal to an outsiders eyes, give them everything EVE has to offer and let them decide if they want to grasp onto it and fall down the rabbit hole we are all to familiar with.

Thank you for reading, have a wonderful day, and as always, stay classy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Beginnings of an Empire

I have been many places throughout my time playing EVE, nullsec corporations and alliances, small industrial corporations, lowsec piracy and factional warfare all the way through to the interesting and dynamic opportunities provided by solo work. It's safe to say that I have seen a lot, so when something comes along that truly impresses me and creates a sense of accomplishment in myself it must be something out of the ordinary, something special. 

Out of the ordinary is exactly what my new home, Slaver's Union is. The aim is to essentially turn highsec PvP into a new player friendly and easily accessible activity, although our promoted activities are not necessarily considered 'mainstream' in anyway we have found our niche. When someone sets out to both help out new players and create a steady flow of content for said players it can go one of two ways - crash and burn with little to no success, or, slowly begin to form into an entity that is both feared and respected, examples of which can be found in Brave Newbies or Red VS Blue, in the case of Slaver's Union, I believe the latter is occurring, we are sitting on something that has the potential to be huge. 

What really triggered this sense of astonishment was our first real fleet operation, although small, seeing it accomplish its goal was more than satisfying. To give you an idea of what we are working with let me start by saying three of the members of the eight man fleet were under a month old, in comparison to the enemy force we were expecting, we were essentially out gunned, however our moral stayed strong - something that was yet another surprise. We formed a Logistics wing and a DPS wing and began planning.

The main strategy was to force a fight from the enemy corporation (and its backup) as a previously bashed POCO came out of reinforced, simple, right? Not quite. We had Intel to suggest and warrant the enemy bringing at least two command ships, namely the Eos and Damnation, alone they would most likely break us. We informed the fleet of our situation and their immediate response was "Fuck it, let's fight." We were on. We landed on grid about a minute after the POCO's timer expired and immediately applied DPS while logi sat off grid in a close by safe, ready to be called in if required. The enemy at this point has not formed, and hence the resistance was naturally minimal, we faced a lone Tornado whose presence was shrugged off easily by logi reps, his situation quickly became aware to himself and he left grid, and soon after, system.

Before long the POCO location was ours, although not originally the intention we saw no reason not to claim it as it could bring in income as well as content if they were to try and reclaim it. All this is well and good, however it is not my intention to brag about how we defeated a non existent force, rather to congratulate everyone involved in the op, for most in the fleet it was their first time taking real orders, their first time maintaining good comms and for some, and even for some, their first time in a fleet. Despite all of this everyone maintained themselves, targets were followed and orders were adhered to, our moral was insane, the newbro's willingness to fight was at the very least inspiring. When I sat there, peering at a fully independent fleet all I could think of is where we have come from, a tiny corporation set out to help new players into some fun, immersive gameplay is now the figurehead of an Alliance.

Slaver's Union continues to impress me every day and I believe it will for months, even years to come, we are here to stay, more importantly we are here to oppress your neighbour.

Fly Safe.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A good way to get dicked

So one night me and the diplo got really hammered and jumped into a war target diplomatic channel and told them we would be removing them from their wormhole. Well we at the Dickwad squad and by extension Slaver’s Union are many things but we are not liars.

                So after about a week of war we found their wormhole and sat around for a while. Once we had mapped out their operations we started engaging the pesky residents in low level combat. After a short time they gave up without a fight. I was very disappointed in Mushopia Alliance.

                Soon after the wordless retreat of Mushopia we had intel that one of the people assisting our wars was coming to fight. Minimak has seemed to have the hots for killing me ever since our war started and this would be his chance. After scanning the hole and warping to it at 70 km we played hole games. He brought out hammers and I shot them to hull, taunted him in a private chat a bit, and jumped into the hole.  

                During this time a member of Mushopia attempted several times to get wormhole access. This we promplty countered with a smart bombing Phobos. Not exactly the most cookie cutter fit for a heavy interdictor ship but who needs cookie cutter when you have a smart bombing Phobos.

                After about half an hour Minimak followed in with a Mushopia Drake from the aforementioned smart bombing backing him up. We made short work of the drake and slowly worked on the VNI.

 I had to warp off as I was primary due to the previously discussed hots. With me gone and the Phobos being slow he was able to burn out of the bubble in his VNI and warp off.

                GFs and propaganda were of course exchanged in local and minimak expressed he would be logging now and he did. But wait… I still had ten and a half minutes on my criminal timer so he had to still be logged in since I had to warp off half way through the fight. Gucci Ormand quickly brought in his scanning alt and we found the still in space VNI. After which it and the pod were properly dicked.

After this engagement Mushopia graciously offered to pay us 500 million in exchange for stopping the wardec and we accepted. These targets will be sorely missed.

But alas, the damage was already done and we were informed that our beloved targets would be moving out of the said wormhole and possibly to null security.

So how do we get dicked?
1.       Timers are not important so don't pay attention to them
2.       War targets probably won't find your wormhole, consider yourself safe
3.       Phoboses don't smart bomb.
4.       Ransoms are for pussies, don't pay them.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Concerning Griefers

Griefers have been living and pillaging in the 'safety' of Highsec for many years. Quite content to ignore and be ignored by the world of nullsec and lowsec alike — New Eden being, after all, full of strange people beyond count. Griefers must seem of little importance, being neither renowned as great warriors, nor counted among the very wise.

In fact, it has been remarked by some that the Griefer's only real passion is for Carebear blood. A rather unfair observation, as we have also developed a keen interest in unfair PvP, and, the destruction of entire alliances from the inside-out. But where our hearts truly lie is in destruction and mayhem, tears and death. For all Griefers share a love of things that burn.

And yes, no doubt, to others our ways seem quaint. But now, more than ever, it is brought home to me, it is no bad thing to celebrate a Carebears transition to manhood - to a fun way of living.

And despite all this, we do have our niche in New Eden, we, as a community are the core drive of the sandbox based freedom that makes EVE Unique, without us, rather, without our style of game play it is evident that there won't really be a figurehead for the advertised 'do anything, be anything' gameplay that EVE is oh so famous for. What I am referring to of course, is awoxing, more so the potential removal of it.

Awoxing is in many ways one of the most exciting player activities I have ever engaged in, the adrenaline rush is insane, that moment of truth when you either get passed their security and into their corp, or get rejected and publicly displayed as an awoxer, the true joy and happiness when you pull off a really good awox is indescribable. It's some of the greatest fun I've had in the game. Sure, I am a member of this community, and I am expected to defend it to the bone, however even a Carebear can see what removing or changing the corp aggression rules could do to this game - I see these changes as one right step in the wrong direction.

I am asking you, the reader, even if you identify as a Carebear, mission runner, nullsec diplomat or simply a station trader, do you want to see this great game, one of the few remaining true sandboxes available to have its freedom removed from it piece by piece? If we allow something as simple and great as awoxing to be removed then whose to say another great piece of this game could also be torn away from us.

It's obvious that this is the battle of the few against the many, but this filthy few will not take changes lightly, and I expect, nor will others.

All rights belong to their respective owners (re. first three paragraphs)

Friday, 9 January 2015

Why highsec is not the place for mining

Although I am relatively inexperienced in this game and my knowledge banks are not yet that deep I have gathered, over my time doing both the industry side and the ganking side of my game, that highsec is not the place to be for miners. It's kind of a weird idea to understand but I believe you are less likely to lose your barge/exhumer/industrial ship in nullsec or a wormhole.

The idea that highsec is safe, secure and untainted by the menace's of EvE simply cannot hold for much longer, people still believe that if they are in highsec, they are safe. They are wrong. I do not have much experience with nullsec, however, I believe if you and you corp found a dead end system and launched a mining op there, not only would you be more profitable, you could potentially, be safer.

I gank in highsec because I enjoy tearing the aforementioned shroud of security and safety away from these miners. I'm a bit of an asshole, yeah, I get that, but what I am doing, at the end of the day, is encouraging actions that prevents my behaviour - kind of counter productive but hey, you can't win them all.

All someone needs to do to avoid being ganked in highsec is tank their barge. When I am looking for a target I basically ignore Procurers because they are simply hard as fuck to kill, naturally, Skiffs are also off the list. What I do look for is Hulks, Covetors and Retrievers, in that order. Hulks are made of paper and I can solo most of them, same deal for Covetors and Retrievers.

tl;dr; If you want to avoid being ganked, tank your fucking ship adequately and fly in 0.7 or higher.