Monday, February 8, 2016

Grapple Mania!

Fozzie has announced the plans for a new battleship/capital only mid-slot module. The Heavy Stasis Grapple. Continuing the previous theme of eWar with higher strength than seen before but with poor range (like the Navy Griffin), these webs have an optimal of only 1km (3km when overheated) but have up to 87.5% speed reduction (for the officer versions). They also have falloff. So you can web out to around 23km but the power drops off as your target makes range (less than 10% web effect at 19km). Note that overheating does not affect total falloff, only optimal. It also doesn't get affected by links or hull bonus (your Vindicator will not turn this into a medusa module!).


I guess the idea of these modules are to tie-down the smaller ships, especially things like the Svipul. Get under the battleships guns and you find yourself in the grasp of pretty much Vindicator strength webs!

My guess is these will be popular on rapid heavy missile fits with missile computers. Lure the tackle in, spank it. However what about that range? Probably too low? With a Navy web having a 14km optimal and a 60% slowing effect, why drop 93% range for that extra 25% speed reduction? Well looks to be the fall off and the ability to overheat.


At 14km the heavy grapple will be about only about 28% speed reduction effect. It jumps to over 45% if overheated.

The other issue is none missile boats. Hitting something like a destroyer at 1km away even with a strong web? I'm not sure it'll work as well. Tracking computers might help but I think heavy missiles will be the way to go. 


My first reaction was they needed a range buff. Now I think its clever thinking on CCP's part. These are not just simple on or off modules. These need careful use and managing. Heating will probably be absolutely critical to using them effectively. You can see more details on Fozzie's forum post linked at the start.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

SCASSSS - Selfie

My TZ can be pants. A round trip of 12 jumps and nothing to show for it other than a screenshot!


Friday, February 5, 2016

The Red Light - Part 2

Friday Fiction. Escape pod here!

Just when I thought things were settling it all starts going Pete Tong again. I knew 2016 was going to be a bad year. Just a short follow up today. Will finish this story next week I promise! Part 1 is here.


The Red Light - Part 2

Ahka paced nervously around his quarters. He was uncomfortable. A week ago he was onboard an Amarrian ship. A good ship. A ship of the faithful. Since then they'd been attacked and he'd spent nearly 24 hours drifting in an escape pod before being rescued by the crew of this Gallente vessel. He was being tested he was sure. She was coming to collect him in a few minutes. The nurse who had saved him. The Gallente woman, the only person on the ship who could speak Amarrian. She was a test too he was sure. He'd have been happy spending the entire week until they docked at a station in his quarters. However she insisted he had to come out and see the ship. Meet new people. See more. He'd resisted for five days. However he was informed that tonight he had no choice. She was taking him out for some fun. The buzzer on his door sounded. He stopped and looked. She was here. The test had begun. The door open and she strolled in.


Ahka swallowed. It was a test indeed. No good Amarrian woman would dress like that!

"Ready for the tour?" she asked cheerfully.

"I'm not feeling well." he lied.

"Oh come on Amarr! Live a little. I promise we won't corrupt you!" she laughed taking him by the arm and leading him to the door.

"Have you ever been in anything that wasn't Amarrian?" she asked as they strolled down the corridor.

"No." he replied curtly.

The ship was certainly a lot different to the ones he was used too. The structure was curved. Almost organic. The normal golds were replaced with hues of light green. It was also quiet. Amarrian ships had less automation and therefore bigger crews. There was also another difference. No slaves. On Amarrian ships there were usually a few slaves at least. Matari wearing glave collars shuffling around doing the menial tasks aboard the ship. Ahka looked around in wonderment.

"How do you keep everything so tidy without...." he stuttered remembering that the Gallente were strictly opposed to slavery "...a large crew?" he finally finished.

"Automation. We use a variety or small drones and robots to do most of the work on our ships."

Ahka nodded. He'd heard the Gallente used drones much more than they did for everything from working the fields to fighting their battles. 

They continued down to a bank of lifts, passing a few crew both on and off duty as they walked.

"Where are we going?" Ahka asked nervously as the lift accelerated.

"For a drink. You drink don't you Amarrian." she chuckled.

"Despite what you have heard about us from your propaganda, yes we Amarrians know how to have a good time." he replied dryly.

The lift slowed and the doors opened. Ahka froze. Why was he being tested like this?

The scene before him was like no other he'd ever seen. It was a huge bar complete with busy dance floor. All around people were drinking and dancing. He slowly walked out of the lift led by his hand. He was too stunned by the sights to register a strange woman was holding his hand. They reached the bar.

"Do they have wine?" Ahka asked nervously.

"Wine? Seriously Amarrian?" she asked with a strange expression. The barman approached and she shouted something to him that Ahka couldn't hear over the music. He nodded and walked away. Ahka leaned back against the bar and looked in wonderment. How could the Gallente have accomplished so much and yet were free to behave like this. He watched in fascination at two people dancing, occasionally slowing to kiss before separating again to continue moving to the strange music. There was no separation between the bodies. People were grinding together in strange dances that would have got them arrested on his planet.

"Here!"

Ahka looked down at the drink held out in front of him. It wasn't wine. It was green. He gently took hold of the glass looking at it suspiciously.

"What is.... this?" he asked.

"It's a Gallente Prime Sunrise! Come on Amarrian, try some of our culture. You'll probably never get another chance!"

She indicated over to a sofa against one of the walls and he followed sipping the drink. It was surprisingly pleasant. 

"So don't you have bars on Amarr ships?" she asked as they sat.

"Not like THIS!" Ahka exclaimed. "We have bars but not this level of... sin!" he said searching for the right word.

"Yeah this one is pretty different. Its a good ship to serve on. So do you have a girl waiting for you back home? Some homely Amarrian?"

"I am to be married." he replied uncomfortable about talking about his private life.

"Nice. What's she like?" the Gallente woman wouldn't shut up.

"I hear she is very beautiful and devout." he said with a smile.

"What? Wait a sec! You're to be married and you've never met her?" she replied in shock.

"Yes. Our mothers agreed on the union. It is common on our planet."

The Gallente woman shook her head. 

"That is so weird. What happens if your not compatible?"

"Our faith will help us!"

"What if she's bad in bed?"

"What if I am?"

"Wait... you've never....."

"Can we talk about something else." Ahka said blushing.

"One more question and I'll change the subject. I promise."

Ahka eyed her suspiciously. 

"You've at least kissed a girl before?"

Ahka blushed and looked down at his drink.

"Wow. That's one strange planet you come from Amarrian! Proper old school!"

Ahka downed his drink.

"Why don't you get us more drinks?" he suggested "And think about a new line of questioning?"

The woman laughed, picked up the empty glasses and headed to the bar.

He sat back on the sofa and looked onto the dance floor. He noted a few other races there. There were a couple of Caldari and two Matari! Ahka tensed. Of course he'd seen Matari before but they'd always been slaves. Either hooked on Vitoc or wearing glave collars to control them. These two were free. He tried to tell himself to relax. Two free Matari on his old ship would have been dangerous but these weren't escaped slaves. They had no cause to harm him. Of did they? He was about to make for the exit when his companion returned with the drinks. These were red.

"What's that?" he asked.

"It's a Matari Rust Bucket! I told you I'm on a mission to force you to experience new things. Next cocktail will be Caldari so drink up! We've got a lot of work to do Amarrian!"

Ahka sipped the new drink keeping one eye on the two Matari on the dance floor.

To be concluded...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Help or HTFU?

I saw a post on the Eve Online Players group Facebook page. Someone was moaning that their support ticket had not been answered in 13 days. OK nothing newsworthy there. Until he said later in the replies what it was for.

Basically he'd petitioned that he'd come back after a few years away (four apparently) and all of his stuffz (tm) was in null sec and he wanted CCP to move it for him!


At first I laughed. Then I thought of the Permaband track HTFU. Then I thought about it more.

Whilst the natural Eve reaction is to say "tough", don't we also need more players in game? What if this guy gets his petition rejected and then just unsubs again. The natural reaction for Eve players will be again something like "If that makes him unsub then we didn't want him in game anyway." However we need players, 10 hard-core Eve players in five years just won't cut it!

So here is the question. How lenient should the GMs be with regard to things like this? Someone who has been away from the game for years, his stuffz has been sat deep in null in a station that may have changed hands a dozen times during his break. He's tried to sell it but no one is buying. What are the options?


Help Him
Whilst not really explainable in the mechanics of the "sci fi simulator" the GMs could move his stuffz over to high-sec and let him continue where he left off. You can Roleplay InterBus or someone did it but its still space-magic. However he might continuing playing for years. 

**** Him
This is what most people would expect the petition to say. We'll not exactly that. Eve Online is a game of choices and consequences. He left all his stuff deep in null when he unsubbed. However he might not fancy restarting from scratch and just unsub and leave again. An opportunity missed?

I don't know myself. At first I was "Ha! No way you'll get that!". However now I'm of the opinion that there could be merit in special cases like this for GMs to make a special exception (ie been away four years).


What do you think?

Monday, February 1, 2016

BB71 - Spaceships, Spaceships Everywhere!

Blog Banter 71 - Too Many Ships Spoil the Sandpit?

We all like important internet spaceships right? The more spaceships the better right? Or are we getting too many to be easily to remember them all. A Mastodon on scan? That the hell is that and what does it do? Oh! Never mind!

Are we getting too many ships. Is it too complicated to remember them all and what their traits are? Do FC's these days need an encyclopedic knowledge of ship types unless they want their fleet to DIAF. With more and more ships being released each year will we ever reach "too many" or do you think there can never be too many important internet spaceship types?

Banter on!

So are we ever going to get into a position where we have too many spaceships? Probably not in my humble opinion. Things are certainly going to get more difficult as the ship pool grows but Eve Online players have shown to be particularly good at adapting to changes.

You need to ask what is needed to be known of a ship? For me there are a few questions.

Is it generally point-blank, scram-kite or full-kite fit usually?
Is it tanky or DPS usually?
Has it any special traits/abilities?


For example I'll take a Dramiel in a 10mn Thrasher however I'll run from a Daredevil. Simply because the Daredevil and its enhanced web will counter my only defense - speed. However a Dramiel usually will get blapped by me as its own traits will not help it. Daredevil is similar to a Succubus. The 200% AB bonus means it'll be able to get under my guns if the pilot is good and my web won't be enough to slow them down.

Of course you cannot predict every fit. You either make the assumption and then die when they are fit the opposite to what you are expecting or quickly look on a killboard if you have time to try and guess who it might be.

In fleet situations it gets a bit easier as individual traits matter less. The issue here is force multiplier ships. We got four of those in the last major update.

"What have they got?"
"Well FC... they have a shed-load of Falcons and Rooks, a metric-shit-ton of Guardians and a wing of Command Destroyers to zoom in and send our own logi on a trip all over the grid!"
"Right, then we'll go the other way then!"


For me the growing ship pool isn't a massive problem. More often than not I'm solo and pick my fights. I'll scan for plex or if I see someone warp to a plex to draw them there. I'll show info on the D-Scan results if its one of those rare ships I cannot remember it's traits. If I've seen my opponent already I'll look him up on zKill and see how he usually fits that type of ship. If I've not seen him but there are only a few in local I'll look everyone up on zKill to try and guess who it is. A lot of people fly only a handful of ships and many times you can get a reasonably accurate picture of who is flying what.

One idea to get around right clicking would be to add the class of ship to the D-Scan. So as well as "type" you would also get "class". So Command Destroyer, Combat Recon, Assault Frigate would show up next to the name of the ship making ID a bit more easy?


Sunday, January 31, 2016

#evefanfest Memories

Last few weeks have been chaos and I missed the Twitter thingy where people were sharing fanfest memories to win prizes. Here is a few I could have posted.

2012

My First Fanfest. Going solo? Doesn't matter, I was meeting spaceship people before I even left Heathrow.

I Tweeted "Wow Sindel looks amazing at charity dinner". Tweetfleet responded with "PICS!!!!". So next time she passed I asked if I could take a picture. This was the result!

ZOMG! I'm with the Big Boss Man!

2013

Charity Dinner and sat next to a monocled legend!

An eruption

The follow-up to the 2012 picture!

Snow Storm just before the Golden Circle Tour

The Pub Crawl that Turned into CTF

2014

Unveiling the Monument

Being invited to try Valkyrie on the Sony Morpheus Headset

A tradition had been started!

2015

Meeting Xander and Niden, obviously a highlight!

The Eclipse

Visiting CCP HQ for Pre-Dinner Drinks!

No hugz :(

Meeting Mr Space Pope...


...and of course Rixx!

HTFU!

2016?

Soon(tm)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Red Light

Friday Saturday Fiction! Escape pod here.

Got an idea but not enough time. Normal blogging resumes next week so this is basically a short introduction to next Friday's story.


The Red Light

Ahka stared at the small red blinking light. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. It had started flashing an hour ago as expected. He'd been in the escape pod nearly 24 hours now and no sign of rescue. Ahka had been a technician on board an Amarrian bulk transport. It was a cheap ship, nothing like the navy or capsuleer industrials. Unfortunately not only was the ship cheap, so when it came under attack it was swiftly destroyed, so were the escape pods. He thought back to the chaos of the attack. He had no idea who they were. They could have been pirates, capsuleers or even mercs hired by a rival corporation. It didn't matter. It was all over swiftly. Unlike capsuleers, his Captain valued life. As soon as the attack started the Captain order the crew to the escape pods. Ahka had lept into his and jettisoned within seconds of the order. He'd seen the transport destroyed. Laser fire lighting up the darkness of deep space. After they had cracked the transport open other industrials had arrived to steal the cargo. It was something of a relief to know that they were not Sansha's Nation, just normal pirates who were after the cargo and not the crew.

The indicator continued to blink and Ahka started to think what he would have said to the person who designed that light.

"...and what does this red indicator here do?"
"Well sir, that's the warning light for low battery."
"I see. Just to clear something up, you said this escape pod has only small maneuvering thrusters?"
"That is correct. Its equipped with small gas thrusters designed to get the pod away from the exploding ship. It also has a simple CAS in case of moving wreckage, asteroids or gravity wells."
"I'm sorry. CAS?"
"Collision Avoidance System. It's all fully automated."
"So the passenger cannot maneuver the ship?"
"No sir."
"The communications package?"
"Simple low-energy radio to save money. Has a range of hundred thousand kilometer give or take."
"OK. So we have a indicator to tell the occupant the batteries are almost drained."
"Yes."
"They cannot move the pod?"
"No."
"They cannot call for help?"
"No."
"In fact they cannot do anything when inside that pod except wait for rescue. Yet you install a light to tell them they are going to die soon."
"Well.... yes.... I mean....."
"This indicator does nothing helpful. Simply lets you know you'll be dead soon."
"Well it lets the person know it is time to pray!"

Ahka had prayed. He was a good Amarrian. He followed the faith however it was looking increasingly likely it would be in vain. Pressing his face against the cold glass of the viewport he looked out into space. He saw the wreck of his old ship plus a few other escape pods, their lights blinking on the exterior. He sat back down. What a way to go. He was supposed to be married next month. His mother had arranged a suitable match with another house. As was tradition on their planet he'd not seen his wife-to-be. The first time would be on their wedding day. Now that had been taken from him. Regret crept in. He'd lived a good Amarrian life but what had he missed. Following the rules and what was expected. He'd heard stories about the other races, he'd even been tempted a few times but had always remained strong enough to resist. He'd visited other space stations on his travels but avoided mixing with the others. He'd spent a lot of time in his quarters reading the Pax Amarria.

The red light flashed a few more times then went out along with all other lights. The only sound he'd heard for the last day, the gentle hum of the air vent went silent.

Ahka wondered what would claim him first. The cold or the carbon dioxide. He laughed at the irony that his own body would be poisoning the air now. He curled up tight as he felt the cold slowly creep over him and prayed. Within 20 minutes he was asleep, the percentage of oxygen in the air no longer capable of consciousness.

-o0o-

Ahka woke suddenly. The bright light hurt his eyes so he snapped them shut again. Was this heaven? He opened his eyes again. A woman's face was there. Beautiful with flowing black hair and an olive complexion. She smiled warmly at him.

"Is this heaven?" he croaked.

The angel giggled and stepped back. Ahka sat up. It was not heaven, it was a med-bay. The contours of the structure flowed almost organically. The colours were shades of pale green. He had been in space long enough to know he was on a Gallente ship. He looked at his angel. She was a nurse in a bright white outfit. The skirt shocked him ending well above the knee. It was not right to show that much flesh!

"We pulled you from your escape pod just in time! You were lucky!" she said in broken Amarrian. "Sorry, but I don't get to practice my Amarrian very much." 

"My crewmates?"

"You were the only one we picked up. I'm afraid we were too late for the others." she said sadly. "We've arranged you some quarters. We're on a mission but will be back to a station in a week..The Captain has asked my to look after you as I'm the only one who can speak Amarrian."

"You?" Ahka replied in shock "You can't!"

"Why?" the nurse asked confused.

"You.... you... you're a woman!"

She laughed at Ahka's shocked expression.

"Yes I am Amarrian. And for the next week I'm the only one you have to talk to!"

To be continued...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Blog Banter 71 - Too Many Ships Spoil the Sandpit?

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 71st edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.


Too Many Ships Spoil the Sandpit?

We all like important internet spaceships right? The more spaceships the better right? Or are we getting too many to be easily to remember them all. A Mastodon on scan? That the hell is that and what does it do? Oh! Never mind!

Are we getting too many ships. Is it too complicated to remember them all and what their traits are? Do FC's these days need an encyclopedic knowledge of ship types unless they want their fleet to DIAF. With more and more ships being released each year will we ever reach "too many" or do you think there can never be too many important internet spaceship types?

Banter on!


Contributions:-

BB71: A Cornucopia of Spaceships
BB 71 - Decision Fatigue
BB #71: So Many Spaceships
BB71 – THE HARBOUR CRUSH
Eve Online Blog Banter #71: Too Many Ships Spoil the Sandpit?
BB71: Dear Santa. Thank you for all the presents!
Blog Banter 71: When too many is too many?
BB71 - Spaceships, Spaceships Everywhere!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

SP Pay To Win?

Life returning to normal here finally. Will be back to regular Eve and normal blogging soon (tm). I did notice on my social media feed that Skill Point Trading is coming in February and appears to be little changed from the original concept.

When skill point trading was first announced I wasn't sure which way I felt about it. There were certainly good and bad possibilities that could from it. Now I think it will be good for the game.

When I started Eve I was a missioning carebear. NPC corp running missions. I can remember slowly working my way up the Caldari ship tree. In fact one of my earliest memories was being frustrated that I could buy either the Caldari Cruiser skill book or a Caracal, not both. Anyway after a few months I got talking to an old friend from back home and he said he also played and was a director in a hi-sec corp and that I should join them. So I did. However this corp dipped into faction war one weekend a month. OK PvP, I've been playing a few months I'll try...


May be I was unlucky. What if I.....


OK so....


Right I got this now! Oh for f.....

"Anyone seen Drack this weekend?"
"Its FW weekend. You'll not see Drack this weekend!"


It soon became a standing joke for this old group of Star Wars: Galaxies players. I'd simply not log in those weekends. Then in January, some seven months after starting Eve and three months after joining -RS- I tried PvP again.


So what happened?

Were my Eve skills better? Not really. Fighting rats and roids does not really improve your PvP skill.

Were my ship hulls different? Nope. At that time it was destroyer and frigates with the odd cruiser. Same as what I fought with before.

I believe it was my core skills. My tank was tankier. My pew was now pew-pew. I was faster, stronger and tougher quite simply and able to fit a ship properly. This was due to maxing out the core skills which make a hell of a difference.

Is SP trading any more PTW than buying a PLEX and fitting out a faction ship with deadspace/officer loot? Probably not. Has it any downsides that the character bazaar already provides? I cannot think of any? Will it affect new players? Probably not much. When I first started I couldn't afford a Caracal by the time I could fly one, unless you are buying and selling PLEX for ISK new players are unlikely to be able to afford these. They will be an alts wet dream though! Perhaps that's the biggest downside for a certain type of player? "Ah ha! They are only two months old, this should be an easy kill.... oh shiiiiiii....."

Or have I missed something?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Breakdown

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.

My father is over visiting from the UK so I've had no time this week. I have an hour now this morning whilst everyone sleeps. I wonder if I can do a quick one? I've covered low-sec crews and ganker crews recently. Another one I thought about was what happens when you get stuck in a wormhole and have to pod home. I have one hour to write this before I leave this hotel. GO!


Breakdown

Josvis knelt on the cold metal deckplates. The wire binding her wrists and ankles dug painfully into her flesh. She looked at the others. All captured, all terrified. She'd call those that did this animals. However that would be unfair. You never see animals behaving like this. It all started six months ago. It all started when their capsuleer got greedy, and stupid.

She crewed on a capsuleer battleship. They did missions for corporate agents ranging from taking out pirate outposts in deadspace to rescuing executives wayward daughters. It wasn't the best money a capsuleer could make but it was safe and easy money. Then one day the XO announced the capsuleer had decided to try something new. Wormhole space! Lured by the rewards of Sleeper tech their capsuleer had teamed up with a another to explore wormhole space. His new friend had scanned one down and given the battleship was much more combat-capable than the probing ship he'd gone in first first. Big mistake. The wormhole collapsed behind them. The huge mass of the battleship destabilised the wormhole and they had become trapped in unknown space. The capsuleers friends had tried to find a new wormhole. Another connection to the star system they were in. However it was futile. After two days the XO had announced that the capsuleer had ejected and self-destructed his pod. This triggered the pods internal brain scan and sent the capsuleers consciousness back to New Eden. He was home, they weren't. 

For the first four months things had been OK. The XO explained that wormhole space might not be busy, but capsuleers came through all the time scanning. One would find their ship and take it. No capsuleer would pass up a free fully fitted battleship just floating in space. They just had to wait. They went about their daily lives working on the ship. Life support and food was good for a year so there was no real concern. However after five months things started to break down. Fights started, law and order was slowly turning to favour those who were bigger and could punch harder. The crew started to split into two. The officers and professionals and then the crewers. Josvis was fascinated to start with. The psychology was interesting to her. The well educated and professionals on one side, her side, and the manual workers and bad-boys on the other. Generally capsuleer crews formed two types. Those who were intelligent enough to work the officer and technical positions of an advanced battleship but knew the only way to survive was to get in, make their money and get out. The other type of crew were the boarder-line psychopaths who freely worked in the most hazardous environment known to man for bucket-loads of cash.

The crew split. Then the ship split. The upper-decks were the officer types. The lower decks became no-go areas. The XO tried to bring the crew together and maintain order. He was eviscerated by a plasma cutter and sent back to the upper decks in several pieces. After that doors and hatches were welded shut. Conduits, crawlspaces and corridors barricaded. A single lift was left guarded each end by both sides. It was a ship of two halves.

For another month an uneasy truce settled. Then one night there was a raid. The lows storming the upper-decks. They had been fought back but Josvis and several others had been kidnapped and goods stolen. She shuddered to think what might happen to them. Would they be traded back for supplies that the upper-deck had access to? Was it some kind of prisoner exchange. Before the ship broken in half several of the lower deck residents had been placed in the brig of petty crimes.

A door opened and Josvis twisted to see three people come through. One was Gaustold, self proclaimed leader of the lower decks. A hulking Matari Brutor who had gotten where he was by killing anyone who opposed him rumour had it. With him were two lows Josvis knew. Kousuki was a Caldari engineer and the other was his girlfriend. An Amarrian by the name of Azaph. They were both out of uniform. Wearing clothing that was more suited to street gangs than starship crew. Azaph wore spiked boots with fishnet tights and a tight pair of tiny shorts. Her top was fishnet too revealing her black lace bra. Her black hair was short and slicked down. Her make-up was black and heavily applied. She looked like the doll of a Caldari crime organisation boss. They wandered around the six captives slowly. Azaph stopped in front of Josvis and grabbed her face.

"Hey, there's that prissy bitch from personnel! How about this one?" she sneered.

Kousuki wandered up away from the one he was looking at.

"You want that one baby?" he said menacingly.

"Slut turned me down for a promotion. Rejected my application without reading it I bet. I'd love to get some payback!"

Josvis whimpered in fear.

"How much?" Kousuki said to Gaustold.

"What you got?" he replied casually.

Josvis couldn't believe what she was hearing. She was being sold!

"I got two cases of Gallente vodka plus a holodeck with some fracking good filth from the raid. That do?"

Josvis looked up at Gaustold in panic, He was obviously mulling over the offer.

"Yeah sure. Take the whore and make sure you drop the goods off before eighteen hundred hours or its your and your bitches ass!"

Josvis screamed as Azaph grabbed her by the hair and dragged her towards the door.

-o0o-

She could hear the sonic shower running and the low-voices. Giggling. Those two were excited. Josvis lay on the unmade bed where they had thrown her. Her hands and feet still tied. She looked around, a Matari hunting knife lay on the bedside table. If she could...

"Looks like our dog has plans for your knife sweety!"

Josvis snapped her head around to the door. Azaph stood their, dressed in a small black dress and fishnet stockings with PVC thigh boots. Kousuki entered behind her, just a stained white towel wrapped around him.

"I like the outfit!" he said not looking at Josvis.

"Thought I'd dress up for you baby! Can I go first!" she purred.

Kousuki simply leaned against the doorframe as Azaph approached the bed. Josvis struggled in her bonds as the Caldari woman approached.

"Now. About that promotion. I figure you owe me two years of back-pay. I am to collect!" she sneered.

As she climbed onto the bed Josvis notice the lighting increased slightly in brightness. She first thought Kousuki had turned up the lights to see better but that wasn't it.They were already on full. She also noticed the air-vent appeared to be blowing better. That could only mean one thing if the ships systems were suddenly running better.

"All crew hear this!" a voice boomed over the speakers "My name is Ikudur and I am claiming this vessel and all its contents. You should all return to your stations as we will be returning to New Eden and heading to Jita 4-4 immediately. I note there are many crimes in progress or about to be committed. Any transgressions will be dealt under Caldari law! That is all."

The room went deadly quiet.

"Untied her." Kousuki said quietly.

"NO!" screamed Azaph in fustration.

"I'm outta here. No way I'm spending the next twenty on a 'roid penal colony. You're on your own!" he said walking out of the quarters wearing only the towel!

"Spineless Fedo sucker!" Azaph screamed after him.

Josvis saw the Amarrian glance at the knife and smile. Azaph grabbed the weapon and jumped onto of Josvis' stomach. She grabbed the sides of her white dress blouse and ripped it open sending buttons flying. She placed the blade of the knife under the central clasp of her bra.

"Frack these egger bastards! I'm going to cut off your tits first!" she said pulling the knife towards her. The white lace snapped. "The I'm going to scherious frack you with thisch blade right up your...."

Azaph paused looking confused. As well as noticing her slurred speech, Josvis felt incredibly light headed. Both women collapsed a second later.

-o0o-

Two months later....

Josvis was compiling the last of the crew reports. The nightmare on-board the Dominix a distant memory. When she awoke she'd found herself in the medical bay. The Capsuleer was aware of a dozen crimes in progress as he boarded the battleship. Those who didn't heed his warning had their air-supply adjusted. Not enough to kill, especially as victims were in the same room, but enough to disable.

Josvis had found another job on a capsuleer battleship. Another safe assignment in Empire space. She had not seen Azaph in the flesh since they both passed out. However she had received an anonymous message containing just a video file. It had been of a security camera in a prison cell. She had watched Azaph enter holding a bedding roll escorted by a guard. After the guard left the cell-mate appeared from the bottom bunk. The largest Matari Josvis had ever seen. She had to double take to ensure it wasn't actually a man. It wasn't, but she was the size of one. The huge woman held out a hand, it was the size of a persons head.

"Hello pretty!" she heard "We're going to have some real fun together for the next twenty!"

The video had faded to black as Josvis listened to the sound of Azaph begging the huge woman to keep away. A shrill scream sounded from the speakers as the recording went black.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

But Daaaaaad!

My father is visiting from the UK. Other than my birthday roam I've had no time for Eve or preparing blog posts this week! There probably won't be a Friday Fiction this week either! He leaves the desert next week and normal service will resume then. In the meantime, here is a nice shot of some Frostonians from our roam on Sunday!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Birthday Suicide

So last night I undocked my carrier that I've had for years in order to suicide it in celebration for my birthday today.

I've had that Chimera for years acting as a suitcase, jumping my stuffz around New Eden each time I moved home. You might be wondering why it's an armour tanked Chimera? That is a good question and it goes all the way back to my Shadows of the Federation days in the Gallente militia. This was the golden age of faction war in the late "noughties". The Caldari Militia didn't fly stabbed ships and regularly undocked fleets of battlecruisers led by good old Gavin Goodrich. Oh, those were the days.


Anyway it was suggested that it might be fun to bait with a Chimera on the Nisuwa station. However, that Chimera would be armour tanked. The plan being I'd agress with the others staying docked playing AFK. The enemy fleet would become all excited as my shields started to fail, the SoTF boys would start to undock but smelling blood the enemy fleet would commit as "the carrier is almost dead!". Whilst they are overheating their guns thinking they'd get a carrier kill, they get a surprise as they hit my armour tank, the others would grab points and we undock a couple of Thanatos to keep my Chimera alive as the cap ran out from the dual reps.

BOOM! Dead enemy fleet all because of "Armour Chimera!".

That was the plan. It never worked.


In hindsight, SoTF baiting with a carrier on their home station was a bit "obvious bait is obvious". Anyway I didn't intend the Chimera to be combat ship so left it fit like that for the next.... wow... seven years? It even had large rigs!

So with the big four oh today I thought it would be the flagship for a Stay Frosty Fleet last night and see if it could die in a glorious fire (obviously I won't be on Eve tonight as I'll be down the pub for birthday drinks!). I filled the hold for a party with dancers and booze and undocked. I'd said bring anything and that's what we had. Over a dozen ships from T1 frigates to faction battleships and a bit of everything in between. I remembered as we undocked I've not FC'd in over three years. Oh well....

We headed out to Nikkishima where we found a Confessor jumping gate. We waited a few seconds and jumped finding him sat decloaked on the other side. Not a good idea when a fleet of blood thirsty pilots jump behind you. He died horribly and was podded too. He convo'd me wonder what happened. I explained "Bloody pirates!"

We headed down the short Nikki pipe and back again until a Proteus landed on us. Oh shock I wonder what's going to happen next?


As expected, after only 25 minutes of roaming, the cyno went up and the carriers, dreadnoughts and BLOPS dropped on our heads. With no logi (I don't count as they were shooting me!) it was a slaughter!

RIP Chimera. You did your job.





Sunday, January 17, 2016

SCASSSS - Yes its a *Blank* Chimera

In a few moments I'll be undocking this to go for a roam!


I do not expect to dock it back up. Tomorrow is my birthday and it's a big one. In fact, rather depressingly, its the big "four oh".

So in 'celebration' of this event I'm going to take some Frostonians out and see if I can gloriously DIAF. This was my first carrier in Eve Online and has only been used in anger once or twice. It also has one of the oddest fits you'll see on a Chimera. This was for a special thing many years ago. I cannot say why its fit like that right now (no intel whilst its still in one piece), that story is for tomorrow where I will explain why its fit like that after it's dead. The main reason I'm posting this now is that people might post the loss mail with a "WTF? Is that an *Blank* Chimera? SRSLY?" They can be directed here and to tomorrow's post on why it is fit like that!

So if you're out and about in the low-sec Ishomilken area right now (17:00 Eve Time on Sunday), you might see a Chimera with a kitchen-sink fleet roaming (slowly) about. Feel free to stop by and shoot me in the face!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

To Good To Be True?

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here!

Last week I did a short story on taking a risky fight and the implications of such a "Oh what's the worst that could happen?" attitude with the crew on-board my ship. I got a comment saying would be interesting to have the same story told from a Gankers crew perspective. Which got me thinking...


To Good To Be True?

'The Basement' was the lowest official nightclub on the station being located all the way down on deck 255. There were unofficial clubs and illegal raves located in the five decks lower, but you wouldn't visit these unless you were desperate. At least The Basement had some security in the form of big Matari bouncers and weapon scanners. Less chance of being ventilated after looking at someone the wrong way. However it was still dirt cheap.


Kamaala and Saun walked up to the entrance, the bouncers nodding as they entered. They passed through the scanner and paid the five credit door fee before passing into the club proper. It was still rather early and whilst the club was busy it wasn't packed. After getting a bottled beer from the bar they settled into one of the booths. A sound dampening field was in effect around the booths. The thump of the Gallente hardhouse could still be heard, but you could talk without having to shout.

"Well here's to another shit week!" Kamaala said lifting his bottle. Saun took his and knocked it against the neck of Kamaala's.

"You cannot beat routine maintenance for minimum wage working for an asshole who makes an Amarrian slaveholder seem like one of the Sisters of Eve!" Saun replied laughing.

The two friends worked for Amiernatsu Inc, a maintenance contractor on the lower decks of the station. They were both 'Technician: 3rd Class' which was the lowest of the technician grades. They spent most of their time fixing automatic doors and food dispensers. The work was boring, the pay was poor and they both hated their jobs.

"I don't know what he does, but we need to change careers to his!" Kamaala stated pointing towards the entrance.

Saun swivelled in his seat. A Gallente man in a smart silver suit was entering the club. His suit looked expensive and he wore a lot or jewelry. Brilliant blue gemstones in his cufflinks glinted in the strobing lights. Behind him his entourage followed. Two guys that were clearly the muscle and then half a dozen beautiful women wearing some of the tiniest clubwear either men had seen. They watched in awe as he crossed the club to the VIP area, the bouncer opening the rope for him as he approached.

"Got to be some crimelord. Serpentis or Guardian Angels." Saun said.

"Why you say that?"

"Man, if you have that much money and power what the frack are you doing in this shit-hole?"

Kamaala shrugged.

"Suppose you are right. If he was legit he'd be up on deck 15. Wonder how you get into that industry? They have interviews?"

Both men laughed and clinked their bottles together again.

-o0o-

"Two Matari Rust Rinses and two Arty Thrasher Headshots please!" Kamaala yelled over the din to the bar tender.

He nodded and opened the two beers and went about making the chasers. It was a shooter containing a mix of very strong but very cheap drinks. The name came from the fact that next morning it almost felt if an artillery destroyer had shot you in the head.

"You going to get us one of those too?" a voice purred into his ear.

He glanced across to find two women leaning against the bar next to him. He smiled at the two very attractive women and quickly tried to do the maths in his head. He was getting low on cash. Shit, he never had enough cash. In the end he decided he probably just had enough and indicated to the barman for two more shooters. These girls were far above his league. Buying them a drink would more than likely get him nowhere but he was already buzzed and thought it was worth a try. He pointed to the booth where Saun was sat as the barman placed the drinks on the bar. The two girls smiled and took the drinks before, surprisingly to him, walking over to the booth.

"Hi I'm Deni and this is Kaila!" the brunette said as they passed into the sound dampening field and the volume of the music dropped dramatically.

"This is Saun and I'm Kamaala."

"Thanks for the drinks!" Deni said downing her shooter in one. "What do you guys do?"

"We run a small tech company here on station." Kamaala replied with their standard lie. Low-grade maintenance techs was not a great line for picking up girls.

"Cool!" Kaila replied finishing her drink.

"What about you girls?"

"Oh, we sort of don't do anything at the moment. Partying mostly." Deni replied. "Wanna dance?"

The two men nodded quickly and headed onto the dance floor hand-in-hand with the girls. As the started to dance Kamaala wondered what their story was. Rich daddy? Come all the way down here to blow off some steam with the rough-end of society? Rebelling against their family by looking for a bad boy to party with? Someone from the wrong end of the station? Kamaala decided this was probably the right track and if he played his cards right he might get a bit of fun from little miss rich here. He glanced across at Saun who was receiving pretty much the same treatment from her friend. The girls were dirty dancing with them and weren't holding back. Kamaala tried to think how much cash he had left. He needed to buy them a few more drinks probably. As he was trying to think Deni pulled him in close and kissed him.

"Come on! Need some more to drink!" she said tapping Kaila on the shoulder.

Rather than leading them to back to the booth the girls pulled them across the floor to the far end of the room. Kamaala looked on in horror as they approached the VIP area. He barely had enough for one more round of drinks. The VIP tables needed a bottle of spirits or expensive bubbly minimum. Before he could come up with an excuse he saw the bouncer open the rope and let them in. What was going on? Deni pulled in through a curtain into a secluded booth. Inside was the man they'd seen enter the club earlier. He hadn't realised but the girls were with the suspected crime lord. He suddenly became very worried.

"Ahhhh Deni. There you are." said the man with a smile. "And I see you have a new friend!"

"This is Kamaala, his friend is Saun and Kaila's bringing him across."

The man smiled again and gestured for Kamaala to sit. There was a large table were everyone was seated around. As he sat the man poured a generous portion of Gallente vodka into a glass from the bottle and slid it across to him.

"I'm Ralirashi. My friends call me Ral. Please enjoy my hospitality. Any friend of Deni's is a friend of mine."

Kamaala picked up the glass and drank as Saun was led in by Kaila.

"Ah more for the party!" Ral laughed pouring more drinks.

Kamaala surveyed the room. The two 'muscle' were sat at the far end of the table chatting to each other. Two of the other girls were there and were chatting to each other. He tried to remember who else had come in with them. There were at least two other girls missing. Probably on the dance floor he imagined.

"So what do you guys do?" Ral asked.

"They run a tech company!" Deni said.

"Ahhhh." It was clear Ral didn't fully believe that but he didn't press the matter.

"What about you?" Kamaala asked hoping to deflect questioning away from their careers.

"I crew. For a capsuleer."

Suddenly it all made sense to Kamaala. The money, the girls. Capsuleer ship crews were apparently paid massive sums compared to normal ship crews. It was highly dangerous work, and the only way they could get crews was paying huge sums of cash.

"Pretty risky." Saun replied.

"Not really. Don't believe all you hear in the press. These modern ships have pretty amazing escape systems. Plus it depends who you crew for. My egger never leaves high-sec. Lot safer than low or null but the pay is almost as good. You guys should try it. Ten 'K' is ten 'K' after all."

"Ten thousand a year? That's not good money!" Kamaala said surprised as that is what they earned as 3rd class techs.

"A year? Oh no my good man. That is per month. Ten thousand credits per month! And thats for a new inexperienced crewman for their three month probation. It usually doubles after that and can go up to a hundred 'K' a month for some positions on the ship. Plus as the capsuleer does most things its money for old rope."

The two technicians looked at him him shock.

"I'm not on top money but I'm happy with what I get. Plus as its such a safe job there is no need to save like mad. I can throw money around and have a good time. I know, I'll show you."

Ral reached into a bag and pulled out a stack of cred-notes and placed it in front of him. Kamaala and Saun had never seen so much cash.

"Deni. Kaila. Lets have a race. Ten thousand for the team who comes first." Ral stated emphasising the word 'comes'.

Kamaala and Saun just looked on confused as the girls shrieked in delight and suddenly dived under the table.

"What do you mean...." Kamaala started but was cut off as he felt hands on his thighs. He felt his zipper being pulled down. Warm hand. Cold air. He groaned as he felt a hot, wet mouth envelope him.

"Relax boys. It's just a game! Vari! Domori!" he called over. The other two girls gave cheeky smiles and slid under the table too. Ral leaned back with his hands behind his head smiling.

-o0o-

"This is the hybrid charge rack. Your job is to ensure that the auto-loader is clear. Our capsuleer overheats regularly so you need to clear any blockage quick. That's pretty much it. Easiest job on the ship and what all the noobies do first time. Just do like what they showed you in training."

Kamaala and Saun nodded to the engineer. It had been a week since that night at the club. A week since Kamaala had got half a years salary simply because he had lasted the least amount of time after the girls had slipped under the table. A week since he had the most amazing night of his life partying back at Ral's amazing apartment. That night when Deni took him to bed and they were joined by Vari a few minutes later! The next morning when Ral offered to put them through crew boot-camp they'd snapped his hand off! In the past seven days they'd been on the intensive crew training course paid for by the mysterious Ralirashi. They'd learnt the basics they needed to know for crewing on a capsuleer destroyer and now were ready. Ready to earn a years salary in 30 days.

"Any questions?"

The two men shook their head.

"Right. I'll see you when you get back!"

Then they were alone in the gunnery section of the Catalyst class destroyer. They walked around the bay familiarising themselves with the room. It seemed too good to be true. A relatively safe job for a huge amount of money. They approached the hatch at the end of the room. 'ESCAPE POD' was written in big white letters on the front.

"Not far to run if things go tits up!" Kamaala commented. Saun nodded please they were so close to an evacuation route.

"All crew, prepare for undock." a voice boomed over the speakers.

Kamaala and Saun got to work preparing the blaster cannons and ensuring the ammo was loaded. They felt the ship warp and then jump. They had already been dosed up with medication to counter the effects of gate travel.

"I've just noticed something. There is only a few rounds of ammo in each of these blasters." Kamaala said as the red alert indicator flashed.

"What do you mean?" Saun asked looking at the magazine racks.

"I mean each gun has only four charges loaded and the store is empty. Once we've fired four volleys we're out. It makes no sense! We've got room for hundreds of rounds."

"Perhaps that's all we need. Here to destroy a single Serpentis pirate and 4 rounds is even overkill?"

Kamaala shrugged. A warning light lit indicating the thermal cut-offs had been deactivated. The two men prepared to tackle any possible problems as best they could. The rumble of the guns firing was loud, but not as loud as they expected. They watched diligently for any stuck casings or magazines. The second overheated volley went off without a hitch. The explosion that followed a second later was unexpected. A thunderous noise that shook the ship and almost knocked them from their feet. Emergency alarms screamed all around them.

"What was....."

The second one was even louder and even more alarms sounded including the one they recalled from their training. Kamaala remembered the instructor's words well. "If you hear this particular alarm its over. You run and you run for your life. This is the sound of the low structural integrity alarm. Your ship is almost doomed and nothing you or the other mortal crew on the ship can do anything. Its in the hands of the capsuleer at that point. You jump in the nearest escape pod and you get the hell out!"

Both men sprinted for the door marked 'escape pod', almost slamming into it before they could hit the open button. They jumped through the opening door colliding with mops, brushes and buckets. They looked around in horror as they realised this was a cleaning closet which someone had sprayed escape pod on the door. The 3rd strike from the CONCORD ship obliterated the small destroyer.


-o0o-

The hover limo glided through the station boulevard towards the transit lift. Santadan and Kunkkainen were sat in the backseat each with a stunningly attractive girl on their lap. Santadan discreetly felt his inside pocket where 5000 credits were sat. More money than he'd ever had in his life. All because he lasted the shortest time in that club. Now they were heading back to Ral's apartment on the station for the after party.

"So if you are interested I can see about the XO sponsoring you on the week intensive training course. You need to sign up for six months crewing exclusively on the capsuleer's ship but you'll keep all your wages if you do."

Santadan and Kunkkainen looked at each other unsure, as the two girls kissed and fondled them.

"Look guys, we'll talk in the morning. Enjoy tonight at my party. I know I will." Ral said with a laugh.

The two marks went back to concentrating on the girls. Neither thinking that in just over a week their lives would end the same as all those who rode in that very limo each night. Claimed by the vacuum of space after their ship was destroyed by CONCORD as they ran into a janitor's closet.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Define "Pirate"

A self-confessed stabbed farmer had this to say about me and my good mate Rixx on Monday.

I think you "pirates" grow some huge man balls and start living up to a "pirates" reputation.

Oooooooooo! This all stems from a trap we set for a player who were themselves setting traps using recons. We were baiting the bait. Anyway Rixx blogged about it in detail so go read that if you're wondering how this all started.


However it raises an interesting point. What is a pirate and what's a pirate's reputation within Eve Online? Oi! Google! What is a pirate?

pirate
ˈpʌɪrət/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who attacks and robs ships at sea.
    "a pirate ship"
    synonyms:freebooterMore
verb
  1. 1.
    use or reproduce (another's work) for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright.
    "pirated tapes of Hollywood blockbusters"
    synonyms:reproduce illegally, infringe the copyright of, copy illegally, plagiarize,poachstealappropriatebootlegMore
  2. 2.
    dated
    rob or plunder (a ship).
    "one of the ferry launches had been pirated while still in the harbour"



OK, so ignoring the electronic type it someone who attacks and robs/plunders at sea. Obviously there is no sea where we go in Eve Online*, but that can easily be swapped for our game-world of space. So we get to "a person who attacks and robs ships in space". We're getting there.


So do I attack? Abso-bloody-lutely. As I drafted this I looked how many kills involved me. This included kills and times my ship went KERBOOM! It was exactly 6000!


So I attack. However do I rob or plunder? Again, I do. If I kill you I'll do a quick scan to make sure what's left of my ship after our fight isn't going to get dropped on by someone who will finish me off. If we're clear then I'll burn over to your smoldering wreck and steal your 'stuffz' and any of your drones floating about. If I've been lucky I will also scoop your frozen corpse.

So a pirate attacks and plunders. I certainly do both of these. So what else?

Nothing. By definition I am a pirate. Google says so! I attack ships and steal from them. That's what pirates do. Pirates in-game can do more but we don't have to. Some gate camp attacking industrials. Some ransom pods. Some lurk in belts or DED sites waiting to gank PvE fit carebears. Some suicide Catalysts into freighters in hi-sec I tend to look for those looking for fights.

The vast majority of the Eve-base will categorize me as a pirate. A scout for a fleet will probably refer to me as "...a pie...". I'm -10, live in low-sec and I fly combat ships and fight. However I don't really see myself as a pirate, I'm a PvP'r. A gamer. Whilst I'd never compare Ee to a "Spunk, Gargle, Wee-Wee" game as I player it's the same. And like in PvP in any game, I'll use the game mechanics to my advantage. Just look at my killboard. Vast majority of my fights these days are 1v1. I'll try taking a faction frigate in a T1 to test myself. However I have no problem taking a T1 frigate with my faction frigate these days. It's all fighting in the end of the day.

This is not Pirates of the Caribbean. There is no "The Code" no honour amongst thieves. "He who falls behind is left behind"? Well depends what the other side dropped! If it's an overwhelming force then sorry dude. If it's something we can fight then overheat that repper, hold on and I'll be right back in a new ship to try and rescue you. It is strictly forbidden to attack and sink another pirate? -10 vs -10 make some of the best fights!

There is no "reputation". There is no "pirate's code" in Eve. We are called pirates simply as it's easier to say than what we really are!

"...OK in local there are two neutrals, one war target... and a PvP'r...."


Oh and the first of you to say "Parlay" during a fight gets podded!



*Oh do shut up you PI bear :P