We in SoTF have have an awesome corp shop. Living in low-sec and with me having a long-standing "misunderstanding" with CONCORD, a corp shop is a godsend.
Our shop is like any other web-based retail. You create an account and you can browse every item in game by category or quick search. Type in "Republic Fleet EMP" into the box and it'll come up with all the different sizes. Click which you want and type in the quantity. Once a week it's all delivered to the corp low-sec home-station and individual contracts set up to each purchaser. Jita price + 15% tax for the guys trouble, fuel and risk. Hell that's cheaper than most Valued Added Taxes in real life!
By far the best bit of the shop is the ship import tool. Create your ship in EFT and you can import it into the shop and save the fitting. So now if I need an autocannon Hurricane or a fully fitted Falcon, I simply click the saved ship on my favorites and select how many hulls and sets of fittings I want.
Anyway yesterday I had a big order arrive. Part of that order was an active tank Hawk.... now with added mid-slots... so I fitted it up and went for a roam. After nothing in Black Rise I headed up to Tama. There in the top belt was another Hawk piloted by Quake590, a pirate. I didn't want to fight at zero, in top belt Tama you will get someone land on your 1v1. So I bounced a few pounces around the edge of the asteroid field as the other Hawk did as well. Finally we both landed 90km away from each other and decided that was close enough. He burnt for me as I burnt for him. We clashed at point blank range. His buffer tank vs my active tank. He was too good for me and even with a blue pill (supplied by Uppers n Downers [UPPE]) he was able to take me down. We had a quick chat in local after (nice guy, which can be most unusual in Tama) and I podded home with an idea for a small change to my fit. Mmmm an Autocannon on a Hawk....
Later that night we went back to Tama as a small fleet. About 8 of us headed out. I brought the most hated ship in-game (a Falcon) and someone else brought a Loki for some extreme webbing.
We set up our bait (a tanked BC) in top belt and waited. Suddenly Tama got very Russian. A large blob of Assault Frigates arrived to spoil our fun. Our bait got safe and docked up whilst the Russians bounced around before buggering off.
Our bait undocked and a pirate Proteus starting locking him up outside station. He warp to top belt at 0. As we assumed, the Proteus followed and engaged. I hit warp to range on our bait and immediately decloaked so that when I landed my targeting systems would be online. Poor Proteus didn't know what hit him. As he was hammering our bait he get's perma-jammed and then half a dozen more ships land and he's webbed/scrammed. Takes us a while to break him, and I feel a bit sorry for him. Yes, he's going to die even if I wasn't there, but it's frustrating not to be even able to fire back.
He pops and gives a gf (with a "bit blobby" caveat) in local and you really cannot blame the poor guy. http://www.sotfkb.com/index.php/kill_detail/596405/
A few minutes later a couple of completely different Russians arrive. They park at zero on the top belt in Drake and an Onyx. Now this immediately gets us very suspicious. The key words there are "couple" and "Russians" in the same sentence.
Now I know I really shouldn't stereotype a nation, but it's hard not in real life, it's even harder in Eve Online. I am sure there are Russians out there who solo and small gang all the time. But in our area, the experience we have is where there is a Russian, there is a huge blob! We check the neighboring systems. No more Russians. We cannot believe there would be just two Russian, heavily tanked-low DPS ships sat in top belt Tama without a blob somewhere. But they are not anywhere obvious. Which can only mean one thing. It's close to hotdrop o'clock!
We chat about it on comms. It's a trap, we know that. But by knowing that could we get lucky? We decide to go for it and may be we can pop the HIC and get out before the blob catches us?
Our bait warps top belt and the two pirates engage. I do my decloak-and-warp and jam them both up. Rest of our gang arrives and primaries the HIC whilst we all try and guess when they will light a cyno. They didn't light 'a' cyno, they lit two, one each.
Luckily this was both expected and prepared for and we GTFO double time as about 20 ships with logi got dropped on our heads. They snagged our BC bait, but the rest of us got out safely.
Well that's another alliance with a Titan then. Those things are getting more common then Drakes!