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.


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!


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


Unveiling the Monument

Being invited to try Valkyrie on the Sony Morpheus Headset

A tradition had been started!


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!




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."
"They cannot move the pod?"
"They cannot call for help?"
"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.


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!


BB71: A Cornucopia of Spaceships
BB 71 - Decision Fatigue
BB #71: So Many Spaceships
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


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!


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.


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.


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.


"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.


"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.


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?

  1. 1.
    a person who attacks and robs ships at sea.
    "a pirate ship"
  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.
    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

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Wee Dram

So rather than moaning about the use of bling* in low-sec, I thought I'd have a play around with some.

I've been flying around in a Dramiel over the weekend and have found it a lot of fun. I'm a bit more careful with the fights but given the cost of the ship verses what I usually fly I think thats only to be expected. Where as I'd regularly "give it a go" even if it was unlikely I'd win, I'm picking and choosing engagements. This is a bit of a problem in the GMT+4 timezone as there isn't a massive choice of targets about.

I've gone with a 125mm autocannon fit. Obviously these are fairly small relative to the 250's but give me more options on the fitting. I get 200dps from the ship so not too bad for small guns. A lot of the power grid is sucked up by the twin propulsion on the fit. A MWD to get me into the fight and a AB to get me out of the fight if needed. And I have needed!

My first kill with it was a Vigil Fleet Issue. I was roaming and warped to a large plex to find The Maulus Navy Issue kiting a -10 pirate, I think it was a Phantasm. Now normally I would have whored onto the Succubus hoping that I could get out before the Vigil Fleet Issue pointed me. However, this particular Succubus was piloted by Deryn Angrard, an old friend from my QCats days (I was with QCats up to end of 2014). Obviously this made a difference. A "space-friend" tackled by a kiter meant I zoomed in a killed the Vigil. Whilst DA and I are "Space-friends" we can, and do, kill each other. So once the Maulus popped I was not 100% sure what would happen so I just MWD'd away. We chatted in local before a Myrmidon landed. Whilst I had no intention of going for a Myrmidon, Deryn pointed out it was a streamer so probably not bait and worth a try. So Dramiel and Succubus vs Myrmidon. Sorry, Dramiel and Succubus vs 125mm autocannon fit frigate-killing-speciality Myrmidon. With an overheated AB and an overheated armour repairer I just got out of point range and managed to warp before I assploded all over the plex. 30% structure on a Dram is a pretty close one especially when your repper and cap are drier than 007's Martinis. Deryn stayed and the Myrmidon got him. On the bright side a small gang turned up a minute later and killed the Myrmidon so we got on the killmail!

My last kill with the Dram as I write this was a Firetail. There was someone baiting with a Recon in the area so we decided to try and bait the baiter. I was sat in a medium plex in my Dramiel with boss man Rixx Javix in a Rook feeling... well....

Rixx Javix > i feel dirty, even for a pirate

The guy we were after never came through. However a curious Firetail entered the plex with the Rook being hidden from D-Scan and obviously didn't fair well against the two of us.

Tears, rage and references to FAG scrolled in local for a few minutes. Didn't expect "GF" but "Good trap!" is always an option I find when I herpa-derp into situations like this.

So far Dramiel is fun to fly, but I'm getting less fights. Right, time to try a different type of bling!

*Bling as a term is subjective. If your hull usually costs 500k ISK then 20m is Bling. To me personally a Dram is Bling. To a hard-core "I don't undock in anything worth less than a billion" its obviously not!

Sunday, January 10, 2016


So I've talked at some length about faction frigates on here. Decided it's time to try some ships other than cheap T1 that I like to fly. Splurged out some ISK and added these to my hanger. Will report how I derped them soon(tm).

Friday, January 8, 2016

One Fight, Two Tales

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

This fight happened last weekend. No idea who the other guy was. Assumed they'd fought a bit earlier and the Corax won. The picture near the bottom is the actual screenshot I took after the fight.

One Fight, Two Tales.

The Capsuleer's Tale.

"Jump complete.
Corax on scan.
Narrow beam scan to the small plex. Yes, he is located in there.
Warp to 10. Don't want to get caught in the gate.
In warp. Activate DCU.
1au scan, still in there. Activate gate.
Corax. 13km off.
Start to target, pre-overheat guns, get point, web and guns hot.
Activate AB. Orbit set at 9000. Nearly locked.
Bang. First blood to me.
Damn those rockets hurt. Increase orbit to 12km, overheat AB to counteract his webifier.
Guns getting too hot, turn off overheat.
Low shields warning. He's winning.
Low armour but I'm making range. Rockets falling short now. I'm winning.
Both in structure. He's hitting me again. He must be overheating his AB.
Overheat guns again.
Shit this is going to be close!
Low structural integrity alarm. 5% structure. Next volley and I'm down.
My weapons cycled first! He's down.
Get the pod? No, targeting failed, he's out.
'GF' in local.
Check 1au scan just in case. In no condition to fight now.
Nothing on scan, no rush.
Scoop loot, head for home. I need repairs!"

The Crewer's Tale.

Elelle wasn't quite hammered but she was buzzed. It was quiet in the bar but that was no excuse to break with tradition. If your capsuleer got a kill, you took a drink. Elelle's pod jockey was having a very good morning. 15 kills so far and was probably hunting number 16. Her friend Deget had fallen asleep. He'd not learnt Elelle's trick. Before ordering check if your egger is out in the big black. If he's not out in space, order what you want. If he is, order something light as you might be drinking a lot of it!

She saw one of her fellow crewers, Gokestar, enter the bar and order a drink. As she walked over towards her, Elelle knew something was wrong. Gokestar was Matari and tended to crew on the capsuleers Minmatar vessels. Their capsuleer had been flying Thrasher class destroyers that day. She sat down next to Elelle.

"Bad day?" Elelleasked fearing the reply.

"Oddelulf and Aunur are dead." she stated with no emotion referring to her two inseparable friends. She didn't say more. Simply stared ahead and drank.

Gokestar, Oddelulf and Aunur were a well known trio. Ex-Slaves that had been freed together at the start of the Empryean Wars nearly eight years ago. They had got into starship crewing in the end being tempted by the vast pay offered by the Capsuleers. Elelle had known all three for several years and whilst they didn't crew together as Elelle tended to work on Amarrian vessels they had lived in close proximity for a long time.

"Which fight?" Elelle asked softly.

"The Corax. Damn it! That Pod Jockey knew it'd be a risk. Warping that Thrasher with hardly any tank on top of a Corax would always be a fight too close to call! Yet he still did it."

The two women fell silent for a while.

"Want to talk about it?" Elelle said finally.

"I guess. We'd just jumped into Hasama....."


"We're aligning to a small plex. Any idea what the egger's seen in there?" Gokestar asked from her station.

"Nope. Whatever it is, there is a good chance it'll be trying to punch holes in us so get ready!" Oddelulf replied.

"Are you serious? We're crewing for a negative 10 capsuleer. Everyone is always trying to punch holes in us!" Aunur laughed.

The three Mataris crewed the structural integrity station within the Thrasher class destroyer. A relatively small room located below main engineering. Their job was to maintain the integrity of the ship even under heavy fire. The ship was equipped with a damage control unit which they could use to reinforce the bulkheads, plug breaches with forcefields and direct minor repairs using drones and nanites. However these repairs were too slow to make a difference in battle and were generally more aimed at wear and tear and maintenance issues rather than battle damage.

"Its a Corax class destroyer apparently." Aunur said looking up from his screen. The Egger just sent orders to gunnery to swap to Republic Fleet EMP rounds.

The room went quiet at that. A Corax would be difficult. They would have similar optimal ranges and they were warping into the Corax giving it a slight advantage. It was also a more modern design and likely to be fitted with upgraded shields. A fair upgrade on the aging Thrasher class. Their Thrasher was fitted with an oversized afterburner. This meant there was not enough power for proper defenses. It relied on speed and putting out huge damage. Against Amarrian destroyers such as the Coercer it was deadly. Gallente blaster Catalysts and Caldari blaster Cormorants were also good prey. However this later design destroyers were more of a problem. Especially the Corax.

Gokestar instinctively looked towards the door to the corridor. She was planning her route. Out the door, right, left then right. Escape pods were there and it would be at least twenty seconds to reach the nearest. She went back to her monitors. Next job was to shut down non-essential systems. She wanted as much power and processing speed available so the routine maintenance drones and slower nanite repair systems could be paused.

The three felt the destroyer drop out of warp smoothly. There was then a slight jerk as the ship was caught in the magnetic field of an acceleration gate.

"Ready?" Aunur said to nobody in particular as they felt the ship accelerate. Thown hundreds of thousands of kilometers by the structure.

Down in the deepest part of the ship they knew very little of what was happening. Their systems and scanners faced inwards. Keep track of the ships hull and structural elements. There was a low rumble that reverberated through the ship. The sound of the Thrashers seven 280mm cannons firing in unison. The next shudder indicated their own shields had been hit by returning fire.

A few more seconds of this back and forth and the return fire increased massively in sound and vibration.

"Shields are down. Armour is taking a pounding!" Oddelulf stated as they prepared.

A flashing red light indicated the armour plating of the ship was failing.

"Ready boys and girls!" Oddelulf shouted over the explosions and alarms "It's time to rock the rust!"

The three worked in perfect unison. The rockets of the Corax were a kinetic based warhead and were snapping supports and blowing holes through bulkheads as they passed through the armour. The trio struggled to hold the ship together.

"I've got big breaches in sector 4!" Gokestar shouted. "Anyone able to spare some juice?"

"Throwing some your way. I'm only getting the odd stray!" Aunur replied.

Their capsuleer was burning away from the Corax, their 10mn afterburner making them faster, although a lot less maneuverable than the Corax with its 1mn. Most of the fire from the Corax was striking the rear of the Thrasher that Gokestar was responsible for.

"I'm losing it! Structural integrity at 20%" Gokestar cried, unable to cope with the incoming damage.

"Frack it! We're done! RUN!" screamed Oddelulf and the trio spun from their consoles and ran towards the exit hatch. A massive explosion knocked them off their feet and everything went black.


Gokestar felt sick as she woke. Her stomach lurched. Gate travel! They had survived and just passed through a stargate!

She opened her eyes. It was dark. Only the feint glow of indicators on various panels showed in the dark.

"Oddelulf? Aunur?" she cried. No answer.

Feeling her way to the wall she moved by touch until she found the door and then the control panel beside it. She felt for the breakers and tripped them. The emergency lighting flickered into life. She gasped. The room was wrecked. Most of the next deck up had collapsed down on top of them. A huge beam running along the middle of the room had saved her from being crushed. She looked around. She saw Oddelulf's legs protruding from a deckplate. She rushed towards him but skidded to a halt a few metres before. The deckplate was laid flat and only a couple of centimetres above the floor. The space and amount of blood surrounding the plate indicated there was no way Oddelulf was still alive. She glanced around looking for Aunur. She spotted her slumped against the far wall. She quickly crossed the room. A few of the tiles from the ceiling plate covered most of her. She looked up as Gokestar approached.

"Oh thank god. Your alive!" she gasped, pulling the lightweight tiles off her. She looked down and was silenced. A long jagged shard of metal pierced Aunur from behind, the jagged, bloodied spike erupting from the middle of her body.

"Well that's not good!" Aunur sighed looking down with a half laugh that brought blood leaking from her lips.

"No. No! NO!" Gokestar repeated. "We can fix this." she said desperately looking around for the med-kit. The wall where it hung was buckled and she couldn't see it anywhere.

"No point, just hold me." Aunur whispered, more blood leaking from between her lips.

Gokestar slumped down beside her friend, crying. Holding her tight. The only other sound was the rattle of the air vent and the occasional spark of shorting electrics. There was a screech of metal on metal and the air vent was silent. A second later the emergency lights died.


"So what happened next?" Elelle asked softly.

"I woke up on a stretcher with an oxygen mask strapped to my face. The life-support systems had failed all over the rear of the ship. I'd passed and they'd got to me just in time. The capsuleer had docked back here and left the hangar crew to search for survivors and make the repairs."

The two women drank in silence together for a few minutes.

The screen above the bar flashed red indicating one of the capsuleers who belong to one of the corporations based at the station had lost their ship. They looked up and saw their Egger had been flying a Kestrel class frigate and it had just been destroyed by a Rifter class frigate supported by a Curse class Recon Cruiser.

"Well after all that I doubt he'll be going out again. Want to hit the club?"

Elelle nodded and finished her drink. Whilst going to a club midday might sound strange for most, for capsuleer crew it was common. The club's music was frequency modulated to produce a euphoric effect. The bar not only served drinks but a range of boosters and stimulants. There were even 'the backrooms'. Suites available for hire along with the companion of your choosing. For someone who needed to forget, it was the best place on the station...

...and crewing for Capsuleers, you always needed to forget.