Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shopping, Soloing, Blobbing and Being Blobbed

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!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kill The Flashy Chat Button NOW!

I have a couple of issues with the new Neocom. Have you?

Did you go on the test server, identify these annoyances and feed them back to CCP before the patch? Well then, tbh you cannot moan that much then, just like me.

But you can do something about the number one annoyance... the blinking chat icon of DOOM! Whilst many other icons can be removed, the blinking chat icon of DOOM is a hardy little fellow and won't die as easily as the others. But there is a way. Here is a quick guide on how to remove the BCIoD from your Neocom.

Firstly add a few more buttons to your Neocom. I added contracts and corporation as I use these regularly.

Then drag the blinking chat icon of DOOM to the bottom.

Next enlargen the side bar by dragging the edge out towards your ship. This makes the icons bigger and soon enough the flashing chat icon of DOOM drops off the bottom. If it doesn't drop off the bottom, add a few more buttons.

It, and any others that dropped off the bottom) are replaced by a small menu icon. Click that icon and it's still there, hanging on by it's finger tips.

Now right click it and select remove.

It's dead. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If you need to find it, it's located in the menu at the top of the Neocom.

Now where is the fracking Militia button gone? I want to depress myself with stats on how badly our enemies are failing and not fighting whilst in space.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Incarna - Establishments Part 2

This last week had been a nightmare in real life. Work, stress and other problems have seriously impacted my Eve time. I'm hoping to get back to normal next week. Below is a blog post I wrote a while ago and has been sitting as a draft waiting for a time when real life impacts heavily on Eve. Just like this week....

I've mentioned before that whilst I'm a PvP oriented militia pilot and occasional pirate, I would like to see Incarna deployed properly.

Yes, yes! I know that Incarna and walking in stations (WiS) are a dirty words currently. In fact I'm going to see if the phrase "walking in stations" shouted in a Skyrim style works as a Thu'um against CCP staff at fanfest!

But lets forget the original Incarna expansion and the problems that were caused. If we could work towards the future vision of Eve it would be cool....

I've referred to the Incarna I'd like to see before, the piece below is a bit of fiction from my characters perspective if Incarna was deployed properly....

"Docking Request Accepted"

Drackarn's camera drones went blank as his Hurricane class battlecruiser was towed into the station. During docking the camera drones used by capsuleers to "see" retracted into the ship to avoid damage by the stations towing tractor beams. Suddenly there was light again as the camera drones redeployed inside the docking bay. He could see his 'cane hovering in the station hanger. With a simple thought, the camera drones span around his ship at speed, blurring the ship in a manic spin. "Ship spinning" was something many capsuleers did whilst docked in station although the reason for this odd behaviour had never been truly explained. It wasn't truly ship spinning, it was willing the camera drones to orbit the ship at high-speed. This gave the capsuleer, floating in his hydrostatic pod and thus detached from his own physical senses, the image that the ship was indeed spinning at high speed. Some argued it was the sensory overload that was somehow enjoyable, some said it was the rush of perceived speed whilst still in the hydrostatic pod that was pleasurable. Others just thought it was because capsuleers were THAT bored when in a ship and sat docked in station having anything to shoot.

He accessed the station services and paid for some minor repairs to the ship that were caused by him overloading his modules earlier that afternoon. He also refitted the ship ready for the fleet-op scheduled for later. His current fit was for solo roaming, he need a slightly different fit that would be more useful in a fleet situation. He could have done this from his captains quarters but he found it easier and quicker whilst still in his pod and ship. When he had finished, he checked the time. Well over an hour until the fleet was due to assemble, there was time for some R&R so he activated the controls for his pod to transfer over to his captains quarters. His pod detached from the belly of the battlecruiser and gently slid over to a docking station. He braced himself for the flood of sensations as he was slowly disconnected from the pod and his own physical senses came back to life. He blinked his eyes and wiped the pod goo from his face. He hated this bit, it was so undignified! After showering and changing he headed out.

The lifts this high in the station only had 12 levels on them, even though the station had hundreds of decks. The top 6 were inaccessible to Drackarn without a special keycard. They belonged to the mega-corp that owned the station. Those levels were opulent luxury where the mega-corp top exec's worked, lived and enjoyed themselves. The next two were the offices for the capsuleer agents. Drackarn didn't know why they bothered with such large offices as all his dealings with these agents were always over a secure comm line, never face-to-face. The three floors below those were the capsuleers. Living quarters, corporation offices, access to the storage and ship hangers and also the bar, which is where he was heading. The final floor that was accessible from this lift, deck 12, was the security station. It was effectively a barrier between the elite of society and everybody else. To be able to pass from the lower levels of the station you needed to pass through this deck. The lifts were physically separated to ensure nobody could hack them. The main station elevator shafts that covered hundreds of decks terminated at deck 12. Those wanting to reach decks 1 to 11 needed to exit the lift and physically walk cross the security deck. You also needed high-level authorisation which was always triple-checked at a series of gates manned by armed security guards with DNA scanners. An advanced screening system checked all those passing through for guns, knives, explosives, bio-agents and anything that could be used as a weapon. Whilst capsuleers and mega-corp execs and their staff could pass relatively freely, it was almost impossible for anyone else.

The capsuleer bar was fairly full of his fellow corp mates as was always the case before an op. A few other rival corp members huddled together in small groups. If they had met outside the station it would have been a matter of seconds before missiles would be streaking across space and laser fire lit up their hulls. However in the stations capsuleer decks there was strict weapons monitoring. Plus they all knew the risks. Out in-space and hooked up to their hydrostatic pods, death was a minor inconvenience for a capsuleer. Here, with not being plugged into equipment that could take a snapshot of your brain and beam it across space into another clone, death was a bit more permanent.

He noticed Wivers and Xenos Giger from the corporation Uppers n Downers sat in the corner. They had a customer already with them so he grabbed a drink and lent against the bar. After 5 minutes the other guy left and Drackarn took his place opposite Wivers and Xenos.

"Ah Drackarn. Good to see you. The usual?" Wivers asked.
"Aye" replied Drackarn. "12"
"12? Been having fun have we?" Xenos commented.
"Hawk class Assault Frigates mate, been flying them a bit more often lately. Oh and the Cyclone class battlecruiser. And those little blue items of yours do aid the tank rather. I still blame Smo for getting me on these!".
Although Drackarn was talking to them, his attention appeared to be on the scantily-clad Minmatar and Gallente dancers working the poles to the left and right of where they were sitting. Whilst to the casual observer he was simply admiring the female form, what he actually was doing was checking if anyone was taking an unhealthy interest in their transaction.
"Maybe we should be giving Smo some commission then" Wivers  quipped "Standard or Imp?"
"Imp" replied Drack still seemingly enthralled by the dancers. He had noted a few suspect characters, but nobody appeared to be watching him.
Wivers passed a small datapad over and Drackarn entered the details for the transfer of the ISK. Xenos slid over a small discreet packet.
"Enjoy, and remember to recommend us to anyone you kill won't you" Xenos smirked.

As Drackarn got up there was a cheer from the other end of the bar. He glanced over and saw S810 jr at one of the card tables, a throng of people behind him, clearly supporting the winner as always happens when gambling in these bars. Drackarn felt a bit sorry for his opponent who was hunched over and looking rather down and alone. S810 jr was a shark when it came to card games and that poor sap sat opposite would probably be belt ratting in the morning to try and get some ISK back in order to feed himself!

Back at the bar Drackarn noticed Eelis and Lexx sat on a small table near the big holoprojector. They both appeared to be watching something. Drackarn didn't need to look at the screen to know, at this time of day and to have them two so enthralled it had to be the news reports on the "capsuleer cold war" in the Black Rise region. Drackarn chuckled. "Cold war", it was such a stupid term. Whilst it wasn't officially a proper official war with the Gallente and Caldari Navies clashing in epic battles, it was still a war. The Governments of both sides simply rewarded capsuleers for attacking the other side and then just put their hands up to say "Wasn't us, we don't control these capsuleers". The news finished and the credits rolled for a movie. Drack had heard about this new comedy produced by one of the main Gallente holoreel producers, "Where the Frack is my Ship?". Apparently it was about two young booster-heads who had no memory of the night before and were trying to find their misplaced ship with hilarious results. Drack smiled and patted the pocket which held the 12 blue pills he'd just bought.

He finished his drink and left the bar, heading down to the Corporation office on the level below. The name Shadows of the Federation and the corp logo was etched into the frosted glass of the door. Drackarn entered and passed through the reception area into the corp members only section. He found Gallactica accessing one of the stations data consoles.

"What in Black Rise is THAT supposed to be?"
"Oh hi Drack. Just looking at some new furniture for my quarters on the NeX. You like it?"
"I dunno, what's it supposed to be? It looks like a sofa that's been repeatably bumped by a triple-plated Hyperion!"
"It's a Gallente Love-Seat. You see the girl sits there and....."
Drackarn silenced him with a wave of the hand. "Seriously man, I don't need any image of you and some ugly tart, bumping uglies on the universes most ugly sofa! That image is just..... ugly!"
Gallactica just laughed and went back to surfing for furniture.

Drackarn went to the back of the office where windows looked down into the stations central core. The massive open shaft ran the entire length of the station and was over 200m wide. He could look up and see the plexi-steel dome and out into space 12 decks above. A Manticore class stealth-bomber slipped past and into warp as he watched the sun fade from view behind the planet. He could see the edges of the parks on the highest deck levels. Green, wooded areas with plants which of course was a rather expensive luxury on a space station. Artificial weather controls made them rock steadily back and forth in the man-made breeze.

Further down the core things became less luxurious. If he looked down far enough he could just make out the lower levels. Unlike the triple-filtered purified air he was breathing, down at the bottom they'd be lucky to have 21% oxygen. Like any station in the galaxy, the higher up you were in life, the higher up in terms of deck levels which you lived on and did your business. The capsuleers generally were at the upper levels of society. Therefore all capsuleer decks on stations tended to be within the highest 12 levels. The top decks and penthouses where always used by the mega-corp elite, but capsuleers were just below them. In terms of power, and personal wealth there was very little in it. However, all the way down there, all those "norms" slaving away in the bowels of the station.... they would never get to see this high up. Would never breathe such clean air. Would never experience the excesses and luxury that vast quantities of ISK provided.

Drackarn had been down there before. Sometimes it was necessary in order to get a particular item... or to meet a certain contact, one who would never be able to enter the more secure and controlled environment of the capsuleer decks. Some of the more lucrative missions were not handed out by the regular corporation agents, there were some missions that had to be kept "off the books" and couldn't be given through official channels. It was on one of those visits that Drackarn had killed up close and personal for the first time. As a capsuleer he had killed hundreds of thousands of people in his career, may be even millions. A normal battleship, even one with a capsuleer commanding, still needed a substantial crew of thousands. However destroying a battleship in the vast emptiness of space is one thing. It's different when they are 3 feet away and you can see the life drain from their eyes and be able to smell the burnt flesh following a shot from a hand-blaster. He instinctively rubbed his left shoulder. It was strange. Although he'd taken a hit himself in that firefight, the physical body that had suffered the injury had long since been lost. He'd been podded a few times since that day yet whenever he thought about it, his shoulder would ache. The thing was that this current cloned body had never been physically shot. He smiled as he remembered his short stay in the medical bay whilst he was patched up after that fight. "Those nurses love us capsuleers! I will have to swing by Nisuwa soon and see if she's still there.... and her friend" he though.

He heard movement behind him which disturbed his train of thought. Gallactica had stood up and was heading to the door with his jacket swung over his shoulder.

"Coming to blow some shit up?" he asked. "It's time to fleet-up".

Drackarn looked down the station core one last time and turned to follow Gallactica.


*I told you Eelis, I won't stop until you put down that dirty Warhammer (or now lightsaber is it now?) and come back to New Eden.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You Win Some....

.... you lose some, and sometimes you have a "Paul Christoforo" of a day (see bottom if you don't know who he is).

Sunday was a bad day both in and out of Eve Online for me. First of all it's the first working day of the week (Middle East) and I had to drive to the capital. So it was up at 5:30am, leave the house for 6am, two hours driving with mad drivers, 10 hours in the office and then another 2 hours of Death Race 2012 to get back home for around 8pm. Think of that drive as taking a Hulk to Tama or Amamake and then warping to each belt in turn.

A corp mail on Saturday had advertised a fleet starting at 7pm my time on Sunday. I thought I'd miss it, which was a shame as Super kills were mentioned (that's super capital kills, not just really super kills!). May be there was a chance I could jump into a stealth bomber and catch up?

In the end I logged on and the fleet was still forming! Result! Problem was wifey was cooking dinner. A "Puss in Boots" look to the wife got me my chilli con carne served at the computer desk. Double result!

May be something could be salvaged from today with a good fight! I jumped in my Abaddon with the 1400's (I don't do lasers, I like my guns manly) and thought I'd fallen lucky!

Anyway, we knew that some Russians had reinforced a large POS not far from us and used a rather nice fleet to do so in the first place. Therefore we thought that they'll be back to finish it off with a similar fleet.... and we'd pay them a visit.

99% of the time we do these things perfectly. Sometimes, they go "Paul". This one went "Paul". I'm not going into all the details, I don't want to reveal all our tactics now do I? However, it went something like...

The warp in got mixed up. I landed at the correct spot and quickly picked a Phoenix to point (someone had already called a Moros). Then I found myself being primaried by the enemy BS fleet. I broadcast for reps. Then I realized the logi's weren't there. In fact of the 30 or so of the fleet, I was one of a handful sat on top of the enemy dreadnaughts and their rather large support fleet of BS and BC's. The warps had gone very wrong. My part in the battle was as follows.

Yay I'm here.
Right! "Point on the Phoenix!"
Guys I'm being yellow boxed by their support fleet
/broadcast for reps
Er guys where is everyone? GUYS? GUYS????? OH FUUUUUUUUUUUUUU..................

Anyway by the time the logi's, other BS and our cyno ships landed, my Abbaddon with the BIG GUNS was space trash and I was sat in my pod at a random planet. I went to burn back the six jumps to reship and listened to what was happening.

Our fleet finally got sorted and our newly jumped in triage carriers were struggling to keep up when more cyno's were lit. A second hostile fleet of Tengu's and Basilisks were dropped on us along with a Aeon supercarrier. Suddenly a trap had been sprung on our trap. The system had become decidedly Russian!

Now we were in trouble. Fighter-bombers were deployed and the enemy had superior numbers (100ish verses our less than 30) and better composition (BS like us but also T3's and plenty of logi and ECM).

I was nearly back in a new ship when the order to bail was given. I stopped on the last gate and pulled a U-turn. The cries of my fleet mates asking "Can anyone jam X, he has me pointed" ringing in my ears.

Oh well, at least it is a 135m ISK insurance payout for a platinum insured Abaddon currently!

Plus it could be worse. I could have done like Seismic Stan did the same night and thought I was sending a lovely text to my wife whilst I'm working away... only to use Twitter and give the whole of #tweetfleet a "wtf?" moment. By the way @freebooted, you know the Twitter app for Android saves Tweets, even the deleted ones? Look I'm reading it right now. Don't believe me?

Seismic Stan @Freebooted Nite baby, are you...... as if I would Stan ;)

Sometimes Eve Online lifts your spirits to the heavens. Other times its a case of...

Paul Christoforo - In case you were living under a virtual rock at the end of last year... Paul was CEO, owner and sole employee of Ocean Marketing. A company hired to market and deal with the orders of an after-market console controller add-on. The Avenger Controller was initially invented to help disabled people use the controllers of PS3's and XBox's. Anyway a guy who had ordered one emailed to find out what had happened to his order. The email chain got more and more laughable as the customer service got more and more "Faulty Towers". Mr Christiano played the "Big I am" and listed all the trade-shows and expo's he attended (after threatening to sell this guys order on eBay!). He mentioned PAX in his list as well as knowing the Mayor of Boston (WTF?). As the customer was a fan of Penny Arcade, he forwarded the email chain to them. Gabe replied back saying Ocean Marketing would not be getting a stand at any PAX after this dreadful customer service. Paul then, like the internet super genius he is, decide to attack Penny Arcade in his emails. Not only did he insult one of the most popular sites of its kind, he also threatened to run a smear campaign against them. Penny Arcade posted the email chain on their site for all to see. Then Paul found out what happens when you upset a few hundred thousand geeks...


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Iceland Bound and Back to NBMIITF

Well that's all my flights booked to Iceland for Fanfest.

Just done the tickets for Fanfest itself. Had a bit of trouble on deciding on the other trips. The Pub Crawl with a Dev was a must, but still couldn't decide on the others. Don't worry, those going won't have to suffer my hairy man-boobs at the Sunday Blue Lagoon do, I'm heading back on Sunday. So instead went for the VIP dinner with the CEO and Devs. Appears to be for a good cause.

The wife still cannot understand why I'd spend so much money to spend a long weekend with, and I quote, "a horde of geeks" when the same cash would have bought us both a weeks all-inclusive holiday in the Maldives.

When not in New Eden I prefer scuba diving and underwater photography in the Maldives or Red Sea

Anyway, I've pacified her with some new shoes and the fact that she's joining me on the majority of the flights so she can spend a week with her parents back in the UK. She'll be travelling back to the southwest of England whilst I'm stuck in Heathrow airport for six hours awaiting the Iceland Air flight. Anyone else on the 12:10pm flight on 21st March from Heathrow? I'll buy you a pint or 12 to pass the time! I'll even try and find a guards bearskin hat so I look sort of like my Twitter pic so people can easily find me:-

This will be my first Fanfest so don't really know what to expect. Should be interesting!

I got another bit of good news last week. I sent a Tweet out asking whether the bug with faction war, faction standings and remote assistance to GCC/pirate militia mates has been fixed. Apparently it's in testing and might make Crucible 1.1 next week. WOOT! Seriously, what other game can you Tweet and you get and answer back from the Devs within hours.

For those of you who don't know about it, there is a bug in faction war relating to naughty criminals. If you use any form of remote assistance when in faction war on someone who is GCC or -5.0 security status or worse, you take a faction standings hit. Basically your Empire punishes you for assisting a militia mate who's fighting for that empire???

In blob warfare this wouldn't be an issue as logistics are rarely used. But faction war is not blob warfare, and logistics can easily turn a battle in small to medium gang warfare which is faction war.

This bug was the reason we as a corp had to rat up from -10 when we rejoined faction war last year after trying the low-sec pirate thing. I'm currently -2.99 and getting utterly fed up as there are limited squids (Caldari militia) or pirates to shoot in our area currently.

So the decision has been made. We are placing our trust in CCP that the bug will be fixed and deployed next week. Therefore we have a new corp policy.....

Last time the decision was made I was not keen on going pirate. This post here explains my reasoning's (TL;DR - I like playing the good guys in computer games). However now having previously been a -10 filthy pirate and loved it, I have no issues this time around. The fact you have so many more targets, the fact more skill and judgement is needed due to the game mechanics (gate guns, GCC) and the fact that so many people Leeroy into un-winnable fights with you simply because you are a pirate - "I'm going to solo that pirate in a destroyer in my frigate because I have the side of good with me! Therefore I cannot lose!" /pop

So it's time to hoist the Jolly Roger and return to NBMIITF* with extreme prejudice.

Why am I so happy with this? Well if you skip back through this blog you'll notice that battle reports have been getting fewer. The Caldari Militia are no longer the force they were. So going pirate, along with the forthcoming alliances in faction war, hopefully epic space battles will re-commence!

*Not Blue, Murder It In The Face

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blog Banter 32 : Eve Online is Harsh - Live With It

Blog Banter 32: Non-Consensual Combat Restrictions

"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships, there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option. 

Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"

In the last few months, with the Goons ganking hi-sec miners to control the price of Oxygen Isotopes, there has been some players calling for an "opt out of PvP" option in Eve Online.

Also this week there has been a long full-bodied whine thread on the forums where a hi-sec carebear sold his fitted and rigged Domi for 95,000 ISK instead of the 95,000,000 he wanted. It was the old "buyer opens trade window with 95,000,000, seller see's it and whilst he's still finding the ship to drag and drop the buyer changes it to 95,000 and the seller doesn't notice" trick. Calls were being made for scammers like this to be banned.

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure you "get" Eve Online. Maybe World of Warcraft might be better for you? Better still, how about Hello Kitty Online?

Before I get comments like "I've been playing Eve since 1943 and I "get" Eve but I don't want PvP/to get scammed..... rar rar rar rar" let me explain.

Eve is a harsh, dark game-world. It was designed that way. It's been developed that way. We love it that way. The only place you are truly safe in Eve is inside a station.... for now. It's the Wild West of space, you are not suppose to be safe anywhere. Read the back story, read the chronicles, read the scientific articles, read the novels. They all point to Eve being a cross between the outer worlds of Star Wars (retched hives of scum and villainy) and Firefly/Serenity. The gleaming, polished, happy, helpful and smiley United Federation of Planets it is not!

Technically there is already an "opt-out of PvP" box, it's called the log in screen!

Of course in hi-sec you are afford some "protection" by CONCORD. However, you need to remember CONCORD is the space police, and like our own police on Earth at this time, they cannot prevent every crime from taking place. They are there to punish offenders, not always to prevent the crime from taking place (other than through the threat of punishment).

Mugger - Give me your wallet or I'll stab you!
Businessman - You cannot mug me, I'm in the city near the Police station. This area is high security.
Mugger - Eh? What are you talking about?
Businessman - I'm a manager not a criminal. Therefore as a "real-life carebear" and not a PvP'r (person vs person) I've "opted out" of being a victim of crime.
Mugger - /stab
Businessman - I'm petitioning you for that!
Mugger - /stab /stab
Businessman - Oooo you are so going to get banned /dies

Now don't get me wrong, Eve Online needs carebears. Without them the game would collapse. We need miners and missioners repossessing loot to provide minerals. We need people building ships, modules and ammo. We need people undertaking research and creating T2 items. But that doesn't mean you can destory the "realism" of the game. Yes, realism is subjective in a space simulation set 20,000 years in the future where we travel around in spaceships faster than the speed of light using our brain implants. But how would you work "invulnerable carebears" into the story-line? Also if carebears never died there would be a no call for mining barges, exhumer's and battleships and ammo used in level 4 missions. Carebears also supply carebears you know!


Scamming is easy to avoid. JUST USE YOUR BRAIN AND THINK!

98.25% of sales posted in local chat are scams.
98.5% of people convo'ing you to offer you a great deal are scams.
98.75% of received Eve Mails telling of mega offers are scams.
99% of "get rich schemes" like TitanRuzFTW are scams.

The reality is that the market hubs are so active if you wanted to sell an item at a really, really, really great price then you could just stick it on the market and it would be gone in minutes. Some guy selling minerals for an uber amazing price? Check the instant buy orders on the market, why doesn't he just sell to them and make more cash. It's all about common sense! Unfortunately greed often overrides common sense.

Never, ever, ever, use the direct trade window. Always use contracts. And read things carefully. If you rush things to take advantage of this amazing deal you will miss the fact that it isn't an amazing deal and you're being scammed! If an offer sounds too good to be true.... THEN IT IS A SCAM!

I got burnt once as a noob and bought a shuttle for 8,888,888 ISK. But I didn't call for the guy to be banned, I called him something else in my head and moved on. It was my own fault as I didn't look properly.

Suicide Ganking:-

Now, onto suicide ganking. There are things you can do to reduce your chance of being suicide ganked. First off, don't try to mine ice in Gallente space when the Goons have publicly announced that they are suicide ganking every ice miner they see in Gallente space!

Secondly, run-of-the-mill suicide ganking is usually about economics, if you're not worth the gank, then you'll probably not get ganked.

Lets take the example of an 73bn ISK Officer-fit Nightmare for level 4 missioning. First off..... WHY????? Yes I'm sure your 73bn pointy ship rips through hi-sec level 4's like a hot knife through butter. But, how many level 4's do you need to do to repay the original 73bn outlay to buy the ship? The guy in a T2 fit Navy Issue BS or Marauder has spent 72bn less than you and does the same missions fairly fast. Just calculate how long it would take you to catch up and overtake his earnings when you start 72bn down.

But most importantly, his 1bn ship and fit is probably not a lot of interest to suicide gankers, especailly if he's mostly T2 fit with only a few faction mods. However that Nightmare you are in is what suicide gankers dream of. A few, lets say 5, T1 PvP heavy alpha fit BS will take it down (after all it's fit for PvE isn't it). Of course they'll lose their own cheap BS to CONCORD, but the alt in the industrial will be fine as he scoops up all your expensive mods as you look on from your pod and cry. Even if only 21bn ISK of mods drop from that dead Nightmare, it's still 21bn ISK for an outlay of probably under 1bn! 20 billion ISK profit makes it VERY worthwhile in this case. Apparently the new T3's are great for suicide ganking and with Tornado's giving a 13,000+ alpha they make ideal suicide ganking ships!

You thinking the above is bollocks? Read it and weep laugh your ass off - http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=8975336

For the next example of avoiding suicide ganking we have the NPC Militia high-sec missioner. However with this example there is no suicide involved. Unlike faction war missioners that are in the militia and brave low-sec, these stay in high-sec in expensive fit battleships and cry "I'm quitting and going back to WoW" (yes one actually said that!) when you blow them up. Now these guys I have ZERO sympathy for. They have joined the NPC militia corp as it has 0% tax. Now for someone who is grinding high-sec level 4's that sounds ideal. Zero tax and still in an NPC corp so you cannot be war dec'd by high-sec griefers. Profit, profit, profit!

There is a reason the tax is set at 0%, it's because you have a permanent war dec ongoing with the militia of two opposing Empires. So when the likes of Loren Gallen*, aka Chuck Norris aka "The Militia Tax Man", collects your faction and officer loot from your wreck don't start crying. Yes the Navy Police are there but they can be effectively tanked with the right setup. They are not going to protect you if the other person knows what they are doing. To avoid being ganked like this you should..... actually I'm not going to tell you. If you are doing this then you deserve to be blown up. If you join the militia then fight, don't carebear!


Eve Online could be called a futuristic space simulation. There is nowhere totally safe in Eve Online just as there is no where totally safe on Earth. So when carebearing in hi-sec please remember, it is "high security space", it is NOT "safe space".

There is enough protection in high-sec already IF you engage brain first!

*Regular readers may wonder why I mention my corp mate Loren Gallen so often in blogs. Easy to answer, a great deal of people search the internet for him. Probably something like "who the hell is loren gallen and how did he kill me in hi-sec" before they Google "world of warcraft account reactivation". Anyway, he brings me traffic!

Other Banters on this round:-

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hazard Pay (Fan Fiction)

I killed 70 crew members the other day, simply because I was bored! This short piece looks at what happened inside the ship as I got my arse handed to me.

I was having trouble getting a fight, the Caldari militia are terrible at the moment, especially in my timezone. I thought I'd try and bait them by opening a faction war plex in Enaluri (the primary low-sec system for the Caldari) and then sitting on the warp in point from the acceleration gate. May be I'd get a fight, it's worked before. I sat there a long time.......


The bridge on the Thrasher class Destroyer was silent. A red strobe light flashed in one corner indicating battle stations.

The XO got up from his chair and walked over to the scanner console. As a capsuleer ship, there was no captain on the bridge. The capsuleer, floating in his hydrostatic capsule in the belly of the ship provided that role. His neural implants and central nervous system were wet-wired into the ships systems, allowing him to do much more than a human sat in a chair on a bridge could ever do.

"What have we got on scan?" asked the XO.

"A Cruor class frigate keeps making a fly past, and I've seen a Caldari Navy Hookbill briefly. Neither has landed on the acceleration gate" there was a slight strain in the Ensigns voice. He was green like many members of the crew.

"Good work Ensign. Keep it up, just remember, what you know from those scanners, our capsuleer knows ten times more. Have confidence in him, he'll do the right thing"

"Yes sir! Of course sir!"

The XO looked discretely towards the escape pod hatches to ensure the route was clear and the indicators showed that the systems were OK. He'd been here before.


Down in engineering the scene was similar. Warning lights flashed but the Chief Engineer was sat leaning back in a chair with his feet on a console. He was picking dirt from under his fingernails with a screwdriver.

"He's back again, the Cruor! By the gods, how long are we going to sit here!"

The Chief Engineer rolled his eyes. This new crew was so green it was like working with grass.

"We'll be sat here until one of those squids decides to grow some balls and uses the acceleration gate. Until then we sit here and wait"

"But there are two of them now. If they both come in together, can we take them?" the Technician sounded worried as he looked over the scanner results. A Cruor and a Caldari Navy Hookbill were on long range scans.

"May be. We're at the warp in, warp scrambler, stasis webifier and close range autocannon fitted. If they come in with a few seconds between them we'll have them." the Chief sounded nonchalant.

The Destroyer had been sat in the same location for a while. It was a small Gallente Federation outpost in the Enaluri system. Whilst the Gallente had conquered the system, the Caldari militia were looking at winning it back. The deadspace around them prevented ships reaching the area by warp drives. An acceleration gate provided access to this area of space and thus created a bottleneck.

"And if they land together? Why don't we get out! We're massively outnumbered, if half of the Caldari militia in this system come here, they'll wipe us out in seconds"

The chief engineer stood up and walked over to the technician. He leaned over and refreshed the scanner.

"Well looks like it'll be over in a few seconds"

"NO! There are three of them and they are on close range. We've got to get out, why isn't the warp drive spinning up??? A pirate frigate, a Navy frigate and an assault ship! They'll rip us apart!"

The Chief just shook his head.

"Because our capsuleer is bored, that's why!"

"BORED?" The technician screamed.

"Yes bored. He's been sat here far too long and wants a fight, even if the odds are terrible"

"But... but..... but we'll all die!"

The Chief sighed. He went through this far too often.

"No, the Capsuleer will certainly survive. As will any of us who make it to the escape pods"

The technician stared at the chief wide eye'd with an open mouth. He couldn't speak.

"Tell me son, why did you sign up with a capsuleer crew and not a regular ship crew."

"Well the pay! The money on a capsuleer ship is ten times more than on a normal ship."

"Did you ever stop to wonder why? Did you question the huge disparity between the pay on a regular ships crew and a capsuleer's ships crew? You never wondered why everyone doesn't jump onto the nearest capsuleer ship and rake in the money? Well, you're about to find out!"

Several alarms rang out. The thermal cut-offs had been disabled on the electronic warfare systems. The capsuleer was going to over-heat the warp scrambler and the stasis webifier.

The three Caldari militia ships slipped out of warp near to the stationary Destroyer, the Navy Hookbill first, then the Jaguar class Assault Frigate. The Cruor arriving last.

The space between the ships lit up with fire instantly. The Thrasher was taking a pounding under the three verses one odds. It's shields went down in a matter of seconds. Explosions then struck the armour plating, resonating through the ship.

The abandon ship siren sounded and the chief started running to the escape pod hatches.

"This is why we're paid so well" he shouted over the sound of the alarms as he slid into the escape pod. "Think of it as hazard pay!"


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CSM 7 - Electoral Reform?

So.... the elections for the Council of Stellar Management will be kicking off soon. Will it be pretty much the same? Probably.

I'd just like to point out I think the CSM 6 has done a great job. But the path that they have walked has been exceptional. The Crucible Expansion, of which I have no doubt that the current CSM had a heavy hand in, fixed a lot problems with the game for many, many people. But, the question is, would we have had Crucible if we didn't have the problems with Incarna, Monoclegate and the Summer of Unrest? Without those, the winter expansion would have been very different and would have probably been Incarna II.

Anyway back to the matter at hand. A while ago, in a blog banter, I proposed a different way to elect the CSM. I want to expand on that now. Part 1 of this blog looked into why 0.0 is not the end game of 0.0 and we need a more balanced CSM taking different player-bases and not just 0.0. This next part looks how we could get better representation on the CSM.

Again, I'm not CSM 6 bashing. My point is that the best person to represent an area of the game is someone who partakes in that area of the game.

Elected people in positions of power generally have an area of interest, so why not do that with the CSM. Make at least half the positions in the CSM "officer" positions like those on a normal committee or Government. Let them campaign on that area of interest. Lets get the CSM representing the wider player base and not just 0.0 where the big alliances can vote for their own.

So here are my suggested "officer" positions on the CSM with the area they concentrate on.... as well as how to identify them at the meetings....

Of course this will be Mittens. All he needs to do is ask his alliance "vote for me" and X thousand goons vote for him. I'd also like to point out that, whilst I may be in the minority in this view (when reading forums and social media), I don't personally have a problem with The Mittani. He appears to have done a very good job as chairman this year and keeps things interesting in-game. Anyway the role of the chairman is fairly obvious and they do chairman type things for the CSM.

At a CSM meeting they must........ have a chair like Dr Evil at the head of the table.

Minister for 0.0 Sovereignty
This position concerns the sov mechanics of 0.0. Capturing, holding and improving space is what this CSM'r cares about. So he's looking to fix any problems with that area, maybe it's making system capture more "fun" and all the other things that go with holding space in 0.0. Destructible stations? Personally I don't know as I'm not a 0.0 dweller, and that's my whole point.

At a CSM meeting they must........  be the first into the meeting room by 10 minutes and rope-off an area of the room for themselves and defend it at all costs.

Minister for 0.0 War
Closely linked to to the Minister for Sov, this position represents the interests of those in 0.0 who want PvP, war and general mass destruction. Super capitals are included in here as well as anything else that hands out pain on a mass-scale. Probably lag as well as that goes hand-in-hand with large-scale 0.0 battles.

At a CSM meeting they must........  turn up alone, but 2 minutes into the session 20 of their friends suddenly appear from nowhere whilst shouting "It's hot-drop o'clock!".

Minister for 0.0 Carebears
Obviously needs a better name but the one above sums it up nicely. A representative who knows all about carebearing in 0.0 and works for the benefit of that group in Eve. I guess that it will include mining, ratting, running sanctums etc.

At a CSM meeting they must........  bring home-baked cupcakes for everyone.

Minister for Yarrrrrrr!
A representative who understands the needs of those lovely low-sec pirates and campaigns on issues such as security status, aggression mechanics and the god awful 15 minute GCC. Oh and someone fix that standings hit when repping a pirate in militia! Has lots of arguments with the Minister for Carebears over high-sec ganking and CONCORD mechanics.

At a CSM meeting they must........  talk like a pirate all the time (either Captain Jack Sparrow or Steve the Pirate are acceptable). Also they are only allowed to drink rum during the meetings!

Minister for War
Covers all forms of war in low and high sec. This covers war dec's between corps and alliances and faction war. Issues such as voting mechanics to dropping the alliance to avoid a dec. Works closely with the Minister for 0.0 War.

At a CSM meeting they must........  attend CSM meetings dressed as the Vietnam Vet from Tropic Thunder and quote bad war anecdotes throughout.

Minister for Mining, Industry and Economy
Fairly obvious. Covers the aquistion of minerals and turning them into shiny ships and modules and then selling them. Could include POS mechanics as well as salvaging/looting? Frequently comes to blows with the Minister for Yarrrrrrrrrrrr!

At a CSM meeting they must........  practice what they preach. They have no chair to sit on at the CSM meetings, they have to build their own in advance from items found around the CCP offices.

Minister for Wormholes
A decent player-base lives in these strange locations. So lets give them a voice. I have only popped into a wormhole a few times so have no idea how "special" these special cases are. I've heard there are issues with things like stations or something. I guess this proves my point, these areas need someone who knows what the problems are, to campaign to fix them and to point out where a fix might break something else.

At a CSM meeting they must........ not physically attend the CSM meetings but have their voice projected from a hidden speaker as if errily crossing the void. Wooooooooo........

Minister for Carebears
Represents the interests of carebears of hi-sec and low-sec (Doesn't cover miners/industrialists as they are already covered). So mission runners, researchers, exploration, hacking, archaeology, deadspace complexes and the like.

At a CSM meeting they must........ come to the CSM meetings in a bear suit.

So there are 8 positions there that cover the vast majority of the Eve player-base. The Chairman will be Mittens, I mean the guy with the most votes, so will also be the representative for an area of the game (9 categories above including chair but one person will hold an officer position and the chair for getting most overall votes).

The final four positions are the four highest runners-up. Technically depending on the voting, this could be from a single category. For example if huge numbers of people vote for the 0.0 carebear representative then the four runner's up in that category may take the four "ordinary members" of the CSM if they get more votes than runners up in other categories. This seems fair as the area that gets the most votes, gets the most representation. However, every area is at least represented at some level.

That's just one way it could be done. I'm sure that not everyone in Eve is covered in there. The game is so big I'm sure I've missed some "professions" out. Also should the CSM only cover in-game? What about the community at large? Blogs, Facebook, the Tweetfleet on Twitter, websites, forums, Eve Gate. Do we need CSM representation there? Where do you stop?

It's a start and I'd be interested to know what other people think.

Yes, it's open to abuse. Yes, someone with good backing could put themselves forward for a category they know nothing about and don't care about. But there is no such thing as a perfect election mechanic.

Urghhhhh. I feel like a Liberal Democrat!

Monday, January 9, 2012

0.0 Is NOT the End Game of Eve Online (CSM 7 Pt 1)

Today's blog post was going to be about this years Council of Stellar Management elections. However, I need to set the scene first to why I am encouraging "electoral reform". So before I detail how I'd like to see the CSM elected I'm going to get a bit of discussion going with the following controversial statement and supporting arguments....

0.0 Is NOT the End Game of Eve Online, especially for PvP.

It is often said it is, but from my opinion, it is not. Here's some of the reasons why I have come to that conclusion....

0.0 is Generally Carebear Central
I've lived in several areas of null-sec. When moving out there we had fellow low-sec PvP'rs telling us not to. That null-sec PvP was crap. Whilst we listened to the concerns those of us who hadn't done it before wanted to see for ourselves. They were right. NPC 0.0 at least has some small gang and solo PvP. Large Sov Holding null-sec was terrible. You have to roam vast areas of blue territory with only the odd red daring to enter your space.

To get decent PvP you needed 30 jumps to get to someone elses space at which point they were close to home so countered your fleet with superior numbers and reshipped to better hulls leaving you wanting to get podded as you couldn't face the long journey home.

People fall into the Sanctum trap. You log on, no reports of any hostile for 10's of light years. "Well, might as well run some sanctums or chain some belts....." three hours later you've got millions more ISK but no PvP.

I never did, but I would assume you can mine peacefully there. Take a hulk out and sit at a belt watching the intel channel and local. Chances are you'll know of any non-blue 10 jumps out.

Low Sec - There is a lot less carebearing in low-sec than in null-sec. It's easy to get a fight there! Also try mining with a hulk in low-sec. Please..... :)

The Battles Need No Player Skill (Other than the FC)
Yes, epic 0.0 battles are epic. I've been there surrounded by titans and super carriers along with hundreds of battleships. But these battles generally need the PvP skill of a hamster with learning difficulties. You sit on the arse of a titan for three hours, jump in, wait 20 minutes to load grid and then its a massive shin kicking contest. There is no skill involved in these fights. You are called primary and 400 high-alpha BS start locking you up. There is nothing you can do about it, you are dead. Logistics, eWar, tactics, skill points and everything else that requires skill and judgement in sub 100-man fleet fights is out of the window. It's just two big fleets, stood toe to toe, kicking each other in the shins until someone falls over. As has been said in this video review of Eve Online the one with the biggest boots wins.

That's me there! I'm the Abbadon just to the left of.... erm.....

Low Sec - A brilliant tactic, the right eWar ship, the right logistics or just good pilot skills can turn a battle. It's less about the size of the boots and more about skill and tactics.

Sov Capture is Boring
Shooting stationary objects is not fun. And most of the time it's epic blobs of Titans and supers leading to a shin kicking contest and the gaming skills of that special hamster again.

Low Sec (Faction War) - The end is the same, shooting a stationary object (control bunker). However to get to that stage you need to capture plex's and you get 1v1 and small gang PvP there.

The Majority of 0.0 Alliances Are PvP Fail
We too used to think that 0.0 was the Eve "End Game". That those who inhabit those dark reaches of space are uber Eve players and would destroy our puny corporation with a sideways glance and a sneer. No. Our first big taste was when an alliance I had real-life mates in needed some help. They freely admitted they were mainly carebears so couldn't cope with the aggression of TWO neighboring 0.0 alliances. We moved a few ships down there to help.... and both target alliances failscaded within a couple of weeks. The first battle was a nice 20 v 20 (so you can occasionally get good fights in 0.0) resulted in a 20-1 win for us. After that we hunted them down and spent most of our time deleting surrender mails from Eve Mail. We never did get a second fleet fight though and had to make do with one's and two's. Our further experience in both NPC and Sov Holding Null were similar. Decent PvP'rs are hard to find in 0.0!

Low Sec - Most corps that live full-time in low-sec are PvP corps. A standard run-of-the-mill null-sec alliance has trouble dealing with an experienced low-sec PvP corp.

Null sec requires a lot more time, energy and effort than low sec. No doubt about that. You have got to have some serious play time to make your alliance or corp do well in 0.0. But those who say null sec is the end game of Eve Online are wrong. The majority of players, corps and alliances in 0.0 are no better or worse than low-sec or high-sec.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not having a go at 0.0 and some of the best Eve players inhabit that space... but also some of the worse.

There is no "end game" in Eve Online because it is a sandbox and not a single game. Is the end game for an industrialist to be building titans? Is the end game for a pirate to be number one on Battleclinic? Is the end game for a miner to be known as "Mini-Cribba"?

Eve is huge, varied and always changing. There is no end game and there is no "average Eve Online player". We all do, and want, different things out of the game. So can a CSM, elected with a perceived heavy 0.0 bias, represent the majority of Eve Online players when it's questionable if there is a majority in the first place?

Well perhaps we could change things..... Soon(tm)......

EDIT - As I post this I see this entry at the top of the blog pack - http://ardentdefense.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/why-so-few-non-pirate-lownullsec-wh-eve-blogs/


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Eve Online

Sorry about the blog spam, usually I leave two or three days between posts but Friday has been a very special day.....

First off, Friday is the first day of the weekend for me. Living in an Middle Eastern country and Friday being the holy day, it is the equivalent of Sunday in the west. So whilst I'm able to play during the day, it's usually quiet with most Eve players in the West at work or in bed depending on their timezone. However there is usually some squids (Caldari Militia) to shoot at. It would seem that this Friday was an exception. I left Nisuwa to have a bit of a solo roam and headed to Enaluri, the Caldari Militia staging system in low sec. I jump in..... and I'm the only one there.

WTF? Oh well I'll head up to their other staging area, Rakapas. Surely there are some Caldari Militia there...

Seriously??? I'll head up to Tama. No squids there either! OK I'll head down to Heyd via the Fliet pipe. OMG there's one! A squid....

.... in a Manticore stealth bomber.....

.... running a mission.......

.... who runs as soon as I enter system.

So back to Nisuwa via Heyd and that's it! ONE squid in that entire roam!

So I do some ratting to improve my sec status and get even more bored. Not a good day so far in Eve so I dock up and go off to do something else in a huff. So far my Eve day has NOT been a happy one.

Meanwhile on Twitter, Rixx Javix, Lord Commander of the Eve Online Blog Pack posted this.....

Could I actually make the list? Nah! Although I personally think this blog is good enough, we all think what we do is the mutts nuts don't we? Like the parents who are convinced that their son is the best footballer in the world and will play for the national team. So whilst I'm happy with my blog, I doubt it'll make the legendary Eve Blog Pack.

Anyway, wifey wants to go out for cocktails so we head out to Trader Vic's bar in town. I keep checking Twitter on the mobile and as promised Rixx Javix posts this sometime later after I''ve scoffed down a meat platter and half a dozen Absolute Vodkas.

So who has made it I wonder? I head over to the Eveogander post to take a peak.......

OMG! OMG! OMG! From having a crap day in Eve I'm now smiling the smile I usually reserve for... well, a scenario I cannot write about here! For those in the know, lets just call it "doing a Greg6" or as recently revealed "Doing a Loren Gallen".

Wow! Seriously, I'm really honored! I was grinning like a loon for the rest of the night. I tried to explain to the wife why I was so happy and all she could respond with is "So that means you are a REALLY BIG geek?".

At this point I need to give a big thank you to Kazz aka Eelis Kiy of Where the Frack is My Ship fame who sent me down this road about 7 months ago and gave me a huge amount of advice on the world of blogging. WTFiMS was also a Blog Pack member before Eelis went off to play with that dirty Warhammer, so I suppose it's gone full circle..... or should I say "Now the circle is complete" :)

Whilst I'm in a 'happy thanking' mood, I've got to say thanks to Rixx Javix for not only putting me on the Pack but for taking over the reins when Crazy Kinux stood down as Lord Commander of the Blog Pack. Next my fellow corpies in Shadows of the Federation who make an awesome sounding board on the forums. And finally, also a big thanks to you guys and gals for coming here and reading my musings, rantings, battle reports and my slightly dodgy fiction!

So here is the full Eve Online Blog Pack as of today:-

A Ghost Blog
A Missioner in Eve
Aggressive Tendencies
Ardent Defender
A Scientist's Life in Eve
The Altruist
The Beginnings of Piracy
Beyond Space
Chocolate Heaven
Diary of a Garbageman
Diary of a Pod Pilot
Dsan's EVE-Online Blog
Eve Travel
Eve's Parity Bit
Eve Opportunist
Fiddler's Edge
Finders and Keepers
Flashfresh The Pirate
Flee on Sight
Gun Turret Diplomacy
Helicity Boson
The Hydrostatic Capsule
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
Jester's Trek
KANE Rizzel
My Loot, Your Tears
Nashh Kadavrs Eve Blog
Rifter Drifter
Roc's Ramblings
Sand, Cider & Spaceships
Scram Web
Sleepless In Space
Through Newb Eyes
Tiger Ears
To Boldly Go

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Electronic Attack Ships Should Attack

I want to talk about Electronic Attack Ships, but first, a quick rant on a faction war topic ....

Do you know what really grinds my gears!?!? The Caldari Militia of 2012 so far. In one night we camp a squid in station, so what does he do? He drops militia. Yes, he actually changes corps so we have to go GCC on his ass. Second uber-fail of the night, we chase a small Caldari fleet (with a small fleet of our own) and they don't think they can run fast enough, so what do they do? They pull a mass logoffski in space. The.... entire... fleet! FFS, if you are in the militia grow some balls and PvP, stop hiding behind game mechanics you cowardly ball-less wimps. Yes, I am mad bro!

Anyway, back to the subject matter at hand, Electronic Attack Ships.

My T3 Destroyers post entitled Destroyers Should Destroy got a few comments about how those ideas should be applied to Electronic Attack Ships as they are in serious need of loving. Not sure I agree with that totally. Yes, EAS need some CCP loving but the key word in their name is "attack". Destroyer roles are to protect, not attack. The modules I described in the previous blog post were defensive mostly. EAS should not be using defensive modules, they should be more offensive than me after half a bottle of vodka.

So what's wrong with Electronic Attack Ships and what can we do to make them useful?

It's quiet possible that you're trying to think of the existing Electronic Attack Ship right now.... and you can only think of one....

The Kitsune (Caldari)
The baby ECM ship. A T2 frigate with bonus to jam strength, jammer cap use, jammer range and capacitor capacity (so it has a big cap and a cap bonus for ECM). However it's uber squishy!

It will - Give you the raspberry..... jam!
It is - A baby Falcon

The other electronic attack ships are:-

The Sentinel (Amarr)
I shall call it...... Mini-Curse. Bonuses to energy vampire and neutralizer amount and range, bonus to tracking disruptors and a capacitor recharge buff.

It will - Suck your cap dry
It is - A baby Curse.

The Keres (Gallente)
Bonus to sensor dampener range and cap plus bonus to warp disruptor range and cap.

It will - Point you from 32km and damp down your sensors so you cannot lock it.
It is - A baby Arazu

The Hyena (Minmatar)
Bonus to MWD cap and bonus to target painters. Also bonus to web and reduction in sig radius.

It will - Web you from 20km and blow your sig radius up.
It is - A baby Huggin

When you actually look at the useful bonuses, they are not that bad. However, apart from the Kitsune, they are hardly ever used. When was the last time you saw a Hyena? Why?

One of the reasons is "squishyness". They die fairly quickly as they are frigate hulls. Cruiser and below sized weapons rape them, and drones do the same job for larger ships. They lack the "toughness" of the more popular T2 frigates, the Assault Ships.

So what can we do with them? Firstly they need to be a bit tougher. They need a EHP buff to make them survive slightly longer, more like Assault Ships but without the DPS. This could be done in a number of ways with the resists increased, signature radius reduced or armour/shield hitpoints increased.

So we now have a tougher ship, but are they useful enough to use more, or will people still favour the Recon Cruisers that do the same jobs, just way better.

So how about some specific "bad ass" modules for EAS so they are something people want to fly. Currently it's a case of "Why fly a Sentinel when you can fly a Curse?". Each EAS is basically a squishy version of the better recon class ship. Forget them being better than another ship at disrupting tracking etc, lets give them some nasty mods only they can use. All of the following should have a decent range, allowing the EAS to sit back from the main fight and lay down some nasty eWar onto the enemy.

Shield Harmonic Scanner - Resistance is Futile-er
How about a module with an effect like a target painter that reduces shield resistances. Could be very useful against hard targets like logistics. The EAS scans the frequency of the shields and transmits this to other ships in the area. Could be a general debuff to all resistances or could be a specific damage type.

Suggested race - Gallente. Well, they want to poke holes in Caldari shields don't they!

"OK the Drake's explosive resist is down, switch to explosive ammo"

Combat Armour Scanner - Get in the Hole!
Same as the above shield resistance dampener, this is used on armour boats and reduces resistance by scanning for weakpoints in the armour plates and transmitting them to other ships in the area.

Suggested race - Caldari. They want something to use against the old enemy don't they.

"OK the Myrm's thermal resists are down, switch to thermal ammo"

Interdiction Dampener - Point! Oh Never Mind?
Like a sensor dampener or a turret optimal range distruptor, this module works on a enemies point. 24km point? Not any more, your long point now has a range of 12km. Short point? Too right! It's now down to 4km. These are particularly useful if the fight is not going well and you need to GTFO or as anti-kiting!

Suggested race - Minmatar. With their speedy ships, they have ultimate GTFO-ability

"Confirm he had a long point?"
"Yeah he pointed me at 20km"
"OK his point is now down to 12km, keep out of that range and you can warp off if you need to."

Warp Beacon Projector - Where the **** did YOU come from?
OK this might be a bit much. How about a laser that tags an enemy ship and allows ships in your fleet to warp to that point? Your little EAS is 70km off the enemy fleet who are taking potshots at you. You target a ship in the center of the blob and activate this mod. Suddenly your fleet mates all warp in at point blank range from the pounce they were waiting at.

Suggested race - Amarr. Because nobody likes slow-boating in armour tanked ships towards a blob!

"Beacon up"
"Warping squad on top of them"

There are four idea's for the four races. But one thing I was thinking about was that there is eWar to counter turrets, but nothing to debuff missile ships. Perhaps the shield and armour resistance "debuffer" could be one unit? Nerfs the resists of both shield and armour? Then the Gallente could have an anti-missile boat module.

May be this could be another idea...

Gravitational Missile Dampener - Not so Much as a Whoosh as a Plop
This module is like a optimal range dampener for use against missile boats and could either debuff flight time or missile speed for the targeted boat. Whichever it does, it leads to the same thing, the missiles from the enemy doesn't reach as far as they did.

Suggested Race - Gallente.

"The Drakes missiles are damped, should have less than 40km range now"

Just a few ideas there for ship type specific modules that could make EAS' popular. However, I think the EHP buff is the main thing that is needed for these ships to be a real option in a small fleet.