Friday, June 29, 2012

The Jita Ripper - Part 11 - End Game

OK, this is it! Whilst there is one more chapter left in this series, that one covers the aftermath of what happened when someone took down the capsuleer and how the decisions they make afterwards affected the outcome. I think there are three probable outcomes so have three alternate endings already written to post next week. However, this is Eve Online and when people try to guess what players will actually do, tits tend to get upwardly inclined. Oh well, we'll see I suppose. Best of luck to those who are coming to kill the capsuleer and may the loot fairy smile on you! - Drackarn


Inspector Avi was tired. His quarters on the station orbiting planet IV, moon IV in the Jita system felt cramped and claustrophobic. It had been a week since his broadcast went out alerting the cluster to the type of system the perps could be hiding in. So far nothing. That sick bastard was probably still out there, murdering innocents, but they had no leads. Avi stared out of the window. A hulking Obelisk class freighter was undocking from the station.

A quiet bleep indicated there was an incoming call. The inspector rubbed his tired eyes and sat down at his desk.

"Inspector, this is Senior Analyst Yan from deck 42."

"Yes Yan. Thank you for calling. What have you got?"

"Well sir, we've had a few pings from the target vessel. When it has warped, the capsuleer has had to activate his NeoCom for a few seconds. But nothing long enough to get an exact trace. We think he's in the Black Rise region but cannot be sure for certain. He's not passed through any regional gates lately. Hell, in fact we're not sure he's passed through any stargate at all in the last few weeks."

"Keep looking. He's out there somewhere."

"Yes sir, we've still got a lot more data to wade through. We'll keep you informed."


The Agent's cloaked shuttle warped towards the stargate, the sole pilot was half concentrating on flying the small ship and half on a monitor showing a live feed from a covert camera hidden in Inspector Avi's office. He knew his time was limited. The Navy Police were slow at connecting the dots, but they had the system finally. In minutes the law enforcement authorities would start heading this way in force to support the capsuleer's. He'd had a head start. His ship had been cloaked off the station at Jita 4-4 as the police made the discovery. He'd warped off instantly heading to the hi-sec border system of Nourvakiken and then jumping into the unsafe low-sec space of Tama. From there it was a handful of jumps to the target system. But this was pirate space. Snuffbox, Shadows of the Federation, Mentally Unstable Enterprises, Red Squad the list went on of capsuleer corporations that were known to attack neutral ships. As well as those pirates there was a war raging here. The State Protectorate battled the Federation Defence Union for control of these systems as well as numerous capsuleer corporation aligned with one side or the other. Whilst he was aligned to neither side, he could be still seen as a potential spy and attacked. Not that the capsuleers in these parts need a reason to attack, other than they could.

A few jumps later and he was in the heart of pirate space and one jump from his destination. He looked at the pilots visible on the local network, the vast majority were classified as outlaws by CONCORD. The massive stargate loomed in front of him as he approached the final jump.

He checked the time, it was expected that the target would be in position in a day and a half. He needed to be there to convince the capsuleer who took down the Drake to hand the suspect over to him and not to the Caldari Navy Police Force. Capsuleers could never be predicted. He might end up dealing with a law abiding citizen of New Eden who was convinced that handing the suspect to the law for a proper trial was the right course of action. On the other hand the capsuleer may be more open to a bigger reward, even if it was the morally dubious option.

"Capsuleers." he thought "Surely they'll take the money and to hell with what happens to the suspect!"

He activated his database and scrolled through a list of identities. "Dunraven! I haven't used him since the Villore incident." he thought. He entered a passcode as he got within 2500 metres of the stargate.

The shuttle vanished into the artificial wormhole created by the stargate in a flash of brilliant light. But the Agent did not appear on the other side, a capsuleer named 'Dunraven' appeared on the local network. The shuttle decloaked and warped to the bottom station.


Marcus lay on his bunk smiling. His date was arranged for tomorrow. They'd get something to eat late afternoon and then take the shuttle back to the Drake when it made it's return supply run. He was hoping that this one was going to be the best one yet. It had the potential.

This was an unusually long stay on the station for him at 72 hours. A mechanical breakdown had occurred on the Drake. Nothing too serious but the part needed to be replaced. The workshop on the station didn't have the part in stock but one could be brought over from Jita. Therefore the Capsuleer had decided Marcus should stay on the station and come back when the shuttle returned to the station to collect the part.

The first night on the hunt was a bust. The stations in this backwater system had slim pickings in terms of attractive potential female victims. Marcus supposed he shouldn't be surprised. He was in a dead-end system in the middle of a warzone. The system was crawling with Federation Navy outposts and capsuleers from both sides engaged here. He longed for a return to Jita. That station had an inexhaustible supply of potential victims. Beautiful, slender women looking to make themselves rich by seducing a capsuleer in anyway they could. But here, here he had limited options.

Then last night it had all turned around. He'd spotted her sat at the bar when he entered. Provocatively dressed and showing far too much flesh. Her golden hair tumbled down her slender back over the short lace dress. As he approached he could see her skin was smooth and flawless. A true beauty. Then, as he stood alongside her he noticed things that didn't quite fit. Her eyes were an amazing pale blue, but they showed innocence, not experience. The heavy make-up was over-done and tried to hide her true age. When she struck up a conversation with him she had said that she was 22, he was sure it was much less than that. 17 he guessed, may be even younger. A kid almost, looking for a way off this backwater station. She wanted a ticket to adventure. His capsuleer con had never worked so easily. She'd bought it right away. Excited at the prospect at joining him on his ship she'd literally thrown herself at him. He couldn't risk sleeping with her on the station even though she couldn't have made it any more clearer she wanted him. The way she'd looked at him as they parted in the corridor, it was a look of pure lust.

He could have brought her back to his rented quarters on station, but too much could have gone wrong. One of the fake implants could come loose or he might not be able to stop himself from taking it to the normal conclusion. No, he had told himself, "Be patient! This time tomorrow you'll be on your way down to the docking bay, ready to fly back to the Drake and to take her to bed to rid her of any innocence she has left, then a few hours later and she'll be hanging by her wrists as she begs for you to stop whilst you slice that firm, flawless flesh."

Marcus checked his watch. 24 hours left until he needed to prepare to leave. A few hours after that he'd be able to have some real fun! He smiled and closed his eyes imagining how a trickle of bright red blood would look against that stark contrasting creamy skin.


Inspector Avi woke with a start. He'd drifted off to sleep in his office chair and now the comms channel was bleeping again. It was Yan again.

"Yes Yan, what do you have?"

"Well sir, two interesting developments. Further analysis of the limited NeoCom ping has shown a bit more of the trace-route. We think the Drake is an absolute maximum of eight jumps from us, probably closer to six."

"Sixty jumps? That will be deep into null-sec."

"No sir, not sixty, six!"

"Six jumps from Jita? No way, you're guys have got to be wrong."

"I thought that too sir. I mean, some of the most wanted criminals in the cluster hiding a few minutes travel from Jita? But we did some digging. There is a system within that range that is inside low-sec, a dead-end one with a single stargate and multiple stations. All of the stations in that system have new missing persons cases open in the last couple of weeks involving attractive women aged 20-35. There is also one case of mother and step-daughter, and we know how he likes two at a time."

Inspector Avi's attention was completely focused on Analyst Yan now.

"Additionally, one of the stations ordered a GZ-4295b plasma compressor two days ago. That component is used exclusively in Drake class battlecruisers."

"The most common battlecruiser in the cluster though." Avi pointed out.

"Yes sir, BUT, having an entire replacement plasma compressor is virtually unheard of. They are easily repaired by nanite technology at a stations starship mechanics bay. That's why this station didn't have one in stock and has had to order one in. They are never replaced, just repaired by station nanite technology. The only reason to order a replacement unit...."

"Is if you cannot dock your Drake at a station and need to do the repairs in space!" Inspector Avi cut in.

"Exactly sir. And I also thought you'd be interested to know the part is being shipped to the system currently and it is flagged to be collected tomorrow. Some time between 16:00 and 18:00 Eve Standard Time."

Avi deactivate the comm link and ran through the facts in his head. The trace of the NeoCom ping, the missing persons, the replacement compressor, the proximity to Jita. He looked the system up on his datapad.

"Oh shit!" he exclaimed to himself. That system was occupied by the Gallente Federation.

Inspector Avi leaned forward and activated the comm panel again.

"This is Inspector Avi. I need a Navy capsuleer-piloted Buzzard prepped and ready to fly in one hour."

He leaned back in his chair. This could all be over tomorrow he thought. If the part is being collected at that time, then the Drake must be at a close celestial at the same time. A planet or an asteroid belt maybe. But Inspector Avi also had a sense of foreboding about this. A Caldari Navy frigate going to a contested solar system in the warzone, occupied by the Gallente Federation with a serial killer inside a Drake class battlecrusier piloted by a capsuleer. This could be one epic shit-storm.


The capsuleer floated in his hydrostatic capsule deep inside the belly of the Drake. He'd been unable to leve the capsule for nearly two weeks and was worried what effect that would be having on his body. Capsuleers were told in training that providing the ship was resupplied when required, they could live almost indefinitely in their pods. However he didn't fancy living forever inside the confines of this capsule.

He checked the defensive systems. The shield hardeners were a mix of Caldari Navy issue and also pirate faction modified modules. As he activated them they made the shields of the Drake highly resistant to all forms of damage, but not immune. He powered up the missile launchers, they responded immediately. Like one of the shield hardeners, these were also military issue from the Caldari Navy. Expensive, effective, devastating, but would they be enough? He finally check the ammunition, Caldari Navy issue missiles again.

Satisfied the ship was ready for combat he brought up the images he received last night again. The girl in the pictures was blonde, beautiful and young. The Capsuleer opened the rest of encrypted document sent from the station last night. He read the attached message.

Look what I've found. Something special.
She is so soft and tender. Milky, flawless skin, ripe for slicing.
Young and innocent, but with a fire burning inside her. Oh the way she kisses and places my hands on her body desperate for my touch.
I promise you the best show yet tomorrow.
I think she'll last a long time.

The capsuleer smiled. He was looking forward to this one.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Myths of Piracy

Over the last couple of weeks I've had a couple of times where I've had a fight and wondered, now why did they do that? My conclusion is that my security status is minus eight "point something" (and therefore a red, shootable pirate) and they have the medical condition - omgitsapiratekillit-itus. For all those people out there infect with this, here are some notes to help dispel some of the common myths about pirates that I'm seeing.

We're both on a gate, I'm in an Assualt Frigate. You lock me up in your cruiser and orbit me. You deploy drones. Then you do nothing but smack because I'm not shooting you. Look mate, you can shoot me as I'm an outlaw without any consequences. If I shoot at you, I'll get GCC and gate guns..... in a frigate hull.

If I then warp off to the sun I am not running away, it's the Eve equivelent of "Come at me Bro!". Warp to the sun, where there are no gate guns, and we'll dance! Don't want to? Oh I see! It's me verse you AND the gate guns that hit for 300+ DPS or GTFO?

Oh and to the pilot who did similar to this last week and jumped through the gate leaving me a present of a flight of five Hammerhead II's, thanks!

Generally Pirates Tend to Know How to PvP
The whole reason people are -10 generally is because they've PvP'd a bit. Whilst there are many, many terribad pirates out there, the percentage of bad pilots is much lower than say in null-sec or Faction War.

If you engage a pirate, the chances are he knows what he's doing in regard to PvP.

The Good Guys Don't Always Win.
Sorry bro, but the good guys don't always win in Eve. In fact some might say the good guys rarely win in Eve! Now ignore the fact that I'm a pirate. Compare my ship to yours. Do you think engaging with that ship against mine is a good idea? Will my Assualt Ship hurt your frigate? Hell yes. Will my faction cruiser make short work of your destroyer? Do bears sh... in the woods? So if you wouldn't think about engaging me if I was just a regular war target, why would you attack me in a inferior ship just because I'm a red pirate?

Gate guns will only back you up if I fire first or if I am already GCC. They won't go "Oh you know what, that brave pilot is taking on that nasty pirate, lets help him!". The calvary isn't going to come charging over the nearest space-hill as you valiently go up against the odds to back you up. What will happen is you'll die. Quickly.

So please. Think before you start shouting to yourself "ZOMG A PIWAT! KEEL IT!". There is nothing great about whelping someone in the space of 5 seconds who is in an inferior ship when I'm out looking for a good fight (this was a bloody good fight -

P.S. On a totally unrelated note - This, RAZOR Alliance Glorious Informational Film #1 , is a work of pure genuis and I salute those who made it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Inferno - FW, It's Not Working As Intended

The run up to Inferno was fantastic! With all sides knowing it was going to get much harder to capture systems and the new mechanics that could make faction war lucrative, we fought.... and we fought hard!

We battled over systems with some fights lasting hours and involving hundreds of starships being violenced. We were running ops, taking on fleets, bashing bunkers and being bashed ourselves! It was a fun few weeks before Inferno launched!

Now the dust has settled we are starting to see that the build up to Inferno was much better for Faction War than Inferno itself. Why?

Basically, in Post-Inferno Faction War..... Losing is Lucrative - PvP is less financially rewarding than PvE farming which is much more profitable.

You capture a system. Whoopy "F'in" do! What do we get? 50% off medical clones! Please note, THIS IS LOW SEC!, we get podded very rarely (although now I've said that....) so that discount is not much use. Extra research/factory slots. Erm, I'm a PvP'r who likes to violence internet spaceships. What the frack is an extra slot on an assembly line doing for me and the majority of FW who are here for fights? Docking rights? Other than our home system, not being able to dock elsewhere is nothing but a minor inconvenience. So capturing a system gives me no real benefits. Upgrading the system is pointless. As soon as you go to bed the LP farmers are out with two week old alts in their T1 speed tanking frigates and get you from level 5 to level 0 before you are snoring. The whole sov system is pointless.

But plexing an enemy system! Now that's where the money is! By offensive plexing I'm making lots of ISK, which I can use to buy internet spaceships to violence other internet spaceships (well actually most the time I'm chasing two week old alts in T1 frigates with no guns). Offensive plexing fuels my PvP, but I'm not getting much PvP as every fecker is farming LP's. To be honest we are talking in alliance about letting the Caldari capture adjacent systems so we can get LP easier.

Yes there is the mechanic where at tier level 1 the FW LP prices are through the roof. But we come to another problem, Time Zone Tennis.

Caldari are more active in the US TZ's. The Gallente are more active in the EU TZs. One side plex's, the other side plex's. And the net result? Both are stuck at tier 1 and 2 with neither side getting ahead. The Amarr/Minmatar obviously isn't quite like that as they started very uneven. But the Gallente/Caldari fight is stuck in a stalemate.

It's just not working.

So what can we do?

Nerf LP's for offensive plexing, buff LP's for iHub takedowns.
Faction War is turning into Farmville. Cheap, speed tanking frigates running plex's who run at the first sign of trouble. When I drafted this in the week I was going to say "I've seen one time about a dozen Gallente systems vulnerable". This weekend there is TWENTY! There is no iHub bashing going on. Why? Because the people making those systems vulnerable are simply farming LP's. Actually capturing the system is shooting themselves in the foot. They won't get LP's for plexing there if they actually win the system.

Give a low number of LP's for defensive plexing.
Defensive plexing is boring. Sit in space for 15-20 minutes doing nothing. Is there any wonder nobody defends systems when it is so boring AND, more importantly, why defend a system when you get more benefit from losing it and plexing it (note the term plexing, not recapturing). By giving some LP's, much reduced from offensive plexing, may be we can encourage people to defend systems. Unlikely I know.

LP's for PvP kills, can we buff this without causing farming?
Farming LP's from offensive plexing is easy and little risk. On average I appear to get 2000-3000 LP's for each PvP kill I get generally. When solo roaming, do I get 6 kills every 15 minutes? Of course I don't, not even Loren "The Chuck Norris of Eve" Gallen, does that! So do I run a single offensive medium plex, or try and solo 6 players in 15 minutes. Stupid question as finding enemies that are not farming LP's in speed tanking frigates is difficult!

Balance the NPC's.
Gallente major plex can be captured by a solo two-week old character in a T1 frigate. Caldari major plex's require a much older character and a much better ship. Thankfully the ECM is being nerfed in Inferno 1.1. That made many plex fights pointless for the Gallente as being perma-jammed is no fun. Why not add stasis web towers and turret towers for all plex. Two week old plexing alts in speed tanking T1 frigates? Pop!

Reward system capture.
The benefits now of owning a system are outweighed MASSIVELY by the benefits of losing it and plexing it for LP's. What perverse system is it when we are talking in-game about letting the enemy capture systems as that will be better for us than us owning that space! The current tier system for warzone control should be mainly based on system control, not upgrade level. Upgrade level is too hard to maintain and simply results in the faction saving their LP, all dropping into iHubs at the same time and then cashing in the rest of their LP. Give each system a value of 10 points max. 5 points for the control and then one point per upgrade level. Or how about making defensive plexing increase the LP in the iHub?

Increase the LP buffer in the iHub.
Got level five? Easy to knock that down to level 0 with an alt in a frigate in a couple of hours whilst the system owning corp is asleep. All your hard work undone by a two week old toon in a T1 frigate!

Kill Speed Tankers - Kill the Farmers
Simply add stasis web towers and sniping turrets to plexs. Stop the two week old toons in T1 frigates with no guns taking plexs. Give the NPC rats Sleeper AI, get them swapping targets and kersplatting those farmers.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Jita Ripper - Part 10 - Nowhere to Run

Inspector Avi looked directly into the camera drone. He knew law enforcement officers from over three thousand separate space stations located all around the cluster were watching him. From his top bosses here in Jita who were paid staggering amounts of money, down to cheap rent-a-cops in null-sec outposts who made most their money from bribes, they all wanted to know what he was going to say.

"I hope you've all read the file that was sent to you, the specific details of why we are so keen to get these guys are in there. If you take the file home, I'd suggest keeping it away from loved ones, it does not make for pleasant reading. Our first and only priority is tracking these animals down....."


"So no husband then?"

"No, he was killed in an accident several years. A blast at a mining colony. Just me and Jess now"

"I'm sorry to hear that. And Jess?"

"His daughter from his first marriage. She'll be along in a bit. She likes to party just as much as me by the way"

Marcus smiled.


“They've gone dark. That Drake hasn't been reported as docked anywhere since the attack on the transport. We assume he's hiding at a deep safe and using shuttles to resupply. Therefore we're looking for a dead-end system, they'll not be wanting passing traffic snooping on them. They'll also need a station system, preferably two or more so they can alternate their supply runs. The egger is probably deactivating his Neo-comm connection, manually severing the connection when at his safe. Although he'd need to activate it when warping to get within a decent range of the station for the shuttle. We'll probably find he shows up for an hour a day or every other day as he warps to an asteroid field to launch the supply shuttle and waits for it to return"


"Please to meet you Jess" Marcus kissed the young woman on the cheek.

"Pleasure to meet you.... Captain." Jess smiled "Sam, how did you meet this hunk then?"

"I've told you before to call me mom."

"Yeah, yeah. So.... Captain..... what do you do for fun around here?"

Marcus signalled the barman who brought over an oversized ice bucket with a magnum of expensive champagne. Both women smiled.


"Now, onto the grisly part. We do not believe for one moment that this perp has stopped his activities. But no more bodies have been found. This supports our earlier theory that they are operating from a deep safe. We suspect he's joining the supply runs and probably staying back on the station. He'll use the time between runs to identifying victims, and get them to join him on the shuttle back to the Drake on its next resupply flight. That means he'll have a couple of days to identify and engage the victim or victims. After he's finished with them he probably just flushes the body out of an airlock. We have no idea how many he's killed since the last victims. If we find his safe, we'll more than likely find bodies."


"Wow, you’re fighting for the Federation?" Sam whispered. Marcus waved his hands downwards to signal to keep her voice down.

"Yes, that's why my warship isn't docked here. It's hidden out there in space. My crew are picking up supplies and will shuttle over there in a short while." Marcus knew that two Gallente women this far into Caldari low-sec space would be impressed.

"But the Federation occupies this system, why would you need to hide?" Jess asked.

"Caldari sympathisers watch these stations, we don't want to reveal our strength to them. Hey, would you two like to see my warship? We can catch the shuttle over and I can bring you back in the morning? It’s a great place to party!”


"What we're looking for are missing persons. Attractive, single ladies, 18-30. They will have just vanished with no official logs of them leaving the station. They are likely to frequent the high-end bars on the upper station decks. Not necessary the Executive or Capsuleer bars, just the ones everyone has access to if they can get past the doorman and have the cash. However, we need to minimise false alarms. It's not unknown for pod jockeys to take ladies for a spin for a few weeks before getting bored and dumping them on a random station. We cannot be arresting every pod jockey who takes advantage of a woman, we'd need to be arresting 80% of them if that was a crime. We need to tread sensitively. There is no point upsetting the capsuleer community, especially when we need their help.


Marcus sat back in his favourite chair in his dimly lit quarters sipping his drink. The two women dancing provocatively in front of him as the music played loudly. Each trying to better the other by discarding an extra piece of clothing or getting tantalisingly close to him as they danced in front of him.

"Competition," thought Marcus "….it brings out the best in women!"


"The reason we need their help is simple. Is any pilot here confident of taking down a Drake class battlecruiser piloted by a capsuleer?"

Avi paused to see if there was any response. The comm channel remained quiet. Even the best pilots couldn’t hope to compete with a capsuleer. With their brain and nervous system hooked up to the ship directly they had faster reactions, better control and more power. The ships weren’t any different to non-capsuleer versions of the ships, it’s just the eggers could push their ships so much further.

"We've spoken to CONCORD and they refuse to get involved. May be that’s unfair, they are not allowed to get involved. Their mandate only lightly covers low-sec and in an observation role only, they will not send ships out there. The Navies of the Empires are too busy trying to blow each other up and don't particularly care about one criminal. That leaves us with the capsuleers. The official bounty on the perp and his egger protector now stands at a total of 250 million ISK. More than enough for your average capsuleer to take a risk. Our job is to help the capsuleer community find the targets, they'll take care of the rest."


Marcus’ quarters echoed with pitiful sobs. He'd been on his feet for the last hour and had sat down for a rest. He sipped the whiskey from a tall glass and thought what a good night it had been. He'd had them both, but one at a time, they weren't up for doing anything together which disappointed Marcus. He'd need to draw things out a bit longer in that case. He wasn't sure if that was to make it up to himself, or to punish them both for not playing together. Those two he’d got a few weeks ago where much better in the sack, they put on a proper show for him. However, he didn't mind, these two had been much better in the following hour.

Both hung by their wrists from the ceiling. He pointed the medical scanner at each of them and looked at the results. The daughters life-signs were still strong, the step-mothers were a bit low. Not surprising as he'd been concentrating on her. He decided he'd let her rest for the next hour and let her watch him go to town on her step-daughter.


"Make no mistake. These two are probably the most dangerous perps you'll ever encounter. This Marcus is one sick bastard, probably the sickest you'll ever meet and deserves the death penalty for what he has done. But, we are all officers of the law, and we need to put that to one side. He must stand trial and face justice, officially. His capsuleer, what shall we call him, ‘his sponsor’? Well, we all already know what they are capable of. Taking him down is going to be the hard part. IF we can pod him then we've got him alive. His CRU has a law enforcement medical technician handling the reanimation and also an armed guard."


Marcus looked into Sam's face. She was crying hard.

"I know.... I know" Marcus said gently as a father might comfort a child. "You've suffered, but don't worry. I'll let you rest now."

He moved over to Jess who started shaking in her restraints. He pulled out the knife and went to work. She started to scream in pain as the knife made slow, shallow cuts in her flesh.

Jess was screaming in agony, Sam was screaming for him to stop hurting her step-daughter. The noise between the two was deafening.

“More competition ladies?” thought Marcus with a sick smile.


"So any questions?" Inspector Avi asked.

"Is that all we really have to go on? How are we going to find them with such vague search parameters?" the representative from some distant null-sec system Avi had never even heard of asked.

"That's the best we have. I see we have 3,054 open comm channels. When you actually look at that in terms of stations in the cluster, we don't even have every station covered. Let us not kid ourselves, this is going to be a difficult search. However, every day those two are out there, is another day where someone is probably dying a horrific death."

"Anyone else?"


Marcus finished his drink. He prodded both women with the tip of the knife a few times, the wickedly sharp top half inch of the blade sinking into soft flesh with ease. There was no movement or sound from either woman. They just hung there, lifeless with their heads forward and their faces down.

He picked up the medical scanner. There were life-signs still, but they were so faint they were barely registering on the scanner. He checked his watch.

"Mmmmmm, 4 hours. A new record ladies!" he said aloud. However neither woman heard him.


"So in summary. We are looking for a dead-end, probably low-sec system with multiple stations. A Drake class battlecruiser flown by capsuleer Petyr Ervert will appear infrequently, probably at an asteroid belt. The stations in that system will have several missing persons cases opened recently, women matching our victim profile. OK people, let’s find them."

Inspector Avi ended the transmission and sat back in his chair. All he needed was the system name. The capsuleers would do the rest.


As the transmission ended, the capsuleers vision returned to the camera drones orbiting the Drake class battlecrusier. Someone in one of the stations security offices had just watched that feed which he’d been able to intercepted. Would that someone put two and two together and realise they were in their system. Or would they just pay little attention and go about their daily business.

The capsuleer activated the ships fitting HUD and checked over the ships systems. A life of piracy and the odd confidence scam had made him rich. He’d invested heavily in his ship. The Navy Issue shield hardener had especially cost him. But would it be enough. How many capsuleers could he stand against? Two? Three? How many could he take down before his battlecruiser was destroyed? Was there any way he could get out of this predicament?

He knew the answer. He knew he was doomed. Surely the security forces had a guard by his clone. He’d die in space and be reborn into custody.

The fitting window dropped and was replaced by an image of Marcus’ quarters. Cleaning drones were removing the evidence from the last two victims. The capsuleer rewound the feed and watched the scene again. He knew these could be the last two he might watch.


Several light years away Director Ogushi turned off his holoprojector as Inspector Avi finished his briefing. However, the video feed was not the official one, it was from a hidden camera that had been placed in Inspector Avi’s office. A man in a black suit stood emotionless at the foot of Director Ogushi’s desk in his luxurious office.

“So there you go. That is the law enforcements agency’s view on the situation. Can I assume you’ll handle this?”

“Yes sir. Obviously there are no guarantees, the eggers are a strange lot. One minute they’ll refuse to help someone in distress unless it was more than worth their while, the next they’re risking their ship and clone for absolutely nothing.”

“A billion ISK, you have a billion ISK to offer and you say that is not enough! It has to be, that is all I have. I cannot pay any more.”

“No negotiation, understood. However, sir, it will depend on the egger. If he can be bought, a billion ISK should be more than enough, there would be no need to offer more even if you have it. However, if he is one of these lawful and righteous pilots, no amount of ISK will stop him handing the perp over to the proper authorities.”

Director Ogushi slammed his fist into the table.

“That must not happen! I want that man, alive, on this station and with everyone thinking he was killed in some capsuleer battle. Now that is your job to make sure that happens, Agent Smith. There is no way I am going to let that man have a trial and a quick execution. He made my daughter suffer in agony for hours before he slowly killed her, I intend to pay him back ten-fold!”

“Yes, sir!”


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Who Put That Numpty in Charge?

There are two main reasons I don't run fleets in Eve Online. Firstly, I really don't like to. The reasons are long and varied and if you are interested, can be found in this old blog post Confessions of an FC'ing Hater. The other main reason is that I live in a GMT +4 timezone after emigrating from the UK two years ago. I'm still with the same corp, still getting plenty of kills, but the time difference means that as I'm thinking about going to bed on a weekday, my corpies are just gearing up for a fleet. I still get to fleet up on Thursday and Friday nights providing the Eve Widow doesn't force me to go out or something silly like that. However a 19:30 form up is 23:30 for me. Therefore by the time the fleet leaves at 20:30 and roams for three hours, it's 3:30am here and I'm well lubricated! This occasionally results in me waking up the next morning with a huge headache and docked in a strange station, 30 jumps from home in an expensive ship. Usually in these cases it is get a cyno alt down there and spend a fortune in isotopes, carrier jumping my ships home.

In about a month the Holy Month of Ramadan will start. Normally, working hours here are reduced as people fast during daylight hours, and with temperatures hitting 50 degrees Celcius, it's needed. Therefore I'll be getting an extra couple of hours in bed each morning. Which means I will, like most people here, stay up much later. It's amazing to see how people change their lifestyle patterns here. Suddenly there are traffic jams at midnight, the new rush hour, and shops and malls are packed at 11 at night.

But I'll not be shopping, I'll be FC'ing.

Each year during this time I do a month of FC'ing a weekly fleet. I call them "Drackarn's DIAF XXXdays" where XXXday is the day of the week when I run the fleet. I've not decided what day yet, traditionally I've done Mondays as that was a decent turn out. Tuesday's appear to be the favorite day this year so maybe they'll be "Drackarn's DIAF Tuesday's."

As I'm a pretty crap FC the most expensive fleet I'll run with will be battlecruisers. I don't want billions of ISK on the line when I derp. But, nearly a year since my last month of regular FC'ing, will things be different?

Ship Types
Yes I know target calling can be delegated, but the FC needs to know the ship names and types in order to make the call in the first place. My sticking point has always been Amarrian ships. Flying Caldari, Minmatar and Gallente, I know the strengths and weaknesses of most of their ships. Amarr was always an issue. However in the last year I've skilled up the Amarr ships and even flown some. I have a much better idea these days of what does what. I will not be primarying the Damnation and leaving the Oracles!

FC'ing Skills
We've got some great FC's in -FU-. Surely flying under thier command means some of that will rub off on me? Surely.......? I guess we'll see!

Another year flying around Black Rise. Oh I'll still have my 2D map of the warzone but I know the local routes better now than a year ago.

So may be I'll do better this year. Or may be I'll just die in a fire! Also thinking about what fleets I'll run. In the past it's generally been "Jump in a BC and lets go for a roam. This year I'd like to try some different ship types. I've got a few specific fleets I'd like to try out.

P3ni5 Fleet O'Doom
The good old Thorax fleet. Why run a fleet of Thorax? Well obviously it's the only combat ship (Iterion doesn't count) that looks like a nob. Cheap Tech 1 cruiser, cheerful, puts out plenty of DPS and allows two hours of nob jokes during the fleet.

BOOM! You're Dead.
A fleet of Arty Thrashers. Massive alpha strike plus..... erm...... well they have a massive alpha strike! Should insta-pop most cruiser and down and dies horrible if anyone turns up with a smart-bombing battleship!

Sensual Assualt
I love Assualt Frigates. A fleet of AF's could be fun especially if we run into either a fleet of other small ships or a fleet of very big ships. Be interesting to to take on a BS gang in AF's.

Any Old BC.
A rag-tag fleet of BC's. Who knows what we'll get. Plenty of Hurricanes, probably. Some Drakes, likely. The odd Mrymadon, who knows! Undocking will be like Christmas! Ooooo I wonder what every ones brought me.

Honey Pot
Drone Swarm. Have a fleet of Vexors and some fast tackle. Camp a gate with the Vexors launching drones and setting them to assist the fast tackle. Stick some remote se-bo's on the fast tackle to make it into F'in fast tackle and sit back and watch our enemies torn apart by 100 angry drones. And if there is nobody to shoot, get the fast tackle to orbit the gate at speed and watch the swarm of drones chase him!

As you can see, my fleet Doctrines are not too serious. We've got uber-FC's in the alliance who do those sort of roams. These are supposed to be fun fleets and I hope in a few weeks time I'll be able to blog about how we had epic fights.... or how we all died in a fire..... horribly.... and got podded..... twice........ and our corpses taken..... and had things done to them......

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Makes a Good Fight?

I think it is fair to say, I've been around a bit. Five years of playing Eve does not make me the most experienced player out there, but I have tried a lot that Eve has to offer. I've been a high-sec carebear, I've been a militia pilot, I've been a pirate. I've lived in high-sec, low-sec, NPC null-sec and sov holding null-sec.

PvP wise I've also done a lot. From my humble beginnings in small frigate gangs up to more recent times when I'm flying multiple-billion ISK ships and fits with capital ships, logistics, support and boosters in a fleet o'doom. But what is the most enjoyable out of all these fights. The 600 vs 600 battleship fights? The fights were there are more capitals on field than sub-caps? Or is it something else?

What got me thinking along these lines was my PvP on Friday night. Due to a few things, I didn't get out to the pub to see the England vs Sweden game. So I loaded up a player and had that on my 2nd screen. Thought I might as well have a bit of Eve whilst I'm watching the game so I jumped in an Assault Frigate and went to Kedama.

First fight of the night was a Jaguar. There was a medium faction war plex open and a short range d-scan showed said Jag inside. I warped in and he was 30km off. I burnt for him, he burnt for me and we ended up in a short range brawl.

Had a gf and after kill chat in local with the guy and stayed in the plex.

A short while later I got a Caldari Navy Hookbill on short range scan. So I burnt back to the warp in and he landed on top of me.

Poor guy didn't last long.

I went back to Nisuwa to drop the two sets of loot and returned to Kedama and back to the same plex. Not long after I returned I got a Ishkur on scan. I sat on the warp in and he warped in. Now this was a proper fight! My blasters made short work of his shields, as you would expect for a armour boat, and his drones were plinking away at my shields. The problem was he was neuting me heavily. Looking at the incoming DPS and the way his armour was dropping I knew I could win..... if I had the capacitor, and that was looking very doubtful.

He was low armour, I had 30% shield, but no cap and he was burning away. My DPS dropped off rapidly as he was able to get away from me so I swapped to long-range ammo and was having to be creative with my cap management. He burnt out of point range just as I was able to get enough cap back to have a single cycle of MWD. Regained point and got back in optimal range for the guns. Pop!

All that said and done, it was merely an Assault Frigate kill, a 44m ISK kill according to the killboard.

But it was a fantastic fight. It wasn't a control and click to lock, spam F1 to F8 and wait and see what happens. It needed a lot of work, in fact I had to really bloody work for that kill. And at the end of the fight? My hands were shaking and I had a real sense of achievement. I won that fight. It wasn't a great FC, wasn't fleet mates, logistics, eWar support. It was me. And for me personally, that's what makes a good fight. Not as part of a cog in a larger machine, but where success or failure is 100% in my hands.

Whilst the big and expensive battles are fun (see below screenshot for an example of one of my null-sec battles), nothing beats a really good one-on-one even if it is in cheap frigate hulls!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Jita Ripper - Part 9 - A New Home

Only a couple of these left before the perpetrators can be found and taken down.
I'm looking forward to the fight and the fall-out when someone will have to make a decision.
Will they go for the moral high ground? Or will the money tempt them to the more dubious option?
Will it be you?
- Drackarn


"So we're stuck here?" Marcus whined. The hologram gave him a look to silence any further protests.

"No, you are not stuck anywhere. I am stuck in this damn capsule. We cannot dock the Drake as our presence will be immediately flagged to the authorities." the capsuleer sound more than a little annoyed.

"What! You're stuck in that thing forever?"

The holographic projection of the capsuleer rolled it's eye's.

"I have a, well shall we say a 'friend', who is working on getting a new identity and NeoCom entry for me and the ship. However, that will take a few days. Until then it's take the shuttle to one of the local stations or stay on-board. However, touch one of my crew and I'll flush you into space."

"OK, OK, I'll take the shuttle!" Marcus turned to the door.

"You'll need to wait a while until this battleship is destroyed. Give me a few minutes."

"WHAT BATTLESHIP?" Marcus' eye's went wide as he spun back around to face the hologram.

"The Guristas pirate battleship that is attacking us. You know asteroid belts aren't generally very safe and even less so in low-sec."

The hologram of the capsuleer nodded towards the screen in Marcus' quarters and a view of the Drake appeared. Heavy missiles were streaking from the launchers.

"Shouldn't you be doing something?" Marcus' voice sounded worried. He had no real idea of the abilities of a capsuleer. Wet-wired into the ships systems they could easily handle a fight with a pirate battleship whilst holding a conversation and doing a multiple of other tasks simultaneously.

"I am, I'm destroying it. Give me two more minutes and the shuttle will be ready free to launch"


Inspector Avi was in his office on the comm link to the forensic investigation team who had been decoding the flight recorder of the downed transport ship.

"Petyr Ervert?"

"Yes Inspector. That is the capsuleer who destroyed the transport. However, there is a discrepancy, his NeoCom entry is too new. Given his qualification date, well he wasn't even supposed to be a capsuleer when he first showed up on our radar. The entry must be a fake."

"That can be done? The CONCORD capsuleer database is not secure?" asked the Inspector incredously.

"Sir, there is no such thing as a secure database. Yes the CONCORD capsuleer database is one of the most secure in the cluster, but it's not one hundred percent secure. However, as we now know this is a fake entry, may be we can trace who did it. Also it cannot be easily discarded. He's stuck with that ID until he can arrange to change it again."

"So all he needs to do is give himself a new ID and we're back to square one?"

"Well sir, its not that easy. We could request CONCORD monitor his current database entry and see if he tries to have it removed or a new ID assigned to him?"

"Do it. Also try and see if you can dig up any background on him. He's changed his identity once before that we know about. We need to know why. If you get anything more, I'll be in the system of Yulai."

"You're going to CONCORD HQ?"

"Yes. If that bastard has someone working for him amending database entries, I want that guy. I have some questions for him!"


The Drakes small supply shuttle landed with bump in the station. There were no Neg-Grav docking berths or inertial-dampened tractor beams this far down the station. This standard hanger required the pilot to manually land on the dock. Marcus stepped out into the dingy hanger. The grey walls were streaked with filth. It was light years away from the capsuleer hangers that were a couple of hundred decks above them. He knew he had become too much accustom to the lifestyle of the capsuleer.

"Sir, we'll be back tomorrow night to pick you up. The captain says you may have a guest?"

"May be" Marcus wasn't really paying attention to the shuttle pilot. The other crew had already started to load the waiting supplies into the ship.

Marcus entered the lift and pressed the button for deck 12. He leaned back against the wall and thought how all Caldari ships and stations looked the same. Grey and blocky. The lift door opened to the brightly lit security deck. 

The floors above this were reserved for capsuleers, mega corp executives and their select staff and guests. He moved forward into the scanner area as he had done several times before and stretched out his arms. Beams scanned him all over, looking for weapons, bio-agents, poisons and anything that could be used to kill. He then moved forward and held his face against another scanner. An iris scanner read his eye patterns and gave a green light to the security staff that he was authorised to enter the capsuleer decks. The laser barrier dropped and he entered the opposite lift. As soon as the door closed he breathed a sigh of relief. The capsuleer had assured him that the security on this back-water station would not have an up-to-date person database and it was usual to have 6-month updates. Plus the retinal lenses he wore and the fake ID attached to them helped. Still, he was awaiting alarms to go off and heavily armed men to charge in.

Marcus settled into his guest quarters on the capsuleer deck. Tonight he would check out the bars, tomorrow night he needed to snag himself a victim.


Vizell waited outside the blast-door in the bright white and spotless corridor. His shift was about to start and he needed to get to work. He fingered the small object in his pocket impaciently. A whir of mechanics sounded the opening of the secure door. He stepped into the small room. The guy he was relieving was stood there keying out on the data terminal.

"Evening" was the curt welcome.

Vizell nodded and replaced the man at the terminal. He keyed in his code and the outer blast-door closed as the other man left. When the outer door was fully closed, the smaller inner door opened. Vizell entered the next room which contained rows of data-storage banks. This was the Bureau station at planet 9 in the Yulai system and was the headquarters of CONCORD.

Vizell sat at the console and went to work. He removed the miniature holoprojector and placed it next to the keyboard. It lit up and showed a woman sat in a chair. She was clearly upset.

"Hi honey. I am well. Please don't worry I am being treated kindly. But 'he' needs you to do something more for him. He says he's nearly done and then he'll let me go soon....."

Vizell looked at the lines of code being projected through teary eyes, and started keying into the data entry terminal.


Marcus was disappointed. The bar was quiet, far too quiet. He'd passed through the security check again, but had changed and was now looking like a capsuleer. This time he'd only gone down a single level in the lift and was now in the most exclusive bar accessible to all in the station on deck 13. Picking up women in the top-deck bars would be too risky. The women in the bars above deck 12 were either societies elite, capsuleers themselves or high-class professional ladies. They wouldn't do at all. He needed wanna-be's, ones whose sense of judgement would be clouded by ISK signs flashing up before their eyes. The station was huge, but in a dead-end system there were much few people on it.

"Slim pickings" he thought as he glanced around the possibilities. A young and slender girl was chatting to a man in a booth across the bar. Marcus discounted her immediately. She looked too frail to withstand his special treatment for long. The next two possibilities were too plain looking. Marcus wanted beautiful women to take to his bed. The entertainment he planned for after they'd shared his bed didn't require looks, just the ability to scream. Notwithstanding that, he still wanted good looking women for the first session. He looked over to the bar and noticed a woman perched on the bar stool. She had short black hair and was fairly attractive, but much older than his usual victims. He guessed she was in her early forties, fit and attractive, dressed in a short outfit with killer heels, obviously trying to attract a man. She would do he supposed as there was little choice in this backwater place. There were two other stations in this system, he hoped they had a better selection than this. He could sow the seeds tonight and whisk her away tomorrow.

He was about to make a move when his datapad bleeped. He looked at it and saw a message from the capsuleer. He was told to come back alone and that the shuttle was already there waiting for him. Marcus made a mental note of the woman for next time and left the bar.


Vizell was busying typing when the door started to open. Impossible! This was a secure room. The only way in was for him to enter the small room, close the inner door and then open the outer blast-doors. It was a security lock to prevent anyone accessing the database room without authorisation. It couldn't be happening!

As the door fully opened and Vizell knew instantly he was in trouble. Four heavily armed guards accompanied by the head of internal security and, what he assumed, was a Caldari Navy Police Officer by looking at his uniform.

"Inspector Avi" the head of internal security said said, looking in disgust at Vizell, "You have him for 24 hours and he is not to leave this station. Then he's ours!".

"No! He has my wife, if I don't help he's going to kill her!" Vizell protested.

"Who has your wife?" asked Avi

"Petyr Ervert. Well that's his current name. He's a capsuleer pirate and con-artist. As soon as his security status drops too low he asks me to give him a new ID"

"Why not simply adjust his sec-status?" Avi said.

"Inspector, capsuleer security status changes are logged and approved by a superior officer. This data clerk would be instantly caught"  head of internal security cut in.

"But new entire new records can created without this oversight?" Avi asked.

"Ahem. Well obviously a loophole that we need to address. Guards take him to holding and give the good inspector the required time to get all the information he needs" he was clearly embarrassed at the discovery of this loophole in the CONCORD database.


Marcus returned via the shuttle to the Drake and made his way back to his quarters. He was wondering why the capsuleer had brought him back
early and empty-handed.

As he opened the door he saw a woman sat on his bunk. She looked very frightened but she was also young and attractive. Much better than any potential victims he'd seen in the bar.

"Hello. And who might you be?"

"I'm Kelli. The capsuleer..... he.... he said if I was nice to you, that he'd let me go."

"Oh he did, did he?" said Marcus as he pulled out his datapad. As he did he saw a message from the capsuleer flash up. He was obviously watching.

The woman was leverage over someone I was using. That asset is compromised and she is now a liability. Use her as you wish. I am watching.

"Ah yes. Just seen the message. So I get to decide if we drop you off at the nearest station or flush you out of the nearest airlock it would seem."

The woman let out a sob.

"There, there. Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get on famously for the next few hours and then we'll drop you off at the station. You are going to make me happy.... aren't you?" Marcus asked as he wandered over to his locker and discreetly checked everything was in place. The stun gun was easily accessible, his knife was there as were the restraints he would use to suspend her from the ceiling later.

He turned back to the woman

She nodded and tried to give a smile even though she was still crying. With shaking, unsteady hands, she started to slowly unbutton her blouse. Marcus smiled and licked his lips before approaching her.


In his hydrostatic capsule, the capsuleer watched the scene unfold before him over the next few hours. He saw Marcus have the woman every way a man can, before walking to the locker, pulling out the stun gun out and shooting her. He felt the blood rushing through his veins as Marcus suspended her from the ceiling and revived her. Her screams, a mix of both terror and pain, flooded through his brain as the implants relayed the sounds from the quarters directly into his head. This was good, it was taking his mind of the fact they were now trapped with no plan of escape. He knew the net was closing in on them, it was only a matter of time now before they were caught. But for now, he didn't want to think about that.


P.S. - Yes, the screenshots used are taken in the system where the final fight will go down.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Eve Online Box

This is a general geeky post about my new PC and how amazing Eve looks with everything turned up to 11. If you want a proper Eve post, Seleene's CSM Spring Summitt part 1 and part 2 are worth a read

So finally after two years of playing Eve on a laptop I have a new desktop to play it on!

I'm hoping to be out here in the desert for a long while, and the laptop has stopped dual boxing as we're into the summer now. It's over 45 degrees Celsius outside and even with the aircon on, the laptop overheats and shuts down when running two Eve Clients.

In the past getting a new Eve box, I mean new PC, has never been an issue. Back in the UK I'd either build my own (I miss my TJ-07 case with self-built watercooling rig) or bought one from somewhere like PC Specialist when I couldn't be bothered to build my own.

Sat back in the UK all lonely :(

However, in the desert it's a lot more difficult to get the parts. So a few hours of driving and I'm in the big city, at a mall that specialises in PC shops only. It is geek heaven. Some are really smart outfits with motherboards set out on display racks and windows full of top-end cases. Others look like junk stores with all sorts of components, new and old, scattered around. The goods for sale vary massively. From the old 8xxxx series GeForce cards up to the new 690, they can be found if you look hard enough. However, you can count on it that if you're after a very specific thing, they'll have everything in except that one model!

In the end I got:-

i5 - 3.1ghz
Gigabyte Z77-D3H
8gb Kingston Hyper X RAM
Gigabyte GTX 670 2gb
Seagate 1tb HDD
CoolerMaster nVIDEA case
CoolerMaster 850w PSU
Corsair H80 cooler

Not the CPU I would have gone for, but it was best choice that was available. But I think the GFX is a fair beast so should have no issues running several Eve Clients at the same time.

They even assemble it for you for the princely sum of £8! So I paid and then took the wife, who was looking rather bored by then, shopping at a normal mall for a few hours until it was ready to collect.

I got home and I was like a kid with a new toy. Sorry, I WAS a kid with a new toy.

AV and Firewall on first, then comms (TS3), EveMon, EFT, Chrome plus bookmarks to the alliance forums, Fraps. You can tell what this PC is going to be used for can't you!

I'm on limited bandwidth at home so rather than download the Eve Client, I copied over the folders from my laptop. Of course Eve wouldn't start. Launcher popped up, then the Inferno splash screen and then nothing. Bugger! Wait a second, I've been here before!

So I installed Civilisation V, restarted the computer, works. I assume as a fresh PC, DirectX isn't installed or configured or something. Installing Civ V did the trick anyway in a Bodgit and Scarper style.

I also got a new monitor. Going to have my old 21.5" as the second screen, but now have a nice 23" for my main.

So here we have it. My new PC for violencing internet spaceships with extreme prejudice!

And the results.....

Even with one client running on the laptop I didn't have everything turned up to max. Now I do and it's looking truly amazing. I keep hitting ctrl+F9 to hide the HUD and watch the action. That is going to get me killed soon, but OMG! Eve looks amazing now. /drool

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Jita Ripper - Part 8 - A Loss of Life

"So.... do you have a place we can go where it's a little more private" the woman purred.

Marcus smiled. He would enjoy this one. She was smoking hot and had an amazing body. He was sure the capsuleer would appreciate this one too. She looked fit and strong too, she should be able to last a while too.

"My ship is docked here and my quarters are rather spacious."

"A shuttle or a frigate" she asked, clearly testing him. As always, this one must have seen the interface socket on his neck but had not mentioned that she thought she knew that he was a capsuleer.

"Slightly larger. Trust me, you won't be disappointed."

"I don't know, I don't like small ships. I get claustrophobic."

Marcus smiled again and brought out his datapad. He keyed a passcode into his datapad and brought up the security feed capsuleers could access to view their hanger remotely. He showed the image to the woman.

"So, is that big enough for you?"

The woman smiled and nodded.

Marcus paid the bar bill and took her by the hand leading her to the lift. He keyed in the pass code for the capsuleer deck and they walked in and the door slide closed.

"I've got something for you" she said seductively as she leant back against the rear of the lift facing him. Her hands dropped to her skirt and she started to slowly lift it. Agonisingly slowly she exposed more of her slender, long legs. As her lace stocking tops came into view, Marcus saw something bulging in the top of them. She quickly reached into the top of her stocking and pulled out a mini-blaster and pointed it at his face.

"Freeze! Navy Police!"

Marcus indeed froze, his hands going up instinctively. At the same moment the lift stopped and the doors opened, the controls being over-ridden by security. Suddenly there were screams of voices telling him to lay on the floor. He slowly turned to see half a dozen SWAT troopers pointing carbine-blasters at him, the laser sights dancing over his torso. He was frozen in fear.


"Inspector Avi. We have him."

Avi almost spilt his coffee as he rushed to the comm panel.

"Are you sure? It's not another copy cat?"

"No sir. The glue on his fake sockets is a 100% chem-match. DNA profiling has matched him to a worker on Jita planet 4 moon 4 who apparently committed suicide after the third murder. We've also checked his datapad and it shows logs to numbered bank accounts where he transferred the money from his victims. Seriously sir, we have him banged to rights, we couldn’t possible have more incriminating evidence. Congratulations need to be given to you sir. You identified the three possible stations on his route, you said it would be a larger pod vessel like a battlecruiser or battleship and you suggested the bait. It worked exactly how you said it would"

Avi smiled for the first time in weeks.

"Have you got the murder weapon?"

"No sir. We intercepted him before he got to where he was going. But you were right sir, he was heading for the capsuleer hangers. We think he was on a Drake, we're trying to prevent any more from undocking but several of them have already left."

"Never mind, we have him and he's the one that matters. Please keep him secured in holding on the station until a task force arrives to take custody"

"Sir...... I’m….."


"He's already left sir. The decision was taken to get him the three jumps to a hi-sec station. We placed him in an unmarked transport as not to attract attention. He was deemed too high a risk for our security services to hold. Also with the bounty on his head, this station isn’t equipped to handle high value prisoners. We need a station covered by CONCORD."

"You transferred a high value suspect, who has a huge bounty on his head, and MAY in fact be working with a capsuleer, on a transport with no escort?"

"Er..... well yes sir"

"Put me through to the captain of that transport NOW! He needs to dock up in the nearest station before it's too late"

"Yes sir! Putting you through now sir........ Sir..... I'm not getting a signal from the ship."


The small escape pod rocked as the powerful tractor beam pulled it towards the battlecrusier. The two guards had their guns drawn but looked panicky. As the pod spun Marcus saw the burning wreck of the transport out of one of the view ports.

Suddenly the pod stopped moving and there was a metallic crash. Instead of darkness outside, there were now bright lights shining through the view ports. They were inside the cargo bay of the battlecruiser. The two guards exchanged worried glances. The comm panel lit up showing an incoming communication. One of the guards pressed the accept button.

"Let me make this quick. Open the door, let your prisoner out and close the door. The escape pod will be jettisoned back into space so you can be picked up by search and rescue. They’ll never even know there was a third person in the pod unless you tell them. Nobody needs to know. Of course, you can resist. I've killed about 50 or so of your corporation colleagues so far today in that transport. Another two won't make any difference to me."

The escape pod door was opened and Marcus was pushed out, with the door being closed behind him very quickly.

The Capsuleer told the truth about jettisoning them back into space, and technically he didn’t lie about the salvo of missiles he fired at the pod as soon as it cleared the ship, he just hadn’t mentioned it before.


Inspector Avi entered the Chief Inspectors office.

"So quite the fail over in low-sec" the Chief Inspector remarked.

"Yes sir. But now we know who he is. The perp's name is Marcus Kerjin. He was working on a factory on Jita 4-4 moon-side. After his third kill he was reported as committing suicide. A note was found. We now know he started taking Interbus shuttles to various stations to try and avoid detection whilst continuing the killing. It was in one of these where he met a capsuleer, who has been aiding him and ultimately rescued him from the prisoner transport resulting in the deaths of 47 crew members."

"So, what do we do?"

"The capsuleer is easy. As soon as we retrieve the flight recorder from the transport wreckage we'll know who he is. All we know is that it was a capsuleer Drake class battlecruiser. But we'll have his name soon enough. Then we can posts guards at his clone revival unit. We simply need another capsuleer, or capsuleers, to take him down and he'll re-clone straight into custody. This Marcus is a different matter. The only way we’re likely to get him is by destroying that Drake. We think there is around a 30% chance of him escaping the destruction of the ship if and when it finally goes down.

"So we're 100% sure we'll get the capsuleer alive and it's a 70/30 split on the main perp whether we take him dead or alive?"

"That's pretty much it sir. The bounty on the capsuleer is now at 50m ISK. Best we could get for aiding-and-abetting. Rewards for the capture of the perp have risen to 250m ISK following the last murders. We just need to feed the media reports on his location when we have it and wait for the eggers to do their thing. There is just one fly in the ointment."


"Yes, my sources say the bounty for live capture of the perp and discreet delivery to the Director is now a billion ISK."

"You know the Navy cannot and will not match that. You have no idea how much trouble it was to get 250m. That's all we're going to get you know with this war on."

"Yes, well lets hope the capsuleer who captures him does the right thing."

As soon as Avi had said the words, he knew it was far from certain.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Lego Rifter and Age Appropriate Content

Last week there was talk on Twitter why the Eve Online Lego Rifter will not probably pass the next review stage by Lego.

Rixx Javix of Eveogander fame Tweeted and cited precedent where a model of the spaceship Serenity from the TV series Firefly (and also the movie, erm, Serenity) was denied.

The reason for that was the TV shows content was not deemed suitable for Lego's target age range. Well I suppose the guys and gals at Lego are right there. Just think what did we see in the TV series Firefly....
  • Torture (War stories - Mal and Wash)
  • Hooker(s) (Inara in most episodes)
  • Girl-on-girl kissing (War stories - Inara and her lady Client)
  • People being shot and bleeding (Most episodes)
  • A brothel (Heart of Gold)
  • Sexually threatening behaviour (Objects in Space - Bounty Hunter and Kaylee in the engine room)
  • Bonking (A couple of episodes including Heart of Gold)
So, yes, that is generally not acceptable content for 6-year olds I suppose.

But Star Wars is obviously is acceptable, Lego makes a HUGE range of models of models for that. Hang on a second.....
  • Burnt fleshy, skeletons shown (Episode IV)
  • A man being strangled for a disturbing lack of faith or for dropping the fleet out of hyperspace at the wrong spot or for having their apology accepted.
  • Some bodily part cut off and the bloody appendage shown (IV, V, VI, oh and Jango Fetts head)
  • Brother and sister kissing (V)
  • Man has limbs hacked off and left to roast alive in lava by his best mate (III)
  • People being shot (Every one)
  • People being tortured (IV and V)
  • A few billion people killed (IV)
  • People suffering to force lightening (III and VI)
  • Chained Slave Leia and the metal bikini! (VI)
Now, when you think of it like that, yes Firefly is targeted at an older audience, but is it that much off compared to what we saw in Star Wars?

The original Star Wars movie was rated "U" for Universal in the UK as I recall (I still can picture the VHS video tape box). Meaning suitable for all. Not PG, not 12 (not that the rating was around then), not 15, not 18 and certainly not R18. A 6-year old could watch it on their own according to the certificate it received for the UK. The IMDB here shows it's various age ratings.

Interestingly the US MPAA rates the movie Serenity nearly the same as Star Wars Episode IV (PG-13 vs PG). However, the international age ratings on IMDB show a much higher certificate around the 15 mark worldwide generally for the movie Serenity.

So may be Lego was right with the Serenity model. The show isn't suitable for young kids so the model my association isn't.

Now how about Eve Online. What content have we got in-game that is not suitable or classed as too mature for a 6-year old....


Eve Online is not a game to be played by six year olds. Some might say it IS a game to be played by adults acting like six year olds though (see Facebook, Eve-O forums, local chat etc). However, this is more to do with the game mechanics and time investment needed. As far as content goes, what is there in Eve that can even be slightly classed as mature? There is no nudity, no boobies, there is no sex, there is no in-game swearing, there is no violence, there is no blood or body parts. The worst we have is the icon for a corpse. Is that really it? I cannot think of anything else.

I know that CCP videos contain the ESRB "violence" warning at the start. But you have to ask, WHY? Are we as a society so namby-pamby that we define violence that needs to be warned about as computer generated starship models shoot at each other in space?

But lets go back to what Lego does make a lot of. Lets compare Star Wars to Eve Online. What has the more mature content? As far as I am concerned, Star Wars has much more mature content than Eve Online the game.

One of my very first blogs here last year was that Eve could do with "sexing up". Yes, Eve has a wide demographic which includes the ladies, but the core Eve customer is the same as the core sci-fi audience, guys. Sci-Fi generally panders to our (as in blokey) needs. Leia, Seven of Nine, Lexx, Jadzia Dax, Inara etc etc etc. But as it stands right now, what mature content is there in Eve other than the language of the "online interactions"?

Why shouldn't a starship from a game that really contains no mature content as I would define it, become a Lego model?

I suppose we'll find out this summer when the Lego review is concluded.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hot-Boxing, The Next Ship and Suddenly.... Squids!

Well that was a PITA!

I logged on and I'm far away from home in a Faction Battleship and my carrier is 10 jumps away. Thanks to jumping and bridging I'm all over the place. I have a look at my assets list and notice I have an old Command Ship nearby that I had to abandon after leaving a roam early and podding back (there was a high-sec area between where I logged and home). So.....

1. Exit BS pod 9 jumps to CS.
2. Jump in CS run 4 jumps to carrier, hoping CS doesn't get caught.
3. Stick CS in carrier
4. Log off, log on alt and move cyno ship to station with the Navy BS.
5. Get two big fans and point at PC and hope I can dual-box in 45 degree's Celsius long enough to jump main and dock up.
6. Check laptop by holding hand by exhaust vent. Nearly burn hand. Light cyno, jump, get carrier into station, stick BS in carrier, log off main.
7. Cyno down, move alt to mid-point.
8. Log on main, light cyno, hold hand under exhaust from laptop, nearly burn hand again, jump main, dock, log off.
9. Get fed up of this crap and ask in corp for someone to light me last cyno home.
10. Nobody can, go play on XBox for an hour!

All this because my current carrier is simply one for moving ships into position. What I need is a better carrier.....

I'm currently remapped to maximise skill training for Starship Command. There has been a few skills in that tree I've been meaning to "cross off" for ages and I have decided to actually get down and get them done. I'm pushing 70m skill points now so I'm not doing bad (unless you compare me to my 130m SP CEO).

Last weekend I crossed off the first one off the list, Amarr Cruiser V. This skill was pretty much only for one ship - The Devoter. I could fly Onyx and Broadswords already with the bubble generator, but in the armour fleets we run, neither hull is ideal. The Broadsword you can "sort of" armour tank. But you don't want to rely on a ship "sort of" tanked when it's holding down a super capital do you?

Currently I'm onto Amarr Battleship V. This again is a long skill just for a single target ship - The Archon. However, as we fly Amarr BS gangs, the level 5 does help there too I suppose with my Abbadon and Armageddon.

After three weeks that will be done and I'll skill up Amarr Carrier for a week to get it to level IV before moving onto Gallente Crusier 5. This one has two target ships. The Lachesis and the Proteus. Whilst I can fly the Tengu and Loki, it's the Proteus that I want for blaster DPS IN THE FACE!

Of course then I'll need to skill up the Gallente Sub-Systems skills. That will be a couple of weeks to get those all to level 5.

So that little lot should take me to into August. At that point I'll be able to fly almost all T2 sub-cap combat ships in the game. I'll be missing Amarr frigate 5 and also Minmatar Battleship 5. But other than T2 Amarr frigate hulls, the Panther (the Minmatar black-ops battleship) and the Vargur (Matari Marauder), I'll have a mahoosive choice of ships. This will be good, because....

Inferno has really turned the warzone around!

The week before, the Caldari were a beaten race. We were able to attack their low-sec staging system with impunity and they were unable to do much to stop us owning what system we wanted.

Now Inferno has been released, the little buggers are ****ing everywhere.

Unfortunately this is not working as intended. The people doing the plexing are mostly farmers. They are there to collect LP's and kill NPC's, not to engage in PvP.

They are also rarely solo'ing. They are doing it in small groups, or have neutral friends/alt to act as back up. This is a PITA for those of us who like a good solo roam.

Lets hope this soon turns into some nice fleet battles rather than just 23.5/24 farming of LP's.