Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In The Red Corner......

Blog Banter 40: Interstellar Blood Sports

"There is no finer spectacle in the universe of EVE Online than the explosive dance of weapon-laden spaceships in combat. The yearly Alliance Tournament is the jewel in EVE Online's eSports crown and the upcoming New Eden Open should deliver the same gladiatorial entertainment showcase.

Given the scope of the sandbox, what part should eSports play in EVE Online and what other formats could provide internet spaceship entertainment for spectators and participants alike? "

You git Matt! I've partaken in every Blog Banter since I started blogging and I have limited time before I fly away on holiday for the week. I've also got posts scheduled up so I'm going to have to move the lovely Sindel to November so I can get this to post on Sunday! Oh and the taxi will be here soon! Do I rush a post, or do I miss this one out? Bad timing Matt! ;)

Right, back on topic Drackarn. eSports!

I love the Alliance Tournament. I loved taking part in the PvP tournament at Fanfest this year. I would love to see this expanded in Eve Online. But how would it work? And I'm not talking simple mechanics here. I'm talking about fitting in with the back story and lore of New Eden.

Basically we could have PvP arenas with spectators. A reverse PoS shield, rather than being unable to get in, you cannot get out. Maybe 150km diameter? Arenas in Eve Online have always been a touchy subject. I think we have had blog banters on them in the past and generally they are seen as "un-sandboxy". How can we make them fit in? There are competitive combat sports in New Eden already. Think Mind-Clash, so capsuleer gladiatorial combat isn't much of a step up. Blame the Caldari megacorps for setting it up!

There would be benefits to this. I've had countless solo roams where I have failed to find any fights at all. Sometimes I do wish for a World of Tanks "Battle" button in Eve. Just push and receive PvP. But that sort of instant PvP really doesn't fit in to Eve. We'd need some sort of NPC organisation to produce a Thunderdome type arena  Two capsuleers enter, one capsuleer leaves. 

May be there would need to be several of these around. They'd need to be in low-sec so the security status challenged could use them. That would also make those systems popular for gate camping. Getting to the arena might be a challenge on its own!

We'd also need a level playing field. Fleet boosters would have to be screened out, and what about implants   A high-grade implant set and 5% skill hardwirings make a big difference in PvP, especially 1v1's. Would we need a system to pair equal pilots?

Yes, to have a simple and accessible "Thunderdome" in New Eden would not be simple!

Then we'd need some spectators. This would be an obvious Incarna feature for the bars. The ability to control a camera and place bets on the next fight. However, will we ever get Incarna bars? If the arena was a "reverse PoS shield" people could sit outside and look at the ships inside fighting. But if you cannot lock them, then you have no idea who is winning, whether it is a close fight or one sided. Oh and how many people will turn up to gank the spectators. No, spectators would have to be in station. Some terminal in the CQ that lets you browse battles? A view similar to the AT format where you can select the ship to look at and control the camera?

Bets! Now that opens up a new avenue with match fixing and cheating. But if anything, surely that is in the spirit of New Eden.

So I'll keep this one short. Yes, I would like to see some sort of PvP arena that I could take part in, watch fights in or bet on. But it would have to fit into the back-story and the lore. I don't want to be in Nisuwa station and have a big button marked "PvP". 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

200 Posts and Some Gallisms

This is my 200th post here on SC&S and I'm still AFK on holiday! Hopefully I'm still somewhere in the middle of the Red Sea getting some cracking dives in.

Just a quick view of the stats over those 200 posts.

  • Most popular post is the PL titan gank.
  • Apart from Google, most people have found their way here via Facebook, Eve Bloggers, Reddit, Eveogander and Evealtruist.
  • Most popular search words in Eve are "Eve Online Inferno" and "CCP Punkturis". Seriously guys.....
  • Readers mostly come from the US, then UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Russia and Norway.
  • Firefox and Chrome are most popular with IE still there at 16%.
  • 74% of people are using Windows, 8% on Macs, Android devices are 6% with iPhone, iPad, Linux, Wnidows NT and Blackberry finishing up.

In other news I was sad to hear my ex-CEO and friend, Gallactica, is quiting Eve. If you've been in the Gallente/Caldari militia for any length of time you will of heard of him. Shadows of the Federation led the Gallente come-back in 2009 when the Caldari held all of the low-sec warzone with the formation of the Villore Accords. That agreement between several of the larger Gallente militia corps resulted in a turn around and the pushing back of the Caldari. From the Villore gate in OMS being camped by the squids 23.5/7 we were camping the Nourv gate in Tama within a few months.

But with three young daughters (Oh are you in for some fun when they hit teenagers mate! You'll need to hire a portable toilet for the garden for your own use!), heavy workload and a wife, he's decided to quit Eve.

Hopefully he'll be back, never say never etc. I could list the achievements he accomplished in game, but that would be boring. Instead I'll go for some of the greatest Gallisms.

7 years experience, 100m+ Skill Points, "What warp to zero button?"
Gall had a reputation for losing pods. In low-sec this is rather uncommon. We always assumed he had bad lag as he always said he was trying to warp. Then one day someone asked if he was already spamming the "warp to zero button" as he was going down. He had no idea what we were on about. Apparently he was right-clicking in space, selecting a celestial  selecting warp, selecting 0km. Unsurprisingly he was getting snagged by fast tackle. He had no idea about the warp to zero button in the top right-hand corner.

Underpants and Computer Says No.
Gall was online in a hotel whilst working away. It was late, the red wine was flowing, and we were killing. He went AFK to get some more drink, and came back disappointed as the girl at the hotel bar wouldn't serve him. It wasn't that late and we all know Gall is a charmer so what was the problem? Apparently his hotel room was 3 doors from the bar, so rather getting dressed he ran there in his underpants. Unsurprisingly the lady at the bar said "Computer says noooooo." in a Little Britain styleeeeeee.

Apricot Scrub

I'm a Pretty Lady!
For some strange reason Gall shared a certain photograph with us that Eelis turned into a recruitment poster. No need for any more words here.....

If any SoTF'ers can remember any more, post them as comments and I'll add them all when I get back to civilisation in two weeks!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vengeance – Part 9

Righto, hopefully this posts OK as I'm on holiday. As an alternative post, this is a rather great post on CCP's Eve development strategy and whether they are going in the right direction.

Vengeance – Part 9

The capsuleer's badger class industrial approached the station. He'd not flown an industrial ship in over a year. It's hold was full hazardous materials. His manifest had stated the cargo was fuel for a capsuleer control tower. Even the capsuleers were scanned by customs occasionally and questions would be asked why he was carrying so much hazardous fuel. A scan is all they would do too. There were very few customs officials that would be prepared to do a detailed search of a 4000 cubic metres of hazardous materials on their salaries  The cargo he carried nicely masked the small package in the centre of the hold from the customs ships scans. The small container secured in a shield case held less than 50 millilitres in volume, but had cost him more than the ship he was flying.

As he approached the docking ring he checked the confirmation emails. The agent had confirmed the arrangements had been made and they awaited his 'go' and transfer of the money. With a few simple thoughts the capsuleer instructed the local credits to be transferred and a simple reply to be sent back to the agent.


The ship jolted slightly as the tractor beams locked onto the ship and eased it into the station and into one of the capsuleer hangers. The capsuleer was a bit disappointed to be back in a dull grey, but functional, Caldari station. He had much preferred the Gallente station he had last stayed on. The Minmatar station he last visited was a quick in-and-out visit. As he expected, the Bull had been particularly stupid and easy to lead into the trap that cost him his life.

The capsule detached from the badger class industrial and docked with the pod gantry. After being disgorged onto the deck the capsuleer reached for a towel and wipe his face. He was smiling. The end was in sight.


Meeka "Horse" Vasges smiled, this was going to be a fantastic night. He'd gone out for a drink as normal but this time had scored straight away, in his favourite bar too! He had met the two gorgeous women as he ordered his first drink at the bar. They wasted no time in starting the flirting and had been all over him from the start. At first he thought they were in competition with each other, seeing who could take him home. He'd been wrong, they had expressed a wish to share him together tonight and now the drink was flowing freely.

Meeka was desperately trying to think of an excuse to get these women back to his quarters, but he didn't want to appear desperate. In the end he didn't have to come up with any excuse.

"Soooooo." purred the Minmatar beauty "When are we going back to yours?"

"Yes!" joined in the Gallente stunner "I want some real fun!"

"Well ladies" smile Horse, "Let's go!"

They took a hover-taxi back to Horse's quarters. As soon as they were inside the two women were kissing each other and ripping off their clothes. Horse just stood there dumbstruck. He had a massive stupid smile plastered over his face and had whispered a silent thank you to his good luck that was making this come true for him. He undressed clumsily where he stood as he watched the two women who were now on his bed making out with each other. When he was finished undressing they looked at him and gasped!

"Wow! Do you think we can both handle that?" one of the women asked the other.

"I think so, but I think we need to be in charge!"

Horse smiled. He liked the sound of that. The two women grinned and led him over to the bed. Using the discarded belts and stockings they tied him to the bed. Once he was secure, they gathered their clothes in silence and left.

"OI! Get back here! You cannot leave me like this! Get back here you bitches!"

There was movement, a man entered his bedroom.

"Who the frack are you?"

"You don't really know me Horse. You knew my wife though." said the capsuleer as he placed a bag on the table. He withdrew two strange arm-length gloves made of some type of flexible shiny metallic material and started pulling them on. Horse became afraid.

"Dude! Look I have partied with many women. They don't tell me they are married! I ain't done nothing wrong!"

"You've done nothing wrong? Oh, how about in the Onnamon system?"

It took several seconds of thinking for Horse to realise.

"No! We killed you!"

The capsuleer rolled his eyes "I'm immortal, idiot!"

The capsuleer removed a sealed case and carefully undid the clasps.

"Look man! I was following the captains orders!" Horse was struggling in his bonds. However it was futile. The women the capsuleer had employed through the agent had done a good job in making sure he was secured. They had been proffesionals in more than one sense of the word.

The capsuleer removed what looked like a spray vaporiser gingerly. He held it up in front of his face as if he was studying it carefully.

"Nanite technology. It's wonderful isn't it. They can repair ship systems, fix 1600mm thick armour plates, devourer waste, and can even be used as a weapon. Nanites constructed to consume human tissue and a small vaporiser this size can reduce a grown man to nothing but a foul smelling vapour in less than 30 seconds."

Horse started to cry.

"But these, ah, these ones aren't as fast. They've been slowed down specially for you. These ones take their time! They work very slowly."

And with that the capsuleer gave a short spray on the body part that gave Horse his name. Horse was panicking but felt nothing as the capsuleer packed up and left the room.

A minute later Horse felt a tingling sensation. Then the pain arrived. It took over an hour until the nanites had consumed through enough flesh to open an artery in his thigh and kill him, and he had screamed in agony for every second of it.


"Helena Wateen, please to meet you captain."

"Please, call me Zian. A captain has to have a ship, and with me being here, well you can probably guess what happened to mine!"

Helena laughed causing Zian to smile. She looked around his age, Gallente with sharp cheekbones and a slender body. They had just met in the makeshift bar that had been constructed in a spare store room at Hotel Egg. Thankfully one of the rescued cooks from liked a drink. He'd managed to build a still and used ingredients from the kitchen stores to make the bars only drink, Gabo's God-awful Green Grog. It was a very strong moonshine that made Minmatar spirits taste smooth in comparison. But it was strong and also it was all they had.

They drunk the night away telling old battle tails from their time in the Guristas.

Zian found himself enjoying himself for the first time since he got here.

As the night wore on the bar patrons started to disburse. Helena turned to the Captain.

"Hey, Zian. Look, I, er, don't usually do this. But. Would you like to come back to my room?"

Zian smiled and stood, taking her by her hand. As they left the bar he looked around at the last of the crew remaining.

"Who are you capsuleer?" He thought to himself. "Why are you doing this? And more importantly, where are you now?"

In terms of light years, nobody could say at the distance between the capsuleer and the facility at that moment. He was sat in a cloaked ship watching a vast fleet. He had to admire the supercarrier sat at the heart just positioned off the gravity distortion. That is what led him here. He had spent weeks searching for this, and when he'd got to the right system the beacon had shown up immediately on his overview. Everyone who entered the system knew there was something there, just not exactly what it was. If they warped wrong, then they would be confronted by a fearsome sight. His plan was almost complete. He had the waypoints programmed into his computer. Now all he had to do was to lead the chase. The ship aligned invisibly against the unfamiliar pattern of stars and nebulae and warped to one of those waypoints.


"His WHAT was eaten by nanites?" Gantor held his head in his hands. It felt that everytime his aide entered his office these days it was to report another horrific death.

"The medical staff say it was one of the most horrific deaths they have dealt with. They were all men by the way. The nanites started on his, well you know his handle. Once they had finished with that it was other parts in the region. He finally died when they opened up an artery in his thigh and he bled to death."

"Any luck tracking down Jorn?"

"No sir. His ship was due back 48 hours ago. I think we can assume...."

"Don't assume! Find him. We need to know, I need to know what really happened on the Night Terror that day. He's the last one who can give me an answer."

"Yes sir, but given that he's over-due I think we can assume the capsuleer has got him. However I will ask the station Comms Officer to continue trying to hail him."

"Sorry? What did you say?"

"I said, sir, I'll ask the Comms Officer....."

"Never mind, just give me the complete crew manifest for the Night Terror."

"Yes sir, sending to your datapad now!"

Gantor scrolled down until he reached the Night Terrors Communications Officer at the time of the incident.

"Well dad. Let's see if you were right." he said under his breath.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is CCP Reading My Blog.....?

......or was the obvious thing to do?

Faction War has been pretty crap this month. On announcement that the ISK faucet is being turned off in the next expansion (or so everyone assumed) many players have decided to farm LP's for all they are worth in order to cash in before December.

Basically unless you've been living on a remote veldspar asteroid in wormhole space, you should know that billions can be made relatively easy by farming faction war plexes and then having a concerted "cash in" with the other militia members. Faction War is NOT working as intended. Faction war should be about PvP, but you could milk the ISK cow in a T1 frigate with no guns and an afterburner. And that is what people were doing, en-mass.

I've been chasing gun-less Caldari militia players all over Black Rise. Frustrating  but also very satisfying when you pop that cloaky T1 Frigate! But generally I was chasing Incursus and Merlins that ran as soon as I landed on grid. Each running for a good reason - they had no weapons. Just the afterburner and maybe a few stabs!

I had said this was killing Faction War and basically Faction War would be dead until December as everyone whored away trying to make as much cash as possible before CCP shut off the ISK waterfall.

I really did think that CCP should bring in the changes early for the mechanics side of faction war and stop people farming and get them fighting. But I thought that is not going to happen as one, all those people who had spent weeks and weeks farming loyalty points and had built up a massive stock pile ready for the next tier 5 cash-in would suddenly find them devalued by a huge factor, and two, there would be tears.

Then, in CCP Soundwave's words....... SURPRISE!

Queue a Dev Blog from CCP that gave one days notice that they were implementing changes to shut the ISK dispenser off. A-fecking-mazing!

So will numbers in FW drop? Absolutely. Every man and their dog had created an alt to enter faction war and make ISK. As well as the huge variation in LP store prices according to war zone control level being scrapped, you cannot capture a complex without killing the rats. You cannot kill the rats with an afterburner and some tank mods. It is the end of the gun-less Incursus? Let us hope so!

P.S. This is my last manually posted entry for two weeks. I'm off diving! I'm queuing up posts to automatically go up over the next two weeks so hopefully there will be content whilst I'm away. If not, well then I ****ed up the schedule thingy-ma-bob! Fly deadly o/

Monday, October 22, 2012

Target Their Life Support......

Damn you #tweetfleet, damn you! Technically a non-Eve blog post, but one that will be of interest to many Eve players as it was other Eve players got me into this!

Over the last few weeks I've been noticing some mentions of FTL on Twitter. It would appear to be a very popular game with Eve players. So I paid the princely sum of $9 (or about £7 in the Queen's money) on Steam. I needed something other than Eve to keep me going until XCom: Enemy Unknown was released.

What is FTL? Well it's a FTL is a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" apparently from the the official blurb. But to me its a bloody addictive game! The graphics are straight out of the 1990's but as Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress taught us, brilliant gameplay makes a brilliant game.

The premise of the game is that your Federation just got trashed by the rebels. Your cruiser is carrying vital data that you need to get to the remnants of the Federation seven systems away. You're low on fuel, your ship is underpowered and you are in a universe as cruel and nasty as they come (well may be not as cruel and nasty as New Eden)! Oh yeah, and a massive rebel fleet is right behind you and if they catch up with you you'll find your goolies displayed on the front of their ship!

So you use your jump drive to jump to beacons, making your way across each solar system until you reach the other side and then can use your FTL drive to jump to the next solar system. Each hop you make gives the chance of an encounter. Sometimes you'll have a pirate attack you, there may be a ship in need of your help, there might be a planet, asteroid field, nebula, sun or plasma storm. You never know what you'll find as you hop around the solar system heading to the exit beacon.

The view is a top-down of your ship showing the various rooms. You have rooms for each of your primary and secondary systems - life-support (O2), engines, weapons, shields, sensors, cockpit, medi-bay, door control plus a few empty rooms.

Door control? Yes doors are important in FTL!

Each of the above mentioned systems and subsystems can be damaged. They may be shot by spaceships belonging to pirates rebels/unfriendly aliens, they may be hit by solar flares or asteroids or may get kicked in by a boarding party (I fecking HATE transporters). You also need to manage your reactor. Sometimes you need to divert power from one system to another! It is your job to keep everything running and whilst it doesn't have the ridiculous level of micro-management that Dwarf Fortress does, FTL can be a hectic game to play.

In the battles you get a top-down view of both yours and the enemy's ship. Each of your weapons can be targeted at a specific system (room). I find the best way is first attack their shields and get those down. Next disable their weapons. Finally finish them off before they repair! Whilst you are doing this the enemy is trying to do something very similar to you. So as well as firing a shield-penetrating missile at their shield control and standing by with the pulse laser to hit the weapons control, you need to be moving crew members about to fight fires, repair systems, patch up hull-breaches, shoot boarding parties with phasers set to kill and the like.

Any Sci-Fi geek cannot help but have fun in this game. You are Captain Jayneway on Voyager. You are Mal Reynolds aboard Serenity.

Power up the weapons!
Target their engines!
Intruder alert!

Your ship, reactor and all primary and secondary systems are upgradable, there are weapons to find/buy, drones, new crew members. You salvage, steal and loot.

The game is very unforgiving and death ends the game. No multiple lives, no respawn, just game over! This can be very annoying when a superior ship is kicking the seven shades of crap out of you whilst their boarding party are urinating on the controls in the weapons room! You need to fire back at that ship and micro-manage your crew members who all appear to be as skilled in combat as your average Star Trek Red-Shirt, i.e. bad.

There are tactics you can use. Remember those door controls I mentioned? Well fire and lifeforms need air to survive. If you are having trouble with either raging fires or boarding parties just open doors and one of the outer airlocks. You need to have upgraded your doors to blast doors so that the boarding party cannot just walk through them tho'. 

Another tactic is to move your guys into the med bay then de-pressurise rooms to channel the boarding party there. Your guys are constantly healed whilst bashing the intruders!

Sat at work currently waiting until I can go home and play. Once I rage quit having died for the 10th time I'll log onto Eve and take my frustrations out on the Caldari..... providing I'm not tempted by an 11th attempt.

P.S. Mmmmmm actually what could we learn about this game for Eve.......

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vengeance – Part 8

Fan fiction Friday alert. Your escape route is here where Kirith Kodachi looks at his PvP from 2007 against 2012.

Vengeance – Part 8

Rico "Bull" Rancher walked down the wide station promenade holding his datapad, not particularly looking were he was going. The odd hover car that passed through gave him a wide berth. In a collision with him the Hover Car would win, but it would take substantial damage! The map on his datapad indicated the door to his right was the place. It was simply marked with a metallic silver 'F' above the door. The levels at the bottom of this Matari station were like any other low-sec Matari station, in dire need of repairs.

He pushed through the door and entered what appeared to be a heavily smoky bar. It was dimly lit and he had a hard time making out any faces in the booths and benches that lined the room. He walked to the bar and surveyed the drinks on offer. All cheap, all hideously strong. He attracted the barmans attention and ordered the weakest beer he could see. He wanted his wits about him if that egger did show up. He'd received a message from him early this morning saying he was coming for him. He said to meet here at this bar. Bull was more than happy to accept. Killing a capsuleer in a bar would be much easier for him than in outer space.

"You Bull?" the barman asked as he slid the beer over.

"Yeah. What's it to you?" he replied aggressively.

The barman reached under the bar and placed a small box next to his beer. "Some guy said a big Caldari bloke called Bull would turn up around this time today and I should give you that. We don’t get a lot of Caldari here so guessed it must be you."

Bull took a drink of beer and eyed the box carefully not knowing if it would explode in his face. After the third gulp he opened it gingerly to find a small earpeice. He placed it in his ear and the comm channel opened up.

"Good evening Bull"

"Where are you, you sack of shit. Show yourself so I can pound you!"

"Oh I'm watching."

Bull spun around surveying the bar, but there were too many people and it was too dark and smoky. He couldn't make anything out but vague shapes in the booths and against the walls.

"I thought we could have a quick chat first. I thought this would be the best way as I doubt face-to-face you're much of a talker."

"Show me your face and I'll smash it in!"

"Charming. I just wanted to explain why I hate you most of all. Much more than the others." that statement stopped Bull in his tracks.

"You see, my wife was an ex-slave....."

"An ex-slave! She was an ex-slave?" Bull said loudly "That's fantastic! I thought we'd just assaulted, beaten and carved-up some Minmatar tart. But an ex-slave who had married a capsuleer, that's priceless! Talk about being risen up and then being smashed back down. I should have known, as she was under me, crying, begging me to stop hurting her, that she used to belong to the Amarr. Its the way they beg and plead. She'd obviously had plenty of practice. She made the best noises as I slammed my fist into her ugly Matari face. Ha! You heard what we did to her before it was my turn right? Slasher with the knife, she probably got worse than that under the Amarr. In fact she probably enjoyed it, the knife slowly cutting through her Matari-whore-flesh. Probably got her off as he shredded her skin. You know, that slut-slave probably died with a smile on her face after what the seven of us did to her! From slave to capsuleers wife to our plaything for a few hours. To be honest she got what she deserved. You should have seen her after we'd finished with her. She took a good beating egger, YES I BEAT THAT MATARI SLAVE-SLUT HALF TO DEATH AND I FRACKING ENJOYED IT! Now, what are you going to do about it?" Bull had to take a deep breath after his rant as he was panting from his outburst.

A soft menacing laughter came through the earpiece. That made Bull very uneasy. His rant was suppose to enrage the capsuleer, to provoke him into showing himself. Why was he laughing?

"What is your problem egger? I tell you that about your ex-slave Matari-slut-wife and you laugh about it. Didn't you hear me?"

"Oh I heard you. In fact, I'm betting the everyone heard you." The capsuleer put a chilling emphasis on the word 'everyone'.

Bull suddenly became aware the bar had gone utterly silent. He looked around. He was surrounded by hulking men. Minmatar Brutors with arms as thick as a normal man's thighs. Where did they come from? He looked around the room desperately for answers. The walls were covered in tribal art and replica bladed weapons. The word 'Freedom' was emblazoned above the bottle racks behind the bar. He hadn't been looking at the room decor when he entered, he had been looking for the capsuleer, and that had been his fatal mistake. The realisation hit him like a 1400mm howitzer. He was in a Minmatar bar, a very busy Minmatar bar in the lower decks of a low-down-and-dirty low-security station.

"No...... NO! I didn't mean what I said. NO!" Bull backed up the bar as the Brutors advanced. The barman picked up a large bottle and approached Bull from behind.

The capsuleer disconnected the comm link to the sounds of smashing bottles, breaking glass, and a man being beaten to death.


Captain Vian was called to the access hatch at an unearthly hour. A small group was already stood there, well back from the scene. The crawl-way led out from one of Hotel Egg's store rooms.

"What happened?"

One of the officers turned to him.

"Ensign Moro. He'd been talking of escape for a while but nobody believed him. He thought the security sensors worked on infra-red. He'd covered himself in thermal wrap from the kitchens. He thought as it kept food warm, it would mask his body heat from the sensors. It didn't work."

Vian looked over the man’s shoulder. He wasn't sure that the pile of red, bloody meat was even a person. Strips of silver foil fluttered in the breeze created by air being pumped into the narrow corridor.

"He must be in 200 pieces. Some sort of laser net must have covered the entire corridor and washed over him."

"What now?" asked Vian "We cannot clear the body without risking activating the defences."

"We don't need to. The station is automated. We've seen it in the past." said the officer. As he said that a small hatched opened in the side of the corridor. A few insect like drones crawled out and approached the body.

"Cleaner drones. They'll clear the mess." And with that the crowd started to disburse.


"A hover-car accident? Why do I find that hard to believe?" Gantor was at his desk as his aide detailed the official report into the fate of Bull.

"Yes sir. I share your scepticism. He was found in the gutter outside a Minmatar bruiser bar well known for its nightly fights. It’s a close-nit community down there. Several 'eye-witnesses' swore to the police that an Amarrian in a hover-car knocked him down and fled the scene. Obviously all the witnesses were Martari though."

"An Amarrian in a hover-car? In a Minmatar low-sec station? Outside a bottom-deck Matari bar? Right! Who was in the back seat? Tibus Heth and Empress Jamyl? Was the head of the Jovian Directorate in the front passenger seat? And what did the stations medical examiner have to say?"

"Their official ME said the wounds sustained were consistent with a traffic accident and wrote it off as accidental death. Our own ME who received the body back at Guristas HQ said that it looked like he'd been set on by a dozen Brutors in bad moods."

"I think we can say whatever happened, our vengeful capsuleer had a hand in it?"

"Yes sir. We're still tracking down Meeka Vasges and the captain."

Gantor hoped they found them before this capsuleer could.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bounty Hunting in Eve Online Will Never Work

Now I'm not saying the new bounty system won't work, I'm saying that the 'profession' of Bounty Hunter will never be viable in Eve Online.

Whilst Eve doesn't have official professions like many other games, most of our characters can fit into one or more of the unofficial categories  Be it miner, industrialist, trader, researcher, cyno ship pilot, militia pilot, pirate, there are a lot and you probably have a main theme for each of your characters.

Many people would like to be professional bounty hunters. However, it can never be the proper profession in Eve as many people would like it to be. You known, hunting the space-lanes for your target, setting up the ambush and waiting for them to go down in flames so you can pick up a big reward for bringing that scumbag down.

TL;DR - By making the rewards sufficient enough to make it a viable choice as a profession in Eve Online, you would to open it up to exploitation.

The current system is pointless as I've pointed out before. You put a sufficiently high bounty on someone and they'll get a corp mate or alt to pod them and collect the cash.

But Drackarn! Retribution will revise the bounty system!

Yes it will. Looking at the details it will probably be like this....

Mr Piwat ganks Mr Miners Hulk. He then goes on to question Mr Miners linearage and suggests he should find another game to play before finally resorting to "Yo Mamma" insults.

Mr Miner is not a happy bunny and puts a 10bn ISK bounty on Mr Piwat's head as Mr Miner has more money than good sense!

Now this will be paid out as a percentage of the kill each time Mr Piwat's ship is assploded. Here is and example of how it probably will work.

Mr Piwat jumps through a gate to find a gate camp of Loki's, Insta-lock Legions and teir 3 battle-cruisers. He's in a Drake. He is utterly ****ed and goes down like a sack of s***!

His T2 fit Drake was worth around 80m ISK. If the bounty payout is say 20% of the true loss then those killing him will get 16m ISK split between them.

So are you going to track and hunt down players for a bonus 16m per BC kill? And thats if they are flying a 80m ISK ship. And you can find them. And they are in space. And you can catch them. And you can kill them.

16m? And I very much doubt you can do one every hour with having to track them down and get to the system they are in and find them in space etc. 16m an hour for all that work? That price cannot be really raised much as the guy got 40m back in insurance if he had 90% platinum. You raise the bounty much higher and it'll get exploited.

Whats. the. point.

Missioning level 4's will get you more than that with a lot less risk. Mining will get you more than that! The only way to make Bounty Hunting successful is to bring the value of ISK per hour up to compete with other professions. But that will make it so the target can exploit the mechanics and profit from the bounty on his or her head.

What's that I hear you say? You have an idea on how to stop the target profiting when the payout is more than the loss?

"Stop the insurance for people with a bounty. That way the reward could be raised to almost the value of the loss."
That would be the greatest greifing tool in history. At war with a corp? Put bounties on all of them and stop them from insuring any ships! Nasty!

"Raise the payout!".
That wouldn't make much of a difference if it was 90% of the loss after insurance. Still only 36m. "Raise it more!" you say? Then you are into the exploit area where the return is greater than the loss which makes it profitable to kill yourself! A few years ago people would build cheap BS, insure them, undock them and then self-destruct. This was profitable. By raising the payout to above the loss suffered you will reintroduce this mechanic.

"Do them as contracts. So you know the cash is going to a bounty hunter and not their alt!"
So when you see you have a bounty on your head, accept the contract with a random alt. Profit.

"Have people sign up with Bounty Hunting corporations. A corp has to 'sign up' for a BH licence like they sign up for Faction War."
Yes, but still if the profit is high enough you'll simply get Eve mails to the tune of 'Hey mate, I'm a licenced bounty hunter. I see you have 5bn on your head. 50/50 split? Meet me at.......'.

By the time you make bounty hunting worthwhile enough (ISK wise) for people to bother with, the value of the kill is such that it is open to exploitation.

So bounty hunting is unlikely to be  worthwhile in Eve. It is simply a "gift" you give to a random person for killing someone you don't like.

The only dis-benefit I can really see if there is some icon that marks the overview that you have a bounty on your head. In a fleet fight, after the obvious primaries are down and the FC moves onto the other ships, they may choose the one with the bounty on their head. If you have 10 Drakes to chose from, why not primary the one that may net your fleet some bonus ISK?

Am I wrong? Is there anyway to make bounty hunting worthwhile in terms of risk verses reward against other things in Eve?

P.S. Now if they put a bounty symbol on the overview so you know which pilots on grid have a price on their head, are you going to get people starting secret alts to put bounties on their fleet mates heads so in a fleet fight the bounty targets get primaried and not them?

P.P.S. On the flip side, will people make someone with a bounty on their head fly a really tanky fit ship in the fleet. So the enemy FC goes for the one with the bounty but he's flying tank?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Struggling With Eve

Not the game itself. I'm struggling with finding time to play Eve. The fact is I have little time given a new time-sink in my life and a lack of motivation is not helping. The motivation stems from that every man and his dog in my TZ appears to be farming ISK in faction war like its going out of fashion (well technially it is, in just over 7 weeks until the ISK facet is turned off) and not PvPing. This means I'm not really motivated to make time to chase speed-tanking Incursus and cloaky Merlins all over Black Rise. I understand, GMT+4 has never been Eve Prime Time, but now people are using this "quiet" time to do their farming. Remember the run up to Inferno? It was total war! It was pure PvP all day, everyday. Now we have the run up to Retribution and it is farming all day, everyday. Although I did log on once over the weekend....

On Friday night we had a scheduled op. I had to set my alarm on my phone so that I would remember to log into Eve and fleet up!

In the end it was rather uneventful. We killed a few POCOs and blapped a couple of neutrals that decided to warp to the POCO to see what was going on. Pro tip guys. If half of local is GCC and you have twenty or more tier three battlecruisers on scan towards a POCO, DON'T warp to that POCO.

We did get a bit worried when a Probe landed, one of the most popular 'throw away' cyno ships. But he died. Horribly.

Not the greatest Eve reading is it? Well have some screen shots which make boring Eve look slightly more interesting Eve, as that is the most I can offer today I'm afraid.

 So that was my only Eve over the weekend. In fact one of my alt's skill queue dries up in 1 hour and 24 minutes looking at Aura on my phone and I've just got into work! Doh!

I've technically got availabilities to play the game, that is not the issue. The issue is, suddenly, this mid-30's gamer has been transported back in time. I'm back a whole decade before Eve was even released. I've gone back 20 years. I'm 17 again. No, not out most nights drinking vodka until I throw up, then washing my mouth out (with vodka) and going to a club to pull some easy college tart. I meant I'm 17 again in a gaming sense  I'm talking about something that was brought into the world on the last day of 1993.

The year George Bush Snr and Borris Yeltsin signed the 2nd second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
The year that DS9 started.
The year Bill Clinton moved his cigar box into the White House.
The year Windows NT1 was released.
The year that gave us Doom by id Software.
And, on the 31st December of that year, we were gifted XCOM:Enemy Unknown.

I LOVED the original XCOM. I had that, Doom (the grandfather of FPS), Dune II (the grandfather of RTS) and Wing Commander (THE grandfather of many genres) on my MS-DOS based, x80286 PC at the time. Seriously, who reading this blog remembers when you had to type 'win' to start Windows at the c:\ prompt?!?! 1.44mb 3.5" floppy disks? No CD-ROM? 4mb of memory? 25mhz processor? 15mb (yes MEGAbyte) HDD? 14.4kb/sec modems?

Thursday night I let my PC over night to take advantage of the free internet between midnight and 3am to pre-load the remake of XCOM from Steam. I slipped out of bed early Friday morning not to wake the wife (remember Fridays are the weekend here) and nearly twenty years after I did it for the first time, I was back commanding XCOM against the invading alien menace.

2k Games have done a fantastic reboot. Same "OH YEAH!" feeling as your guy guns down an ET that was about to do something nasty. The "hanging during missions" bug has hit me a couple of times and is REALLY annoying as there is no autosave. Pro tip - save often unless you want to throw two hours of your life down the pan!

I'll be back on Eve soon. Just one more hour on XCOM........ Oh hell, its morning!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vengeance – Part 7

Fan fiction alert! If this is not your thing why not head over to Poetic Discourse and see if you agree that CCP are slowly turning high sec space into a land populated by sparkly ponies, rainbows and fluffly clouds?

Vengeance – Part 7

Gantor was at his new desk when his aide entered. Through fake certificates, phony ID's and more than a few bribes he'd used a shell-company to lease a small office on a commercial station in low-sec. He'd been very careful to ensure nobody would know that it was the Guristas faction that had opened an office in Empire space. There were obvious dangers, but he needed to be closer to where the investigation was heading. He had relocated to the low-sec region of Black Rise where all the problems in his life appeared to be sprouting from.

"Sir. We've found one the people you asked us locate."

"Why do I feel we have another dead body?"

The aide took out his datapad and activated the big screen in Gantors office. A personnel file flashed up.

"Melisa Tankena, aka Fingers. She was Navigation Officer on the Night Terror."

The screen switched to a shot of her tied up. The bloodied, fingerless stumps of her hands were clearly visible.
"Well I think we can safely say the capsuleer has done another one. How did she die? Blood loss from those wounds?"

"Erm, well no sir. He first cut off all of her fingers, then forced them down her throat which choked her."

Gantor just nodded. These were not just summary executions. No simple bullet to the brain. They were something else. Why? The first two fed to slaverhounds, this one 'de-fingered' and choked. What was significant about the way he was killing the ex-bridge crew of the Night Terror?

"Any luck tracking down the remaining bridge crew?"

"No sir. Seemo Kapella is off grid, Rico Rancher the same. Captain Jorn is on deep space patrol and his comms are off as usual. We assume he doesn't want anyone finding him."

"Keep looking. We need to find them before that capsuleer does."


Seemo 'Slasher' Kapella lay back in the soft comfy seat of the luxury yacht. The champagne had gone to his head. He couldn't believe how his luck had turned around. A few days ago he was in a casino gambling away the very last of his money. It must have been a good night as he'd passed out at some point and had little memory of what happened. The next morning he'd woken in the Casino's presidential suite, a ton of cash laying around and THE ticket. He'd won an all inclusive, all expenses paid holiday to the pleasure resort on Botane IV. The only thing that slightly soured his mood was that he'd had to leave his knife behind. On low-sec stations he could easily get away with his activities. At a high-class resort like this, there would be no chance.

The hostess topped up his glass and turned to walk back to the galley. As she did he slapped her firmly on the backside. She turned and smiled at him before disappearing through the door in the front of his private cabin section.

"Yes. I could get used to this" he thought.

He just had leaned back into the seat and closed his eyes when he felt he ship accelerate and turn heavily. Most people would not have felt the movement but he had spent years on combat vessels and could feel how the artificial gravity flowed. He wondered why the pilot would make such a violent course correction but didn't dwell on it and went back to fantasising about the hostess.

Unbeknown to him, she'd already left the transport ship in a small compact shuttle along with the rest of the ships skeleton crew. The 'staff'' on that transport had been paid mercenaries. They were now en route to the nearest station with a sizable amount of credits and instructions to forget the last 16 hours. Seemo was blissfully unaware that there was only him and the pilot left on the luxury transport craft.

An hour later the unsuspecting passenger's dozing was interrupted as he felt a massive acceleration. He gripped the sides of his chair and his knuckles turned white as the lights in the cabin flickered. It no longer needed Seemo's experience to tell something was wrong, the ship was spinning out of control.

After a few minutes the AV system activated. However, this was no movie on the screen in front of him. It was the face of a man.

"Hello Slasher. Unfortunately I cannot hear you at the moment as this is a recording, but I assume you are begging for your life. Just to let you know I've ejected your cabin into space. The good news for you is that these cabins serve as their own lifeboat. However, the bad news is the power-core don't last too long and I've recalibrate the emergency beacon to a specific, little used, frequency. There are only a few ships in this area that will detect the broadcast. However you still have a slim chance to be found before the life support fails. This is my gift to you, that slim chance of survival. Which is more than you and the others gave my wife and daughter."

The capsuleer! Slasher froze in terror as the screen went black.

It was several hours before he found the nerve to unbuckled his belt and float around the cabin to one of the viewports. The capsuleer was right. He was trapped in this small room with the cold, hard vacuum of space all around. He knew the life-support systems wouldn't last long on emergency power. He was in trouble.

Almost a day had past when he felt a jolt. The blue tinge of a tractor beam flooding in from the windows. He was elated. He had been found and rescued. He was going to live. The capsuleer had failed! However, his joy turned to fear as the door opened and four Amarrians in strange hooded robes entered in silence and surrounded him menacingly.

"Who are you? What do you want with me?"

They did not speak, they simply dragged him into their ship.

Seemo tried to understand what was happening. The ship he was on was Amarrian by design. But the colours were red, like Minmatar rust. For a horrible second he thought Blood Raiders, but he'd been aboard a captured Blood Raider vessel before, this was not the Raiders. They were something else.

He was dragged into some form of ceremonial chamber, stripped and forced him to kneel. They pulled his head back and poured a foul tasting liquid down his throat before they hung him by the wrists from the ceiling before leaving.

"Well this isn't going well!" he thought as he hung alone in the chamber. "Oh well, worst case is I have to play along and convert. I can chant and pray to the Empress until I get to a station where I can escape or call for help."

12 figures in gold and red robes entered the chamber and surrounded him.

"Enjoying yourself Slasher?" the capsuleers voice was inside his head.

"What? What? Where are you?"

"I'm watching from my cloaked ship. The headache you got the morning after the casino was partly the doping I gave you, but also the tiny implant I had installed in your head behind your ear so I could chat to you."

Slasher jumped as the robed figures all stamped their right foot in unison. All together they slipped out of their robes. He was now surrounded by twelve naked Amarrians of both sexes, all holding wicked ceremonial daggers.

"I did a lot of research to find this group especially for you. They are a very old off-shoot of the Blood Raiders. Only a few hundred in number, very little known about them. However, one thing that is known is that the main difference between them and the Raiders is that they think it's wrong to use technology to extract blood. They say it contaminates the holiness of the red liquid. The proper way is slowly bleed your victim, by knife."

Slasher started to panic. He looked down and realised he was hanging above a golden disk set into the floor. It was slightly dished with a drain in the centre.

"Apparently if the 'doner' dies in the first hour it is a bad sign. Therefore the acolytes undergo years of training on how to make small, numerous incisions to drain the blood slowly. They even give you an ancient potion before they start. It's made from natural herbs and stops the blood from clotting. Therefore you can still bleed out from tiny wounds. I heard it described as one of the worst ways to die in the whole of New Eden. Now I'm not sure I agree with that, but I'd love to hear your feedback in an hour or so."

Seemo "Slasher" Kapella took nearly two hours to die. The High Priest decreed his blood was especially holy due to this. The capsuleer didn't agree himself as his cloaked frigate aligned and warped off.


"Seemo Kapella checked out from a casino hotel room three days ago sir." Gantors aide stated.

"Any chance he ran?"

"I would doubt it, the logs showed he boarded a private transport. If he was running he’d have not used a registered transport. The ships tansponder was hacked and investigations shows it was a fake registration. The captain was a Joseph King."

Gantor looked through narrow eyes.

"Are you serious? Docking control didn't pick up on the name Joe King?"

"No sir. The humor obviously went over their heads. We found that ship fourteen jumps away. It had been abandoned and one of the life-boats was missing. We assume the capsuleer piloted the vessel and jettisoned him somewhere. No distress beacon was picked up by the local monitoring stations. It was deep into Blood Raider territory so more likely they picked him up, and, well you know what they do."

"Yes. And it fits. The capsuleer is arranging very specific deaths for that bridge crew. His handle was Slasher so we can assume he was handy with a knife. Probably some connection to the Raiders there.  So the one known as Horse, the one called Bull and the captain left. God only knows how he’s planning to kill those first two!"

"Yes sir, and we've finally got a location on Rico "Bull" Rancher. He's on a station near the Amarr border zone. We've asked agents to pick him up but they have yet to make contact."

"For the sake of the faction get him into protective custody ASAP. I dread to think what cattle-related death the egger has planned for a man named Bull!"


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Can I Haz Ur Blog Post

Just a short one here unless anyone wants to hear about me chasing T1 frigates out of plexes all the FECKING TIME! Seriously! I'm half tempted to quit Eve until the expansion. My timezone is just fecking farmers!!!! Anyway, TL;DR - I'm looking for a few guest blog posts on here whilst I'm on holiday.

At the end of the month I'm off on two weeks holiday. Not only will I be AFK from Eve, I'll be truly AFK. I'm on a dive boat that is heading out to the middle of the Red Sea (Brother islands) and therefore the only computer I'll have is the one strapped to my wrist that uses a theoretical model to calculate the amount of dissolved nitrogen in my body from all of the pressurised air I'll be breathing.

This is my first real holiday away from any form of IT since I started this blog. The only other two week holiday I've had covered Fanfest and a visit back to the UK where I had my laptop and did a few posts to cover the drunken haze that was the Fanfest long weekend.

Most of my posts these days are reactive following something happening on Eve or something I see which gets me thinking. Therefore I'm not sure I can pre-prepare two weeks of blog posts and schedule them up.

I suppose I could put a post up before I go with a "Gone Diving! Be back in two weeks" message and leave it at that. But I've had another idea. I'd like to ask YOU to do a blog post for here! May be you've got something to say, may be you don't fancy saying it on the flame filled, troll infested Eve-O forums and cannot be bothered to start a full blog.

If you fancy writing a post on anything Eve related email me at my character name at gmail dot com and I'll set them to auto-post whilst I'm away.

In fact even if you have your own blog, why not do a post for here and publicise your own blog at the same time?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Angels and Demons and Quake590

After a couple of uneventful solo roams over the weekend I tried my luck for the last time of the weekend on Saturday night. The working week is Sunday to Thursday here so I cannot be online too late, but I want to kill something! The last three outings in Eve over the weekend have left me with balls like a Smurf! So I undocked a throw-away Thrasher and headed out.

After a few systems which are either empty or the war targets are safed up, I enter the system of Pynekastoh and immediately see some smack scrolling in local. There appears to be fighting going on! I look at the list of pilots in system and see no blues, a couple of neutrals, a handful of squids (Caldari militia) as well as a well known pirate, Quake590.

Now those of you who have read this blog for a while will know the name Quake590. I've tussled with him several times before and have never killed him. He's killed me though, far too many times!

There are several plex open and I have a selection of destroyers and frigates on a wide D-scan. I narrow it down and get a couple of destroyers at one plex a few AU off me. It would be risky to warp to the gate at zero. I'm in an artillery fit Thrasher so landing on multiple war target destroyers at zero would not be a good move. I warp to the plex at 70km just in case they are camping the acceleration gate.

I land and there on the gate is a war target Cormorant and Quake590 in a Thrasher. The warp scramble notifications flashing up give me a subtle hint they are fighting. At this point I don't know what I'm going to do exactly but I align to them, activate the mirco warp drive, unload the scan resolution script from my sebo and load mid ranged ammo. When that's all done I'm closing in to the two brawling destroyers fast, I have a targeting range of 47km and an optimum range with my titanium sabot shells of 50km. I'm at 55km from them and closing.

Now to choose one of them to shoot. The squid! I don't know why but I instantly want to kill the war target. I hit lock and barely get the first wave of the locking sound-effects as he explodes. Quake590 has killed another one. Now what? Just Quake590 and me left on the field.....

I'm 45km off him.
He's in ideal optimum range.
He's probably taken heavy damage from the fight with the Cormorant.
My sebo is running unscripted so he's both in targeting range and I'd get a lock pretty fast.

Suddenly I hear two small "puffs" and look to both shoulders. They are here.....

Time flows to a near stop. The manic ginger kitten, who has just leaped off the spare bed to attack a felt mouse on the floor, hovers in the air. The paper that was flapping in the AC's breeze slows to a gentle wave. The silence is suddenly broken.

"Hey Drack baby. Listen to me." is whispered in my right ear.

"This guy has killed you several times. You've never paid him back for those loses. You're not going to get another opportunity like this. He's hurt. If he's got any armour left, its probably not a lot. In fact I'm betting you could target him, go weapons hot and a single volley would kill him. Finally, you'll have a Quake590 kill on your board. Go on, just a simple control-and-click and F1 and you'll have him. In fact go for the pod as well, teach this guy a lesson. You know you want to. He's hurt, finish him!"

"STOP!" is shouted in my left ear.

"Don't listen to her Drackarn. This is not the way you want this to happen is it? Kicking a man when he's down. This would not be a good fight like the ones you've had previously with him. It would be an execution, a gank. Is this what you really want? A squid's sloppy-seconds? I cannot believe you want your first Quake590 kill to be from a single volley on a heavily damaged ship that stands no chance. No that's not how you want your first Quake590 kill to be at all, just warp away, there will be other targets tonight and at some point in the future, you'll beat this guy fair and square in a proper good fight."

They both make excellent points and are both right. However, for me personally, a hot brunette in stockings usually gets what she wants when asking me.

But not this time.

I warp off to the out gate and leave Quake590 to his loot.

As I land he posts in local:-

[ 2012.10.06 17:38:03 ] Quake590 > Drackarn, you're going to hate this
[ 2012.10.06 17:38:11 ] Quake590 > but when you left, I was in half hull :P
[ 2012.10.06 17:38:21 ] Quake590 > if you'd engaged you would've fried me

However there is a war target Hawk and a neutral Caracal Navy Issue on the stargate. Neutral is the wrong word really when you are a pirate, there is no such thing as neutral. They agress and I jump through hoping there isn't a gate camp which there isn't.

I get safe and send an Eve-mail to Quake590 to respond to his post in local and why I didn't attack him. Basically what the chick in white said!

I continue on my planned route down to around Nennamalia area and there is nothing going on. I head back to northern Black Rise and when passing back through Pynekastoh I notice that the squids are back. I warp at range to the same plex gate. Plenty of wrecks there from Quake590's earlier fun, so I sit and wait. Spamming a short range scan shows a Thrasher incoming. He is a neutral and too warped to the gate at range, however he came from the same stargate as me and he lands only 20km off me. My first volley wipes out his shields in one shot, the second volley puts him into half structure and third volley puts him into his pod. His return fire has hardly put me down to 60% shield. I loot his wreck and see why, he was sniper fit. He got unlucky with his chosen warp distance and probably had an 80km optimal with his set-up and ammo. Its likely he came in at 70km hoping to snipe a target on the gate and wasn't expecting me at 50km from the gate. Tremor is not an ideal ammunition choice in a 15-20km brawl.

A minute later a Atron pops up on short-range scan. He lands 25km off and this one is a war target. My first volley puts him into half armour, EMP rounds are not ideal against armour tankers but do I want to spend 10 seconds changing to fusion? He gets a tracking disruptor on me and gets in a closer orbit. A second volley has put him inot structure but now he's on top of me. These revamped frigates are a pain. I stop my guns and align to a gate. I zoom out and watch him orbit me. When he is directly to the side of me, circling around to my aft, I hit the MWD (he had a long point). As I start to make range, the frigate turns into me in order to keep its set orbit distance, the ships transversal drops as he burns towards me and I hit F1. Even with tracking disruptor's, you're going to get hit if you've got no transversal mate. Pop!

So two kills and a cargo hold full of loot. I wait out my GCC from the neutral Thrasher (really, can we make GCC 5 minutes please CCP!) and return home thinking "Should I have popped Quake590 or did I do the right thing?".

P.S. Quake590 got away alive as I have a lot of respect for the guy (in Eve Online/e-respect sense, in real life he might be as bad as the Baby Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells). If it had been any other non-blue I'd have happily ganked them and laughed in a Dr Evil styleeeeee. So don't let this blog post fool you, I'm still a pirate and I'll happily blow up defenceless cyno frigates, industrials and noob ships given half an opportunity! But if you regularly honour 1v1's, give a gf and enjoy a good post fight chat in local then I might let you go in that situation....... maybe......

Friday, October 5, 2012

Vengeance – Part 6

Vengeance – Part 6

"What do you mean they were fed to a pack of slaver hounds?" Gantor exclaimed incredulously as his aide read from the official investigation report.

"That is exactly what the report says sir. Then apparently the MTAC patched the hole in the escape pod and flushed them back into space after the event. A Sisters rescue ship picked them up a few hours later."

Gantor was worried about this turn of event.

"He's obviously no longer bothered about taking prisoners. It’s also a very good sign he repaired the escape pod before he flushed it back into space. It points to that our other crews are likely to be alive somewhere. He doesn't kill needlessly it would seem. But how did he know those officers by name and why kill those two in that manner?"

"The investigator states he has no idea sir. Why stop taking prisoners now? He's not released anyone before that he took on board." stated Gantor's aide.

"May be he has the information he needs? May be it was those two officers he was after?" Gantor mused.

"Well sir if it was these two he was after, may be he'll stop now?"

"I'm not taking that chance. I want full run downs of those two officers he had killed. Any previous ships, stations or outposts they served together on. Get their files up now."

"Yes sir!" said the aide accessing his datapad, bring up the two deceased officer's histories onto the large screen.

Gantor watched the details scroll.

"Stop! Back up! There! There is a 4 month gap in their employment records from about 15 months ago to 19 months ago. What's missing?"

"I'm sorry sir there appears to be a database error. There is no record of that deployment window."

"Cross-reference those two officers, that missing time frame and those newly opened files on 'that' story. This is too much of a coincidence that the dates match up."

"Checking sir. Cross-referencing the date range, the crew and the region..... Mmmmmm, that's strange!"

"What is it?"

"I'm not getting a match for those exact criteria, but the search has flagged up a number of entries that are also missing that exact date range in their record."

"Let me guess, you have one of our combat star-ships and an entire bridge crew missing those dates too!"

"Well yes sir, how did you know?"

"Someone has erased entries to prevent us finding the truth, and if one person on a bridge crew knows something, they all do."

"Well sir, I think you need to speak to the ex-bridge crew of the Destroyer 'Night Terrors' to get answers. There were seven, now there are five. And to make matters worse, that entire bridge crew disbanded and were given separate assignments after their tour on the 'Night Terror' finished."

"I want them all finding and placing into protective custody. Take no chances. Bring them here!"


The Harpy approached the bulbous station. The capsuleer swung his camera drones to allow a better view of the station. He admired the curving lines and domes that clearly showed the station to be of Gallente design. He was looking forward to spending some time away from the Caldari stations he usually visited. Caldari stations offered little in terms of refinement. They were functional. Gallente stations however catered for everyone's needs.

He reached the docking ring and requested docking permission. For standard ships it could take anything from a few minutes to several hours depending on the station and location. Capsuleers were different. The elite of society did not like to be kept waiting. Also being filthy rich meant that station owners did not want to keep them waiting either.

His docking request was processed in a matter of seconds. Powerful tractor beams locked onto the assault ship and pulled it into one of the private capsuleer hangers.

As the pod detached from the assault ship and glided over towards the extraction gantary the capsuleer flicked through the files he had been sent. His target was nothing if not predictable. He had several hours to rest before he needed to move.


Sir, I really advise against this, the details are, well they are most disturbing.
Very well if you insist. I did undertake the medical examinations on both the women.....
....daughter had limited injuries, mostly bruising....
....your wife was in a bad shape.... all likelihood would have die from the injuries she had received....
....evidence of multiple.....
....also facial and whole body bruising consistent with a severe beating....
....numerous shallow knife wounds mainly to the....
... the cause of death for both was explosive decompression....
... I'd like to say they didn't suffer, but the evidence is.....

The capsuleer woke in tears. Through blurry eyes he saw that the station time showed it was early evening.

He shook his head to clear it and headed for the shower before changing and heading down to the bottom decks of the station. This station layout was unfamiliar to him, but they were generally all the same in the lower decks. He'd paid well for the information that had led him here. Now it was time he thought as he passed through the promenade lined with shops and bars. He took out his datapad and checked the route the private investigator had sent him. He saw the entrance to the club as shown in the PI's report.

The club was dimly lit. The capsuleer sat in a booth at the back with a clear view of the front stage. A Gallente woman was dancing on the stage but it was early and the club was quiet. A few patrons were sat around the room, sipping drinks and watching the show. One customer was a woman who was perched on a stool on here own at the edge of the stage, tossing credit chips at the dancer. The dancer scooped them up and danced a little closer and a little more provocatively to the patron each time she tossed a chip. The patron turned to signal the barmaid to bring another drink. The capsuleer just stared at Melisa "Fingers" Tankena.

After the song had finished the dancer picked up her discarded clothing and walked off stage wearing only a pair of high heels. The capsuleer watched the pirate known as Fingers slide off the stool that was in front of the stage and move to one of the booths against the wall. Another dancer took to the stage as a new song started.

He knew the score, he had done it himself a hundred times. The Gallente dancer who had left the stage soon appeared from the staff door and scanned the room. For once the capsuleer avoided eye contact. He saw Fingers wave at the woman when her gaze past that way. She walked over, swaying her hips provocatively.

Even out of earshot, he knew what was being said. Pleasantries first, greetings, an exchange of names, neither one real, then it would be "Would you like a private dance?". Fingers would reply something along the lines of "I was thinking more of partying.", "That can be arranged, how long?", "All night.", "That's a lot of partying!", "You not up for that much partying?", "I didn't say that!", "How much?", "300 credits", "300? That's pretty steep!", "Well that's what it is. And for that you can/I will....". The capsuleer wondered what would be the justification. In the last year he had heard them offer every act, fantasy and perversion known to man to justify the starting price. But this was two women haggling, what would she have offered extra that a normal lover wouldn't? He saw the dancer get up and smile. Fingers handed her a stack of credit-chips discreetly and the dancer approached the bar. “Down payment” thought the capsuleer. Used to "buy her out" of tonight. The club owners wanted their slice if any of the dancers left with a customer. Fingers slipped out of the bar whilst the woman was still paying her employer.

30 minutes later the capsuleer was standing in the corridor near the lift in the residential block. He had a detailed file on Fingers so didn't need to follow her. He knew exactly where she would be. To any watchers he was simply waiting for someone by the lift. There was a buzz as the lift door opened and the dancer from the club stepped out. She looked up and down the corridor not sure of which way to go.

"Lost?" asked the capsuleer. The dancer looked and smiled.

"I'm looking for apartment R348"

He drew his concealed gun and pointed it at her face, the dancer froze.

"And what were you to do when you arrived at the door?"

"I have the passcode." she said with fear in her voice.

"Give it to me." the dancer handed him a napkin from the club with a trembling hand. A ten-digit number had been written on it.

"Here’s ten grand in local credits. I assume that is enough for you to forget me and that you were never here." He handed her a small purse. She tried not to show her reaction but he could see it was a mix of relief and greed. She nodded, backed slowly into the lift and the door slid shut. As it did he saw her smile. After the door closed he headed down the corridor.

He approached the door to apartment R348 and keyed in the passcode. The door opened and he stepped through, still with his gun drawn.

The air in the quarters was hot and sticky. Some form of incense was burning. He could hear moaning. He moved through into the bedroom. Fingers was on the bed naked. Her eyes closed.

"I couldn't wait....... for you...... any longer..... so I...... started..... warming up......" she said between gasps.

"That is a coincidence. You have no idea how long I've waited too!"

Fingers suddenly stopped and opened her eyes. The Capsuleer was stood at the foot of the bed with his blaster pointed at her. She snapped her legs closed keeping one hand to cover herself and used her other arm to cover her chest.

"Who are you and what do you want?" she asked cautiously realising the predicament she was in.

"I want to kill you. As I am going to kill your ex-captain and the other five."

"What are you talking about?" suddenly recollection flashed in her eye's.

"Oh! You are that capsuleer. The..... the one with the Minmatar wife. Look, please don't......"

He simply nodded and pulled the trigger.

A few minutes later Fingers started to come around. She was dazed and confused. She realised she was strapped down to her bed with her wrists bound together and folded across her chest. These bindings were in turn secured to one of the straps that crossed her chest and bound her to the bed. She was unable to move her arms.

"Ah you're awake" the capsuleer turned around and climbed on top of her, sitting on her stomach with a smile.

"What are you going to do with me?" Fingers asked, a tinge of terror in her voice. The capsuleer reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of shears.

"The Amarian slavers use these to trim the claws of their slaver hounds. I got them free with a pack of Slaver hounds I bought recently. After I fed Nutz and Sinner to the hounds I released the hounds into the wild, but I kept these clippers especially for you." the colour from Fingers face drained as he said the words.

"They are very strong clippers, and wickedly sharp." and with that he grabbed a finger and placed the jaws of the shears at the base. Mellisa's eye's went wide with terror .

"Your nickname is Fingers right? I wonder what they'll call you in a few minutes?"

She screamed as he pulled the shears closed and tossed her severed finger onto her chest.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is Faction War Dead....

.... for the next two months?

Before Inferno released we had a great month or two of fighting leading up to the expansion. It was non-stop and a throw back to the 2009 glory days of faction war. We knew Inferno was coming and it would be much harder to take systems. We knew station lock-outs were coming and we needed to defend our space. We knew capturing enemy station systems would hurt them badly. It was a great time to be in faction war. It was fighting, fighting and more fighting. I recall one battle that lasted about 8 hours. We wanted to kick the squids out of one of their home systems and they weren't going anywhere without a fight. It was a great day and even required someone to do jump freighter runs to bring more ships into the enemy system so we could keep going. It was the great 2012 land-grab and we fought for control of those systems as Inferno approached. Ah yes, happy days!

Now we're into the same time frame before the next expansion, Retribution. And what do we have? Great PvP? Lots of fighting?

No. In fact last few roams I've done have been.... quiet.

If we don't have lots of fighting, what do we have in the warzone?

We have Incursuses. Erm, Incursuseseses? I mean Incursi? Or is it Incursii? What the frack is the plural for an Incursus?

Incursus. A small inoffensive ship which is offending me big style. Go for a roam around Black Rise now with your D-scanner open and what do you see? A lot of the aforementioned ships. Here, I went for a roam last night trying to get some PvP but just got D-scan screen shots which I've stuck together....

The ships are named "Not AFK, I'll run", "No guns", "Farming", "stabbed plexer" and other imaginative names. But it all boils down to one thing, farming of LP's. There is no peak-time for this activity. It's all the time with people at work running Eve minimised in the background. Low skill point alt with no implants - so what if it gets podded.

The official description of the Incursus is the following:-

The Incursus may be found both spearheading and bulwarking Gallente military operations. Its speed makes it excellent for skirmishing duties, while its resilience helps it outlast its opponents on the battlefield. Incursus-class ships move together in groups and can quickly and effectively gang up on ships many times their size and overwhelm them. In recent years the Incursus has increasingly found its way into the hands of pirates, who love its aggressive appearance. 

Really that needs changing for now:-
The Incursus may be found speed-tanking Caldari military operations. Its speed makes it excellent for avoiding NPC rat fire, while its resilience helps it helps it outlast the timer in the plex. Incursus-class ships move solo and can quickly and effectively run away if any PvP shows up as they have no guns. In recent months the Incursus has increasingly found its way into the hands of farmers, who love its ability to AFK speed tank. 

It wouldn't be so bad but it seems the Caldari are logging on Gallente alts to farm their own plexes.

The great FW gravy train of 2012 has two months and a day left before coming to a grinding halt as CCP shut off the ISK faucet. And it would seem everyone is determined to make as much cash as they can between now and then.

By December everyone in faction war will have a super carrier, twelve Vindicators and enough faction modules to choke a Titan, but will have forgot how to PvP!

If there are any players* around Black Rise wanting some actual PvP I can be found roaming from Nisuwa. Just listen out for the grumbling about farmers and the lack of PvP action, you'll find me!

*Not you Quake590, you can **** off :P