Friday, February 28, 2014

To Catch a Cheat

Friday Fiction! Escape pod here.

To Catch a Cheat

Mya woke and instantly knew she was in terrible danger. A filthy rag was stuffed in her mouth and she was tied to the top of some sort of table or bench. She couldn't see much but she appeared to be in an old factory or warehouse. Two men were talking nearby.

"What do you want us to do boss?"
"Chateaubriand her and dump her exactly halfway between Vinetti's place and the sty. Whichever of those two sent her will get the message."

Mya screamed though the gag. She wanted to tell them they were so wrong. Her mind raced trying to think what they meant by "Chateaubriand her". She knew the name was for a traditional Gallente beef roast but she also knew dinner was not on their minds.

"Oh, she's awake. You want me to question her boss?"
"Nah, leave the gag in. To be honest I really don't care for the 'why'. Just do it. I wanna hit the sack soon and loud screaming will wake me up too much and make it hard for me to sleep."


Three days earlier.....

Roden Shipyards Planetary Foundry,  Girande City, Mies III

"Philipe is having an affair." Rebbois suddenly stated as she sipped her coffee.

"WHAT?" Mya exclaimed, putting her cup down.

The two women worked for Roden Shipyards in the amour foundry on Mies III. The corporation didn't have many planet-side offices, preferring to operate from space-stations. However they did own several planet-side foundries which used space-elevators to ferry completed parts into space. This particular installation provided construction parts for frigate class ships. Rebbois worked on the front desk whilst Mya was in the human resources section. The two had become friends and regularly timed their breaks to coincide so they could meet for a coffee in the canteen and have a chat. Whilst Mya was single, Rebbois had been married to Philipe for six years. He worked in marketing for a local pharmaceutical firm. Selling medicines and health supplements to the big chain-stores all over the planet. Whilst Mya had never met him, what Rebbois had told her about him made this revelation shocking.

"He told you this?"

"No. I just put the clues together. He's too clever to be caught and hasn't the balls to admit it."

"How did you find out?"

"He was on another of these far-to-regular business trips. I was trying to do some bank transfers but couldn't remember the passcode. His communicator was off so I called the hotel. They said he'd checked out the day before."

"May be they made a mistake?"

"I thought that too. But I started looking around more carefully. I found receipts from various clubs and restaurants hidden in his closet. He hadn't been dining alone either looking at the bills. I started carefully noting what clothes he took away on business trips, the shirts didn't always come back, he bought new ones whilst he was away. I guess he got lipstick or something worse on them and threw them away. I even found he has a secret bank account. Bastard didn't want me finding out about how much he is spending on that bitch."

"Rebbois, deary. That is all a bit circumstantial. Are you sure you aren't jumping to conclusions? The receipts were probably working lunches and the men getting together at the bar. You know what they are like. I believe the name for guys buying shirts instead of having the old ones cleaned is 'man laundry' or something."

"Maybe. That's where I need your help."

Mya looked at her in shock.

"Me?" she asked "What can I do?.

"Yes, you. You are young, very attractive, just his type and he's never met you. I want you to be my bait."


Three days later.....

Hisanatic Hotel, Avigan City, Mies III

"Well frack you, you ball-less pussy. Run to her if you must. You can run all the way to Goon space for all I care."

Mya slammed the communicator down on the bar and picked up and downed the remainder of her drink.

"Asshat" she muttered under her breath but loud enough for people to hear.

She casually glanced at herself in the mirror behind the bar. She had to admit that she did look stunning. Rebbois  had taken her shopping and bought her a whole new outfit. They'd spent the afternoon at a spa before going back to Mya's to get her ready for tonight. Rebbois's husband was away at a conference and Rebbois had said that she would meet up with him in the evening as it was only an hours shuttle ride away. That way he'd be certain to be alone, no point making arrangements with your mistress if your wife is coming was her reasoning. Philipe regularly visited Avigan city, too regularly in fact. Rebbois's plan was simple, she'd call her husband saying she wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be coming after all. Mya would be in the bar dressed to kill and would be the honey trap. Her new handbag contained a small hidden camera. As well as racy lingerie, the seductive dress and killer heels, they'd also visited a shop that sold surveillance equipment. They'd bought a ladies handbag that contained a built in camera and recording device. Mya would let Rebbois's husband seduce her, get him into bed in just their underwear to get the incriminating footage. Then she would change her mind and leave before they did anything other than kiss. So far everything had gone well. She had entered the bar and seen Rebbois's husband already there. She had taken a seat two down from him at the bar. A message was sent to Rebbois that it was time and she had called Philipe, so he now knew she wasn't coming. The call Mya had just received was also from Rebbois and was the start of the trap.

"Man trouble?" a voice to her left asked.

Mya turned around and smiled at Philipe. The game was on.

"Aren't you lot always trouble!" she laughed.

He smiled and nodded. He attracted the barman's attention and ordered himself a vodka and Quaffe and told the barman to replace Mya's drink.

"Thank you. You didn't have to. No need to take pity on me just because I've been stood up!"

"Well I have been stood up too" he replied lifting his drink "So here's to being stood up!"

Mya lifted her glass to return the toast, angling her bag to make sure she captured him making the first move.


A while later they were both sat together in a booth and on their forth drink and chatting like old friends.

"So, are you married?" Mya asked. Philipe paused.

"Why do you ask?" he replied finally.

"Just wondering." she was thinking how to follow that up without raising suspicion. "Its just my non-appearing date tonight. He's married. I'm not proud of it. I'm not sure why I do it. Is it because the best men are already taken or is it because I'm attracted to married men?"

She inwardly smiled at how she'd managed to turn that around. Philipe laughed.

"So you are a scarlet woman then." he said jokingly.

"You are avoiding my question." she purred.

"Perhaps I like being a man of mystery" he replied.

Mya smiled back and excused herself. She went to the ladies restroom and thought about calling Rebbois but decided against it. What would she say? Her husband did appear to be interested in her work colleague? She touched up her make-up and perfume and returned to the table. The drinks had been refreshed.

"Are you trying to get me drunk Philipe?" she laughed. He just smiled.

As she sat she purposely crossed her legs allowing the split in her skirt to fall open. She saw his eyes dart down and then back up before darting down again. The lace top of her stockings and the shiny black satin strap of the suspender belt obviously attracted his attention as Rebbois had told her it would.

"So, we're not going to have an angry wife storming in tonight are we? Does she live close enough to come and find you here?"

"You seem to be very interested in my marital status." Philipe stated bluntly.

"Shit!" thought Mya, too much.

"Sorry. Its just I'm a bit worried that your wife, making the assumption that you are married, might walk into the bar at any moment and I could end up wearing my drink." She shifted in her seat slightly. Now her leg brushed his and she saw his eyes drop to the slit in her skirt again. Rebbois had chosen Mya's lingerie especially to trap her own husband. She placed her hand on his thigh and lent in. Rebbois had given strict boundaries. She could do flirty touches but no more. The only kissing she should do was right before she made out that she had changed her mind. "I'm feeling a bit low after being stood up and having an altercation with an angry wife is not going to make things any better."

He placed his hand on her leg and gave a gentle squeeze.

"Do you want to go somewhere more private that we can chat?" he asked.

She smiled and nodded. Checkmate.


Mya took a deep breath and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She was stood there only in her heels and lingerie in the en-suite bathroom of his suite at the hotel. Her dress was draped over the side of the bath. So far nothing had happened. They'd simply gone up to his room and had a drink and a chat. She'd flirted and shown more leg and it was clear he was interested. However, he still wouldn't reveal anything about Rebbois. So she had excused herself and gone to the bathroom. She decided it was time to accelerate things so had stripped off. It was time to make her move.

She opened the door and walked into the room. Philipe's jaw dropped open seeing her in just heels, stockings and lingerie.

"No more talking." she purred.

He stood and approached her.

"This is it!" she thought, glancing at her handbag. She'd angled it perfectly to capture the moment. Just a kiss, push him onto the bed, roll around to make sure the camera captured him enjoying himself. Then, as soon as he tried to remove any of her underwear, she'd have her 'change of heart' and leave in a hurry.

As Philipe was nearly at her. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small black cylinder.

"What's tha......" Mya had started to ask when he sprayed the vaporiser in her face and she fell to the floor.


The bump of the vehicle woke her. It was pitch black. Her hands were tied behind her back and her ankles were lashed together. A gag prevented her from shouting. She listened, she could hear a voice over the quiet hum of the engine. It was Phillipe, it sounded like he was talking on a communicator to someone. She strained to listen.

"No trouble. I clocked her at the bar straight away before she even made contact with me. It was obvious. Worst honey trap ever. She even had one of those off-the-shelf-shit-secret-agent-camera-bags. It was amateur night."
"Yeah that's the one, the gold one with the silver trim. Unbelievable!"
"Well I played along, let her think she was pulling me in. I assumed she was a cop, but then she started asking if I was married and wouldn't stop."
"Look, you know I keep my personal and professional life separate. There is no way I am getting Rebbois mixed up in this shitty business we are in. I need to protect the woman I love from harm. You know exactly what the rival gangs would do if they found out I had a wife and were she was."
"That's right."
"No, I've got Cook with me. He helped me get her out of the hotel."
"No, she's still alive, we've got her in the trunk. I want to send a message."
"The old factory."
"No, a normal 'ho' wouldn't have the hidden camera bag. Plus she's never been seen in that bar before. The barman's on our payroll and I asked. She could be a cop looking to blackmail me in order to try and get me to turn snitch. You know, turn grass or we'll show this recording to your wife. She also might be working for the Vinetti's and wanted to repay me for the job we did on 'Parotte The Slasher's' girl when he started muscling in on our territory. You know, find out if I have a woman, where she is, grab her and do a similar job on her for revenge. To be honest I don't know which one she is and frankly I don't care."
"Yes, absolutely. Cook will take care of it in a way that sends a message to which ever one sent her. You don't mess with the Serps."

"Serps!" thought Mya in absolute terror. "He's not having an affair. He works for the Serpentis crime syndicate!"

The vehicle stopped and she heard doors slamming and then footsteps. Suddenly the trunk opened and she saw Philipe for a second, screaming madly she wasn't a cop or part of a trap by a rival crime organisation but the gag simply meant she couldn't be understood. Philipe looked at her in disgust before he sprayed her in the face again and she blacked out.


Rebbois walked into the staff canteen and looked around. Mya wasn't there. Their usual table was empty. Philipe had arrived home two nights ago and been his usual self. She could see through the 'loving husband' act now knowing what he was getting up to. However she had played along too. She wanted the tape and the evidence before confronting him. Where was she? She was supposed to be here! They agreed not to contact each other until they returned to work after the weekend to be on the safe side.

Rebbois left the canteen and wandered up to the HR office. She was now very worried. Had Mya gone too far? Had she actually slept with Phillipe? Is that why she didn't turn up at the canteen, she couldn't face her after sleeping with her husband? Was there nobody she could trust? Rebbois felt anger and betrayal at the thought. She entered the HR office and saw Mya's desk empty.

"Where's Mya?" she asked worriedly.

"We don't know." replied one of the girls. "She hasn't turned up and nobody can reach her."


In the city morgue in Avigan Doctor Moolis was cleaning up when a man entered.

"Ah Detective! Was just about to call you."

The detective nodded. "You got the prelims then Doc?" he asked.

"Yes. Well you don't need a degree in forensic medicine to see someone seriously pissed of some local Serpentis. Their usual MO. Her blood-work is flooded with high-grade Whizz. The attackers gave her a massive dose of the recreational pharmaceutical to prevent her passing out from pain. 100% pure too, she must have been buzzing. They probably could have cut that dose and sold it in nightclubs to Whizz-heads for 50k easy. Cost was not an issue here. Usual thing, ankles and wrists were secured with chains. I have some rust samples that embedded into her flesh whilst she was thrashing about. It'll tell you nothing though. Most hardware shops sell the same chain all over the continent. An Oxi-Plamsa blowtorch was used on her. Marks indicate a small flame from a handheld unit. Must have taken an hour or so for him, or them, to do her entire body. She was conscious for most of it thanks to the Whizz they gave her. They dumped the body in the alley and she appears to have lasted an hour or so after than. A slow and very nasty way to go Detective."

The cop just shrugged.

"To be honest I think we'll find she was no innocent victim. Serps save this treatment for someone who have really pissed them off. Especially wasting that much high-grade Whizz on her. I'm guessing she was from the Vinetti mob and was trying to seriously inconvenience one of their lieutenants or something like that. Either that or she was the girl of one of Vinetti's men and the Serps thought he needed punishing for something he did against them. These broads like the lifestyle of dating a gangster but never think of the consequences."

The doctor cleared his throat.

"Well Detective, then you'd be wrong. I just got the dental records search back."

The Doctor passed the Detective a datapad. His forehead furrowed as he read it.

"She's from out of town. A HR officer from the Roden foundry one city over? That makes no sense."

"No it doesn't Detective. I think someone may have made a very, very bad mistake!"

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Threesome Without Satisfaction

I'm trying to at least get some PvP every day currently. As I have previously mentioned on here, I got an old mate a job out here and he's staying at mine whilst he finds a place to live. This means I am being a bit more sociable than usual. Not quite Fanfest levels of drinking but close enough as I introduce him to life in the desert!

Anyway I popped on the other night to find farming squids infesting our core station systems. Condors mostly that ran at first sight, but I entered one Plex in my Kestrel to find a squid Incursus and Corax there. Whoops! I had assumed one would be friendly! 

I panicked thinking "I need to warp off quick because if they point me I'll likely die in a .... oh, never-mind they ran off". Seriously? My Kestrel verses an Incursus and a Corax????

Luckily the Corax landed on a friendly and got kersplatted and I soom got tired of chasing his mate so I jumped into a different system. I scanned the plex in turn and got a Tristan on scan at a small plex. I swapped to a Tristan myself and entered the plex. Nothing there. Quick long scan. Nothing.

Cloaky asshat! Common Caldari Militia fit. With the Tristans flight of five drones you don't need to lock the rat, your drones will agro him automatically when he fires. Therefore you can fit cloaks and stabs until your hearts content and not bother about the locking issue!

I decided to run the timer down a bit but had only been going a couple of minutes when I got a Federation Navy Comet on short scan. I had a few seconds to make a decision, I decide to stay.

The Tristan I was flying was an unusual fit. It was artillary cannon with a NOS. A 5k optimal on the guns along with web and scram means its outside the usual optimal for blasters using high-dps ammo. He's in..... bugger it, I'll give it a go, need some PvP after all this chasing around Benny Hill style! Only problem was this neutral Comet who was looking for a fight wasn't blaster fit, he was railgun. Doh.

The fight was progressing fairly evenly with a slight advantage to the Comet. I had to overheat my AAR and guns to keep up and that got us both bouncing structure. Then that bloody Tristan uncloaks some 30km away and starts slow boating over. My AAR was soon out of nanite paste and was burning cap. However, the artillery cannons don't need cap and my NOS was helping keep my tackle and repper going. My issue was the repper was badly damaged and I really needed to take the overheat off before the repper burnt out completely. I was sure once the overheat was off the Comet would kill me, but if I left it on it would burn out any time now.

That bloody squid cannot have had a prop mod. It was like Sir Lancelot charging forward in the Holy Grail to save the "princess". I'm busy with this Comet but I'm conscience of this Tristan with his drones out slowly advancing but not yet yellow boxing.

Soon enough the Squid Tristan was almost on me as the Comet slowly started losing structure properly. I assumed the repper had finally capped him out. But it appeared that he had a DCU as he was not going down fast enough. At about 8km the Tristan finally locks me and engages, why so close I wondered at the time?

I'm in structure but my repper is helping to pull some armour back every cycle and the Comet finally pops. I'm in 70% structure and turn my attention to that Tristan. Thankfully he has Warriors on me and I'm able to make range from his blasters. However my structure is dropping and I've not even got him out out of shield. At 5km his blasters are ineffective but his drones are still damaging me. I am wondering if to switch my DPS to his drones when my next artillary volley puts him into armour. Deep into armour in one shot. WTF? He then promptly warps off.

I give the Comet pilot a GF in local and just cannot think of what to post to the Caldari Miltia pilot who tried to gank me in....

..... a cloaky.....

..... shield tanked....

....twin (or more) warpcore stabbed....


Ahhhhhhhh. So that is why he had to get so close. He couldn't lock me from anything but spitting distance!

Then the ultimate insult......



Monday, February 24, 2014

Next NeX

Generally the Noble Exchange has been a bit of a let down. It was created pre-Incarna and was supposed to help us customise our Avatars in return for real-life space kredits! However as you never see other peoples avatars in game (unless you do through a few steps and why would you want to) there is no real point to those fancy boots is there? If Incarna had been properly done and we'd got communal areas then avatar customisation would have taken off.

Until we get proper 'Walking in Stations' the NeX store will used mainly for eye-wear only unless you have a thing about dressing up your avatar for your own personal viewing pleasure! At Fanfest 2013 Hilmar trolled us with 'the door' finally saying "may be next year". Who knows if we'll hear plans in May at Fanfest.

But what else could the NeX store sell? Weapons and modules?

Hey, steady! My Nerd-Rage Detector just spiked. Before you start commenting about pay-to-win I want you to read the following statement..

"Eve ALREADY has Pay-To-Win"

Yes, yes it does. Go to account management and buy some plex. Now sell those plex in Jita for 600+ credits a pop. Now you have lots and lots of ISK to buy silly priced ships and modules.

Within minutes you can have a faction cruiser fit with faction modules that is more powerful than a T2 fit but you don't need high skills to use. Stick in some hi-grade implants and you are there! P-T-W is already here and has been since the ability to buy PLEX was introduced. The fact is, in Eve, no matter how powerful your are, it is very easy for you to lose everything. That expensive cruiser can still die horribly to a few kiting frigates that cost only a couple of million if they are set up right. This makes P-T-W an expensive and unappealing way to play Eve Online.

However, the main issue here is that by putting modules in the NeX store CCP would be 'magicing' modules out of thin air. Currently faction modules are normal modules converted with ISK, LP and rat tags. You need a T1 version which was made or looted by someone else to turn into a faction version. You also may need tags that have also been looted by other players. Officer, deadspace and COSMOS modules are looted by, or rewarded to, other players who then sell them on. It is this 'bottom up' economy that makes Eve what it is.

No, modules and ammo won't work in the NeX store without harming the economy.

So what else can we put in there?

I was thinking about those fireworks we get occasionally as gifts! NeX store will work best with vanity/silly items. Ship skins, decels and the like are obvious but more difficult to implement I would guess. Festival launchers, snowball launchers and the like have traditionally been gifted to players by CCP. What if you could buy these in the NeX?

I'd buy some. And I still have all my Aurum on Drack, he's never spent a penny of the free Aurum that has been handed out over the years. But what about more?

Fireworks are nice, but what about firework bombs!

Work like null-sec bombs but need a special launcher that works in hi-sec and low-sec. These could be fun and also helpful as people could use them to practice bombing runs without anyone getting hurt.

How about rapid firework launchers? Get the party cruisers going!

Must be some fun stuff they can put in there for fun and get the Aurum flowing. Cash for CCP is good for Eve!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

SCASSSS - Ultimate Condor Fit

Its a very short Sand, Cider and Spaceships Special Sunday Short today. A fellow QCat caught this 'defending' the system of Hirri for the Caldari Militia. The fact that this abomination to spaceship fitting can 'defend' anything shows how silly the mechanics are currently.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Out of Retirement

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

I've really struggled for a piece this week. Last Friday's, the Valentines piece, I though was one of my better pieces and it did get some great feedback. But I've been struggling to come up with a story for this for this week. Its Thursday as I write this and with an afternoon session lined up and subsequent hangover tomorrow, if I don't get something wrote now, I'm in trouble.

So given another event that happened in the last few days I've done a piece that won't mean a lot to most people, but the old DnD, SoTF, Gal Mil and Nisuwa residents hopefully will enjoy!

Out of Retirement

The door to the bar silently slid open. The man who stood behind it didn't enter, he just remained still, looking in, as if remembering. It was late and the lights in the bar were dim and the music was sedate. Several patrons were sat in the various booths and at the tables, but it was generally quiet in the bar.

The man finally entered and walked towards the bar. The room itself was expensive and classy. Wood panelling with chrome fittings. On a space station plastics and tritanium were the common construction materials. Wood was seen as an extravagance they didn't need nor could afford generally. But this was a high-level deck at the very top of the space-station, home to the elite of society. Men and women who could control vast starships with their minds. They were rich, powerful and immortal. They were the capsuleers.

The barman was busy stretching to place a bottle on the top shelf with his back to the approaching stranger. As the stranger neared the bar the barman froze for a fraction of a second, and then resumed placing the bottle in the gap on the top shelf.

"I heard you'd quit. Gone planet-side." the barman said without turning.

The stranger reached the bar and leant against it, surveying the establishment.

"I did. 15 months living a normal life." he finally replied.

The barman scoffed.

"Yeah right. You damn eggers don't have a clue what a normal life is. You probably had more money saved than the average economic output of a small planet. Normal life? Bollocks! Try living on my salary for a week."

The barman finally turned and smiled at the stranger. The stranger had aged in the 15 months since he'd been there. Even though the barman had known the capsuleer for years he'd never seen him age more than a few months at a time. Death to a capsuleer was a minor inconvenience. Their brain was scanned at their moment of death and transmitted faster-than-light to a new clone. They only aged if they wanted to.

"What in divinities edge is THAT!" ask the barman pointing to the capsuleers stomach.

"Hey! Steady! Being re-cloned constantly means you don't need to exercise. This, Mac, is 15-months of good living." he said with a laugh, patting his paunch. "Don't worry, now I'm back I'm sure I'll die and be in a new slimline clone soon enough!"

The barman nodded and picked up a wine glass and produced a bottle of fine Amarrian Red. Without asking he poured the capsuleer a glass and placed it in front of him.

"So are any of the old guys still about?" the capsuleer asked as he sipped the vintage.

"Yeah, well some never really left. S810 jr is running your old crew now, although there are not that many of them still around these parts. Most moved on in one way or another. Those with the Gallente fighting spirit are still here. Annie, Ratch, Dread. They are all flying with the QCats these days and you can find them still on station. Several of the old crew went and joined the Rooks and Kings alliance. Some even headed for null-sec to bear away. Hell, Jared even joined the fracking Goons!"

"What about the old directors?"

The barman looked thoughtful for a while.

"Not seen much of Tekitha and Sajuk. They came back for a short while, tried to help the Caldari Militia capture the system. That damn week hit my profits hard. Too much fighting, not enough drinking. Although I heard Sajuk has been spotted in local recently. S810 jr is still here as I said, as is Drackarn, he's still flying with the QCats. Actually you can find him at his usual booth, man that pod-jokey keeps my profits up with his booze and the girls! Eelis and Rashmika quit like you, but they appear to be better at it. Last I heard they had a kid and Rashmika was into horse riding of all things. Makes a change from an interceptor I guess! Star's not been seen in a long time. To be honest the old Shadows are gone. Scattered to the four corners of the cluster. Sorry, but you've been gone too long. A lot has changed."

The capsuleer gave the barman a knowing smile and took another sip of wine.

"You know Mac, for someone who serves us capsuleers all the time you don't know a lot about us."

At that moment the door to the bar opened. An Amarrian in a robe entered, the hood obscuring his features. He was followed by an Intaki man with short red hair and then a bald headed Gallente man.

"That's not....." the barman squinted in the gloom "Sajuk, Jared and... Wlady?"

"We are capsuleers Mac. We are all about the rebirth. You should know that by now. If you'll excuse me...." and with that the capsuleer left the bar and walked over to one of the booths in the corner leaving the barman to serve the newcomers.

On the table in the booth was a half empty bottle of expensive Gallente Vodka with three glasses. Sat opposite was another man with a pair of scantily clad woman sat either side of him. The man with the bar-girls looked up at the approaching capsuleer, arching an eyebrow in curiosity.

"So, you're back then?" commented Drackarn casually as he picked up and sipped on his vodka.

The two bar girls turned their attention to the new-comer that their date for the night had just addressed. The stranger just stood there, smiled and nodded his head slightly.

"Yes." replied Gallactica "I'm back."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stab the Stabs

Last week I posted that the Caldari Militia Farmers were back with vengeance. As they hit tier 3, I spend more and more time Benny Hilling around our core station systems trying to keep them from capturing complexes which would ultimately lock us out of our home systems.

These null-bear alts don't care about the war, they are just here to farm LP which reduces the fun of the game for us real faction war players. This Eve Online not a Wack-a-Mole Online. CCP Manifest (Assuming it was Ned) posted on Facebook yesterday the standard Caldari Militia* Condor Fit.

My earlier idea for nerfing warp core stabs by increasing power grid for them was not popular due to the knock-on effect on fitting an effective tank. But the issue is the current targeting debuff caused by stabs doesn't stop farmers. They don't care they need to get close to the rat to target it. They don't care it takes 30 seconds to lock it. A Merlin is fine for most plex as its point-blank range usually anyway. A Tristan with a full rack of stabs is also fine. Enter plex, deploy drones, set to aggressive, rat attacks, dead rat, receive LP, no real risk.

So how about some REAL debuffs to warp core stabs:-

  • -80% to launcher and turret rate of fire.
  • -80% to drone damage.
  • Turns ship hull pink.

OK, so that last one is a bit tongue in cheek. However the top two might actually work effectively. It doesn't effect ships that need to be stabbed such as industrialists and transports venturing into low-sec. You can still tank your travel-fit ship and have a chance of burning back to gate if the camp has more points than you have stabs.

Stabs do not belong on a ship that is in faction war unless you are transporting. So lets then apply a direct debuff to the ships combat abilities when you add warp core stabilisers. Add two stabs, and you pretty much cannot kill anything. You can still get your transport through low-sec. You can still travel fit your battlecruiser. What you cannot do is fit stabs AND fight. If you cannot kill that NPC rat in a faction war plex then you cannot get the timer to run down. Turn on rat re-spawns and we are sorted.

Job done.

Either that or Shadows of The Federation should re-form, join the Gallente Militia again, get Gallactica back into Eve and help out so I can spend more time roaming for PvP than chasing stabbed LP farmers.

What? They are? Super job!

*Caldari Militia? Yes, I just looked on today's kills so far and only the first page:-

Monday, February 17, 2014

BB53 - Blast it, Wedge, Where Are You?

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 53rd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *

Today's topic comes from a tweet from @erlendur in a conversation he was having with a pilot about having multiple overview tabs open in separate windows:

So that is the topic this month: The Overview. Is it sufficient? If not how can it be improved? Is there some way to replace it? Does it give too much information, or not enough? Please be creative and specific as the overview currently is the heartbeat of the GUI.

Right. The overview. Where to start? Its very complicated!

In fact doesn't that just sum up Eve? Its very complicated. When I started thinking about how we could improve the overview I realised that it wouldn't be easy simply because there are so many play-styles. Everybody needs a different overview for each style of play. My overview would be no use to a logi pilot or a ratter or a cap pilot or a miner!

My overview is actually very simple... to me. Rats and space junk are off. Blues, corp, alliance and fleet are off. Neutrals, bad standing, war targets and same militia are on. That may surprise some but current overview settings are "Same Militia/Allied Militia". Therefore if I turn Gallente off I also turn Minmatar off. With many Minmatar 'anti pirate' and with me being, well, security status challenged, I need them on the overview! I have stations, gates and the sun on, planets and moons off.

But I don't do logistics on Drack, I have an alt for that if needed. I don't fly supercaps so don't need an overview showing only battleship and bigger. I very rarely get involved with fighters or fighter-bombers. So don't need them on either. But others do. Asteroids? Well they certainly don't need to be on there for me. But they are utterly essential for other players.

But that is just the object types. For the things I want to show on my overview what information is required? What do I need to know as a minimum when murdering important internet spaceships?

Transversal Velocity

Range is obvious. Is the target is weapon/point/web/neut/drone range? Either I am attacking or I am running. In either case I need to know! But I need to read and understand what the overview is telling me. 16km? So he's in range of my point, 60% over optimal of my guns and well out of web range.

Speed is also obvious. Are they AB or MWD? How soon will they be in or out of range of my offensive modules? Am I gaining on them? Am I getting away?

Transversal velocity is important for me to know as it shows how easy the target is to hit with guns.

Militia lets me know if they might not attack me (Gallente), might attack me (Minmatar), will attack me (Amarr) or may be attack me or more likely cloak up or run away as they are triple stabbed (Caldari).

How can we make all this more simple?

Here is the issue. The overview needs massive customisation ability to suit all the play-styles, but needs to be simple to use. How the hell can we do that? Well maybe we can simplify some of the overview text or numerals.

My car (a Honda) does not have a rev counter. I have a coloured bar. When I am driving at low revs its green. When I put my foot down it changes colour to let me know my revs are getting high/ my fuel economy just went through the floor. Could something like that be used for Transversal velocity verses the tracking speed of your guns. Green means that your guns can track fine, say 90%, as it progresses to orange (60-75%) when its getting more difficult to track them and when its fully red (10%) you might as well use harsh language because you aren't going to hit them with those guns!

Militia could be faction symbols. OK its not a massive change but you don't have to read what's there, just glance. Could point, web, neut and gun/missile range be highlighted similarly? If the point symbol is green its in range, if its orange its within overheated range, it its red its out of range.

Distance is a very important thing on the overview. But why? We want to know if the ship is in point range, web range, scram range and weapon range. Could icons be used to highlight these distances so you know at a glance? Your offensive modules appear as mini icons in the overview line. Bright means 'In Range' and washed out means 'Out of range'.

Less reading? More glancing?

Mmmmm after mocking that up I'm not sure actually. But it is a start on a train of thought. My graphic skills are poor, but that's sort of an idea. Icons rather than spreadsheets with just numbers?

*And yes Wedge was the original I remember. If you are thinking Biggs, then you have been 'Lucased' by the enhanced edition.... also Han shot first!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

SCASSSS - Its a Small Galaxy

My kills have been down last few days. I've finally got an old mate a job over here in the real sandbox (aka the Middle East) and been showing him around the city and introducing him to people etc. Flooded England to hot and sunny desert has been a big change for him and I've been busy easing him in*!

I've known him for over ten years from when we worked together in the early noughties and again a few years later before I left the UK. I got him into Eve (with help of another of his mates) in 2009 but he went the Carebear route to start (sensible). So technically in-game, other than I used to buy blue pills off him, we have no connection. He lives as part of a NPC 0.0 alliance somewhere, I live in in low-sec in Black Rise.

So on Friday night we are waiting for a taxi to take us to the club and he's checking his phone.

"Oh, one of your guys just killed one of ours!"

I looked at the killboard and sure enough there had been a starship murder. As one member of House of Cards is ka-splatted by a QCat, there is another member of House of Cards and another QCat waiting for a taxi in the middle of the desert going to get a drink!

Its a small world both in Eve Online and here on planet Earth!

*To the expat lifestyle! -.-

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Night of the Lovers

Friday Fiction! Escape pod here. (edit - Sindel's Universe appears to be down? Alternative here.)

Well it is Friday, it is also the 14th of the month. The month being February. Yup its Valentines Day! You did remember right? You didn't forget? Anyway, a more racy than usual Friday Fiction given the day today. Therefore if you are not interested in 49 Shades of Caldari Blue-Grey take the escape pod above! Its also slightly longer at 3,500 words than my usual target of 2,500. I guess I got a bit carried away!

Actually, are you still reading this or are you trying to make a restaurant reservation in a panic or already out of the door to buy some flowers whilst swearing?

The Night of the Lovers

The hybrid rounds slammed into the back wall of the restaurant throwing wood splitters all around. It was funny, even though Rachel knew her life was in imminent danger all she could think of was how much that wood panelling cost. Wood was considered a huge luxury on a space station. Her date lent around the up-turned table that they were hiding behind and fired his gun at the unseen attackers. The report from the pistol was deafening at such close range. He took cover behind the table as the assailants returned fired. He fired another clip blindly over the top of the table as more automatic gunfire raked the restaurant, thudding against the table.

"So what do you want to do after this? A nightclub?" her blind-date asked with his wicked smile before diving out from behind the table firing his gun at the attackers again.

Four hours earlier...

Rachel stood over the open draw and looked down at the collection of cotton garments. She ran a finger over them and shook her head, silently cursing her meddling sister.

"Its a stupid tradition anyway!" she thought to herself.

Nobody really knew the origins of 'Night of the Lovers', all that was known was that it was a very ancient tradition. Many different academics and scholars had argued the origins of the day. However, nobody in the cluster of stars known as New Eden had ever heard of Valentines Day. The Night of Lovers was actually based on that very celebration from ancient Earth. The original Terran settlers of Gallente Prime in the Luminaire system had kept the tradition going for millennia even after memories of the planet it came from were lost.

Rachel had been planning a night in alone with a 'chick-flick' holo-movie and an industrial-sized tub of ice cream. It had not been a good few months for her. She had caught Mal, her now ex-fiancé, screwing her boss at a drunken works party. In one single night she'd lost the man she loved and her job when she'd slapped her boss before kneeing Mal between the legs. Whilst she had found a new job, she was in no rush to meet another man. Then her sister had come round earlier in the week and seen the state she was in.

"You need to get your love-life back on track and I'm going to sort that!" her kid sister had declared. Apparently her boyfriend had a brother and he was going to be visiting the station for the weekend. Of course it had to coincide with 'Lovers Night' didn't it. Every couple in the Federation would be out on dates enjoying themselves with the person they loved. Now she was going to be stuck having a blind-date with her sisters boyfriend's brother. Her sisters words hung in her head.

"He's in logistics apparently. On some sort of spacecraft, I know its not exciting but he's single, same age and its good practice for you! His brother says he's long-term single so there must be something wrong with him but anyway, you need the practice for when you meet Mr Right, right?"

She'd refused initially, but her sister was very persuasive. So she had asked her what this brother actually looked like. She replied that she'd never seen him and her boyfriend rarely talked about him. In fact he'd refused to set up the blind date initially. Then she had then informed him that if he didn't set up the date then she'd go to Rachel's for 'The Night of the Lovers' to have a girly night in. Apparently he had called his brother straight away as he didn't want to miss the special thing she did on that night. Rachel didn't want to know that the 'special thing' was that her kid sister did for her boyfriend that once a year!

Now four days later and it was the Night of the Lovers and her blind-date.

She looked down in her hand at the 'everyday' underwear she'd plucked out of the draw. Not really what she'd choose to wear on a 'hot date', but this date wasn't going to be hot. The plan was to dress down. Her plain black trouser suit was hung ready on the back of the door with a sensible pair of black flat shoes beneath them.

"Well, he's not going to see them, but may be I should dress up?" she thought, replacing the sensible garments back in the draw and opening the next draw down. A draw she hadn't bothered opening since Mal ran off. It contained skimpy lace and silk. "May be I should treat this as a practice run of a proper hot-date? After six years in a steady relationship with one man, I might be a bit rusty! Plus it is an excuse to get dressed up!"

Two hours later she studied herself in the full length mirror. The plain black trouser suit was still there hung on the back of the door. A smile crept onto her face as she looked at her reflection. It was the old her. The red dress she decided on was sexy but tasteful. It showed a hint of cleavage but not too much. The split in the side was high enough to show plenty of leg, but not high enough to reveal the tops of the expensive silk stockings she wore. Her shoes were glossy red and the highest heels she could comfortably walk in. The underwear she wore was usually reserved for special nights with her ex-lover. Finally she'd put her best jewellery on, the diamond necklace given to her by her grandmother. Yes, she thought, when I decide I want a man in my life, this is the look that will have them falling at my feet! She turned around to make sure the lingerie didn't show any tell-tail lines through the dress. Her hair and make-up were perfect. She was ready.

She grabbed her bag and coat, had one last glance in the mirror, smiled at herself, and headed out of the apartment.


Rachel followed the directions to deck 9. She had never been to this upper deck before and certainly not to this restaurant. It was too high up in the station, much higher than she was used to. Generally on space-stations, the higher the deck, the more expensive and exclusive it was. She felt a small pang of guilt. This guy was obviously trying to impress her, logistics surely couldn't pay this well. She thought about the situation. She using this poor guy for dating practice. There she was, dressed to kill, letting him take her to a posh restaurant and then she would leave him hanging at the end of the night. She felt as if she'd just kicked a puppy. She decided then that she would insist on paying half the bill. It would only be fair. Rachel was now regretted dressing like she had, it was only going to lead him on, get his hopes up. The boring, long-term single, probably unattractive man was going to have his hopes raised to the heavens, and then cruelly dashed when she wasn't interested in seeing him again.

"What am I doing?" she thought to herself as she entered the posh restaurant. Even paying for half the meal seemed wrong. She should have worn the boring trouser suit, the sensible flat shoes and the boring underwear. She had made a big mistake. Before she could turn and leave the maitre d' approached her and offered to take her coat. It was too late now.

"Good evening mademoiselle, do you have a reservation?"

The maitre d' spoke with an upperclass, olde-world Gallente accent she'd only ever heard in the movies. She felt very out of place here.

"No. I mean yes. I mean I'm meeting someone. Drako Valadin."

"Ah Oui! Mr Valadin is already here. Please follow me."

The maitre d' led her into the restaurant's dining room. She could feel all eyes on her. It felt good after hiding away for the last few months. She suppressed a laugh as she saw one gawping man with his mouth hanging open receive a swift kick under the table from his date who was now scowling at him. She looked around to where the maitre d' was leading her. It appeared they were heading to the corner. That must be him, but that couldn't be him! In the corner table sat a man about her age. He was amazing looking, no man who looked like that would ever need to go on a blind date. He must have had a queue of beautiful women begging to spend Lovers Night with him. He wore an expensive suit and his hair and designer stubble were immaculate. He looked like the lead hero from a spy movie. As they approached he looked up, smiled and stood. He held out his hand. Rachel took it and he brought her hand to his face and kissed the back of it.

"Rachel, it is an utter delight to meet you. You look absolutely stunning." he said in a deep, gravelly voice that sent a shiver down her spine.

She thanked him for the compliment as he pulled her chair out for her and she sat. He took his seat and leant forward.

"I must say, when my brother asked me to do this I was a bit hesitant. Blind dates are certainly something I have not done before. But, I am so glad I came."

Rachel smiled and replied she felt the same as the waitress placed a napkin in her lap.


The dinner flew by. He was indeed single as her sister had said. He wasn't just in logistics, he captained his very own starship and was constantly on the move. He described it as a lucrative but lonely life. He wanted to know more about her and most of her questions directed at him were answered quickly and honestly and then steered back to her. She was again surprised, in the past when she'd met truly beautiful men like him they wanted to talk about themselves all the time. Not this man, he appeared truly interested in her as a person.

Soon they were finishing their deserts and drinking cups of hot, rich, black coffee. Rachel started to worry that time was running out. Her plan originally was to pay half the bill, thank him for a wonderful night (even though she expected it to be utterly dull), say she had an early start in the morning and with a peck on the cheek make a run for it. Now she didn't want the night to end. She couldn't invite him back to her apartment could she? The way her heart was pounding, she knew it was what she wanted. He'd already said in a roundabout way he couldn't commit to a relationship, his career meant he was always on the move. She didn't care, if all she could have was one night then she would take it. She wanted him desperately. Just one night with her charming, intelligent, funny and beautiful spaceship captain.

He looked up, but he wasn't looking at her, it was almost as if he was looking directly through her. A thousand yard stare.

"Well I hate to spoil a wonderful night, but I'm afraid I must." he said with a tinge of sadness in his voice.

Rachel's heart sank. There she was, planning to take him to bed, fantasising about what she was going to do to him, but he was going to reject her before she'd got there. Thank god he had done it now, it would have been humiliating if she had made a move, invited him back to hers and then been rejected at that point. She felt deflated. She was looking her absolute best and this man wasn't even interested in her even for a one-night-stand. Was there something wrong with her she though?

He reached into his jacket an she assumed he was going for his wallet to pay. Instead he pulled out a gun.

She froze in fear as he pointed it towards her and the muzzle of the gun flashed, blinding her for a second. The bang hurt her ears and she felt the heat of the bullet as it sped past her cheek. Time appeared to slow. She was aware of screaming behind her. Her date was rising from his chair, the gun was still firing. It was as if it was all in slow motion. She sat there in horror as he flipped the heavy table on its side and grabbed her, pulling her towards him. As she spun around she spotted a man face down on the floor behind her, a gun was still clenched in his lifeless hand. A pool of bright red blood was spreading out from under his body. She was pulled to the floor as automatic gun fire raked the restaurant. Her date smiled reassuringly at her before kneeling up over the upturned table and opening fire at the attackers. He ducked back down behind the table as they returned fire.

"Douvalle Labs assault rifles! Nice weapons! They've spent a bit more on trying to kill me this time!" he said, still grinning, whilst reloading his pistol.

"So what do you want to do after this? A nightclub? I'll be right back! Don't go anywhere!" her blind-date said with a wicked smile before diving out from behind the table firing his gun at the attackers. He rolled into cover behind a pillar by the wall, winked at here and sprinted out of view.


Rachel was sat with her back to the upturned table, frozen with fear and confusion. It had been a whole minute since her date had dived from behind the table firing his gun and had vanished. Had he left her to the mercy of the gunmen? The firing had stopped. Had they left? Three more shots suddenly rang out and then more silence. She dared to peak over the table. The restaurant was ruined. Smashed tables and broken plates were everywhere. The walls were riddled with bullet holes she saw two bodies laying dead in the mess. Through the slight mist of smoke that lingered, her date was walking towards her casually, with the gun still in his hand swaying at his side. He looked impeccable in his suit and a cheeky half-smile even though he had just been in a fire-fight and killed who knows how many men.

"Are you OK?" he asked as he held out his hand.

She took his hand and he pulled her to her feet.

"What happened?" is all she could say still in a daze.

"Well in my line of work, the competition is murder, literally. I didn't expect them to find me here especially as I only arrived a few hours ago. Anyway, I think we'd better leave."

He tossed some credit chips onto a table. Although she only got a glimpse of them they looked like ten thousand credit chips. Ten of them. More than she earned in five years. He led her out of the back door of the dining room and through the kitchens holding her hand tightly. The chefs and cooks were all hiding behind the counters watching this beautiful couple carefully. None dared to challenge them. Her date opened a door and they emerged into an alley behind the restaurant.

"Who ARE you?" Rachel asked as her date looked both ways carefully checking for any threats.

"I'm a capsuleer. I move 'things'. These guys have been hired by a rival corporation to stop me moving said things. If they destroy my ship it doesn't help them much as I am re-cloned. However, if they can kill me outside my capsule then I am permanently dead. Don't worry, I've dealt with amateurs like this before. There were four of them out front that I took care of, so where are the other two? They always come in sixes!"

A shot rang out. Her date pushed her against the wall of the alley and shielded her with his own body. He was pressed hard against her, sandwiching her between him and the wall. He returned fire, his single shot hitting the assailant square in the chest.

"As I said, armatures. A 50 metre shot with a pistol? Not going to happen without an optical implant. These idiots always shoot too early and give themselves away."

"But, you hit him!" Rachel stated.

"As I said" he replied with a smile "optical implants. I can hit at these ranges, they cannot. Also very useful for noticing other things too." he grinned at her.

She saw the intensity in his eyes, his body was still pressed hard against hers from when he was shielding her against the gunman. He didn't appear to be in a hurry to move. The wall was cold against her back but his body was hot against her front.

"Like what?" she croaked, her emotional state barely allowing her to speak.

Her date lent in close and put his mouth by her ear. She could smell his expensive aftershave. It did nothing to calm her down. She was worried he would feel how fast her heart was beating against his chest as he whispered in her ear.

"We capslueers tend to have a range of implants you cannot see. I have an improved optical implant that increases my perception far above a normal persons. This helps me in piloting my starship, improves my ain when firing a gun and it is also useful when on a date with a beautiful woman. For example, I know by the skin tone on your finger that you were engaged, but not for a few months now. The necklace you wear is old. Its a Vashkahian diamond, that diamond mine was destroyed 80 years ago. An old family heirloom? I know you are wearing stockings under that incredible sexy dress. I spotted the tiny bulge in the material where your suspender belt is attached to them. See, its not just the fire-fight that has my heart thumping, you've been driving me crazy all night." Rachel was glad he wasn't looking at her face as she was sure she had turned scarlet. "I can also see that our missing 'Mr Six' is 44 point five metres away and slowly creeping up to us thinking I haven't seen him. He also has a rather large forehead. That makes it easy for me!"

The capsuleer brought his arm up at frightening speed and fired once without turning even his head. Rachel snapped her head around to see the approaching man drop to the ground on his knees, a small red dot in the very centre of his forehead. As he fell forward, a pistol clattered to the floor at his side.

"That should be the last of them." he stated whilst holstering his gun, "I am truly sorry to have put you through that. I was having a wonderful night before they...."

He was cut short as Rachel span around and pushed him hard against the wall and kissed him passionately. Her tongue diving deep into his mouth. She brought her leg up and wrapped it around his hip. He returned the kiss with the same level of passion and she felt his hand drop to her thigh and he held it tight against him. His fingers stroked the exposed flesh above the lace stocking tops. Finally she withdrew from him.

"Do you have somewhere we can go?" she asked breathlessly?

The capsuleer gave her his trademark smile.


"Where have you been?" her sister shouted "I've been worried sick about you!".

"Its your fault." Rachel laughed "The blind-date you set me up with took me for a spin on his ship!"

"You've been flying around in a rusty hauler for a day and a half?" her sister asked incredulously.

"Well not exactly." Rachel laughed "He flies something slightly better than a rusty hauler!"

"Oh my god! You went all the way on a blind-date! You filthy cow!" her sister laughed, relaxing now knowing her sister was safe. "You utter slut! You shagged my boyfriends brother!" she continued to joke.

Rachel smiled and thought of asking her sister if she'd ever been 'all the way' on a first date in a capsuleers executive suite on board a top-of-the-line battleship? Had she ever made love in zero-gravity whilst a panoramic window gave a breathtaking view overlooking a plasma planet? She decided to keep that special moment for herself.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Farmers - They're Baaaaaaaack

Earlier this week the Caldari Militia hit tier 3 warzone control. Suddenly the farmers are out in force. Last night I was Benny Hilling around our core systems to chase the farmers away. I am really starting to hate this mechanic.

Basically it is whack-a-mole where the moles are running at 5x speed. And if you lose the game you will lose your house and all the possessions in it!

Tuesday's 'weapon of choice' for the Caldari miltia was the cloaking Condor. Seriously, a cloaking Condor. I managed to snag four of them but failed many more times. At one point I was triple boxing to try and stop the plexes being captured.

I had a look and I have 55 million cubic metres of ships and 5-years worth of stuffz in Nisuwa station. To be locked out of there because of cloaky Condors would be rage-inducing!

Currently CCP don't care as far as I can tell. Faction war was 'fixed' in the previous expansions and they have been too busy with Odyssey and Rubicon to implement any of the simple fixes suggested ('Button' targets to prevent cloaking, rats respawning, counters rolling back, nerf stabs on combat ships, do anything to stop the bloody farming!!!!).

Tuesday's session actually started off well. First I went for an Incursus. Using a dual web Kestrel I was able to keep him at 7.5km and slowly kill him. I say slowly as it was a dual rep Incursus. Now these dual rep Incursus are popular because they are bloody tough. Ideal for the current breed of risk adverse Eve players we are seeing in the Caldari Miltia. However, they need to have a cap booster to run the two reps without capping out. With point and prop-mod that leaves no space for a web. Therefore you have a blaster boat that does not have much DPS (all tank in lows and rigs) and doesn't have anything to control range. Therefore it is easy for a ship with a web to dictate range. Bad news for a blaster boat. His drone died in short order, I made sure he was primary as soon as launched. Then I just hammered him with rockets watching the dual reps undo my lovely work until he ran out of cap charges. At least this guy died with dignity. Had a squid at weekend with the same fit begging randoms in local for help to save him* (and he attacked me!).

Next up was a Caracal I found running a medium plex. I swapped to a Caracal too and went for him. He was T1 heavy missile with no damage mod and no rigs. Against my T2 HAM Caracal he went down fast.

Then I spotted a Thrasher in a small plex. I docked and then had issues choosing a Thrasher. I've got too many varieties in my hanger! In the end I went for a 10mn. If the target was AC I could dictate range, if he was arty I had to hope I chose the right ammo! In the end he was AC, no tank at all (not even rigs) and well off the warp in. Bang! And the squid is gone.

Then there was another Incursus. I tried the same tactic but this guy had better skills. Plus he also had sense to load Null in his blasters. He was tanking like a.... well like a tank! He was slowly plinking away at my buffer. After 5 minutes of trading blows I had no idea how many more cap booster charges he had left but my armour was about 30%. As I previously said about dual tank Incursus, they have no range control. So I simply burnt off and warped away. I jumped in a different ship but by the time I had undocked he'd left system. Did he only have one booster charge left and if I'd stayed I'd have won? I guess I'll never know.

Then it was time for the great Nisuwa Condor harvest. First one I chased ran out of system, but I saw he went into the deadend system nextdoor. I stuck Drack in a Cockbag Thrasher on the gate and used an alt to Benny Hill the squid until he left. BOOM. Minus one stabbed Condor. BOOM. Minus one 40m ISK pod. That'll teach you not to fit stabs!

The next three Condors were all the same. I'd swapped into my gank-sniper Kestrel and had to decloak two of them. Pro-tip guys. If I SEE you cloak up I'm going to burn for that spot and decloak you with any luck. Three dead Condors, two dropper Proto cloaks. I guess 2.6m ISK is better than nothing.

Finally a Hookbill! Yes a proper ship! A good fight to be had here! Point.... and he warps.


He tries to run plex but is scanning constantly and warps off every time someone gets near. Finally he leaves system. Wait... Hookbill is still on scan! He logged. Shit! How much agro does he have? Any sort of combat action against or from you starts a 15 minute time. If you quit during that, your ship will warp 1,000,000km in a random direction and will wait there until the timer runs out.

I get on a probing alt. I find a frigate. I narrow it down. DAMN IT! Wrong one! I find another, narrow it down, HOOKBILL! I get 100%, I warp! There he is! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

And as my prober is dropping out of warp.... the ship vanishes. Time was up. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

*Nobody came and he died cold and alone with people laughing at him for being such a sissy.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Doh-ver Heating

In Rubicon 1.1, CCP allowed you to overheat a lot more modules than you used to be able to. Sensor boosters, target painters, tracking computers! All good stuff. I have Thermodynamics V trained as I love a bit of overheating.

Many times overheating is the difference between winning and losing, it really can make that much of a difference. Lets take a look at that staple of my hanger, the Cockbag Thrasher.

Normally I overheat my guns. This decreases the cycle time by 15% and thus increases the DPS from 295 to 345. For a Cockbag this is essential as it allows you to get that all important second volley off before when the target is still trying to decide "fight or flight?" or was trying to warp but you caught him and he needs to decide what the smeg to do now.

On some rare occasions I also overheat my warp disruptor. This usually happens when I am on a gate and a war target lands on me. I jump through and reapproach hoping he'll jump too. With no prop mod, it can take a while for the Thrasher to get back to gate. You really need to be on the gate as your guns optimal range is the same as the normal decloak distance. If that enemy that landed on you jumped quickly, he could easily decloak over 24km from you. Overheating the point gives you an extra 4km and a overall range of 28km.

But now following Rubicon 1.1 you can also overheat your SeBos. A standard Cockbag has a scan resolution of 1078mm with 2011mm with sebo's running. Overheating the SeBos gives you a yummy 2234mm.

To be honest you are not gaining a massive amount here as it takes you at least two seconds to point something and this you cannot get around as it is server mechanics. The server hamsters rotate their wheel once every second, this is also known as a 'server tick'. Every command takes a minimum of a server tick to register and you need to give two seperate commands that cannot be done at the same time.

1. Lock that asshat
2. Activate the warp disruptor on the locked target.

Even if you have a scan resolution of OVER 9000 you cannot lock a ship faster than one second simply because it takes one server tick. Then you need to activate the point which takes, you guessed it, one server tick. So when a target escapes and people blame 'module lag' what they actually mean is that the ship got into warp in less than two seconds. If a ship enters warp in 1.9 seconds you won't point it, even though it appears to be locked on your client.

"WTF my point didn't activate!!!!"

It would have if the target had stayed around for a complete server tick after it was locked. You cannot catch 'em all!

Now I'm finding a slight issue with the new overheating mechanics. I keep forgetting that I've overheated the sensor booster modules! Worst still is that the SeBos are fairly tough little buggers. They will burn out your warp disruptor before they burn themselves out. I need to get into practice of turning off the overheat on these new modules. I've not missed a target yet because my overheated SeBo's burnt out my point, but its going to happen.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

SCASSSS - Monumental

So after a 7-day countdown on the community website, CCP unveiled a micro-site showing the monument to Eve Online and its players they are planning to erect. I felt that the reaction to this was a bit like the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones. Dudes, we've known about this for nearly a year, we knew it was coming, why the shock and surprise? Anyway, the reactions can generally be grouped up into about five different categories looking at social media and the forums.

1. Great idea!
2. Nice idea, but seriously, a 7-day countdown for that? Expectation management much?
3. Meh. Whatever. Haliwali.
5. Oooooo, a devious marketing and money grabbing ploy! Think of all the people who will sub/resub to get on there!

I am firmly in camp 2.

The monument will list names of the all our main characters on each account that is actively subbed (not trial accounts I assume) on 1st March 2014.

However, it has been pointed out that when CCP take the snap-shop of the names of the highest skill point character on every subbed account on 1st March... who is going to review those half a million or more names? 

I mean, its not like Eve players would burn a PLEX to create an account just to troll is it?

They wouldn't.... would they.....?

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Adjustment Spa

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.

The Adjustment Spa

Brarel looked at the datapad one last time before he entered his office. He quickly scanned the details of the potential client, committing them to memory and then entered the room. The man was sat in front of his desk flicking through his own datapad.

"Game face on!" thought Brarel and walked over to the man with a smile. They shook hands and Brarel took his place at the other side of the desk.

"So sir, you were inquiring about a special package here?"

"Yes, for my wife." the man replied.

Brarel could see the money. The man wore a suit that must have cost thousands. His discrete jewellery may have looked simple, but Brarel knew expense when he saw it. Brarel also knew the make and model of the watch, it was hugely expensive. This man was a high roller and did not appear to be faking it. Obviously the man could still be a cop. The suit hired, the jewellery and watch fakes.

"Well I'm sure one of our sales executives could have taken care of you. We here at Heavenly Spa provide the best body treatments and...." the Client cut him off.

"Its not her body I want adjusting. Its her mind."

"Ah I see. Well our relaxation and therapy packages..."

The Client held up is hand.

"Mr Brarel, I am a busy man and I understand your need for discretion. Given the line of business you are really in I am more than certain you have done a full background check on me. Let us save time and cut to the chase. I know a Mr Kokseri and his wife very well."

Brarel steepled his fingers under his chin. "Sorry, I don't know a Mr Kokseri." Brarel replied giving nothing away.

"I'm sure. Just as if anyone comes to you tomorrow and asks about me, you'll not know me either will you?"

Brarel nodded slightly with a smile. Still he had to be careful. The man across from him checked out as a banker from New Caldari but records can be forged.

"Mr Brarel, I want a similar package for my wife. I understand we are talking 30 million local."

Brarel weighed the risk in his head. Continuing the conversation put him at danger of arrest and incarceration from a few decades. However, the background check on this man showed he was a likely candidate. He also possibly knew Mr Kokseri as he claimed, a recent previous customer. They were from the same station and were both finance high-rollers. He needed one last check.

"Could I see your watch please?"

The Client raised an eyebrow at the strange request but unclipped the watch and passed it to Brarel. He gave it a quick look, thats all he needed to see it wasn't a fake but the genuine article, and passed it back to the Client.

"Well sir, I am sure we can meet your needs. What do you know about the process?"

"Nothing much. Mr Kokseri, who you don't know, said it was similar to the process capsuleers use to survive destruction of their ships. Then you use some sort of system similar how they learn new skills so quickly to alter the brain? All Empyrean technology apparently and very effective."

Brarel smiled and nodded.

"A very simple explanation, but essentially correct. Basically during the initial treatment we take DNA from your wife and take an extremely detailed body scan. We then grow her a clone. This clone is a perfect copy of her in every way. Then during a massage on the last day we use oils containing a powerful sleep agent. She will then be transferred to a secure facility where we will scan her brain. Before implanting her conscience back into the clone we can adjust some aspects of her personality, for example her likes and dislikes. Then we burn the altered consciousness into the clones brain and return here to the treatment room. She wakes from her massage none the wiser. The only real issue is the skin. Ageing and weathering of the skin cannot be replicated. Doing the transfer at the end of a two weeks stay allows us time not only to grow the clone, but also to give her lots of skin treatments so when she leaves the soft skin is explainable."

"So I can do anything I like to her personality?"

"Oh no sir. We can only make adjustments in certain areas. Generally this is tweaking likes and dislikes. For example if she spends too much on handbags we can 'dial that down' for you or if she is too jealous and needy, that we can decrease that too."

"Really? They are your most common examples?" the Client asked sceptically.

"Well no sir. Our usual requests are, well of a more intimate nature."

"Like getting your wife to share your own fantasies."

"Well sir that is certainly possible. With our technique it is possible for us to change her views from something that she would never do to something she really enjoys."

"Like turning pain into pleasure?" the Client asked with a smile.

Brarel returned the smile and nodded slightly. This man obviously knew Mr Kokseri. Two months ago Mr Kokseri had brought his wife in for adjustment. He recalled that the man was a sadist who wanted his wife to be more receptive to his requests. A fairly simple procedure. The pleasure and pain centres of the brain were closely connected and a little bit of rewiring in that area was easy.

"Sir, we can do that yes. In fact its one of the more simple processes."

The Client reached into his pocket jacket pocket. "Here comes the money" Brarel thought. Suddenly he was staring down the barrel of a gun.

"How did you get that in here?" Brarel stammered in fear. "We have weapon scanners!"

The Client tilted the gun to one side as if appraising it.

"Gallente Federation Security Services Prototype. The material is a carbon-plastic compound. Next-generation molecular engineering. Your scanners didn't detect a gun. The rounds are again a special polymer and are discharged uses graviton acceleration to fire the projectile at sub-sonic speeds. Your scanners didn't detect any ammunition or explosives. It is a good little weapon. Gets through even the most sophisticated scanners. Obviously it has draw backs. To remain silent the projectiles are rather slow compared to normal rounds so even the most basic body armour will stop them. The graviton forces exerted during firing mean the structural integrity of the gun only lasts one clip. Then you have to throw it away. See, no magazine, no way to reload. The 12 rounds are sealed inside when it is built. But even with all these drawbacks, and the huge expense for a 12-shot disposable gun. It is effective."

Brarel opened his mouth but it was too late. There were six quiet pops and he collapsed back in his chair. He was still alive when the Client walk around the desk and looked at him.

"Why?" Brarel croaked, his torso covered in blood.

"Mr Kokseri, he's my brother-in-law."

Brarel made the connection.

"That's right. My sister is his wife. Was his wife. She died during one of their 'games' two weeks ago. The Police investigated but the scum-bag had recorded their sessions. The cops were shown a holo-recording of her begging for it harder and more extreme. Case closed, death by misadventure. Everything was consensual. No charges were brought as she was the one encouraging him to do those awful things to her. I knew that wasn't her in the video. I knew something had changed. So I hired a very expensive investigation team to dig deep. To be honest I was expecting the holo to be faked and that pervert had forced her. But they investigated deeply and followed the money. The money never lies. Thirty million to a spa seemed a bit excessive. So then they looked into your outfit. Clone reanimation units, neural scanners and burners, external learning accelerators. Not the usual massage tables and treadmills spas usually purchase. Finally they led me to you."

"Please...." Brarel begged "I didn't mean to do any harm! Please I am in so much pain!"

"Don't worry, those six shots will kill you shortly. I'd offer to finish you off but I won't for two reasons. Firstly I aimed purposely to ensure you had a slow and painful death, just like my sister. Tied to that bed as that sadist whipped her until she bled. I've never been shot in the stomach even once, never mind six times. However I was told it would be the best place if I wanted the target to die slowly and in pain. Secondly I wasn't 100% sure of the investigator's report until about 5 minutes ago. You confirmed everything. So these last six bullets are for my dearest brother-in-law. However, I will be aiming slightly lower than his stomach for that monster."

Brarel continued to beg for his life as the man made for the door. As the Client adjusted his collar Brarel saw a glimpse of metal on the back of his neck. An implant socket. The man was a capsuleer. Brarel fell silent. He knew then begging an Empyrean to spare his would be pointless.


One week later....

"Detective, what can I do for you." Captain Annins was sat as his desk as the detective knocked and entered.

"Sorry to bother you cap, but we got a strange one. You know the new law enforcement sharing protocols, well we have got our first hit."

The captain gestured for the detective to sit. In the cluster of stars known as New Eden there were countless law enforcement agencies. And in a place you could travel light-years in seconds or jump instantaneously from one solar system to the next it was almost impossible to fully work together. A new system had been put in place where agencies could highlight crimes on a map and the system would highlight if there there was more than one agency investigating the area.

"What highlighted the flag?"

"The murder last week of the owner at the orbital spa at planet 7."

"Oh yeah, I remember that one. The forensic boys had never seen slugs like them. Some sort of 'secret agent shit' is how they described it right?"

"Thats right Cap. No motive, no suspect, no evidence. Complete dead-end. Anyway, 3 hours ago an Egger in a Raven class battleship turns up and blasts the place to pieces! CONCORD flagged it as a capsuleer crime but the sharing system still flagged it to us given our active investigation."

The Captain looked puzzled.

"A professional hit on the owner followed by a Capsuleer turning up to destroy the place a week later? That is.... strange. Any casualties?"

"None sir. The staff abandoned the orbital as soon as the torpedoes started flying. And there is more. A third crime was also highlighted."

The detective slid the datapad across the desk and the Captain picked it up and read it. The Captain pulled a pained expression.

"A banker, killed in his apartment, body wasn't found for 3 days, recently lost his wife... He was shot six times below the belt! Ouch! Someone wanted to depart painfully." the Captain exclaimed.

"Yeah. And you'll never guess the type of slugs."

"Secret agent shit?"

"Secret agent shit!"

"This is getting heavy Detective. Advanced weapons, Capsuleers, destroyed orbitals. We might need some support on this..."

At that moment another man stuck his head around the door. It was the Detective's partner.

"You guys need to see this! We just received an anonymous data package sent to our servers. The first file was a schematic of one of those slugs. No details, I think he just wants us to know this is from 'him'. The rest, well its, evidence against that spa. Cap, you'll never believe what was going on there!"

The detective passed the datapad to the Captain. He flicked through the files.

"OK, check this out. If its genuine, close the case. If that spa was doing what this suggests then I don't want to pursue it. The owner is dead so the only case to answer is the destruction of the spa. I'm not going there! Unless, either of you fancy trying to bring charges against a Capsuleer?"

The two detectives shook their heads.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Its The Final Countdown

In a few hours the clock that has been ticking down on the Community site for the last week will reach zero. Then.... checkmate?

Nobody seems to know what it is for. It could potentially be a huge let down. Its been hyped up but what will it be? Anyway in a few hours we'll find out....

The hashtag #countdownguesses has been running a long list of possibilities with the #tweetfleet on Twitter. Mostly very humorous. Here are some of my guess of a more serious nature...

A Live Event?
Its possible this is leading up to some live event. Confirmation the Jove are extinct? The Sansha make their 'big push'. Angry CONCORD Guy gets REALLY ANGRY as we've been visiting Ghost Sites when he specifically told us not to?

The Summer Expansion?
In my view possible but unlikely. We are too close to Fanfest for major game announcements aren't we? They save that sort of thing for us paying thousands to visit Iceland... right? Right???

Project X?
Ripard Teg's Winter Summit notes listed a couple of "schuper scheekrit" new projects he couldn't talk about. Spin off games? The mobile strategy that was announced early last year has brought us...... well nothing that I know of so far. There was talk at FF13 about some DUSTy thing on the PS Vita thing. But nothing since. How about Eve Offline, the 80's style scrolling shooter that was on an arcade machine at Fanfest? Coming to a mobile near you soon(tm)?

Eve Valkyrie?
Oculus Rift is still not on the open market so no point making a countdown for a game that they cannot release is there? Pointless for advanced notice as it would be a countdown for a countdown? Isn't it.....?

The Eve Mini Series?
At Fanfest 2013 Hilmar revealed they were planning to do a Game of Thrones/Broadwalk Empire style Eve mini-series. Its been very quiet on that front since.

The Fanfest Line-up?
This was my guess and I think this is most likely. The countdown is on the community site after all. The countdown finishes on a Wednesday 12 weeks exactly before Fanfest. Will Hilmar allow the Permaband Shanghai Exiles to return so we can HTFU live? Will there be a FW round-table? Will we get told anything this year or will it be like last year "Remember the PoS revamp rage! DO NOT TELL THEM ANYTHING! Just use the word 'imagine' a lot and then tell the DUST514 players about all the cool stuff thats coming for them!" (I'm soooo bitter this days).

Something DUSTy?
Yes I know the countdown is not on the DUST site. I'm just still mad at Fanfest 13 where the DUST guys got told about lots of great plans and "look at this cool shit we making for you" and we Eve players got to told to imagine on some vague topics.

The Eve-O Comic Book?
Another Fanfest 2013 reveal. Players submitted their 'True Stories' in 2013 with some to be made into comics for the book. Since that it appears to have been fairly quiet again.

We'll see very soon.....