Thursday, 27 December 2012

Mission: Get a Fight

It's about 20.30 EVE time and I feel like fighting someone after months and months of mostly PVE. I want to get a kill, preferably not a gank.

Location: Kurniainen, The Bleak Lands, station whatever-it's-called-there's-only-one-anyway.
Ship: cookie-cutter blaster Talos

Local shows mostly faction warfare fighters in system. Undock, scan out beacons, there they are. I don't feel like going into plexes in a kiting battlecruiser so instead I hang out at range from the entry gate. Lots of people, many of them flashy, move in but nobody chases me. No luck baiting in a belt either. Time to move.

Oyonata, Sahtogas. Two FW Cynabals on gate immediately engage me. A tempting situation but d-scan shows plenty of other ships in space and I suspect this will end badly for me. Re-approach the gate, jump back. I linger on the other side, giving them a chance to de-aggress and follow but, just like I suspected, they are not going to take risks.

Kovorix or Kil2 would have probably soloed them and their support as well.

Let's go the other way: Sosan, Tararan, Asghed... WTF dude, wrong turn... Tararan, Arzad, Ezzara, Vard, Siseide - nothing really interesting. Time to visit Mother Amamake.

Lots of PL people in local, caps and supers on scan. Warp to cyno to see what's going on but it looks like simple midpointing. Warp around for a while, choose a FW beacon, warp in at range and wait.

Fortunately, this time I don't have to wait long. An Omen soon warped in about 20 kilometres away from me and started burning in my direction.

This was a very good position for me to start a fight as the Omen's potential reinforcements could not warp directly to him so I was glad to return fire when he started pointing and shooting me.

I was already aligned so I just turned on my MWD and overloaded it to make sure the cruiser does not get under my guns.

It only took a few overloaded Neutron Blaster Cannon II volleys to turn the glass cannon Omen into a wreck.

Scoop the loot, dock and repair. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

High Sec Is Rough

What happens when you find s 4/10 in Caldari high sec space which is already being run by someone else?

A lot of insults and a bounty.

EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Alikara
Blue101 > dont be a fagot
Blue101 > leave
Blue101 > waht a huge fagot
manbelly big > 12 b&
Blue101 > fuck you
Blue101 > u fuckign peice of shit

Bounty placed on you
Sent: 2012.12.22 20:49

Blue101 placed 3 000 000 ISK in bounty on your head.

The loot was crap by the way.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Plex Wars

Running DED complexes in Cladari lowsec can be insanely profitable.

My associate's Tengu more than paid for itself with loot from just two 5/10 plexes: a B-Type Medium Shield Booster and a B-Type Invulnerability Field.

But with higher rewards comes higher risk and stronger competition. While in the Bleak Lands one can run dozens of plexes undisturbed, in Caldari space someone will probably finish a 4/10 before you are done probing it down.

Last night, my associate spotted a number of cosmic signatures on scan in Hakonen as well as two Tengus and a cloud of core scanner probes, a clear indication of exploration activity. As he scrambled to pinpoint the sites, I came into Hakonen myself in a covops frigate and decided to try scaring off competition with combat probes.

My associate resolved a 4/10 and started clearing it - a very easy task in a Tengu but we had to be on alert, switching back and forth between overview tabs to kill rats and check for probes or incoming ships. Unfortunately, the site only produced a shield trasnfer mod, not worth much.

I returned to probing and located a 6/10 in the same system, already being run by one of the Tengus I had seen earlier. The pilot welcomed me in local as my covops went in to check his progress, meaning he had a cloaked scout outside. I moved on and found him in the middle of clearing the second room out of four.

Well, if he refuses to be scared out of the plex, I will have to use force, I reckoned, moving two jumps into a system where I had a PVP Drake. The second gate, however, was camped so on my way back I had to take a different, longer route, making me a bit concerned about time.

The Tengu, however, was still not done and warped out leaving me with several NPCs in the third room and venting his frustration in local.

Competitor > I did leave you alone in the Scout Oupost
Competitor > To bad my other toon is to far away atm
Competitor > Good luck finishing the plex though

In most DED plexes, the last room does not really need to be cleared, you just grab the loot and warp off, so I brought my own Tengu pilot and proceeded to finish the complex. Unfortunately, I was rewarded with the same type of module as before, just of a better variety.

Oh well. I mailed my competitor, informing him of the poor haul. Turns out he had at least got something out of it.

From: Competitor

 Sent: 2012.12.18 00:15
To: Nursultan

I'm flying dangerous all the time.. hense the low sec :)

The plex did give a dread stasis thingy halfway though.

To bad you didn't get a nice drop.

Fly however you like and do shoot others :P


NursultanSent: 2012.12.17 22:07
To: Competitor

the drop sucked
and i really hoped for a fight, shame your pvp char was away
gl, fly dangerous 0/

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Entitlement Complex

"NEW NPC AI completely changes complexes. It's almost impossible to run any of them, especially 10/10 or 8/10. Switching targets simply makes it impossible. I personally don't have 3b to get some high specialized marauder. I don't have time and patience to run missions in high sec making 20-30M/hour. I like to shoot and I don't like to do market stuff. My accounts cost 1.2b every month that i need to pay to keep my accounts alive. It was already on the border now, spending most of my free time in weekends running damn complexes so survive another month. But now it's over. I don't see any way how to make ISK anymore!

I will wait one month if CCP realizes they totally ****** it up. After that I don't see any other way than letting my accounts expire and wait what happens.

Very bad job CCP, you really need someone who understands this game from inside ! Thumbs down !"

 The quote above is very representative of what I often see on Eve forums: "Due to such and such change I can no longer PLEX all my accounts, hey CCP, you're losing a customer!"

Do these people realise that they are non-paying customers? CCP spend money on design, coding and infrastructure and get nothing in return from these guys, apart from their interactions with other players. Yes, these are also important in a MMORPG but they don't pay bills.

Looking at the PLEX/GTC price, which has doubled since I started playing in 2008, it seems that either many more people are buying them these days (more likely in my opinion) or fewer people are selling - both bad news for CCP finances.

CLARIFICATION: I know people paying with PLEX have their bill paid in RL money by someone else. What I believe is that the growing PLEX price (ignoring speculative spikes and drops) shows that for every PLEX generator, there are more and more PLEX users appearing. Which, in turn, means that average revenue per user goes down. Of course, only CCP know the breakdown between their variable and fixed costs and can tell whether gross or per-user revenue is more important to them. Again, only CCP know how elastic PLEX supply is with regards to ISK price.

When CCP tried to introduce alternative ways of boosting revenues, players revolted, so it is to be expected that they will at least try to reduce ISK generation.

No one has promised players they will be able to play for free AND spend very little time grinding the required ISK. Nuff said.

Monday, 3 December 2012

The low-level plex debate

As you might have heard, CCP plans to remove static 1/10 and 2/10 plexes with tomorrow'a patch and some players, such as Miura Bull and Kane Rizzel - guys I have a lot of respect for - are campaigning against that.

Now, I myself am torn on the issue. One the one hand, these plexes do indeed provide good arenas for frigate fights and I've had many myself. I've also made quite a lot of ISK (for me at the time, at least) from them.

On the other hand, a dedicated farmer/camper can either lock them down by sitting in the final room or kill everyone who comes in using a nearly invincible multiboxing setup (e.g. high DPS frig with web and point plus Sentinel, backed by skirmish links).

Still, I think they make sense in lowsec but not in highsec where there is no way to kill farmers.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Timmy, Johnny, and Spike in Eve

Time and again, the debate about seeking good fights vs playing to win comes up on the official forums, r/eve and individual blogs. Both sides accuse each other of playing the game the wrong way, taking it too seriously, being mad and butthurt, you name it.

I wanted to look at it from a different perspective.

Wizards of the Coast, the developers of awesome card game Magic: the Gathering, have identified three major types of players in their audience - Timmy, Johnny and Spike.

Let me just quote MaRo's blog and add my comments:

Johnny is the creative gamer to whom Magic is a form of self-expression. Johnny likes to win, but he wants to win with style. It’s very important to Johnny that he win on his own terms. As such, it’s important to Johnny that he’s using his own deck. Playing Magic is an opportunity for Johnny to show off his creativity. Johnny likes a challenge. Johnny enjoys winning with cards that no one else wants to use. He likes making decks that win in innovative ways. What sets Johnny apart from the other profiles is that Johnny enjoys deckbuilding as much as (or more than) he enjoys playing. Johnny loves the cool interactions of the cards. He loves combo decks. Johnny is happiest when he’s exploring uncharted territory.

Like Timmy (mentioned below), Johnny cares more about the quality of his wins than the quantity. For example, let's say Johnny builds a new deck that has a neat but difficult way to win. He plays ten games and manages to get his deck to do its thing… once. Johnny walks away happy.

This one is very easy to translate into Eve. Garmon, Kil2, Matari Exodus guys, people who use creative setups, handicap themselves with "honour" rules such as not blobbing and not using ECM, are willing to spend hours looking for that one perfect fight.

Spike is the competitive player. Spike plays to win. Spike enjoys winning. To accomplish this, Spike will play whatever the best deck is. Spike will copy decks off the Internet. Spike will borrow other players’ decks. To Spike, the thrill of Magic is the adrenalin rush of competition. Spike enjoys the stimulation of outplaying the opponent and the glory of victory.

Spike cares more about the quantity of wins than the quality. For example, Spike plays ten games and wins nine of them. If Spike feels he should have won the tenth, he walks away unhappy.

This guy represents the opposite end of the spectrum. "IF YOUR IN A FAIR FIGHT YOUR DOING IT WRONG!!!1111LOL." We all know them, rolling with Falcons/cynos up their sleeve or at the very least a reinforcement fleet one jump out.

Timmy is what we in R&D call the "power gamer." Timmy likes to win big. He doesn’t want to eke out a last minute victory. Timmy wants to smash his opponents. He likes his cards to be impressive, and he enjoys playing big creatures and big spells.
...What sets Timmy apart from the other two profiles is that Timmy is motivated by fun. He plays Magic because it’s enjoyable. Timmy is very social. An important part of the game is sitting around with his friends.
Timmy cares more about the quality of his win than the quantity of his wins. For example, Timmy sits down and plays ten games. He only wins three games out of ten but the three he wins, he dominates his opponent. Timmy had fun. Timmy walks away happy.

Now who is this guy in Eve? At first, I'm tempted to say this describes "elite PVP" groups like PL and R&K but these guys are not happy to win one out of ten fights. Does this describe people like Gevlon who want to do "stuff that matters", namely win and hold sovereignty? Or is it about people who fly pimped-out battleships or solo in supercaps? Unlike Magic though, Eve is unforgiving to such players.

In a later blog, MaRo breaks down the archetype further, explaining that Timmies can be:
  • power gamers (looking for domination)
  • social gamers (obvious one)
  • diversity gamers (trying out new stuff all the time)
  • adrenalin gamers (pretty obvious as well)
Check out the blog for breakdowns of other types.

MaRo also describes hybrid types such as Timmy/Spike or Spike/Timmy (which better matches my impression of PL/R&K and the like), Johhny/Spike or Spike/Johnny (the EFT warrior who insists that his build is better than all the rest), Timmy/Johnny or Johnny/Timmy (erm, DHB Wildcat?) and, finally, Timmy/Johnny/Spike, the guy who wants "to play big cards, have innovative decks, and yet still win as much as possible".

What do you, hardly-ever-commenting readers, think?

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Lazy Wormhole PI Guide

Due to having little time for space combat, I have recently concentrated on money-making opportunities, specifically those that do not involve spending a lot of time online. One of the obvious options is planetary interaction (PI).

Now, there are many PI guides out there but most of them are either introductory or focused on maximising output and profit. I had tried the maximum output approach in the past and burned out rather quickly because it involves splitting extraction and refining and this requires a lot of hauling.

This time, I decided to try a lazy approach, minimising my interaction with planets.

This means refining on the spot and limits you to P2 products. While this means that you lose some efficiency, it allows you to leave the planets unattended for a longer time. It also requires that you operate in 0.0 space, preferably wornholes as they get the best output regardless of class while the productivity of k-space nullsec plants varies depending on security status.

The required skills are:
  • Command Center Upgrades V - to put all those facilities online
  • Interplanetary Consolidation - as high as possible because why bother with PI at all otherwise, but you can add extra planets later
  • Planetology IV - I've heard V is even better for finding hotspots but IV is a prerequisite for the next skill
  • Advanced Planetology IV - to optimise your extractors' placement
  • Racial Industrial IV - to use your race's largest hauler and minimise trips
  • Hull Upgrades II - to use Expanded Cargoholds II; you can rig your hauler with another character
Remote Sensing is irrelevant in w-space where all your planets will be in a single system.
If you are committed to your corporation, you can train these skills on an alt (or multiple ones) on the same account or a separate one. Like, the one where your T3 booster sits.

First of all, you need a w-space base of operations. Join a wormhole corp or, if you have a few alts or friends, set up a tower in an empty system yourself. Ideally, it will be a C1/C2 system with a hisec static connection, making hauling very easy. A C1/C2 with a C1/C2 static will also work, and will probably have less traffic.

Next, survey your planets and figure out what to produce there.
Here are your options by planet type, with lowest Jita sell prices based on eve-central data:

Note that planets do not always have good supply of certain resources, limiting your options.

Now, put your command centers in your cargohold, preferably while staying under POS shields, and start deploying your colonies. Apart from a fully upgraded command center, you will need:
  • a launchpad
  • two extractors (one for each raw material)
  • six basic industrial facilities (for 47-hour cycles, significantly longer cycles require less processing power)
  • three advanced industrial facilities (one per two basic ones)

Put them down close to each other to save on link costs and make sure everything is connected to the launchpad. Now, install the necessary schematics at AIFs and BIFs and launch the extractors. Make sure to route everything through the launchpad which serves as a buffer. Arrange extractor heads so that you get roughly equal numbers of both of your raw mats, otehrwise you risk clogging your buffer with bulky P0.

Your setup should look like this.

Such a setup will produce about 250-350 units of P2 per cycle, depending on raw material abundance, yielding you 1.25-1.75 million ISK per day if you go with the most popular commodities. This means 225-315 million ISK before tax per month for a character running all six planets. Not much money but not much effort either since all you do is log on every other day and restart extractors. Plus, this is meant to be done with multiple PI alts.

Hauling frequency will depend on your output. Having an Orca makes life much easier but with a static hisec hole I think regular industrials should be fine.

 Have I missed something here? Please tell me if so.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

HML Changes Revised

CCP developers have revised their plans to nerf heavy missile damage projection.

While the 25-percent range nerf this is still going to hurt large long-range HML Drake and Tengu fleets, it looks like both ships will remain viable for solo and small-gang PVP where fighting mostly occurs within overheated and gang-boosted point range.

The ships just might have to trade some tank rigs for damage or rate-of-fire ones.

Still, HAMs are becoming an option as well. Overall, looks like a healthy change.

Friday, 21 September 2012


CCP has followed up on the heavy missile nerf by announcing plans to tweak ancillary shield boosters and upgrade the NPC AI, causing even more tears from some players.
I guess it has been a while since the previous big nerfs such as that of nano ships and the playerbase has become used to ships and modules only getting better.

 Some players. however, have legitimate concerns which I think CCP simply cannot ignore.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tattered Drake

So the long-expected nerfbat has come and hit the Drake really hard. Forums are full of heavy missile drake (and Tengu) users' tears.

"Holy piles of worthless drake hulls batman!"

"Regular players never see this shit coming, are hit hardest by it. Just like when Blizz decided to nerf IAS in D3. People that live on the forums knew about it, and made bank selling equip that was going to become worthless. Millions of normal people, that just play games, and don't spend all day reading about them, got fucked over and lost almost all worth to their gear.

Changes like this are terrible for a game. Punishing the new, and casual players is the best way to lower your userbase."

"Been in eve for ~5 months, maybe longer. 3-4 months ago, everyone, EVERYONE was telling me "train drake, train tengu".
Not cool CCP. Not cool."

I remember getting my first Drake after training Batlecruisers IV. I spun the ship in the hangar while listening to the Imperial March, so happy about being able to move on to level 3 missions.

The consensus at that time seemed to be that the Drake was a newbie PVE platform and sucked in PVP, being unable to fight its way out of a wet paper bag, as someone said on the forums. Of course everybody fitted their Drakes for max shield regen and not for damage.

Then someone came up with the HAM Drake setup which traded some tank for short-range damage and could take on many other battlecruisers in a duel.

Then Pod Liberation Authority (PODLA) came up with the nano Drake, which traded even more tank for speed, damage projection and dual webs.

At some point also, nullsec alliances found the cheap and easy-to-train for Drake useful and fleets of hundreds of Drakes became commonplace.

Funny thing is, the ship itself has not changed for years, only the environment did.

So, what now for Drake fans? With reduced damage, the PODLA Drake looks less appealing, although it could trade a web for a tracking computer and get better at hitting smaller targets from a long range. One nano could also be traded for a third BCS although it would still not compensate the 20 percent damage reduction.

Or maybe something like this?

[Drake, HAM nano]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Warp Disruptor II

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Javelin Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Javelin Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Javelin Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Javelin Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Javelin Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Javelin Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Javelin Heavy Assault Missile
[empty high slot]

Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I
Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

With the removed Javelin penalty, it has PODLA Drake's speed, DPS and EHP and range of about 40 km. Cap is under more pressure though. One could also trade an invulnerability field for a tracking computer to further boost damage projection at the expense of tank.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Heavy Industry

As I've mentioned before, I had accumulated a sizeable library of T2 rig blueprints and decided to put them to use.

First, I just pulled salvage and rig prices from eve-central to calculate margins. A bit later, however, I figured out that I should also check market volume which prevented me from building rigs such as Large Remote Repair Augmentor II which have great margins but almost zero turnover.

In the end, I settled on the most popular armor, shield, energy and weapon rigs and bought about 4.5 billion ISK worth of T2 salvage (I had my own stock as well) in Jita.

I was afraid to undock even a T2 hauler with so much stuff inside so I moved it out of Jita in a battleship.

Then I ran production lines nonstop for about a week and shipped the rigs back to Jita.

Selling them turned out to be the most time-consuming part. Updating orders twice a day, it took me almost two weeks to move the whole stock.

The result, however, was quite satisfying: over 2 billion ISK in net profit.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Small Fish

Sometimes when you're trying to catch a big fish you only get a small one.

A Tengu and a Proteus were reported to be in Kurniainen.

The easiest way to catch them would be baiting so I undocked my dual-rep Dominix and started belt-ratting, However, there were no signs of the strategic cruisers.

What I saw instead was a Nemesis stealth bomber who first disappeared quickly but then reappeared closer and redboxed me.

I let my armour drop to about a half while firing up my MWD and approaching the bomber. Perhaps because he felt I would explode soon, he allowed me to get within overheated scram range and that was it.

Syrias Bizniz > oh god... :D

Friday, 17 August 2012


Having run a lot of Magnetometric sites, I've accumulated a sizeable collection of T2 rig blueprints.

But I had no idea what they were worth and could not be arsed to check each one's price individually.

Thankfully, jEveAssets helped me with putting my collection into spreadsheet form.

First I ran a search of my assets:

Then I exported the results into CSV and imported them into Google Docs.

This forum post helped me figure with getting market prices via TypeId.

But of course they were all zeroes as I've been looking up blueprint prices. Fortunately, by looking at eve-central URLs I noticed that ItemTypeID=BlueprintTypeID-1, bingo!

Offset all TypeIds by -1, seems to work... Except jEveAssets has given me duplicate entries in cases where I had multiples of the same BPC. Had to clear that up manually.

Now, let's sum up those figures.


Now I need to find a way to calculate material costs without going insane.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I Suck At Trading

After the Alliance Tournament IX, I posted a small graph on Sleipnir's popularity, linking it to AT.

This is the price graph confirming it.

Funny thing is, it never came to me to use this as a trading idea while my corpmate Xerses0 has actually done that with apparently good results.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Fear is your only god

 I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Bene Gesserit litany against fear

Earlier this week, glorious Jan warlord F4bske informed me of a gate camp in Iesa and I sent VJ to clear it.

When VJ landed on the Netsalakka gate in his Maelstrom, there were a flashy Tengu, a Drake and a Harb on grid. VJ started shooting the Tengu and the two battlecruisers went GCC on him. With sentries focusing on the Harb, VJ took him out first and this killed the Drake just as a Hurricane and two Scimitars were landing (KB link). The 100MN AB Tengu was never a realistic target and the Cane did not even aggress even though he had two logis backing him by that time. So VJ just popped the wreck and jumped out, exchanging gf's with the pirates.

Today, after our scout reported pilots of the same corporation in Iesa, VJ offered them a rematch by jumping in. They took a few minutes to undock in two Maelstroms and a Tempest.

And then they never aggressed, just trying to bump VJ away from the gate with little success. In the end, VJ drifted out of jump range himself and they brought a Basilisk to the field, but still chose not to aggress.

VJ is being smug all day.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Gank Noir

Audit Log 50.1337 - Vladimir Norkoff. Lazily exploring the Forge and Lonetrek lowsec areas. Guristas Provisional Outpost. Will probably yield nothing but worth a try. An Ishkur enters Otsasai just seconds before me and the pilot's name looks familiar. Vladimir Norkoff. Internal Revenue Service. Taxman. A gum-shoe at the service of hoods who suck the blood out of businessmen. Wonder what he's doing here, rubbing shoulders with trouble boys. The gunsel spends most of the time issuing back-tax claims in high-security areas. Whatever. I have a business with Guristas greasers.

Warp to the outpost and Norkoff is here. Tax collection must be paying poorly these days. Doesn't engage me though. So I pretend to be a clueless ratter and clear the pocket.

EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Otsasai
Vladimir Norkoff > feh everything is locking me up in there
Nursultan > nbody likes taxmen
Vladimir Norkoff > apparently not
Vladimir Norkoff > much better when there's only you locking me
Vladimir Norkoff > ..... ok so no warping in here

Yeah. Right. I warp to the second pocket and proceed to activate all the triggers, prompting a Dread Gurstas cruiser to show up. Some rats aggress me. Others throw lead at Norkoff who has followed me into the pocket and made his way to the faction cruiser. This is becoming annoying. I shoot the Dread Gurista as I approach him. And lock up Norkoff. The dick probably wants to snatch the loot and fade.

Not from me. Overheated point lands on Norkoff's Ishkur. Web follows quickly. I let my gats explode. He returns the favour. Drones buzz around both of us. His tank gives up rather quickly. Norkoff kicks off. I grab the loot. Dread Guristas dropped dust.

Nursultan > gf
Vladimir Norkoff > poopy
Vladimir Norkoff > hardy a gf
Vladimir Norkoff > everything in there was shooting me and you were in a BC dude

And you chose to stay there and test my patience. Dude.

My tax rebate stands at at 3,595,110.00 ISK.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Pushing My Luck


A Tusker, Easy Target (that's his name, not my description of the Tuskers), showed up in Kurnianen on Friday flying a Hawk assault frigate. I have not fought any AFs after the recent buff and was willing to try so I undocked my Thrasher.

After moving between belts and cross-warping once, we met at the top belt, about 10 kilometres from each other. I burned for the Hawk with overheated tackle and guns and he quickly tackled me back, shuting down my microwarp drive.

As we started trading blows, it became apparent the fight was a close one. Although at first I seemed to be a bit ahead in the damage race, Easy was slowly moving away from me, lowering my autocannons' DPS while his rockets continued to do the same damage.

In the end, however, the Hawk exploded with me at 18% hull. Turns out, Easy used the extra mid slot for range control rather than tank, sporting two webs.

Hawks can be mean

On Sunday night, with Kurniainen and the neighbourhood hit by an Incursion, I decided to check out Providence in a Taranis, a ship I haven't flown for quite a while.

I travelled from KBP7-G to Y-MPWL (two hisec entry systems) without fights, only dodging a frigate plus recon gatecamp once, and created tactical bookmarks that will allow me to roam the area in bigger ships in the future.

In Y-MPWL, I warped to the hisec gate at range from an anomaly rather than a celestial and thus avoided two strategically placed drag bubbles. The gate was camped by a Sabre and a Harbinger. As I made another tactical, the Sabre moved around the gate so that he could bubble me and I decided to try and separate him from the battlecruiser.

I warped straight into his bubble, aligned away, hit MWD and sat perfectly still, allowing him to scram and web me. I guess I just clicked in space too early, while I was still technically in warp. Confused and disoriented, I then tried to AB away rather than brawl and promptly lost my ship and pod. How 1337 of me.

On Monday, however, I saw an evemail from Blake Zacary who told me he had killed the Sabre and nearly got the Harb. So, I ended up performing a successful suicide tackle \0/

Looking at the Sabre fit, which has roughly the same DPS as my Taranis with twice the EHP, I guess I would not have killed it in my dualprop interceptor anyway, if I'm wrong please tell me.

P.S. Just found out that Taranis is not only the Celtic version of Thor but also a British military drone.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

You better check yo self before you wreck yo self

What's up with tacklers these days? These people fly faction frigs with no tank and engage targets that will take them out with ease.

On Saturday, I decided to finally buy myself a Tier 3 battlecruiser. Making my way to Rens, I was trying to choose between the Tornado and the Talos and finally settled on the latter. Then I opened the market window, typed "tornado" and hit "buy". Nice.

Anyway, I made my way back into lowsec through Bosboger and eventually found myself at the Gulmogorod gate in Amamake. D-scan showed some frig in III-1 so I warped there at 100. A flashy frig was indeed there and it turned out he had a bookmark right next to me to which he quickly warped and tackled my ship.

Shit, shit, shit, lock back, align to Gulm gate, overload MWD and point, shoot. Four or five more frigs warp to the tackler and burn for me. However, I am well out of scram range already and only have two long points on me.

One tackler disappears from my overview (turns out he had warped) so I switch to the remaining one and he's gone in two volleys. As heat builds up in my medium-power rack, I warp to the gate and then to a safespot.

Combat log shows this. WTF? This could maybe work against slow frigs, plinking at them from a distance, but why would one tackle a Tornado in such a ship?

Then, last night, I was out in a Cynabal when a Slicer followed me through a gate to Kurnianen. With a slight hope of getting a fight, I warped to the nearest belt at range, aligned back to the gate and waited. The Slicer pilot only followed me when his corpmate jumped in with a Hawk. However, they warped to the belt at different ranges and while the Slicer landed not far from me, the Hawk was too far away to matter.

I let the Slicer come within long point range and he happily pointed me, calling in more friends. However, by the time a Loki and a Falcon arrived, the faction frigate was already dead and I left the belt.

The killmail showed another fit with zero tank. WTF gentlemen, you are supposed to at least live long enough for heavier tacklers to take over! Oh well, can't complain really, keep engaging me.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

CSM Meeting Minutes Review

The text can be found here. I'l just comment on what I see relevant to myself.

Veterans/Loyalty programme and master accounts (one login for all your accounts): as a relatively long-time player with multiple accounts, I like the idea.

"...apparently if a user has been subscribed to EVE for three years or more, that user is very unlikely to leave EVE."

I guess I'm done for.

FW changes: whatever brings more action into lowsec is good.

"The discussion turned towards clone costs, which were widely agreed to be too high for high SP characters, which discourages high SP players from going on random suicide Rifter roams."

Totally agree.

Game balance stuff:

"Frigates and Cruisers: CCP wants to boost tech one Frigates and Cruisers so that they are viable options for new players, rather than the current system where new players are often told to skip over them towards tier two Battlecruiser or even tech two ships. CCP noted that Cruisers should generally be more mobile than a Battlecruiser, but that this is not currently always the case. Furthermore, CCP added that the higher velocity of Cruisers was not often viewed as being worth the loss of EHP and slots. The CSM agreed and was pleased, noting that there are a large number of ships in these classes that have long needed iteration."

Yes, yes and yes.

"Battlecruisers: CCP wants to do a balancing pass on tier one Battlecruisers, which are problem hulls. The CSM agreed that these needed examination."

Depends on what the actual balancing is.

"Electronic Warfare: CCP and the CSM agreed that remote sensor dampeners have been rendered useless and need rebalancing. CCP wants to look into this, as well as the damping ships themselves. The CSM also discussed the merits (or lack thereof) of ECM."

Sad to see no intentions on CCP's part to balance (read nerf) ECM.

"The Drake: The CSM and CCP both acknowledged the need to rebalance the Drake, which ‘does everything too well’. CCP is considering giving it a more offensive role like a Raven or Caracal where it would lose the shield resistance bonus and the 5% Kinetic damage bonus and instead gain a rate of fire bonus and a missile velocity bonus. The CSM vehemently approved of this idea. CCP and the CSM also agreed that this possible change to the Drake would help add more uniqueness to the Nighthawk, which is presently overshadowed entirely by the Drake."

On the one hand, I like flying the Drake as it is now. On the other hand, I hate seeing them in opposing gangs because it means I can't kite them without taking significant damage. However, the proposed changes are making Drakes even better at long-distance damage projection. Not sure this is a good idea.

"Command Ships and Warfare Links: CCP suggested that Command Ships should have their attributes looked into and have their utility expanded by adding two races of leadership bonus to each hull, instead of one; for example, the Eos might offer both bonuses to Information Warfare and Armor Warfare. The CSM was excited by this idea. CCP and the CSM discussed the power of Strategic Cruisers vis a vis Command Ships; both CCP and CSM agreed that the Strategic Cruisers are overshadowing Command Ships in terms of their link bonuses. CCP suggested, and the CSM agreed, that Strategic Cruisers should have a lesser but more versatile bonus to Warfare Links than Command Ships, as versatility is a core concept for Tech 3 ships.

For example, Strategic Cruisers presently offer a 5% bonus to a single leadership bonus, where Command Ships offer a 3% bonus; under the discussed system, Strategic Cruisers might offer a lesser leadership bonus, but that bonus could apply to multiple (or all) types of leadership.

CCP also acknowledged that some Command Ships are in need of some love, the Eos for example. The Command Ships in whole will be receiving a rebalance in the near future."

I like the idea of buffing command ships and giving T3's more versatility, but weakening T3 bonuses makes me sad. They work very well for solo multiboxing and small-gang PvP.

"Nosferatu: CCP and the CSM discussed methods of making Nosferatu more viable, having again begun with the problem of the Pilgrim. The CSM suggested that one of the reasons Nosferatu are not broadly viable is that their drain is all-or-nothing; it shuts off entirely if the aggressor has more capacitor than the victim. The CSM proposed a ‘trickle mode’ instead, where Nosferatu continue to drain capacitor from the victim even if the aggressor has more cap, but at a reduced rate."


"Another thing brought up in connection to lowsec was contraband. It's a pain in the ass, can it just be removed? It makes contracting difficult -- you can't contract Plutonium or Prostitutes! It furthermore removes the usage of boosters in highsec, thus decreasing the overall demand for it. CCP replied that it wants to make it enforced by players, but then we have the issue of catching people in Empire. CSM’s response was to encourage CCP to kill the current system, then add player enforcement when CCP has the time."


"CSM continued to the point of how does risk versus reward scale? "Badly" (followed by laughter) was the response from some of the people in the meeting. The CSM suggested that rebalancing prices of modules so that average cost of modules versus cost of hull would be reasonably constant. Right now looting a frigate wreck gives you a good fraction of the value of the ship (because most of the value is in the modules), vs. larger ships where this isn't true. Right now T2 is so cheap that it's a no brainer, if you can use T2, you use T2. Following this train of thought, the CSM said it's hard to make money by PVP'ing, most people now grind money so they can PVP. By adjusting somehow the drops from PvP, it could be possible to make it viable to only PvP, ISK vice. PvP-ing in a frigate means that you only need to kill a few ships to break even, flying in a Vagabond means that a player needs to kill 100 (in the ballpark at least) to pay for that ship. One CSM member pointed out that that buying a ship to fight in is not an investment in making more ISK (like when a player invests in his mission running ship), it is an investment in fun. CCP asked in turn whether it wasn’t a bit depressing to have to run content in the game that a player doesn’t necessarily wants to run, in order to be able to have fun. The CSM responded that all activity added to the game, there wouldn’t be ganking of helpless miners if there was no one mining.

Another possibility is more passive income. Or some sort of income generated by conflict (alliances get moons, for example, but what about smaller groups and individuals)? CCP liked the sentiment, but price balancing of things related to this would be a nightmare. Maybe a solution would be to allow the killer to get a cut of the insurance payout his victim gets? CSM liked this idea, perhaps a payout to 10 or 20%? One CSM comment was that if a player gets shot down by Concord, he shouldn't get a cut of the payout from the poor guy he just ganked. The CSM was not unanimous in that sentiment."

Making PvP profitable? I'm all for it but I have a feeling these changes won't be fast.

Monday, 16 January 2012


So, yesterday my corpmate Xerses0 came online for a few hours and there were some gangs roaming in our area, it looked like we could get a fight or two.

First, Xerses spotted a few battlecruisers, including obvious bait ships such as Drake and Prophecy, in Kurn. I boarded my dualrep Domi and warped to the sun where the Prophecy sat, screaming "HEY EVERYONE I'M JUST A BAIT FOR A FLEET SITTING ON A GATE NEXT DOOR!".

We tackled each other and local spiked as expected. Xerses boarded a Domi of his own with remote rep mods to help me. But as soon as their fleet landed, it was clear we stood no chance. Not because of DPS - I could tank their several battlecruisers for a while - but because it included two Falcons and a damp Celestis.

All I could do was pop an Exile pill and control my reps and cap injectors to stay alive for as long as possible. Eventually, I remembered one of my associates had an ECM ship of his own in Kurn, a Scorpion, so I had him come in and try to jam the jammers.

But a single Scorp was no match for their ECM boats and the boring game of "only one side shoots" went on until a couple friends from Sepco warped to us, scaring the hostile gang which disengaged. Meh.

Some time later, another battlecruiser gang showed up in Kurn: three Drakes, a Ferox and a Hurricane. We set for active-tanked Myrmidon and Hyperion and engaged them in a belt. Rather quickly, the three of their ships that were not tackled warped off, unable to break my tank. Most frustratingly, then, the two tackled ships jammed both of us with ECM drones and warped off as well. Meeeeeeeeeeh.

I guess I'll try fitting a smartbomb next time to deal with scumbag weekend warriors.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Slow Times

It's been a long time since I've last updated this journal. After a great summer spent flying with both pirate (mostly Shadow Cartel) and anti-pirate (Matari Exodus) gangs, me and my associates went into a sort of hibernation, occasionally engaging in PVE activities such as missions and exploration to raise ISK and improve my security status.

Yes, I am no longer flashy and can travel in hisec which should help me join Matari Exodus gangs when I'm active again. Those guys are simply awesome and I've learnt a lot about solo and small-gang PVP from them. My associates even appear in one or two videos they've released (linked here).

My new security status means I have to be more selective about what I engage in Empire space and W-space provides an excellent alternative for piracy.

Yesterday, a quick scan of my home system showed two wormholes one of which had a miner and a hauler on scan. They even let me probe them out after which I quickly returned in a Broadsword and pinned down the Retriever whose Iteron buddy had left the Gravimetric site by that time.

With the bubble up, I contacted the pilot and asked him for a 10 million ISK ransom. One volley from my autocannons which stripped his shield and a half of his armour seemed to have sped up the negotiations and seconds later I was warping back to the wormhole 10 million isk richer. Nothing to boast about, but a pleasant return to piracy after a long break.

So what next? I guess I will continue building up my sec status buffer while looking for occasional PVP opportunities. But most of the time you see me in comms channels, I'm safe asleep in my pod or captain's quarters.