Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Red

It is not easy being a blinky red pirate. It is not a simple life to have a -10 security status. Frankly, it hurts a little bit to have people announce that you are not welcome and that you will be violenced every time you try to enter a remotely civilized star system. Are these people totally unfeeling? Why do CONCORD and the factions react so rudely when we try to simply fly by? Were they not raised properly or loved as children? It is absolute horsedoodie that pilots who have a higher security status get such an advantage against those of us who have simply killed a few hundred pods that all probably deserved it anyhow. Yea, I said horsedoodie. I really wanted to use another word but I try my best to keep the fucking vulgarities to a minimum on this family friendly blog. Oh... oops.

If you still don't understand what I mean, maybe this video from a famous freedom fighter against racism and unfair treatment can explain the issues more clearly:



Sure he was talking about green and not red and he is a frog and not a pilot and hes a puppet where as we are real fake people in a video game but what does it matter? Deep down he and I are the same. Need more proof? Here is a picture of how Kermit would look if he too was a pirate:

Yesterday, about an hour after I just purchased and fit a brand new Lachesis worth somewhere in the 80 million ISK range, I was scrambled by one of the non-blinky PvP pilots that hangs around in the nearby systems. I was scrambled by his Helios in highsec as I tried to warp through a 0.5 system that was blocking my path between two low security systems with no way around. A recon destroyed by a Helios all because that pilot is too much of a giant vagina to have some balls and fight without the use of NPC sentry guns and/or ships. This mechanic and the fact that I lost a ship in this manner is absolute horsedoodie. Complete and utter horsedoodie. It is ridiculous. Had I been the one exploiting game mechanics to get some easy free kills it would have been fine, because I am me. When these sorts of things are done to me, it is unacceptable and a hate crime against those of the blinky red persuasion.

It is with all of these ideas and recent events in mind that I have decided to form an organization to further the cause of blinky people. I am announcing the formation of the Anti-Blinky Defamation and College Fund Institute for the Advancement of Blinkies League (ABDCFIABL for short and prounced "ab-dic-fee-able"). We are opening our coffers for donations immediately. Please send all donations in game in the form of ISK to our treasurer Spectre3353. All donations will be put towards the cause of fair treatment and consideration for all of those who have a negative security status and have been wronged by the authorities and their lackeys. Stay strong my brothers (and Mynxee). Soon it will be our time (as long as you send money, that is).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Budder

Right now is a great time to be a pirate. The Eve population seems to be up and lowsec is busier than I have ever seen it since I started playing this game. When I first started out, I could go entire roams without finding a single potentially engageable target. Now we are lucky if we can find a break to dock up considering that there is always something on scan somewhere. The following are recaps of two of the most epic and large-scale (for us at least) battles I have ever participated in. Both just happened to occur this past weekend:

Battle of Bu'uh - 4/25


I've played a lot of games online. When I was in my early teens I used to dial into my local BBS on a 14.4 baud modem to play text games like Swords of Chaos, Blademaster, Tradewars 2002 and Lords of Cyberspace. This exposed me to several other people of my own age that lived in the same geographic area (BBS's were small and you had to be able to dial in from a local number). As I grew up and moved on to bigger and better games like Star War Galaxies, Starcraft, Diablo, Warcraft (yes, I like Blizzard games) the amount of people I was exposed to grew in both number and geographical spread to be hundreds or thousands spread across most of the USA and beyond.

Finally with Eve-Online, the scope has stepped up yet another notch. One of my favorite parts of this game is the one big server idea. The number of people you get to meet and play with from a vast spread of countries is incredible. No other game I have played had such a wide array of different people from different parts of the world. It is interesting to look back over the past 10 years and realize how quickly the scope of the population of games I've played has spread from a small local one to a gigantic worldwide one.

...which leads me to the point. The best part of so many different locations and cultures playing together and the popularization of voice communication means that I can observe and make fun of everyone else who speaks English different than me. Our resident Brit, Andrea Skye, has been getting a lot of crap the past few weeks as we constantly dissect the difference in pronounciations between American and British english. The most notable of these conversations has revolved around the word "Butter". American's say it "Budder" and the British say it "Bu'uh". To us the T's turn into D's and to Skye... well... the T's simply dissapear. Yelling "Bu'uh" as we hurtle into battle has become the new standard and is a fantastic way to confuse our enemies as they try to figure out what the hell we're saying and why our battle cry has to be so creamy and fattening.

Yep. I just spent three paragraphs explaining the stupid reason why this fight is called "The Battle of Bu'uh". Deal with it. So without further adeiu, here is how the battle went:

We warped in on some stuff in a belt in Old Man Star. We killed like 10 ships and only lost 2. I don't really remember it well, I was pretty drunk. I am told however that it was extremely epic. THE END.

Clash of the Cartels - 4/27

Once there was a little girl named Margaret Thatcher. Marge was a nice girl and she liked to eat blueberry pie. This wasn't much of a surprise because everyone loves blueberry pie. It is extremely tasty and really the only downside is that you have to make sure you don't get it on your clothes or it is going to stain badly. Marge never got it on her clothes though because she was a nice little girl. Unfortunately when she grew up she fell in with a bad crowd and overdosed on cocaine at age 16 in the back of a truck stop. The whole point of this story is that writing about Eve PvP has started to get really boring and generic and I couldn't be motivated to do it so instead I wrote a story about a crackhead chick who liked pie. Here is the info about the battle we had here. It was epic and the entire fight lasted 12 minutes, I just can't be assed to write about it because I'm tired of writing generic combat stories. I need something new to blog about.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lachesis Fits & My Alter Ego

Lachesis

I have been having a good time recently flying around in my Lachesis. It is a little bit funny that I actually spent months training for Gallente Recon Cruisers with the Arazu in mind yet I have barely even undocked it. On the other hand, the Lachesis has already taken the top spot as my most flown ship since the reformation of The Python Cartel. It's DPS is a bit mediocre but if you ignore damps and instead just fit for tackle and a tank, you can lock down multiple ships from over 50KM away all while tanking considerably better than a normal T1 cruiser would on top of the speed/range tank you already get from being a long range ship. The patented awesome Spectre fits that I have come up with:

[Lachesis, Blasters]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
Warp Scrambler II
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Invulnerability Field II

Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
'Arbalest' Assault Missile Launcher
'Arbalest' Assault Missile Launcher

Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Hammerhead II x3
Hobgoblin II x2

Relatively high DPS, good tank and the ability to lock down ships with up to three points from pretty long range. The only big downside is the cost to performance ratio. It does have some advantages over the Thorax/Vexor but is the better tackle and slightly improved tank worth 3-4x the cost of a tech I cruiser? The Lachesis hull by itself is going for around 55 million ISK which is very cheap for a recon but frankly very expensive for a cruiser. It can be tough to justify putting this ship in blaster range considering what it costs.

[Lachesis, Ranged]
Damage Control II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Capacitor Power Relay II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
Warp Disruptor II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Invulnerability Field II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution

Dual 150mm Railgun II
Dual 150mm Railgun II
Dual 150mm Railgun II
'Malkuth' Heavy Missile Launcher I
'Malkuth' Heavy Missile Launcher I

Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Hammerhead II x3
Hobgoblin II x2

Now this one I really love. It's by no means a solo ship but when flown in conjunction with a Rapier/Huginn and a couple other DPS cruisers it works out great. Two points from 50KM+, three webs from your Minmitar friend and let the rest of your gang do the DPS. The other ships don't even really have to bring tackle if they don't want to. Best off, it is a very low risk ship. A pretty good tank that can handle sentries and operates from well outside scramble range of other ships. I've lost a few so far but only to my own stupidity, not because of this fits shortcomings.

Mission Alt

Well... I did it. This decision probably isn't going to make me popular in the pirate community but I have activated another account, spent most of the money I had left on a Raven and started learning the ways of Level IV missions under Skye's tutalage. It isn't pretty and I'm not proud but I need to be able to afford new shiny toys. In a couple of months my alt should be done training skills to adequately solo most Level IV's just in time for me to start needing money to purchase an Ishtar (or ten).

My Raven Getting Shotted With Missiles

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bling Bling

In a little over a years worth of playing Eve, I have made my money in a small variety of simple ways. When I first began playing, I worked my way up over a couple weeks to doing Level 3 missions for the Gallente Navy in a Myrmidon. They were a bit time consuming but I couldn't complain about ability to easily make a few million and fund my cheap ships whenever needed. As I quickly shifted into full-time piracy in low security space, I had to drop mission running and I took up the two careers that have been sustaining me:

Piracy:

It isn't totally a money sink, only mostly. You do sometimes make money off ransoms or wrecks. In an extreme situation you can make hundreds of millions or billions off people in large faction fit ships or freighters that were silly enough to let themselves get caught in unsafe territory. That being said, it isn't common to run into these profitable situations, the competition with other pirates for these targets is fierce and you almost always wind up having to split it among several others who were also part of the engagement. No matter how well the piracy is going, I seem to always run out of money. Hell, I have only lost 3 ships in the past month yet I have still sunk to an ISK level I am uncomfortable with.

Begging/Charity:

Now here is a career that has been lucrative as hell. Off the top of my head I would say I've made at least 2.5 billion ISK off of people just giving me money. A majority of it was handed over without me ever even asking (Thanks Golden Helmet, Dustin, Dustgrinder, etc). A bit of it came out of good old-fashioned begging on my blog. You might think to yourself that this money is "free" but really, I have to put a lot of effort into being a charismatic awesome person with an awesome blog that advertises my need for free money. It is a full-time effort that sometimes pays well but is all too random and inconsistent.

What's The Point Spectre?

The point is that it is time for me to move on and pick a more consistant way to make money so that I can afford to buy the T2 cruisers and battleships that my skills now encourage me to fly, insure and fit for hundreds of millions each. This is where you all fit in! I need advice, suggestions and details on how I can support my preferred life of piracy. Below are some that I am considering but feel free to suggest anything down below in the comments (or in game if you prefer):

Exploration:

Our PvE adventure the other day got me interested in this. I am told that some of the escalating sets of missions can spawn quite a few faction NPC's that have the potential to drop items worth hundreds of millions or billions. That being said, there are many potential roadblocks. I don't want to waste time training skills that aren't PvP related, I prefer not to have to have a second account or character, low-sec is a very dangerous place to be doing anything PvE related, a lot of the complexes and anomolies are already very busy and the profit does not sound like it is really all that good unless you get very, very lucky.

Mission Alt:

This one is easy and pretty consistant. I already have access to an inactive account if I want it where the character can fly a decently skilled Raven. The money for doing level 4 missions in highsec is good, there are virtually no safety concerns and the missions are pretty easy from what I understand. The downsides are that missioning is BORING and that I would have to begin paying for a second account. I am considering this one but I would really like to avoid it if possible. It should be noted that I have absolutely no interest in paying for the account through buying PLEX's. It is not worth the time or effort it would take when I could just spend $15.

Scamming:

I know a few people who have begun doing this and making a pretty good living. I don't want to get too specific but it is hundreds of millions for just a few days work. The downside is that... well... you're scamming. It's boring work and you're being a huge douchebag in the process. I *am* a huge douchebag and probably wouldn't have any moral issues with it but occasionally even I feel a pang of regret and embarassment when someone genuinely gets upset over being tricked or screwed over.

Poker:

A weird one, I know, but a friend recently informed me that they have made a very large amount of ISK by playing poker in game. I am decent at hold 'em but I do not have much capital to start with and gambling is always going to be largely chance based. I could wind up losing what little I have left. I am not really certain how valid or reliable of an income this could be but it is certainly worth investigating.

Well?

Any suggestions, comments or advice would be much appreciated. Or one of you could just drop 2 billion ISK in my wallet and we can call it a day. Either way, I hope to have the income issues sorted out soon so that I can afford a nice shiny Ishtar in a few weeks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Year In Review & I Love PvE

The Year In Review

April 21st marked the completion of the first year of this blog. Because I love recapping and summarizing stats and crap, let us take a look at our first 365 days in review:

First Post Ever: April 21st, 2008

Total Site Visits: 36,768 (from 15,712 unique IP addresses)



Total Number of Posts: 136

Most Popular Posts (By Number of Page Views):
#1 WoW Mage Specs
#2 Newb Pirate Guide (Introduction)

#3 Unbelievable


Top Three Referrers (Not Including Search Engines or Eve-Online.com Forums):
#1 CrazyKinux
#2 Mynxee

#3 Flashfresh


Top Two Most Commented Posts:
#1 Happy Pirate Giveaway (113 Comments)
#2 Last Post (29 Comments)

Top Three Lessons Learned:

#1 Posting about World of Warcraft once out of 136 posts gets people very, VERY angry but also bumps up your traffic from Google searches considerably.

#2 People respond well the posts that ask them to write poetry for fake video game money.

#3 I am easily the best blogger in the entire Eve blogosphere. I might not get the most traffic, I might not make the most posts and I might have some trouble grasping the Engrish language but I am still the king. Like a diamond in a giant pile of dinosaur crap. Like a clouds silver lining. Like that 15 seconds of pleasure you get before the weeks of deep depression after boning a really fat chick when you were really drunk the other night. I am the shining beacon and ray of light that the Eve community needs and requires to function adequately. Without me there is only shit. You are all welcome.

PeeVeeEeeeeeeeeee...

One thing that you notice when living in a certain races space is that the ships flown nearby are usually skewed towards their makes and models. When I lived in Minmitar space, I saw so many Rifters and Ruptures and Hurricanes that I began to see them in my sleep. Now, living in Caldari space is considerably less scary as engaging a Merlin, Caracal or Drake is usually much more predictable and easy to handle. Check our killboards Top 10 stats and you'll notice that in our corp's brief existance so far, we have already destroyed 36 Drakes, 27 Caracals and 21 Cormorants, easily putting Caldari ships way at the top.

So with practiced speed and effeciency, we probed down and destroyed yet another Drake yesterday right as he was finishing the room. We got a nice kill, picked up some decent loot and were about to vacate the site when our target queried us:

[15:40:22] rcomm > lol
[15:40:45] rcomm > could u at least tell me what was in the command center?


Hmm... maybe something valuable was left behind for us to nab? We engaged the large celestial object and upon its destruction were greeted with a large popup message in the middle of our viewscreens. Some NPC dude wanted us to go assassinate some other NPC ships for... wait for it...


It was quickly explained to us by our Missioning/PvE carebear expert Andrea Skye that we had stumbled upon an escalating set of exploration missions that could potentially result in a huge reward. After a bunch of poking and prodding, us hardcore pirates finally agreed to give this PvE content a shot. I tried my best to justify these missions as part of the loot that the Drake gave us and because the potential reward would go towards PvP ships but I still felt dirty. Even worse was that we decided to bring T1 cruisers with shield tanks and an Osprey to remote shield boost. This was fine for the Caracal and Osprey in gang but I felt so incredibly WRONG in my shield tanked Vexor, sporting a Dual 150mm Railguns, Large Shield Extender, Cap Recharger, Armor Repairer and a motley assortment of modules that might have made some sort of sense in our gang but would look absolutely horrendous if I was somehow killed and posted on a killboard. Fighting NPC's in this ship was risking my entire reputation in the universe as a badass mother.

We arrived at our first destination and easily finished the mission sporting only a battlecruisers and frigates. Our gang of Cruisers and frigates had no problem and we soon moved on to the next stop in lowsec where we were greeted with pretty much the same. Next, a third spot with again the SAME types of ships and in lowsec. The next step assigned was where things got ugly (even more-so than the Python Cartel doing missions is already ugly). An assignment in 0.0 and the only way in was there was jumps past two highsec systems. After a number of scouting mishaps, almost getting caught by a camp, and avoiding the faction police, we made it through to the appropriate system with all our ships alive! A miracle!

"One billion ISK, HERE WE COME!" I thought confidently as we started the next stage. Frigates, Cruisers and even a couple Battleships in this room... surely it would be a difficult fight against all odds where we would come out victorious and be rewarded huge. Imagine our dissapointment when it was almost no challenge and it proved to be a dead end. Several hours of effort, a horrible carebearing dirty feeling and all we were rewarded with was a dead end to the escalating mission chain and a couple faction items worth around 100 million ISK combined. After all bounties and loots were totalled, only around 20 million ISK per pilot. Doh.

I HATE CAREBEARING

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Breaking News!

Pirates Ransack Newly Constructed Capital Ship!

The problems related to pirating and illegal violence in the poorly secured region of Lonetrek and its surrounding areas hit a new high yesterday afternoon as a group of pirates locked down and destroyed a neutrally piloted Phoenix class Dreadnought in the system of Aurohunen. The system, commonly refered to as "Auro" is a well known hub for the sales and distribution of capital class ships. These events raise, once again, concerns around the safety of citizens and law-abiding individuals in low security and even high security space in a region that is only a few jumps from the largest trade hub in the universe.

"We understand the problem but we have limited resources ourselves" a representative of the Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command (CONCORD) told us. "We have only so many ships to patrol a large number of systems. We have constructed and deployed a massive amount of defensive and offensive tools on gates and stations to help prevent these types of things from happening. The destruction of that dreadnought is a huge loss of ISK and life but the blame lies solely on ignorance and irresponsibility of the pod pilot in charge of it's actions."

Normally, a ship of this size will never leave the safety of a station but for some unexplained reason, the commander of the vessel decided to pilot to a stargate and then into orbit around a nearby planet. Scores of civilians inhabiting the planet of Aurohunen VI reported seeing explosions in the sky as the massive vessel collapsed and was destroyed under the fire of a fleet of battleships, battlecruisers and assorted smaller supporting craft. Large chunks of debris are estimated to be in descent and should be landing in various areas around the planet over the next few weeks. The Aurohunen VI safety commission and CONCORD ask that all inhabitants be on the lookout for potential falling debris although the chances of it actually landing in a populated or inhabited area are very low.

The Guristas Associates alliance claimed responsibility for the events that occurred and this comes to no surprise as they are one of the largest conglamorations of pirate organizations in the area. We were able to get an exclusive interview with one of the pirates who took part in the aforementioned events:

The Spacelane Journal: What do you and your partners hope to achieve by committing such acts of death and destruction. Are you trying to send a message of some sort? Do you have demands?

Spectre: We hope to have fun and make a little money while we're at it. Hey... can I have one of those mini pizzas on the buffet over there?

TSJ: Uhm... yes sure. You didn't really answer the question though, what is it that you hope to achieve... Ok. I will just wait until you get back from the buffet I guess.

Spectre: *munching on a mini-pizza, mini-quiche, popcorn, corn chips and a hot dog* Damn. You guys get some good grub here.

TSJ: So Spectre. You have destroyed hundreds of ships. You have been at least partially responsible for the deaths of many ships crews and the loss of billions of ISK to your victims. Now you have added the destruction of a dreadnought capital ship to your resume. Why do you do it? What led to this life style and how can you justify what you do?

Spectre: *ponders serious for a moment as some popcorn falls off his plate* Definitely the chicks.

TSJ: Can you elaborate any further?

Spectre: I like the chicks. Especially their boob area. Oh and blasters make a cool sound. It's all like "pew pew" and then after a bit the ship is all like "pppcchooooooooo" and explodes. It's cool man. Hey, can I have some more of your food?

TSJ: If we could just finish the interview before...

Spectre: *walks away again to the buffet table*

Will the violence continue to escalate? Will the people of Eve ever be safe from the ruthless and seemingly pointless actions of pirates? Do all pirates have the same childish and primal attitude as Spectre? We can only hope that somewhere in the leadership that controls these organizations that a spark of morality and maturity exists, otherwise we may all be doomed to live in permanent fear.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hi There

Nevermore

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered,
tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

[03:33:05] Spectre3353 > hi!
[03:33:22] AviatorNo1 > hi had to run for obvious reasons...lol
[03:33:29] Spectre3353 > we r trying to help
[03:33:51] AviatorNo1 > dude im tired of going it alone. how do I get into a corp that will allow me to work in low sec space.
[03:34:00] Spectre3353 > absolutely yes
[03:34:01] AviatorNo1 > sure u r....lol
[03:34:07] Spectre3353 > yea its ok we will help
[03:34:08] Spectre3353 > one sec
[03:34:09] Spectre3353 > take this invite
[03:34:35] Spectre3353 > ok
[03:34:43] Spectre3353 > ill show u where we gather
[03:34:48] Spectre3353 > right click golden helmets name and warp to him
[03:34:59] Spectre3353 > wait hold on
[03:35:02] Spectre3353 > hes still warping
[03:35:21] AviatorNo1 > k
[03:35:32] Spectre3353 > ok warp to golden helmet now
[03:35:54] Spectre3353 > how many warp core stabs do u have?
[03:36:13] AviatorNo1 > moe than one
[03:36:15] Spectre3353 > cool
[03:36:17] Spectre3353 > that is good
[03:36:21] Spectre3353 > they protect u around here, we use them a lot
[03:36:42] AviatorNo1 > how do i get into your corp
[03:36:45] Spectre3353 > well
[03:36:53] Spectre3353 > i have to interview u
[03:36:58] AviatorNo1 > k
[03:37:02] Spectre3353 > first question
[03:37:06] Spectre3353 > how long have you been playing?
[03:37:16] AviatorNo1 > a couple of years off and on
[03:37:18] Spectre3353 > cool
[03:37:23] Spectre3353 > do you have a lot of money?
[03:37:43] AviatorNo1 > I have this ship a badger a merline and 14mm more

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.


[03:38:23] AviatorNo1 > lolololol
[03:38:42] AviatorNo1 > well i guess im fucked

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -


[04:51:49] Tavala Evaneska > Well I dont have 150 mil isk so I guess you are going to kill me but why?
[04:52:01] Spectre3353 > because this is our system
[04:52:05] Spectre3353 > stay out of it
[04:52:08] Spectre3353 > or pay us money to use it
[04:52:12] Spectre3353 > thems the rules
[04:52:16] Tavala Evaneska > how was I suppose to know?
[04:52:25] Spectre3353 > you werent
[04:52:26] Spectre3353 > but now you do
[04:52:58] Spectre3353 > 50 million for your pod
[04:53:00] Spectre3353 > 30 seconds
[04:53:02] Spectre3353 > or you get podded
[04:53:16] Tavala Evaneska > All I have is 14 million
[04:53:23] Spectre3353 > give me 14 mil and you can go
[04:53:28] Spectre3353 > 20 seconds
[04:53:46] Spectre3353 > 10 seconds
[04:54:06] Spectre3353 > youre free to go
[04:54:10] Spectre3353 > it was nice doing business with you
[04:54:11] Spectre3353 > fly safe!
[04:54:17] Tavala Evaneska > why do you do this?
[04:56:40] Spectre3353 > it makes me feel like more of a man
[04:56:56] Tavala Evaneska > Are you kidding?
[04:57:23] Spectre3353 > no
[04:57:26] Tavala Evaneska > It took me months to save for that ship. And I was on my first level 3 mission
[04:57:27] Spectre3353 > i am seriously a super manly man

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted - nevermore!


[04:59:33] Tavala Evaneska > Was it challenging to kill me with a group?
[04:59:53] Spectre3353 > a little bit

Just Like Old Times (But With Some New Friends)

When we were suddenly thrust into the reformation of the Python Cartel, I remember feeling a bit unsure and I honestly lacking confidence in our ability to rebuild and sustain a corp of the same level we once had. It was too late for that. People had moved on and we were no longer of the same carefree newbish mentality. So it is with considerable joy that I can look back at the last month and realize how very wrong I was. In the past few weeks we have slowly regained many of the core members who made the original Python Cartel so successful and today it culminated with the reacquisition of Andrea Skye, Apoctasy and TwiceDaSize. While there are still some pilots that have moved on and are not coming back, we now have a huge majority of the original core that made pirating so fun. We might be flying around recon fagging in expensive ships now instead of our tech 1 frigates but otherwise it feels just like old times.

One upside to all of this as well is the new pilots that we have been recruiting. We have only taken a few but the quality has been better than I was expecting. One of our first recruits has had a place near the top of our killboard for a while now, writes a pretty nice blog and just tends to get himself into great situations by being aware and confident and motivated while out there in space. Forced a Myrmidon pilot to eject from his ship while flying a Rifter? Check. Socially engineered a newbie in a Rokh to go to a lowsec belt where we could gank him? Check. Kazaji, you're starting to remind me of... well... me.

Gallente Recons

After months of dedicated training and EFT warrioring and planning and execution, I have completed my skill plan to fly the Gallente recon ships the Lachesis and the Arazu. While the training was really geared towards being able to fly an Arazu, I have found that:

* The Arazu is so damn expensive that I am afraid to undock it, let alone get into any questionable fights with it. After the ship price, rigs and modules are factored in I think it cost me around 130 million ISK.

* The Arazu simply isn't useful in most situations. One of the biggest EWAR advantages that Gallente get is the long range disruptor/scrambler but this gets totally negated by not being able to fit a sensor booster (due to a lack of mids and wanting to fit at least three remote sensor damps) and the targeting delay experienced after uncloaking. Already I am realizing that I will probably never fly this ship unless it is in a very controlled environment where it won't be in danger.

* The Lachesis is a much better ship than I was expecting. Depending on the fit, I can put out an acceptable amount of DPS with an average cruiser sized tank, all while being able to fit a sensor booster and quickly point most ships from over 50KM away. It's still not cheap at about 50 million ISK for the ship before mods/rigs, but in comparison to the Arazu, it is a bargain and can actually fill multiple roles in a gang. While flying it I tend to completely ignore the remote sensor damp bonuses and instead fill my mid slots with modules that assist in tackling and shield tanking.


Oh well. Next stop: Heavy Assault Cruisers.