Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life In Lowsec

For the sake of clarity, I am going to assume that the average reader of this blog has no idea how Eve-Online system security works. Most of you probably do and can skip this section, but just in case:

High Security Space (AKA "Highsec") - Systems who's security ranges from 0.5 to 1.0. All these systems are patrolled by faction police and CONCORD. All stations and gates are protected by a large number of sentry guns. Any unwarranted aggression is very quickly responded to and the person engaging is guaranteed to have their ship destroyed within a few seconds of initiating illegal combat.

Low Security Space (AKA "Lowsec") - Systems who's security ranges from 0.1 to 0.4. These systems are devoid of faction police or CONCORD but all stations and gates have a small number of sentry guns that will almost instantly pop frigates, quickly destroy cruisers and cause significant damage to a battlecruiser or battleship.

0.0 Space (AKA "Nullsec") - Systems with a security of 0.0. These systems are completely devoid of any NPC police, there are no sentry guns on gates/stations and there are no criminal timers for engaging other pilots in an unprovoked fashion.

I am no expert on 0.0, but I have spent a large amount of time in empire space and I know the ins and outs of lowsec and highsec. The general idea is supposed to be that as you move from higher security space to lower security space, the potential for profit and opportunity is increased in direct proportion with the chance of your ass getting kicked. Does this actually hold up in practice? Not really. Highsec is very profitable and nullsec is very profitable while lowsec is left with very few ways to reliably make money that don't include having alternate characters. Lowsec is the redheaded step-child of the system security family and frankly it needs some serious overhauling. Some of the things that bother me the most about being blinky in lowsec:

(1) Timers and Sentry Guns

Problem: I realize that there needs to be a penalty of some sort for randomly attacking innocents but the 15 minute timer is just ridiculous. Eve is a game and all the GCC timer does is force any pilot who doesn't want to roam around in battleships to sit around and wait for an extended period of time every time they initiate an engagement. In other words, it isn't fun. Want to destroy an unmanned Ibis? Sorry, you now have to wait 15 minutes before you can have fun again. You accidentally warped to a gate/station? Sorry, you just reset your timer with the faction and have to wait another 15 minutes. You're flying a frigate? Sorry, you just got instapopped trying to dock up.

Solution: Reduce the timer lengths or add in some mechanic/skills that allow pilots to reduce them. Fifteen minutes is not necessary. Five or ten would be more reasonable. If the timer length needs to stay at fifteen minutes then change sentry mechanics to do damage based on gang size and ship size. Encouraging people to blob and fly giant overkill ships simply to compensate for the sentry guns sucks. We want to fly in frigates and we want to be able to engage on gates without having to live in 0.0. The truth is that very little combat happens at planets or in belts in lowsec and engaging on gates/stations needs to be less skewed against who gets NPC gun aggro.

(2) Blinky vs Not-Blinky

Problem: This one really grinds my gears. Anti-pirates (or "pussies" as I like to call them) and other pilots who keep their security status above a certain point get a huge advantage thanks to sentry mechanics and the fact that they can travel through high-security space. The penalty for wanting to PvP in lowsec with all targets instead of just blinky ones means that any douchebag can hide behind sentry guns, jump into systems that you cannot and hide a blob of their friends where you are unable to see without the help of an alternate character that can visit highsec.

Solutions: If being -5 or lower is going to have so many great disadvantages, there needs to be at least some small advantages to compensate. Wardec'ing every corp/alliance that pussyfoots around using their security status to their advantage isn't viable, so give us some sort of mini-wardec capability. A pilot or corporation can pay a small fee to ask a faction or factions to turn a blind eye as they engage an individual pilot or corp. Make it take 5 minutes to take effect (so that it can't be abused to gank unsuspecting newbs coming through gates without getting sentries) and then only lasts for 30 minutes. Put a limit as to how often this can be done per day (maybe only once). Make it only apply outside of deadspace so that pirates cannot use it to avoid timers when ganking mission runners. Maybe this isn't the most elegant solution but the current security status mechanics are all penalty with no advantages and this needs to be overhauled.

(3) Station Games and Capital Ships

Problem: Capital ships really don't belong in lowsec. The best part of PvP'ing here as opposed to 0.0 is that the combat tends to be on a smaller scale instead of hundred man fleets. All carriers do is make virtually any small gang sitting on a station invincible until they are able to dock up. The carrier itself is very, very rarely at any risk due to the fact that you aren't going to blow one up within 60 seconds before it can redock unless you have a dozen dreadnoughts to hotdrop on a whim (pretty rare for lowsec corporations alliances to have at their disposal). Carriers and another cap ships are intended for large scale combat and it really shows when they get used on smaller scales in lowsec.

Solutions: Banning caps from lowsec isn't really a viable solution but at the very least they should be vulnerable when used, especially when jerking around playing station games. Currently, all ships have a sixty second timer before they can dock at a station from their last aggressive action. This timer should be variable based on the ship type. If you want to undock a battleship and aggress, you should be stuck in space for the next five minutes, not just sixty seconds. If you want to undock a carrier and rep your friends, you should be stuck in space for the next ten minutes, just like if you entered Triage mode. On top of this, all or at least a majority of stations should be changed to be instant kickouts. In other words, when you undock a ship from a station and especially if you engage while next to a station, you should be forced into some committment and your ship should be at some risk. With the current docking mechanics, undocking is about as safe as beating yourself with a Nerf football.

Conclusion

Yes, this is a giant whine that being blinky red (well, solid red now) has too many disadvantages without any gameplay advantages at all. I want piracy/low sec-status to be different but equal. Currently, anyone who goes below the -5 security status threshold simply gets a number of penalties without any real differentiation or perks beyond what any other higher security status pilot would have.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stuff You

Yep. It's one of those boring screenshot posts that nobody actually cares about or wants to see. Well stuff you, this is my blog and I'll post whatever the hell I feel like:

Run Little Vexor!


Vexor Into The Sunset


My Vexor In His Happy Younger Days


What Our Enemies Usually See As
We Turn Tail And Run Away


The Final Resting Place Of A
Phoenix Class Dreadnought


Going Where No Man Has Gone Before


Mining Lasers vs Blasters


Pop Goes The Hulk


Prepping For Some More Grief


Big Giant Flying Face

IMPORTANT NOTE: A very large number of miners and pod pilots were injured or killed during the making of these screenshots.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pirates Log

Stardate 09.21.05

Today, I tried something new. I needed money so I attempted something an associate had suggested. I traveled to Jita, purchased a number of cheap ships and then spent hours modifying them to resemble considerably more expensive ones. I can't say that the Stabbers really looked that convincing but you only need one stupid person out of hundreds and it all becomes worthwhile.

I wandered up and down the packed halls of the busiest trade station in the galaxy, wearing a disguise and hawking my wares to every person I could get to listen for even a mere moment. Some were smart enough to not even let me speak. Some seemed interested but immediately scoffed and insulted me when they saw the scam I was trying to pull. Several even tried to pull a reversal by offering ISK that at a glance seemed to be the right price but was actually several zero's too short. Finally, a few poor souls did not pay enough attention and paid me the full price for a Fleet Issue Stabber when they were getting a ship that was actually not. I very quickly shuffled out of the hangar before they discovered their mistakes. I was up hundreds of millions after only a few hours work. So why did I feel so low? This was just another form of piracy, so why did it feel different? I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Later in the afternoon I tried to trick another one. He was young and looking for a Fleet Issue Stabber he had been saving for for years. His wife, of all people, noticed immediately what he was almost about to pay for. She got angry. Very, very angry. She slapped me in the face and I was left stunned with my cheesy fake mustache now hanging on by a last little gob of glue. There was yelling and they stormed out. Why am I doing this? Does this make me a truly bad person? Is it worth the money...?


Stardate 09.22.05

Today, Golden Helmet broke open the corporation hangar for us all. Inside was an astonishing number of Catalyst destroyers, already fit and ready to fly. We got half a dozen pilots set up and onto a nearby high security gate. We carefully planned our route and actions and when the time was right, we blew past CONCORD and the Caldari Navy for just long enough to set back a couple of miners some serious cash. There was nothing they could do to stop our pods from escaping back to a safer system as we cackled and laughed.

Again and again and again we threw away cheap vessels for the pure enjoyment of griefing the unsuspecting. I can only imagine what it is like to one minute be mining in a belt with your Hulk and an Iteron when you suddenly several pirates land in your belt and destroy everything you have. Will his children not be fed tonight? Why are we intent on extending our reach to those hard working miners in highsec? I feel like I am slipping into a hole from which I can never escape. From bad to awful. Will we soon lose our grips on humanity and degenerate into wild, rabid animals? I... I really don't know anymore.


Stardate 09.23.05

Today, I saw a very, very young pilot in a Raven wandering around my region. Normally I would try to trick such an individual into letting me get a free kill. Today I took it a few steps beyond. I conned him into joining me at a point in space away from any sentry protection by telling him I needed help with a mission assigned from the Caldari Navy. When he arrived to "help", I blasted his ship to near destruction and forced him to eject. Through some elaborate scheming afterward, I sold his ship back to him in a station for one-hundred million ISK and then myself and my corporation ganked him as he undocked.

There was no terms or conditions on any of these deals. Once I had sold him his ship back, the transaction was done but I still feel as though I have lost all bearings on my moral compass. Is this piracy? Is this simply our group of rebels lashing out and causing as much vicious grief to those around us as possible? This was the last straw and we had stepped off the edge. I have fallen into the hole and there is no way out. It used to just be a game we played. But now? Now I am not so sure.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Balls

By The Skin Of My Teeth

An interesting expression to say the least. A quick search on the internet says this about its origins and meaning:
The correct wording is: 'I am escaped by the skin of my teeth'. This comes from the Book of Job in the Old Testament (Chapter 19 Verse 20).
The expression derives from the fact that there is no skin on the teeth (one of the few parts of the body) (Fingernails and toe nails being the others)and
so to IN THE FULL EXPRESSION 'Escape by the skin of ones teeth' means to avoid a catastrophy by the very smallest margin.
If there is one thing I am familiar with, it is catastrophic situations (if the loss of mine and my fleetmates ships could be considered catastrophic). On rare occasions I will manage to escape these situations with my ships weapons on the verge of blowing out and my hull nearing collapse. For instance, this is what happens when you get into a fight with an 86,000,000 ISK Punisher in Amamake:


Yes kids. That is 2% structure. Yes kids, that was a trimarked Punisher. Nothing a little dual Taranis action can't handle, I suppose. Let's see what happens as well when you try to take on a well tanked Drake with a couple frigs:


12% structure left and my guns at about 90% damage. The fight would have gone very differently if the fool had been smart enough to bring some light drones. There are many situations where a little bit of extra SP or thermodynamics isn't going to save you from the giant blob. But then again, there are a few situations such as these where that tiny little advantage is the difference between glorious victory and horrible death. Every bit counts.

Tee Three?

Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. We had been camping this gate for only a short time but nothing had even come through yet. "I wish we had a better gate to camp on" I thought as I considered some of the more heavily trafficked spots in the area. It simply wasn't worth the risk to move battlecruiser and battleship sized ships down the pipe into dangerous territory to camp another spot tonight.

"Woooaa..." came the staticy gasp from over the fleet channel. "Tengu on scan!" No visual contact had even been made yet but my heart started to pound. An Advanced Cruiser! A new generation of ships and they were worth a lot of damn money. I wanted it dead.

"He is on the gate. He's sitting there... he is turning around..." My heart began to sink. "He just warped to another gate. Damn." I slumped back into my seat, bored once again. Balls.

All Tactical Telemetry

One of the most bizarre discoveries/additions to our wild region has been the All Tactical Telemetry corp. These guys live and carebear in one of the nearby highsec systems and tend to roam into lowsec on occasion in giant frigate gangs, usually consisting of Merlins. Partially as a joke and partially because we are assholes, we declared war upon them. The campaign has begun and already we have come out victorious in one of the most epic engagements in recent history. With that battle and some other kills, we are easily winning our war against a bunch of weeks-old-newbs-in-Merlins. We are awesome.

Screenshot Courtesy of Andrea Skye

Vids

Htrag has released his second PvP video. His videos are quite entertaining and involve a lot of the corps/pilots/systems we hang around in. Check it out here.

A Lot Of Drones


Tee Three!!!

My eyelids drooped and I awoke suddenly, startled by my own snore. I focused in on the comms for just long enough to hear Kazaji complain about how much he hated camping. Camping is stupid, camping is boring, camping is for fake skill-less pirates. This lack of action was making me kind of agree.

"Wooooaaa.... Tengu on scan again!" came the sudden call. "He is at the gate! Everyone get the gate!" We warped from our pounce spots onto the adjacent gate just in time for his dumbest and final move... "He jumped!".

"Make sure you get a point, get webs and go in for the bump. Do NOT let this ship get away or I will kill you all." I announced to the gang. The gate flashed and I can only imagine how our target felt at the sight of five pirates waiting for him on the other side. His scout had failed to even check the scanner which would have indicated we were sitting mere kilometers away, waiting for this opportunity. After some hesitation, he made his move and uncloaked for the warp. Kazaji's Hurricane resolved a lock first and ensured he would not be warping anywhere. Now we simply needed to prevent him from getting back to the gate before he had been finished... I spooled up the drives on my Ferox and plotted a direct collision course. I braced myself and my battlecruisers shields rammed into those of the Tengu. Neither of our ships was damaged but he was knocked off course and I was now in optimal range for my blasters. He didn't last long.


There was much rejoicing. "Spec... I love camping" said Kazaji, once the dust had settled. I couldn't help but agree.

Monday, May 18, 2009

His Megatron Rawkz

The Makings of a Champion

I hovered just outside the Science and Trade Academy, watching the slow traffic of ships arrive and leave. Students, instructors, traders, etc... Quietly in my Taranis I sat and waited for targets of opportunity to present themselves.

[03:10:56 ] Spectre3353 > hey doc!
[03:11:09 ] Doces > Indeed!
[03:11:22 ] Doces > Erm...do I know you?
[03:11:29 ] Doces > Or are you just pleasantly affable?
[03:11:29 ] Spectre3353 > do you mind joining my fleet for a second so i can enter a complex
[03:11:35 ] Spectre3353 > no im just looking for some help real fast
[03:11:40 ] Doces > ...?
[03:12:14 ] Doces > No dice, migo.
[03:12:21 ] Doces > Not looking to die atm.
[03:12:33 ] Spectre3353 > oh im not looking to kill, just trying to enter a complex i probed out
[03:12:38 ] Spectre3353 > only allows fleets, no solo
[03:12:50 ] Spectre3353 > you dont have to come, i just need a fleet active for a couple minutes
[03:13:43 ] Doces > Meh. Why not.
[03:13:46 ] Doces > Re-invite.

He had been foolish enough to accept my invitation to fleet but not enough to undock and let me take advantage of it. I can't win them all. I must have patience...

[03:28:43 ] SirPepePingu > hey

Excellent. Another potential victim who had made the first stride towards a horrible fate by accepting my fleet invite. Hopefully this one would undock while I still had control over his ships navigational systems. Within moments of that thought, he emerged from the station in his battleship, blocking out the sun with its massive shadow. Obviously this one was compensating for something. Time to show him how much size really matters.

I entered in destination coordinates for the "fleet" and ordered all ships to engage their engines immediately. My Taranis hopped into warp quickly and I verified with my scanner that his slower, bumbling battleship had entered warp just behind me. I landed, sent out a call for reinforcements to my allies and prepared for a fight. As the Megathron landed only a few hundred kilometers away, I quickly locked and began firing...

He sat there.

I overloaded my weapons to put out as much damage as I could possibly muster. My drones circled crazily, firing away...

He still just sat there.

One of my pirate friends landed in a Rupture and applied some more damage to the quickly disintigrating armor plates of our target...

Still no reaction.

Finally as the battleship entered structure, he showed some signs of life by launching his drones and targeting my ship... and then he blew up.

What I found in the resulting wreck can only be described as the work of a madman. Artillery. Beam Lasers. Autocannons, Blasters and Railguns. Three warp stabilizers that could have enabled him to flee at any point during the engagement. This was it. We had found it: The very worst fit in the entire history of the universe.


The Winner!

It seems that the Megathron has won the triple crown. I have decided upon the three winners of the Worst Fit Awards and all are of the Gallente Battleship variety:

#3: Spectre3353's RR Tanked Megathron - Actually a very nice fit but you all hate me and I know you wanted this to at least get a spot in the list, so here you go. I am awesome and I fit my ships awesomely. Screw you guys.

#2: Douglas William's Super Duper Mining Navy Megathron - Holy balls. I think I stared at this one for about 10 minutes while trying to fight off the urge to simply blow my own brains out. You take the badassest ship in all of Eve and fill every high slot with mining lasers? You could stick a football up my ass and I would still be more comfortable than I am even thinking about the abomination displayed in this killmail. Very possibly a sign of the apocolypse.

#1: SirPepePingu's All-Your-Bases-Are-Covered Megathron - Five different types of weapons? Check. Shield and Armor Tank? Check. Enough Warp Core Stabilizers to feed a small country? Check. Is there anything this fit CAN'T do? I am convinced it could easily raise your kids, build a house, pleasure your wife and then cure cancer. This it the pinnacle of starship evolution. SirPepePingu... you have won the game and you probably don't ever need to play it again... ever. Seriously though, please don't come back.

All By Ourselves

After much debate and a deadlocked vote from the corp as to how we should proceed, the directors of the Python Cartel have decided to leave the pirating alliance known as the Guristas Associates. We are not leaving on a sour note but have felt that we were not really that involved in alliance affairs and we would rather have more neutrals in the area to shoot. It will remain to be seen how things turn out as Aurohunen, Mara and the surrounding areas have become more and more hostile to pirates as the other groups in the area resort to a massive amount of baiting, blobbing, login traps and hiding behind sentry guns and highsec. It is a crazy universe out there.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekend Update

Hello. I'm Spectre and you're not.

Caldari
vs Gallente (Blaster Battlecruisers)

I realized after going over my skills the other day that I could be sitting in some of the Caldari blaster ships within just a couple days of training and that I already had all of the related support skills. Sure the Moa and Ferox are not quite up to par with the Thorax and Brutix but I have really grown to love shield tanking and variety is the spice of life... so I went and trained to step into my very first non-Gallente cruiser and battlecruiser. Last night they got their first action and it went rather well. I am especially fond of the Ferox... a more substantial tank then my Brutix, the passive recharge that comes free with shield tanking, more agile thanks to the lack of plates and able to apply damage a bit sooner thanks to the increased optimal range. I do lose a bit of DPS but you can't ask for everything. Let's compare...

[Ferox, Gank]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Warp Scrambler II
Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire

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

Hobgoblin II x5

Now here is a very similar and somewhat popular shield tanked Brutix fit:

[Brutix, Shield Tank]
Damage Control II
Reactor Control Unit II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Warp Scrambler II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Ion Blaster II
Heavy Neutron Blaster II
Heavy Neutron Blaster II
Heavy Neutron Blaster II

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

Hammerhead II x5

Let us compare some numbers using my skills:

Ferox vs Brutix

DPS with Faction Antimatter M Loaded (including drone damage)
470 vs 689

DPS with Null M Loaded (including drone damage)
390 vs 574

Optimal + Falloff Range in Kilometers with Null M Loaded
12.3 vs 10.5

Effective Hit Point Buffer
62,735 vs 47,901

Passive Shield Recharge Rate
91 vs 48

Now there are many, many other factors to consider that aren't displayed in this quick list. However, I think this is a good explanation of why the Brutix is much more popular among PvP pilots. It simply hits much, much harder and the optimal range bonus from the Ferox makes no significant difference when you are blaster fit, even with Null loaded. In addition, the Brutix seems to be a bit more flexible and is usually armor tanked with either a buffer or repairer, whereas the Ferox is really not going to succeed with a an armor tank. The Ferox has fewer low slots and you almost have to use at least two or three of them for magnetic field stabilizers to make up for the lack of ship bonus to hybrid gun damage. There is a lot more we could compare but I'll just stop there and say that while both are quite formidable battlecruisers, the Brutix probably has a bit of an edge in overall effectiveness and flexibility.

Friends?

The code between pirates is a very precarious and unpredictable one. It can be confusing at times but there are advantages to everyone having short memories and being willing to band together when the situation calls for it. We have recently had our biggest in-system rivals joining forces with us for targets of opportunity as well as some members joining our public chat channel (which is "Python Public" for anyone curious). At first it just felt absolutely bizarre. These pilots that we despised for hiding behind sentry guns, scrambling us in highsec, using log-in traps, baiting, camping and doing virtually everything they could to gank our pilots. I had drawn pictures of what I imagined they looked like. Fourteen feet tall with big nasty teeth and wearing human skin for clothing. They communicated using clicks and whistles and ate poor little newborn baby children. After speaking and flying with a couple of them it turns out... well... they're just normal people. How dissapointing.

Last night I was roaming around our local region in my brand new Moa. Everything was very quiet and most of the systems were all but deserted. After arriving in Passari and ganking pretty much the only ship out in space, I noticed a single Carebear Stare member docked up and in local. Yakovv is a pilot who joined after I had been removed and in the past we have had a few less-than-friendly discussions in local chat about which one of our corps is a bigger bunch of blobbers (the usual sort of trash talk). Being bored and wanting something to kill, I contacted him to see if he wanted to work together and camp one of the busier gates in the region. After a few minutes he agreed to fleet up with a few Python Cartel members and myself and we got down to business. He joined us on voice communications and it turns out he was quite a friendly and nice guy. In general I had liked a lot of the Carebear Stare pilots and it was a shame that things had not worked out between our corp and theirs... perhaps this was a good stepping stone to improving relations? We continued with our camp for a short period of time and managed to nab a few good kills before another one of PWNT's members logged on, a director named Gunner Cid. Yakovv seemed distracted for the next few minutes until he let us know that Cid had told him he could not be ganged with us and that the next time Yakovv saw us he would have to shoot us. Our gang disbanded and we left the system a bit dissapointed that our good time with our new friend had been interuppted.

I am pretty baffled once again by the response that The Carebear Stare has given us. I don't understand what we could do to be anymore pleasant and forgiving to a corporation that has snubbed us multiple times with pretty much no reason or explanation. I would love to make a point using less words and more pew but they are smart, well skilled and well equipped. Our rag-tag band of newbs cannot compete with a well established and entrenched corp that flies Tech 2 fitted battleships, carriers, dreads and where several pilots have Falcon alts. Frustrating to say the least.

EDIT: Shortly after this post went up, Gunner Cid and Htrag of The Carebear Stare contacted me to clear things up. The reason they are asking their pilots not to fly with us is to try and keep the line between our alliance their their corporation clear. I have resolved to try to not take alliance/corp politics quite so seriously in the future.

Misdirection

I was going to write a nice story here about how we almost got tricked by a band of merry frigates into ignoring a freighter flying through Aurohunen. That being said, I am tired so I will just link to Skye's wonderful post about the same events instead.

That's the news. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Full Circle

The Pod That Got Away

There are a lot of Eve blogs. Crazykinux puts the current number of active blogs at 235 and quite a percentage of these are oriented towards stories of piracy and PvP. A little over one year ago when I started this site of my own, I wasn't quite aware of the massive number of already existing blogs (or maybe there weren't quite so many back then, I don't really know). All I did know about was of a few and the only that really inspired me to create my own was Ka Jolo's "Your Money or Your Life" pirate blog.

Right now, some of you are probably asking "Why the hell does this guy always talk about Ka Jolo? Is he some sort of internet stalker? Would he marry the online pirate persona of some random guy online if he could?" Well the answers are "because, yes and definitely yes". That aside, the reason I bring KJ up yet again is because for the first time last night, we encountered and engaged him in his home system. On a roam from Aurohunen all the way down to Hevrice we happened upon Ka Jolo while he was flying around in his Myrmidon. While I am not completely clear how it happened (my ship lost power and had to be brought back online just prior to the fight), I know that the end result was his ship being bumped just out of docking range and destroyed by our gang. Immediately afterward his pod was scrambled, webbed and shot into half armor before my drunken instincts took hold over voice communications.

"Don't pod him!" I screamed. Six other pilots argued back at me, angry and opposed to the leniancy I was demanding... yet they listened. Within a few moments, Ka Jolo was able to drift the few extra meters he needed to have his pod in docking range and docked up with his clone intact.

[04:47:20] Ka Jolo > Lol nice
[04:47:47] Spectre3353 > i want you to know kj
[04:47:51] Spectre3353 > we just had a violent argument in vent
[04:47:52] Golden Helmet > we're going to kill spectre
[04:47:55] Spectre3353 > where i told everyone not to pod you
[04:47:59] Spectre3353 > and they listened and let you dock
[04:48:02] Spectre3353 > and now they want to kill me for it

[04:48:32] Ka Jolo > Well, thanks for that, was lagged for way too long there.
[04:48:37] Ka Jolo > But seriously, gf all
[04:48:51] Golden Helmet > gf
[04:48:53] Spectre3353 > gf kj
[04:49:03] Golden Helmet > next time we're not listening to spectre :P
[04:49:16] Spectre3353 > i told them i wouldnt allow them to pod my inspiration for pirating
[04:49:18] Ka Jolo > Well, I owe him one.

Why was everyone so angry at me? Voices bore down upon me from several in the fleet:

"You kill and pod bantam's but you won't pod another pirate???"

"He had a 100 million ISK bounty!"

"You are a goddamn carebear."

I sunk into my pilots chair, wanting to hide from their accusations. I had just allowed his pod to escape along with 100 million ISK. I could not help it. Can we not have just a little bit of respect for our fellow pirates? We may be immoral, we may be bloodthirsty and we might be rabid but if there is not a line somewhere, what sort of crazy chaos would the universe be in? What ever happened to the brotherly code of the pirate?

[04:53:05] Golden Helmet > i'd pod any of you bitches if we were on
the other sides

[04:53:22] Spectre3353 > you jerks have no honor
[04:53:33] Spectre3353 > python cartel is a bunch of no-honor assclowns
[04:53:44] Golden Helmet > honor is ransoming 1 v 1's and ransoms, not refraining killing pods :P
[04:53:51] Ka Jolo > Well, I'd pod any of you fwiw also, wouldn't expect any less in return.
[04:54:08] Ka Jolo > And sitting right on a station? That's no time to ransom.
[04:54:29] Spectre3353 > well i have a mancrush on you so i convinced them to let you live
[04:54:29] Golden Helmet > we were yelling that at him the entire time, lol
[04:54:44] Ka Jolo > Yeah, don't blame you tbh.
[04:54:52] Ka Jolo > I am awfully chic.
[04:55:14] Ka Jolo > Though a bit sore right then. =/
[04:55:23] Golden Helmet > omg you had a 100m bounty. i'm gonna fucking KILL spectre
[04:55:33] Spectre3353 > i think i might get kicked out of my corp
[04:55:35] Spectre3353 > and im the ceo

Nonstop for the next hour I heard nothing but jokes and complaints about the lost 100 million ISK bounty. I could understand their views but if confronted again with the same situation I would not have acted differently. To have podded my inspiration to pirate and blog would have been to destroy a small part of myself. I guess my corp will just have to deal with my weakness...

...if they let me live.

[04:56:19] Golden Helmet > it's lynch mob time


EDIT: Some additional posts popped up discussing this same encounter:

- Andrea Skye's Blog

- Helicity Boson's Blog

More Bad Fits

On our roam last night we actually ran into not one, but TWO pretty awful battlecruiser fits that I am going to add to the list to be nominated for the Worst Fit Awards. Some random person also sort of nominated one of my battleships losses and honestly I am surprised it took this long for one of you jerk-offs to nominate me. Without further adeiu:

- Sagel's Drake - Sweet rigs. I think that might also be the first time I've ever actually seen someone fit T2 warp core stabs.
- Will Dye's Harbinger - That is a pretty nice Brutix fit. Wait... that was a Harbinger? Weird.
- Spectre3353's Megathron - This uh... well. It's not really a bad fit at all for a RR Mega. I hate you guys.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Worst Fit Awards

Eve is not a simple game. When you first arrive and are plunged into the ocean of ships, modules, systems, players and how they all fit together it can be... well... slightly overwhelming. One of the most famous Eve related images around is this one describing it's learning curve compared to other popular MMO's:


So yes, Eve is complicated and difficult. When players are unable to fit their ships in an effective or competent manner (especially when they are new players) can you really be surprised or blame them for it? No, not really. But it does not mean that we cannot make fun of them in the most vicious and malicious way possible. So with that out of the way, here is my request:

Post comments in response to this blog entry linking to the killmails of the most awfully fit ships you have seen or been a part of killing. I would really try sticking to larger ships as it is way too common for a newb in a destroyer to have a retarded fit. Give me your battlecruisers, battleships and worse. I will nominate a few of the best entries and we vote one to be the worst fit ship. The pilot of that ship will receive the ultimate prize of a signed and autographed picture of Spectre along with a romantic weeks vacation to the Bahamas with yours truly.


Seriously though... how incredible am I with Microsoft Paint? To start us off, I am going to add a few entries:



Whew, good thing you've got that scan probe rig on there Shinypants. It's really going to help when you turn on your Rails and Missile Launchers and... Beam Lasers? The Passive Targeter is also a stroke of pure genius... those rats will never have any idea what is about to slightly damage them.


Frankly I cannot find anything wrong with combining Artillery and Heavy Missile Launchers with Heavy Neutron Blasters. You need to be prepared for anything, right? Joe backs up this mindset by fitting a 100mm plate, armor repairer, overdrive and intertial stabilizer in his lows. Speed and performance! Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? Finish things off with a target painter, warp disruptor, ECM, tracking disruptor and ECCM and you know that he's an EWAR expert and ready to definitly-maybe-possibly-but-probably-not disable your ship in the middle of an intense fight. Definitely the type of setup I would see a commando- er... "comando" using. We salute you, Joe.



As bad as this one is, it still is probably the most sane of the bunch. Sure there are multiple types of lasers on a ship with hybrid gun bonuses but at least SOME of the modules in the mids and lows appropriately complement the entire fit. As a reward Natasha, I am going to stop right here and not berate your ship fitting skills any further!

P.S. Natasha, your Rokh fit sucks.


Give Me More!

Surely you can all come up with some stuff even worse than those. Post them below and I will nominate and post the best of the best in a few days.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Systems

Mara

My ship came out of jump and to a grinding halt in the system of Mara. One of the blobbiest, baity-est and bloodiest systems in low security space was completely abandoned except for a lone ship. I calibrated my instruments and located the vessel and it's pilot. He had only seven days of experience and was predictably sitting in the first asteroid belt on the list. It was time to go to work. I pointed my Taranis towards its target and was pushed back into my seat as we accelerated into warp.

After so much of the same, you begin to get a bit jaded and settled into a familiar groove. Even the most intense of feelings fail to invoke the same response they used to. This time, for some unknown reason, I was experiencing the emotions the old way. My heart was pounding, my hands were shaking and the sweat was beading up upon my forehead. Maybe it was the reminder of how I used to fly this same ship into the same belt against the same types of opponents when I was just a young pilot. Maybe it's just because no matter how many times you engage in the ritual of combat, you can never completely shake off the normal human anticipation of a dangerous situation. Maybe it was the vodka and ginger ale.

Whatever the reason, I tried to regain my composure as we jerked out of warp and landed in the belt. With an approach course set in and a lock established, I attempted to disrupt his engines and I put my finger on the trigger, ready to engage. The Caracal turned, pointed towards a distant stargate...

And...

He warped away.

I banged my head down upon the console, oblivious to the pain. What an incredible tease.

Warp stabs.

Old Man Star

As much fun as it can be to pirate, flying the same ships against the same opponents in the same few systems can get a little bit tiresome. To try and break the monotony and keep things fun, we recently decided to try having planned ops with a theme or gimmick every weekend or two. I won't lie or try to take credit for this idea... it is blatently stolen from the Bastards as they seem to come up with some great ideas for gangs and roams.

The first of our ops occurred on Sunday and had a relatively simple theme: All pilots were required to be flying a tech 1 cruiser with some sort of EWAR or logistical bonus. In addition, every ship had to equip at least one mod that took advantage of that ship bonus. In some cases this wasn't a big deal (tracking disruptors on an Arbitrator or ECM on a Blackbird are very useful) but in others it was pretty gimping (remote sensor damps on a Celestis and target painters on a Bellicose are less than stellar). Having just finished months of training for Gallente recons and shield tanking, I decided to go with a gank fit Celestis. The rest of our gang was composed of a few Bellicose's, a few Arbitrators, an Exqueror, a Blackbird, an Augurer and a Caracal (thanks for ruining the theme Sitrep).

So with our motley gang of crappy ships we set out on our usual route to the always entertaining system of Old Man Star. We stopped in at Tama but found nothing interesting in the area except for a couple of faction warfare pilots. One was silly enough to get caught by our blob. Finally after a long and fairly uneventful trip, we sent our scout into Old Man Star to find us a fight. Several battlecruisers were on the gate and a battleship was in a belt. Almost immediately we had found playmates and I gave the order to jump into the system and warp together to engage the Maelstrom in the belt. He was apparently already under attack by a couple other ships that quickly fled once our fleet landed and we quickly melted the very, very comically fit ship.

...but that wasn't it. During the fight, a fleet of cruisers and battlecruisers that saw us jump through and warp from the gate arrived in the belt and began to engage us as well. We held together as best we could and took down a few ships with us but our crappy cruisers with their crappy logistics/EWAR bonuses were not enough to hold things together. In the end we took heavy losses and seven Python Cartel pilots were flying home in their pods. It was still quite a fun engagement. I look forward to next weeks sniper cruiser roam.

Nalvula

The past few weeks we have been spending a lot of time in a small pocket of space nearby our home that is only accessible by making one jump through highsec. At first it seemed quite ripe with mission runners and was pretty safe for us to fly around in but things have quickly turned ugly as the targets are drying up and the local pirates have become very aware of our presence. It took us a while to get my ship safely undocked from a station they were camping the other day with remote sensor boosted ships. I was finally able to get away thanks to Andrea Skye parking his cloaked Rapier just off the station as an insta-undock warpable object. The campers were a little bit rude about the whole situation:

[20:57:45] DarkStorm1000 > /emote lachesis needs to pay toll
[20:57:59] Spectre3353 > ill give you 5 isk and a loaf i pinched out a
few minutes ago
[20:58:04] Andrea Skye > or i can make a insta undock and u can stfu
[20:58:05] Spectre3353 > it is extremely fresh so its worth something

[21:00:22] Spectre3353 > well look
[21:00:30] Spectre3353 > i withdraw the 5 isk offer but the poop is
still available
[21:00:50] DarkStorm1000 > your full of shit, so it really is not
worth much.....pass

The next day we were back, probing for targets when Andrea Skye located a Drake in a safe spot, apparently waiting out a GCC from having killed another pilot on the gate moments earlier. With a Rapier, Lachesis, Thorax and Arbitrator we should have no problem taking down a Drake so Skye warped us to his spot and we quickly locked him down and began firing. I realized just then that this was the very same pilot, named DarkStorm1000 who had tried killing and ransoming my Lachesis a day earlier on the station. It was time for revenge...

He was well into shields when our Thorax pilot informed us that he was taking serious damage and needed to flee... but he had forgotten to a microwarpdrive or afterburner. Slowly we watched as he crawled away from the Drake, losing us a lot of DPS and having him barely get away in structure. Next, our Arbitrator pilot disconnected in mid fight and had to flee as well right when he had logged back in. The Drake was low into shields but now the only damage being applied was a fairly pitiful amount from two recons who's primary roles were to tackle, not to break tanks. We watched in disbelief as the passively tanked Drake's shields began recharging faster than we could bring it down. Eventually we had no choice but to pull back and let him leave. Four on one and we couldn't convert. DarkStorm made sure to let us know in local chat how much we sucked.

I get angry or upset plenty but I usually get over it fast. In this instance I had to simply dock up and log off a few minutes later because the anger and frustration was not subsiding. Very embarassing.

Otsasai

[21:05:57] Albert Wesker620 > stop ill give u everything!!!!!
\

[21:06:19] Albert Wesker620 > ill jet everything
[21:06:27] Albert Wesker620 > plZ
[21:06:34] Spectre3353 > WE DONT WANT YER BOOTY MATEY YARRRRRRRRRR
[21:06:52] Albert Wesker620 > money anything. plz man i need this
[21:07:17] Lachesis VII > ok
[21:07:20] Lachesis VII > we'll take your money now
[21:07:28] Spectre3353 > 400 million for the pod
[21:07:29] Albert Wesker620 > kill me
[21:07:32] Spectre3353 > pay up now or you die
[21:07:42] Albert Wesker620 > no thnx kill me
[21:07:47] Albert Wesker620 > its just a clone
[21:07:55] Spectre3353 > sing us a song
[21:07:58] Spectre3353 > any song youd like
[21:08:04] Spectre3353 > make it something with a good beat
[21:08:26] Albert Wesker620 > no
[21:08:32] Spectre3353 > how about some dixie chicks
[21:08:34] Spectre3353 > theyre pretty awesome
[21:08:43] Albert Wesker620 > im good. the ship was wat i wanted
[21:08:46] Lachesis VII > well then I guess we'll be here a while, eh?

He never did give in to our demands. Stage fright?