Sunday, 30 June 2013

Letting wolves into your home (The Fountain War)

I'd like to say right now, I am a fan of TEST alliance. Despite their repeated claims they suck/are retarded and the occasional/frequent/constant evidence to support this, I can't help but love their attitude and their pilots after fighting alongside them in the last few weeks.

Aridia, Fountain and Cloud Ring, the stage for the drama
That said, I think it's an interesting mental exercise to talk about what could happen post-Fountain.

First of all, let's say the CFC win. I'd guess that TEST get wiped off the map for a while, before reforming in a new area of NullSec while shouting "We didn't want that space anyway" and "Goons can't kill the rebels", with NullSec continuing on as before. Kinda boring. I seriously doubt CFC will invade N3/Tribe etc etc in retaliation for said alliances helping TEST, since they have little interest in taking space beyond Fountain. Like the Mittani said, they wouldn't be fighting TEST at the moment if TEST weren't living in Fountain. This is a war for ISK, not ideals or anything like that. Basically in this vision of the future, the CFC are back on their ISK throne and everyone returns back home to nurse their wounds and mutter darkly about how the CFC are dirty blobbers and don't fight fair. Yawn.

Now instead let's say TEST and friends "win" by pushing the CFC back into Cloud Ring, but decide it would be too costly/a waste of resources to attempt to invade the CFC's home turf, as unlikely as this is. Wiping Goons off the map would be a massive banner to call people to. But let's say this doesn't happen. What happens next?

Well TEST has now got several alliances deployed in/around her space, each with thousands of pilots ready and equipped for a full sov war. TEST is also sitting on one of the biggest ISK supplies in the game at this point. Let's also say that her infrastructure, such as jump bridges etc are still ravaged after the war with the CFC. So we've got a load of bloodthirsty alliances deployed in Fountain with nobody else to fight once the CFC retreat, TEST pretty much on her knees, and a massive pile of ISK up for grabs. 

Yeah, it's not looking good for TEST in this scenario.

Look at it this way, many people in Nulli questioned why we're helping TEST at all, since historically they helped the CFC throw us out of our old home (though this happened before I joined them). The response from leadership was basically "grr Goons". And the majority of our pilots said "good point". And even the ones that didn't entirely agree decided to shut the hell up because fights are fun.

It's a testament to Goonswarm that they've managed to piss off quite so many NullSec alliances.

So once the Goons are no longer viable targets, what's stopping Nulli, or NC. or PL or any other of the alliances in Fountain deciding they don't really give a fuck about TEST and start invading Fountain themselves? The pilots in these alliances certainly have no major love for TEST. Like I said, most of them are only there to shoot the Goons. With the Goons gone, who are they going to shoot? 

And if all these alliances start fighting among themselves for scraps of Fountain's R64s, what's stopping the Goons from reinvading the fractured allies and kicking them all to the curb while TEST attempt to crawl out from under the general melee in one piece?

I'm just saying, I'm glad I'm not in TEST alliance in this vision of the future.

Anyway, I simply felt like talking a little about what I think might happen. Got your own theories? Feel free to tell me I'm wrong/this is what will happen in the comments.

Good luck out there guys :)

Friday, 28 June 2013

The ISK war is irrelevant you dumb sheep (The Fountain War)

There have been frequent posts/discussions in recent days about the war in Fountain, attempting to quantify who is "winning" in terms of ISK, majorly in ISK kills vs losses and the apparent impact this has had on TEST's SRP funds, and how all this means the CFC is winning and TEST will soon collapse.

I'd like to point out now, in my own colourful way, that even if TEST was broke as fuck, they would not stop fighting for Fountain.

You can have that for your Tl;dr if you like.

In a deeper fashion, using killboard stats to point out "oh TEST has lost x amount of ships and CFC is ISK positive" or "oh the CFC lost this battle really heavily, look at the TFI welp" is inherently flawed. Due to the way killboards are generated, even losing a battle can leave your killboards green. I won't go into this beyond saying that, since people have been beating this argument to death recently. Suffice to say, comparing ISK as a metric for victory is utterly pointless. Imagine TEST push CFC out of Fountain while suffering losses of say, three hundred billion while the CFC only lose a hundred billion. TEST still won, even though they heavily lost the ISK war. Sure it was expensive, but they achieved their objectives.

Furthermore, there is a frequent example of TEST being "broke" that's used at almost every opportunity; their late payments of SRP, or even anonymous claims that SRP is being turned down. I'm going to call this bullshit and/or irrelevant. My alliance, Nulli Secunda, estimates SRP to take between 3 days to one week. We're a much smaller alliance than TEST. Imagine the difficulty SRP officers have sorting through hundreds of killmails, checking for duplicates, sending payouts etc etc. Waiting a week or more for repayments does not make an alliance broke, it means the people running SRP actually have a life. And if TESTies really were being refused repayments on ships by their leadership, you can be damn sure they'd be kicking off about it. That's just how they are. And yet every TEST member I've spoken to has confirmed their SRP requests have been payed. Yes it took a week or so, but they got their money. So if we could kindly stop trotting out this tired argument that "TEST can't afford SRP, war is almost over" that would be great.

And another thing. Let's pretend TEST, as an alliance, is broke as shit, and barely covering alliance "costs" month to month (like bills for tower fuel and all that crap). So what? It's not like her members are suddenly broke as shit too. SRP is a nice bonus many alliances offer, it does not make or break their PvP campaigns. Pilots are wealthy enough to fund their own ships. I for one, can cover the cost of losing ships through market trading, it's just nice that Nulli cover my losses on official fleets. So the pilots can still afford to replace ships even if the alliance as a whole, can't. When was the last time you heard about an alliance losing a war because it was broke?

And speaking of Nulli, I'd like to point out that it's not just TEST vs CFC here. It's TEST, Tribe, Nulli Secunda, NC., Nexus and a multitude of others vs CFC. One alliance running out of ISK (even if it was true) does not affect the others in the slightest. N3 will still run fleets even if TEST goes broke. Sure we might have a few less TEST pilots in our fleets, but it's not going to affect the course of the war as a whole. I've even heard discussions on comms that N3 would likely "bail out" TEST if their wealth suddenly plummeted.

And one last thing. Fighting against an invading force with your friends (though I use that word in the broadest terms) with you does wonderful things for fleet participation. You can be damn sure if Immensea was invaded, every Nulli Secunda pilot would fight to the last Rifter. I've only been with Nulli for a couple of weeks now, and I'd happily lose every ship I own in the defense of my home alongside my corp and alliance. That's how much loyalty a good alliance can create among its members.

Fountain is no different for TEST. Defending your home is a massive advantage when it comes to morale, and the CFC need to remember this.

TEST is not broke. The war is far from over.

And win or lose, we're going to kick the CFC in the face hard enough to leave scars.

Good luck out there guys

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

I need to stop buying things

"Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur"

That quote will make sense in a bit.

You know you've got too much money when you start buying carriers just because you can. No seriously, I already had an Archon, I'm about 7 days from being able to sit in/move it and about two or three months from combat ready (Slowcat fit).

And then a few days ago on the Alliance forums I started reading about triage carriers. "Sounds cool" I thought and kept reading. I've always had a thing for triage carriers due to the video reports put out by Rooks and Kings but I've never really looked into them beyond that. Turns out that Archons are preferred for armour triage, but apparently Chimeras are the only good option for shield triage, because the Nidhoggur, despite looking awesome and having a rep bonus, has a tank like a wet paper bag. "Well" I thought, "I can refit my Archon for armour triage, since I don't need to change the rigs, but what if shield triage is called for? I want to get in on that too".

So then I started looking on contracts, just because I'm curious of the price of a rigged Chimera. Turns out, they're "only" around 1.35 bil, which is actually a few hundred mil lower than hull price + new capital rigs. So I bought one. I didn't even think it through that much besides "I'm going to want one eventually, better buy it before the price goes up".

And then I'm looking at my stupidly named new Chimera in the assets window and think "Welp, better buy the fit and stuff for when it's finally ready to be moved" So I do. That's like another bil or so (including the skillbooks etc that I need. Caldari Carrier anyone?). I contract it up to Black Frog so I can get it moved into LowSec. Another hundred mil for that. Also another sixty mil for moving some extra stuff out to my Archon. Sigh.

I'm poor now by the way.

Then I look at a skill plan for a T2 triage Chimera. It's a facepalm moment. A hundred and fifty days. The only good news is that alot of skills required will also be needed for my Archon, so training for my Archon first will actually cut down time for the Chimera too. The only real "extra" skills I need are better shield skills for the capital shield reps, since Zendrak has been almost pure Amarr + armour up until now. Even so, it's still a long train. Slightly put out, I stare a bit longer at my Chimera in the assets window.

And then I think, "Damn, this is a stupid name, a string of random symbols doesn't mean anything. I better go over and rename it". So I go from Jita to my shiny new carrier and sit in the station wondering what to name it. And then I'm like, why not call all my big ships something cool? Why not Latin names? Latin sounds pretty fancy.

A quick Wikipedia search for Latin phrases. I easily find some nice ones.

I rename both my carriers. And my Rattlesnake, but that doesn't count :)

Exciting times ahead

So now I've got my triage Chimera "Alis Volat Propiis", which means "She Flies With Her Own Wings" and my slowcat Archon "Per Ardua Ad Astra", which means "Through Adversity to the Stars", which I thought suited EVE pretty well. I've decided I'm going to name all my capitals like this in the future. If I get a Revelation (the only dreadnought I'd enjoy flying), I quite like "Ira Deorum" or "Wrath of the Gods". We will see.

I can already hear people yelling "Saaaad" but I don't really care. I always thought big ships should have important sounding names, so this is my version of role-playing.

Bite me.

Good luck out there guys ;)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

This is what structure bashing reduces us to

So the other night in XUW-3X, where we were repping and then shooting a Goon station (it's Sov mechanics, we needed the station's reinforce to occur after the I-Hub, so we had to "reset" it) we were all pretty bored. Goons have decided to blueball every timer that isn't essential, so that's meant the only time I've actually engaged a Goon fleet is when our roaming BC gangs has run into one of their famous Caracal gangs. We pretty much steamrolled them despite having about 50 less people then they did (90 vs 140ish), mainly owning to the fact we could just alpha stuff right off the field, which is always fun.

So anyways, we're sitting in XUW-3X in a Dominix fleet, supported by neut fit Armageddons, waiting for our triage Archons to rep the station back to 51% armour so we can shoot it below 50% again and reset the timer. Personally I was in an Armageddon, and our general fleet concept relies around "deploy sentries, assist to drone controller, sit back and laugh". At this point we didn't have sentries out, because we didn't need them.

Suddenly a "neutral" Zealot warped on field as part of a TEST fleet. For those who are unaware, Nulli is allied with TEST, but we're still technically neutral to some of their allies, notably Ex Cinere Scriptor, which this Zealot was part of. Of course, we usually don't shoot anyway because they're helping us.

You can probably already guess what happened.

Bored out of our minds, some of us started joking about blapping the Zealot on fleet comms. And to our surprise our FC, (which I think was Canaris, but feel free to correct me) said "lol okay".

The order to deploy and assist sentries came. That's five sentries for every Dominix and Armageddon in our fleet. We had over two hundred of these ships. That's over one thousand drones deployed. We were already laughing our asses off.

I distinctly remember someone commenting in Local "holy shit that's alot of sentries".

Our drone controller Jean Leaner, locked up the Zealot and target painted it. Over one thousand sentry drones detected the aggro, switched targeting, and alphaed it off the field. We couldn't stop laughing.

That's how boring structure bashing gets, you literally turn on your allies. Or atleast the allies of your allies. I think I can see the Goonswarm grand strategy here...

Good luck out there guys!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Nope sorry, you're still a scrub

I won't lie, a major part of my excitement about NullSec besides the huge fights, is the fact I'll be able to fly my Archon in "Slowcat" fleets. I was under the impression I could be in these fleets within a couple of weeks or so.

Then two days ago, a notice was posted on Alliance forums which basically said:

"As of the 15th of June, if you cannot use T2 Sentries/T2 Omnidirectional Tracking Links/T2 Drone Link Augmentors, your Slowcat is not eligible for reimbursement, and is also not acceptable for Slowcat fleets"

Bollocks. That's irritating. It's added another month to my carrier skillplan on top of the skills I was already planning, putting the total near fifty days. Admittedly I would have needed T2 Sentry skills anyway at some point (which is what I'm missing) but I was planning to use T1 sentries in fleets until I had T2 trained. And now I can't do that.


You think you're getting somewhere in this game, then you get reminded you're still a noob in many areas ;)

Good luck out there guys


Just a quick post to say that my blog recently hit 20,000 total views!

I know it's not much compared to the massive bloggers out there, but it's a nice milestone for me.

Here's to another 20,000! :D

Good luck out there guys

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Gf gf

So we get to the new staging system safely. Within an hour of us getting there, we get this Jabber ping.

(12:20:21 AM) [GRDE] Canaris Roshaak: (( BROADCAST - Replies are not monitored. ))


Apparently hungry for Goon killmails, the alliance-wide fleet quick grows to almost a hundred people within thirty seconds , and TS comms starts filling with chatter. Maybe we'll get into a decent battleship brawl? Maybe Goons will cap escalate?

Then barely a few minutes later, we get another Jabber ping.

(12:23:15 AM) [GRDE] Canaris Roshaak: (( BROADCAST - Replies are not monitored. ))


The fleet was stood down soon after.

Goons, I thought this was a war?


I've already developed a weird sense of pride when I see this
So a few days ago I was accepted into the Nul-li-fy [NUL-L] corp and became part of the Nulli Secunda Alliance, which is part of the wider N3 Coalition.

There's alot of "N"s flying around here.

But I'm having fun so far, everything is very new and exciting. Currently I'm just catching up with everything that's going on now I have access to TS3, Jabber, and the Alliance forums/wiki. It's all very organised and official. I've also sold off pretty much all of Seraph's old ships, since NullSec is much more about T2 and T3 ships for fleets rather than my T1 tackle frigates and whatnot. (At the moment I'm sort of in ship limbo waiting for us to deploy so I can buy ships for fleet doctrines).

Then I podjumped down to I-NGI8 in Immensea. For those of you that don't have a clue where that is (I sure as hell didn't), it's in the "South-East" of EVE, not far from Curse or Providence. After a quick wander round the system and a chat in the corp channels, I fitted myself up a ratting Drake (which I bought down there for only like 10%+ Jita price, which was pretty reasonable) and ran a few anomalies. I needed to refit my Drake slightly for the last few waves, but it was pretty stable overall, and I made some decent cash. I've been told that I've joined just at the end of "Jewing Week", a mildly offensive (but funny) name for what essentially means "make ISK". So corp tax is at 0.0% and pretty much our whole alliance is out ratting/mining etc to make ISK before the next deployment.

I'm not sure if I should be talking about our next deployment here, but I'm going to do it anyway since we're moving over the weekend and it's going to be pretty obvious where we've deployed then. Plus if I'm not allowed I'll get a slap on the wrist by my CEO in a few days, which I'm fine with.

Basically we've been told that we're deploying into Aridia, which is LowSec. Some of you are probably wondering why a NullSec alliance is moving into a LowSec region, but it's pretty simple. Aridia is the nearest LowSec region to Fountain, which is where the current war is going down between the Goons/CFC and TEST Alliance. Yeah.

There's going to be lots of fights. I can't wait!

Also several people in my corp reckon that if the CFC lose this war (that's still a big "if"), it'll be the end of Goons. Interesting to talk about but honestly I don't really mind the Goons personally. I'm happy to shoot whoever I'm told. Maybe that makes me no better than the other F1 button mashers, but at the moment I just want to be part of some massive fleet clashes.

So bite me.

Good luck out there guys :)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Guardian Incursion Guide - Let me in damn it! (Part 4)

Previously:  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

So, you've got your skills, your ship and your implants. Time to get into a fleet!

First I’d recommend joining the channel “The Ditanian Fleet” aka “TDF”. It’s an armour incursion channel with lots of competent FCs. It’s a great place to find fleets, and they’re happy to teach new logi pilots. Once you’re in the channel, you have two options, usually dependent on the time zone. During busy times, Fleet Commanders will be listing ship types they need, so if you see an FC asking for a logistics ship, just “X” up with your ship fit linked and Logistics Skill level. So for example:

Fleet Commander > VG fleet in Amarr Incursion needs 2 x T3s, 1 x DPS BS and 1 x Logi
You > X Logi V - Guardian [Link fit]

Bam, fleet invite! It’s that simple. (Oh, and quick note for the shorthand people use. VG is Vanguard, AS is Assault and HQ is obviously Headquarters).

Now if you’re on at a quieter time, there may not be FCs actively looking for ships, in which case you’ll want to leave your fit in the channel so that FCs occasionally scanning the chat can pick you out, either as a replacement or a potential replacement. This is also pretty simple. You just put the same info as before, plus something that might help you get picked first. For example:

You: Guardian [Link fit] Logi V pilot LFF in Amarr incursion, willing to waitlist.

Basically you’ve just told the FC that you’re a Logi V pilot (good start), you’re close to the incursion focus (which will be in the channel MOTD) and you’re willing to sit on waitlist for a while if you have to. Waitlisting isn’t too bad, often you’ll join a fleet and be either first or second on the list. If the waitlist grows too big, often a newer FC will split off with the guys on waitlist to form a new fleet, so you’ll get to run sites either way. The main hurdle is just getting your ass into a fleet, after that it’s pretty simple.

The making money bit
So you’re in a fleet, you’re on grid with your new buddies and you’re feeling a little nervous before you warp into the site. But wait! You’ve got stuff to do first! Namely, you need to set up your watchlist. This is pretty easy if the FC keeps the fleet tab organised, and most do purely because it’s easier to keep track of everyone that way. In Vanguard sites, the fleet will likely be organised into two groups, with two ‘subgroups’ in each.

Group 1 is those who are “On-grid”, i.e the ones actually running the sites. This group is further split into DPS and Logistics. Your average Vanguard fleet is between 10 - 11 pilots, three of which will be logi. It’s possible to run with two, but most fleets use three in-case of disconnects or other such problems. These are the people you want on your watchlist. Make sure you don’t accidentally add the OGB (off-grid booster) to your watchlist, since it’ll never need repping. Ask the FC if you’re unsure who the OGB is so you don’t needlessly add them. Group 2 are the ones currently “Off-grid”, either because they’re AFK or they’re on waitlist (which are the two “subgroups”). Either way, you don’t have to worry about them too much, but keep an eye out in-case somebody who’s ongrid is being replaced and you need to update your watchlist with the new pilot.

Here's a good example, Wing 1 is "On-grid", DPS and Logi/T3.
Wing 2, which is empty, is our waitlist
In Vanguards, the watchlist is pretty simple. Just add everyone who’s on grid and you’re set. I like to organise my watchlist with the anchor at the top, followed by my two logi bros and the FC. Everyone else is randomly ordered below these four, unless I’ve noticed someone’s tank is a little thin in earlier sites. Armageddon Navy Issues for example, tend to have a comparatively light tank compared to other battleships. 

In Assaults, your watchlist is pretty much the same, except after the initial four (anchor, cap chain, FC), I put the other logi ships instead. Keeping your fellow logis alive is extremely important, if it’s a choice between losing a logi or losing a T1 BS in a tough site, I'd recommend you always save the logi, since he’ll be able to help keep other ships alive. If you’ve still got room on your watchlist after adding the other logi (which you should), add anything with a weaker tank, such as T1 Battleships or other thin-skinned hulls. Since you can’t fit your whole fleet on your watchlist, stick with the important guys and those with lighter tanks.

Now you’re ready to enter site. First, make sure you’re aligned down the gate so you’re ready to warp. To do this, centre your camera on the gate using the little eye button on your selected items window and align your camera straight down the gate. Double click in space in the direction the gate is pointing and you’ll align in the right direction. Your FC will either ask for a “hot” align or a “cold” align. Hot simply means you’re moving at max speed (without prop mods on) and ready to warp instantly, while cold means you’re facing the right direction but aren’t actually moving yet. Cold aligns are usually done when the fleet is waiting for something or someone, but it’s simply to prevent ships overshooting the end of the gate.

Just before you enter the site after aligning, your FC will likely ask the logi squad to “L” up, which simply means sending an “L” in fleet chat. This is simple but effective, it makes sure the logistics ships are awake and paying attention before the fleet warps into a site. Warping into a site without logi is tantamount to throwing your fleet away, so this is an important step. Once the FC sees his required number of “L”s, he’ll order the anchor to head in. Your anchor is the ship with the biggest tank in fleet, and should be your point of orbit unless you’re providing another ship with a tracking link or ReSebo, in which case you should orbit them.

A few seconds after the anchor has warped, the FC will order the rest of you to follow, and this is where your job really begins.

The site
Once you land in site, your first job is to stop the anchor exploding. Start moving towards him and lock him up. Send two counter-cycled reps at him straight away (i.e start one, wait a second or two and send the next). As you’ve done this, start locking your cap partner(s) and get your cap chain going. In Vanguards you may only have one partner; in Assaults and HQs you will likely have two. Once you’ve got this sorted, double check all your modules (e.g activate your tracking link on a nearby BS if you’ve got one), launch and assign your drones to the fleet's "Drone Bunny/Bitch" and evaluate the situation on the anchor. He should be back to around 90% armour by now, if he’s lower than that put another rep on him to help bring him back. If he’s in trouble, like 30 - 40% armour because one of your logis is apparently having a nap, speak up over TS3 or whatever voice server you’re using, say “Check check” loudly and clearly, then say the pilot’s name, ship type and “Needs reps”. You can also give the armour percentage if you feel the need. Overheat your modules for a few cycles if you can too. For example:

This screenshot shows what I'd call a "perfect" entry, cap chain
is up, reps are already applied to anchor, and tracking link is active

You > Check check, Hobbard in the Bhaalgorn needs reps, currently overheating on him

This does two things. Firstly, it may wake up the logi who’s slow on the draw and get his reps applied, and secondly, it gives fleetmates in battleships with utility slots time to supply emergency reps, as some battleships (Marauders for example) fit cap power relays and large remote reps in their spare highs in order to help in emergencies, both as cap chain partners and extra repping power.

Once the anchor is safe, get ready for the aggro to switch. This happens usually after a new spawn, but aggro can also switch halfway through a spawn, so pay attention to your watchlist. As each new target is aggroed by the Sansha, put two counter-cycled reps on him and wait. If he’s stable, keep your other two in reserve. If not, add a third and wait a few seconds more. As much as you can, try to avoid putting more than three reps on one target, as if aggro suddenly switches then you have to wait for your reps to finish their cycle before you can move them over (which could be dangerous if the new target has a thin skin). Be aware that DPS can be split between multiple targets, so keep an eye out for other ships getting nailed besides just one. Of course, the good news is that split DPS means lower DPS on each individual target, so you can get away with only a rep or two on each. Just pay attention and adjust as needed.

As you can see here; at the start of each new spawn turn off
all your reps. Aggro often switches at this point, and this lets
 you get reps reapplied to the new target faster

Also if you’re a Logi V pilot, you’ll probably be expected to deal with fleet cap requests. Typically these are from needy Amarrian BS pilots who are running low on cap from firing their lasers. Simply lock them from the broadcast, send them between 5-10 cycles of cap and stop. You don’t have to keep the cap transfer on them if you don’t need to, but if you’ve only got one cap hungry BS in fleet, you might as well leave it on him if you’re not sending it to another cap partner.

This will then repeat through the site, aggro switching, cap requests etc etc. It’s honestly not too difficult, and after your first few sites you’ll be feeling pretty confident. Vanguards are a great place to start learning Logistics, since DPS is challenging sometimes, but it never feels overwhelming, and there’s always a decent buffer if you make some initial mistakes. At the end of the site, the FC will broadcast the next site. Align to it, turn off your prop mod, pull in your drones and make sure you’re not going to bump into either another ship or random space debris. If you are, turn away from it for a few seconds to gain range before aligning out again. Simple! Now you just rinse and repeat until you've either had enough or the fleet steps down.

On leaving the fleet, it's polite practice to thank the FC, the other Logis and the OGB (if you've got one). You don't have to bother thanking anyone else (cough, DPS squad), though you can if you like ;D Gaining yourself a reputation as a decent person/good logistics pilot can help a lot in securing you a place in other fleets if you fly in Incursions often.

Also it's nice, though not expected, to tip the OGB if you've had one. Boosts make the job of the Logi pilots much easier, so I usually tip the OGB four or five million. It's not loads, but it shows appreciation, and it's hardly cutting into your profits if you've just run 10+ sites with your fleet.

The "Oh shit fuck shit no…" Situations
Of course, you may have the one site where everything starts to go to hell. This is rare but it can happen. Maybe someone shot the wrong spawn, maybe a logi disconnected during a high DPS moment. Hell maybe the FC got popped and your fleet is in disarray. What the hell do you do?

First of all, stay calm. Panicking won't help anyone. Focus on what you can deal with. For example, if comms is full of people screaming in terror, just focus on your broadcasts and make sure nobody else goes down if you can help it. Overheat strategically, try to keep people alive but don't burn out your reps. If it comes down to only being able to save one of two ships, always save the more expensive one. Elitist yes, but it’s also logical. Replacing a T1 Megathron might be aggravating, but replacing a faction fit Marauder is going to be far worse. In that situation, even the Mega pilot would admit you made the right choice, and the Marauder pilot is definitely going to back you up! But what if it’s a choice between a logi and a bling fit marauder? In this situation it’s difficult to make the right choice, but personally I’d try and save the logi, that way more people won’t lose their ships. It’s damage control of sorts, but yes it could be painful for the expensive ship owners. While there are arguments for both sides, I just prefer the idea of keeping as many logi on field as possible in a situation where the organic waste matter has hit the air circulation device.

If you feel differently in this situation, then go with your instincts, but as long as you can give a good reason to angry pilots about why you didn't save them, then people will back you up. Remember, this sort of thing is rare, just be prepared for it.

So that's the end of my guide! I apologise for the wall of text, but some things are best explained in detail, and I didn't want to be too vague about anything. Something I've missed? Something you want me to expand on? Leave it in the comments!

Otherwise, good luck out there guys :D

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Change of scene, yet again

I'm going to NullSec. Or atleast, I hope I am. I might not be, I don't know.

I'll back up a little and explain, just so you guys know what I'm talking about.

A few days ago, I realised I was getting bored with Amarrian FW. The Minmatar are slowly fighting back, but Amarr fleets are almost non-existent at the moment, since everyone seems to be under the impression there's no point fleeting up and looking for fights, as there's no Minnie fleets either.

The warzone feels pretty dead basically. Maybe I'm just being unlucky with the times I'm logging in being quiet, but it was never like that before.

So I decided I wanted to try NullSec, especially since I've heard about a massive war starting out in Null due to the Odyssey reshuffle of moons, so I'd love to get caught up in that. Plus I'd like to learn about NullSec in mechanics, gameplay and politics and all of that. At first I decided to apply to Truen1ght's corp, UDEAD in the NC. Alliance, but after talks with both him and their recruiters, it was agreed that I was still a fair bit off their requirements. Instead they recommended several other NullSec corps/alliances where I could start learning about NullSec with less strict requirements before reapplying to UDEAD at a later stage (maybe). One of those alliances was Nulli Secunda, and so I applied to one of their corps, nul-li-fy. So far I've passed the interview stage and submitted my API keys for both Seraph and Zendrak. I hope in a few days or so I'll be accepted, be given login information for TS3, Jabber, and all that jazz. Then I can move out to Immensea where nul-li-fy is currently based and start flying with my new corp and alliance!

But what if they say no?

Well, I'll just apply to another NullSec alliance. Eventually somebody will take pity on me...


Saturday, 8 June 2013


A station floating in the golden rays of the nearby sun.

Two ships, glowing under the light. A Legion, and a Breacher. They eye each other warily. The Breacher moves in closer, locks the Legion.

A sudden burst of laser fire from the Legion. He engages!

The Breacher begins orbiting close while tracking disrupting. Rockets fly from the launchers and impact on the golden hull of the Legion, barely scratching it, but still the Breacher pilot presses on, hoping for a miracle. Lasers fly all around, some grazing his fragile ship, but most missing. He begins to imagine the glorious kill, a story to be retold throughout the universe. One tiny Breacher against the mighty Legion. David and Goliath...

A Corax lands on station. A neutral party.

Hope dims to a flicker in the Breacher pilot's chest, but maybe, just maybe... the Corax won't get involved.

Hope collapses as the Corax unleashes a flurry of missiles into the Breacher's limited armour plating, carving huge holes into the hull. In no time, the Breacher explodes, her potential gory lost.

A "gf" is offered in Local from the Corax. A spike of anger worms into the pilot's mind. That was a good fight?


Furious, the capsuleer warps away in his pod, dreams snatched from his grasp, vowing to wreak vengeance on the Corax pilot for daring to intervene, for daring to sully the gloriousness that is a true "gf" with this soulless gank.

Returning to the station, he strides for his Thrasher, anger simmering, blood pumping.

The Thrasher undocks, guns spinning up as it barrels towards the Corax, now on its own, vulnerable. Both ships open fire at the same time, autocannon rounds flying past rockets in the void between them. Heat from the autocannons begins to damage their mountings, risking disabling the weapons entirely, but the capsuleer inside presses on regardless. Rage flows through the pilot, rising to a vicious joy as the shields of the Corax collapse, followed shortly by the armour, and then the hull.

An explosion.

The wrong had been righted.

But yet...

Hanging in space, was the fragile pod of the opposing pilot. The pilot who had sullied the name of true good fights everywhere. It made no move to escape. Fury arced through the Thrasher pilot once more, his guns letting off a final, deadly storm of bullets.

Torn asunder, the capsule of the Corax pilot ejected his lifeless body into space.

Panting, rage fading, the Thrasher pilot glanced at the last communication from the Corax before it exploded.

[00:54:07] Zombie Berlioz > aw gf :)

And the Thrasher pilot felt the strangest emotion.


Had he gone too far?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fueling the fires

Domain Region
Throne Worlds Constellation
Amarr Solar System - Emperor Family Academy (1.0)
21:14 EVE Time (Local System)

Shouting and calls from people moving back and forth echoed throughout the gigantic hangar, barely heard over the throbbing roar from the various pieces of machinery, engine tests and general noise that only a trade hub station could create. Hauler drones buzzed between hangar bays, delivering their carried items to the waiting occupants. Ships of every size and type flowed back and forth, some entering into the thousands of hangar bays inside the station, some leaving through the docking ring, but all of them on their own journeys across the stars. The heat from the engine trails washed over the other hangar bays like waves across an ocean, despite the fact they were supposed to be protected behind the flickering thermal shields.

Zendrak glanced up from the flashing datasheet in his hand as a skeletal crane lifted a freight container off the  nearby dock, setting it down lightly on one of the conveyor belts shifting numerous similar containers deep into the yawning maw that was the cargohold of his new jump freighter, the Origins of Salvation. This action was repeated dozens of times around the two kilometre structure of the Ark as hundreds of automated drones and cranes attempted to load the behemoth full of containers on schedule.

He shook his head slightly. None of this was for him. He wouldn't see a single ISK of profit from this move, and it was all his brother's fault. Not that he could truly blame him, Zendrak understood that his brother yearned for risk and excitement everyday, and a large part of that risk came from losing his ships in increasingly dangerous ways. And of course, when Seraph heard that he'd purchased an Ark, the first question out of his mouth had been,

"Can you move some things for me?"

And Zendrak, the ever-helpful younger brother had reluctantly agreed. In truth, he owed everything to Seraph. His brother has set him up with a some hundred million ISK after he'd become a capsuleer, and all of his wealth from trading and industry had stemmed from that seed money. Of course, Zendrak told himself, he could have done it anyway, it just would have taken longer. But he still felt he owed Seraph, so whenever his brother needed something, usually dangerous armaments moved into LowSec, he jumped to it.

But this time... This time he was feeling nervous as he watched a tightly packaged Thorax class cruiser placed down next to another freight container full of drones, ready for loading. Mainly it was the pure amount of weapons and ships he was moving for his brother, maybe it was the fact that Seraph had never lit a cyno beacon in his life, and maybe it was because he would soon be risking almost eight billion in ISK in dangerous space that was being torn apart in the war between the Amarr Empire and the Minmatar Republic. Zendrak swallowed.

He wasn't a coward. He could do this.

A loud clanking noise above his head made him glance up. Far above, fuel lines were descending towards his pride and joy, preparing to fill the bays hidden deep within the ship with volatile jump fuel. She was almost ready for her first flight, but all he could feel in his stomach was sickness, not the usual anticipation. He shook himself, told his brain to get a grip. Pre-flight anxiety. He'd had this before. Nothing new.

His datapad gave a double beep, barely audible over the sheer noise created from the activity echoing through the station. Zendrak glanced down, and tapped the comm request, turning away from his ship to help minimise the noise from the machinery. The datapad flashed twice before reforming into a perfect image of his brother's face, strangely hunched over as if he was still in his capsule. Odd, but not entirely surprising.

"Greetings brother, how can I help you?"

Seraph smiled, obviously noticing the massive Ark over Zendrak's shoulder.

"Well Zen, seems like you already are helping me. What's the ETA for your launch?"

Zendrak scowled slightly at his brother's hologram, knowing perfectly well Seraph had used his pet name just to annoy him.

"If these hauler drones keep on schedule, probably a few hours. Are you in position to light the beacon?"

"Ahhhm, I'm a little off course at the moment..."

An muted explosion came through the datapad's speakers. Zendrak stared at it in shock.

"Are you fighting something while talking to me?!"

"Was. Was fighting something. He's definitely dead now. And I'm in a fleet, don't worry, the guys are watching my back"

"Seraph I know we can't truly die, but this is getting ridiculous..."

"Have no fear brother, I know what I'm doing. Anyway, this shipment?"

Zendrak frowned again.

"A few hours, like I said. They're fueling her now. Besides, you need to get my beacon in place for the jump in."

"I'll be there, stop worrying so much. I'm looking forward to this cargo"

Zendrak rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath. Stop worrying? Easy for his brother to say, he wasn't the one in a six and half billion ISK hull, with an explosive cargo worth another billion and a half on top.

"Very well. While we're on the subject of your cargo, why do you need so much? Are you planning to fight a whole war by yourself?"

A dangerous gleam lit Seraph's eyes.

"Something like that..."


Thought I'd have some fun writing this short piece before my first jump with a capital ship in a couple of days. I quite enjoyed developing my characters and their relationship with each other through storytelling some more, and I'm definitely leaning towards portraying Zendrak as the younger, more sensible of the two, while Seraph runs around shooting stuff :D

Plus I wanted to try and give a sense of how I imagine inside a trade hub station to be, with the noise and the heat and constant activity. I think I've done okay, but of course you, the reader, can be the judge of that. These little story posts are going to stay fairly infrequent, but I'd like to write something longer one day. Maybe a book.

Any criticisms on my writing would be great, as always I'm looking to improve!

Good luck out there guys :)

Odyssey Expansion experience

Woo new update! Fancy new ships! New graphics stuff! Skill changes!

So of course, my client decides to commit seppuku after downloading the new patch. Damn it. I get the typical "please run repair.exe" message.

So now I am. Sigh.

I don't blame CCP at all. This has happened for me every time we get a new expansion, my client decides it won't act normally and just dies until repair.exe urges it to stop being a complete arse and actually work for me. Besides, it'll finish repairing in about fifteen minutes, and then I can properly download the patch and play.


Monday, 3 June 2013

Guardian Incursion Guide - Filling your head with crazy things (Part 3)

Since I've already spoken a little about implants, I may aswell write a little more about your options if you've got a wallet full of ISK and you're itching to spend it.

Pirate Implant Sets
The three obvious Pirate sets are the Slave sets, the Halo sets or the Snake sets, which affect armour HP, signature radius and speed respectively. All of these are decent options, and honestly it just depends on your willingness to spend ISK and what implants you've already got. Obviously, if you're using Genolutions then you'll either have to live with a partial set of Slaves/Halos/Snakes or upgrade your Guardian to T2 rigs and drop the Genolutions.

Slave Sets
So let's look at the stats. First up, Slaves. You've got two options here, Low Grades or High Grades. We'll use our "Pimp Logi" fit with all V skills as a baseline.

No Slaves
Armour HP: 7886
Total EHP: 57,101

Low Grade Slaves
Armour HP: 10,554
Total EHP: 74,769

High Grade Slaves
Armour HP: 12,116
Total EHP: 85,112

As you can see, Slave sets can add a serious amount of EHP to your Guardian, with a High Grade set adding almost 28K of EHP to your ship. That's almost a 50% increase, pretty substantial! Of course, there is a major drawback to this, the price. Current Jita prices put a Low Grade Slave set at around 650 - 750mil and a High Grade set at approximately 1.8 - 1.9 billion (both prices for the sets include the Omega). 

Yeah, that's pretty painful.

So is it worth the cost? Honestly, I think it depends. I've only ever seen one Logi die in my time as flying as one, but I've seen multiple DPS ships pop, usually in Assaults or HQs where they broadcasted late and a Logi couldn't apply reps in time. So if you fly both Logi and DPS and you've got the ISK spare, then feel free to invest some extra defense into your ship. It's expensive afterall! Plus a Slave set (Low or High Grade) opens up interesting fitting options on battleships, such as the ability to remove the plate entirely for another damage mod, allowing you to do more DPS. But for someone who only flies Logi? I'd say if you want to spend ISK on the survivability of your ship, you might aswell get the "Pimp Logi" fit, it's cheaper than a Slave set and offers a decent increase in EHP.

Halo Sets
So the next major option is a Halo set, which affects signature radius. Make no mistake, this attribute has a significant impact on the amount of damage you'll take, effectively increasing your defense. In my opinion, these implants are better for pure Logi/T3 pilots, since Battleships have massive signatures anyway. That's not to say it won't help a battleship, it'll probably make a decent difference, but T3s and Logis start with a small radius so making it even smaller just makes it hard as hell to hit you. Oh, and since Halo implants are in far less demand than Slaves, they're cheaper too. Low-Grade Halos are worth about 380mil for the full set, and the High-Grade Halos will set you back around 1.5billion. Once again, set estimations include the Omega. Still expensive, but not quite as bad as Slaves. Plus if you shop around, you might get lucky and find one of the more expensive parts of the set ten, twenty or even fifty million cheaper than usual. 

Let's look at the stats. Once again, we'll use the "Pimp Logi" fit with all V skills from the second post to compare.

No Halos
Signature Radius: 70 metres
Speed to Signature ratio: 9.02

Low Grade Halos
Signature Radius: 60 metres
Speed to Signature ratio: 10.52

High Grade Halos
Signature Radius: 55.5 metres
Speed to Signature ratio: 11.38

Now this probably looks like a minuscule improvement in terms of numbers, but it's a reduction of 14.5m total for the High Grades. You'll just have to believe me when I say that's a pretty decent loss in size, in terms of percentage it's around 20% smaller. That's quite alot for an already small ship. Now I have to admit that I haven't tried these implants in practice, but I know several logistics pilots who have the Low Grades and they swear they notice a significant improvement in the amount of damage they take. Of course they don't have any numbers to back them up, and it could just be a placebo effect. So if you want to take the jump, I'd recommend starting with a Low-Grade set first. If you like it and feel a difference, then sure, jump for the High-Grades. And even if you feel the improvement is limited, you can just stick them in an empty clone and use it for fleet stuff. Interceptors in particular benefit greatly from Halo sets!

Snake Sets
The next set, the Snake set, is similar in effect to the Halos, they make you harder to hit. But they do it in a slightly different way, they boost your speed instead of reducing signature. Snake sets also come in Low-Grade and High-Grade variants. A Low-Grade set is worth around 700mil-1bil and a High-Grade is worth approximately 2.5bil +. 


So the stats. Let's see what they do. Once again, base is "Pimp Logi", blah blah.

No Snakes
Speed: 632m/s
Speed to Signature ratio: 9.02

Low-Grade Snakes
Speed: 733m/s
Speed to Signature ratio: 10.42

High-Grade Snakes
Speed: 788m/s
Speed to Signature ratio: 11.26

So there you go. In my opinion, Snakes are far too expensive for what improvement they give, Halos give a bigger speed/signature ratio for a much lower price, although to be fair Snakes are more of a PvP set than a PvE set. I'm not a fan of them personally, but hell if you want to splash your ISK around, go ahead! 

So that's the three major pirate sets you can spring for. But what else is there? Hardwirings of course!

Hardwiring Implants
I've divided the following hardwire implants into slot group, and what they do. The asterix denotes the "level" of the implant (i.e you put in the number you want), so SA-703 would be a 3% Scan res implant and SA-705 would be a 5% Scan res. I've also ignored any implants that aren't useful in some way for a Guardian pilot, like implants focusing on shields or weapons. Anyway, here we go!

Slot Six (please note that the "Omega" implants go in this slot also)
EE-60* series: Increased CPU (helpful for tight fits, otherwise ignore)
EO-60* series: Reduced cap recharge time (can be helpful if cap chain fails)
EG-60* series: Increased PG (helpful with tight fits, I use this one personally)
AC-60* series: Increased speed under AB/MWD (helps mitigate damage)
NN-60* series: Increased base speed (similar to previous implant, but doesn't req. AB to work)

Slot Seven
RA-70* series: Reduce cap need for remote armour reps (not massively useful with a cap chain)
SA-70* series: Increased scan res. (Good in HQ/Assault sites where you have to relock people)
ES-70* series: Reduce cap need for energy emission systems (see RA-70* comment)
EM-70* series: Improved agility (helps you orbit tighter at a higher speed = more tank)

Slot Eight
MC-80* series: Increased hull HP (might help save you in a tough site, but I doubt it)
EM-80* series: Increased cap pool (possibly useful if cap chain fails)
Zor's Custom Navigation Hyper-Link: 5% bonus to MWD/AB speed (stacks with AC-60* which is nice)

Slot Nine
Nothing that great from what I can see. Don't bother.

Slot Ten
HG-100* series: Increased armour HP (cheapo Slave set?)

So those are all the implants you can mess around with. Of course, none are truly required, but every little can help! Anyhow, now you've got your skills, your ship, maybe some shiny implants, it's time for you to get in a fleet and start making ISK. We'll look at that in Part 4 - Let me in damn it!

Good luck out there guys

Seraph is a big dirty carebear... And it's pretty fun

Recently (i.e, the last few weeks) I haven't been PvPing much.

I mean yeah, I've been out solo and got some lucky kills (other guys are from a previous fight I assume) and had some close fights (he was part of a ten man kiting gang. I killed him and then managed to get out because nobody bothered to point me).

Repair quote from the SFI fight. That's some pretty expensive
heat damage right there (usually it's like 10k repair)

But mainly I've been focusing my attention on Zendrak, and by extension; Incursions, trading, manufacturing and hauling. But not mining. I'm not that far gone yet. And oddly, it's quite serene and a nice change after the pew pew of the last month.

I know right, I'm enjoying being a carebear D:

But seriously, it's pretty nice to switch between the two, and I think this ability is keeping me interested in EVE. A while back I got bored with EVE and stopped playing for about a month, before dragging myself back after seeing several awesome trailers. I think the fact that as I work towards one goal on Seraph for example (actually just out of interest, Seraph is currently training all cruisers to V), it's nice to switch to Zendrak and find I've achieved a goal on that account. It feels much more rewarding overall, and I think I won't be having another month long absence any time soon!

But I'm definitely enjoying the whole process of making ISK in HighSec, purely because I haven't done it in so long. I've started to focus on trading much more, as although I've dabbled before, I never really made a decent profit with it. However, after reading up on some blogs (Gevlon Goblin of course) and making some educated risks based on what I know people buy alot of (hint, PvP stuff) I've started hauling stuff between hubs, mainly from Jita -> Amarr or Jita -> Rens. If you've got a good eye, you can spot a decent trading opportunity pretty fast. I'd estimate I'm making a minimum 10% on items that I'm moving, which adds up quickly when you're moving stuff worth say four or five mil per unit. The best part is, you don't even have to move it yourself. You've got Push Industries and Red Frog Freight if you're lazy like me, or if you don't want to risk billions in your cargo (which I haven't done yet).

So I set up my orders, check them maybe twice every four hours or so (the joys of being a student) and while that's ticking away in the background, I'm running some incursions or dabbling in industry. I like the process of industry too, but I'm too impatient to focus into it properly. Plus I'm really bad at spreadsheets.

Ignoring the ISK I got from selling my last "un-named" alt, which was a cool 7.25 billion, (I'm back down to just Seraph and Zendrak now, instead of the four accounts I had earlier this year) I've gone from around 3 billion ISK to around 4.3billion in about a week and a half. That's including having to PLEX Zendrak's account about halfway through.


And the worst part is, I'm awful at trading. I literally just sit in Jita for about twenty minutes, look at price differences between two hubs using alts stationed there and just buy crap at the cheaper one, Red Frog it over and sell it. This is some pretty easy "passive" ISK right here.

Oh, and I'm looking to get some PI set up nearby in LowSec, and start pulling in ISK from that. I'll have to speak with some POCO owners and see if I can get a decent deal from them.

The future is looking good for my wallet!

Good luck out there guys.

P.S     Oh by the way, check this out. Turns out selling an alt can buy you shiny things

Yep that's an Ark.
Yes I'm excited.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Faction Warfare Experience

You know what's fun? Alpha Talwar fleets.

No, I don't think you understand.

Alpha. Fucking. Talwar. Fleets.

Sounds ridiculous no? Well it is.

It's also so OP it had our entire fleet crying with laughter when we shot things. I think our FC was literally in tears when he ordered us to open fire at some points. So here's a little run through of what the fleet was like for you guys...

We were gate camping. We're scum/assholes/no-skill dickbags I know. But we were camping several gates if that makes it any better. We'd sit on one gate for a while, get bored and warp off to another system as the people jumping in died and warned their Minmatar Militia buddies about us.

So I'm sitting with the fleet, probably about twenty-five of us scattered around this gate. There's three or four of us (including me) in fast tackle Condors. I'm talking dual seboed, 3.2k scan resolution Condors. They lock so fast you can catch goddamn interceptors. Tell me that's not OP. Anyway, the rest of us are mainly in Talwars, fit with light missiles, target painters and as many BCUs as will fit on. Literally no tank except MWD + range, and blapping people dumb enough to try and kill us. Of course we've got a few special snowflakes along with us who thought that "Alpha Talwar fleet" meant "yeah just bring anything you can get your hands on. Coercer? Yeah sure. Merlin? Fuck it why not".

I digress.

We're sitting on some gate in Dal, shitposting up Local chat and generally having an awesome/drunk time on comms.  Then the gate fires. We quieten down a little as we wait to see what decloaks. For the fiftieth time someone says:

"Bet you it's friendly"

We ignore him. Then I see a flash of orange on my overview. A Rupture!

"War target, War target!"
"Condors, point the bastard!"
"Point on Rupture!"
"Hahahaa fire, fire!"

The Rupture gets hit by eleven different Talwar's volleys, along with various fire from random ships we've picked up on the way. His tank lasts about half a second, shields and armour collapsing straight into hull. A second volley finishes him off. We grab the pod too, but it's empty.

We're in fits of laughter again.

"Oh god this is insane".

We hang around for a few more minutes. Nothing else comes through. The FC calls for us to align out for another gate, when the gate fires again. We all stop. We wait.

War Target Brutix uncloaks, already MWDing back to gate.

"Point!" I shout, barely able to talk through my hysterics. We were all pretty drunk by this point I think.

Our Talwars fire away. One cycle, quarter armour. Second cycle, dead.

To add insult to injury, I manage to catch his pod. All the fast tacklers whore on it, then it gets popped. We roam around some more, blap some more fools but then I have to head to bed. Thanking everyone for a great night, I log off, still laughing. A quiet night for kills, but a fun one!

So that's the typical Alpha Talwar fleet experience. Want to join in? Then come apply to the Amarr Militia. We're not fussy about who joins!

Good luck out there guys :D