Tuesday 18 December 2012

PVP101 Guide - Typical day in the life of a PVP Pirate

I often get asked about what I actually do as a "pvp" player, this is a fairly typical account; You log on, if the alliance has plans you join in, otherwise you have to go out and make things happen. 

Last night started pretty slowly, the Alliance formed up to takeover a couple of POCO's we'd had already reinforced these two, so hopefully they would turn up to defend them. We knew they had access to Capitals and friends, so we were all looking forward to a good fight, but in the end they didn't even defend them, we deployed our own POCOs and went back to our staging system. 

The fleet fragmented and a few of us decided to take a roam to nullsec, we jumped through a wormhole deep into Tenal, and started to prowl around looking for a fight with Razor Alliance. To our disappointment they seemed largely inactive, choosing to stay cloaked, or hidden in their stations.  

As the fleets disbanded, I decided to take my Retribution back through the nullsec wormhole and see if I'd have better luck on my own. Cmore Tarasunami had the same idea, so we fleeted and headed back towards the entry system. My probing alt reported a Scorpion Navy in an anomaly, quickly dropping probes to  scan him, I was suprised to see a cruiser now on the scan at 100%, but the scorpion gone, disappointed I warped in solo to hopefully see the battleship come back to save his friend. He didn't. 
Following the SNI pilot next door, I was surprised to see the bellicose alt's capsule on scan, but not in local. So with no sign of the shiny battleship, we reminded the cruiser pilot about log off timers then dived off through the wormhole. 

Two assault frigates can cover a lot of ground, so we decided the best option was to set our home system as destination, and race down the pipes hoping to find a fight, largely just expecting to die. 

To our disappointment most of the systems were empty, the area was actually so peaceful that some people think it's safe to go AFK on stargates in Falcons, this is always a bad idea, no matter how secure your space is, you never know who might stroll past and say hello

We carried on burning towards lowsec, passing a few abandoned drag bubble camps, and ended up in M-0 with it's lowsec gate to Taisey, expecting a large camp again, I was surprised to find only a Dramiel who didn't want to fight, I burned him to 50% structure before he could get to the Taisey Stargate. And Lord's Servant, who was flying a Tornado, and being skirmish boosted by an offgrid legion. I managed to land within 90km of him, and burned out towards him, I wasn't overly surprised as his web hit me about 17km and I ended up burning out my MWD whilst Cmore tried to get within scram range, forced to let the Tornado go, I dived back into Taisey to rep up, and we decided to go back the 17 jumps to the wormhole, maybe we'd find something else to play with. 

As we came back to S-EVIQ we saw the same 30+ people in local, but this time there was a cyno up, and a rifter on scan! A few Razor undocked and proceeded to try and look mean in an Astarte and Bhalgorn. We just sat 60km away on the other side of the station and waited for something more interesting to undock. Eventually an Ashimmi, Dramiel and a few other small ships came out, we warped off to the stargate, and then started MWDing towards the next gate, as they came into system we warped, Cmore jumped immediately and I waited hoping to split some of them up with aggression timers. The Dramiel pilot jumped straight through whilst the shiny cruiser shot me on this side, I promptly jumped leaving him stranded for 1 minute and we melted the Dramiel who choose stupidly to engage. 

We tried a few different combinations to get them split up, eventually Cmore kept them interested in the WH system, and I jumped back into lowsec to get a something to kill the Ashimmi, we led them to the wormhole system the idea being was to get the Ashimmi aggressed then surprise it by jumping the Brutix in. When that didn't work, and with time getting late we jumped back into lowsec happy with our little roam. Passing a T1 cruiser on a gate, obvious bait of course, I switched back to the Retribution, and proceeded to swallow the bait loosing the little assault ship, proving once more that I'm a sucker for bait.

Time for bed. o7

Tuesday 11 December 2012

PVP101 Guide - Knowledge is Power

You'll hear EVE described as rock paper scissors, and to some extent it is true. For every ship there is a counter, the reason that good pilots become great is they understand the strengths and weakness of their own ship, and that of their opponents. 

Choosing the fights where you stand a chance of winning, and running from any fights where you have no chance. There is no shame in running from a fight you can't possibly win. So how do you build up a knowledge of EVE combat fits? Part of it is experience, the more often you fight, the more you learn, the better you get. But it's not just about flying your own ship that you need to understand, you need to know what other people can do, you can't possibly have skills for every ship in the game, so you need a way of comparing them. There are a couple of free tools that allow you to do exactly that, to build fits for ships and to compare them, with your own skills, and that of a higher or maxed player.

EFT or EVE Fitting Tool, built and maintained by the pilot Gripen, this has been the mainstay of most pilots for as long as I have been flying. It's very easy to use, with a clear interface, can store your API details so that you can see how the ship will work with your pilots skillset. 

Evefit started life as Python fitting advisor, it's an open souce project very similar to EFT (in fact I believe it came about due to Gripen going inactive for a while, and the need for an updated version of EFT). EVEfit does now appear to have a larger development team, and publishes updates faster. 

Both allow implants, and fleet bonus's to be calculated. Both allow importing and exporting from the EVE client.  If someone links you a fit in game which looks good, save it in your personal collection, then you can later export it to your chosen fitting tool. To a large extent it doesn't matter which one you use, as long as you are comfortable with it, and know how to use it.

There are also several very active community forums in EVE, these are not directly related to any one alliance or play style. 

Has a large dedicated fittings section and repository, any person can upload their fits, and allows other people to comment on, give advice on improvements, and has a rating system for fits. Fits are displayed clearly on their own page, with a graphical interface, and an internal search engine allows accurate search based on ships, and tags. It allows exporting into EFT/Evefit, by searching the existing fittings database and reading the comments you can start building up your own collection of "good fits" to experiment with. As with any community it attracts trolls, so don't take anything personally. As a rule of thumb searching previous fits prior to posting is a good idea, you'll often find that a similar fit has already been posted. Overall Battleclinic is still quite noob friendly. 

Often refered to as the bastard stepchild of Scrapheap-Challenge, a community of bitter vets, and trolls. Failheap is however an source of excellent information, and tactics, and quality knowledge. Many of the regulars have been playing EVE since it's origins. It isn't always the most friendly of places, and stupid or noob questions can result in mild to serious flaming. 
That being said, I still advocate joining and having a poke about in their ship setup hanger, and piloting in practice forums. The fittings section is based around a normal forum rather than battleclinic's own graphical display pages, fit's are usually posted in a format readily copied into EFT/Evefit, but finding individual fits can involve trawling lots of posts. 

Run and moderated by CCP this is the interal EVE forum, in order to post you must have an active EVE account, posting is by character name, so many pilots prefer posting with an Alt char, rather than their main. A good source of technical information and it's worth following the test server forums for planned changes to ships and modules. 

Not a forum, but a collection of blogs all related to EVE online, quality of information and advice varies from blog to blog, but the amount of knowledge freely given is astounding. Find a few blogs that deal with your playstyle and follow them. 

An amazing source of intelligence, as eventually everyone dies, and those losses are often recorded on one of the main out of game killboard. All modules are displayed for all to see, that secret winning fit, now published. By looking over the kills and losses of experienced pilots you can see how they fit their ships, and what they died to. Copy some of their fits into EFT/Evefit, see how they stack up against each other.

The two main killboards are:

The more you read, the more you start to learn. 
Knowledge truly is power.

Thursday 6 December 2012

PVP101 Guide: How do I start in PvP?

I get ask often about how to get started in PVP, what to fly, where to go, who to fight.
PVP in Eve seems daunting at first, many pilots first experience with it are a brief and painful introduction, this can put some people off for life, or make them want to learn how and then get revenge.

Take this chap for instance, Night Hawk Star 11 days old, and out in a destroyer in lowsec.

To be honest he even looks a little fresh in the face, a happy smiley chap, flying his Catalyst into lowsec to shoot at the more valuable Rats. Probably to gain a little extra money to buy a larger ship. His fate like so many before him was to be vaporised in a fight he could not possible have won.
I don't feel bad about it, I'm a pirate, and I enjoy the game by killing everything I can. It's a cheap learning experience for him, and hopefully he'll realise that over the next few days, in time maybe he'll come back and kill me. I'd be more than happy for that to happen, through I'd never make it easy.

His mistake was simple, he assumed that people would not kill him because he was young, so he ignored the warning from concord and jumped into lowsec. He was spotted in local immediately, and directionally scanned in a few seconds to the belts, before he'd finished killing his first rat, he was being destroyed by a Wolf class assault ship.

Situational awareness is the first step in PvP. 
You have to understand what's going on in space around you, if he'd have hit his d-scan button he'd have seen several ships active in local, he'd could have checked a few names of the 20 pilots in local channel and instantly have realised that virtually everyone in system was -10 security status, and most where in the same alliance. This is situation which should strike caution for any pilot.

It takes no skill points to be able to scout a system, by checking the pilots in local, you can gain a rough understanding of who's here, who's likely to be with who.

When entering a system I always perform 2 simple checks:
1. Local channel - how many people are in system, are any red/blue or otherwise known to me.
2. D-scan - Pressing the D-scan button tells you what ships are in space within 14au.

If you start to hunt in the same systems, you start to build up a map in your head of the area, and the pilots within it. You'll also start to get an idea of which ships are "pos trash" and can usually be ignored. Many pilots in eve are quite territorial, preferring to roam across a few solar systems, partly this is logistics, having lots of different ships for different roles is vital in lowsec piracy, and you have to keep them somewhere usually the same place as others in your corporation or alliance "home" partly it's time. Pirates like to be close to the action, like big cat's in Africa you can usually find pirates where there is prey. This might mean a static DED plex, a mission agent, or even a skillbook station. Often it's a combination of these, and other factors, a central location between other lowsec corporations or faction warfare regions, anywhere where lots of fights can happen.

This is the first in a series of guides, hopefully they will be of use to you. For more advanced scouting and an explanation of the directional scanner, please check out these to a couple of my other guides.



Retribution and Crimewatch

So far so good, I'm loving the current crimewatch Mechanics, that being said I'm sure that they will change over the next few weeks, as I will explain at the end. 

I flew Guardian for an alliance roam last night, something that despite having the skills to do so, haven't had much experience with. Something about not wanting to miss out on kills, and being responsible for keeping everyone one alive!

That being said it was a fun roam, and we managed some good kills. 

A gang booster, who wasn't paying attention, and allowed himself to get bumped off gate... oops
A very shiny, and rather suicidal Machariel who landed 100 off the gate, and then didn't realise quite how far a proteus can point, we got screwed on the loot :(
And finally just on the way home a hero falcon pilot, who used his 250m falcon, to rescue a 150m battleship by warping in at zero... like a boss! 

But the thing I noticed more than ever from the previous times I've flow logi was the lack of work between fights. Previously as soon as the first kill is made (or attempted) the Guardian pairs have to keep everyone repped up on gates, as the gate guns constantly cycle between the GCC ships sitting on gate waiting to jump. 
Now as soon as you left the gate and moved to the next there was no one to rep! Also drones are basically off the menu for Sentries, which enables the guardians to happily whore on everything without fear of loosing them. 

This is a massive buff to lowsec drone ships such as the vexor/myrmidon, who traditionally have not been able to fight effectively on gates and stations. 

Something else I hadn't realised the full implication of was the sentries only fire on you for a sec status loosing event. Ie the initial aggression flag, when you become a suspect. This is a massive buff for frigates and small ships that normally can't go anywhere near a gate once they had GCC. 
Now you all probably understand that you can shoot someone on a gate gaining sentry aggro, warp off to a pounce, and come back to shoot them again without sentry aggro! 
You mean you didn't know that? Well you do now... 
Several frigates/cruisers can potentially camp a gate by tackling and then using a bounce just out of sentry gun range. But what if your solo? How can you use this mechanic to your advantage? 

As a frigate pilot I have helplessly watched several freighters, and valuable prize ships head off down a pipe in the opposite direction to my main hanger, unable to reship into something that I could have tackled them in, I'm forced to report them in intel and let them go. Knowing that prize will probably escape the corp. 

This is all set to change, the current mechanic allows me to create aggression on them on a gate by shooting them, before warping off before the sentries destroy my fragile craft. Now I have just gained something vital on the other ship: Aggression. I now have 15 mins to find and tackle him on a gate or station, the best part? because I have already paid the sec status penalty I do not loose sec status for re-initiating combat... no sentry guns will fire on me if I tackle him again within 15mins.

Thank you CCP, I will now have your babies.

Tuesday 4 December 2012


1.5gB of love heading your way. 

Welcome to Retribution..

CCP making another excellent trailer!

Monday 12 November 2012

To boost or not to boost....

So there is a lot of discussion and whining about off grid boosting at the moment, from all sorts of people, I've heard various reasons why people are complaining, they all complain about how it's unfair, and people should have all their cards on the table and ships on the grid. There is a divide between the have's and the have not's as always, people will always use the mechanics in their favour if possible.

I have a boosting in that I use when I'm flying about, both in gangs and sometimes solo. She usually flies a loki, and acts as a forward scout, probing and finding me targets within lowsec, then providing boosts, whilst we often take on much larger gangs.

With that you might think instantly I'm biased towards keeping them off grid, and to some extent I am. I like my alt's anonymous background, the fact that people don't instantly warp off and dock in station when she slips into system. Putting her on display would soon hurt my hunting grounds.

I hear people saying that it will level the playing field, means that everyone can see what ships are running links, and gives you the ability to shoot at their "links" that it forces link ships on grid and into danger, that it prevents AFK boosting from safely within a POS forcefield.

Actually implementing it would require significant changes to the mechanics, Grid Fu - google it, grids are too easy to exploit to make this a "simple" thing to implement. This also benefits the defending group, or encamped group, who have time to set up and wait.

Lag/TiDi mechanics. With any large fleet engagement you accept a level of LAG and now TiDi, by forcing the bonus ship to be on grid it's also subject to the same mechanics. This is massively in favour of the defending group, who's links are already on grid, and the bonus has propagated throughout the fleet already. When you as the attacking grid warp in, you can often take 10-20 seconds to load the grid, before you can even activate modules, and as your bonus ship will have to warp in, load grid, cycle mods, then wait as the bonus takes a few seconds to register... In TiDi situations we have already noticed that squad commanders not being on grid first can effectively break links for their squad members for some time even after everyone has finally loaded grid and started to fight.

Gate Camps, such and such a group have a POS in system with a bonus alt, it's not fair!
So? All they will do is move the bonus alt on grid and cloak it, with a little GridFu you'll still not get much of a chance to tackle it when you jump in, and it decloaks at 300km away alligned to station.

Rorqual, whilst I don't own one I know a few people that use them to providing mining boosts, now as that ship needs to be in deployed mode, I'm pretty sure they won't be going into "siege" mode in an asteroid belt any time soon.

Medium gangs 20-50 Any organised fleet type, ie AHAX, Snipers, Nano will have their booster clearly on display, but with logistics ships and a significant tank, the chance of actually killing the boosting ship just because you can see it is still minimal. Oh look there's a Damnation in the middle of that Armour gang, lets shoot it.... has anyone actually tried shooting a tanked one? It's a spacebrick, you can easily have 400k EHP without slaves implants or any faction mods. With 85% as it's lowest resist good luck killing that before the last logistics ship dies. You'd struggle killing my current Loki anyway as it's fitted with a 100mn Afterburner, making it at least as difficult as a 100mn Tengu to catch and kill, and from what I've heard they're giving it's midslots back too!

Small gangs and "solo" pilots these are the people that this nerf will hurt quite alot, smaller groups who specialise in taking on larger gangs. Yes I accept that "solo" pilots often use links to gain an advantage over other ships, but what exactly are we arguing about? If my "alt" decloaks at 100km in a "solo" fight whilst I kill you with my now link boosted main are you really going to gain any advantage? I'm still going to kill you. The only difference is you now get to see who my scout was.

Links are an advantage, but an expensive one, they cost an extra account, that's 500m per month, a Tech 3 cruiser fitted is going to set you back at least 500m, and they need considerable training already to even give out bonuses at least 4 months, realistically much more.

So when my 2.5b slasher and loki combo kills your 6m cruiser are you really that surprised? Would you prefer I just used a Falcon or even Blackbird alt, with less training, and less investment? I hate that mechanic, but many people do exactly that! Or I could just bring two combat ships, a nice Rapier could do 90% of what the loki does, but will actually effect your ship as well 90% webs from 40km away, whilst my main shoots you... do you feel better about dying yet?

I accept that there is some issues with boosting in its current mechanics, the T3 cruisers being better than the T2 Battlecruisers at boosting seems wrong even to me, fleet command ships being basically useless these days being out classed by the Tech3 cruisers at the same job.
I don't really mind about AFK pos boosters, they are not the worst of issues, they are limited to boosting in one system, and most active PVP pilots like to roam about anyway.

I've seen and read a few ideas, the ones I support are:

Limit POS boosting - should be easy to implement, you can't lock a ship inside a POS so stopping the modules running inside would be relatively easy database tweak.
Make Command links increase your signature in the same way that a MWD does - this will make them easy to probe at "safes" I'd like this alot, catching untanked tech 3's at safe spots whilst their main is otherwised engaged sounds like a lot of fun!
Obviously switch the bonus's on the T3's and Commandships as T3's are overpowered in comparison.

Some for and against posts:


Someone asked me why I tend to fly "OP" ships and use boost, I answered truthfully in the fact that I like winning fights, and that using the right ships for the job makes sense. As I will often take on ships larger or more dangerous than my own small ship, it makes sense to try and have some advantage, I could choose to fly ships that weren't any good, that wouldn't support my flying style, but let me ask you something... would you get into a boxing ring with Mike Tyson with one hand stuffed down your trousers?

Me neither.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

End of Days (part 2) Battlereport inside

This is probably the most comprehensive write up so far, and blatantly reposted here.

The cold metaphorical wind was blowing through the vastness of space, swirling around imaginary dust-particles and tumbleweed as we floated in our POS-forcefield, staring down the titan as it floated next to us
It was Sunday evening, and the dark gray space around us seemed at least twice as menacing as it usual, closing in on us and attempting to breach through the hulls and tear down friendships and tolerance keeping us safe from the stars malice 
You could sense it on the celestial winds, tonight someone was going to get royally fucked

And if we did not play our cards right, it might be us

A few nights before, Nashh had been sitting with the barrel of his finely crafted colt .45 in his mouth, tired of existence and contemplating ragequtting once and for all
Fingering the trigger, he had smiled and realized that simply shooting himself and ending it all in the quietness of his captains quarters would not cut it, no, that would be too much like surrendering
Instead, he began drafting a plan of a public spectacle to rock the stars, and announce his end for the world to see

This took shape of a declaration, he would undock in expensive spaceships and whoever destroyed him and took his worldly assets would be welcome to keep them

So, just like the days of old where fortune finders rushed out into the wasteland to claim the riches awaiting those who dared, people flocked to the system of Goinard to prove who was the boldest

In good time before the fight the followers of captain Mangala Solaris, a bandit gang known as RVB Ganked, announced their intent to grab the riches from the corpse of Nashh, and with the promise of at least a hundred pilots in attendance the system and its potential rewards, be it in money or potential for fighting started to lure hostiles in, like an open flames to us poor moths 

With Nashh’s industrial ship containing the riches symbolizing the means for him to end himself tackled and attacked, the first greedy profiteers started showing up on grid, first destroying the industrial and then turning on one another
This squandering rabble was an opportunity to cause havoc too juicy for the commanders of Shadowcartel to miss, and they made the call to jump six archons and a thanatos in together with a scattering of battleships and support to destroy some of the eager pilots and prepare for the Mangala Solaris onslaught

As sure as we all turn to dust in the end, the attack came, and a fierce firefight broke out around the still burning wreak of Nashh, smiling to himself from inside his capsule as It was targeted, almost as an afterthought, and obliterated and he finally found the oblivion he longed for, his part in this story now finally over
The fight in its early stages was frightfully one-sided, and the carriers and battleships of ShadowCartel held the field admirably, keeping up their merciless fire against the foaming rabble of the Ganknight hoard 

That cold contempt could not be allowed to stand, and we made the call to come through and reinforce the valiant tribal attackers with golden hulls of justice and promises of deliverance from the pains of existence

We flash into existence in a glorious series of red lightning bolts, a fleet of roughly seventeen absolution, pregnant pigeons of lightning-fast death and hatred, seven lokis armed with advanced immobilizing technologies and a scattering of zealots and guardians to keep us alive as well as one retarded gypsie-hurricane brought along for good fortune 
Leading us is the iron will of Hunlight, guiding us towards the enemy fleet with a vengeance only rivaled by the intense plasma furnace of a dying star, ruling the fleet with an iron fist
Together with us a complement of BALEX ships with murder in their minds come through, and together we set upon the 25 Shadowfed and 90 Ganknighthists still alive on grid

The system at this point is at 311 souls, and the lag is fucking atrocious (time-dialation at 85%)
Our movements are delayed, and it is as if we are watching a disaster in slow-motion, the missiles and beams streaking through space between the hostile forces and explosions tearing ships apart with sickening slowness, revealing all the gloriously hideous detail of deep space combat for our eyes to see

We immediately start taking on the ShadowCartel battleships, and though their armor repairs initially hold up we are able to burn through some of the less well-build Minmatar vessels
In the meantime a lot of us are taking opportunistic shoots at the wild hoards following Mangala Solaris, destroying many of the desperately firing but fragile frigates and cruisers who stray too close to the maelstrom of energy discharge that is the central field of battle

The call from Hunlught to “stop blapping the frigs and they won’t bother you” is made, and most of our pilots reply with a guilty “oops” and we concentrate back on the hostile carriers

This however proves fruitless, as eventually both sides stabilize and a mind game begins, a game of swapping targets and trying to split apart the close-knit group of hostile carriers who valiantly shrug off any attempts of our forces to break through their armor-tanks
In parallel to the Snuff/Swear and BALEX attempts to break through the carriers, several valiant skirmishing attacks from the ShadowCartel attempt to break through and disrupt our friendly formations are made, primarily using long range battlecrusiers, but they are forced off with catastrophic losses of their own for no damage inflicted

The fight has been going on for about half an hour in real time, but only like ten minutes or so have passed in game due to the massive time-dilation effects

Suddenly space is torn open in a vast display of tortured laws of physics as yet another fleet jumps through, forty battleships from Drunk and Disorderly, yet another group of privateers fighting for the Caldari state and their own profits arrive to shift the balance of the battle raging before them
They immediately set upon trying to break through the BALEX formation, but the time dilation and superior skill of the Balkan pilots make this an impossible task

A deadlock is now in place, four or five different groups of pilots are fighting one another and unable to dislodge the other grip

So a call is made
A call to ignore old wounds and damaged pride in order to avenge even older crimes, to disregard principle in order to avenge those stab wounds in our backs

A quick non-aggression pact between BALEX, Snuff, Swear and Drunk and Disorderly is formed, and we focus on trying to break through the ShadowCartel Carriers tanks as the random fleet of gank’ed mills around trying to find something weak enough to destroy, firing madly at anything and everything they can
We keep up our fire for a five or so minutes of in game time, something that feels like (and is) closer to twenty minutes of time passed on the outside

Realizing we can’t break through or disrupt them with what they have, drunk and disorderly arranges for a squadron of six dreadnoughts to be brought on field to end the carriers one and for all

After the dreadnoughts have been brought in the hostile carriers start slowly dipping downwards, and ShadowCartel, despite their best efforts, realize that the end is slowly creeping up on them from the weight of numbers
However, the end comes from an unexpected direction

A lone carrier warps into the middle of the maelstrom of destruction, and is called out as “uh-oh, PL carrier on grid” followed by a cheerful “well fuck” from Hunlight

The carrier lights up a cyno, and suddenly it’s surrounded by another twenty or so of its brethren, who deploy sentry drones and proceed to lay waste to whatever they can target

This is the signal to retreat for the friendly forces that are still able to do so, and even thought a fair number of people stay on the field holding their ground the carriers of the pandemic legion eventually overwhelms the support and start working on destroying the hostile carriers

Much to everyone’s surprise however, the ShadowCartel carriers are able to outlast the combined sentry gun damage from the hostile slowcat-formation
A tiny ember of hope starts to glow within the collective minds of the tackled ShadowCartel carriers and still immobilized Drunk and Disorderly dreadnoughts
Maybe there is still hope of deliverance?

The hope however is not long lived, but is crushed as 20 Pandemic Legion super carriers jump in and laugh fight bombers, finally ending the surviving capitals run for glory through the conflagration of massed compact torpedoes

In the end, the dust settles on a Goinard with over four hundred and thirty ships destroyed, massive values turned to ash over a pointless conflict ignited by a lone man’s desperation to not die alone

And those of us who fought and bleed on those fields of desolation, we would not have had it any other way.

MuffinsRevenger (taken from failheap)

Monday 5 November 2012

End of Days (part 1)

That hauler...

The fight escalated at several times, from frigs, to battleships, to dreads, carriers, then finally to supers. The peak population in Goinard hit 370, and TiDi dropped to 16%. Kills are still being posted, but early reports are showing at least 300 confirmed ship kills. 

At least 10 different alliances made an appearance, and many can be seen on the 187 people that managed to get onto the carrier mail.

It was a great party, but this morning I wake up feeling sad, the realisation that yet another good friend has left the game. Time to take stock, and enjoy the time and friends that we all have left. 

Nashh it's been an honour this last couple of years, and whilst we might not be able fly together again in New Eden again, I will make sure we share a glass or two.

Fly Safe my friend.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Nashh's Leaving Party

Goinard 21:00 Sunday 4th November

What are you doing with all that stuff Nashh?

Shit! he just undocked!

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Risk versus Reward...

Some nights, everything just goes to plan, there's plenty of targets, and you even earn a little profit...

Last night was one of them, logging into Goinard just chilling and derping about outside station watching the carriers arrive carrying a new corp that's on trial with Shadow Cartel. I'd just taken delivery of my new Vindicator, still being in my Snake clone I was having fun bumping Paquito's Tengu away from the station, surprisingly a Vindicator moving at over 2000ms can bump a Tengu pretty far!

Intel channels, suggested that there was a Proteus a few jumps away that was probably running sites. I sent my Alt down the pipe to investigate, whilst I re-shipped into my Stabber Fleet.

I quickly probed down his ship, but he warped out just as our tackle ship who'd already been in system landed, not so good. I was pretty sure at this point that he'd thought he was being probed by the same guy and not my alt. So hatching a cunning plan, I moved my alt one system down the pipe and immediately started to probe all the sites out. His scouting alt moved into the new system a few minutes later, blissfully unaware that I'd already probed most of the sites down, and was now cloaked up on the in gate waiting for the proteus to come through.

The rest of the gang and myself moved back to Goinard, whilst my alt waited whilst the Proteus's alt slowly probed the sites. It was quite painful watching him probe out the sites, I really should point him to my probing  guide on this blog, might speed him up a little :)

Finally the Proteus came into system and warped to a belt cluster, quickly checking the map, I fleet warped our bomber tackle frigate into the plex, following 20 seconds later by myself in my trusty slicer to provide a second point in case the bomber was forced off.

Point was called just as I landed, and the fate was sealed for the Proteus.

For those that run sites in lowsec the rewards can be high, but you must always remember that the risk is also just as high. He died simply because he was predictable.

Leaving my alt to wander lowsec in search of new targets I moved into highsec to partake in the gentlemanly persuasion of freighter ganking. Another sport where risk and reward are important. It takes us a surprisingly little amount of shiny loot in your freighter to make it worth shooting at... I do hope your insured :)

Freighter number one dropped a very nice pile of loot, but not quite as expensive as the killboard suggests.
Freighter number two, dropped a pile of very useful guns, which was kind because we use those in our Talos fits... :)

With no more worthy freighters coming up the pipe we headed back to Goinard, making a quick stopover in Inghenges as a contract target had been seen in a hulk fiddling with the roids.

Whilst Anabaric had been been otherwise occupied my Alt had found a Brutix also running sites, I mentioned this on comms, and soon had a willing pair of hands to ensure the Brutix also knew about risk and reward in lowsec. He again died by being predictable, he warped out just as Palamon landed in the site, in hurry as he'd left his drones behind. After bouncing round the system he was doing a good job at evading Palamon and staying alive. This ended kinda quickly when he decided to go back to the site and collect his drones. Landing in the site at zero he promptly cloaked in front of my alt's eyes.
Things went down hill for him shortly after...

Monday 29 October 2012

Orbital Mechanics - an exploration

Try this little experiment:

Get a buddy and practice catching each other with webs/scrams. 
Get one person just to orbit at 15km in a faster ship then have the other pilot align to a planet and hit full speed. 
What happens to the orbiting ship?
Has it started to spiral in a cone behind your ship?
What happens when you reverse direction and fly through the cone?

Now stop the centre ship. Watch the orbiting ship settle into a perfect orbit at 15+/- km, base it's orbit on a clock face, as the ship comes to 9o/ck, burn towards 12o/ck, what happens?
Try again, as the ship hits 9o/ck burn towards 12o/ck, as soon as you see the other ships vector change stop and immediately fly to 6o/ck, the ship should pull a 180 turn and fly straight at you, immediately hit approach and overheat prop and tackle.

Try it with different times within the orbit, what happens if you burn straight up or straight down, does that make a difference?

Is there away to break someone's orbit, does the server respond the same predictable way each time? Can you force someone closer? can you force someone further out?

Thursday 25 October 2012

Nashh's Leaving Party

Nashh's shuttle was late, which he didn't find surprising as the pilot had already sent a neocomm message stating that he had to get a larger shuttle as there wasn't enough room for the rum. Time wasn't an issue, ever since becoming the CEO of the Blackguard there was a never ending supply of invoices, and repair bills to deal with.

He looked up from the slate he was working on as the collision alarm sounded in the office, the hanger crew already scrambling over with fire extinguishers out to the shuttle now "docked" against the far wall. 

Cancelling the urgent call from Scotty the docking manager, Anabaric walked over to the shuttle. 
The pilot stumbled down the ramp, and rushed up to him. 
"He's mad! he threatened to shoot me, if I didn't let him fly" he stammered before rushing off to the ready room, probably to change his flight suit Anabaric thought.

Nashh climbed down from the shuttle, bottle of rum in hand, and staggered over.
"You found the rum then?"
"Yeshh, and we're gonna have a little party soon... I've order plenty of rum" and waved towards the Iteron cargo vessel that was now docking.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Tusker down, I repeat Tusker down! :D

Jumping into the Slasher again, I undocked and headed down the pipe towards Esmes, nothing in that direction! A quick 180 and back through Goinard, friendly intel had suggested a Incursus was looking for trouble further down the pipe, so I raced on through to start the hunt.

Onne (0.4)
Quickly D-scanning the frigate, I warped to a belt, then a moon, then a belt, getting bored of the ping pong I moved off the zero point and waited a few moments. The Incursus warped and immediately launched it's drone. The fight was on!

Without a web, and being tracking disrupted the incursus struggled to get any hits in with it's primary guns, it's small warrior drone chipping away. Targeting and popping the drone I now had full control of the fight, the Incursus was repping heavily, obviously dual repper, as it was pulling itself back from low armour in one hit. This wasn't getting anywhere fast. Moving closer I started to neutralise the cap of the incursus, the added pressure of this was starting to tell as it dipped into structure.
It was still clawing its way back up, but was having to burn charges to survive, charges it didn't have enough of...

Lisbaetanne (0.4)
Moving on from this happy with the kill, I headed up further up the pipe. I followed one of the Tuskers into Aeshee, now the Tuskers are known for being good frigate pilots, and always willing to fight! But this Tusker wasn't too keen on taking on the Slasher, and so he moved on through into Lisbatanne, following in I found him sitting on the gate, he yellow boxed but didn't engage. I didn't want to fight on the gate as you don't get any warning of blobbing, so trying to pull the fight off the gate I warped out to a close planet, and waited. Soon another Tusker came into local Rixx Javix of Eveoganda fame! A Taranis appeared on d-scan, and then both Tuskers came to the planet, by this point I had already been burning 250km upwards from the warp in.
1v1 I was confident that I could take on either of the ships, but together they would murder me easily.

The trick to fighting multiple ships is to keep them both within 150km of each other, that way they shouldn't be able to warp to each other, and it gives you time to fight just one of them.
You just need to separate them, there are many ways to do this, you can warp to planets at different ranges, hope that they follow but don't land together. Or you can burn around on grid and try to pull them apart. Being fast helps you do it on grid. I was faster than the Incursus but a mwd Taranis can easily pull in excess of 3000ms.

They wanted the fight, which always helps... I was now 300km above them, so had the space to pull them apart. This they did for themselves, the slower afterburning incursus sat stationary at the planet, whilst the mwd fitted taranis started to burn up towards me, I let the ceptor get 100km up away from it's buddy before warping back to the planet at 100km, this put me within 30km of the ceptor, and 100km up away from the incursus. The Taranis bailed, and came back in at 200km, a few cross warps, and we bouced around the grid finally the Taranis landed close, burning towards it, I was relieved when the it launched drones and engaged, the Incursus started the 90km burn up towards us, but the Taranis was already in trouble misjudging his closure rate, he'd come too close and was now in scram range the slashers tracking disruptor meant it's rail guns were ineffective, but the Warrior Drones were still hurting! and I was forced to run my Ancil a few cycles I wouldn't have time to kill the drones first like I would in a solo fight, I had to kill the hull as quickly as possible before the Incursus arrived.
Realising that Rixx was in big trouble, and that afterburning towards us he wasn't going to get there in time RedBerret warped off to a close spot, so he could return at zero. Landing on top of us the Taranis was now deep in structure, he started to apply damage and I was forced to overheat the Ancil, and I started to switch  my orbit to the incursus I left my guns and scram on the Taranis, whilst now neuting and disrupting the Incursus, the Taranis felt like it took ages to die, but eventually it popped and I could turn my attention to the Incursus, fitted with plate and rep, it had a free midslot for a web, which had meant even with the tracking disruption I was still getting low in armour, having already used up my initial Ancil charges! 60 seconds is a long time to wait... My Energy Neutraliser was starting to bite now, he wasn't tanking and was now slowly bleeding out. Then just as I hit 10% armour and was thinking that I might need to get out the ACB lit up with fresh charges!! I think I made a happy little squeal!
With once more a healthy shield buffer it was all over for RedBerret.

An excellent result with two tusker ships downed, and a field of loot to collect and sell.
GF's exchanged in local,  but I'd love to have heard their comms after that one. "Nerf slashers anyone?"

Sunday 16 September 2012

Free Beer?

Meet CCP at the VETO EVE London party and during Eurogamer Expo

Enjoy a player gathering with free food and drink!

CCP will be present on the largest games exhibition in Europe, the Eurogamer Expo in London, UK, from September 27 to 30, 2012. During the Eurogamer Expo we will not only present fantastic news regarding DUST 514, we will be also available with many developers ready to answer questions.

And what can be even better? Yes, the VETO EVE London player gathering!

In fantastic tradition Verone and the VETO Corp hosts one of their legendary player gatherings and CCP will be present there too with almost a dozen developers.

And what can be even better? Yes, free drinks and food!

CCP will sponsor free drinks and food, no one should leave hungry or thirsty (or sober?) from this incredible party.

Goodmans Field Wetherspoons
87-91 Mansell Street
Greater London E1 8AN

September 29, 2012
From 11 AM to last orders, that's a lot beer!

Spread the word, tell your friends and fellow EVE pilots and get to London.
We are looking forward to meet you this amazing event, see you there!
The EVE Community team

Friday 14 September 2012

Slashing at the Enemy

Anabaric moved closer to the rupture, it still hadn't attempted to neut him, but there wasn't any missiles either... so he was pretty sure the rupture was baiting him into getting too close but he had to know. 
Moving in a tight arc around the Rupture, the 220mm autocannon dangerously close with every shot to tearing the Slasher apart, each hit tore off 50% of his shields, and every time the new Ancillary booster kicked in and repaired the damage, but with only 5 charges left he had to commit to the fight or try to reload.

Approaching again, he fired at the rupture, which showed minimal shield damage, then at 13km the web effect surrounded the Slasher, and the rupture fired up it's MWD racing towards the Slasher. Scram warning followed, with the dreaded energy neutralisers starting to suck the cap out of the frigate.

But expecting this Anabaric had already overheated his afterburner, and with the rupture also scrammed the Slasher pulled range back to 9km outside the deadly range of the neutralisers. Now with the rupture scrammed and tracking disrupted he could concentrate on clearing the warrior drones that were trying to catch and kill him...

It was taking too long, the drones were long since dead, but the applied damage to the Rupture just wasn't enough, unable to get closer because of the neutralisers, he could only pepper it with Barrage ammo, as the Rupture entered armour Anabaric realised a little late that the web+scram meant it was going to be a 1600plate rupture, there was no way he was going to do this before support came. Putting a call out on alliance comms, and a couple of Shadow Cartel pilots started to the head down the pipe towards Basan, some six jumps out. 

Just then 60km away the Gate flashed signalling another pilot coming into local, the same gate the Rupture had come from, checking local quickly confirmed his suspicions that the Rupture had also called for support, things were about to get interesting. A Navy Slicer decloaked and burned straight towards him at 3000ms. Leaving the Rupture, Anabaric started burning away with the 220's instantly finding their mark as his traversal lowered. Heading up away from the cruiser, which was already running to the gate in the opposite direction, sure of his buddy's ability to kill the lesser frigate, Anabaric knew his only chance was to separate them enough to engage just the Slicer.

The Slicer was fast, stupidly so, orbiting out at 20km it started to rain purple fire on the Slasher, pulsing the ancillary booster Anabaric managed to pull the fight still further away from the gate. Being a veteran Slicer pilot and knowing their strengths and weaknesses intimately, he switched to optimal range disruption forcing the slicer to come just a little closer. The slicer was still trying to orbit, this was exactly what he was hoping for Anabaric forced a slingshot and hit approach, his overheated scram finding it's mark on the Slicer, the Rupture realising his support was in trouble started to head back out from the gate but it was already too late for the fragile slicer.

Quickly switching back to the rupture, local spiked again, and this time a daredevil jumped in and started to close on the fighting ships, this was going to end badly...

Just as the Daredevil got within range the Shadow Cartel support fleet landed in system, maybe just maybe this could still work, the Daredevil came close enough to web him, but also within neut range, realising it's mistake the DD pulled range again, but the Slasher didn't quite make it out, that 90% web really ruins your day. Support landing on the field sealed the fate of the Rupture, both the Daredevil and Rupture followed the Navy Slicer into the void. GF's exchanged in local, and to the winner goes the spoils. 
It's always nice to get to loot the field and reimburse the losses

Friday 7 September 2012

The Battle of Gukarla.

The fleet had taken ages to get started, someone had posted the advert too early and the everyone was grumbling about now waiting for the POCO* timer to come out. Anabaric had left the alliance briefing room and was back in the office still trying to catch up with the paperwork Nashh had left, when the call to undock sounded. 

Rushing past the recruits still fast asleep in their bunks he quickly jumped into the capsule and called up the hanger manifest. One of the latest editions to the hanger was to be the ride this evening. The Oracle class Battlecruiser was fitted in an unorthodox way, coupling shields with Ammarian ships was sketchy at the best of times, but no one could complain about the damage output from the Heavy Pulse lasers, still able to hit hard at 70km with Scorch Crystals. 

Undocking he quickly followed the remaining ships out to an Alliance POS where they caught a ride out towards the target system. The small fleet of 14 ships were going to be gate crashing a party where the locals were defending a POCO that had been reinforced by a large group of neutrals. Fighting a three way fight out numbered on both sides was on the cards, and would test each of the pilots skills to the limits. 

Battle Report. Gukarla (Metropolis), 06-09-2012 (20:38 - 21:35)
Rushing the last few jumps towards the target system the fleet was lucky to not run into any scouts from either party, and our own intel said that only the locals were in system and were preparing to rep up the POCO.

With our own scout hidden at the POCO we waited a few jumps out, everyones nerves were a little frayed, the long delays, and now being forced to wait for others was never good. The locals still hadn't come to the POCO, and there was no sign of the gang that had reinforced it originally. 

Impatient to start the party, and to try and force some action we warped to the system, and jumped in. Warping to the POCO we started to shoot it, quickly dropping in into armour. The locals buzzed a few scouts in at range, but still didn't come in force.

Then suddenly they appeared on scanner at short range. A mixed gang of about 20 ships, with our fleet ready and waiting they landed on grid with us, unfortunately for them they hadn't warped in as a gang and the first Naga died before most of them had even loaded the grid properly, unable to get their logistics into place propely their 3 scimmys couldn't keep up with the damage from the smaller Shadow Cartel fleet, whilst our own logistics had pulled one of the Oracles back from 50% structure. A Tornado and a Talos quickly followed the enemy Naga into the void, at which point their fleet wisely bailed leaving behind a Huginn and single hero scimmy who was saved by their falcon pilot after the Huginn died.

We hung around looting the wrecks, and started to shoot the POCO again, and were rewarded when they came back in this time they landed at range all together and were much more prepared. They fought well, but were unable to break our logistics, and again their losses started to mount, Drake, Drake, Hurricane, we tried several times to kill off their logi's but their pilots managed to keep them at range, with their fleet between us. A stabber fleet issue came too in close and died bathed in purple fire from the Oracles. Their gang once again broken warped out, a lone Loki left on the field tackled and doomed.

The final round happened just as we were preparing to leave, their gang now numbering 30+ came back in at range, we warped to a previous wreck to bring us immediately back into combat range. Once again their logi's held up against our fire and we were still unable to kill their logistics outright. Switching primaries we probed their fleet looking for weakness, finding another 8 kills in their ranks before the remaining enemies disengaged leaving us the field victorious. 


*POCO - Player Owned Customs Office.

Killboard Linky

Sunday 2 September 2012

Blog Banter 39: Home is what you make of it.

"Some say a man's home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox. 

In EVE Online, what does the concept of "home" mean to you?"

Anabaric looked over the data slates piled high on his desk, yes it really was his desk now. Nashh's name had been partially scratched off the door by Maxx, who after getting bored half way was now shouting things at the new recruits.

Nashh's sudden retirement had left the corp in a bit of shock, but the manner of leaving was typical;

The data slate with the note hadn't been found for three days, without realising it was actually important Anabaric had been using it as a coaster for his Q-Zero, it was only when Maxx pried the sticky slate off the ready room table did the message from Nashh flash up on the screen.

"Have run out of rum going planetside, back sooner or later (maybe). Made you Boss, left you something in the kitty for expenses."

Anabaric read the message again, before putting the slate down on the his desk. It really was his desk now, Nashh obviously wasn't coming back any time in the near future, and the slate had gone on to suggesting a few changes to the corp branding, but those could wait a while. There was no hurry.

The pile of slates in his new office was simply staggering, unpaid bills, impounded ships, the repairs to the docking clamps from Nashh's most recent departure, these would all have to be dealt with in time. For now Anabaric lazed in the worn out leather chair looking out over the KBG hanger, still a hive of activity as the new recruits were still moving in. Recruitment was going quite well, 3 promising recruits in as many days, but more were still needed to drive the corp forward.

Home is what you make of it he thought to himself, of all the stations Anabaric had lived in over the last few years this one felt the most like home, it wasn't the hanger itself or good hunting in the local asteroid belts, it was the people he shared it with. They were the ones who'd put the holes in the walls, spilt the Quafe on the floor, and were hard at work screaming at the recruits, or hauling ammunition and equipment ready for the next roam.

The neo-comm chimed with a new message to alliance, time to go, time to fight with friends.

BB:39 Links

Thursday 9 August 2012

Surgical Slicer

The executioner class frigate had been buzzing round the system for a few minutes now not long staying in one place for any time, certainly not enough to be ratting, and was hanging off the gate in to neighbouring Allipes.

Coming in for a closer look Anabaric pulled the slicer up to the gate at 100km, a quick look at the frigates brand new paint, and registration number confirmed his suspicions this was the new Mark III Executioner, with the extra slots. Whilst still not realistically a threat on it's own to the Navy issue Slicer that he was flying the pilots behaviour suggested that he had a gang on the other side of the gate. Unable to start the fight under the watchful eye the concord maintained gate guns, the Slicer performed a few close fly bys to try and tempt the other pilot to aggres. Then suddenly the Executioner pilot warped out to a tactical point 200km away from the gate, but before Anabaric could burn the distance the Executioner warped back to the gate and jumped through.

"You know that's a trap don't you.." Nashh's voice slurred through the neocomm.
"Order me a rum, I'll be back in station in 20mins"
"You'll be back in your clone bay in 2 more like it"

Anabaric gained the minimum safe warp distance, then warped back to the gate, jumping on contact. On the other side of the gate a small gang was indeed waiting, the slicer would still be invisible on their sensors, it's signature still echoing from the jumpgate, he used the time to assess the situation. A Pilgrim, Talos, Oracle, were orbiting the gate at close range ready to jump through the slicer was not moving, probably sitting with it's microwarp drive overheated and primed to tackle.

If he could split them up that Executioner should die easily, but could he get them away from each other... Burning back to the gate he waited just long enough for the ships to engage, a scram warning from the Executioner and then the dreaded red box from the Pilgrim! Pressing the jump button he watched the local channel, to check he'd been followed by some of the ships, both the Talos and Oracle were now in Goinard. As the grid started to load, and systems recover from the inter-system jump, Anabaric burned back to the gate and jumped again, ignoring the warning protest from his jump engine matrix which was now dangerously overheated.
The Executioner and Pilgrim were still sitting on the gate unable to have followed into Goinard, overheating his microwarp drive he burned out away from the gate, 50km, 100km, smiling quietly as the Executioner proceeded to chase the Slicer.
As the Orcale and Talos appeared back in the system, Anabaric slammed the slicer round in a tight turn, the thin hull groaning under the g force and burned straight towards the executioner. The pilot reaslised his mistake just too late as he tried to run back to the safety of his friends, but by aggressing earlier he had combat flagged his ship in front of the gate guns and they could not save him now!
With his friends impotently watching on, the Slicer's overheated lasers cut his small ship to pieces in just a few seconds. With a quick GF! in local channel Anabaric warped back towards Goinard, and the waiting rum.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Kadavr Crimson Guard Opens for business...

Nashh pins the rusty badge on Maax's flight suit then walks out of the office towards the hanger, Maax follows with Anabaric still looking slightly confused.
So guys, so what does it mean to be a director?

Well it doesn't really mean much, you can steal all the money in the kitty, assuming Nashh hasn't spent it all on rum (...again). Downside is if you steal all the money it means I can't keep bribing Scotty to let us stay here after the next time Nashh crash's his ship into the docking ring, then we'll have to move stations (...again) which is a pain, more so for you now because you're a director and have to organise it. There really isn't enough money in the kitty to make it worth while, I think about it often.

Nashh turns the corner and walks out into the hanger, Anabaric holds Maax back for a second.
"I guess the best thing about being a director is that you can scam Nashh out of the rum easier."

Maax laughs and follows Anabaric out into the hanger, Nashh is already searching through a pile of ammunition boxes, muttering something about Kirith, and needing a more rum.
Maax looks over to the otherside of the hanger where Kirith is talking to the new batch of recruits.
"Do you think anyone would care if we vented that side of the hanger to space right now?"
Nashh emerges victoriously from the pile of boxes holding a bottle of rum.
"Found it! actually I think you can do that now, your new access code gives you hanger and container rights in here"
"And that's why being a director is worth it Maax... ...Ah Nashh I see you found my bottle of rum."

I am Gunnery Sergeant KirithKodachi , your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir".
Do you maggots understand that?
Sir, yes Sir.
Bullshit I can't hear you. Sound off like you got a pair!
If you ladies leave my station, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war. But until that day you are pukes. You are the lowest form of life in NewEden. You are not even human fucking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on brutors, frogs, squids or relious freaks. Here you are all equally worthless. And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Guard. Do you maggots understand that?

No skill point requirement, 
No pvp skills required.

Kadavr Crimson Guard - What We Are About
Two weeks ago I announced the incorporation of the Kadavr Crimson Guard (aka KCG), a Gallente factional warfare corporation. Now I am going to expand on details of what I envision for this entity.

The goal of the corporation is to participate in the Faction Warfare feature on the side of the Gallente Federation. This means I expect pilots of the KCG to do one or more of the following regularly: plexing, Federal Defense Union missions, or PvP either solo or with members of the Gallente Militia. This does not preclude other activities (exploration, manufacturing, mining, etc) but if you are not doing one of the four above I question why you would bother with this corp.

I do not know how large this corp will grow or how active it will be. Personally, I can commit only to one evening a week (2-3 hours, typically Sunday night), and all I ask of my pilots is a similar level of commitment. Thus pilots joining the KCG will need to be very self-sufficient, however as we are part of the militia they can join militia operations. I encourage such participation as long as you follow the PvP standards at the end of this post.

We do not have skill point requirements, but we do have Gallente Standing requirements in that if adding you to the corporation threatens the corporation with expulsion from the militia we will review all members' standings and take actions from there.

One unique quality of the KCG that other corps do not offer is membership in the private channel for other Kadavr corps; the Kadavr Black Guard (low sec PvP corporation, part of the infamous Shadow Cartel) and the Kadavr Conglomerate (wormhole corp). Membership in KCG does not give you automatic access to either of these other two corps, but you can chat up members and posting good results as part of the KCG will give you some proof you can survive and thrive in low sec (if you need the help).

The Blackguard has discussed having a recruitment corp for a while, from my own background coming through the Heretic-Army I saw how effective this can be, so whilst Kirith may not be as active as he'd like within the new corp there will be a lot of involvement and support from the Blackguard corp at times, you won't be left completely alone. We see the corp as an extension of ourselves, the Crimson guard is a place for new pilots to cut their teeth in combat, learn some skills within NewEden, all whilst wearing the Kadavr brand. Welcome to the family.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

HEAD2HEAD: Rifter vs Incursus

The Minmatar Rifter has been the pretty much the undisputed king of T1 frigates pretty much since the dawn of time, or at least 2009 when I first started flying in New Eden. If you wanted a frigate that basically said I'm a pirate lets fight you jumped into a Rifter and warped to top belt, and that's held true for many years. 
But could that all be set to change?

CCP have been stiring things up in the ship classes and the cumulative effect is very interesting, first Hybrid's weapons got fixed, suddenly light neutron blasters could be fitted to pretty much everything, and with the null ammo getting a much needed buff to range/falloff it became possible to hit things at 10km with close range guns, something the Minmatar had worked out with Barrage ammunition a long time ago.

Then last month the T1 frigates got a big overhaul, the humble blaster merlin became a viable ship and the Incursus well that has become a bit of a beast. Given an extra lowslot and a bonus to armour repair and enough pg and cpu to make sure that you could use the extra slot. There has been a massive amount of interest in the Incursus on Battleclinic, and some truely epic fits have been posted, a dual repping version that can tank 200dps even before any gang bonus's are applied. Standard fit's pushing out well over 200dps are not uncommon.
The Incursus versus Rifter debate is still going strong, lets start by looking at the cookie cutter Rifter as the main contender.

Rifter's main advantages in the past have been that it's faster than most T1 frigates, enabling it to control the range of the fight so it can either come up close and brawl with high damage fusion/pp/emp or sit out at 8-9km and using barrage to pick apart the tank of it's victim

[Rifter, Cookie SAR+AB]
Small Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
[empty rig slot]

Versus the New Incursus in cookie format

[Incursus, Cookie SAR]
Damage Control II
Small 'Accommodation' Vestment Reconstructer I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
[empty rig slot]

Now some pretty graphs, these assume perfect tracking.

As you can see anything under 4.2 km the Incursus is pumping out far more damage than the Rifter, the exact damage will vary slightly for the Rifter based on what ammunition it's loaded. But the range/falloff will be the same.

Now we move to the Rifter's old stand point versus Gallante ships, move to max range hit with barrage. Now max combat range is usually between 7-9km and you can see with Null loaded it's only after 8km that the Rifter actually applies more damage. 

The Incursus now has the first call on the fight range, with marginally more speed. 
Blasters track better. The Incursus also has 25% more tank versus fusion than the Rifter versus Antimatter.
The Incursus can also reload in only 5 seconds, thus switching from short to long range ammo.
In a close range fight the Incursus puts out an additional 100dps against the Rifter, and switching to T2 long range ammo, as you can see from the graph above it's only after 8km that the Rifter actually applies more damage, so with the extra tanking ability of the Incursus it should be an obvious winner... 

But there's still a catch.

Cap warfare: The utility high on the Rifter can make the difference, by fitting a neut the close range fight changes in favour of the Rifter with that small neut causing problems for the Incursus only 30seconds into the fight stopping him from being able to repair. The Rifter also has more armour which means it can absorb far more punishment from the Incursus before it has to start burning its own tank and cap. So in the end it's going to come down to pilot skills more and more, as these two ships have finally been brought into balance, which pilot is going to Fight Smart®?

Friday 15 June 2012

Finally... now lets go kill something.

So after my last few weeks of computer hell, with bits on back order, and getting the wrong bits sent though, and delivery delays I finally have a working PC again. I'm still waiting for a compatible waterblock for the graphics card, but figured I'd just have that air cooled while I'm waiting.

It's been a few weeks since my last kill, when I'd caught a noob ferox ratting in (0.3) Akila, and I was impatient for more, with detail set to max my new system was really making it all look pretty. I flew the rifter back to goinard hoping for an easy kill on the way, the only ship I'd seen was a Myrmidon ratting which wasn't going to be a good fight for the little rifter. I warped in at range to his belt just to confirm the pilot's name so I could reship and come back for him. He ran as I landed leaving a couple of drones...
Always a good sign when the pilot gets scared easily, a quick bit of history searching came back with tendency towards buffer fits, and a less than great kill record.

Switching out in Goinard for my dual MSE Harpy I flew the couple of jumps back and started the hunt, I chased him out of a few belts then across a few systems, he eventually went and sat on the gate under the sentries where I couldn't shoot at him. I thought about using the batphone and getting some support but figured as I hadn't installed mumble yet it was a hassle.

During the hunt I'd seen a legion a couple of jumps back, so figured I'd go back and see what he was up to.
When I entered the system there was a few people in local, the legion was still on scan, now obviously in a belt, but nothing else, a few nervous alarms went off, this has to be bait! 
Quickly landing in the same belt as the legion, just in time to see him warping off to the next belt... without thinking I immediately selected the belt and hit warp to zero. I landed right on top of the legion and immediately engaged the scram. overheating my AB I moved into a tight orbit and started to fire, I'd already selected void ammo on the warp knowing I'd need all the DPS I could squeeze out of the harpy, and his shields were now melting quickly as expectected. Then the dreaded alert for scram/web appeared on my overview! Shit I thought, he IS pvp fit! Checking D-scan I saw a rupture appear. Oh well, no point in trying to leave now. His laser's were completely ineffective the pulses falling behind my tiny little ship, I was barely hurt at this point still in 80% shields. But with his friend now on the way, I didn't really expect to make it.

His armour was dropping steadily, now down to 30%, he'll start tanking in a moment I thought, any moment now I thought. 20% That rupture still hasn't arrived...  10% The legions starts to bleed structure, I look around again for the rupture which is still on d-scan but not close.
Strange I thought as the legion pops, immediately scooping the loot (finding nothing good).
Best I go find that rupture...

The rupture was actually a far harder kill than the legion, with a flight of Warrior II's chewing away at nastily at my shields I finally dispatch the flight with about 10% shield left and start to work over the rupture itself, at this point his missiles were the only thing doing any damage, with his main guns missing the small signature of the Harpy. I was more than happy to see this missiles exploding on my shield as it meant a distinct lack of neuting.
The end result was the same as the legion, the small harpy killing two "superior" craft. 

Flying back to Goinard to dock and rest, I look over the killmail to see exactly how the Legion was fitted, on first glance it didn't look bad, I was surprised it hadn't managed to tank the blarpy's 250dps. It was only when I EFT'd it later that I realised quite how bad it was. At maximum skills and overloaded it struggles to tank 170dps and only 150 versus hybrids, so the very reason he didn't appear to be tanking at all during the fight, was in fact that he'd been tanking the whole time...