Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New ship = new fun

Part of the appeal of Eve for me is rolling out a new ship. All of the planning, the futzing in EFT and EVEMON, the time spent researching fits and considering how to best incorporate a new shiny into your game play culminates when you undock and go for a spin.

Most times, the first few flights are uneventful. A few times, there can be excitement!

I've been working on a 6 week program to get my second character into an Eos with mining gang modules. Looking at all that extra mining capability makes me smile (and Sabre cry that I would 'misuse' a command ship that way!). Monday night, with our 'war' over, it was time to roll out Mom's Little Helper. The results were.... well, let's just say that it's no accident that there were a couple of missing belts when our little gang finished up. :)

Last night was different.

I was pulling missions next door, really after a mission 'roid spawn where I could get a feel for how the Eos would impact my solo work. Couple of students in local who were also mining, along with our most recent can flipper pest. I set the Eos up with an eye toward being effective as anti-can flipper, so it had full tackle, plus an assortment of damage, web and ECM drones. Our frigate-flying Can Flipper struck once as we were organizing the fleet and then left the belt to wait out his timer.

I warped the Eos to the belt and saw a couple of Can Flipper's wrecks and cans sitting around. A few more students joined our little party and a couple of us re-flipped the cans, flagging us to our little pest.

He warps to the belt a couple of times. Each time I lock him up with the Eos and he immediately leaves. Then, just as my timer is about to expire, he warps in, moves to 1500 meters from the Eos while I'm locking him and flips a can!

Scram, web, neut, guns, launch mixed flight of drones. Pop!

No idea what this guy was thinking, but it didn't work out for him. He made several more trips to the belt in his pod. Against policy, one of the students podkilled him, bringing a Concord swarm and leaving behind a frozen corpse. The student said that the sec status hit was worth it to get rid of the gnat. I just laughed.

So, boys & girls, today's lesson is: Don't flip cans in front of a command ship, m'kay?

Monday, August 25, 2008

War (?) Ends... So we go on a fieldtrip!

Our latest war dec ends in a few hours. A 1 man corp dec'ed us, lost the ship for which his corp is named (demonstrating a total lack of understanding of one of the easiest fitting ships in the game) and then went to Plan B. Plan B involved logging on in space in a nano'ed Crow, warping from deep safespot to deep safespot, going 9k mps toward some distant celestial object & then proclaiming in local how uber he was, even as he refused all opportunities to engage.

Plan C involved self-posting to C&P on EO and asking for others to join him in his 'winning campaign'. Plan C must not have worked out so well either as his member count never moved from one.

Plan D involved just logging in on his alt.

So, since the warbeer supply was still adequate, we took the students on a little fieldtrip to 0.0. We take these on occasion and all the participants are clearly instructed to fly something they can afford to lose ('cause the odds are about 10 to 1 that they will) and to fly an empty headed clone (for the same reason).

Every time we do this, three things happen:

1. We have a great time, mostly going bloooie at some point!
2. A student forgets to check and loses a nice set of implants (Snakes? ouch!)
3. Somebody flies a ship they _really_ didn't want to lose.

As for our trip Sunday? Check. Check. And check.

Our 40+ fleet was holding the gate quite nicely. Big bubble up. Showing the students where to position tacklers to grab people that bounce off the bubble. Talking about the importance of positioning & scouting. Hostile count in local was about 10. We had popped a few of the curious and the unwary. Hostile count increased a bit... Our scouts were reporting what was jumping in system. Nothing to be concerned about so far. Then, in a set of clearly coordinated moves, a hostile Sabre jumps through the gate and a hostile Domi warps in at the edge of the bubble. No big deal... FC calls targets for the various squads, we start taking them both down. Then... Well, then, the Hammer arrived. :)

"A Ragnarok just warped in..."
"WTF is a Ragnarok?"
"Momma? Look at all the pretty lights!"
"Momma? Why am I in a pod?"

That's right, sports fans! The Eve Uni fleet had just been Doomsdayed! Frigate wrecks littered the field. A few of the battleships survived and escaped, but the student ships were toast. It was epic!

A good time was had by almost all (the pilot with the Snakes was understandably not too pleased, but, hey, whadda ya gonna do?) and the students got some valuable lessons about how much 0.0 is different from Empire. I'm sure the Ragnarok pilot had fun, too!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Just scattershooting while I wait for our single war target to log in... (I know, I know... I'll have more to say after the dec is over.)

This is a great set of info to get new pilots up to speed in a hurry:

If you haven't added Crazy Kinux to your RSS feed, you need to fix that immediately. Lot's of good stuff there.

CCP is obviously re-thinking the nano-nerf.
Some of the changes were rolled back on the test server. Trit bar prices have recovered somewhat. The economy of Eve fascinates me. Almost pure capitalism at work. Pure supply and demand markets. CCP announces nano-nerf, players anticipate that certain rigs which use salvaged trit bars will no longer be popular. Players look in their hangars & see stacks of trit bars. Players start putting up sell orders and prices start going down. CCP rolls back changes & the price rebounds. Lots of isk made & lost as a result of crowd psychology, speculation & luck. I'll not speak too much about the whole nano thing. As in most situations in RL, there is a kernel of truth is the positions of both sides.

Unorthodox Mission Running
From my list of 50 Things I Know: "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid.

I've been experimenting with mission running in HAC's & HDIC's. Why? Because I love the tank. The DPS is a little low, but having a second account with a support Domi available solves that issue when it arises. It is really interesting to hear the 'Professional' mission runners get offended. If I'm having fun, what difference can it make to them if I choose to run missions in an Onyx, mine in a Rokh or autopilot through Jita at peak time? Choices have consequences, but if they are my choices and my consequences, then get your underthings untwisted & run along.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Here's to a broader audience....

I had a note from a Uni Alumni suggesting that I check out this blog for lots of Eve content:

I did and really enjoyed seeing some familiar faces and finding some new nuggets, too.

I'll be figuring our how to add the Blog Pack to the links, too. So make the jump & see what you find that's interesting!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

War Ends

Although, it really never was much of a war.

We lost 3 frigates & a destroyer in exchange for 2 battleships & a HAC. Great exchange ratio!

We had some new FC's step up to lead fleet ops and when they didn't find WT's they went to low-sec & vented their frustration on some pirates. SOPs were followed from the outset and were relaxed as it became clear the OPFOR wasn't a huge threat.

I'll close with this bit from a Uni member:

How EVE University fights their wars
by Patri Allin

How we fight a war -
We form a Grand Fleet with 3 people who have been to lots of wars, 20 people who have just taken the tackling class, 5 people who are wondering what a "TS" is, and 1 person who is so new they think this is part of the tutorial. It takes us 10 minutes to figure out if we are a "tackler" or an "EW", and we haven't even left the station yet.

We find the enemy. As Leader #1 "calls a primary" 4 people put their vote in gang chat, then Leader #2 says "Jam that guy" and somewhere someone stands up from their computer and starts to do the "Hammer", And although nobody ever quite realizes this is what happened, Leader #3 has already been podded by 5 of our own guys who are now super excited they killed an enemy Battleship.

After the dust clears we've got 5 people left - shot 5 of the enemy (net loss 45) and for us this is a MASSIVE FREAKIN VICTORY! It is too cause our ships cost 1mil each and thiers about 200. We try to remember which way is home and then fly off in the wrong direction as somewhere nearby, sitting in their pod in a station, someone is thinking this is the best tutorial in an MMO ever."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Quick RL Update...

I've received a number of requests for an update on The LT's status, so I'm going to do it here so all can find it & I don't have to repeat myself!

The LT made it to Kuwait fine and spent a week acclimatising. Movement from Kuwait to Tallil was accomplished in the early hours of 01 Aug, via Japanese C-130 w/ full Japanese crew, featuring combat departures & approaches. Bet that was fun!

He has received his assignment as FSO of one of the companies of 2nd Battalion 12th Regiment, which is great because that's the billet he's trained for (as opposed to a slot in S4, where they tried to put him at first!).

Creature comforts are fine. He will live in a trailer with one other soldier. Getting his net connection sorted is high on his priority list. Skype > calling cards, mkay?

Daughter has returned to school for her last semester. Classes don't start for a couple of weeks, so things are a bit slow for her & that is stressful (<3 you, girl!), but should improve as the level of activity on campus goes up.

Thanks for all your comments and support. Both The LT and my daughter 'creep' this blog (took me a few moments to figure that reference when she first made it! lol), so know that support is seen by those that need it most and appreciated by She Who Must Be Obeyed and me.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

I did & it was. :)

"Maybe I'll fit tackle gear on my Scorp. That would be ebil, though, wouldn't it..."

An OPFOR Vagabond was harassing a lone Uni student when I logged in yesterday. One of the students was forming a reaction fleet so I grabbed by Scorp, replaced two jammers with T2 web & scram and headed out to join the party.

WT stayed in system with our lone pilot for a long time as we transited the pipe. We took up a position with the WT in the next system on the gate to Jita there. Our scout put eyes on WT, who followed him to a station so our scout warped to a planet and lost him. Given the WT's aggressive nature, our FC determined to use the scout to bait the WT into an ambush at our gate.

Unfortunately, our scout was tackled & popped on the Jita gate in the next system when he went to start the bait activity. As soon as I heard the scout call on TS that he was engaged, I solo jumped & warped to the Jita gate, figuring that I could tackle the Vaga & hold him until FC got the rest of the fleet through & to the gate. In warp, others were encouraging FC to jump the fleet & engage. I informed FC that I was on the way to the gate already.

I landed within 1200 meters of the Vaga and immediately scrammed & webbed him. The Vaga agressed (renewing timer!) so I hit him with 2 jammers, F1-F6, launch drones and wait for the rest of the fleet to arrive.

The purple cloud appears and envelopes the Vaga. 15 secs later, it pops, followed by the pod before I could lock it.

Killmail shows that is was indeed nanofitted, as you would expect for a solo Vaga.

Lessons to be learned:

1. Appropriate aggressiveness wins. Experience teaches when aggressiveness is appropriate.
2. If you are solo PvPing against a much larger (therefor more likely to have lots of people online) Corp, the last thing you want to do is become stationary. The longer you sit still, the longer you give your enemy to form a reaction force, gather intel about you, travel to you and kick your ass.
3. Having an aggro timer and sitting on a gate or station is bad, mkay?. Loot & scoot!
4. Nano ships can be killed. Nano pilots usually have to make a mistake or be unlucky, but they can be killed and those losses are expensive. This loss was in excess of 140M isk. About 10M isk per second! ;)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Speed Gank in Osmon AAR 2008-07-31 23:18:00

I was pulling picket duty in WT's home system 30+ jumps from Korsiki. No WT's online for more than an hour. I'm BSing with another director (Let's call him Warbeer) on TS.

Then at 23:02 buddylist notification of a WT logging in was received. Quick scan of local revealed that WT was not in local. Our intel dept locates WT seconds later in Osmon in Typhoon, where WT had logged off after the earlier engagement where Uni popped a Mega.

Warbeer is in Korsiki & heads to the gate. I dock & jump clone to Korsiki and grab my favorite Scorp. No fleet is up & no one is in ops channel on TS, so I drag Warbeer & myself to the Bar & Grill. Warbeer starts issuing orders and engages the WT jumping into Korsiki from Osmon. I get a fleet started.

WT reapproaches the gate & jumps back to Osmon before anyone else gets to the Osmon gate. Warbeer waits out the aggression time & jumps into Osmon & finds WT still in local & on scan. Our prober locates WT sitting outside a station.

Warbeer warps to the station & engages, WT returns the favor.

The rest of us jump in, warp to the station & engage. One of our frigates goes pop. WT de-agresses to wait out the timer & dock, but we put enough DPS on the Typhon to pop it before the timer expires. WT immediately docks the pod & logs out seconds later. 16 minutes from log in to ship loss. Smile

What we did right:
- Rapid response
- DPS on target

What I could have done better:
- I only set up 1 squad as I formed the fleet. I got the self-invite sorted and the invitation in Alliance chat, but because I only left room for 1 squad, it maxed out. I was too busy to do anything about it until it was too late. My bad guys & I'll do better next time!

Bottom line: Great response, great kill!