Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wanderings of a Carebear

Kirith asks where have you been in Eve.

I was interested in that question, so I dumped the map below (click for the full view):

Pretty much what one would expect for a Caldari carebear. The few dots in Syndicate are recent and the result of Seppuku's HQ in Stacmon. I can't remember what I was doing in the fall of 2007 that had me out in the north east Indian Country.

Could be interesting to review this in 90 days or so and see what changes...

[Queue ominous music as Our Hero scans the horizon & mutters "It's quiet.... Too damn quiet... Security! Send a 2 man redshirt recon team to sweep the perimeter."]



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blog Banter - Bribe the Docking Bay Manager

This month's topic comes to us from Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility. He asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums"


I want to be able to bribe the docking bay manager to toss you and all your corpmates that I'm at war with out of a station.

The fee would be on a per ship basis and would create a 1 hour cooldown where OPFOR couldn't dock at the same station, but my corp can't kick OPFOR out from any station until the cooldown lapses.

Thirty seconds of warning time to the kickee.

Would put a crimp in station hugging & ship spinning.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here's to new ships & stuff!

My buddy Eyedoll passed me a sniper fit Curse that I tweaked a little to get this:

[Curse, New Setup 1]
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II

Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Large Shield Extender II

Drone Link Augmentor I
Drone Link Augmentor I
Drone Link Augmentor I
Ammatar Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Improved Cloaking Device II

Ancillary Current Router I
Ancillary Current Router I

Hammerhead II x5
Warrior II x10
Vespa EC-600 x5
When I first started looking at it, I was very skeptical. The whole fit is designed to allow you to squeeze a large neut on a cruiser hull. It is gimped in so many different ways that I was tempted to not even undock it.

And then I looked at the neut range and the neut amount....

Hmmm... 1 cycle caps out just about every cruiser hull & smaller... From 75km+ (named for 75km.... Faction will give you 88.6km)... Interesting... You'd be in falloff for Falcon's & Rooks and sensor strength of 28 means they will be having a hard time anyway... A little bit of DPS from the drone bay...

Certainly not a solo ship, but lots of ways to be useful in a small gang of HACs & Recons.

So, I undocked it and got various corpmates & alts to play target. We played with interceptors, Falcons, Blackbirds, logistics, battlecruisers and battleships. As you might expect, the smaller the hull, the more devastating the attack. 'Ceptors trying to burn to me were capped within 10-15k of crossing the 75km line. Cruisers took longer to cap, but covered about the same ground.

Bottom line is that I'll be flying this for real to see how it performs and how targets react to a Curse engaging them from 75km. I was hoping to do that already, but the last mercs that were hired to dec us retracted when their employer failed to uphold thier end of the bargin. Pity.

In other news:

- All of the battleships and pods lost in the Korsiki POS battle are in the process of being restored by petition. GM's can tell the difference between desynchs and disconnects, even if others who fail to understand game mechanics do not. Falsely accusing someone of employing logoff tactics is pretty lame and might be taken personally, if we cared.

- After watching Yue carve up everything in the sky with a Zealot, I've rearranged my training plan a bit. 12 days and I'll be fitting out one of those little monsters & asking Yue for lessons in flying it. The gold ships seem a little strange to me, though... Subconsciously, I'm afraid that it will 'glint' in the sun & give away my location! ;)

- The LT is on the manifest for the last 4 BCT 1 CAV flight out of the sandbox. 2 weeks +/- should see him home.

- Melissa Dawn started a new trend in Seppuku sigs that feature a more, shall we say, 'bare bones' approach to swords. Here's my newest take:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Final thoughts on Ivy Dec

The Ivy dec has been completed. The conditions of our contract were all met or exceeded.

I've struggled to communicate the sincerity of my personal feeling that, for me, the dec was nothing personal and that the view that all who try to blow you up in Eve are scum, vermin or subhuman is not only factually wrong, but detrimental to the game.

The doubters and the haters are entitled to their opinion and throughout the discussion, both here and on the Seppuku public boards, they have been able to express those opinions freely and without restriction.

Actions speak louder than words and to demonstrate my sincerity, the following BPC's have been contracted to Azmodeus Valar DirLog of Eve University:

Megathron 3X ME40 PE15
Dominix 3X ME 30 PE15
Drake 5X ME35 PE10
Vexor 5X ME35 PE15
Harbinger 5X ME45 PE48
Blackbird 5X ME30 PE10
Stabber 5X ME30 PE15
Cormorant 10X ME75 PE60
Merlin 30X ME38 PE20

250mm Rails 300X ME100 PE50
Cataclysm 3000X ME75 PE75
Devastator 3000X ME50 PE50
Paradise 3000X ME50 PE50
Wraith 3000X ME50 PE50
Ogre I's 1500X ME120 PE120

Combat Probes 3000X ME50 PE25
Scan Probes 1000X ME40 PE40

Cargo Rigs 50X ME365 PE10

I'll have nothing more to say about Ivy and Uni.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Situational Awareness: A Must for EWAR Pilots

If you are an EWAR pilot, one of the first things you need to understand is that there are times when you don't want to jam or damp a WT out of the fight. Doing so only helps him and hurts you.

For example, tonight a Uni fleet of 15-20, including a Scorpion, at least 2 Blackbirds and at least 2 Celestis, was holding on the Osmon gate in Korsiki. I was in an Onyx offgrid to the gate and had 5 or 6 support offgrid of the Korsiki gate in Osmon. The plan was for me to solo warp to the gate at zero and tackle the Scorpion and hold him down long enough for the support fleet to hit the gate & jump.

I landed on the gate and immedately tackled the Scorp & started tossing a few heavies at him to keep him occupied. I started receiving return fire from the Uni fleet and was having no issue tanking when the all of the Uni EWAR hit. I was jammed and damped before my second volley was fired. Doing so was a huge tactical mistake by the Uni EWAR pilots.


Because as long as I was agressing, my cool down timer for gate jump wasn't starting to run. As soon as I was jammed, that cooldown timer begins and I am free to jump system when it expires, but the folks that were jamming and/or shooting would not be able to follow the jump! So, since I was able to tank their damage output, I could have jumped and evaded as soon as the gate would let me.

In that situation, EWAR pilots should only jam or damp as a measure of last resort. You want me to stay agressed so that I can't jump. FC should also be considering jumping a few tacklers to the other side of the gate (assuming FC knows it's clear) to catch me if I de-agress and jump. You want to soak up my DPS so you can trap me on the gate and kill me.

Our support jumped in and Uni left the field with no losses on either side. I had a conversation with the FC later & we talked about the situation. He was unaware that jamming me allowed the cooldown timer to start.

Guess there's a few more Uni pilots that have picked up some valuable insight as a direct result of our war.

A few responses

If nothing else, it appears that this blog is serving to allow some discussion back and forth between the various folks involved and that's fine with me.

Comment threads are hard to follow, so I'm working on some alternatives, but for now, I'll pull out a few specific items and respond here to keep things moving along.

From Rodney:
"I guess my concern with your suggestions would be that a lot of the experience you talk about seems to be either difficult to obtain for someone who joined another corp for a "sabbatical", or doesn't seem to be any higher-value for being acquired elsewhere, other than the PvP experience aspect.

Wouldn't it also be difficult to find someone who was out there in the real game, away from the Uni, and was willing to give up a big chunk of their time to come back and serve as Eve Uni's Director of Personnel, or Logistics, or Education?"

My suggestion was simply that a Director has to have flown with someone else, not that they serve in a position of leadership. DirLog (for example) could bring a much broader perspective of the logistics opportunities available to players having served in a corp that is focused strictly on mining or production. Bringing that knowledge back into Uni would be a significant benefit.

I think you would be surprised how many Uni vets and/or Uni supporters would return.

As far as any hypothetical return, I don't think that's in the cards, so speculation about tactical decisions, rather than strategic issues, would only tend to be divisive and draw the focus away from more fundamental questions.

From Ethan:
"At any point today was the success of your POS-removal mission in jeopardy? I'm pretty sure it wasn't, we may have had more ships but you had vastly more tonnage. I'm just curious what you have to say about it."

In terms of the overall mission and fulfillment of our contract obligations, I don't think so. The lag was very pronounced, but those of us who lacked big POS warfare experience learned tons about the appropriate techniques to minimize the lag experienced, to fight through it and be effective. I was surprised at the number of battleships it took. My expectation, based on my time at Uni was that a large Empire faction Deathstar POS would require between 100-150 battleships to take down. Our fleet peaked at around 50 or so.

Uni FC faced a tough proposition being outgunned against a group that was clearly willing to absorb losses to achieve the objective.

From Andrew:
"I'm still struck by the apparent split between the "it's not personal" claims, and the arguments we see everyday."

Let me try it this way:

The decision to issue merc contracts against Uni was highly personal for the issuer.

My decision to participate was not personal and remains so. I'm not going to make any isk out of it and didn't expect to do so.

What I did expect was to learn more about how to fight on the outnumbered side of typical Uni engagements and to blow stuff up. I expected that, unlike some Uni opponents, Seppuku would bring the fight early and often and that no one would ever be able to accuse us of dec'ing and then fading into the woodwork.

My expectations have been met so far!

From Kelduum:
"However, there is a discussion topic open on the Directors forum at the moment as to how we can rectify this, but of course, getting everyone in battleships without the ability to fit them properly is never a good idea."

There has been a thread discussing that topic almost continuously for years. The root cause is the Catch-22 of needing experienced, skilled combat pilots, but not being able to 1) retain them or 2) recruit them. In any organization, if the big picture attitudes and policies are consistently not allowing objectives to be achieved, then something has to change significantly.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Here you go....


When Morning Maniac echoes the call for specific suggestions, the level of respect that I have for him bids me to set aside my own preferences and stop teaching for a moment.

To set the stage, let there be no mistake. My attitude is different now than when I was in Uni. I do not hold the same beliefs about some of the core tenants that were being taught and continue to be taught to this day. I have changed, have never denied it nor do I see that fact as a shortcoming.

Those changes in my perception of those around me are the direct result of leaving Uni and experiencing the EVE universe for myself.

Others left before me and returned with comments and criticism. The conflict and internal drama that these episodes caused contributed to my own leaving. I was wrong to dismiss their viewpoints and cavalierly set them aside simply as the desire to control Uni after departure.

So, I have no memory issues and I'm aware that my viewpoints are different now than they were earlier, thank you. I have no desire to start a clone of Uni. My desire is that Uni continue to evolve in order to present a more accurate portrayal of the game, in all it's complexities.

Suggested 'Big Picture' changes:

- To serve as a Director, a player should have more than three month's experience flying with another corp in their area of expertise.

- Directors should serve staggered terms of not more than 1 year. Repeat terms should be allowed, but only after a 'sabbatical' of three months flying with someone else.

- A full and complete financial report (balance sheet, income statement and isk flow) and report of Departmental activities should be prepared quarterly and released to all involved parties, including students and contributors.

The focus of these suggestions is to make sure that Uni presents a balanced and up to date viewpoint of the game and is accountable to external supporters for Uni's stewardship of their support.


If you continue to hold the mistaken notion that I have some personal enmity for Uni, explain how it is that I refused to employ the power available to me as an operator of the Eve University public channel from the time that I left until that role was removed in the last few hours. What would be more 'personal' than finding out that all of the other operators were removed and that IVY was banned from the channel? I was aware of that opportunity and could have taken that action any time, but yet did not.