Monthly Archives: April 2011

Blog Banter 26

Welcome to the twenty-sixth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s topic was proposed by @KatiaSae of the much praised “To Boldly Go” blog. Katia asks: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As an astrophotographer, I’ve found it in the stars and planets of New Eden. Where have you found it? Perhaps you’ve found beauty in the ships we fly? Maybe it’s the sight of profits being added to your bottom line? Or maybe it’s the pilot portraits you see in the comm channels? Where ever you’ve found it, write about it and post an image.” Don’t be afraid go beyond the simple visual aspects of EVE as well. Is the EVE Community in itself a thing of beauty? What makes EVE the game, the world, the Community, so appealing to you?

Eve is a BEAUTIFUL game. Everyone who plays it knows that. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone at all who has even seen the videos that EvE is beautiful. Now as to what I like most?







Bonus points for anyone who can name this guy.

List of Participants:

  1. CrazyKinux’s Musing: Beyond nebulas and shiny ships
  2. Freedom: the beauty in EvE » A Mule In EvE
  3. Achernar: The bike and the barbecue
  4. where the frack is my ship?: Blog Banter 26: Love at first sight
  5. BlogBanter 26: EVE … beautiful … « One capsuleer against all
  6. Blog Banter 26 « Mad Haberdashers
  7. » Blog Banter 26: Beauty of EVE – To Boldly Go To Boldly Go
  8. Down By Law: Blog Banter #26: “The Beauty of EVE” (OOC)
  9. Blog Banter #26 – Beauty « Roc’s Ramblings
  10. Banter #26: Beauty is in the eye of the markets | Diary of a Garbageman
  11. Progression’s Horizon: Blog Banter 26- Carry It With Us, Or We Find It Not
  12. Blog Banter 26: The Beauty of Eve « A Scientist’s Life in Eve
  13. Freebooted: BB26: The Beauty Between the Lines
  14. Eve Opportunist: EBB #26 : Beauty is destruction.
  15. Blog banter #26: EVE shines, and not just visually « Diary of a Pod Pilot
  16. Learning to Fly – Spinning ships since 2003
  17. BB26: Beauty, in certain conditions | A Missioneer in Eve
  18. Dying in Lowsec (One Hauler at a time)
  19. EVE Blog Banter #26 – Beauty « Evehermit’s Blog
  20. Anymore…?


Be Prepared

So a quiet night on the gate camp ended with us camping the hisec gate for an hour and missing everything sexy. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. So I realized I had some things in Fihrneh that were needed for the gatecamp so I pick a ship. I look through my hangar, no shuttle, and a shuttle wouldn’t have the room for what I needed so a combat ship was called for. My eyes lit on _██_ (cuz ya see we’re the Fancy Hats and it looks like a hat) an Armor Cane that is meant for small roams. Maybe not the greatest choice but if I get jumped by whoever is wandering around I won’t go down like a chump.

Bring Ammo Too

Guns are Great

Two jumps out from Udi I see a neutral retriever warping towards my out gate. I get into warp land after he jumps and pop through. I just miss him on the other side, but again he is heading my way. I chase AGAIN, not believing that he isn’t docking up with a red hurricane chasing him. Finally I catch him in Fihrneh. He jumps at the same time as me, I reapproach gate and overheat my mids. He decloaks and I’m on him like a starving dog on a raw steak. A purifier decloaks and shoots me. Vas ist Lost? I check local, just the retriever pilot (now in a pod) and the purifier and several blues. I take down the purifier and scoop the loot as my armor hits 2/3. The gate fires again with two new neuts in local just as I warp to station to dock up.

Had I been in a shuttle or a fast frigate I never would have gotten the kills, and while the loot wasn’t spectacular, it was a nice little but of solo pvp and helped me in my quest for -10.0 sec status.

I’ve Become a Meme

Eelis Kiy over at Where the Frak is my Ship – posted a great idea today, “What do your stats say about you?”

So I went ahead and pulled mine up.

Megathron (49) – Almost all from when Snipe BS were the order of the day in null.

Drake (32) – I hate drakes.  I really do.  DAMNIT.

Rifter (27) – yaaay rifters.

Harbinger (27) – And mostly shield tanked.  Nullsec begets weird fits. Mostly Snipe fit I suspect

Armageddon (23) – RRBS are fun

Rokh (21) – Snipe BS again.

Ishkur (20) – One of the best solo ships around.

Brutix (20) – Snipe BC again.

Zealot (16) – Tried some solo roaming in it, did some sniping in it.  I like the ship but its an odd duck.

Pilgrim (16) – Killed a carrier in one.  Nasty little sucker.

Eagle (13) – Snipe HAC.  Currently stuck in nullsec in Scalding Pass.

Dominix (12) – RRBS again.  Great ship, surprised I don’t have more kills in it.

Succubus (10) – Fun can flipping ship.

Harpy (8) – Slightly less in yo face than an Enyo.  Better slot layout.  Not as cool looking.

Curse (8) – ONLY 8???? I love this ship.  It owns faces.  Time to haul mine out to lowsec and have more fun with it.

Vengeance (7) – This ship needs a damage bonus.  The rifter does more.

Hurricane (6) – Just started flying it.  This sucker is gonna get some love.

Legion (5) – I’m amazed by my ability to score 5 kills in this ship.  I really, really am.

Ashimmu (5) – Hangar Queen.  Love it.  Really do.  Hard to justify undocking.

Rook (4) – Using a Rook in hisec is a pain.  Everyone can dock up.

Now for weapons.

425mm Railgun II (44) – Snipe BS.

200mm Autocannon II (18) – Rifter

Ogre II (16) – Domi + Geddon.

Focused Medium Pulse Laser II (13) – Harbinger, Legion… think thats it.

250mm Railgun II (12) – Snipe BS/Hacs.

Hammerhead II (12) – WTF?

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II (11) – Drake

Light Electron Blaster II (11) – Ishkur.  Pretty sure I fit neutrons on the Harpy

Hobgoblin II (10) – Ishkur again.

Widowmaker Heavy Missile (10) – Drake / Rook

Warrior II (10) – Ishkur

Mega Pulse Laser II (9) – Geddon.  These things are awesome.


Ammatar Navy Medium Pulse Laser (6) – RIP Faction Fit Succubus.

Heavy Pulse Laser II (6) – Harbinger, and the Phantasm.

150mm Light Prototype I Automatic Cannon (6) – pre Small AC Spec.

Warp Disruptor II (5) – Killmail whoring ftw.

Terror Assault Missile (5) – Missiles… Launchers… whatever right CCP?

Valkyrie II (4) – My Pilgrim uses these a lot.

Large EMP Smartbomb I (4) – I have NO idea.


More blobbing in Udi.  Dozen or so folks sitting on the gate pounding the stuffing out of people too silly to check system statistics.  Especially sexy was the Tengu that added 3.3 BILLION to my killboard.  And 30 million to our wallets… Seriously guy, drop better loot.

LOTS of fun.  Getting close to my perfect -10.0 Sec Status.

The weird fits we use for camping continue to grow on me.  They look terrible and I will be ashamed to post lossmails, but for what they do they are ridiculously efficient.

Hot Sweaty Gatecamp Action

So after a few days of moving ships around I finally indulged and took part in the semi-standing gatecamp that Free Worlds Alliance runs.  It is a bit off by my standards but different folks operate different ways.  The most important thing is it generally works.

So I get on voice, head to the gate, in a drake with more tank than I used to use in missions, and HAMs.  For a while nothing happens, or a few frigates come in that I can’t get on cuz I’m too slow.  A Devoter comes through the wrong way, we chase it through, pounce on it and kill it quickly.  More nothing… more nothing… tiny Exeq… nothing… nothing… Raven comes in the back way, we get over to that gate just as he bounces through.

He immediately starts burning back to the gate, our bumpers miss or don’t slow him, just as he hits 5km to the gate a hurricane ZIPS in and turns him completely around.  He pops in a beautiful blue explosion and I get ready to call it a night.  Then a drake warps in, sees us in local and docks up.  We bounce between gates as other ships come up and run away.  Suddenly he warps to one out gate just as we set up camp on it for a Typhoon coming the other way.  He goes through, some folks pop in and chase him and chase the phoon through the gate into us.  Nice two-fer as the phoon got webbed and bumped immediately and had no MWD.  He put up a gf and bantered in local for a bit bouncing his pod around before heading out. killboard linkage.

I accidentally the whole fleet!

Fleet Commanders (FCs) in EvE, like any pilot/player have a ceiling on their performance.  A good part of this ceiling comes from their makeup, how quickly they adapt to situations, their understanding of game mechanics etc.  In this article I am going to talk about something else, the basic assumptions that go into the role of a Fleet Commander.  Many inexperienced Fleet Commanders think since they are in charge they need to constantly give instructions.  This does two things – it prevents them from thinking ahead and planning as they are constantly doing something, and it commits the fleet members to constantly acting on new instructions instead of refining their approach or following through on the previous orders. 

I propose a view where: An EvE FC is a negative multiplier on a given fleet’s theoretical performance.  In a sense an FC is a necessary evil, where you need one to keep a fleet flying together and on task; however a good FC is at his best when, once the shooting starts, he exerts only enough influence to focus the fleets efforts and allow each pilots to maximise his ability without giving too many commands or bad commands.  Part of this is the simple fact that no command will actually boost DPS over the statistical damage each pilot can do as an individual.  In fact every time he switches targets, there is a pause in DPS where 0 DPS is being done, and people who would normally just target the best target in range of their ship must now find a called target, target it, and possibly approach into range in order to continue the engagement.

First let’s get some assumptions in place:

  1. Pilots will act to maximise their DPS on the target called, or in the Non-FCd fleet, maximise individual DPS overall
  2. Pilots will maneuver to minimize incoming DPS unless ordered otherwise.
  3. Battle is taking place with all NPC Force Multipliers being even.  No gate guns, aggression timers, towers/POS guns.
  4. Leadership Bonuses are also not taken into account as that isn’t a “Player” skill issue, it is a “Character” skill issue.  See KK’s Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah for a great article on this.
  5. The engagement cycle is “Lock the target.  Position my ship to hit it as well as possible.  Shoot it”
  6. Switching from a called primary to a called secondary is faster than calling a new primary.

The goal of this is to show how FCs compare to an “Ideal” fleet where pilots are constantly hitting and flying their ships at their individual optimum; and that while an FC cannot boost the damage of the ship over a theoretical maximum, a good FC can minimize the loss of potential damage and increase the fleet’s ability to win a fight.

With no FC, people will potentially shoot at whatever strikes their fancy.  Take a fleet with both Harbingers and Hurricanes.  Harbingers will tend to chase down shield tankers as they do more damage to them, while the Hurricanes will tend to chase after something with an armor tank to attack their explosive damage hole.   Everyone is doing as much damage as possible, however they won’t be an effective fleet as they are not focusing fire.  Focusing fire is important because even though, for example, the Harbingers will do less damage shooting at armor tankers, they will be removing enemy DPS (or jams, or repairs) faster.  This is where the FC comes in.

For example, an FC who knows his job calls primary, secondary, and even tertiary targets and sticks with them as much as possible.  This allows damage to flow naturally from target A to B to C without people having to start the engagement cycle of “targeting, positioning and shooting” from scratch.  If there is already a secondary then people should have it locked LONG before they need to shoot it, and as the primary gets into structure the fleet can move into range of the secondary so that it can swap targets fast.  Less effective FCs don’t call secondary or tertiary targets or switch them when its not necessary resulting in split fires or wasted time locking up new targets.

Coordinating movement is the other big responsibility of a FC.  Again lets look at a non-FCd fleet this time with Brutixes and Harbingers.  The Brutixes are going to be chasing the enemy down into knife fighting range due to their inability to hit anything they are not physically touching.  The Harbingers will be quite happy sitting 35km off due to the fact that Scorch is the best ammunition ever.  If a new force enters local and warps in on the Harbingers while the Brutixes have been off chasing someone else, the force risks getting cut to ribbons before the Brutixes can return and help the Harbingers.

In this case a good FC operates by making sure that the fleet is staying together as a unified force, and upon seeing a local spike getting the fleet to either align to a safe spot, or re-approach the gate/station in an effort to de-aggress and escape.  Another case where controlling fleet positioning is key is the use of remote-repair systems.  While logistics sometimes have prodigious range, a ship that wanders away can often be destroyed very fast before it even realizes its predicament.  To go back to our first example, perhaps the Brutixes don’t do quite as much damage moving in a group with the Harbingers, and the Harbingers take more damage closing in to knife-fighting range, but the fleet it not as susceptible to being defeated in detail.

However a bad FC can make commands that will place a fleet in a disadvantageous position.  Ordering a fleet with weak scouting to chase an enemy off a gate, or to try to catch a sniping fleet can place the members in a terrible position, or not recognizing the need to dictate the range and taking steps to do it effectively when it is called for can leave a fleet taking damage that it could avoid, while not being able to respond effectively.  Our Harbinger/Brutix fleet, camping on a gate, gets attacked from a force entering another gate that warps in at range.  Sitting on the gate will get them nowhere, and chasing the snipe fleet will do very little to help; however having a fast ship (an interceptor, or a covops ship with good bookmarks) get a warp-in point on the enemy fleet, while the friendlies warp out and back might be effective for example.

The key to all this is realizing that every order an FC gives has the potential to greatly reduce the power of the fleet following the order.  A responsible FC gives the absolute minimum number of orders needed to employ his fleet effectively, while maintaining situational awareness and ensuring that the orders appropriate to the situation are given promptly.

A New Venue for Fancy Hats!

Fancy Hats has been accepted into a new alliance.  We will be making all our logistical moves as soon as we get organised (NOT easy) and then it is time for DEATHINATING and PEW PEWs on an EPIC SCALE.  Hopefully this will result in a lot more AARs on this blog and a lot fewer “Things I think I think” posts.  Not that EvE theory isn’t fun and it can be a really useful blog post, but MOAR BLOO EXPLOSHUNS are what I need from my EvE and what I want to show off in my EvE Blog.