Category Archives: ASHOC
So after leaving Crom and trying to make it on our own we decided to head to lowsec. After looking around for a while we picked Free Worlds Alliance. At the time Free Worlds Alliance was one of a quartet of alliances in the eastern half of Aridia. It seemed the largest and most stable of them. The leader was a paranoid but pleasant guy named DreadPirateRoberts. Frankly I don’t blame him one bit for being paranoid. The history of that region is as low and unpleasant as any in EvE. Kinda surprising for an area with only one moon of any value.
We fit in well, settling in and going on an absolute TEAR for over a month. Between the infrequent roams and the Udianoor gatecamp there always seemed to be something going on and we were having fun pretty much all the time. We had a couple of really good fleet on fleet fights and in general really enjoyed ourselves. Some of our guys had a BIG series of kills including a 20 billion isk hauler kill.
However some people always want a bigger part of the pie. A small group of people decided they didn’t like Dread. He wasn’t particularly good at sharing the credit for success and was fast to assign blame. He tended to act precipitously and had a hard time admitting mistakes. The fact that he was extremely knowledgeable about EvE mechanics and a paranoid asshole (In EvE this is a good thing for an Alliance Leader) didn’t count for enough. Pretty soon there was a backstabbing campaign of character assassination, misinformation and backroom politicking of the worst sort. A new alliance was formed, and quickly worked its way to blue status with the other three and with Rooks & Kings, who was the real guarantor of Aridia’s stability. I stuck with Dread. I was lied to from the outset by one of the leading people in Mayhem. and that is a hard thing to recover from for me. Not only that I was lied to in a way that was transparent and insultingly stupid. Assuming I’m an idiot is a fast way to my shit list.
We had a solid core of leaders and could fill all the specialist roles in a fight. What we didn’t have was numbers. The one fight we had with Mayhem. was ugly, short, and completely one-sided. The writing was on the wall, in flashing neon lights. We packed and left disgusted with everyone involved including ourselves.
Now that the aftertaste of it all has died down I look back positively on my time in Aridia. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun, and in the end it only cost us a Bhaalgorn. We got a lot more than that just in fun, let alone the isk from our kills on the gatecamp. We made some friends, and even considered going back for a brief while. Lately we have noticed with interest the steady erosion of some of the alliances there. Mayhem. has lost several key members, FWA is a shell. Our neighbors in Genesis region, Chain of Cha0s fell apart, and Dark Solar Empire is being real careful where they go with Purple Helmted Warriors, Rooks & Kings and others in Genesis.
My feelings about the people involved are a little more complex. Except for one. Lying to me is just a bad idea. Doing so in a way that assumes I’m a moron and won’t find out is insulting on a personal level. Ruck Fodgers, you, sir, win the jackass award of the event. I award you 0 points, and may God have Mercy on your Soul.
Meanwhile, Fancy Hats had an average Sec Status of -9 or so and no hisec home. We jumped our ships out over three days to a safe harbor, and planned our seccing up.
Seccing up is a pain. The best way to do it is to find high bounty BS, probably in a belt. Kill one, move to the next system, and keep doing it. You only get credit for 1 BS per system, per 20 minute “tick”. On average it takes around 3 or 4 minutes to go into a system, find a BS, kill it, and move on. It took us weeks to get enough ships down to get everyone back into hisec. Some of us are still negative, though not seriously so.
Back in hisec, malaise fell. People weren’t logging in, the game was flat and New Eden was burning from the missteps of CCP Games. Other than maintaining skill queues people just weren’t logging in. Over a month of this had me depressed and annoyed. As September rolled on we had an interesting opportunity for a wormhole op, that I COMPLETELY fucked up by missing the date on an evemail. I turned around and started throwing out wardecs. We had a very good one with Platinum-Tech Industries, where we shredded them for the cost of my Dual-Rep Myrm. The most satisfying engagement of the war I’ve already written about, but it was a completely one-sided drubbing from start to finish. In the aftermath of that and CCPs bizarre changes to hisec wars we’ve been considering our next move, which should take place quite soon.
Fresh off our kill of the Archon we found ourselves in another wormhole hunting more caps. This one was somewhat less successful with an alarm clock operation that resulted in killing a Phoenix, but with only 2 alliance members on the KM. We had proven over and over that our heavy hitters could find and execute targets in anything like equal numbers, but we had trouble keeping the “minions” in line.
As March dragged on more and more of our senior leadership was never logged in and totally unresponsive to out of game communications. More and more things were dependent on myself and one other person. The alliance had a huge proportion of people who simply never logged in and the smaller corps were bleeding people because no one wants to pay $15 a month to wait for people to start playing again.
After talking it over I made the decision that more or less inevitably resulted in the dissolution of CROM. We’d lost the junior corps we hoped to bring along, and we’d lost a very promising pvp corp a week prior. When I left I took the alliance’s 2nd in command (and the real driving force behind anything taking place more than a week in the future) with me. When the senior leadership started to come back they raged. They were furious with me for my betrayal, I didn’t handle things as diplomatically as I could have, and frankly I didn’t care that much. I felt betrayed by the lack of interest that the leadership displayed in not logging in or responding, and was deeply offended that they were as angry as they got over events that happened when they were not logging in.
On the other hand I took more than half the active members of the alliance with me, including the only person with any real administrative skills with me, as well as several people from other corps. Recruiting from blues is always a brilliant way to make friends eh?
Disciples of Crom was an Alliance unlike any other I’d joined. I kept telling myself that in the hope that I’d believe it. We really did have several things going for us. Everyone with a stake in leadership knew each other in real life to some extent. Our combined knowledge of game mechanics and our combination of personalities and capabilities was promising.
Fancy Hats joined when Crom was already in the middle of a war. We had known about it, in fact we had to drop our own wardecs on the same people just to enter. Our first couple of fights were frustrating. Like all young alliances we had people all on different pages to fitting standards, how to act in a fleet engagement, and of course some people just wanted to do things differently.
We spent the early part of December really focusing on the little things, getting a unified fittings doctrine, making sure that in fleets, people were doing what best served the fleet, not whatever the hell they wanted to. It was a lot of work. All I was doing was fittings, and it was a nightmare at times.
Still by mid-December things looked to be turning around. Activity was up, our wormhole folks were making good money when they bothered to make it, and our roams to low/nullsec were picking up both in numbers and relative success. Then, disaster struck. We had planned to abandon the wormhole, it was pushing the focus off of pvp, and required too many of our “Highly Skilled” characters to sit in a wormhole.
However our wormhole had been discovered by Snatch Victory, and they were open for business. They managed to lure both carriers into a fight on the wormhole entrance, despite the pilots being told not to bring the carriers out there, A large fleet battle ensued in which the good guys lost out, one carrier self-destructed and the other was blown up. While we were able to evacuate most of our things from the wormhole. For some alliances this would be a death knell. The wormhole with its carriers was our single biggest asset, and a lifeline for people needing isk.
Without it we were stronger. The senior leadership was angry more about the carelessness of the carrier losses than the loss of the wormhole itself, and was actually eager to pursue a more active pvp stance. We rebuilt, rededicated ourselves to our roams and to our training, and debated our next moves. One idea that struck us was to go hunt people in their wormholes.
And so we did!
By the end of February we had a wormhole thoroughly invested, and we were trying to hunt their carrier. We were about to hold a meeting of alliance leadership when one of our guys in the wormhole reported their carrier ON the wormhole. At 0.
Our fleet collected and raced to the entrance systems, a convenient 20+ jumps from practically everyone. We rolled our fleet into system, and onto the wormhole, grabbing tackle with a drake, and smashing their fleet while pinning the carrier down. The carrier was a daunting task. Most of our DPS was from drones and it was a smartbombing carrier. We planned on neuting it down, but didn’t have the neuts. Fortunately the carrier helped our cause greatly by not fitting a local rep. Our fleet cleared the field and celebrated our biggest win ever. Things were finally looking up.
I returned to hisec after dodging out of the disaster about to befall Legiunea R0mana at a complete loss. I actually considered quitting the game. Instead I came back and started recruiting up again. Soon I was in yet another alliance. When will I learn my lesson. Vae. Victis. had a lot of issues, but was at least fun until we bit off way more than we could chew and people stopped logging in. We struck out on our own trying to ransom hisec corps. It never works out for me. October was a dreadful month, with a truly awful 39% efficiency rating.
Things did pick up a bit, but it was clear we needed a direction. Recruiting was barely keeping up with people leaving the corp/game and we were doing most of our flying with the same people all the time, including nullsec roams. Maybe another alliance would work with the right leadership?
Having gutted my own corp, I decided to strike out and try nullsec. I had a carrier, although I couldn’t use it for much, and I had plenty of money to buy the ships needed for null. I pimped myself out on the forums and found a new home in Sons of 0din, a member of Cult of War (COW). COW was an Atlas pet and one of the three inhabitants of Scalding Pass. Together with Primary. and Gentlemen’s Club we held the area with the support of Atlas and AAA.
I arrived out there just as the Supermax campaign train of fail was kicking off. For those not familiar with it, IT, Atlas, and all the pets, renters, and mid-rate alliances in the south camped the NCs home system and got thoroughly whelped for reasons that I wont go into here. I never made it in, all our bridges were at the wrong TZ for me. So I ended up missing that campaign and instead running around Aunenenenenenenenen killing random people.
Next I got all my stuff back to Scalding Ass and proceeded to make money on a pretty comfortable scale. Ratting in a carrier was sexy isk. Our PvP consisted of small to medium roams, with occasional large fleets going out for reasons way above my pay grade. FOTM was snipe BS for the big roam, plated ships with huge EHP buffers and long range guns. Smaller roams centered around Snipe HACs and BCs. There was a lot of drunken roaming going on. We had one that ended only after we realized that we had missed the last four kills because we had no ships left with a point and the bad guys were simply warping off.
It was fun, and I learned lots. Things were look up, we had several supercaps, and more were building, internal drama was completely invisible to the rank and file. The large scale fights, usually under members of all 3 of the SA alliances continued, and they were, frankly the most onerous thing about the alliance. The usual Timeline was
- 1 hour before CTA time (CTA – 1h): Log in, get on comms, get in the right ship
- CTA-30m: Fleet is up, get in fleet start moving
- CTA-10m: Fleet is assembled in the right system
- CTA: Fleet is still waiting for more people
- CTA+10m: Still waiting
- CTA+30m: Waiting on a bunch of logis who can’t tell time
- CTA+1h: Start moving to the titan bridge
- CTA+75m: Scout died, wait on a new scout to go out
- CTA+90m: Bridge to the scout, start shooting whatever we are shooting at.
- CTA+120m: Reds bring something out, we start shooting. Ships die.
- CTA+180m: Fleet is either dead or mission is accomplished. Fleet breaks up.
Fancy Hats started humble. Barely a handful of people, mostly noobs, and we didn’t set our sights very high. We were mostly flipping, with the occasional wardec thrown in. We recruited mostly from people we shot, our main requirement being that they were willing to put up a fight. For a while things actually went very well. We picked our targets carefully and maintained a very nice killboard ratio. We were quite effective at getting people educated in at least some of the fundamentals and it was clear to us that we were the masters of our game.
Most of our people have at least some real-life friends in the corp, which kept us tight, and helped to motivate us during the slow times. Still, things weren’t all steak and blowjobs. At first it was pretty much 3 guys, myself, Diesel, and Eljo. Diesel was a RL friend, Eljo a random guy we had killed who wanted to learn more. I may have created a monster there. Diesel was my roommate at the time which led to much hilarity both in and out of game. Eljo was good for at least one OMGWTFBBQ kill a week, if not every day.
We quickly recruited a few nooblets and instilled in them the fundamentals of EvE PvP and hunted more and more targets. Eventually we joined an alliance that seemed to offer us the opportunity to take our game out to nullsec. This may or may not have been a total disaster, it turns out we weren’t on half the blue lists we needed to be and were in the path of some kind of an invasion. Our diplo got popped and podded by people who were supposed to be blue to us and when we took it to our alliance leader he basically said “Tough Shit,”
We tried to help them, but their own stupidity doomed them and the high point for us was self-destructing the ships of the alliance leader to prevent them being captured. It made us a little isk.
Limping back into empire we licked our wounds and decided to start a little smaller. We joined another alliance, this one was slightly more stable, and far, far more conservative in its desires. While we wanted to take the long road to nullsec dominions, we also knew that it was a long, long road and that there were no shortcuts.
We established ourselves in a wormhole, and started up our normal shenanigans. We also invaded some other wormholes and tried for pew pew in them. We had two events happen here that really soured me on the game for quite a while. In one event my friend Diesel took some things that were said in one room, that we understood to be a pub room with no super secret squirrel info in it, and mentioned it outside the room. Now he might have been expected to know that it wasn’t for public release, but still if it was that secret it shouldn’t have been said.
The guy that said it was really pissed because it could potentially have endangered one of his plans (it didn’t) and started some e-peen waving drama, which my friend got involved in and myself and my diplo ended up having to pour oil on troubled waters.
Then some real shit happened. During a wormhole op my nooblets somehow got it in their head that our allies who were running things were going to turn on them and kill them. I’m not sure how they got this idea, and frankly it was more than a little ridiculous. They pulled out of the wormhole taking the scanning alt with them. My other friends in the alliance managed to escape, but they were righteously pissed.
I tried to smooth things over, I wasn’t in the wormhole when it happened, and I feel that it is a leader’s obligation to try to protect his subordinates from their own mistakes, but they had gone beyond what could be excused or forgiven. However without them I simply didn’t have the manpower to continue running the corp. I was the only one regularly logging in and decided it was time to give up the corp for a while and head out to nullsec.
I came back from Iraq with many many more skill points, a changed outlook on life and a lot of time to kill. For 4 months or so after the deployment there was really nothing to do.
So I played EvE. A lot. My first stop was Zitek, a corp many of my friends had joined in one capacity or another. One of the oldest corporations in EvE led by some very clever players this was quite an opportunity. Unfortunately there wasn’t much participation and my friends in Austin were pressing me to join their corp.
The Really Awesome Players. AKA TRAPS. At the time TRAPS was far and away the most active corp I had been in since before the CHFOR war. Up until this point I had absolutely 0 PvP experience that didn’t involve me getting clubbed like a sleeping baby seal. On the 8th of August 2009 I broke my cherry. The unfortunate Belezebub fired at my Harpy and in return lost his Vexor. I was hooked. I went on an absolute spree, losing very little and murdering the innocent can-miners around Tash-Murkon Prime. When the wardecs hit, we were the ones doing the deccing and our tactics were far in advance of those that our opponents used.
I was thrilled, I was intoxicated, I was ecstatic. The high I got from these kills was simply incredible, the adrenaline rush, the heart rate peaking, it was simply incredible. Unfortunately things trailed off rather fast for TRAPS. The actual leader was something of a jerk. It was actually a large part of his appeal, but it could backfire, and it did. We lost several key members and Nexa was logging in less and less, to the point where it came time to make a change. The change I made was to start my own Corp. A bunch of us were sitting around at a coffee shop in Austin, in Fancy Hats, trying to come up with a name as we played EvE. And so it began.
I came back from the swamps of scenic Ft. Polk to find my friends had mostly given up. A few of the closest were still plugging away, and the war was over thankfully. Lots of drama was emerging, I’ll give a brief summary here, but really it’s not my story.
A guy named R3dskull had been very welcoming when some of our guys started playing in lowsec around Faswiba. I’d had a few conversations with him, and others were equally friendly or more so. he seemed like a guy giving good advice. Come to find out he’d gone into a paranoid rage and decided to have us wardecced and griefed out of the game because we were spying on him and trying to drive him out of his home. I’ll leave it to Star to tell the full story as, while I have heard enough to earn him my undying enmity I want to make sure the facts are presented more correctly than I can present them.
Not the last time we’d run into this kind of character.
End result: I’m drifting around, chatting with the friends I have, and I try out providence. I finally had the skills to actually do something out there so I took the trip out. My perception of CVA was this incredibly powerful unstoppable force that happened to have chosen to use its powers for good instead of evil, rather than them being a bunch of prats who occupied nearly worthless space and could mostly fend off the few people interested enough to try to blob their way through their towers.
I mostly drifted around, trying new (pve) things, running L4s, sometimes even on my own, sometimes with friends who drifted in and out trying to recapture the magic majesty we had found when first we played, and preparing for my second trip to Iraq. I arranged for a friend to take care of my skill training as I did not expect to have much internet access and even less time.
Next Part: What’s all this PvP about Anyway?
January of 2008 blossomed with the bright light of promise, as we continued our merry carebear ways, in blissful innocence. Then we got a funny notice.
Chaosfromorder has declared war on Radikus Industries. Hostilities may begin in 24 hours.
It looked rather ominous, certainly we had a say in this! We immediately docked up and started researching wardecs, and pvp. We were clueless, panicked, and generally a MESS. We had offers to join an alliance, but initially spurned them. We knew we could take care of ourselves. They weren’t that big and we had right on our side.
Right counts for very little in EvE.
Our first fight we tried the frigate swarm idea. CHFOR doesn’t post their kills or losses to deny intel. We simply didn’t know about killboards. As a result its hard to check, but I recall our fleet having about 8 people and we thought there were 3 of them in station, it turned out to be more like 6. Only a pair show on my griffon loss (without an actual ECM mod >.<) but it was a worthy effort by our meager standards.
This proved rather conclusively that we did not have the organic ability to fight them ourselves. We joined an alliance, The Last Stand. They promised to bring organization and capabilities we didn’t have to the fight, and we had already flown with them in the past and were deeply impressed with their abilities.
My next serious attempt to fight we charged into Amarr. We hadn’t been there before for some reason I always hauled minerals from Gosalav to Jita rather than Amarr. We fared no better, being wiped out in exchange for no kills. By this time morale was not sinking so much as flying down, in flames. People were dropping corp or not logging in. We lost nearly all of our leadership, and many people dropped out of the game entirely.
On top of this real life managed to crap all over me by means of a field mission for the army. When I came back things had changed substantially.
It all started for me just over 4 years ago. A bunch of my friends who all played/helped develop Starfire had been talking up the game on our mailing list and I and a good friend who currently is the director for The Fancy Hats started up.
Within a week we were both in Radikus Industries a corp of people who all knew each other out of game. We were shameless carebears. I think I canmined in caldari space for hours and hours and hours, in bantams, ospreys, who knew what else. In about a month I was almost flying a Drake. I lost that, tried a ferox, lost that, went back to smaller stuff for a while and built myself back up.
We were happy, having fun, running L4s with Marvin Martian pulling missions in his huge, awesome Raven. We were in awe of how contemptuously he would shrug off the hordes of ships shooting him while we hid in his shadow. Other people got into battleships, I lost a Rokh getting into it a few short months after starting playing, because I simply didn’t have the patience to wait. Still we had fun, we were having setbacks, but nothing we couldn’t deal with. We knew we were all smart people and we could figure this game out. Which you needed to do in 2007. There was no ISK guide, the forums were and still are crap, evemon and EFT were out but relied on you to know what to do with yourself to fit a ship, the knowledge simply wasn’t as accessible as it is now.
Radikus grew, very fast and corp chat and our pub channels were constantly filled with chatter. Our biggest setbacks were the EvE Patches. Thinking back on them I really wouldn’t trade the problems we have now for the ones we had then with CCP. At least now they don’t try to kill your computer.
But they also communicated better with the playerbase.
See that’s the kind of proactive problem solving they need now. They put off the image of a company run by Cave Johnson, not some soulless CEO sucking all the money and fun out of the game that they can. That’s a different story for a different time, but we were having fun, and Trinity had just come out! The old graphics were great, the new graphics were beautiful. You would just go into space and look at your ship, the effects were great, even the old turrets were great. For what it was in 2007 it was simply gorgeous, and as the year closed we were a happy carebear corp with lots of miners in hulks and missioners in battleships. We even had some friends in a small lowsec pocket who didn’t mind us playing around in their space.