Category Archives: Nullsec

Apprently the Reset Took

For those that haven’t heard, massive fight today in lowsec.  Someone Leeroyed in a Titan, and hijinks ensued.  Goons lost 2 titans, at least 1 super, likely with several more still needing to die/be posted.  PL has apparently lost a couple supers themselves.  I didn’t make it anywhere near before massive lag waves convinced me to give up

Fallout should be interesting.  No one wants to be the FC the day after a fiasco like this, TESTies that want a fight with CFC will certainly be emboldened by this.  PL is quite pleased with themselves even with the losses.  What had looked like a complete denouement last night suddenly looks like it might just become a big deal again.  This will not appease the peace party on either side.  CFC will want revenge, HBC will smell blood in the water, and other sharks might just be emboldened to try to carve out some space if the superpower start fighting each other.  The big blue doughnut might crumble a bit about the edges.

I still don’t think this will turn into the Great Western War.  It certainly won’t turn into a territorial war.  I do think there will be a lot of fleets sniffing around for the next few weeks.  Certainly this fight will escalate the situation.  DBRB is not going to be in the good graces of CFC high command for a while, and the need to replace these ships, as well as the dozens of caps, and subcaps will likely not do anything good for even CFCs wallet.

A year that had promise to look like a “Victory Lap” for the Big Blue Doughnut now looks like it might simmer and boil into a nasty little war.  Should be fun.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

War, What is it Good For!

So the drums of war are beating.  Sort of.  In that “What the fuck are you smoking?” sort of manner.

Before I get into this I have a disclaimer: I am pretty much getting the CFC side of things.  While I have friends in TEST, they aren’t really the “Core Personality” that people think of when they think of TEST.  The forums, major channels, and the public information is what I can base this off of, so I am freely admitting that I might be wildly wrong.

Now I pretty much understand a couple things.  First:  TEST has a diplo that makes me look like a sophisticated, subtle driver.  Thanks for that.  Second:  FA and TEST are having some serious pre-existing issues that probably need to be dealt with.  Third:  TEST’s inferiority complex is driving a lot of their “Core Personality” types.  More on this in a moment.  Fourth:  The “Srs bizness” folks are shaking their heads, but playing along for the chance at some seriously awesome fleet battles.  Fifth:  Nothing will come of this.

I’m not going to talk too much about points one and two.  TheMittani.com has more or less exhausted THAT possibility.  Point three needs some explanation.  I’m not saying TEST is an inferior alliance.  They are most assuredly not.  They have written themselves into the front page of the EvE Alliance list.  They lead one of the biggest Coalitions to grace Null right now, and their leadership have worked damn hard and are rightfully proud of what they have achieved.  This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a perception, both inside and outside of TEST, that this success is “tainted” by the assistance rendered to them by Goons.  Personally I don’t buy too much stock in that belief, but for people who seek excuses or seek to instigate hostilities, that perception is a HUGE button.  Bright red.  Labeled “DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON”

The Reason For the Next War

Like I said, I don’t regard TEST as an inferior Alliance.  I don’t regard HBC as an inferior Coalition.  They clearly have enough military might, enough strategic skill, and enough diplomatic skill to thrive in the current EvE Paradigm.  Right now there are elements within them that need a fight, and the list of opponents who might fight them is thin.  They have an excuse, they have a rallying cry, and they have a button to press that will cause “TEH RAEG” to drive things to a head.

Mittens and PL are both looking at this with a more jaded eye.  Were their leaders the kind for pithy comments I’m sure the average comment would be one of “wut?” or “SMH” but their disdain for the ham-handed workings of the TEST “Diplomat” is clear, as is their dislike for the entire war.

Finally this won’t be a war for territory.  Alliances will be hurt, and FA will likely suffer out of all proportion to any other alliance’s suffering.  TEST might suffer a little.  Goons might try different things to keep the war effort “fresh.”  PL may or may not be involved.  I think they will act to prevent things from getting too serious.  Goons don’t want more territory.  TEST doesn’t want more territory.  PL only cares for moons.  The pets are all content, and while many of them want a fight, they don’t want to be blueballed all the time, and as an ideological war this one is a bit of a dud since it’s Pot vs. Kettle.

All and all I wouldn’t mind the war.  I doubt it will turn into North Vs. South.  This won’t be a war for survival (except maybe for FA.)  It won’t be a war of competing ideologies, or styles.  It will just be a war if the participants show up and fight.  It would be the exact opposite of the old saw “What if they held a war and nobody came.”  It would be a war they held just because people came.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

It’s Just a Flesh Wound

So somehow something escaped my notice the first time I read through the CSM notes.  I came home from work determined to find something worth posting on well after everyone else has already ripped it to chunks, and somehow just noticed this “gem”

Ytterbium informed the CSM that supercap rebalancing was not on the immediate horizon and that there was no concrete vision for changes to them. Fozzie added that, while they wouldn’t promise to rebalance supercaps balance in 2013, they wouldn’t exclude it either. Fozzie continued by saying that supercap balance was an issue, but that they believe other
balance issues had a higher priority. Alek, Seleene, and Elise disagreed.

Fozzie has abruptly gone from being the shining savior of EvE to the Black Knight.

It's just a flesh wound!

It’s just a flesh wound!

Seriously.  Supercap issues are the widest ranging, most crippling issue in the game outside of Highsec.  Fights do not happen, alliances do not move, and EvE does not grow because of two shiptypes, and it’s at the bottom of Fozzie’s totem pole.

Another staggering fact?  The word Technetium shows up once.  ONCE!  Not even talking about a fix for it, whether it’s reformulating advanced materials to limit the need for it to something less than… well…. everything; or maybe redistributing the moons themselves (more a patch than a fix really) or maybe creating a whole new source of moon mud.  But no instead we get this:

Alek noted that Technetium income was not a faucet, but did represent a transfer of wealth. Dr.EyjoG
commented that this increases the velocity of money in the system. Alek reiterated that Tech is wildly
unbalanced and needs to be addressed quickly.

At which point EyjoG sidesteps because it’s a game design issue.  Well FFS was it brought up with a dev?  I know the CSM has a very limited ability to force CCP to talk about certain topics, but I would think that getting Supercaps, Tech, and the head of Greyscale on a Tupperware Crisper should have been easy to work in at some point.

Now I’m not all gloom and doom.  Some of the discussion was enlightening.  It’s nice to know blackops are being looked at.  It’s good for CCP to really engage the CSM as high level idea sources when it comes to null, and I liked some of the concepts that emerged.  EvE Achievements sound like they could be neat, and any discussion of paint jobs on spaceships gets all 12 of my thumbs up.  Also amusing was this:

Sisyphus mentioned he is considering making improvements to the Science and Industry UI. Two step
suggested he would gain a lot of beers next FanFest if he did.

He’s well named to take on that task.  I think it has to happen, and the sooner the better because I hate it and I barely build anything, but DAMN son.  Making it more interesting to look at than spaceships “Oh look, there’s my Archon building, you can actually watch the skeleton take place, the armor plates being installed” or “Man those scientists are taking that Neutron Blaster apart.  Should be interesting to see what they come up with” would be a lot more fun than “Pick the blueprint, pick the installation, damnit misclicked.”  In fact It’s so bad CCP did a Chronicle on how boring invention is.  As someone who used to build T2 things all the time:  I can say it’s 100% true.

The biggest takeaway is still that CCP is simply not working on the biggest problems of the game.  Whatever neat and shiny things they are developing will be stunted and limited in their impact until and unless they can effectively kill the elephants in the room.

It’s like This. With Two Elephants.

And these aren’t tiny elephants.  They take up a simply staggering amount of space and they squeeze out a lot of good in the game, and the directions it’s going.  You can only walk so far in a room with two elephants in it.  With supercaps on one side and Tech on the other the nullsec power-broker alliances have crowded the room to the point where anyone else trying to enter and grow really has to kill an elephant to do it.  Normally I’m against CCP changing the way things work to make life easier for players.  In fact I’ve railed against it, but this time I will admit that my normally rabid stance would be wrong.  I say this knowing full well that as a member of CFC it could crush my alliance and coalition, but the vicious cycle of “Tech to fund supers, supers to defend tech” doesn’t seem to have a way to break it that wouldn’t require a herculean effort.  Admittedly it’s hard to imagine a paradigm that doesn’t involve the rich getting richer, but damnit that’s what CCP gets 15 bucks per player per month to solve!  They need to get on it, these issues need to be #1 and #1a and we can skip numbers 3-18 and put Greyscale at #19.

But enough of my ranting.  I will probably return to these elephants soon.  I’m not as dissatisfied as some bloggers are by this CSM, although they are hardly “Exciting,” or “Inspiring.”  I’m jaded when it comes to excitement.  I like my politics to be a bit more boring.  I’d like them to do more.  I’d like them to push CCP in the right direction, but they have limited tools, and limited leverage.  The players are generally happy.  There may be clouds in the sky, but there’s no thunder and lightning.  No monuments are being wrecked, there’s no clear mandate from the players for the CSM to use as a lever and without that they cannot force the issues as effectively as the last CSM did.  Maybe a new CSM with new members would help, maybe not.  Hopefully CCP takes a good look and starts talking more about the elephants.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

What I Did in EvE Today

Today was a fairly eventful day.  I logged in, fiddled with my horrendously unsuccessful market alt for a bit.  Looked around and finally bit the bullet.  Jump Cloned Corelin down to empire, sold some stuff to keep liquid and bought an Archon BPO.  Because I can.  I then puttered about for a bit, realizing I don’t have a good place to research it at the moment.  One of the corpies misinterpreted my plight to understand that I needed an Archon.  He mentioned that he had one he couldn’t fly stuck near a station owned by some reds in NPC null.  He’d bought it a while back and just never bothered to skill for it.  He needed it, and the ships it was stored with, moved out and pronto.  He was willing to pay.  With the carrier.  I want to make this point clear.  I did not ask for the carrier.  It was offered to me free and clear, I asked him if he was sure.  No I didn’t ask very hard.  The Archon was not located in friendly space.  In fact it was decidedly unfriendly space so I hopped in Robert Capa, my extremely slippery Loki that was literally built for this sort of expedition, and moved out.

33 jumps later…

I bounce through a few systems filled with baddies.  Was kicking myself for not checking the route more thoroughly and I was *REALLY* hoping that the carrier had little things like fuel, some fittings, and that the station had a generous undock.  I land on the station and breathe a sigh of relief.  FAT undock.  Love it.  It’d take multiple Mach bumps to get kicked away and I’m not that dumb.  I rechecked the jump range, counted the people in station against in system, and realized that I could go straight to a cyno beacon, and that the only person undocked was someone I’d seen stooging around in an Ibis.  Whelp.  Load everything in the carrier, and I mean everything, Undock, ctrl-space, quick d-scan, right click on the capacitor and JUMP!  It even had fuel.  Of course the idiot that fit it in the first place had triple trimarked it so lumbering into warp took EVEN LONGER than it normally would.  Finally I breathed a sigh of relief as the warp tunnel formed and my ship slid across space into the friendly confines of our local home.  Trading back the ships and faction mods from the carrier I enjoyed myself spinning it for a little while.

We have recently imported practically an entire highsec carebear corp.  Caldari ships and mining vessels abound for these guys and hardly a turret to be found in their whole arsenal.  I spent a little while chatting with them about the “why” of turrets and armor, including such gems as “I’m fairly certain an Armor tanked Nidhoggur could run down a Rokh” and a pretty intelligent discussion of delayed DPS, and the more recent missile nerfs.  Fortunately these guys have the right attitude.  They know that explosions happen, and are willing to train into what they need to train into.  Sadly they have a bit further to go than I’d like but we don’t all start with great armor tanking skills, or T2 turrets sadly.  What they do have is not only the capability to generate raw materials, and basic ships, modules and munitions, but a driving NEED to do such things.  They were drooling over the opportunities to make money with a completely unconstrained voracity.  When the JFs arrived they eagerly tore into getting themselves sorted and making money just to “stake their claim” on space, and see what opportunities they had.  Hopefully they can continue their enthusiasm and pick up an equal penchant for blowing up the fruits of others labor.  All in all quite a fun and successful day.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

 

God Forgives, -A- Forgotten

When I was part of CoW our survival was guaranteed by two alliances.  Atlas and -A-.  Clearly this was a while ago.  CoW was shattered, along with Primary. and Gentleman’s Club, which presaged the fall of Atlas, and the retreat of -A- to NPC null.  This was a very different -A- than the creature which hides, impotently licking its wounds in god only know what space today.  The -A- that existed back in the heady “A-Team” days was in many ways a prototype for the modern coalition.  Multiple alliances formed different tiers, from senior members to outright pets, and differences were resolved with diplomacy and tact, not diktats and demands.  At least sometimes.  Recognition was given for the efforts of the “supporting cast” who gave a credible effort.  CoW was never going to put up a fleet that was in the same weight class as that of Atlas or -A- and even the combination of the Scalding Ass alliances couldn’t match the efforts that -A- could project across nearly two regions to help us.  Still they came.  Mukkbarovian led fleet after fleet to help us as he recognized the value of both the effort to save our space, to keep up our morale, and to show the flag by dying (repeatedly, sometimes over and over) in defense of our space.

Now the hallmark of the broken -A- force is a high handedness, a different leader who may have his redeeming qualities, but is certainly not someone to count on to recognize a way to profitably lose a fleet, and yes there are times when it’s better to whelp a fleet than to refuse a fight, especially when it comes to showing your commitment to your allies.  An alliance will fight for an ally who shows a willingness to fight AND die for them, even when the odds are against them.  This is something -A- has given up, and something they should have remembered as Atlas lack of effort in helping its proto-coalition mates out was a huge factor in the decision to abandon the space and the coalition.

-A- refused to bleed for its allies, to back them in space or in the meta, and when the attention of HBC turned to them, when the full weight of a coalition based on, but not limited to, the largest alliance of EvE, -A- found that they could not go it alone, that without allies who trusted -A- to bleed with them, no one wanted to bleed for -A- which doomed them to a frustrating campaign, mostly spent docked in station, with few opportunities to even take the field profitably.  I have joked on occasion that the best ship in EvE is friend-ship.  Like many corny jokes it bears a hint of truth.  Friends provide many valuable services.  They offer succor, support, and most importantly, someone else for an enemy to shoot at in an emergency.

-A- also has a history of utter contempt for its enemies.  This is common throughout EvE.  I can understand the sentiment.  I often fall for the trap myself, but one has to remember that while you may feel contempt for him, you cannot underestimate him.  -A- fell for the trap, they convinced themselves that HBC could never coalesce.  They convinced themselves that their finances would collapse.  They convinced themselves that they could not bring fleets of pilots skilled enough to beat -A-s powerful USTZ.  They convinced themselves that they could weather the storm docked up in station.  They never had a plan B.  They never had a plan to disrupt the enemy, to take back the initiative or to do anything but watch TEST & Company destroy themselves through their own exertions.  -A- was not without success, but could not maintain it.  They never made a credible attempt to make a game-changing move, to take over the narrative of the campaign, and finally, in frustration and bitterness, they broke apart.  Currently the alliance still has over 2000 members, but the heart and soul of it has gone.  Some fo PL, some to Black Legion.  Some to no alliance at all.

Players in EvE may decry the NAPfest that 0.0 has become.  They may scream about the horrors of the blob.  They may wish that things were different, and many do, even within the blob, but to pretend that it isn’t effective, that it doesn’t win battles, campaigns, and even wars, is to ignore reality, and that doesn’t work well in EvE.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Get Outta Your Head Rook

Implants.  Now that I’m back in Nullsec I need to think about implants a LOT more.  I have a grand total of 1 +3 clone, and several are filled with +4 learning and +3/+4% hardwirings.  I even have a low-grade slave clone for my Archon.  None of these are particularly suitable for nullsec though.  Bubbles make it a lot harder to save a pod, and sometimes you end up so far from safe harbor that you need to pod yourself to get home safe.

My first thought is:  I’m gonna need more clones.  Sadly my medical clones are 30 million a piece right now.  I’m pushing 100 million SP and it starts to hurt when you get blasted at that point.  Adding +3s doubles the price of the clone with decent hardwirings, adding +4s can make you feel like a real asshat when you lose a 200 mill pod + clone.  One suggestion that had me slapping my forehead was “Have a clone for the skills you are training.  Just 2 +4s, and any hardwirings you feel like.  Much more efficient than a head full of +3s.  Finish your skill?  Hop to a new clone!  Be efficient and don’t have a bunch of implants you don’t need in (unless you are really good at avoiding pod death in which case go for it)

One of the best ways of making isk is not losing it stupidly.  Extra implants are really stupid.  When’s the last time you used Charisma?  Even Intelligence or Memory is much rarer than Perception/Will at this point of the game for me.  Planning and preparing for your losses will help you a lot in minimizing the isk you waste, and making the most of the isk you make.  Which of course leaves you more money for lots of ships, guns, and skillbooks.

Fly Dangerous, Score Kills.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

How to Move to Nullsec

Put out a call for some cynos in weird systems for about three weeks.  Get ignored.  Wait until payday and get some plex with a SOMER affiliate.  Win all the hulls you need in about 20 minutes.  Spend half the plex monies on my spiffy new advertiser whose banner I’ve just dropped  over there ————–> set up a contract for the alliance logistics folks to move it out there.  Play with your PI, jump clone out to null WITHOUT plugging in the new EWAR books…. buy them at a fair markup in null.  Realize you have less than 24 hours left on Amarr Carrier V.  Which is, of course, still sitting at the wrong end of empire.  Go to bed, get up, play with PI, go to work, come home, work on a blog, realize your contract was delivered.  Celebrate while assembling ships.  Finish a blog.

Your mileage may vary.  Still need to move a carrier loaded with logis that need minor refits for alliance standards.  Looking forward to shooting ships in EvE.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Spear Carrier

So I’ve headed out to Nullsec carrying not my own flag, but someone else’s spear.  The mantle of leadership has passed on and I can simply watch my lane, do my thing and be accountable for no one but myself.  This isn’t my first time heading to nullsec fortunately.  Last time it was with the gents in Sons of 0din.  An entertaining bunch of misfits under the rather energizing leadership of Rico Minali.  The first time I went to Null it was as a spear chukker as well.  Back then my spears were humble and simple.

Spears

Left to Right: Snipe Mega, Travel-Only Archon, Snipe Rokh, Drake, Ratting Drake

This time I am bringing a rather fancier set with me.  MUCH fancier.  Also: this time I come bearing the Interstellar Brotherhood of Gravediggers, which is a part of GET OFF MY LAWN alliance, which is a part of CFC.  I’m planning on going on frequent roams as well as requested ops.  Do need to move a lot of metal into the home region of course, which is always the hardest part of getting started.  While the “newbros” are certainly a welcoming bunch, there has already been plenty of fodder for me to nitpick over as a feminist and generally abrasive asshole.

I’m ENJOYING the game again.  Whether I’m fiddling with PI, assembling and shuttling ships around, or going on a random cruiser roam the game seems fresh and fun.  This is not something I’ve said a lot lately.  There’s a camaraderie here, a sense of purpose, and a sense of achievement in the folks.  For all its’ faults, CFC sits at the pinnacle of EvE right now, and they didn’t get there by accident.  There’s plenty who will decry what they are and what they do, but this isn’t the old NC, there are carebears, and the standings don’t allow for a lot of challengers, then again the best way to win a war is before it starts, and the Goonswarm leadership team certainly ascribes to that theory.  I like a good fight as much as the next guy, but good battles are one thing, good wars should be more like “Steamroller, meet Dandelion.  Dandelion, meet TWELVE TONS OF SMOKE BELCHING DEATH!!!!”  Otherwise you have’t done your planning very well.

I am looking forward to the challenges in my future, integrating with the CFC Culture, working my playing schedule with that of a large alliance in an enormous faction, and learning when to constructively hold my tongue, and when to challenge the status quo socially.  It should be fun, and it sure as hell will be interesting.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can