Archive for June, 2011

Mining Carrier is BEST Carrier

Posted in Killboard Stats, Piracy on June 28, 2011 by Easley Thames

Sometimes you just can’t believe what you see on your scanner until you actually come out of warp. Last night was one of those times for me.

I was “duo” roaming with PK in Domain low-sec when I narrowed a Chimera with mining drones launched to a belt at 5 degrees.

My wing-man literally did not believe what I was telling him until I called out “point” over comms.

After I pointed the Chimera, PK warped in for secondary tackle, and we began yelling at corp members to jump-clone out to low-sec.

Chemicals answered the call in a battleship. He was also so kind as to bring along a cyno. Supers did all the heavy-lifting from then on.

When we first tackled the carrier, we were worried about being able to kill it before help arrived, so I actually offered the pilot a very generous 500 mil ransom.

He was willing to pay, but had only 330 available. Half of that was a loan from a friend, and this pilot was very new – only 7 months or so old. I decided to decline his counter-offer.

Now, most people would have taken the money and kept shooting the carrier. I am probably one of the only people who still honors randoms, and I also don’t accept money if I don’t plan to let someone go.

When I first cut my teeth on low-sec PvP, ransoms were commonly honored. I myself was ransomed once as a very new player. Talking with the courteous pirate helped me get some fittings tips and it was generally a cordial end to a good fight.

Today, my impression is that very few pilots will actually honor or pay a ransom, simply because the custom is rapidly becoming extinct. Ransoms are now just another way to make a kill even more valuable if you can trick the person.

I have successfully extracted a handful of ransoms in 2011 so far. Among the ones I remember are: 30 mil for a drake, 80 mil for a vaga, ??? for an abaddon (don’t remember), 10 mil for a thorax, and 50 mil for a hulk. I let them all go after payment was received.

Since I rarely ransom people, I could easily have taken the money AND the kill mail with no real consequence in terms of future business, but somehow that kind of thing just doesn’t appeal to me.

I’m a scourge of the belts, someone you don’t want in a system near you, but I’ve never been comfortable scamming people. I will go to almost any lengths to catch my targets, but I don’t like feeling like a con.

After the fight is won, I don’t mind letting the other person go if they can pay. Unless the ship is exceedingly rare, one kill-mail is just a drop in the sea.

Someday I will quit this game, or perhaps CCP will close the doors, and from that day on my rank on killboards will not be important to me. I have experienced this same feeling after leaving “hardcore” gaming groups in other MMOs including Everquest, Anarchy Online, WoW, Allods and Ragnarok Online.

What will be important is whether I had fun along the way. Good memories are really all we can hope for a in life as we out-grow things that are important to us. For that reason, I will continue to do what feels natural, rather than maximizing profit & tears simply because I can.

For the record, I also honor 1v1’s when they are seriously requested. I am wary about accepting duels from most people, so I don’t often accept, but when I do it’s legitimate.


-A- Gets Revenge in Delve

Posted in Against All Authorities, Killboard Stats on June 25, 2011 by Easley Thames

The other day, -A- took a fight in Delve with 60 on our side against 170 MM + Brick, including 9 hostile supers. We lost, and the MM forces have been chest-beating over their 30 kills on various public forums as if it were of great importance.

Tonight we got some serious revenge. MM/Brick formed up a large HAC/Inty gang with scimitar support. Their numbers exceeded our own significantly, and they were waiting for us when we jumped into 1DH-.

The fight kicked off with our super-tanked Maelstrom bait de-cloaking first. They went for him but failed to break the tank. In the meantime, we began melting Vagas.

By the end of the fight, yellow wrecks surrounded us on the gate.

We looted field and popped random frigates who kept streaming into system, one-by-one.

Here is what the battle report looks like. -A- is on the left side.

The final report shows they had a few more than us, but because the MM/Brick side only got a couple of kills, there were many hostiles that didn’t make the report before warping out.

We even had fun traveling to Delve tonight, well before this fight started.

We first caught a TEST Tengu on the way, then systematically killed a MM bomber gang.

Later in the day, we traded blows with Black Legion when they caught us off guard chasing Brick Squad frigs. Much respect to BL, they are good pilots and it shows.

If Delve stays this fun, we’ll be back every night.

Nothing Like A Nyx Kill to Brighten Your Day

Posted in Against All Authorities on June 19, 2011 by Easley Thames

Up until about an hour ago, I was having a slightly off-day in Eve. The -A- tournament team had failed to advance to the final day, and my Curse roam was uncharacteristically dry with only 3 real kills.

However, our friends in Imperial Order let Bipster (BUSA) and myself know about a brazen Nyx pilot who has been camping their cyno beacon in Catch.

Apparently, the Nyx pilot would sit cloaked in a safe-spot near their cyno beacon, and would warp-in on anyone who jumps through in a capital. With no eyes nearby whatsoever, he was practically asking to die.

Knowing we needed non-AAA bait, we sent an IO guy to the beacon in a Chimera. The Nyx pilot’s alt quickly pointed the carrier in a Manticore, which our Chimera actually killed. The bait carrier then smack-talked the super until he warped on field to avenge his lost frigate.

As he landed, our trap was sprung. Once he aggro’d the carrier, our dictors soon had him encased from all sides in a hopeless sphere of warp-nullification.

To our surprise, he stayed logged in, so we slowly worked on his cap and slowly whittled-down his armor with battleships. When he finally logged, we cyno’d in some supers to speed up the job.

His armor plummeted as soon as his cap was dry. With fighter bombers on field, we comfortably killed him with plenty of time to spare. We quickly had a fresh Nyx wreck, ready for looting!

The loot was decent, with 3 x-type hardeners and a officer smarty dropping. Here is a snapshot of the kill-mail, as it appears on the -MVN- killboard:

I lost a ship roaming today, and only picked up a few kills along the way. However, being able to take down a Nyx dramatically altered my mood.

Thanks to Bipster for being the primary FC on this op. Thanks to IO for the excellent target. Finally, thanks to all the people who joined fleet, even after hours of roaming.

For anyone counting, this is two supers killed by -A- in the late-U.S. timezone within one week.

Eve Wire :: A New Hope for Quality Eve Journalism

Posted in Eve History on June 16, 2011 by Easley Thames

Eve has had a mixed history when it comes to third party news sites. Many have started up in earnest, only to abandon the project before building a strong following. Others have persisted for years.

I recall learning about the Eve Tribune shortly after I started playing, and for a time it seemed to be the only gig in town.

As a new player, I enjoyed the “ship schematics” for in-game vessels, complete with an amalgam of in-game lore and improvised fan-fiction to spice up the diagram.

Eve Tribune also wrote about upcoming expansions, the occasional political event, and notable battles across New Eden.

Before long, Eve Tribune seemed out-of touch. As I took my first steps into 0.0, I  became more aware of in-game events, and it was clear to me that Eve Tribune was allowing major developments to pass by unreported.

Most people in Eve get their news from public and private forums. Politics threads, separated by region or coalition, are one of the best ways to get insight into what warring parties are planning in any particular conflict.

In the last year, Eve News 24 has become the most popular Eve-related news site. The standard procedure of EN24 is to cross-post any interesting information from the politics discussion threads on other sites. The blog format, which includes a social-media aspect, and the impressive banners make the site more fun.

Eve News 24 also has its problems. The site is widely regarded as something of a sensationalist publication, often with a pro-NC political agenda, and although the site is always worth checking – it is rarely a source for profound commentary.

EN24 has also begun posting rumors submitted to them via the anonymous drop-box, many times portraying the information as reliable when there is little or no evidence to support the story. I encountered this personally today when Riverini posted a story about my corp supposedly moving to Delve based on a drop-box report and “seeing our ships in the region.”

I have been an EN24 contributor in the past, and I still syndicate over blog posts whenever they are relevant enough to the broad audience EN24 reaches, but my involvement with that site has always been rather limited.

Recently, I was contacted by George Nada, a former staff member at EN24. Nada has developed a new platform for quality news articles called Eve Wire.

You can read the manifesto here. I have decided to accept their invitation to become a writer.

The goal of Eve Wire is to produce high quality articles, not hastily typed summaries of events or copied posts from users on other forums.

There is a stronger emphasis on traditional journalism, combined with even more of the features visitors expect from a modern social-news site.

I will leave it to George to explain the concept in detail, but for now I suggest everyone check it out for themselves.

My Hero Cyno Saves the Day :: AAA Kills Erebus in Hemin!

Posted in Against All Authorities, Alliance Tournament, Eve History, Killboard Stats on June 13, 2011 by Easley Thames

Today was a great day for the members of Against ALL Authorities.

We started off by killing a providence pet carrier in D-G. Shortly after, swooped in upon several Morsus Mihi carriers that had been dropped onto a gate in Querious.

Imperian’s corpse was taken so that Maverick Lieutenant James Kordent could have it stuffed as a trophy of his victory.

A couple hours after the carriers died, our tournament team scored a sweet victory over Raiden in the Alliance Tournament.

Next weekend, -A- will face Darkside, a truly dangerous opponent whom we often engage in Curse. It should be a great fight.

We then moved on to a roam where we killed Initiative’s Machariel + Tengu fleet, and chased Goons around Great Wildlands.

However, the best moment of the day came last.

Some Curse-based neutrals were getting rather tired of being harassed by a badly-piloted Erebus who delighted in attempting to doomsday anything his friends could tackle in the Heaven constellation.

The neutrals laid out an Archon as bait in Hemin, and cloaked their dictor nearby. The titan pilot took the bait, but failed to kill the Archon, who was setup to withstand an Erebus’s DD.

Within seconds, our gang was upon the foolish pilot to provide secondary bubbles and to clear away his friends.

I was initially flying a battle-cruiser, but the call went out for more bubbles, so I docked and grabbed a Sabre out of my hangar. Luckily, after soloing in Hemin for a couple weeks last month, I still had ships left in the system.

After laying a sphere shaped ball of “you aren’t going anywhere” on the Erebus, I heard Mukk asking who had the cyno. Apparently that pilot disappeared earlier, and there was no one else who could open one!

Thinking fast, I docked to refit, and quickly re-entered the fray with a cargo-hold full of liquid ozone. The scimitars locked me up as I opened the cynosural field and broadcasted the beacon.

As the first super-caps landed on field, the fleet cheered, but we knew that there was a very good chance this Erebus would disappear.

The panicked titan pilot had logged shortly after the first bubbles were placed, and only a fraction of our online supers were at the designated mid-point when this trap was sprung.

No one had a precise count from when he had logged, but we all agreed there was less than 5 minutes left when he hit 1/4 armor. Luckily, his tank seemed to turn off after several minutes of frantic neutralizing, and his last 25% of armor and hull went extremely fast.

The titan was destroyed, leaving behind some very nice loot that was given to the -A- super pilots who were present for the kill. We made sure to pod him, too.

A video of the kill can be found HERE.

Rather than being a mere reward for participation, we earmarked specific officer and deadspace mods for those super-caps that were still missing various X-Type hardeners and officer smart-bombs.

I think the policy of upgrading our own super fits with titan/SC loot is excellent, and far better than allowing individuals to keep what they can grab.

Here is a screenshot I took after our fleet warped off field. The Erebus wreck was salvaged, but most of the others were left behind like gravestones.

As for the emotion after the kill, it doesn’t take much to imagine our excitement. Here are some other people’s thoughts:

In short, today was a very good day for AAA. Our Euro timezone crew killed carriers, our tournament team picked up another win, and our increasingly strong U.S. timezone brought down a titan.