Archive for the Roaming Category

AAA v. Goat & Reverb :: Brawl in 3GXF-U

Posted in Against All Authorities, Renters, Roaming on July 26, 2011 by Easley Thames

A group called The Scapegoats recently moved into Eastern Providence, close to the front line between AAA and White Noise.

Supposedly this group paid Ewoks – Evoke’s junior ally – for some of their old space in Providence, but I am no in a position to confirm this.

The Scapegoats are allies of The Reverberation Project, which is another group in Eastern Providence that is currently squatting on the land with no approval from CVA.

This particular battle happened when we ran into a combined Goat + Reverb fleet that was protecting some SBUs they had just placed in 3GXF-U (a CVA system).

AAA had 42 ships, including 23 Hellcat abaddons. The enemy had 55 ships, including a mix of races.

Most notably, they had 6 scorpions and 1 falcon. Initially, the jamming caused problems for our side:

However, once the ECM died, we were able to melt the enemy and tank all of their incomming DPS.

In the end, AAA killed 44 of the hostiles (35 ships + 9 pods), and took only 9 losses (7 BS + 2 pods).

We held & looted the field. A few late warp-backs were caught trying to return to the battle.

Additionally, few more kills were scored in neighboring systems as remnants tried to flee.


Lots of Action

Posted in Against All Authorities, Killboard Stats, Piracy, Roaming, Solo PvP on July 18, 2011 by Easley Thames

As the Summer continues, I’ve seen lots of action all across the south of New Eden.

Usually Curse and Providence provide us with the most fun. In addition to hostile fleets, we often find pimped ships strolling around in these regions, and I’m never too busy to gank a pimped ratting boat.

To the West, Delve is evolving into quite a war-zone with MM, Brick and Borg looking to start a new empire in Delve. However, this region has not been a particularly fun destination for AAA.

The biggest issue is that, 90% of the time we form up a gang, MM refuses to fly anything but bombers. Those kinds of “fights” are not something that makes us want to show up every day, and our allies in the region can usually handle things on their own, but we do appear occasionally when asked to help out with a timer.

The recent release of the Captain’s Quarters leaves me with the impression that there is a great template in place, but as of yet, nothing about it is really useful to me. I would greatly appreciate the option to use the old docking hangar view, personally.

Moreover, the game is still about spaceships, first and foremost. I hope CCP keeps this in mind. Pictured above is my trusty (and rusty) Tempest, which seems to be a carrier magnet of sorts.

Bumping capitals off-station is always fun, and with lots of Machs & Tempests in-gang, it isn’t particularly hard to push someone out of remote repair range.

Over the last 3 months, I have seen more and more action. I credit the large number of active FCs in MVN, and AAA’s culture, which embraces roaming above almost all else.

Since joining -A-, -MVN- has had increasing momentum. Our corp moved up 200 spots on Battle Clinic, and I’ve personally moved up over 500 spots.

According to Eve-Kill, MVN is currently #7 eve-wide for kills in the last 30 days:

Personally, I’ve gone from around 2100 when we left IT to breaking into the 1600’s. My goal is top-1500 by Summer’s end, which I am currently on track for.

I appear to be advancing around 100 spots per month, which is significant at this rank because everyone above and immediately below you is also very active.

I’ve had some great fights expensive ganks to help me climb the ladder, like the solo Tengu kill pictured above.

However, the best fights are the ones where you take on small gangs alone. Especially this month, I really regret not having Fraps installed.

For example, just this morning I engaged 1 BS and 3 BC in my Maelstrom. To get them to engage, I tried warping at zero to their gate-camp, but they wouldn’t take the fight until I warped-in at range.

In the picture above, you can see the wreck of the first victim – a drake – while the other 3 continue to fire on me. I ended up killing 3 of them while one drake eventually escaped. I – of course – survived.

And of course, I have not only been doing casual PvP, there have been some serious confrontations with RA and their allies over Tenerifis, and we expect that to escalate very soon.

Regardless of how the sov-map looks, we will continue playing the game the way we do right now.

I look forward to the rest of summer. Hopefully there will be more solo kills, more great fights, and more epic super-cap deaths.

Risk And Ye Shall Recieve :: A Humourous Tale of Ship Replacement

Posted in Against All Authorities, Roaming on May 31, 2011 by Easley Thames

This is a short story about taking a crazy risk to kill someone, losing your ship in exchange, and then miraculously acquiring a replacement for free.

First off, a little background for this tale. I had been roaming the entire day, as is the norm in AAA, on a MVN-lead marathon roam that stopped periodically in GE- for a short breaks before heading out time and again.

We roamed Curse, Catch, Provi, and low-sec. The only thing those roams had in common was that, each time we returned home, we took a shot at tackling Brick Squad – the alliance running a Burn Eden style camp in HED. We caught one of their un-probeable Tengus the previous day, but this time we settled for killing lesser ships.

After roaming all day, I decided to jump-clone over to Hemin for a little “me time” in a solo boat. As it turns out, a corp mate was nearby, and so he brought a shield cane to back me up for some near-downtime hunting.

Duo-pvp can be just as much fun as soloing. You gain a degree of backup and synergy, without feeling like you’re in a blob.

Our first target was a Dramiel who kept taunting us from long range. He eventually got too close and I was able to tackle him. Once ensnared, we melted the pesky Dram.

Asa went back to Catch to log off, only to be replaced by Chemicals. Chem only had his Vengence, so when Ushra Khan un-docked a drake with 4 other corp mates in station to back it up, we didn’t fight back initially.

I then hatched a plan. I know I can kill a Drake in about 90 seconds in my neutron mega. I also expected that some of the people in station would log off a few minutes before downtime. We waited until 4 minutes before downtime to have Chemicals undock. The Drake shot at the Vengence.

This time I un-docked with my 7 neutrons and 5 ogre II’s ready to melt the drake. I was 20% into the Drake’s shield when his gang undocked. I was able to finish the Drake with 2 minutes left, which means I sprung the trap too soon. My plan was to let server would go down after the drake died, but before the gang could kill my mega.

I should have had Chemicals undock at the 2 minute mark instead of 4 minutes. However, it looked like I might actually survive. I entered hull just as the server kicked everyone out for downtime. When the server came back up, I learned from my loss mail that I had died almost a minute after downtime. I have no idea if that is petitionable or not, but it doesn’t matter that much to me.

Somehow, Chemicals and I just really wanted to kill this particular drake, and we did it. Even though trading a BS for a BC is not a good way to boost efficiency, somehow I felt great about it.

The next day, I logged onto AAA Teamspeak and asked the regular U.S. timezone crew what was going on. They had been roaming Providence in t1 cruisers daring CVA and friends to fight them (to no avail) while ganking anything they could catch.

I jump cloned to low-sec and caught up with them in a inty. We ended up tackling a Megathron in R3-K. Interestingly, he ejected!

Being that I had lost a mega last night, no one objected when I took his mega for my own. It was fit with trimarks and t2 neutrons, not a standard ratting fit, making it a perfect replacement for the one I had lost.

Talk about a reimbursement policy! Oh, and the poor pilot got podded anyway, despite ejecting.

Over the holiday weekend, I had many great fights, but I thought I’d write about this particular story instead. Somehow, as if my brazen attitude were being rewarded, I came upon a perfect substitute for the mega I lost. That simply amuses me to no end.

Soloing In Curse

Posted in Killboard Stats, Roaming, Solo PvP on May 26, 2011 by Easley Thames

Everyone knows Curse is hot right now. Being my favorite 0.0 region, I couldn’t be happier about the current orgy of violence embroiling AAA’s nearby playground.

People say solo PvP is dead or impossible. For myself at least, that’s definitely not true.

The picture below covers a 6-day span during FINALS, when I had extremely limited time to play. Nearly all of the mails I got in that time were solo kills, as the “involved parties” column indicates.

I had zero eyes/scouts, no gang bonuses, no meta-gaming, no spies, and no blues in the system for these kills. I also didn’t fly anything expensive or pimped-out.

Starting a month ago, I have based out of the Heaven constellation, traveling back to -A- sovereign space only for larger alliance ops or -MVN- roams.

My goals has been to enjoy some casual solo PvP in affordable ships. Fortunately, the locals are usually up for a fight! If not, one only has to travel a couple jumps in any direction to find some trouble.

Despite the risks involved when soloing without any trump cards, I took no losses during the aforementioned 6-day period.

As of today, I still have a total of only 2 ship losses for the past 60 days. There were certainly many close calls though, usually related to escaping a blob after killing one member of their gang.

Here are some more mails from the following week:

There were a few “oh shit” moments over the last two weeks, like when Battlestars un-docked a carrier on me to try and save their Ferox. I consider carriers a bit of a buzz-kill in a small-gang oriented playground.

Repeated cocky displays of capitals by Battlestars in Curse resulted in this hot-drop. I may like to solo, but it doesn’t mean I am without options when people abuse their big toys! The same goes for most senior -MVN- FCs.

Another Battlestars pilot apparently shares his account with a friend. This guy’s ‘friend’ decided to un-dock a Gila that I was able to bump off station and kill in hopes of ratting in system.

I have no idea if this story was just a way for him to save face, or if he really has a friend who rats for him in busy npc 0.0 systems, but when he ‘took over control’ this dialogue commenced:

Going forward, I’ll continue shooting people, taking risks, and trying not to get mowed down by angry blobs.

Most of all, I’ll continue laughing at those who sit docked 23/7 complaining that Eve is only enjoyable as a forum discussion topic.

Recently, there have been lots of emo forum threads bemoaning the nerfs to 0.0 ratting as an income source.

I have always seen making isk as a mere means to an end, and sometimes even a necessary evil, but never something to be pursued as a primary goal in and of itself.

All you really need to have fun in this game is a few cheap ships, decent setups, and the courage to take chances.

That being so, who is really to blame for the fact that people spin ships in stations for hours on end? Is it the people at CCP, the sand-box makers, or the people who never try to make their own fun?

If you ask me, CCP could do a much better job in many areas, but the game is nothing if  not rife with the potential for adventure and conflict.

How to Hook A New Player on Eve :: Make Their First Kill Memorable

Posted in Killboard Stats, Piracy, Roaming on May 25, 2011 by Easley Thames

I was recently asked by a corp mate to take his real-life friend roaming in low-sec. Many new players waste away in high sec, slowly growing bored before quitting, so I was happy to help out.

I met the new player in a 0.5 system where I traded him the fittings I wanted him to use on his Rifter. I set him up with an AB + Scram + Web configuration with a plated armor tank and named autos. His instructions, should he engage anything, were to orbit at 500 meters and apply tackle as best he could.

It became clear early on in the roam that the new pilot had received a crash-course from his friend. He was able to follow orders, set way-points, and generally seemed to understand what I wanted him to do. A few times he jumped gates prematurely, but even supposedly-experienced pilots do this from time to time.

If nothing else, this roam was proof to me that new players do not need to spend nearly as much time in empire “learning Eve” as some people suggest.

It was a Sunday night, and things were quiet early on. I could tell that my tag-along was getting bored after about half an hour, so I started having him run his ship scanner to search for anomalies in each system we entered, while I bombed straight into belts. This isn’t my preferred scouting methodology, but it kept him from spending too much time sitting on gates.

The mildly exciting, but thus-far uneventful trip continued until I scouted out a Proteus in Aldali. The owner of the ship seemed to be out-and-about in system, and there wasn’t much evidence of ratting. I decided to leave and send my new friend to rat in the belts.

Sure enough, the T3 cruiser showed up to take the bait within 2 minutes. He killed my young friend just as I landed, but I was able to apply short-range tackle in my Myrmidon before he could warp off.

The Proteus initially tried to get out of the situation claiming he was a friend of my corporation. Being that he was not set blue, I could care less who he was. He was shooting back the whole time, but his damage was comfortably tanked. I was actually rather disappointed with the performance of his ship, to be honest.

In the end, his Proteus exploded and the excited newbie got a very nice trophy for his first kill mail. His friend was on comms for the fight, and their conversation seems to indicate that his friend will be renewing his subscription. I think the phrase, “holy shit that was awesome” was uttered.

In the aftermath, I let the new player come scoop the loot in a reaper. He was floored to learn that he could earn a million isk from a t2 module. As a true newbie with less than 10 mil, I think the rather disappointing T3 drop (by my standards) was a huge windfall in his eyes.

There is really no substitute for the thrill of a fight. As someone who does this sort of thing daily, most often solo, I don’t get the same level of adrenaline flowing as I did when I started in 2007, but it is the same rush that keeps me playing the game.

I think I did my job pretty well getting this new player introduced to the kind of fun you can have in Eve PvP. I couldn’t have asked for a better target, and I’m just glad I didn’t have to escort the new guy back to high-sec without a fight under his belt.

Finally, thanks to Jack Conn for being such a trooper and tackling a Proteus on his first trip into low-sec. As a new player with zero combat experience, he could easily have screwed it up and let the target get away, but he pinned that expensive thorax down and held it long enough for me to arrive on scene. I couldn’t have done it without ya, Jack.

Mavericks in AAA :: 2 Month Report

Posted in Against All Authorities, Atlas Alliance, IT Alliance, Killboard Stats, Roaming on April 30, 2011 by Easley Thames
I am happy to report that things have worked out very well for The Maverick Navy since our decision to join AAA. Almost no one outside the alliance realizes it, but -A- has an amazing roaming PvP culture, and there are 4 member corps that are extremely active in the U.S. timezone.
This is a huge and very welcome change from IT Alliance, where casual PvP was bizarrely looked down upon and even discouraged at times. The cool things -MVN- has already done in -A-, like ganking a MM Aeon in low-sec, would NEVER have been allowed by the clown-shoes fun-police.
It’s nice not to have to deal anymore with IT’s 200+ member IRC-based “FC” club, of which about 8 people ever lead fleets. In IT, the rest were only there to nay-say anyone other than a very short list of official (but not necessarily talented) FCs. But enough about the past for now!
Eve Kill reports that -A- was #1 in game-wide kills over the last 30 days. That’s even more impressive when you consider that we don’t have a super-huge “forever war” on our doorstep to earn us thousands of fleet kills. Those kills are largely from “just for fun” pvp ops, with a small fraction coming from “official ops.”
As I have mentioned before, this is all nothing new. The “AAA is shit” meme has blackened the public perception of -A-, but the fact is that we are in the #1 ranked alliance of all-time on Battle Clinic.
-A- has always been notorious for roaming gangs in the South. I remember how much fear they stirred up in Provi when I was new to the game, and in the nano-age their gangs were top-notch.
It also helps that they’re very shrewd about when to drop supers, and have never lost a titan. This is something very few major 0.0 alliances can claim.
I’m not saying -A- hasn’t lost good people since the days of Evil Thug, but the current incarnation of the alliance has some very active new blood, and it really shows-through in the nightly activity level and kill-board stats.
Since joining, there have been two kinds of ops our members are flying in regularly: major ops and casual ops.
The first group includes larger ops (first against PL, now against White Noise/DRF). The fight with PL was mostly unexciting. Atlas brought low numbers, even though the war was for their sake, and AAA + Cascade brought decent (but not great) numbers. The CSAA purge in the DRF has been met with “revenge at last!” from the older -A- members while most of -MVN- sees it as “something to do” between roams.
The second kind of fighting consists of small-gang fighting. This is what attracted the FCs in MVN to AAA. -A- space has proved ideal for finding casual “pew pew” with ease. We border a number of very active pipeline systems, and it’s only one jump bridge from our core territory to the border of Curse (current small-gang hotspot and my long-time favorite 0.0 region).
-MVN- was neck-and-neck with The Collective for the most kills in March, leading slightly some days and falling slightly behind on others. In April we were neck-and-neck again for top-killers, but this time BUSA surged in participation due to absorbing another well-known PvP corp, and they beat-out both -MVN- and The Collective for kills.
Regardless of who wins each month, it’s great to be with people who give a shit about something other than making isk and maintaining more regions than they can use. Nearly all of the corps in -A- are active roamers who run a mix of corp-only and alliance-wide ops. The “fun” pvp culture is very strong in AAA, and most long-time Mavericks feel very much at home.
There are also some in the corp, mostly the types who joined in the golden era of Atlas or IT, who simply cannot enjoy Eve without a 1000 man fleet and being told where to be every day. Those people are drooling at NC-DRF war right now. Hopefully the fight with White Noise will escalate and they’ll have mega-blobs to smash into again soon.

As for myself, I have been very pressed for time IRL, but when I do play I have been bouncing between low-sec soloing, small gang roams in curse, and mid-sized “fight-starter” fleets traveling further Catch.
In 2 weeks, I’ll be much less busy and will start blogging about individual fights more often. There have been some very blog-worthy moments in the last couple months, but I simply haven’t had the time or energy to write about them.
Thus-far, I feel the decision to join AAA was the best move for the corp.

An Offer We Couldn’t Refuse

Posted in Against All Authorities, Corporate Management, Roaming on February 15, 2011 by Easley Thames

With IT Alliance in stasis, adrift and losing corps at an alarming rate, -MVN- recently moved into Curse. Our only goals coming in were to enjoy flying together and pick fights.

I am a big fan of the Curse region, and I recommended a constellation that I felt would provide everything we needed in a new playground.

On my first roam with the corp in Curse, I caught and nearly solo’d an Orca before being so generous as to invite the rest of the gang to jump in and whore the mail. They caught a Loki earlier in the day, and as more people moved in, the number of gangs was steadily increasing.

While I would be fine never joining a sov-holding alliance again, it wouldn’t be the preference of most of the corp, so inevitably we would be going somewhere new if IT didn’t start to show signs of life again.

Despite many good offers from other alliances, our plan was to stay in Curse for a significant amount of time.

Not only were we unwilling to seriously consider any offers while IT still stood some chance of fighting back, but we also wanted to do our own thing for a bit.

Even with RKK CEO Argentina announcing we would not try to protect our remaining space, all of the officers agreed that there should be no rush to join a new alliance.

Things changed suddenly when our ideal offer came along.

One of Avi’s connections indicated that there was a possibility for us to join someone whom we respected. We would be taking over systems we have always wanted back since they were lost to us years ago in IAC. Most importantly, we would be staying in the South close to all the action we want to be a part of.

I wanted us to stay in Curse for a while, but this offer makes it possible to play in Curse without losing the benefits of holding sovereignty.

The Maverick Navy will be joining Against All Authorities and living in Catch.

The problem with choosing a new alliance was not a lack of offers, or even a lack of good offers, it was the lack of places we would fit-in with and could be proud of.

AAA provides a best of all worlds arrangement for us, and we are excited to come aboard and devote our efforts to supporting them to the best of our ability.

We joined with a minor condition, that we would not be required to be directly involved in purging IT infrastructure. I admit it would be somewhat fun to bulldoze certain constellations, but the rest of AAA can do that without us anyway since IT has already said it will not fight for its remaining space.

Individual Mavericks can get involved with any ops they want, but we’re not forcing our members to shoot IT stations/infrastructure.

Why Didn’t You Join XYZ/ABC/123 Alliance?

(1) The NC was not an option. The lack of proximity to hostile alliances makes roaming more of a chore than it should be when you have NC standings. We also don’t want to sit around waiting for a single brave alliance to assault our coalition before blobbing them into the stone age. The NC is the most effective coalition in Eve’s history, and I’m not saying the individual alliances are all bad, but this just isn’t a viable option for us.

(2) The GSF/TEST coalition is slightly more promising than living up North, but also not an option for this corp. The Southwest might be a fairly busy area in the future, and it would be great to be part of a U.S. coalition for once in our lifetime as a corporation, but there are too many barriers to this happening. There is too much irrational hatred between those entities and most of our grunts. Even if these alliances were open to it, our corp would freak out at working with, “goonie scum.”

(3) The Drone regions didn’t get any serious consideration. The only thing exciting about joining would be the chance to potentially invade the NC from the east, but that isn’t enough to make us want to live in drone space. The East has some strong alliances but it just wouldn’t feel like home.

(4) PL was briefly discussed, but we knew it wasn’t realistic. We would have to kick 90% of our members and go terrorize some poor pet alliance for months to get the requisite street cred, and even then it probably wouldn’t make up for the stain of being ex-IT in the eyes of PL corps.

(5) Providence was a somewhat interesting option. NCdot and Evoke are currently stomping CVA, and the addition of around 800 ex-IT players from the reformed BNC corp + DICE should make this even more imbalanced. At this stage, there isn’t much of an attraction in helping to pacify Provi into an NBSI wasteland, even though I must admit I get a little satisfaction in seeing Aralis buried time and again due to his personal interpretation of how CVA should operate.

Why Was AAA So Appealing?

(1) The Location: Our corp functions better with some of its own systems. Not everyone can embrace a nomad’s life the way I do. The location we are moving into is ideal for both indys and combat pilots.

Combat pilots get proximity to Curse, Providence, low-sec Amarr empire systems, and IT space (which we are hoping will become a thunder-dome soon) among other great spots for pvp. They can also run anomalies with less risk than in NPC 0.0 systems to replace lost ships.

Indy pilots get incredibly easy logistics to empire, security, and profitable space to use. Our indy wing is also undergoing an overhaul that will have major advantages for the corp and its members.

(2) Their Politics: AAA is a southern power with a southern mindset. AAA has historically had more than enough targets to roam or invade. There are times when they had a fair number of allies, like last year’s invasion of the NC, but they at least value the concept of avoiding unnecessary standings.

(3) Strength, Willpower, and Good Allies: AAA proved they had the dedication to retake their space and impressed us in the Catch campaign. AAA also has good allies who support it when needed. The overall “Stainwagon” coalition has shown itself to be formidable and dedicated. This coalition consistently punches above its weight.

(4) Their Culture: When our representatives were on comms with the AAA people to discuss things there was laughter. It generally seemed like we would all get along very well. People with sticks up their butt are no fun and we’re somewhat tired of those types. The AAA leadership we’ve met with are chill guys who like to roam around and shoot people.

(5) A Familiar Mission for MVN: While AAA doesn’t have a strong U.S. timezone yet, we have a great opportunity to once again step up and make things happen. Since AAA has a very energized EU timezone, our Euros will have no problem staying active in the period where we have less leadership online. They might want to brush up on some Russian though.