Friday, January 23, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Ganking…

~or “Look Before You Jump...”

We had a really good holiday weekend… we ran a ton of sites, made a pile of ISK, got a nice set of kills and had one hilarious ‘incident’…

We live inna C3 wormhole and like most wormholers we used to live off our home sites and the sites we raided from the normal random connecting holes… well, we don’t do that anymore. Nowadays we prefer to scan down all-the-things and actively seek out C5s with decent pipes to/from home, preferably uninhabited or with inactive occupants and… loaded with C5 Sleeper sites.

One reason is our corp has grown quite a bit in the past few months, there are a couple of RL friends of Sov and Tsra that have joined who are basically newbies. One of our newbros is a veteran player I met through my blog, he was on a ‘break’ from EVE and decided to come back and also joined us in the hole… and added to that is the completely unexpected and unplanned EVE takeover of my IT Dept IRL…

So far one of my coworkers has joined us in the hole, one is mining and doing the std. noob in Hisec thing, one has just joined and is testing the waters so-to-speak and one has purchased EVE via Steam and is going to give it a go sometime soon… plus one guy, in another section of the IT Dept, is going to rejoin… he used to play back some years ago and his son is one of the guys in my dept who has joined us so he’s considering trying it again… sheesh.

Now those who don’t live in Anoikis need to understand that any given wormhole system can support only so many players… C1’s can support soloists and very small groups, say 2 to 3 guys max… as you go up the class chain, C2, C3, C4… each hole produces more ISK then the last and therefor can support more players… C5’s and 6s can support quite large groups. When we were in SYJ an appreciable portion of the ISK the Alliance and its membership made was from shares of the ISK we got from Merc Ops in addition to the very lucrative C6 Sleeper site Capitol escalations we ran. But there is a upper limit even then…

Now keep in mind I’m talking about PI and the sites in your home hole… Combat, Gas & Ore and Data & Relic sites… of course most if not all Anoikis corps and groups do not limit themselves to just their home sites, they readily and normally raid adjoining holes for ISK, be it running combat sites or ninja gas mining… keep in mind also there are no taxes levied in Anoikis (other than at POCOs and many don’t charge their membership, we don’t at least) so for many corps ‘taxes’ are paid to the corp in PI for POS fuel. I personally make Robotics and Supercomputers in equal amounts with my PI… and I ‘donate’ all my Robos to the corp and sell the Supercomps for myself.

But, as I said, we have grown quite a lot and we now have more people than a C3 can properly support if we limited ourselves to our home sites and normal raids… The second reason we actively seek C5s is that the vets in our group are capable of fielding ships that can effectively run C5s. We now primarily run an Ishtar/Basi/whatever comp for C5 Sleeper sites but we just don’t trigger the Capitol escalations. C5’s make us all enough ISK to support a larger membership than our home hole normally would. This means we are doing even more scanning than before ‘cause we have to scan down not just everything in home but also in our adjoining holes and in the local lowsec group our static has connected to.

OK, so over the weekend we had an opportunity… Sov was out deep scouting the lowsec and connected systems and he found a group of 4 Procurors, a Retriever and a Miasmos hauler on a mining op inna wormhole four hops over from our stat low… sweet. To get there we have go out to our static lowsec (1) then through a wormhole (2) into another hole system that leads to a hole (3) to another lowsec… the mining op is taking place inside another wormhole (4) inside that lowsec system… We ship up… Ishtar, Lachesis, Moa, Prophecy, Prophecy, Vexor and I’m inna Onyx HICtor because, bubble.

We warp to the hole and run the pipe and the fleet lands on the hole they are mining in… Sov has Endy in the Lach’ go in first… dscan immunity FTW… and make initial point, as Endy is in warp Sov calls the rest of us to jump the hole and warp to Endy when he lands… Endy calls landed and initial point, we go to warp… as I enter grid I see one of the target ships warp out, on landing I pop my bubble trapping the remaining 3 Covetors, the Retriever and the Miasmos… I set my inifini-point on one of the Covetors, call point and start the missiles... we all set to work and…

Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop and Pop… as the ships are assploding we get all pods locked and then…  pop, pop, pop, pop and pop… And, being the civic minded souls that we are, we loot what's worth looting, pop the wrecks and even clean up the MTU... pop.

So, we head back home… now we are all clapping each other on the back and in a great mood as you can well expect, we jump the hole out to lowsec, warp to the hole we have to transit back to our static low and on jumping in… we land right in the middle of a bright RED fleet sitting on the other side of the hole.

Oh fuck...

Now I say bright RED I don’t mean Russians… I mean every ship in that fleet, at a guess easily 10 or more ships, I say guess ‘cause I was a wee bit freaked out (you should have heard comms LOL!!)… they were all flashy red… -10 sec status… and our gang of seven is easily outgunned… Sov calls out “Hold cloak!”… thinks for a second, then orders us all to try for the hole and jump out if we can… we all turn and burn hard for the hole praying we don’t lose too many ships… I did get lit up, saw some red creep up in my shields as I burned to the hole… but I hit 5000m and spammed jump so hard I was worried I would break the mouse. I jumped through and Sov was calling for everyone to dock up if possible, then he asked who died… no answer… he asked again… no answer. We had all made it out!!  LOL

The chatter on comms… well, I wish to the gods I had been recording… you had to be there, I’m glad I was, it was hilarious. Initially we assumed they had a scout and had either seen us doing the op and were waiting for us… or saw us land and jump in so they were at least somewhat ready for us… but their reaction was so disorganized that in the end we felt mebbe we were as much as surprise to them as they were to us…

If so, that means quite possibly their comms may have been something like this…  =]

Fly reckless and see you in the Sky... =/|)=

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hey Newb!!

~or “OMG This!”

Over on The Daily Welp, the Hero Coalition’s new site,there is this simple yet moving music parody…

I think it speaks for itself, so…

Personally, I feel this should be linked so it plays right after the "This is EVE" trailer... everytime!

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Monday, December 29, 2014

EVE is… Fun. =]

~or “Viam EVE…”

What is EVE? I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked that simple three word question… and it always left me standing there, waiting for the flies to just land in my open mouth… I never had a good short, to the point answer. Because EVE is not simple, short or to the point... whateverthehell it is.

It’s a game, right? Oh it’s a game alright… and it’s an MMO and an MMORPG too for some… it’s a persistent virtual world and a personal virtual life… it’s a gankers paradise and the haunt of risk adverse OCD miners and Industry spreadsheet geeks and Market mavens… It’s an experience that simply MUST be shared with friends and thousands more and a Hermit’s dream, it’s a single shard universe, and a lonely desolate wormhole system… it’s a Harsh Mistress and a Gentle Beauty… an exotic sheer bikini clad Lover, and a triple 1600mm Tritanium plated Bitch.

It is all this and so much more… but it is NOT easy nor is it simple… to play, to live in, to fly in and to die in, to define or to explain.

But, over the last few weeks, I have found my personal short-simple-to-the-point answer…
EVE is Fun… and as far as I am concerned, if it’s not fun for you… yer doing it wrong.

You see defining and or explaining EVE for many stems from a desire for our friends and family to understand this our collective hobby. We who enjoy it get so much out of it… partly because EVE IS horrendously complex and hard to learn. It is hard to explain a ‘game’ that can be so very extremely harsh and unforgiving. Those of us who love it do so BECAUSE it is ALL of the above… and one other thing… we have FUN doing all of it, even the boring, painful, shitty stuff.

This thought has been gelling in me since I read Wilhelm Arcturus’s post, This is EVE and EVE is Different over on The Ancient Gaming Noob. I don’t really follow TAGN ‘closely’ because he is a nullsec player and I could not care less about nullsuc, and his blog also covers a lot of WoW and such and so I have to pick and choose what to read over there… Please understand I’m not dissin’ his blog or playstyle, I’m just picky and I don’t play WoW so a lot of it means Na-da to me is all. But he is also an EVE player and very often has insights and a depth to our game that I would sorely hate to miss… so I do keep up with him.

Anyhoo… in this post which was his BB#61 - Origin State, post… he says a few things that really hit home with me… 

“EVE Online will not meet your expectations.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you’re going to come charging in with some ideas in mind and EVE just isn’t going to line up with them."


“If you look at blogs from people playing EVE Online… …things can be quite different.  Sure, some days we are all talking about the same thing, like the latest expansion.  But there are times when we clearly aren’t just playing in different areas of the game, but it seems like we might be playing totally different games.

In no other MMO I know of or have heard of is this more true. … it seems like we might be playing totally different games…  because… we are and yet, we are all still playing EVE. This is the Dichotomy and the Duality, the Yin and Yang, the Male and Female, the Creation and Destruction that is EVE and that is a huge part of the human experience.

When all is said and done, I enjoy my time in EVE more than any other hobby I have ever had. I fly in EVE with my sons… we have a corp that is our own. We are currently flying with friends we have had for almost 4 years… and some we just met last week. I have my bad days… and sometimes I am the bad day others’ have… but everyday, bad to best, I look forward to it more, and have more sheer fun doing it, on par with anything else I have ever had as a hobby. Seeing the guys on TS, and in the POS… Endy, and ‘nipples’… Sov and his “About your fit…”, Tsra and his “Damn, I’m outta arsenic…”, AI and his ”….” (he’s kinda quiet…), Strigon and his “I just push F1…”… and all the other guys…

Over the last few weeks I have had wonderful wins! And amazing losses… we have run sites like Real Pros and we have run sites like we were drunken retards… we have had GFs and terribad fights, but always post ‘GF’ in local as we warp off… I have made a mountain of ISK… and spent damn near all of it… and I have had an absolute blast during all of it… Yea, EVE is a lot of things… but first and foremost it HAS to be…

All For the Fun…

When all is said and done,
the war over,
the battle lost or won,
when your ship has gone nova,
you understand then…

When you turn ponderously for home,
your Hulks laden with ore,
like a citizen of old Rome,
sweat and blood for the corp,
you understand then…

When the smoke clears,
and you’re back in the hole,
you see your greatest fears,
are not loss of control,
you understand then…

When you were scared and shaking,
webbed and pointed as you tried to run,
when you realized YOU weren’t breaking,
you understand now…

...that it is all for the fun.

Fly Reckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Really REALLY Great Bad Idea…

~or “And a Spanking Ensued…”

Last night was about as good as EVE gets for me.  =]

OK, first off the last 2 weeks or so have been dull… deadly, gods damned dull. I have logged on most ervy day as usual, I have done PI, or not… and when in the mood scanned all-the-things, or not… and usually no one on but me. Oh occasionally we’d have a guy or two on TS… mebbe playing Warframe or some such… and a few times had some of our newer members on, but in Empire boofing around. I did get into a few nice TS sessions where I got to put on the Sensei robes and teach, or at least knowledgeably answer questions. I prefer to try to not just share info but to also encourage and share some of the wonder and love I have for our game.

Something personally fun, day afore yesterday I found my first Shattered Planet hole connecting to ours, N-Space or S-Space or whatevertehfuk it’s called… one of the New 101 (Anoikis like) systems… At first I was all WTF? While scanning and scouting I was also in Sensei mode teach PI… so after jumping in, BMing the return hole and spamming Dscan, I tried to do a quick scan of a planet to answer a current PI question and I was all ‘why in the hells can’t I look at a planet??’ Then I saw ‘no moons’… Hrm, lots of Sleeper Sites… no FF (Force Fields) which means no POSes… OH Hey!! I’m inna Shattered Planet Hole!!! Schweet!

Warped to see my first real shattered planet and…   it wasn’t. It was a nice clean round planet… with a huge amount of (untargetable) asteroids(?) in close orbit (IE at ‘0’ on the planet)… Well, disappointing to say the least. Also these new systems are not available to our mapping tool… huh.

But the point is I was on pretty much solo when I was for the last 2ish weeks… I did PI, scanned… and usually logged after a bit… EVE has become, for me, more a social game as I get older. Oh I still am ‘ok’ with being on solo, just vastly prefer company is all. Anyhoo, so last night there was a stirring on TS and corpmates were loggin on… some were playing Warframe but we all decided to actually try and run sites together.

Earlier in the day I had soloed 3 sites in my Vargur… scary as I had no backup if jumped, but it is Anoikis… and some days the scary for others is me so I just kept spammin Dscan and nom nommed the sites for 180m ISK… nice. Then people started loggin on and… we suddenly had hostiles in the hole. We made a stab at killing a ‘Stero that was running a data site… and missed. In the end there was enough neut/hostile activity to make us feel sites were not on safely the agenda for the evening… <sigh>…

Then Sov, out scanning and scouting as usual says… “Hey guys…” “I have an idea… a really, really BAD idea.” “I’m sure it is just a terrible idea…” and you can just hear him grinning… OH HELLS YES!!! Both Endy and I were all like “Cool, say no more, say no more…” and “What ship should I be in?” and “What? Where? How? Can we keel it? them?” Seems in the C2/Hi right next door we have a POS… defended by 6 Cruise Missile Batteries and… nothing else. Nothing? Nothing, no other defenses at all, huh, really? And an Orca, Itty, ‘Stero, Probe are just floating inside… and while the Orca is manned, it seems to be AFK.

Hmm. We discuss the potential DPS and such of 6 BS sized Cruise Missiles inna hole and decide to try it. First off Sov has me get a Med T2 bubble for the Hisec hole in the C2… At the hole, I align to the target POS and anchor it as close to the hole as bubble mechanics will allow… and the hole is nicely covered. So we have a cloaky scout, x2 DPS Ishtars and me inna Scimmy for logi. We jump in warp to and land, I start reps and the guys start in on the CM Batteries… and the CM Batteries start in on us… and… huh, nothing. I mean the barest, faintest scratch of red appears in shield, then gone to reps… after a minute Sov says, “Tur, drop reps.” So I do… that bare, faint scratch of red becomes a slightly more bold, faint scratch of red… and that’s it.

I reship to a Prophesy and we go to work on taking down the missile batteries and even though I get focus fire a few times, I never go deeper than 50% shields, and I’m armor fit… needless to say, the CM Batteries are incapped in relatively short order. With the meager LOLable defenses down, we go to work on the POS itself because Sov is of a mind that this thing (1) may have been just setup and (2) may have been setup by guys who just possibly may not have stronted it… we decide to shewtz it enough to see if it goes into reinforced and in the meantime see if we can get some kills or a fight outta these guys.

We continue ops… and the Probe suddenly warps out directly to the hisec hole, which is not in dscan range of the POS BTW… and he get caught in the bubble and Sov deals with it, killed and podded out. We continue ops. A few more guys join us over the course. After a while a Tengu logs in, lands in the POS… boofs around a bit and eventually warps off directly to the Hisec and like the Probe, gets trapped in the bubble, killed and podded out.

Now Sov calls for a bubble on the POS, I go get another Med T2 and drop in in line with the hisec hole and just behind our guys, the edge of the bubble was like 20km off the POS. Ok so the guy in the Orca wakes up and jumps into a Gnosis and eventually tries to escape with what could potentially be a neat trick. He warps off in the direction of the hisec hole and we follow… he lands 100km high from the bubble, drops a Mobile Warp Unit and starts anchoring…

Hmmm… we wonder if this will work, can the MWU warp him into the bubble deep enough to jump before we kill him? Or will he get stopped at the edge as any ship in warp does? Sov sends Endy to burn hard and sic his droans on it and kill the MWU before it can be activated… done and the Gnosis warps off… and gets trapped in the bubble back at the POS… we get tackle, those of us on the hole warp back and… he is killed and podded out.

The op continues and we finally hit reinforced. OK, so they did have stront and enough to give it a one day plus 17 hour timer… Now we are deciding whether or not to make it an actual op, not just a ToO (Target of Opportunity) and stay for the timer to see if (1) we get a fight and (b) if we take down the POS, what might drop… So we're going back n forth on this when...

Sov finally gets into a convo with these guys… seems they are Lithuanian… and no one present speaks Engrish. So Sov is doing a Google Translate convo in Lithuanian to poor English to incomprehensible Lithuanian… (gentle reader just imagine the hilarity…). To make a longish and LOL filled story short… we end up offering a 1.5b ISK ransom… and they accept… and they pay. OMG!!  And it is at this point that Endy says… “Now I feel dirty.” LOL!

So once we have the ISK, I start taking down the bubbles and we group up on our home hole and when Sov says we're good, we jump back, warp to the POS and start winding down. A little bit later we are all sitting around laughing and discussing the op when Endy calls out, “Astero on scan.” Sov replies that it’s one of the guys from the corp we just spanked… He gets the guy in TS and is talking him through what went wrong and why and how to avoid it in the future, and he invited them to come see our POS setup, all deathstarry n all (inna cloaky) and is sharing with them the Tao of Holes… this is how we roll.

So, why did we attack them? Well, one answer would be the EVE standard… “They was home.” The other would be, and is, because they needed it, and better us than some other group who would not have respected the ransom and who would not have stayed and helped them learn how to make their way, find their fortune and live and die in Anoikis.

My beloved Anoikis is a place of very high risk and equally high reward, a place of imminent danger where sometimes I have a really bad day… and sometimes… I am the really bad day that others have… =]

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Sunday, November 30, 2014


~or "Wander Lust...”

We, and much of the MMO world have been rocked recently by the new EVE Trailer featuring ingame video set to real time player comms... a trailer that has captured the imagination of new players and set a new fire in the bellies of older vets. I laughed out loud and cheered the first time I watched it, and every time since.

And real life can be just as exciting it seems... Rixx Javix found this video short on Vimeo and shared it and well, it’s quite simply as amazing if not more so than our new EVE trailer, only this one is based on real life and all I gotta say is… as the EVE Player Trailer beckons to my heart, THIS beckons to my very soul…

Wanderers is a vision of humanity's expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.

Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea of the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds - and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there.
                Erik Wernquist

Let us pray, that one day, we will once again reach for the stars and get off this one lone rock...
And the human race will find adventure, again...
                Turamarth Elrandir

Fly Fearless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

PS the title... "Randir" is elvish, the Quenya word for Wanderer... Gandalf was also know as Mithrandir, the Grey Wanderer... and hence my last name, Elrandir... or Star Wanderer.  =]