Monday, May 9, 2011

How We Lost the Battle... But Won the War…

or~ Stories from our Early Daze in EVE

This is one of a series of Stories from the early days of our corp…  This one is about our first, and so far only, WarDec.

I had joined the game after my son AI showed it to me. Initially I did the tutorials then I dicked around in low 0.5 systems solo ratting and just mucking about on my own... finally in late Jan of 2011, AI,SL and I setup HB our very own corporation.

Now basically, and if you have been reading any of my blog you already know this but I feel our corp at that time basically followed a business model I feel is best described as Bunch-a-Boobs… We were doing the 3Ms… Missioning, Mining and Mucking about trying to make some I$K and we didn’t really have a master plan or any real set goals.

When I joined, AI & SL had been ingame about a year, long enough to have been in a corp, done some lowsec roams, SL seemed to be skilling up for Industry and was very interested in manufacturing and he BADLY wanted us to have a POS. AI also wanted a POS, was more interested in management, wanted to be the CEO of our corp, which was fine w/ me and SL… SL didn’t want the headaches and TBH I didn’t either… yet. I did take the 2nd in command spot as VP in charge of Public Relations and the Director of Salvage Operations.

I liked the idea of that title, “Public Relations VP” very much from the character of “Jayne Cobb” from the, very sadly very shortly lived SF series, “Firefly” (if you don’t know about this show you should, "Firefly"… and if you do, ‘nough said), Jayne was quite simply a ‘heavy’… you know, the ‘tough guy’ type…. the strong, silent, very deadly type… but the also extremely dumb… type. When Mal Reynolds, the Capt. of the tramp freighter “Serenity” was asked what Jayne’s job was on the ship, he thought about it and answered, ‘Public Relations’… Jayne’s job was to bully, beat up and kill people.

Anyhoo… so here were, ratting, running missions, mining, all of us skilling up our toons trying to get into the next class of ship. We had a few guys join us… Tif, and Cap (and though Cap is still a member, he has been AFK for a few months now… we wonder what happened we do), Kow joined us next and then, one fine day…

We receive an unsolicited request for membership from a “Tonto”… and like 10 minutes later, we get a War Declaration Notice (WarDec) from CONCORD! SL and I had been looking at this “Tonto” guy who was asking to join our corp when that hit us and we accepted him right away saying how we were gonna need people now that we were at War.

I must admit, my initial gut reaction was something the same… but all I can say now is that at the time it felt, I don’t know… hinky… something not right… but we were like a bee hive that got kicked… all aswarm and abuzz about getting WarDec’ed… Why? Who was it? Why?? How many are there? WHY??? Did you kill one of em? NO! Did you? NO! WHY??? I gotta tell you, the first time for anything is always, well the first time you know? But this was really outta-the-blue for us. Then we get contacted by the CEO of the corp what dec’ed us…  It’s easy… Pay 150M I$K, and he’ll go away...

Ohhhhhhhhh… So that’s what this is all about! We’re a NOOB CORP and therefore an easy target and they is an official Pirate corp, this being of course, one of the main careers in EVE… This one is a Noob Griefer corp specifically, pirates who prey on new characters and corps as what don’t have the skills and ships to effectively fight back and who aren’t in an Alliance and therefore are easy targets for more skilled and experienced pilots, EVE Mafia style. Well… that took a load off lemme tell you. We were worried it was like, personal or something, you know. Anyhoo…

Well, that made our reply very easy… “Thanx, but shall not be partaking in your EVE protection racket.” The response was as expected, “Well, in 24 hours, enjoy your $15 per month screen saver.” You see from the time, actually the moment, a WarDec is started, IE “bought” (for 2 Million I$K per week) you have 24 hours from then until it goes ‘live’, IE the War Dec prosecuting corp or Alliance can attack the defending  corp/Alliance membership anywhere in EVE. This also means the defending corp/Alliance membership can, conversely, also attack the prosecuting corp/Alliance membership anywhere in EVE without any CONCORD intervention as they are legally ‘at War’.

So we spent an interesting 24 hours to say the least. Lots of discussion about what to do when you get War Dec'ed. IE, how to defend, how this will affect our gameplay, no 3M’s now, will we lose? If we do lose, IE if the prosecuting corp is able to keep us from profitably Mining, Missioning and Mucking about so that we won’t be able to make I$K to pay the bills and replace the ships, what do we do then? Even at a year plus neither AI or SL were what you would call ‘highly’ experienced PvP’ers and god knows the others of us weren’t. We didn’t have a war chest in the corp wallet and we had all been putting our I$K back into ships for ourselves as we skilled up, so the corp wallet was… well, in a word, we were poor. So, while I know my guys, and I know they will get in there and give it their best fight, the overall expectation was not highly favorable as I saw it.

Plus I had some concerns about our newest member, “Tanto”… he seemed perfectly OK with us being in a war right as he joined, he wasn’t ‘around’ much, IE he didn’t join in the discussion on the dec and ‘huddle up’ with us you might call it… he actually went off to go do ‘some things he had to take care of’… Little did we know it but he went out and got our corp its first officially recorded “kill”… He went off and got into some PvP.  As that first day wore on AI and I called and talked a few times I got more and more convinced that we shouldn’t have accepted “Tonto” so quickly… I was very concerned he was an Alt and an enemy spy.

AI and I finally agreed to kick “Tonto” from the corp for the duration of the War Dec. IF he was a real noob, maybe he’d come back after, but I simply felt we couldn’t take the chance he wasn’t a spy. As Public Relations VP it was my job to write up a letter of membership termination in which I said we were not in a favorable position to integrate a new member into the corp due to the Wardec, and then we ‘gently’ kicked him from the corp.

The next day, just before the Wardec went “live” we were contacted and got one more chance to ‘pay up or else…’ Again, “So sorry, but nope.”  And lo and behold a bit later, 24 hours on the dot after the WarDec was declared, Tif calls out in chat “They’re insystem!” SL and I were in our home station, the SOE Station in Soshin. We check local and sure enough, one of the dec’ing corps guys is insystem and lands right outside our station. SL is hot to go out and get this guy, at the time SL had been primarily flying a Rokh a very impressive Battleship, I was flying a Thrasher (Destroyer class), and Tif was in his Exequror (a heavy cargo Cruiser) none of the other members of our corp were OL at the time.

So… here it is, nothing to it but to do it. SL coordinates with Tif to warp to the station and he and I time our undock to coincide with Tif’s landing at the station… the griefer, a corp member we had not seen until now named “Oz”,was in an Ishtar (Tech II Crusier) We all lock up him as he locks up us and we all go to it. He releases his Ogre II’s and attacks. I engage him with my Thrasher orbiting at 1000m with all 7 of my 280mm Howitzer’s in volley fire,  Tif’s Exequror is running 250mm railguns, and SL’s Rokh was firing Cruise Missiles and 250mm Gauss guns...

Tif’s Exequror was the first ship lost, my Thrasher was next ship to be asploded, but right before I was killed I saw that we were getting into him pretty good and SL was still out there in his Rokh, so I docked in my pod and jumped in my Rifter and immediately undocked to re-engage. SL calls out that he is going down and once the Rohk was gone, well, to put it simply my Rifter was instapopped and I get Pod killed immediately after…

System: Soshin - 2011.01.29
Agressor: Oz / Ship: Ishtar / Primary Weapon: Ogre II
Victim: Tif / Destroyed: Exequror
Victim: TurAmarth / Destroyed: Thrasher
Victim: SL / Destroyed: Rokh
Victim: TurAmarth / Destroyed: Rifter
Victim: TurAmarth / Destroyed: Pod

In other words, we lost. We lost bad. We lost every ship we put in the field against one Tech II Cruiser and one of us, me, got podkilled… SL logged off immediately and I believe so did Tif. I woke up in my clone back in my noob system many, many jumps away. Crap. Crap, crap, crap, crap… Oh well, its EVE right? You want a safe, nice cuddly cozy game… go play WoW.

Now comes the weird EVE part…

A few minutes after that action was over I was contacted by the griefer who killed us all. Initially the convo went as one might expect…

Oz > hello
TurAmarth > yes
Oz > you do realize that this isn’t what we want right?
TurAmarth > well... not gettin what you want anymore than we are. So it's at least fair.  And if you really meant that... simply stop.... but you won’t... right?
Oz > not until we get what we want
Oz > however
Oz > aside from this 'situation' for a moment
TurAmarth > well... then that's that... cause you aren't anymore than we are...
TurAmarth > we have no situation.... ya'll are playing EVE mafia... and we aren't going for it.
Oz > fair enough
Oz > hope you enjoy your game for the next couple of months
Oz > good day
TurAmarth > I will.... you too....

Now… as you can expect while I was not a happy camper, I was not as upset and some get in these situations… It IS a game after all and we PAY for the privilege of playing. I once read something a guy wrote in his blog that has stuck with me ever since:

“When something bad happens to you in EVE, remember to smile and say, ‘Thank you CCP, May I have another?”

After cooling off a bit I was going back over everything and I realized Oz had at one point said, “…aside from this 'situation' for a moment” which I had not really ‘caught’ when he first posted it… So I convo’ed him and asked what it was he wanted to say “…aside from this situation…”? He responded, “Oh yes... I was going to say, aside from this whole war thing. That was a damn good showing... seriously.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Turns out we had him nearly on the ropes… he told me he was approx 3 seconds from losing his stability. We talked for a bit about how the fight went in general then he said, “And also, you guys showed some real cohesion too, very organized.” “You did well, I was seriously contemplating leaving.” Well… I was starting to feel a little better about getting our collective asses handed to us. We talked on a bit and I told him a little about us, how the CEO is my RL son and an active duty Marine etc., etc., and suddenly Oz says, “Tell U what, since you are being so cool about this I will retract this war.” “Besides, lol, next time we meet you will likely win, it’s just me against all U guys, I’m a one man corp!.”

I was stunned… I LOL’ed and told him, Oh BTW, one thing he didn’t know was… we have no money… maybe 10M I$K in the corp account… we couldn’t have paid if we had wanted to! Then he then offered to help us out with that!! At 03:30 he had stated he would not stop until he got what he wanted… at 04:30 he offered US I$K to help out with our losses and just in general… I turned him down, of course, we are small yet proud corp, I did ask, “…however... if we are ever wardec'ed... can we call ya?” Oz immediately responded, “Yes, and I will come.” Go figger huh, this is ONE VERY WEIRD GAME! He also told me that he WAS “Tonto” I was rocked that my instincts were right on that one, we both lol’ed over that quite a bit.

Now at this time I had been ingame only one month, and what he said next absolutely floored me… “Where did U learn to fit your ship? U in particular…” “Your fits are advanced and correct.” We only saw his alts before the actual action outside of SOE Station in Soshin. Directly after the fight, I looked up “Oz” on Battleclinic… very impressive killrecord, so needless to say I was really quite pleased to hear such praise from such an experienced PvP’er. I told him I was one of the types who read EVERYTHING… I Google every little thing I get involved in or even hear about ingame. I had started working with EFT and moved on to PYFA for fit testing. His response was, “Aha!” “That’s the best thing you can do, keep doing that, it shows.” I and my corp had just been buggered hard and but good publicly outside of our home station… and here I was feeling good about myself.

I told Oz about the first time I got podkilled…  “The first guy who podded me was sorry he did so when he saw just how noob I was.... he returned all the loot & salvage from my ship and bought me a replacement Rifter... I am finding much to like in the honorable scumbags of EVE...  =]”

And so it was that we weathered our first WarDec, met a strangely honorable pirate and made a friend I hope we will be flying with for years to come. It turns out that we, simply by showing up and giving it our all, earned his respect and admiration so as of 2011.02.29 at 05:35 we were  no longer at war.

An additional note,
The fight was, of course, very public taking place as it did outside of a major popular station. I was contacted by Dro, the CEO of a small missioning and wormhole corp, who had seen the whole thing… and he had brought 4 members of his corp down to Soshin and wanted to know if we would accept their assistance? They were also very impressed with our ‘moxie’ (I’m not gonna link that one, if ya don’t get it, google it yerself!) and wanted to know if we might be interested in joining their corp…

This is the strangest game I have ever played. We come out to do battle with one guy in a Tec II Cruiser and get 4 ships, one of em a Rokh, blown the hell away… and we get street cred. We get people convo’in us with things like, “good show”, and offers of assistance and the guy who dec’ed us offers us I$K and friendship simply because we came out and fought back… how strange is that?

I love this game... Fly Safe and See you in the Sky...  =/|)=


  1. This is "Oz". Just an update. Tur and friends are still my very good pals. I have joined them a few times along the way to assist them when needed even. These guys are THE reason I still play Eve. I'd do anything for these guys. Their character and quality is unmatched. Quite possibly lifelong friends came out of a very unlikely situation. A strange yet wonderful creature this Eve.

    1. The feeling is mutal and we are flattered and honored my good friend... =]


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