Sunday, February 24, 2013

The New Eden Propaganda Vulnerability Test…

or~  BB 45: Propaganda

"This edition of the Blog Banter is forged from suggestions from #tweetfleet members @KaedaMaxwell, @RocWieler and @TigerlilyFenix.

In a socially-driven game environment such as EVE Online's, everyone has an agenda. CCP promotes its products and has an army of volunteers to do the same; corporations and alliances deliver entertaining recruitment drives, CSM election candidates solicit for voter favor, bloggers and podcasters opine to their audiences.

In this intricate web of communication, influence and control, “what part does propaganda play in your game?


I had not been having much luck coming up with ‘words’ for this one… Propaganda does not work well on those who are capable and prepared for it. Hence it does not play a ‘part’ as such in my personal game and HBHI does not propagandize or even advertise. SYJ does not either, what propaganda they put out is written on the side of their missiles and projectiles… we send our propaganda the old fashioned way… with DPS!! HAHA! Anyway…

Then I re-read my post on Mittens the Goonborn v the EVEborn (Borgin For the LULZ…) this connected in my mind with my brief, unpleasant yet sickening foray onto James315’s blog… and my muse cried “Ah HAH!” grabbed my brain with both hands and squeezed... and the words just started to flow…

Now, you may be asking what I meant by “Propaganda does not work well on those who are capable and prepared for it”… to wit: 

By “capable” I mean a person who is self confident in his own morals, beliefs and personal understanding of right & wrong… IE, someone who is comfortable with his understanding of the differences between Good & Bad as he sees it, his personal Rules-of-Conducts (RoC) as twere.

By “prepared” I mean a person who looks at all communication with a care… with a pound or two of the old ‘grain-of-salt’ as they say… someone who compares what he hears and reads against his own moral compass and beliefs and RoC and then makes his own decisions.

This person is comfortable going against the tide of the group or even mass opinion if it does not adhere to his personal RoC. He accepts that this may put him in danger, that this decision will most likely have costs and consequences. He accepts these as the cost of personal integrity. If you ever made a decision that went against your friends, your ‘group’ or your family because of the ‘principle of the thing’… then you know the persona of whom I speak. However… if you have always followed the herd, stayed with the group, caved to peer pressure and done-what-yer-told… then you know well the mind of that great mass of people that propaganda is aimed at, and works on so well… like these guys here…

The bulk of the Goons (not all, not all) are just such types I am willing to believe. To stay with the heard, to remain in the group, to be “accepted” by your peers is a very very strong force in human nature. Plus keep in mind the “Goon Born” vs the “EVE Born”… Goons are inculcated into the herd BEFORE they join EVE Online… they, and I quote La Mittens one-more-time: (excerpt from “The EVE-Born”)

The experience of a new Goonswarm player is radically different from that of the EVE-born.”
”…when they install the game they are an extension of an existing community [that takes precedence over the EVE community]…”

“Rather than learning the basics alone in hisec, on their first day newbie Goons podjump to deep nullsec. There, they are surrounded by their fellows, ushered into massive alliance warfleets, mentored by veteran players, and showered with ISK and ships.”  [brackets mine]

Thus being PRE-propagandized and inculcated into the Goon mindset and culture prior to joining EVE leads to this:

A community-born [Goonborn] player is able to entirely skip the dreaded ‘mining veld in a Bantam’ phase. Instead of a positive kill/death ratio, external communities place a greater value on enthusiasm and a willingness to die for the group.
“In practice, this means that Goons, Broskis and Redditors can be outright bastards to everyone else in the EVE - besides their allies, of course - and get away with it. The game’s normal culture of honor doesn’t apply…” [brackets mine]

That pretty much sums up my argument… If you can CONTROL a person’s access to information from cradle to grave, (and from virtual cradle to virtual grave) you can exert a form of ‘mind control’, IE ‘will control’. If you control what they understand about a given situation, you can control their reactions to a given situation… and thereby control the mob. And the political mob and tactical mob (IE Blob) in EVE can be a very powerful force.

There are those who will argue that Goons, being people in RL who have access to the ‘Net and all it contains cannot be ‘brain washed’ or ‘mind controlled’ because they have free access to more information than any other group at any other time in the history of the world… I agree and this is true, but I am not arguing that they are all poor North Korean Trolls (not the forum kind, I mean the mindless horde kind) who have never had access to a radio much less the ‘Net…

My argument is that propaganda’s main weapon, “Go along with ‘us’ or be cast OUT!” works on mature and semi-mature people and that no matter how much information you have access to, if one’s beliefs are set (early in the Reddit/Broski/Goon forum crèche/Madrasa) then just having access to counter information rarely changes a person’s world view, be that world real or virtual. No, the truly Goonborn see all counter data as ‘propaganda’ against their kind… and react with aggression and hatred against it Irregardless of truth or right & wrong.

As I said before, to stay with the heard, to remain in the group, to be “accepted” by your peers is a very very strong force in human nature. Propaganda plays directly to this strong emotional force… one old time proven example is…

YOU will burn for ETERNITY in HELL if you don’t toe the (insert religion of your choice) line!!!!

The corollary being the…

ALL the rest of us GOOD people will lay in comfort on clouds, LOL at you while eating grapes from the hands of nubile, randy, horney virgins FOREVER because we were good and did as (insert religion of your choice) told us to."

On an aside, and a question for the student:
“Why do the Jihadists get to have sex in heaven while Christians of all colors evidently don’t?”
Answer: DAMN good piece of propaganda right there all by itself.

So, on to the New Eden Propaganda Vulnerability Test

It’s quite simple really. You see there is a new political movement in New Eden, oh it’s actually an age old movement really, but it is being dressed and dolled up and trotted out like it’s something new. And it has a new charismatic Führer… oh, umm, I meant leader… who is using all the time honored skills and tools of propaganda to further his personal goals and agenda… I of course speak of James 315, his cult of The New Order and his run for CSM8 on a platform of ultimately, “Ridding Hisec of The Carebear Menace.” (nope no links, go look ‘im up yerself…) I give you just a small taste if what James315 is all about…

The test? Go and read a few posts on then score yourself below:

(1) If you find you are stunned by the utter lack of any actual intelligent reasoning and or any ‘real’ content in any post on his site, give yourself a score of ‘1’ [Not gullible].
You are a mature and intelligent person capable and prepared to make your own decisions.

(2) If you can continue to read after 2 full posts or more, and you find yourself, against your better judgment mind you (that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach), asking yourself if there really might be something worthwhile there… give yourself a score of ‘2’, [Potentially Gullible].
You may possibly be gullible to rhetoric and propaganda and cults etc., etc. If you stop, take a good hard look at your values and the teachings of your family and culture, if you are willing to stand up for what you know is right, then you can still take full control of yourself and your life… but, you are at risk.

(3) If you not only can read several of James315’s posts back to back but find yourself grinning and LOLing a little and agreeing with ‘any’ part of his rhetoric… if you see ALL those people who have contributed and commented so positively as being any kind of recommendation of his position or platform, give yourself a score of ‘3’, [Gullible].
You are someone who can be swayed by public opinion (real or made up), you are someone who looks to the crowd for guidance and who wants to be accepted and one-of-the-guys more than you care about right and wrong… you are very much at risk of being nothing more than a follower and a hanger-on.

(4) If, after reading a few posts, you feel a strong need to look up James315’s other rhetoric and posts on forums and elsewhere, if you decide to send him ISK, if you post a comment in support of his policies… give yourself a score of ‘4’ [Fully Gullible]
And relax… you are not at risk, you are, or will be one day soon, a good mindless sheep, a follower of others thoughts and fulfiller of others needs and desires living your life in lockstep with legions of mindless masses… In fact, once you spent some time on James315’s site I doubt you came back here at all…

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

NOTE: If, as you read this, you saw just how blatantly I tried to propagandize my beliefs and feelings against all that James 315 and his ilk stand for, then you pass, have a cookie.

If you didn’t, well… James is always looking for a few good sycophants.


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Friday, February 22, 2013

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Piloting #1

~or  The Insta-Undock and You...

This post, as so many do, began as a comment… for the genesis please read Blake’s “Sagain Kickout Station” over at K162Space. That post deals with what are called, Kickout Stations and their inherent evils… To synopsize, the Sagain V – Inherent Implants Biotech Production sucks. It sucks because, as all stations do, it unceremoniously boots yer ass out outta the undock at a fair clip… the problem w/ Sagain V-IIBPS is due to the stations ‘physical’ design, you are booted out past docking range every time. Blake couldn’t even get a shuttle to STOP inside docking range, so a Freighter or Indy doesn’t have a chance in H-E dubble toothpick… all the gankers gotta do is ‘keep’ you outta range, not bump you outta range… hence the 6 multi-bISK ganks in Feb alone.

Now, while I fully agree that the Sagain V-IIBPS station’s design is an issue (unlike ALL other designs where you exit via something that looks like a docking port, Amarr stations SHIT you out their ass) and, for me personally, is just one more reason I hate-all-things-Amarr... but... the main issue here is not Crappy Cruddy Poor Station Design +  Undock Mechanics (though the gods KNOW how badly I'd like to see those corrected) the issue is, as always, Piss Poor Piloting.

Mucked-Up Muthrfrakkin Mechanics can be overcome by Proper Prior Planning and Preemptive Piloting... as we have covered, you ALWAYS undock at wayyyyyy above the max velocity of a laden swallow, or for that matter an unladen swallow, or hell even an MWD/Nano fit swallow, much less a Freighter... or an Indy... Hmmmm… waitaminnit didyousay wayyyy “above” the max velocity right? Hmmmmm well now that means that if, I say “IF” you only had something to ‘warp-to’ without having to re-align… well, in that case you might just go to warp faster than that there MWD/Nano Swallow even!

So, The Perceptive and Prepared Pilot gets him a ship what goes really really fast, and makes some insta-warp BMs out from the undock… but not “Straight” out. Why not straight out? Well, I’ll tell ya… you have a few degrees of latitude from dead ahead in which the game see’s your ship as fully aligned so you set course not “DEAD” ahead, but say 3 or 5 degrees at 12’oclock or 3 to 5 degrees at 7’oclock or somesuch… then max burn out to say... 1200km and make a BM, then 2800km and make a BM and mebbe even 5400km too for good measure.

Why a few degrees off the straight and level you ask? Well, a few degrees at the dock can be tens of meters off of the ‘straight and level’ at a several hundred km out and up to a hundred meters off of the ‘straight and level’ at several thousand km out. The farther out your insta-warp BM, the greater the lateral separation between your landing zone and the landing zone for a ‘straight and level’ insta-warp.

OK, so why the weird BM range numbers you ask? Ever insta-warped out to 500, 1000, 2000 or even 5000km from a popular gank station?? If you have 'nough said, if you haven't do so some time and strangely enough you will often find a fast frig or interceptor, or two even, hanging out doing fuk all, at those very nice 'even' distances from the undock... Now why could that be Hmmm? Maybe because people are PREDICKTABLE, so don't you be a PreDICK… But, these gank scouts ‘tend’ to be on the ‘straight and level’ warpline from the station (<- see, PREDICKTABLE) so, a few degrees lateral offset combined with an uneven landing range puts you well out of any possible interception by said Ganking Scouts with “Warp to ME!!’ DPS support.

Follow this sage advice and…
(1) ALWAYS move valuable cargo with SCOUTS (yes, plural);
(2) undock and immediately spam the livin' crap outta 'warp-to' to one of your insta-undocks;
    (2a) then give the gankers the ASCII 'finger' in local as you warp right though them;
(3) never loose a cargo again...

Choose not to follow this simple advice...
(A) lose cargo after cargo;
(B) fail at EvE;
    (B1) cry and whine a LOT;
(C) rage quit.

Fly Safe and (catch a fleeting glimpse) of you in the sky! =/|)=

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Not Much About Nothing, or is it?

~or  Gettin Settled In…

Just an update really… I am not ROBOBLOGGER like Ripard over on Jester’s Trek, and I usually only have a post burble up in the greymatter tween my ears for a Banter or when something of note happens… and neither is ATM but I dunt like to let this Blog lie idle too long… might lose one of the 8 who actually read it… that would be a 12.5% drop in my over all readership… can’t have that now can we?  =]

Yea, we moved into a Class 6 wormhole with SYJ Alliance and we are safer (due to numbers, skillz & attitude these bros have) and we are potentially richer (C6 Sleepers, BEST L&S in Anoikis!). These guys have the sites & spawns, ships & fits and Fleet doctrines and FCs to run them handily… they chat and shoot the shit, calmly almost... bored... while they shoot and kill C6 Sleeper Sites such as… the ‘Forgotten Core Circuitry Disassembler’ and… the ‘Unsecured Core Emergence’ (just to name 2 of the 8 sites normal to a C6…)  in which, with a full Capitol escalation, you can go up against a total of: 34 Sleeper BSes; 3 Argos; 4 sentry guns; 33 Cruisers and 44 Frigates…  Sleeper Fleet: 118 ships, guns & sentry turrets.

For them as dunt wanna click the links, a summary of one site…

Forgotten Core Circuitry Disassembler, Class 6
Faction: Sleepers
Signature type: Magnetometric
Space type: Normal Space
Damage dealt: Omni

Extras: NOS, Stasis Webify, Warp Scramble
Webbers: Emergent Sentinel, Sleepless Guardian
Scramblers: Emergent Sentinel, Awakened Keeper, Sleepless Sentinel,
Sleepless Keeper, Sleepless Guardian

Recommended ship classes: Capital, Battleship, T3 (10+ Remote Repair Modules)
Recommended generic setup: Multi-range, Heavy Omni-tank, Remote Repair (Spider Tanking)

All sleepers will auto aggress; Sleepers will switch targets… drones and support ships are not immune.

These guys are so active… or, I guess I should say ‘we are so active’ now shouldn’t I? I mean I have already been on a Low Roam where we got a Cap kill, run sites where making under 100 mISK is cause you missed 3 of the 4 sites we ran… and everyday there is something going on, a lowsec roam, scanning the pipe for profit and  adventure, a POCO Bash for the LULZ, an Op for a paying customer or a Friendly Corp/Alliance… or even a POCO Camp, that being we found a group bashing POCOs in their homehole an so we decided to jump the POCO bashers… for the LULZ… and that’s the short list.

But, as many know I have a bad case of RL>EvE occasionally so I have not been as ‘active’ as I would prefer… and in that time I was ‘trapped in Empire’ as we put is when one cannot make it to a pipe or other things get in the way of one getting back in the hole from an Empire run or roam or whatever. I got back in a few days ago after most of a week in Hi and I got my Alliance Approved ™ Armor Loki and Shield Rapier in the hole for sites PLUS my Venture… and while ya’ll know I love me my Venture, you also know I HATE mining… not only do I personally find it monotonous in the extreme but TBH it simply is not “really” profitable unless you can do the REAL CAREBEAR ™ and fit for max yield with Orca (and mebbe Rorqual) support and mine with Fleet Bonuses… then and only then can you make ISK at a rate that begins to tickle my fancy… unless yer inna hole.

Mining in hole has always been a lucrative proposition, the problem is, it is also one of the MOST dangewus jobs in EvE, support fleet or not… at least, it used to be. With the buffs to the Retriever and Procurer and with the new Venture, mining in Anokis is not only incredibly profitable… but it is much easier now, in a well watched and active hole, with a fleet & support to mine up a very respectable profits in a very reasonable time… and in the Venture… it’s down-right fun too. =]

You know... the Venture has opened a new, emergent, gameplay I personally had never heard of before now. Ninja Mining™. Yup... think on those two words... "ninja" + "mining"... they just don't seem to go together now do they?

We have always raided statics 'next door' as twere... you know, pop a static into a hole with a POS or two but nobodies home and there are sites!! RAID!!!! You take down the sites and hoover up the L&S before the owners wake up...  But now, with the Venture, we are also raiding Gas sites like the Vital Core Reservoir. The Venture is so fast and efficient that a fleet of em can wipe out a decent number of Gas sites in fair order. So, you get eyes on the POS(s), eyes on the outbound static and then bring in Team Venture! They hammer the Gas sites while the scouts provide Perimeter Security and Early Warning. Then go go GO! LOL too funny... and DAMNED profitable too.

If you have never run scout duty or are ever curious as to what cloaky scouting in Anoikis is like... I found a way to virtually 'share' this experience... OK, imagine you are in a cloaked probe frig, or bomber. You have basically untanked ships in fleet that YOU are the only protection for. Your ability to call out an Early Warning giving them time to GTFO is crucial to the success of the operation...

So, you are cloaked and sitting 100km off a hostile POS in unknown deadly space, with a Moros (Dread) and a Thanatos (Carrier) floating innit... you have a full set of Sisters Core Scanner Probes out in a full coverage configuration... overlap blanketing of the whole system. You have removed (ignored) all current active sigs & anoms...

Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to watch that POS like a hawk for ANY movement AND to cycle your probes looking for any new sigs/anoms popping up in scan range... OK? That's the job. If you go AFK, you risk having hostiles pop through a new hole YOU dint call out a warning for, hence leaving your fleetmates out in the cold hard black with hostile ships warping in on them...

But, I dint go AFK and we warped out having ninja'ed up a fair number of gas sites, scouts out last. Later, my wallet flashed... a full share (over 120+ mISK)... easy money. OK, now you get to see how "easy" this money really was... all you have to do is click on the graphic below, view it full screen... and then sit and just WATCH it for FOURTYFIVE minutes... I earned that 120+ mil...

If you were to ever were to pop though a hole into SYJ’s Alliance homehole… well, the number of Lrg POSes on dscan alone would make you wet your panties… and the number of ship bumbling around when we are most active… would make  even a hardened Anoikis vet think to himself… “Self, we need to go and get a pint… or two… and think long and hard on doing ANTHING in here…. except mebbe, exit (cloaked and quietly) stage left…  =]

Or better… pop though when we are on an op… Rapiers n Moros n Tengu, Tengu, Tengu, Tengu n Caps n Dreads on scan!! Of course… we get, well, none that I have seen of the usual solo wormhole ‘tourists’ that one gets lots of with Hi Empire statics, a few of with Lo Empire statics, and very few from null. We have a static that always leads to another upper class hole so our uninvited guests are almost always other wormhole non-allied corps, who jump to mass close the hole when they count the number of ships and Caps and POSes on scan… or… other wormhole Alliances, that give us a good once over to decide whether they feel like giving us a go. It does happen. We aren’t EvE’s biggest Anoikis Alliance, but SYJ IS a PvP focused Alliance and we actively seek out the fights, good, bad and just plain silly…

We recently found some possibly ToO’s (Targets of Opportunity) in the pipe we were scanning down and the FC decided to do a general call up (IE anyone who wants to, fleet up, ‘x’ type ships, and meet up at the static) for a fleet to give them a go. This is still early in my career with SYJ so I am not going to try and give a Battle Report or any kind of After Action Report… Let’s just say we scouted, they scouted, we jumped, they jumped, we fired, they fired… and for roughly 20 minutes we swapped DPS/ECM/neuts/etc… with the end loss of only 1 ship on our side. Weirdest fight I have been in yet. Seems the combo of the weather, Class 6 Pulsar, and both fleets being in shield ships meant that shield EHP, Targeting Range and Ship Sig was DOUBLED while CAP recharge was HALVED…

This means ANY Shield Repping and all Neuting was hilariously effective… and they had a Carrier in triage at the hole. We had a Logi CAP chain supporting us so… all we really did was expend a seriously silly amount of ammo for basically nothing. I have never seen the like. I was in a Drake, and in each engagement, I think we had 2, we disengaged once and jumped back when the Carrier warped off, but then he came back… but In each instance I immediately burned for optimal range and put all missiles and drones on the Primary as called… This was the first fight I had been in where I had enough time to calm down enough to do some things I have never done before in a fight.

At the FCs command, I intentionally overheated my missile launchers and MWD… never did that afore… then, also for the very first time in my New Eden career… I found myself actually getting UP and quickly refilling my drink (the fridge is only like 3 feet from me but…) DURING A FIGHT. NEVER have I EVER thought THAT would happen… but we just fired on each other for like SOOOOOOOOO damn LONG… sheesh.  =]

Finally we broke off and kept the fleet together while our probers scouted a way to Empire… “All holes eventually lead to Empire.” It was the first time I had heard that… but it’s now in my personal lexicon. We had a number of holes to transit but they finally found us a nice C1 static only 2 hops from Amarr… LOL. Quite a few of us docked up and did repairs etc. while the probers from home found us a new pipe back… and then it was warp jump warp and home again home again.

After we got home I realized that while I was docked in Amarr I had not repaired my lightly toasted missile launchers… so I used some Nanite Repair Paste… for the very first time… and I have had that skill at 3 for like 2 years, I even had to google HOW to use it… LOL… whatta night.  =]

Say hello to my little friend…  Norman The Doorman.

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