31 May 2009

I Panicked

I began the evening by heading out into the frontier in a newly fitted Rifter, Gatlabon. I form up in a fleet with Hatche. It is a small fleet, with Chebri in a Falcon, so I don't bother fetching a Blackbird.

Hatche asks for three scouts. Chebri volunteers since she can do it cloaky. I volunteer my Hound, Dakyxa'is, which is, as far as I know, one jump away. It turned out that she was not in my cache, and was another handful of jumps away. Instead I slip into my Claw, Laxsfanis. I feel pretty fearless moving around in Laxs since she nearly enters warp backwards. The only thing that can stop her is a bubble, and thankfully the systems we are in all have effective dampers in place against that sort of thing.

Our small fleet moves around a little, not finding much in the way of war targets. I've been assigned to Kamela at the moment. That makes me the first scout to see the nearly 30 ship Amarr fleet heading toward Auga. We hunker down. We are two small, and in much lighter ships. We need to get more militia members involved.

"Vol, would you go to Lamaa and relieve the scout there."

I had been warping from gate to gate, keeping an eye on things in Kamela. There were five Amarr, three of which were docked. I warp to the Kamela gate, just in time for that command to be belayed.

In hindsight, this would be where I made my first mistake. I sat on the gate, not moving, waiting for things to be sorted. I know I'm not in a lot of danger, but I still shouldn't've just sat there. An Amarr warps to the gate in his own Claw.

Nice to see that the slaver admires our hardware.

This would be my second mistake. I should've already been prepared for things like this and decided on my course of action. I hesitated. I waited a moment, debating if I should actually engage him. I then debated if I should warp away. This was enough time for him to lock me and nearly strip my shields.

I jumped.

Again, I knew I wasn't in much danger. But I should've thought all of that through in anticipation of a hostile dropping on the gate. I knew he would want to jump through a follow me into Lamaa, so I immediately burned back for the gate. I knew on the other side that the gate was going to force him to wait a thirty second cool-off due to his aggression. That was enough time for me to get within activation range of the gate back into Kamela.

As soon as I saw the gate activate, I signalled my intent. The bubble formed and the gate scooped me up. I knew he would be fighting mad having missed me.

I know that not engaging him was the right decision. I was a scout and needed to focus on that. I was too far to rely on any aide from the fleet, and I knew he had at least one militia mate loose in the system, and another three docked up. I also haven't soloed (which I think that I should), and I don't have any delusions that my Claw is well fitted for a solo fight.

I resumed my patrol inside Kamela. A few moments later, I was ordered to regroup with the fleet in Dal. As I was leaving Kamela, I crossed that same Claw pilot again. He gave chase, once shouting "Coward" in local.

The large Amarr fleet had split between Auga and Dal. They had several militia mates camped in stations, and for the most part owned the field of battle. I and a few others scouted around, but it was clear there was nothing we could do until something changed. We needed a moment.

Until that moment arrived, I decided to fetch up Dakyxa'is. I signaled to the fleet my intentions and went as fast as I could to get the Hound. As I was returning though, our moment came.

Hatche was quickly getting the fleet to rally. The hostiles in Dal were gathered outside of a station, too far to dock. It was decided that we had enough in numbers to deal enough damage to the fleet, if not rout it outright. And if the Amarrians in Auga moved to assist those in Dal, that would free up our pinned-down compatriots to assist as well.

I was two jumps out when the order was given to all ships to warp. The comms were now abuzz as targets were called, reppers were requested, jamming was declared.

I warped through Amamake under cloak and then fearlessly jumped into Dal, knowing the gate would be clear. I didn't even bother engaging the cloak as I warped to the embroiled battle. I quickly locked up the primary and secondary targets and let loose the torpedoes. I surveyed the battlefield and felt comfortable in my position nearly fifty kilometers from the action. The only hostile ship that I didn't have a lot of knowledge of was the Pilgrim.

That was another mistake. I knew it was an Amarr advanced cruiser. I assumed it was a Recon cruiser, but I couldn't tell you what it could do. So when it decided to lock me, I didn't warp away as fast as I should've. I selected a celestial object in my path and was ready. With what felt like two volleys, the Pilgrim had peeled off more than half of my shields. That was more than enough, I signaled the warp drive.

I am an older capsuleer. I'm only 34, but I am sure that most capsuleers are younger than me. I'm also sure that most capsuleers have newer, faster systems, with wonderful graphics drivers. My wetwear is more than a bit dated, barely rated as being capable of manning a capsule. As a result, I keep my camera drone in a very very wide orbit. The battle to my optics is just a distant collection of purple and red dots. I focus on the overview.

I don't know if the overview was just slow to update, or if the Pilgrim really had my warp drive locked down at nearly fifty kilometers, but I was not going into warp.

I spammed the command.

I panicked.

I wasn't going to warp. My shields were gone and the armor was melting.

Some brilliant person somewhere decided when programming these onboard computers that if the warp drive wasn't able to engage, the engines should simply cut out. After all, why get to speed if you can't get to warp.

Move, damn you!

I was spamming the align and the warp command. I wanted the ship to at least maintain speed if she wouldn't go to warp.

At this point, though, I knew Dakyxa'is was lost. But I still panicked.

I don't know if someone was trying to save me. I saw the shields and armor return. Was that a friendly, or was my wetware just mixing signals? Was I already floating in my pod, my ship an explosion around me? I wasn't focused on the overview, I was trying to enter warp, but at this point, I did know for sure that the Pilgrim was on top of me, with a flight of drones ripping at my ship.

The primary that I had engaged had long since gone down. I hadn't bothered to re-task my weapons. I could've helped with the secondary, or attempted to warn off the Pilgrim with a few volleys of torpedoes. But I did nothing, focusing purely on warping away.

Finally, after what seemed like a painful eternity, the message came that I had lost control of the ship. I waited calmly now for the explosion and the jump as my inputs were disconnected from the ship and my camera drone focused on the pod.

And now, I warped away.

29 May 2009

Places I've Been

After reading a post in Life in Low Sec, I was compelled to add this.

First, I should point out some errors in this map. I began my capsuleering in Placid. That does not appear to be represented here. From Placid, I moved to Delve, then to Fountain, then to Aridia, and then to Outer Ring. Again, there doesn't seem to be any indication of my time in Outer Ring.

Today I live in Metropolis and frequent Heimatar and The Bleak Lands.

28 May 2009

EVE Blog Banter #8

Welcome to my first participation in the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes from Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility. He asks:

What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums.

There are many things that I'd like to change, but most of them would require a fundamental reset of the entire universe, and could never be implemented. One of these un-implementable ideas is still so wonderful, that I have to mention it.

I would love for everything consumed by capsuleers to be built by capsuleers. For the most part, that is true today, but I want to take it a step further.

For example, capsuleers can get the BPO for the 150mm Light AutoCannon I. They can build that item. They can also do invention to build 150mm Light AutoCannon IIs.

They can't build 150mm Light Carbine Repeating Cannon I. I would like it if one could pick the attribute they wanted to research, in this case Rate of Fire and Range. Then they could come up with the BPCs for the Light Carbine and others. They could research more attributes. The higher the meta level, the harder it is to research, the more time it takes.

All of these items that are currently dropped by NPCs could have been built by PCs. The second part of my proposal would be that the NPC factions would place buy orders roughly based on the number of ships they lose. The more Angel Cartel that are splashed, the more orders they place for the items they drop.

Since I really don't see this as being possible, I'll just settle for the ability to have containers in the hold of a ship smartly loaded and unloaded.

Other Blanters that I've read:

CrazyKinux has a more complete listing.

26 May 2009

Eve Blogroll

I made the Eve Blogroll.

Now, if I can just get the settings right on this thing so it emails me when someone posts a comment....

25 May 2009

I am not a Pirate

I am not a pirate. I don't do piratey things. And I've never been to Boston in the fall.

Unlike espionage, no one has accused me of being a pirate. It is merely something that I think on from time to time.

I've been active in the militia for just over a month. I've been on at least half a dozen sorties, in three different ships. I've participated in the destruction of 21 ships. The thing that strikes me is, I've not lost a ship, yet.

That tells me two things: Wars in 0.0 are much harder than militia activity; and I don't solo. And that is the point. I've always been in fleets. In the militia, the fleets very quickly fill two squads. I've always been in a you-will-be-called-primary Blackbird with at least a dozen other ships around me.

That gets me to piracy. I can't think of a reason to solo, unless I wanted to be a pirate. And I don't want to be a pirate!

My view of piracy is incomplete, and I mean no offense to pirates. Some of them are actually very nice people. But my view of the pirate life is that they prey on the weak. They don't defend. They don't seek profit. They don't have an objective beyond explicitly or implicitly ruining someone's day.

I just don't get that. If a capsuleer thinks he is so big and badass, shouldn't he stake a claim in 0.0 and defend it and make his mark? I'm probably very wrong, but it just feels like pirates enjoy being king of the hill, as long as it is a little hill.

I know that not everyone that solos is a pirate. There are capsuleers in the militia that solo. I recently refitted my Jaguar, and I can so see the potential for that ship to be a great solo platform. I see that same potential in the Wolf, the Rifter, the Stabber, the Vagabond, and plenty others. But I'm not in it for the kills.

I want to move the map. This is a misgiving I have with the militia fleets. They blob up and pick off stragglers and do little to really inhibit the Amarr's ability to make war. They also don't concern themselves with turning over 'plexes and pushing the border.

I could solo in militia, but I feel I could do more in a fleet. I feel we could do more than I could.

Lastly, I do want to point out that bounty hunting would be a fair solo activity. That activity, however, would likely require a lot more time than I feel I have.

24 May 2009

I am not a Spy

I am not a spy.

Saying that however, wouldn't accomplish anything, so I don't.

This evening, in the militia channel, is the second time I've been accused of being an Amarr spy. I don't take it seriously, and I hope that they don't mean it seriously, but I would rather they not say it unless they truly mean it. Aside from just bumming me out slightly, I'm afraid someone might take it seriously.

I did get into a fleet under Bahamut420. I began the evening in my newly refitted Jaguar, Jestyl II. This was her first action since the Outer Ring, and she did wonderfully.

The fleet changed ships and I returned to Ctino Cipni. We traveled to Old Man Star to engage some Caldari. Not only did CC do well, but she even laid a final blow.

23 May 2009

The Music of New Eden

There are two capsuleer promos that feature some Junkie XL tracks. I really like the celestial quality of the vocals and the trance edge to the house music. I really want to find some more of that music that really echoes New Eden.

I've been playing around with a Pandora station, but it has been hard, so far, to tune Pandora onto the genes that I want to promote.

18 May 2009

I Don't Mean to Be an Ass

I got my start as a capsuleer with Sturmgrenadier, before they joined Fountain Alliance. SG is a very disciplined organization, in New Eden and beyond. Discipline is a very dramatic force multiplier.

I am still trying to fit capsuleering back into my schedule, and still not sure if I want to get back into a serious corporation, yet. I have, in the meantime, enrolled in the Minmatar Militia, and that makes me want to hang out my "Looking for Corp" shingle.

Sometime after midnight on Saturday, I slip into my Hound to make my way out into the contested space. I ask about fleets, and Captain Vaguy is asking for frigate class ships. I assume for some harrying. I'm interested, since it means I will take out my Claw, Laxsfanis, instead of the Blackbird, Ctino Cipni.

We dock up in Dal, waiting as Vaguy has a lead on something. There is a 25+ fleet of Amarrian camping the gates around Auga and Amamake, of which we all are a little weary (Some intel suggested 45 ships). They outnumber us, and they are carrying more weight. We all trust that Vaguy will come up with some way that we can maybe annoy them and pick of a straggler or three.

The orders, instead, come to make best speed to a system nine jumps away. No more information is given. The militia isn't the most secure of places, so I don't question the silence. I've flown with Vaguy a few times now, so I don't suspect this to be a trap.

Our near two squads of small, fast ships rendevous with nearly a dozen battleships. We are going to escort them back to Dal. The battleships, under the command of THEDON1, will wait one or two jumps away, as we bait their trap.

Vaguy decided that he shouldn't be the fleet commander. This made sense, and so Don was going to be the overall fleet commander. But he didn't take the reigns as it were, so Vaguy really ran the show.

The move back toward Dal was very disorganzed at best. We ran across a few war targets. I missed the encounters (silly me, following orders and all), but I'm sure it was more than enough to alert the gate camps that we were coming. No surprise, they weren't there.

We were not only a loud, lumbering, easy-to-avoid fleet-o-doom, we were horrible unorganized. The voice chatter was incredible. I really got annoyed. Even with a mic, I very rarely have a reason to speak. But I did, and I am sure I came across as a complete ass. I openly talked back to command, mocked them a bit, and told them how to do their job. That would've been disciplined in SG.

The thing that really got to me was an engagement against some pirates after it was clear we weren't going to get to engage the Amarr.

Vaguy had the fleet wait just outside of Amamake, while he went in in a battleship with two frigates. The plan was simple, Vaguy was going to be the bait. The pirates were going to launch a few battleships of their own to take down Vaguy, we were going to jump in and ruin that.

Vaguy got excited when the patrol he ran across included a Bhaalgorn. He immediately gave the order and we all entered and warped to engage. The two frigates with him worked to keep the Bhaalgorn tackled. But present with the Bhaalgorn was a Falcon. The Falcon did his job and allowed the Bhaalgorn to escape.

The Bhaalgorn had already warped away by the time I had arrived. The Falcon did his job so well, he didn't even bother trying to warp out himself until it was too late.

That encounter didn't bother me. What bothered me was one of Don's crew telling us tacklers that we "fucking suck". The Bhaalgorn was gone before there were enough tacklers to overwhelm the Falcon. We did our job just fine.

I think perhaps Vaguy should've destroyed the Falcon before he called for the fleet (if he could do that before the rest of the pirates arrived), or just live with the fact that the Bhaalgorn wasn't going to be taken. I think perhaps that the harrier squads shouldn't've gone to escort the battleships. I think we should've, perhaps, played the role of the fox to the Amarrian hounds until the battleships arrived on their own. We could've baited the trap before it was set. That would've avoided give the Amarr quiet moments to cool down and get bored.

This is militia though, so I really know I shouldn't stress over simple, one-step tactics and noisy, unfocused fleets. At least Laxsfanis saw some action. The pirates were even willing to undock and fight next to the station, and were even stupid enough to forget to dock back up, so she got part of a second killmail.

15 May 2009

Comms in the Militia

I'm something of a detail oriented person. I tend to like ordered systems. They help to focus things. Being focused keeps one alive longer.

Not that death is much more than an uncomfortable hassle.

I join a militia fleet, and leave high sec in my Hound, making my way toward my cache of warships in the contested region. I ask calmly on the fleet chat if there is a preference as to which ship I should bring to rally with the fleet. It doesn't seem to matter which ships I have fitted and ready to go. As soon as I mention the Blackbird, that gets the votes. I don't even have to mention that it is tech 2 fitted.

I slip the Hound into her berth and have my pod mated with the Blackbird on hand, Ctino Cipni. I have another fitted Blackbird, Prospero, waiting to step up when this one is lost.

I have four more Blackbirds waiting to be assembled in Elgoi.

Once I join up with the fleet, I remind myself again that Blackbirds are slow (and ugly). They are, after all, Caldari.

There is a fleet commander, but he hasn't really focused the fleet, yet. There are twenty-four capsuleers spread over five systems. The comm chatter is lively.

Lively is a polite way of saying there are several capsuleers who are inebriated. I long for my old corp in 0.0.

These are fun guys. Some of these capsuleers are real stand-up and will go out of their way to help. They look out for the fleet, and they, for the most part, focus on the war at hand.

But the chatter does get so bad that at times that the orders are not clear. When one fleet commander leaves, the next doesn't always assert his authority, so there is a period of anarchy.

In my head, I just recall the disciplined comms of my old corp, "Break Vol."

"Go, Vol."

The Return to Capsuleering

I've been back in a capsule now for a couple months, after being out for nearly a year. I cleaned up most of my junk and settled into Tuuriainas. I ran some missions for Core Complexions and picked up a third research agent and played around with producing some tech 2 BPCs.

Then, I was eager to get back into a warship.

I have been in 0.0. I have been in a war with and against some big alliances. I've lived in Delve, in Fountain, in Outer Ring. And I've lived in some low sec regions, such as Aridia.

I don't want to dive right in to that. I'm trying to fit capsuleering back into my schedule. So, I have moved to Elgoi, and I am experimenting some more with tech 2 production and with Faction Warfare.

We'll see how this turns out.