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Lowsec Pirates League

So I’ve just finished reading a post by Johnny Twelvebore over at his blog where The Tuskers take on an agreed 5vs5 fight against the Hound of Haides. Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

Done? Good.

I love little fun events in Eve. It’s a sandbox game, we have a set of tools that allow us to create things that the developers perhaps never envisioned during development. Previously I’ve organised internal events such as the Hauler Death Race (written about here by Anabaric) or the Bastards vs Meatshields tournament (which Eric Shang writes up here) both of which had great feedback.

I specifically enjoyed the concept of the Bastards vs Meats as we limited the Bastard team to T1 Meta 0 modules on T1 frigates where as the Meats were able to use up to T2 modules and field a T2 frigate ‘flagship’. There were a couple other quirks all in the name of evening the playing field. On one side, a team of experienced PvPers with 60+ million skill points, some of which had alliance tournament experience. On the other, a band of newbies. It was a close match and I suggest you read Erics write up.

The thing about these events are they’re cheap, fun, informal and, most importantly, a bit of a laugh. With no multibillion ISK ships on the line and no life changing prizes the only thing you’re fighting for is pride and the spirit of competition.

In Johnnys post I replied in the comments to a writeup by Red (of the Hounds) offering to repeat the match up with them but against The Bastard, an offer I hope he takes as I expect it’ll be a very fun engagement. While writing that reply I gots a-thinking. The scale of the engagements Hounds have been having are quite managable for many. Five on five with up to T1 cruisers with meta modules, super cheap and not particularly complex compared to alliance tournament style teams.

I don’t know the specifics of the match but, by the write up, I presume there was no specific grid and no real time limit. More a ‘kick around in the park with friends’ than a meticulously organised event. The informality and ease of organisation of such an event would kind of lend itself to an informal league within the lowsec pirate community where pride is paramount.

It could even be done as a ‘championship belt’ type event with one team holding the title until defeated by another. This takes away the complexity of tournament brackets and organising fights, keeping track of stats and whatnot.

I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud here but I think that would be easy to do and pretty fun for everyone involved. Thoughts?

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The twitter war

I’ve spent the last few days dying in bed with a mysterious illness. I’ve really not felt up to getting online more than a couple times so I’ve restricted my participation of this war after day 1 to fighting the proxy twitter war.
One of the reasons I like Eve is that people, to an extent, play their characters. This extends onto things like Twitter where many pilots make dedicated accounts specifically for their character. Tweetfleet is an active way to tap into the Eve community with countless players, devs and CSM members all twittering away.

I started with a little twitter propaganda by tweeting this little poster I threw together in photoshop:

Needless to say this kicked off a bit of a twitter war. I overheated my twitter module and waded into the fight. Most of it has been fairly light hearted. Witmer even wrote a nice blog as a counterpoint to my previous post which I suggest you check out: http://theraorbust.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/aar-do-you-know-ship-you-are-flying.html

In local people have been friendly with gf’s exchanged and the standard silly smack talk that’s almost required. I’ve had not one, but two private mails from members of -ABA- saying that they are enjoying the war so far and to ‘keep up the good spirit in the war’.

In fact, the only person who seems to have taken a bit of a personal slight to the war is Mr Javix himself who has referred to us in local as ‘idiots’ and as ‘a small and relatively insignificant group of wanna-be’s’. On his blog he’s posting untruths which his own pilots tweet about knowing to be false. I’ll quote and dissect a small section to illustrate my point.

“And while I’m sure they would be the first to point out that they are ‘winning’ the war, totals right now stand at about double iskie – aprox 290m to 140m give or take. (Unless you throw in the cost of the War which means we are still ahead, 640m to 290m or so, and that 500m is every week. lolz )”
This was later tweeted by Joffy, a great SF pilot, to be greatly in error, a point Rixx ignored as it fits his anti-Bastard (not anti-ThisWar) stance.

He continues: “Which is all true. However, if we looked at straight Bastard Vs. Stay Frosty totals we are actually ahead by a nose. Y’know, if we ignored all the younglings scattered about on the floor. (We do out-number them about 5:1)”
This is a strange one to me. I’m not sure if Rixx is trying to say that the rest of A Band Apart aren’t good enough to be considered ‘fighters’, or that they’d just ‘getting in the way’. If we’re ignoring our young pilot losses then The Bastards have lost a grand total of 4 ships. However, in the Bastards we value our younger pilots and encourage them to get involved. We would never ‘discount’ their losses just because they’re newer, every loss is a learning opportunity. That our younger members have been successfully racking up kills, outnumbered and with little support is impressive and something to be commended.

More from Rixx: “And our younger combat pilots are getting a chance to fly in bigger gangs, learn station camping from our enemies, and watch as they run off unless they have the advantage.”
Again I’m a bit confused as Rixx said that they ‘learn station camping from our enemies” however it’s worth noting that the number of times The Bastards have camped a station during this war is sitting at a big fat zero. It literally has not happened. See my previous blog for stories of the Frosties camping 3 people with 18.

Finally he goes on to say rank us:

The Bastards: D-
Seriously. Just undock, fly around, and eventually we’ll catch you.”

Right now, as I write this, literally right this very second I’m sitting orbiting their station at 100km in an Omen Navy. I’ve been here, in system, most of the day. So far only one SF member has bothered to undock and try to engage. He lost an Atron a touch predictably but he then brought out a sniper Harpy and we had a fun scrap with each trying to lock the other down. Neither of us won that one but it was good fun.
A few more ABA guys logged in, up to 8 at one point so myself and Derothar decided to park ourself outside their station and announce in local we were here if they wanted to play. Two on eight, seemed fair odds. Joffy popped out a few times in his Huigin but he was alone. No one else wanted to play.

During the war time where we’ve apparently not undocked we’ve been on three frigate roams and one cruiser roam. A cruiser roam should be easy to catch, in fact we spotted a gang of SF frigs (outnumbering us approx 10 to 4) and turned the roam around to see if they wanted to fight. They avoided us completely.

Today I found out we were being called out, “Even though those two are never actually on-line or in space anywhere”, the two refers to Nashh who is currently on holiday in real life. I was a bit amused to read this considering I’ve been online in my bed a few times during the day, roaming around in my Omen Navy or frigs, I’ve been on this evening, last night and the first evening, in fact I have at least six kills to my own name in this war compared to Rixx’s single kill.

The only time I’ve actually seen Rixx undocked was when he was sitting in an Armageddon, within docking range, with two Augorors capping/repping him and a flock of armor drones on him actively. This part of the fleet of 18 against 3.

To be honest, I’ve singled this post out as I feel like every other person we’ve talked to in this war has been friendly, respectful and a good laugh. I’m a little surprised Rixx seems to be taking personal shots at people and corps for playing the game its meant to be played.

To those in ABA who’ve scrapped with us and exchanged pleasantries in local, to those who mailed us directly with nice things to say, to those who have shown mutual respect, I say thank you.

Update: it appears Rixx doesn’t like this post but has declined to specify which parts are “wrong headed assumptions based in fantasy and not reality”

This is despite my offers to update any inaccuracies.

I believe he has taken this as a personal attack rather than simply debunking his inaccurate claims about us. This is as I suggested earlier in this very post. Rixx, this offer stands. This is not personal, I wish it to be a bit of a laugh between our corps. If you post inaccurate statements about myself or The Bastards I will correct them. I will endeavour not to post anything inaccurate about your corp.

 

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The Bastards vs A Band Apart – Day 1 recap

So I thought I’d recap what has happened so far today since the war went live at 1122 this morning. Obviously I won’t write a post every day because that’d be madness and, really, who the f**k would want to read all that anyway. Maybe I’ll write a post if anything major happens, who knows. I thought I’d write one about today since the first day is usually memorable.

I was off from work today as I am ill. I decided to log in from my laptop and eve from my bed for a while. Luxury. The war had started and I spotted a bunch of -ABA- frigates on scan, eight of them to just one of just one of me so I’ll take a small gun fitted Prophecy to pew pew and tank on their station. This was cut short when they simply undocked two Griffins and some cruisers/battlecruisers instead so I left and headed back to our home station.

They followed and proceeded to set up a minor camp on the undock, a bit of good natured smack in local took place with -ABA- calling for my immediate undock. The Huginn, Ruptures, griffins, atron, thorax and caracals vs me alone. I was feeling a touch outnumbered.

I undocked my trusty Brutix Navy and let them test my tank. It became apparent I could easily tank them for the 60 seconds that it took to wait out aggression. All that I needed was for one of the frigates to wonder into my web range. This didn’t take long and, lo, the first blood of the war was drawn. And second. And third. These kills were had by simply being patient and waiting for them to make mistakes. It didn’t help I was under two or three Griffins most of the time. A Falcon did pop up once or twice too. Every so often they would miss a jam as one of the frigates was getting in close to maximise his damage. When that situation arrived, blap, tank, dock, repeat.

An hour or so later I was joined by Known Associate, also in a Brutix Navy. The -ABA- gang swelled too, adding a Vexor and a Mauler to the mix as well as another Griffin. I was informed in local that they ‘have 200 Griffins to bring’.
The extra DPS wasn’t enough to break the BNI tank and it was, again, a simple matter of waiting for them to make a mistake and get too close. First it was the Maller. Getting wise they started pulling back and brought some logi. Now we have the same ships as before plus two Augorors, one flown by Mr Javix himself. The twin logi didn’t help when one of their Vexors got too close and agressed on a neutral third party Sigil.

Despite being outnumbered 16 to 2 so far it was 5-0 Bastards, it was only fair that -ABA- got a kill. One of our Meats, a new player, undocked to take a look and was volleyed by a Rupture. He learned about alpha strikes today. Congratulations to Wild Ai who, I believe, wins 50m for first blood by an -ABA- member. I’m not sure if there will be a prize for second blood but, at time of writing, that hasn’t happened yet so there is still time to consider it.

-ABA- continued to upship, bringing a Megathron, Neut Armageddon, Vexors, Confessor, Tornado, Oracle, Brutix and (not shown) the Falcon.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 20.33.41

It is, perhaps, worth noting, at this point we had three people. I guess we should feel flattered that -ABA- believe they require this many people. Personally I believe they are better than they give themselves credit for with this but we’ll see how this war continues. There were some more calls in local for us to stop ‘being cowards’, to undock and fight. Even if we wanted to die gloriously taking down as many as we could, this was dashed by the near permajamming. Now they had enough firepower to wear even a BNI down in less than 60 seconds so killing someone making a mistake would be harder, if possible at all now. We elected not to engage further while they had such overwhelming odds. The Geddon, piloted by Rixx, promptly plonked itself right on the undock itself and had constant reps on it from not just the two Augs but also a whole flight of heavy armor drones. Perhaps overkill. The rest of the ships retreated to 25-30km away from the undock, well out of ‘get snagged being silly’ range. They spent the next while trying, unsuccessfully, to bump us off the station. They got a few good bumps in, I’ll give them that, but none were able to push us off the docking ring.

Mr Spaxi managed to snag a lone Griffin out of range of his friends, he even got the pod. Bringing today’s score to 7-1 (or 100m to 6m).

I went to make dinner at this point and came back to find, despite being told we’d be “seeing a lot of the inside of stations” and “good luck leaving this station in the next week”, they’d gone. I’m not sure if it’s because there was now six of us online but I have suspicions.

We went out on a roam instead with a couple of cruisers which was reasonably uneventful with the highlight being a Battle Exequror kill. We did manage to run into a very large thrasher gank with ~30 Thrashers. It didn’t end well for Eito. It was fun though and today has been a good laugh. I enjoyed the challenge of fighting extremely outnumbered in a situation where I had no real advantage. My strategy was to wait patiently for the other side to make mistakes and catch them when they did. Simultaneously I had to be careful not to make any silly mistakes of my own as I would quickly lose my ship if I had.

Thanks for the fun -ABA-, I look forward to some more ❤

 

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The Bastards go to war

At #EVE_NT myself, Nashh and Lord Lazyghost had a few drinks. While mildly intoxicated we were discussing ways to generate content when the idea came up that “We should declare war on Stay Frosty!”. This, we decided, was an excellent idea.

 

Some history: About four months ago, having bled the Auner area dry over the year or so the Bastards based there we were discussing the concept of moving. One of the reasons we picked Ishomilken is that it’s convenient access to Black Rise, a pvp hotspot. Another reason was it was the home of Stay Frosty, a pirate corp lead by space-famous Rixx Javix. As pilots SF members are known to be skilled in small gang and solo PvP with a willingness to fight for pride alone, not unlike ourselves.

We decided that moving in with the Frosties would be a great scenario as, as Frenemies, we could shoot each other in the face by day and back each other up if a bigger threat came knocking. Pirates help other pirates when they’re not busy violencing each other. This happened back when the Russians tried to evict us from Auner. Local pirate corps, normally mutually -10.0, assisted us in the fight. Should some evil Russian mercs try to evict SF I, for one, would have no issues helping them. Pirates 4 lyfe bro.

By declaring war we’ve taken the gloves off both sides, boosters hugging stations now isn’t really viable. Station games become a thing, even if people have positive sec status (according to Eve Who the average sec status of The Bastards corp (-8.0) and Alliance (-4.8) compared to Stay Frosty (-2.4) and A Band Apart (-0.3) )

A band apart are also listed as having over 500 members to our less than 100. If it comes to all out blob warfare then, I’m doubtful we can win, if we try to out-number them we’d most likely lose. Where we’ll have to win is tactically. Corps like Rooks n Kings are known for fighting outnumbered, and winning, with great use of tactics and skilled pilots. I’m not saying we’re RnK, hell, this blog is called I’m Bad At Eve. We’ve given ourselves a challenge, a challenge SF is already rising to. I heard yesterday Rixx put out a CTA and already ABA pilots are flooding into Isho.

 

We’re putting our money where our mouths are on this one and I’m looking forward to it. No doubt the SF guys will bring some true ‘gud fights’ over the next while. They’ll win some, we’ll win some. In the end, it’s content, and it’s in our own backyard. What more could you want.

Stand by for some truly excellent losses in the near future.

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Awoxing, good night sweet prince

In EVE there is an activity known as Awoxing. It is named after a character, ‘Awox’ who popularised a particular style of play. Put simply, Awoxing means to join a player corporation and use the rights of being in that corporation to exploit and/or kill corpmates.

In Highsec, shooting another person who is not suspect/a criminal will get you rapidly concorded by our friendly neighbourhood space police. Shooting corpmates is excempt for this rule allowing someone to join a corp and set about killing members/assets with impunity. The fact that you can’t kick someone from corp unless they dock compounds this issue for the victims.

I, myself, have done some awoxing in the past. It was great fun, the thrill of infiltrating a corp, a wolf mascerading in highsec miners clothing. Working your way into position to strike and revealing yourself to be a dreaded awoxer, taking the assets, kills or money of those nieve enough to recruit you.

I, personally, think its a shame that awoxing is being killed off by allowing corps to disable the ‘concord won’t shoot you if you shoot your corpmates’ mechanic. I can see the benefit to CCP as many new players who join player corporations are unaware just how brutal EVE can be. That being said, hand holding them may help retain new players a little bit longer but they’ll still ahve to learn, usually the hard way, at some point.
Most people who have experienced and awox would be much more aware of it in the future. My thoughts is that, should a corp disable awoxing, there should be a manditory tax (say 10%) which goes to Concord. Spin the lore as Concord having to cover the costs of doing things they previously didn’t have to or something.

This would have a risk/reward balance as you can essentially block awoxing but at a cost. Or do you leave it as an option, risking your ships and assets for the higher returns? A decision each corp would have to make. I see scope for people to trick ‘awoxing banned’ corpmates into agressing them triggering concord/agression much like canflippers do now.

I have a couple of stories of my awoxing that are worth sharing so I’ll need to try sift through killmails and put together some words. Thoughts on the removal of awoxing?

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Hanging around

EVE Online is, essentially, a big sandbox full of toys given to us by Icelandic developers CCP. Some 500,000 capsuleers live in this sandbox and get up to various forms of mischief, dastardly deeds, mining, farming , politics and all sorts. These are some of my stories. They are limited to my own experiences, a tiny fraction of what actually goes on in the vast galaxy of New Eden.

One of the things you need to keep in mind in Eve is you always want to fight on your terms. If you hang around too long waiting for someone to engage you they’ll have time to counter.

A simple example is in FW plexes. If you are inside the plex first you can decide if you want to sit on the warp in or at range. Someone warping in on you will have to react to your positioning. An AB scram brawler warping in on an Imperial Navy Slicer if most likely going to have a bad time. On the other hand, if the AB scram brawler is warped in on by a Slicer he stands a chance of getting his scram/web onto the Slicer before it is able to pull range.

Another such example is what happened to us yesterday. We were on a T1 cruiser roam, 11 people including 3 logi ships. A modest fleet, nothing blingy with the entire fleet probably costing under 350m. We spotted a small fleet with two Hurricane Fleet Issues, a Vindicator, an interceptor and a Scythe. We decided to engage as we reckoned the Logi would be able to rep against the combined fire of the two HFI and the Vindi long enough to get the Scythe down and get our transversal via the bigger ships up. We jumped into them and immediately got blobbed as a whole bunch of other stuff turned up including Guardians and a Griffin.

Such is life in Eve but we weren’t far from home and they seemed to be chasing the surviving ships and pods so we decided to head back, grab some Battleships/BCs and engage them with carrier logi support.

We quickly formed back up and set out to meet them. By this point they were retreating back up the pipe so we chased them, ensuring we were always within range of the carriers new shortened jump range should we engage. They seemed to be evading us and moving a BS fleet around isn’t particularly speedy. We almost had them a couple of times but the warped off as we were decloaking. Due to a bit of a scatter in one system we didn’t see where they went. A cyno popped up in local so while the scouts were looking we decided to do the honourable thing and kill the cyno.

Warping to the cyno turned up an Arazu with an Archon on a station. We started killing the Arazu which, of course, the Archon repped. Neither were engaged and a cruiser fleet popped into system. The scout landed at distance off us and we were hoping the cruiser fleet may warp in to engage. They didn’t and left. We eventually broke the reps on the Arazu and popped it. The Archon was slowly being bumped away so we kept shooting it.

After a minute or so when we realised this station had a MASSIVE docking ring we decided he must be baiting. A quick check on killboards showed he has baited for Snuff Box before. Snuff are a bit more than we can handle and like to drop silly amounts of things. The Archon suddenly popped drones, having confirmed the likely bait we decided to head home.

At this point the fleet had been out in space and visible for 20-30 minutes. We were very close to being in range of Snuff who were almost certainly aware of us and hanging around much longer would just give them time to form. The fleet warped off and started the journey home. I can’t remember exactly the sequence of events that lead to the following situation but we ended up having to burn back to a gate we’d just jumped through. Stuff was starting to land and I was in a MJD fit BS. With multiple plates it wasn’t exactly quick back to gate. Left behind the FC called for people on the other side to align and start to warp off as more Snuff were appearing in local. I was still a few KM out of jump range and eventually manged to jump.

Innevitably a lone BS on a gate one jump behind the fleet got pointed. It was a Stabber so my thoughts went ‘Stabber, kiting ship hopefully. Probably a point not a scram. I’ll just align, MJD out and warp. Easy’. Of course it was a scram/web Stabber. Balls. I’ll just burn him down with my scram/web/scorch/drones. Then a Pilgrim landed too. Double balls. TD’d there was no chance in hitting the Stabber.

Clearly the Pilgrim would be a cyno ship so if the fleet came back to save me we’d all be dead. The FC appologised and kept the rest of the BS fleet (including a Vindicator and a Bhaalgorn) heading for home. A few pilots in smaller/cheaper ships decided to come back and help rescue me. Marco Drack and Red Vegas in Hurricanes, and HunterKillerHK in a cloaky Loki. The idea was simply to push the Stabber off me so I could MJD and warp out. By this point, managing my carrier on a second screen (docking it back up primarily) I didn’t notice that I was about to burn out my guns until it was too late. Marco, HK and my remaining drones managed to kill the Stabber but the Pilgrim was still holding on. Santo Trafficante had now turned up and was hugging my Abaddon, clearly hoping for a pod kill if I went down.

At this point comms was a bit mad with the main bulk of the fleet almost home while some still trying to free the cornered Abaddon. We were still sure that the Pilgrim was simply holding off as Snuff wanted bigger targets. Cynobaby1 logged into to the chaos around this point and quickly burned the three jumps in a Falcon to jam the Pilgrim. He landed, jammed, and I was able to MJD out. With burned out guns and down on drones I was useless staying. I managed to dock up safely in the next system (the system we were in had no stations). Although jumping the gate was nervewracking as I could easily get pointed once more on the other side.

Within seconds of me jumping out and the Pilgrim going down (who, by the way, was the Archon pilot that was baiting and, as you can see, very cyno fit) a cruiser fleet jumped in through the gate. They managed to snag both Marco and HK in their Hurricane and Loki respectivly. Red managed to get out and also docked up.
Simultaniously the bulk of the fleet had jumped into our home system and warped to station. Just as the majority warped, a Snuff Anathema uncloaked and managed to snag our Bhaalgorn before dumping a Snuff fleet of 26 Black Ops and 7 carriers. This is exactly what were were trying to avoid. Clearly they decided to jump anyway and snag what they could since our fleet wasn’t returning to combat. Qintis had unfortunately jumped just before this happened and loaded grid right in the middle of it all.

At this point we were all either docked or dead. Snuff hung around on our undock for a while before leaving once more. The lesson here is about fighting on your own terms.
We should probably have left earlier instead of shooting the Archon for as long as we did. Thankfully by leaving when we did we most likely saved the bulk of the fleet suffering only a few opportunity losses to Snuff desperately swiping at us to catch anything.

So basically, don’t hang around or someone somewhere will bring stuff to kill you.

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Thoughts on Phoebe so far

Right, Phoebe: much debated on, many tears, lots of celebration. What do I think from the persective of a small lowsec piracy corp.

We like it. It’s great, the bee’s knees as they say. A number of us have had capitals either left over from our days in Shadow Cartel or even older that have sat rusty in their hangers, un-used due to the fact that pre-Phoebe a small capital group would be dropped on almost instantly. This was especially true because we were living within single jump distance of Amamake and Pandemic ‘we drop supers on anything’ Legion.

In fact, once we spotted cyno Arbitrator on our undock. Marco Drack undocked a Harbinger to blow it up and I was just about to undock my Abaddon. When he started pew pewing PL dropped 5 Nyxs and an Aeon, to kill a single Harbi. They did of course, then cyno’d out again. We decided to have another crack at the Arbitrator and undocked again, aligned off and started blasting. This time twelve archons came in to rep it while we warped off.

Now, with the jump fatigue mechanic groups like PL are much less likely to drop supers just like that as the jump in and then almost immediately back out will leave them fatigued for a not insignificant amount of time. Now, before dropping a single battlecrusier they’re likely to hesitate and wonder if it’s worth the fatigue. If the super pilots are logging off soon after then they may still drop but I’d wager others who want to play for a while longer wont risk high fatigue in case something bigger crops up.

From our perspective this means the ability to start taking out bigger ships again without the worry of getting dropped. Their is always the risk of getting blobbed but that’s just life. Personally I’m looking forward to being able to drop in a single or maybe two triage carriers into a small BS fleet like old times. In the week since we’ve had three engagements that involved a single capital. So far no caps down but that may change.

Smaller groups are already feeling safer bringing out lone capitals, this can only be a good thing. Sure it makes logistics a bit more difficult, as one of our members who forgot to move his stuff before Phoebe hit has found out. But that’s not always a bad thing. If anything, caps out longer and moving slower is only going to create more content.

 

In short, we like it.

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