Thursday 27 March 2014

The incident in a certain room

One of the things I like about Eve is that it is a game of consequences.

There are white knights.  There are black knights.  If I want a game with consequences, I need black knights; players who are prepared to catch the unwary.

There are scams, where players are encouraged to hand over everything in exchange for rewards.  Some of these offer double (or more) back.  Some offer ideal PVE areas where ISK rains from the heavens (or belts).

To those that succeed in successfully scamming, congratulations.  I don't want you in my corporation, but I can appreciate that a successful scam is a form of winning. 

I don't want to be scammed, but I also want avoiding scams to mean something.  We have received awox attempts, and at another time received an eviction attempt (close for the attackers, but no cigars).  To me, our successful defences are all the more precious because we could have failed.

I appreciate success, both in game and outside of the game.  There are players who want a buff to their play-style by nerfing certain modules.  I like those very same modules, as I see them encouraging more than cookie cutter fits.  I personally benefit from overuse of WCS, but that is a side issue.  Sometimes we will disagree in game, other times we will continue our discussions out of game.

I accept and encourage that some times we get changes by in game actions, and sometimes by being forum or blog warriors.  I support that those wanting certain behaviours to try to achieve them both in game and out of game, even when I disagree with the specific goals.

There has been a bit of buzz recently on the forums, on reddit and the blogosphere about a certain eve bonus room scam.  Jester has encouraged us to listen to it.  I am not willing to endure it. What I have read on the commentary (both for and against) satisfies me that I am as informed as I want it to be.  I don't watch situational comedies, I don't want to listen to a first life family in distress.

An extract from the Eve TOS.
  1. You may not abuse, harass or threaten another player ...
  2. You may not use any abusive,  ... harassing, harmful, hateful, offensive, threatening or vulgar language.
The wikipedia page on bullying contains : Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others.

There are those that wish a scamming lifestyle.  Eve advertises itself as a place where players get to be bad.  Eve needs bad players (both in skill set and in ethics).

The scam victim lost all his in game assets.  Congratulations to the scammer. 

However, they crossed a line, with their actions harming someone not even playing Eve (the wife).  At some stage, any reasonable person would call this harassment and bullying.  Yes, holding someone's virtual assets hostage and using that to coerce them into humiliating acts and dominate them is bullying, even if you never intend to return those virtual assets.  Using teamspeak to claim you are out of game is sophistry.

My opinion is that, in Eve, scamming should remain a profession.  While the consequences for the victim (if any) remain in game, then so should the consequences for the perpetrator (if any) remain in game.

When the consequences spill outside the game, adversely affecting players outside of Eve (as alleged in this instance), then I support the Eve TOS being applied. I have read that the victim did threaten the scammer.  An Eve holiday should be in order, for both perpetrator and victim.

Monday 24 March 2014

The discovery pendulum swings

In the last major release scanning and awareness of scanning became easy, some have argued too easy.  Specifically, when incoming K162 is spawned, anyone with the awareness to have open the scanner window open can see it.

My philosophy is that for good game design, the actively aware player should have an advantage over the player who is not paying attention.  I am even comfortable having hunters choose what fights they take part in.

As readers know, I am the hunted, and very rarely hunt myself.  Even I think the discovery scanner as is, is overpowered (1).

Well, CCP Fozzie is drinking the dumbscovery Kool-Aid, with a vengeance.  Specifically, he is looking to prevent active, aware players from knowing that there are ships incoming.  " ... that solution is somewhat unsatisfactory since players could always return to the old trick of spamming probe scans to check for the new sigs."

If you have any opinions as to whether players who are actively paying attention, and are properly paranoid should be penalised to the same degree as if they were merely afk drone site running(2), please add your comments to this thread.

My own addition to the topic can be found here

(1) I also think local is overpowered, and that the solution for cloaky afk players in null is to grant cloaks the ability to remove the cloaked pilots name from local - but that is a different issue.

(2) Yes, I am aware that I may be biased.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Does it belong in a wormhole?

We want to be safe, think that obscurity in our low class wormholes will keep us safe. 

Some days you get to cause the trouble, some days you are the one in trouble.  Those of us that are bloggers cause ourselves more trouble than we need to.  Today I get to read about someone else's trouble, and consider what I should do.

I intend to remain in wormholes, making (or not making) my ISK.  I encourage others to make their own ISK to fund their own EVE goals, or if nothing else, to share in mine.  I enjoy creating my mini-empire. I enjoy seeing corp members running sites, sucking gas, organising trouble.

BUT ... given a recent wormhole eviction of another blogger, it is time for everyone who uses POS to re-evaluate how we use them.

If you want your assets to be kept safe, put them in the nearest highsec NPC station, where you can get someone else to haul it on a courier contract with sufficient collateral.  Not entirely dangerous is in your own division in a POS (and some would say your own POS), though clearly it can be made to disappear by hostile forces.

We should be asking ourselves the following questions : Am I currently using this ship/PI goo/blueprint/extra tower:
  • To make ISK, for PVE, for defense or offence; and am I using it now?  If not now, then when?
  • Am I holding it here but probably will never use it?

Regardless of what it is, if you are using it now, then great, please continue to do so.  I don't care if you use it to make ISK or war, or even to orbit the POS staring at it, while soaking up EVE. 

If you are planning on using it soon, please consider if you need all of what you have.  Does someone else in the corp need it?  Will you sell, trade or give it to your corp mate?

A couple of spare ships in your POS makes sense.  We keep spare shuttles and scanning frigates, and of course Epithals.  There are also a few disposable PVP(ish) ships in case of need.  Refitting modules, spare probes, drones, ammo are all good to have.  As are skillbooks you will need soon, and command centers for when you inevitably want to redo your planet.

But if you are planning on never using it (regardless of what 'it' is), take it out of the wormhole.  Truth be told, I am not as good at keeping a spartan wormhole as this blog makes post makes out, but even I will do better.

Monday 17 March 2014

Wormhole evictions happen (but not to us today)

I was reading, and his follow up about a wormhole eviction that they are undergoing.

I understand his pain, and am reflexively sympathetic. We have been there.

Evictions are rare in C1 to C4 wormholes.  Rare is not the same as does not happen.

What we have observed in our time in wormholes, that the following things attract POS bashes:
  • An undefended POS 
  • Any Carrier or Dreadnaught in an C1-C4
  • Any storage array without an active forcefield
  • A small POS (and to a lesser extent, a medium POS)
  • A clearly 'carebear' (or industrialist) corporation.

I fear that Von Keigai's corporation had 2 'sins against Bob'; Capitals in a lower class wormhole, and an undefended POS.

We ourselves fell afoul of the 'clearly carebear' and not having a large POS in our class 1 wormhoe.  We have taken steps to rectify this problem.   (Bob willing)

The most common substantial loss in a wormhole is due to a POS running out of fuel, with an SMA, or some storage array being undefended and full of loot.  We have shared our wormholes with other corporations, some of whom let the lights go out.  We will be be implementing a new policy: If your lights go out, we care. We will try to contact you.  If we can't find you or you take to long, we will take your shinies before someone else does, though we might give some of it back.  We do not want hostile POS bashing fleets in our system.

Dickstars now have a hard counter in class 2-4 wormholes.  

I am not saying what that counter is, but ... if you care, do some fairly obvious research.  (As an exception to my normal comment policy, any comments attached to this post that mentions this counter will be deleted.)

Other blog posts about evictions:

Mabrik listed his time being evicted on

Gevlon listed his time evicting on then being evicted on

Our own (successful) defense against an eviction attempt Defence lists our own time under siege.  We did not have the same class of opponent.

Saturday 8 March 2014

How to catch an epithal.

This is a rant in response.  This post is going to come back to bite me.  I will lose more Epithals because of it.

There are some pilots on the rampage against Warp Core Stablisers, both on Epithals in wormholes, and on faction warfare ships.

I will try to be perfectly clear. I believe that a properly fit T2 hunter should be able to gank a properly fit T1 hauler.  I also believe that the proper fit to take down a T1 hauler should NOT be a standard PVP fit.  You are ganking, not fighting.
I run PI based wormholes, using WCS fit Epithals.  We lose them, time and time again.  Sometimes we get away, some times we lose our ship.

Hunters want Epithals to make compromises when they fit WCS.  I have sympathy for that view (but not a lot).  There are currently two correct lowslots fits for a wormhole Epithal.  4 WCS, or 3 WCS and 1 DCU.  If you removed 3 of the lowslots and built in the 3 points of WCS it would only make a difference to the morons of highsec, as the rest of us are doing it better.

Here are losses that I pulled out of our corp's killboard.
1 hunter

2 hunter

Every single one of these Epithals had a pilot at the keyboard.  We made mistakes. We then paid for them.  This is as EVE should be.  The lack of PI in holds on most of these kills is because we train our pilots to dump PI back into the customs offices when under attack.

I know very little about proper fits.  Below you will find some 'teribad' fits, that I would use for hunting Epithals.  No faction or officer modules will be harmed in the building of these ships.

As a service to the hunting community, I wish to remind you of a new item you might have missed.  It is called a mobile depot.  It might help.

[Arazu, goo catcher]

Damage Control II
800mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Warp Scrambler II
Warp Scrambler II
Warp Scrambler II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
10MN Microwarpdrive II
Stasis Webifier II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M

Medium Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Medium Hybrid Collision Accelerator I

Hammerhead II x4

Does 407 dps overheated (according to EFT)

For giggles, even this ship would eat an Epithal.

[Helios, goo catcher]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Warp Scrambler II
Warp Scrambler II
Warp Scrambler II
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range Script
1MN Afterburner II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Light Electron Blaster II, Void S

Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I

Damage dealing is an underwhelming 78 DPS overheated but would still destroy an Epithal (eventually).

For a faction warfare pilot, I have the ship for you (though it does require a faction hull):

[Astero, StabCatcher]

Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste

Warp Scrambler II
Warp Scrambler II
Warp Scrambler II
1MN Microwarpdrive II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Light Ion Blaster II, Null S

Small Processor Overclocking Unit I
Small Processor Overclocking Unit I
Small Targeting Systems Stabilizer I

Warrior II x5

All fits are theoretical only, to be taken with a dose of WTF were you thinking?

TLDR; if you can't catch an Epithal, you are not properly prepared.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Always have access to probes and launchers in a wormhole

I was recently reading the Wormhole channel.

Pilot has no probe launchers or probes.
No one was online in local.
Set of +4 learning implants.
Cheap retriever fit
Enters wormhole several times. 
Wormhole collapses as he enters it.

If you plan on leaving, ensure you have probe launchers and at least 8 probes.  This might be in a mobile depot that you use to refit.  It might be on an alt pilot plus ship.  It might be on your ship (as an offline module if necessary).

Some pilots might be sympathetic.  Some might merely want to get you back to your clones station via the fastest possible route, and grant you a brand new clone in the process.

Now if you do ever do the dumb thing (and you will) your choices are limited.
  • The slow option : 
    • Ask in local.
    • bookmark your position.  
    • Eject into your pod.  
    • Dscan your way to the nearest active forcefield and find out who owns it.  
    • Look up the owning corp on  Add every single member to your watch list. 
    • Use to work out who is still active in that wormhole, search on the system name.  Add these members too.
    • Work out how much ransom you want to pay.  Offer 1/2 before, 1/2 after.
    • Use to work out the active time.
    • Evemail the likely pilots and be on during their active time.
    • Pray that the will honor ransoms.
  • The incredibly, mind bogglingly tedious, painfully slow method.  Find another scanning pilot. Find a wormhole that has  a static that points to the type of wormhole with your stuck pilot. Roll that wormhole : it wont take more than an hour solo (much faster with freinds). Keep rolling it roughly 400 times until you are lucky enough to find your main pilot.
  • If you don't like the above two options, the quick option is self destruct your pod.
Don't leave known space without probes and a suitable launcer.

Monday 3 March 2014

My drones go rogue

TLDR, just because your drones are shooting your fleet mates, does not mean it is the games fault.

Last weekend I have finally managed to log back in to do more than PI reset or POS refuel, for the first time in way too long.

Normally we run combat sites together with several dual remote repair Domi ships.  We are conservative in what we chose to run, completing Frontier Baracks and Frontier Command Post, leaving Sleeper Information Sanctum sites.  The ISK is ok, but my partner's primary aim is to keep the WH clear(ish), and mine is to actually go out and shoot things with this ship I have trained up.  Heretical concept - shooting rather than being shot at.  We are a little too fussy to shoot cruisers and below and leave Integrated Terminus alone.

We use drone assist to focus fire, with one of my Domi pilots being the ‘assisted’ drone bunny using a target painter; and something other than a Domi to clean up frigates.  Though we know that swapping a domi or 2 to light drones also works.  (I am already giving out too much information - I won’t give players like Penny our exact composition ).

I do not have my target painter to auto repeat.  I won’t swear to it, but drones seem to respond when I manually apply the target painter (roughly every 2 seconds), but do not respond simply because the target painter cycles.

This time, we have two new pilots to integrate into our fleet, so we should be able to move up to do Information Sanctum's as well.

Also, with the new pilots we are re-organising our cap chains.  Previously each Domi pilot was responsible for providing cap to the pilot above and below them in the fleet list. This time we went with pairs (two pilots simply providing capacitor to each other), and a single ‘triplet’ (where it was back to providing capacitor above and below the fleet list).

There were the traditional new pilot issues.  Mumble not installed, not working, lack of targeting skill.  These were solved by just using the fleet channel and swapping some training around.

With the extra DPS on the field, picking of the NPC’s was much faster, as you expect.  On just about every change of wave, my alt domi would be targeted by almost everyones sentries. Ouch.  That many sentry drones hurt.  Combine self inflicted hurt with a new wave of ships, and we have anxious moments.  Select a hostile target, and reapply painter quickly.

So after many of these waves, I watch more carefully.

What I am meant to do is :

  • Before fleet warp, activate lowslot tank; activate midslot sebo/omni tracking units.
  • Align (or be lazy and follow the leader)
  • Be fleet warped
  • Launch drones
  • Start Locking big hostile tower or ship.
  • Swap to alt, lock lead pilot
  • Start locking friendly cap chain ships.
  • Lock other hostiles
  • Hostile Lock has finally occurred, so target paint first hostile and apply drones
  • Friendly locks have finally occurred, apply cap chains
  • Chose a hostile and apply target painter.

The lock list is added to one at a time.  As each locked ship dies (or is manually dropped), the lock defaults to another ship, until the next one dies

As each hostile dies, by default the next oldest locked ship becomes my default target.  Sometimes a target dies immediately before applying the target painter, and default ship (my alt) is painted, and drones have a feast.  Umm. Ouch?


  • Manually change the order of locked ships.  Friendly ships are dragged to the left and away from hostiles.
  • Do not apply target painter to a well damaged hostile if it is the last hostile, take time and smell the roses.  No rush.  Most importantly do *not* apply target painter if hostile is at risk of dying in 1 second.
After our teething problems and finally understanding why our drones take an unhealthy liking to our friendly ships, we have a go at the inner sanctums.  Whatever ship they target seems to hit 50% armor in phase 2 before our remote repairs land, but apart from that, they are fine.

I don’t have a firm grasp on what draws NPC agro yet. I do know that if you give an NPC a choice of a sentry drone and a remote repair or target painter or sentry drone, the sentry is ignored every time.

P.S. I am again around after a few weeks out of town, and some posts planned. This weekend I finally got all my PI planets refreshed. No promises but things appear to be heading back to normal.