Node Crash at E-YJ8G November 23, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, E-YJ8G, Null Sec
So, today was another 10% tidi slugfest involving a series of unfortunate escalations culminating in CCP proving once again they have almost no clue how to balance a game, let alone make it function. Over 100 hostile carriers and dozens of hostile supers escaped our thousand-strong subcap horde via a crashed node, which seems to be the only strategy the N3zis have that works consistently. As a consolation prize we got to execute about 50 or so tech 3 ships.
Original broadcast from Reagalan
On the downside, things followed the now predictable course of events.
We poured subcaps into the system to stomp the carriers. N3 dumped reinforcements in to save carriers. We dropped dreadnoughts in to push up the damage. The dropped in super caps. The numbers in local kept climbing, not helped by the fact that we’re still abusing the whole drone assist thing with our Dominix fleet doctrine. Time dilation, which wasn’t so bad when there were only 600 people in the system dropped to the usual 10% when the number passed a thousand and our Dominix fleet got on grid and joined the fight. Somewhere past 1200 people in local the system started behaving like it did at KW-I6T, with people doing things without actual result. And, well, the whole thing went poof on us.
Yeah, that is never a good sign.
Also on the downside list, just before the system went non-responsive my shiny new Dominix got called as primary by the hostile carrier FC and I started taking fire.
I actually called for armor and the fleet logi team started to reinforce me. But in the lag, it took the hostiles a while to all focus on me, so it looked like I had been saved for a bit and the logis moved on to the next call. And then fire began to rain down on me and my ship wasn’t long for the battle. Look at all those Bouncer drones hitting me.
If only they had waited another minute, because once they got my pod targeted, the system started misbehaving. My pod took dozens of hits without registering any damage.
Semi-safe and the system clearly headed for a fall, I used my remaining time to move the camera around and take screen shots. I am ever the tourist. Then the error message above came up and most of us were thrown out of the game. After that it was the wait, staring at my portrait on the new login screen, for the system to recover and let us back it.
Once in, some passer-by in an Ares popped my popped my pod, which at least saved me the trouble of flying home. Then it was time for a break at my end. Dinner was at hand and I was figuring out where to file for my reimbursement. But the fight went one, at least on a smaller scale. As noted in the initial quote, we got to pop some tech 3 ships. Then it was working on the withdrawl from Catch back to our home base in Curse.
While the result of piling people into a system isn’t much of a shock at this point… Garth was mocking null sec about it recently… I am starting to wonder if it could start being an official “how to save your tackled capital ships” strategy.
Anyway, as noted, I had time to take some screen shots. Lots of capital ships and our Dominix fleet, along with the new graphics for the various forms of warp bubbles. All after the cut.
A Return to Curse November 18, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, Null Sec
On reading about our new deployment, my first thought was along the lines of “Didn’t I just get the hell out of Curse?”
It wasn’t as though our gate camp deployment down there was bad. It just seemed like more of a training exercise than a mission with some concrete end goals. And given the proximity of Curse to my various caches of ships and supplies, it seemed like we could have gone elsewhere for training.
Even after the big battle at KW-I6T, when our fleet headed for “home” in Curse, I preferred to take my chances solo and head back to Deklein.
Granted, it isn’t our war, but you make due with what you have. According to the GSF CEO update, the core group of the Russians have managed to set aside their differences and have allied to take on the N3 coalition holding the east of the New Eden, which includes Northern Coalition, Pandemic Legion, Nulli Secunda, and some more Russians.
And our role in this? We aren’t taking sides or flagging anybody blue. But we do have an agenda.
We are now going to do to NCdot and their friends in N3 exactly what they did to us in Fountain. We are going to be ‘honourable third parties’ in this war and make their lives and their gameplay hell. At every turn where they complain on the forums about how we are ruining their ‘good fights’ and ‘blobbing’, we will remind them with a sweet, false smile that this is exactly what they tried and failed to do to us.
The plan appears to be to drop on in any of the fights that crop up between the warring parties (like those at KW-I6T and L7ZS-5) to shoot N3 or, when fights are not available, to drop into N3′s backfield to sew terror and discord with their renters by sweeping them from space, attacking their structures, and generally being pains in their collective asses. For this our forward base at G-0Q86 in Curse is pretty well situated.
And since this was to be an official CFC deployment to Curse (except for at least one alliance, which seems to be devoted to knocking off systems at the north end of the N3 coalition while the battles are happening in the south), logistical support could be expected. I just had to get myself down there and buy a few doctrine ships on contract… the mix looks to be Siege Fleet stealth bombs, Dominix Fleet, and Prohpecy Fleet, which both my main and my alt can fly in… and wait for fleet ops to be announced. And there were fleet ops running almost right away and all through the weekend.
I was fortunate in that my alt still had a jump clone down in Curse and a Harpy in the station with it, so he just had to jump and get over to G-0. This was actually a bit risky, but he made it, docked up in the station in G-0 with the medical offices, set his death clone to there, and then warped over to the other station where we are staging. Why we aren’t using the station with the medical facilities to stage seems like a pertinent question. The official response I have so far is, “because we’re idiots.”
Then I just had to get Wilhelm down there. I grabbed the last stealth bomber I had handy in Deklein and took the usual route into high sec then back to into null sec through the Great Wildlands.
I managed to make it through unmolested late on Sunday night. I did hit a couple of active systems with a few people running around in them, but I just waved in local and they waved back. I am going to guess that they were ratting or some such and were thus as uninterested in a fight as I was.
Anyway, I got through, did the clone thing, got myself set up with some doctrine ships, and am now ready for whatever operations might be in store.
Of course, I am wondering if I should have invested much in such ships. The Rubicon expansion drops tomorrow. CCP already has their mile-long list of patch notes posted, as well as dev blogs going into detail about balancing ship and modules, warp speed changes, mobile structures, and all sorts of other things. And such updates tend to change the way wars are fought in null sec. So next week we might be swapping out to an interdictor and interceptor only fleet doctrine or some such. We shall see.
But I am in Curse again and ready to go.
Corp Day in Deklein November 10, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Black Sheep Down, Mining, Null Sec
A corp day was declared where we all joined up to harvest ice, which will be turned into fuel for our towers.
KW-I6T – The Long Guy Fawkes Day November 6, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: 4-EP12, KW-I6T, Null Sec
I am not sure how the fight began. I am not sure who was fighting whom. All of that is part of the bigger picture, into which I am generally not plugged. And in this case, it wasn’t even a CFC fight, we were just there for targets of opportunity and to support some people we aren’t really allied with (they aren’t blue to us, but they are not red either) against some other people who I know we aren’t allied with (they are red to us).
I am not even sure when the fighting began. I saw something come up on the RSS feed from EVE News 24 as I was eating my lunch at the office. And there was something on Twitter from EVE-Kill.net.
Down in Catch, a region in the south of New Eden, a timer had run down in KW-I6T, the last Nulli Secunda system in the region. And they were going to fight for it. (Okay, if you want to know all that, there is a summary over at The Mittani. But I didn’t know any of it until after the fight.)
It was one of those fights that snowballed, bringing in capital ships and supercapitals, as it kept on going and going.
It was still going when I got home from work and Gaff IM’d me asking if I was going to try to get down and join the CFC contingent already engaged. I didn’t think that I was going to get down there on my own, so I looked in on the streams. Both Mad Ani and Dabigredboat were broadcasting, though I had to go with Boat because not only was he also leading a fleet (the man can multitask without any degradation to his level of performance… what that level is, of course, is the question up for debate), but he was playing some of the best/worst 80s pop music I could imagine on his stream.
Then around 5pm my time, a call went out for a reinforcement fleet to head to the fight. Reagalan already had a Baltec fleet down in the fight.
They were on grid with an Erebus titan that they had bubbled and were slowly bumping away from its triage carrier support. (Diagram of this effort at TMC.) They fully planned a titan bonfire that night and we were going to fly on down there to help out. So a fleet went up under Kari Trace with a rally point in 4-EP12.
More words and pictures after the cut.
Returning Home from Curse and Waiting for Rubicon October 30, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, Null Sec, Rubicon
The deployment to Curse is over. Whatever we were sent down south to do has been done. I think Wibla sent us down there to keep us out of trouble while he was off in Singapore for a stretch. Anyway, the mission was declared “accomplished.” I managed to get a couple of kills while we were down there camping gates.and playing at ~elite PvP~. My alt even got his first kill mail. Meanwhile, our coalition friends a couple systems over managed to chase TEST out of null sec and into factional warfare. So we were done, it was time to head home.
And I was all set.
I had my new Archon ready to take the cyno chain down to Curse, pick up my ships (and maybe Potshot’s as well, if I had room) and fly them all back up to Deklein.
Unfortunately, I had not been paying attention. When we deployed to Curse, the cyno chain only went one direction. People flew their carriers down, loaded with ships, and parked them. They did not fly them back up to the relative safety of Deklein it seems. Which meant that, when the time came to come back home, the cyno chain was only going to be lit in the order to bring people back north.
My Archon was not going to be any help at all. Next deployment I guess.
But I still wanted to extract some of my ships from our deployment, so it looked like I was going to have to do it the hard way. Again.
I was also bringing out the same ships I brought in, neither of which activated their guns even once during the deployment. I had my alt in a Manticore stealth bomber scouting ahead.
And I had my Eagle heavy assault cruiser following on behind.
Fortunately, at around 03:00 EVE time on a week night, things are relatively quiet. Only the most die hard Europeans are still up and online and even those with day jobs on the East coast of the United States are hitting their limits. I managed to exit Curse and get into the quiet pipe through the Great Wildlands without seeing another ship.
That was about the point that I remember that I forgot to install a jump clone back in XX9-WV. Again. I only left a single Harpy behind, but it is nice to have a jump clone in places like that should you need to travel. I don’t think I have the standings to install a jump clone in Angel Cartel stations. It was just that I did not even think about doing it, which happens to me all too often. Fortunately, my alt has made a couple of trip into Curse so has a jump clone still down there should we need to head south again. Or if I feel the burning need to try and fly that lone Harpy out.
As with Curse, the pipe through the Great Wildlands was pretty quiet. I ran into a couple of systems where there were one or two people in local which, in a stretch of systems that has absolutely no stations, meant they were up to something. But they were not camping the gates. So aside from a guy who was either following me or traveling the same route (there aren’t a lot of other places to go once you are in the pipe, hence the term “pipe”) things were clear. And I never saw the follower, I just noted that he kept popping into local just about the time I was jumping out of each system.
Things moved quickly until I hit the last null sec system on the route. That is always the system that gets camped, the transition point from low sec to null. In this case it was 7Q-8Z2, which the past 24 hour kill stats show tends to be hotter than most of the systems on the way to it. And, sure enough, I warped the Manticore to the out gate and found a set of six bubbles about 60km off the gate arrayed to catch people attempting to warp to zero. The looked like they were spread out to catch people trying to bounce off celestials even.
There were only two people in system and nobody was visible on grid around the gate so, with my follower still coming up, I decided to just warp the Eagle into the bubble blockade straight on and then turn on the microwarp drive and head for the gate ASAP.
I don’t know if the bubbles were left over from a more serious camp or if the pair in system decided that they weren’t up to a heavy assault cruiser, but nobody showed up. Aside from uncloaking my alt’s stealth bomber by flying too close, the run to the gate went quietly and I jumped out of the land of bubbles and into low sec space. From there I was only two systems out from high sec. Nobody was present in the low sec systems, so I didn’t even have to worry about crashing gates and warping past anybody.
Then it was time for the 38 jumps to Onnamon through high sec space. That took time and was mildly stressful. I got used to local being full of strangers who I could accept were not there specifically to blow me up. But I swear that at every other gate there was some doofus just sitting there doing nothing, and seeing a ship on a gate in your overview sets off a trained panic response. I swear, I ask myself every time I go back to high sec, “Did I used to live like that? Just hanging on a gate at a destination, probably after AFK autopiloting across space?”
I am sure I did, but my habits have changed and I see space through different eyes now. Long strange trip and all that.
Finally I made it to Black Rise where I could at least assume people were ready to shoot me. But the factional warfare people seemed to be invested in their own missions. I only saw one person on a gate before I managed to slip into low sec again, and he warped off, probably as paranoid as I was.
Then in null sec I was back on the jump bridge network and home in Deklein in a few more jumps. Home again, home again. It is sort of like EverQuest back in the day, running from Qeynos to Freeport or Butcherblock. It took all evening, I didn’t really gain anything besides a change of location, but it still felt like an accomplishment.
Now it is just the waiting period for the next thing to happen. In the post Fountain/Delve time, various members of the CFC have moved around. LAWN is down Delve now. The SpaceMonkey’s Alliance has moved out of Banch and taken up positions in Pure Blind astride the route into the Sisters of EVE owned bit of null sec, which might prove an interesting place to be when Rubicon drops and people want blueprints for those new ships.
TNT likewise holds some sovereignty in Pure Blind along another route into Sisters of EVE space, so I expect we might be camping that when November 19th rolls around and Rubicon goes live.
And the Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere has expanded to include some systems way down in Period Basis, bringing the total number of rental systems available up to 87. The current count shows there are about 50 corporations renting at this time, so clearly renting from Goons isn’t a barrier for some.
Otherwise we are in something of a quiet period I imagine while the bright minds in the coalition plan for the changes that Rubicon brings.
Time perhaps to make a bit of ISK and train some new skills.
Or I could spend some time trying to care about why people were upset (or were not upset) about what SOMERblink was (or wasn’t) doing, how CCP was clearly (or not at all) implicated in it, and how CCP eventually responded. Given I cannot even find the strength to tie links to each of those statements, despite knowing where they are, I am not sure I can get there. Anyway, CCP took action, are we done yet?
In the Quiet of Deklein October 17, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Instance Group.
Tags: Deklein, Mining, Null Sec
1 comment so far
The instance group continues to garner a very small turnout these days. This past week it was, again, just Potshot and I.
Which, in a way, is kind of liberating. Of the group, he and I play the largest spread of games. So we have a lot of options.
On the flip side of that, we also have a long tradition, going back to high school, of “what should we do tonight?” Having a wide range of possibilities has never been our friend in that situation. It has generally lead to the paralysis of choice.
Fortunately, we have adapted our own way around that, which is somebody suggests exactly one idea for the nights plan. If we like it, we go with it and do not bring up any alternative plans. This adheres to the ABC theory of selling, “Always Be Closing.” When you have agreement, you don’t muddy the water with further choices. If you don’t get agreement, you then move to other options.
We happened to be in EVE Online already and chatting on coms when the “what to do” part of the discussion came up. I happened to be on with my alt who was back up in our home region of Deklein where systems were surprisingly empty.
The deployment down to Curse has had its impact. I flew threw several systems and never saw more than one or two blues. More importantly, I saw no hostiles.
For the few weeks between the fall of Delve and the Curse deployment, Pandemic Legion was apparently at loose ends and so decided to set up an around the clock hot drop operation on our part of the region. There were any number of nights where I logged on and found two or three cloaked hostiles… either PL members or easily pegged as PL alts… in just about every system in our area. And lest you think that they were AFK cloaking just to annoy people, I saw them drop on people foolish enough to attempt to run anomalies or otherwise expose themselves in-system.
Basically, if you see a hostile in your system in null sec when you were planning to do something in that system, you just change your plans. You should rat or mine or put up a tower or otherwise linger in space or you may find a hostile blackops fleet suddenly on top of you. Welcome to ~elite PvP~ in null sec. They do it. We do it. It is the way of things. You cannot scan them down unless they screw up badly and cyno jammers do not block covert cynos used by blackops fleets, so you are just stuck.
But it also meant that the deployment to Curse, as awkward as getting down there tended to be, at least gave us something to do. In the week before that I was logging on every time, checking to see that our systems were still cloaky camped, finding that they were, and then logging off. Having another game to play when EVE isn’t cooperating with your plans remains a good idea.
However, since the Curse deployment, and the subsequent population drop in the cluster of systems I tend to think of as home, the cloaky camping has ceased. It is like nature took its course, and with the absence of prey, the predators moved on. They, it seems, also moved on to Curse, where they too are sitting on gates and otherwise engaging in more ~elite PvP~ in its various forms.
In the absence of conflict in our home region, I suggest that we could try mining.
How odd was that?
Potshot agreed to that option, probably for the same reason I suggested it: I wanted to see where I stood on that front, equipment-wise, and what we could accomplish in a few hours of burning down rocks.
So both of got our mains and our alts (one each) into Deklein to sort out what we had. I had a barely fit Hulk and a Mackinaw fit for ice mining and completely lacking in a tank. The latter was a setup left over from our last corp day when were were out working ice in order to get the raw materials for the fuel blocks needed by our towers, while the former has just sat in the hanger since the last time I tried mining out in null.
The first problem out of the gate was just equipping the ships with what was available in the immediate area and could be accommodated by the skills of each character. The second bit was a real sticker. While I had both characters trained up for mining in high sec, I had not invested much training time in the null sec ore varieties. So I ended up with a Mackinaw fit with tier I strip miners, which could mine anything, and a Hulk fit with modulated strip miners, but which could only mount crystals for a couple of the juicer asteroid options.
The Mackinaw was ready first, so I put my alt in it and sent him out to the belts. With the huge ore hold of the Mackinaw… being the exhumer with the big capacity its post-rebalance role… I figured my alt could mine away for a bit while I sorted out the Hulk. Potshot likewise had a Mackinaw ready, and soon we were out in the belts.
And the first thing I noticed was that all the asteroids were a long ways away from where I had landed… to the point that I was wondering if I accidentally warped in at an extended range. But Potshot reported the same thing upon warping to the belt at zero, so that is just the way things are I guess.
We began slowly motoring out to some likely looking spots in the belt while I considered the viability of strapping a microwarp drive to the Mackinaw. Moving 30km or so at ~100m/s takes a while when you are just staring at the screen.
Meanwhile, I managed to scrape together a minimal tank for the Hulk and had just landed in the field when some rats spawned. Tech II scout drones and a sketchy tank turned out to not be up to the task and we all ended up warping back to the station.
There I pulled out Wil’s ratting Tengu and went to go sit on the belt and pop rats while others mined and hauled. Potshot and I flew our Mackinaws back out to the belt. As it turned out, the 1MN microwarp drive I had handy did not improve the velocity of the Mackinaw all that much, boosting it to all of 130m/s. But it was something.
And then we burned rocks.
I hit a patch of Dark Ochre, which seemed like a good idea until I realized that it was the only type for which I had no refining skill whatsoever. Potshot went after some rocks near by while pulling out his cloaked Mammoth to haul for us. When the Dark Ochre ran out, I hit the close by Hemorphite and then Jaspet.
Once you are settled in to the mining routine, it is relaxing. We spent time chatting and planning what we ought to have on hand to make this go better. Doing this sort of off-the-cuff meant making do. There is some equipment I should ship out for next time.
Among the things that I had forgotten about was that I had trained up Wil in the mining boss leadership skills. Just sitting there he was boosting yield per cycle by 10%. I probably could have mounted a mining foreman link on the Tengu if I had had one handy.
So we ground away for a while, then collected our ore together, paid the corp tax on mining (by contracting 5% of the yield to the corp), and called it a night.
The next day, with the area still quiet, I brought out the Tengu and ran a Guristas Forsaken Hub anomaly.
That netted me about twice as much ISK in about a quarter the time as the previous night’s mining operation. Of course, the Tengu is optimized for that and the Guristas Forsaken Hub is the best time/money yield.
But with some planning our next mining op should be more profitable. We were well aware we were doing things badly, but it gave us a chance to at least enumerate all the things we could do better.
Archon Acquired October 14, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Archon, Capital Ships, Null Sec
I finally got around to shopping for a carrier this weekend in New Eden.
I had the basic skills for the Amarr carrier, the Archon, along with decent jump drive skills, having gotten Jump Drive Operation and Jump Drive Calibration up to level V, along with Jump Fuel Conservation at level IV. That meant I could jump the carrier to its maximum range. I am still shy of skills for being part of Capswarm, the capital ship subgroup, but I was good as far as just flying one goes. So I felt it was time to take the plunge.
El Supremo and CEO for Life Gaff had been pinging the ship-building types in our alliance to see if I could get one fully fit and delivered, but everybody seemed to be down in Curse and entranced by that German FC who sounded just like Jeremy Irons/Simon Gruber in Die Hard with a Vengeance. Seriously, Gaff made me get on coms just to listen to him on Sunday, even though I wasn’t in the fleet. I could have listened to him all day myself, except that wasn’t getting me a carrier.
So I took the headphones off and started sorting through contracts, which you can at least search game-wide, as opposed to the market, which is limited to your current region. Though at the time, that wasn’t my reasoning. I was more interested to see if I could find one that was fit and fueled, something you can only sell via contracts. On the market you can only buy a packaged hull.
Unfortunately, the contract market wasn’t looking out for me. Archons that were fit, and badly fit at that, were all deep inside of hostile territory, and somewhat expensive to boot. Eventually I set myself on an unfit Archon for sale in Serprentis Prime out in Fountain. The price was 1.1 billion ISK. Using the navigation tool over at DOTLAN, I saw that I could jump from there to our Fountain staging system at 4-EP12, then to our old home at B-DBYQ, then another mid-point with a station, then finally to home in 0P-F3K, a route that looked like this.
Then as I was trying to work out how I would get out there, get the ship fueled up, and manage cynos with my alt to fly the whole route, somebody in alliance chat asked about buying an Archon and somebody said there were some on the market in QPO-WI, which is just five systems over from home. I checked the market and saw that there were six available at 1.2 billion ISK each. So before pulling the trigger, I started looking for fuel and a cyno ship for my alt. Once I got that lined up, I went back to the market and all six had been purchased.
There were a couple for a little bit more up in 85-B52, a few more jumps out. I clicked the “buy” button and got one of those before they too disappeared from the market. Archons were in demand.
So now I had a 1.2 billion ISK unfit carrier sitting in a system I had never visited before. And while the route to that system was just 10 jumps, space has its own shape. Stars are not uniformly spaced. Some hops between stars are no big deal, others span quite a few light years. And with the Archon I am limited to a little over 14 light years in jump range and am unable to use jump gates. So it was back to the navigation tool to check the route.
The distance was was only seven and a half light years, so I was good. I just had to bring some supplies out to it and jump it back. I got out my Crane blockade runner and began shuffling some supplies, including a full load of fuel for the Archon, which hold 20,000 units of helium isotopes for the jump drive. I also picked up some of the Capswarm fittings in VFK, the shield hardeners and the cap rechargers, just to beef up the defenses a little bit. Then it was off to pick up the new ship.
I flew out, docked up, and jumped in the Archon for my first look at my new baby.
I dumped everything out of the Crane and began fitting the Archon.
That complete, I began figuring out how I was going to get back to pick up the Crane and fly it back. It took a minute for me to realize that I have a carrier, I can just stick other ships in the hangar bay and bring them along for the ride. That was pretty much the point of choosing a carrier as my first jump drive capable capital ship.
So I was fit and fueled, now to get it home.
El Supremo told me that our home system has a cyno beacon in the system, which will jump me to a POS, from which I could then warp to the station. But he mentioned the inherent dangers of jumping blindly to such beacons, and there was the thought of my shiny new ship sitting half fit and exposed that made me decide to just pop a regular cyno. So I undocked my alt with a Kestrel fit with a cyno and just enough liquid ozone for one five minute cycle. While the cyno module is running, your ship is stuck, unable to move, until the cycle finishes, so I wanted to make sure I spent a little time swinging in the breeze as I could. The Kestrel actually won’t hold two cycles worth of fuel, but I checked all that before undocking.
El Supremo said the cyno ship should undock, turn on the tactical overlay, and move so that the station was outside of the 5 ring.
I moved too far out, then back again, until I got my alt lined up at about what looked right. I made sure that both main and alt were in a fleet together, then I lit the cyno at one end and undocked on the other.
And then… I didn’t know what the hell to do.
I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe some new controls or options no the overview or something? Eventually, hanging there on the undock, I right-clicked on my alt in the fleet window and found the option to jump to fleet member. I selected that and things started to happen. I swapped to the alt’s game client and watched myself land in 0P-F3K.
I was in and ready to dock up. I was a little bit off of the station, not too far, but enough to experience how slow a carrier moves. With my skill, it caps out at 87 meters per second, about stock mining barge speed, though it takes a while to get there. But I was soon docked up and safe.
Now I just have to go shopping for the remaining Capswarm fittings and finish up another 50 days of training and I will be set… for something.
But for right now I have a ship hauling carrier with 1,000,000 m3 of space in the ship bay, so I can move my ships around New Eden without having to bring them one at a time through gates and jump bridges.
Postcards from a Gate Camp in Curse October 7, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, Gate Camps, Null Sec
After various rounds of hauling stuff to our deployment in Curse, I think we were mostly settled, cloned up, and equipped by the time the weekend arrived. A mass of pilots from our alliance are in the region and there are even ships up on contract to replace losses. We seem set to do whatever it was we set out to do.
Which was what exactly?
El Supremo, CEO for Life Gaff, says that I am a traitorous blasphemer when I ask such questions, and then suggests that I maybe I haven’t been in the right fleet yet. For me, a few fleets into the deployment, I would characterize the whole things as, “Men Staring at Gates.”
It is a different form of warfare than what I am used to.
In the great sovereignty campaigns I have been on so far… Branch, Tenal, Delve 2012, Tribute, Vale, Fountain, and Delve 2013… there have always been goals and objectives. There were battles that hinged around timers that yielded either success or failure. The campaign moved forward or was pushed back. Systems changed hands. The tempo of battle continued around the clock. Those were real wars. If we sat on a gate or on a titan for hours on end, we were usually told the reason why. I was always good with that. It felt like we were helping “move the ball forward,” to use a sports metaphor.
For this deployment… well, we’re just there to get “good fights,” train up some FCs, and, I gather, to demonstrate that we are a PvP alliance that can go do things with Goonswarm… which is deployed four jumps over from us in Curse. They are in G-0Q86 and we’re in XX9-WV.
But without strategic goals, we are left to a “catch-as-catch-can” approach to fishing for PvP. This often translates into sitting on a gate for hours on end, or jumping through a gate, running to another gate, and then back again.
This is, of course, the downside of open world PvP; it really depends on somebody else showing up. With the often derided element of sovereignty warfare, all those reinforcement timers, at least both sides had to show up at the same time in the same point in space to contest an objective. It was show up or lose. Now we have no leverage to get people to show up. So I spent a lot of time this past weekend sitting on gates waiting for something to happen.
In fact, I have been hesitant to mention our deployment system… operational security and all that… but now I am posting where we are on the map. Come and shoot us, please.
On the various gates we caught a singleton coming through now and again and managed to blow up his ship and pod. With 30 to 40 ships hanging out, the challenge there was to target fast enough to get on the kill mail. My speed in control-clicking was my key to kills for one evening. The next day I opted to fly logistics which meant no clicking at all, since nobody took any damage over the time I was in the fleet. Success in that I guess.
All of which does highlight the importance of jump gates in the scheme of null sec PvP. They are the choke points in travel that allow you to catch people. This is actually one of the reasons that Siege Fleet was so successful in Fountain and Delve this year; all those bombers can avoid jump gates by using the black ops battleships to bridge around from system to system. A well run Siege Fleet is tough to catch; it can disappear at will and doesn’t have to go through that gate you’re sitting on.
I was grousing to El Supremo about the boredom of just sitting on gates. You can’t really chatter on coms all that much, as the FC needs to be able to tell us when when things might happen. So we sit on the gate quietly getting updates from scouts in adjacent systems.
El Supremo was of the opinion that a good portion of such a fleet had alts up in another window mining or running incursions or doing whatever it is they do to earn ISK… or maybe playing other games altogether. Not a ringing endorsement I suppose, and also a reminder that, among other things, this deployment is something of a ISK drain. I think the official reimbursement policy is “stop being poor.” So I might have to look into further ISK making opportunities myself. I had a recent ISK windfall, but otherwise my income is pretty minimal, consisting mostly of data cores and selling stuff I didn’t realize I had sitting in a hanger.
And, of course, if I am on and we actually do get a good fight, my view on the whole deployment might brighten considerably. But for now it has been mostly flying back and forth, sitting on gates, and taking screen shots, all of which hasn’t been helped by the fact that the GSF fleet calls on Jabber sound a lot more fun than our own. I think their directors have a flare for the dramatic that we lack.
Plus… you know… unironic Ferox fleet. I feel like I am missing out on that.
So I am waiting for that legendary “good fight.” Until then, cue the obligatory post card shots from Curse.
Once More Unto the Curse October 4, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, Great Wildlands, Null Sec
That was easy!!!
Sir Robin, moments before his demise at the Bridge of Death
I have this tradition in games… and especially in MMOs… where I will stumble upon something that should be difficult, or at least challenging and time consuming, and completely through luck and ignorance, get through it without realizing quite what I have done.
I end up thinking what Sir Robin was thinking, that whatever happened was easy. And then I go and try it again and get pulverized because the task is not easy at all, I was just extremely lucky.
This has happened often enough in my gaming career that I try to allow for it. I assume that just because something was easy the first time, it isn’t going to ever be that easy again. Especially if there was risk involved.
And so it was with the convoy op into Curse the other night. We took a winding route into the region, ran into no trouble, saw no hostiles, and generally just went from gate to gate without issue. Likewise, sneaking my alt into null sec late last month seemed to go flawlessly, much to my surprise.
So, in some combination of a thirst for adventure, a desire to prove that was all a fluke, and a flat out need to tempt fate, I devised a plan almost guaranteed to end in disaster.
I decided to jump my main and my alt back up to Deklein, pick up a couple of ships, fly them out to high sec, cross high sec, then fly them back into low sec, arriving down in Curse ready to fight.
Given my optimism, lack of caution, and general impatience, this seemed like a sure fire way to end up podded next to the wrecks of my destroyed ships.
I couldn’t even wait to get started. Throwing away my US West Coast evening time advantage… Europe is pretty much fast asleep and the East Coast is headed to bed when I am getting on and playing on a week night… I jumped right into things when I got home from work. I jump cloned both characters up to Deklein, picked up ships, and headed for high sec.
Now, I wasn’t a complete fool. I put my main in an Eagle, one of the doctrine ships we need down in Curse, but I put my alt in a stealth bomber so he could scout ahead and attempt to mitigate my death wish.
I also did not head straight to high sec via the shortest path, which would have run me through EC-P8R, a system so active and so frequently camped that it has its own CFC intel channel. Instead, I had noticed on the runs to Fountain via the jump bridge network that there was one system on the route that adjoined low sec space. Because of its position, it tends to be the system along the way most likely to be camped. But when nobody is there, it is probably a good place to make the transition and leave all your warp bubble worries behind. (None of those in low sec.)
And it actually worked. Nobody was in system, so I jumped into low sec and through a half dozen Gallente/Caldari factional warfare systems that were occupied, but the gates were clear, and into high sec.
I was past the first stage. Now I just had to toddle along down to Metropolis to hole up in a station that was to be our jump off point for the transition back into null.
And when I say “We,” I include Potshot. I had somehow sold him on the idea of traveling to Curse with me via my special route. That would be later in the evening though, after dinner and into the end of the US weekday prime time for EVE.
We met up in space after the sun had gone down. I had my Eagle on the gate that lead into low sec and was pushing my alt out to the first null sec system to scout.
Potshot was bringing a Viator loaded with a couple of Harpy hulls along with modules and and ammo to fit them out. Because if you’re going to get yourself killed, you might as well build the biggest funeral pyre you can. I had even told him that I expected that this operation would end in disaster and that it was likely that I was subconsciously trying to get us killed just so I could write a blog post about it.
But he stayed in our little fleet all the same. He seemed to be eager to get out of the vast ambiguity of high sec, where he was starting to feel like reds were following him around, and into the binary simplicity of null, where you at least know who your enemies are… unless the overview bugs out again.
We made our way through a couple of low sec systems and into the first null sec waypoint on our journey. Alea Iacta Est. The die had been cast. We were on our way.
And, almost immediately we ran into trouble.
There was only one other person in the first system, but when we jumped to the exit gate we got caught up in a small warp disruptor bubble. “Here we go” I thought, “He’ll have pals on the other side of the gate to jump through and catch us or something. The Viator and the Manticore were already on the bubble, though still stealthed, while the Eagle was in warp to the gate because I am impatient.
However, when the Eagle had landed… and I didn’t even make that joke at the time… the hostile on the bubble decided that his Harpy wasn’t up to the task and warped off. I shot up his bubble with the Eagle while sending my alt through the gate to get eyes on the far side.
The far side was all clear. So we all piled into the next system and began moving forward, trying to be careful. All was clear, jump after jump. We got sloppy. Potshot ended up jumping ahead a couple of times, despite being the most valuable ship in the convoy. I tried to keep the Manticore out front.
We had to stop on gates a couple of times to let the Eagle catch up, since it was much slower to align and warp than the other two ships.
You can even get a sense of our course in those two pictures, as we appear to be zig-zagging across that same nebula.
On we went through the strangely desolate Great Wildlands region. I am going to guess that it is the almost complete lack of stations in the region that keeps people from hanging out in it. That and it is pretty sizable and has multiple paths through it. Curse, an adjacent NPC owned null sec region, is a war zone, a blood bath, but also has a large number of stations relative to the system count. The Great Wildlands seems designed for quiet.
But it worked for us. Soon we were into Curse and just a jump away from our waypoint in the region, G-0Q86, home of the ongoing Goon/TEST struggle. I got us all in the safe POS and we started looking at the final leg of the journey, the run to the TNT staging system. However, G-0Q86 is like a circus, with things going on all over all the time. There were some gate camp shenanigans going on at our out gate. And while Potshot and I were able to get the two stealthy covert ops ships through, out of a bubble, and on our way, the Eagle seemed like a dicey proposition. I went and parked it in the camped and bubbled home station of both TEST and Goons.
Potshot and I landed in our new home station. He called it a night at that point, but I felt like I had a task left undone. So I hauled my alt back out to the gate to G-086Q and got eyes on it while I moved the Eagle back out to the safe POS. When the gate camp clowns got distracted and ran off after something, I managed to get the Eagle through and then made a straight shot for the staging system.
I am now reasonably well set up in Curse. I have a couple of fleet doctrine ships, a stealth bomber to go snoop with, and El Supremo says he has a Scimitar I can use if we need logistics pilots. I have clones in place and I did not even have to self destruct to get to our deployment. Now maybe I can get down to actually shooting something once in a while rather than writing travelogs about my journeys across space, because I have clearly used up my pool of luck when it comes to travel.
Sneaking Into Curse October 3, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, Null Sec
Capital ship convoy ops had been announced. The alliance was in motion. We were headed to Curse.
So I asked the Black Sheep Down CEO, Gaff (who has started to insist that people refer to him as “El Supremo”) when we would start having convoys for sub caps. Given the destination, that seemed like it might be an adventure in itself. It could be the best roam ever given a sizable fleet.
He laughed… though not in a way that indicated mirth… and told me that there would be no convoys for sub caps. The alliance had set up an office down in Curse and that if I wanted to get down there I should relocate my death clone to that office, undock in my pod, and self-destruct. And, if I was good, he might let me use my new carrier skills to drive one of the Archons down to Curse as part of the big-boy convoys.
I realize that this sort of tele-mort routine is convenient… though it would be more convenient if we had decided to hole up in a station that had medical facilities so I could upgrade my clone easily afterwards, without the risk of getting blown up and losing a skill… but it just goes against the grain for me to willfully self destruct if travel is at all possible.
So I grumbled to myself a bit until I saw that the Goons, on their totally separate with different fleet doctrines deployment to Curse, we actually running sub cap convoy fleets to their staging system. That sounded like a plan.
Only they were heading out from high sec and, of course, by this point I had collected my ships for the deployment up in Deklein. Still, I wanted to give this a try, just to do it.
So I took my alt, newly in Deklein, clone jumped him back to Jita, then bought and fit out a fleet doctrine Harpy for him.
And I want to say at this point that our alliance actually has some pretty nifty web tools. If I recall right, you can pretty much thank us for the blessing/curse of participation links. Corporation Danmark has a whole site set up for us with fleet doctrines and fits that you can access via the in-game browser that, in turn, opens them up in fitting windows in-game which you can use as a shopping list and then save to your fittings and use to “auto-fit” your ship
This is also the first time I have used the “auto-fit” feature, and it is a blessing for me as I tend to have too much junk sitting around in my hanger and always end up spending five minutes sorting and resorting to find that last module in the bin.
Anyway, I had me alt in a harpy and had to immediately race southeast in space to get to the rally point for the convoy, which actually meant heading through somewhat new space for me.
More after the cut. Pictures, words, the usual nonsense.