Tag Archives: KarmaFleet

I Burst to the Top of the Chart

I’ve barely been in KarmaFleet for a week and I’ve already made it to the top of their list on zKill.  What a success story!

Feb 4, 2020 – 04:30 UTC

How did that happen?  Did I suddenly get good at EVE Online?

No, of course not.  As with many things, I happened to be in the right place at the right time.

The deployment northward has taken us into Venal where we have begun to fight with PanFam and Fraternity who were previously pushing up against Dead Coalition in our old homeland.  Now both sides are busy shooting each other structures and fighting when timers hit, which is just how things are meant to go.

A fight was brewing over a Raitaru that we had dropped and pings had gone out for a fleet based around a new Sacrilege doctrine.  I didn’t have one of those to hand, having only brought along a Jackdaw on the move op, and I wasn’t too sure I wanted to invest in a half a billion ISK ship at the moment.  I suppose I could have logged in and checked contracts for the logi ships that go with the doctrine, which were no doubt cheaper, but I was on the fence about even logging in.

And then there was a ping from Kun’mi with a call for a few people for a special task… and ships would be handed out.  I’m always keen for an op where I can lose somebody else’s ship.  I logged in, got in his fleet, and opened up a trade to get one of the ships.

It was a Malediction interceptor fitted to be quick and agile with the sole purpose of landing in the middle of hostiles in order to set off an ECM burst to break all of their target locks.  Our job was to go out and sit on a perch away from the battle, aligned towards it, and have Kun’mi fleet warp us onto the hostiles when things looked ripe.  We would land on them, align ourselves to warp off, set off the ECM burst, and warp away.

Aligned towards the fight and ready to be warped

If this sound vaguely familiar, it was because I was in a similar fleet during the Hakonen deployment back in late 2017.  During those battles we were using cheaper Atron frigates with ECM bursts fitted.

My ECM burst Atron swoops down upon the foe

We were able to get away with the T1 ships there because those fights were in low sec, so there were no warp disruption bubbles present.  Now, up in Venal, we cannot just be fast and have warp stabs fit, we also have to get through the the thick of the fight with fleets locked down in interdictor bubbles, which means using fleet interceptors which are not constrained by those bubbles, or any bubbles, in null sec space.

Warp bubbles don’t scare me

So we got on our perch and Kun’mi flung us at the hostiles over and over and his am was often good and true.  I would land and set off my ECM burst to be rewarded with a long list of targets affected zipping by on my screen.

And, as it goes, I was then marked for everybody who I reached out and touched with those busts of ECM, so when any of them were blown up I got on the kill mail, as did any of the other interceptors that were on this op.  That got me on 91 kill mails over the course of about 30 minutes.

It seemed like less time than that, and we were under tidi for much of the time (as well as the additional lag from whatever is going on with the game still this week), so it wasn’t a huge number of runs for us.

Of course, not all of those 91 kill mails were hostiles.  The ECM burst knows no friends and its effects hit everybody within range when it goes off.  So my kill board for the evening looks… very blue in stretches, like this sample.

I got some hostiles on there!

That Legion of Zintage’s is my most valuable kill mail at the moment, followed by the Zarmazds I managed to hit.  Ooops.  But I did get on some good targets, though I think the Pandemic Horde players in rookie ships… like the Impairor and the Reaper… were my favorites.  They both ate several ECM bursts, then were killed by a bombing run by their own side.

Lots of blue on blue action that night.

The battle itself though, that did not go our way, as the battle report indicates.

Battle report header

We were, if nothing else, down in strength compared to the hostiles.  The core of our fleet were the Sacrileges, and we lost 48 our of 74 counted, while the PanFam core was  135 Muninns, and they only lost one of those, though we did rack up a decent count of their logi.  But that wasn’t enough.

So the battle ended as the Raitaru at its center was destroyed.  Our fleet wrapped up and I warped to one of the other structures we had in system to use the tether to repair some armor damage I had taken when we landed in the midst of somebody’s bombing run.  Then I docked up and returned the ship.  The little ECM burst fleet was otherwise unscathed, save for one that was blown up by NPCs.  As such it did not make it on the battle report.

A while after that we went and hit a hostile Astrahus when its armor timer came up.

An Astrahus goes that color when you reinforce it

Also, since I wrote this I have been passed on the KarmaFleet list on zKill.  At least the lead was taken by somebody who was in the Sacrilege fleet.

KarmaFleet

I joined KarmaFleet.

My new calling card I suppose

As I mentioned early in the month, our long time corp Black Sheep Down was folding up shop.  With just a few active players I gather there was some pressure to be absorbed into a larger corp in TNT.  I doubt I would have left Black Sheep Down otherwise, as it enabled me to do what I wanted to do in EVE Online, which mostly involves repairing space ships in fleets and blowing up structures.

But given the need to move I also now had the incentive to consider where I should land.

This is a lesson that all companies, real or virtual need to remember.  Customers will often stick with you simply because it is easier to deal with the known than consider the unknown.  But if you force somebody to consider it, they might decide they would be better off elsewhere.

And so I ended up in KarmaFleet, the then CFC response to the “levee en masse” idea that started to become a part of war in null sec.  Once it was difficult to get into null sec alliances.  Many considered themselves elite.  But the math of “N+1” is what ended up winning wars and now any coalition beyond a certain size has to have some form of easy entry, new player friendly organization to keep fleets full and fresh blood replacing attrition.

Why KarmaFleet?

Dear kindly social worker,
They say go earn a buck.
Like be a soda jerker,
Which means like be a schumck.
It’s not I’m anti-social,
I’m only anti-work.
Glory-osky! That’s why I’m a jerk!

-Gee, Officer Krupke, West Side Story

KarmaFleet has their own answer to that question and produces propaganda around that.

What KarmaFleet Offers

I’ve pointed a few people in the direction of KarmaFleet in the past as place to get access to the null sec aspect of EVE Online.  (Tellingly, I never suggested TNT or our old corp.  Being around me is not a lot of help in game really.)

Of course, they also produce propaganda that might be more on point.

The real progression

I may already be in that final state even as I join.

I certainly didn’t need free skill books or free ships, I had access to almost all the SIGs and squads when I was in TNT, and I am in a post-ISK state of denial, living off of the modest reserves I acquired in my more enthusiastic days.

Instead, the move to KarmaFleet was more of a simplification of my time.  Being in TNT gave me access to all of the GSF infrastructure.  In fact, it is a requirement to be integrated with their auth services, forums, coms, and what not in order to participate.

But TNT also has its own auth services, forums, coms, and SIGs, which are also required, such that to be in TNT means keeping up basically a dual set of services.  That wasn’t exactly a huge burden, largely because I mostly failed to keep them going.  I would update TeamSpeak for corp meetings when they happened, but I was mostly in a state of lapsed compliance.  Having, for example, a that second Jabber account TNT that would echo every Goonswarm all/all ping but wasn’t hooked into SIGs and squads wasn’t all that useful.

Now, in KarmaFleet, all the things I already had setup and maintained remain the same and the stuff I would occasionally have to get back into compliance with are no longer an issue.  That and a few other small items have streamlined things for me a bit.  I wasn’t going to leave our corp just for that, but since I had to leave anyway, I figured I might as well find what benefits I could.  So I indulged my laziness.

Getting In for Normal People

Of course, that is why I went.  How I went, that is a bit of a tale in its own.  As with many things, what you’re told and what actually happens do not always exactly align.

The application process is simple.  You go to the KarmaFleet site, click on the “Click Here to Apply” and follow instructions.  You create an account, add you API data for your characters, and fill out an short application that asks about your history with the game mostly.  The characters part is the sticking bit for most people.  I have seen it come up on their Discord multiple times and it was the only question directed at me; did you list ALL you characters in the game.

I foolishly said I thought so but that I had been playing since 2006.  So I had to answer the question in a couple more ways before I got an “alight” in response.  I’m pretty sure a spy would have just said yes, they were certain, but whatever.  Spying is still a bit of a mania.

After that you wait for a bit… I waited for almost three weeks… and then somebody will give you the yea/nay on your application.  If you’re accepted there will be a corp invite waiting for you in game… which was the only notification I got.  Accept that and you are in KarmaFleet.  An automated in-game email will show up full of all the things you need to do to register for and access the various alliance resources.

Getting In for the Encumbered

Of course, I was a bit different.  I was already in the coalition and already registered and on the various services and there is honestly not a lot out there about how to move forward from there.

I had dropped roles in Black Sheep Down a while back, so when the invite came I accepted it and was in KarmaFleet right then.  I knew from having heard in the past that I would have to re-apply to the various SIGs and groups to which I belonged.  But while I was in KarmaFleet nothing else had changed.  I still had access to all my old groups and various identifiers still showed me as belonging to TNT.

Here is what to do; be patient.

At some point the system will poll and notice that your current status does not match what it has stored for you, and it has only one response to change… to purge you as an inactive.  At that point you will get an email telling you this with a link the the authentication system and instructions to go log in and click the button to restore yourself.

Once you do that you will be set to go.  Your info will be correct and you will have access to all the default forum areas and such that you get as a corp member.  You have to reapply to all your old groups again, but that is pretty easy.  I was back in Reavers pretty quickly, for example.

I did not know the “be patient” part.  I last changed corps back in 2013 and almost everything in the API and authentication area has changed since then. So I asked in the general Jabber channel how long it would take for the data to refresh.  Somebody told me I needed to go push a button in the auth interface and everything would be fine.

But it wasn’t.  The system hadn’t gotten around to noticing something had changed yet.  It seems to poll about every couple of hours I would guess.  And until it notices you and takes action, there is no button to press that will move things along.

Somebody had indicated that there was something I could do and, having forgotten to calculate in the value of advice from random Goons in a general chat channel, I spent a futile hour or so poking various things in the hope of forcing an update.  Only then did I decide to be patient and went off to do other things.  Later, when the email arrived, I went and pressed the button and things were fine.

Now to wait for EVE Who and zKillboard to update while I reapply to my various SIGs and squads (and one new one that was just formed).  I actually might not reapply to all of the ones I was in previously.  I never was of much use in CapSwarm nor in the fleet booster SIG.

I just need to figure out how to get Pidgin to stop trying to log into their Jabber/XMPP conference channels every time I launch it.  I can’t find a UI element that controls that, but it knows to try and log me in every time, so there is probably a config file somewhere I can edit.  (Also, maybe I should upgrade my seven year old copy of Pidgin to the latest version.)

Black Sheep Done

The true enemy of organizations in null sec are not hostile in your systems, or SBUs on your gates, or bad fleet doctrines.

The real killer is entropy, the slow wasting away of your corporation or alliance or coalition until it is just a shell of its former self.

Me, September 2013

That was some “deep” insight from me after being in null sec for a little less than two years.  Still, it is true enough, and the story of null sec has its share of tales about once mighty groups that wasted away from within then crumbled when the next crises that came along.  And that applies to any gaming group or guild in any game.  If people stop showing up for your party eventually the party is going to get cancelled.

This time it has come around to where I live.  In early December we got a note indicating that our corp, Black Sheep Down, would be closing up shop.

This was not a huge surprise.  We had never been a big group to begin with and never had as an aim to become one.  Our corp, born amongst some guild drama back in 2013, was an off-shoot of the first null sec corp I was in, BSC Legion.  It was actually the same tale of diminishing numbers and flagging participation that led a group to splinter off and form the new corp, Black Sheep Down.  I recorded all of this in a blog post, naturally enough.

EVE Online Black Sheep Down

Not really a logo, but something I threw together

Now, about six years down the road, the wheel has come around and the new corp has run down.

There was no need to rush off.  The corp will linger on in the alliance for a while to allow people to find a place to land and, as such, I stuck about for December.  I noticed that somebody had made me a corp director as part of this, clearly a mistake, and I abused this and spent some time making awards.  I paid for them, and awarded some to the old hands who were still around.  But there were also some SIG things going on in December and I didn’t want to leave until they were done because when you change corps in the Imperium it resets all your memberships and you have to go back and re-apply to everything.

Eventually though I will need a new corp, and with the new year upon us it is probably about time to get started.

There is a default choice.  A corp in TNT with the name Dynamite is acting as something of a consolidation option for some of the smaller groups, including our old corp BSC Legion, which showed back up in TNT after some adventures elsewhere, including a stint in Circle of Two alliance.

That is the easy option, one that maintains the status quo for me.  If I am not too keen on it as an option, it is mostly because I have been a pretty bad corp mate for the last few years.  I mostly fly with the SIGs and squads, and have since Reavers formed up a little over five years ago.  So not only do I not hang out of fly with my corp, I end up mostly playing in a very GSF-centric world.

So perhaps the obvious option would to find a spot in a GSF corporation.  That would solve a few deployment related issues, like stuff being listed on alliance contracts when I am not in that alliance or the ever popular “I linked it in alliance chat.”  I even have a 2008 date on my Something Awful account, so I could try to bluff my way into the inner sanctum of the true Goons that is GoonWaffe.  But I doubt I could pull it off.

Instead KarmaFleet is probably the best option.  They have taken half a dozen people I have thrown their way including SynCaine, Brent from VirginWorlds, and Darren of the old Common Sense Gamer.  I ought to have a chance there, and their participation requirements are low enough that even in the midst of peace time ennui I ought to be able to clear them without feeling pressured.

That would maintain the status quo for me… so long as I can get back into the various SIGs I was in.  I’m in a couple of informal ones that I fell into at one point or another that I will have to figure out.

But the status quo is a bit stale right now.  The Imperium isn’t in any wars and nothing appears to be on the horizon.  The latest “keep the troops happy” initiative involves running about in wormhole space.  Other than that there is homeland defense and the occasional roam.  But war and its relentless tempo is what has kept me going for much of my time in null sec.

So I could pack up all of my stuff, have it shipped to Jita, drop my affiliation with the Imperium, and go find a null sec group that is actually fighting… and who will take me.  Eight years in the CFC/Imperium makes me an unlikely spy, right?  Also, even after all of this time in New Eden and in null sec I am a bit of a scrub with an unimpressive kill board. I swear, if the average FC just shouted “Wilhelm, turn your UI back on!” two or three times during a fleet op they would very likely be correct in suggesting that I was once again “staring out the window” at space and spaceships with the UI hidden.  I just like looking at the game and the ships in flight and the pretty explosions sometimes… which can get in the way of things like putting reps on people.  My bad.  So I would need to find somebody desperate or with a low barrier to entry.

Then, leaving aside my dubious alliance history and lack of demonstrable game skill, who would even be worth joining?  TEST? Pandemic Horde?  Darkness?  Somebody else?  Where is the war at?  Which way to the front?

So something to think about here in the new year.

I do know that if I decide to dump the whole null sec thing I’ll probably just stop playing.  The territorial aspect of null sec, and the histories that have grown up around it, interest me in a way that missions or holiday events or random roams just to shoot strangers in the face completely fail to.